- Jack Kerouac
~ Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the wired world.
A couple of days ago I wrote about the Plugged in Traveller. Today let’s look at the Wired Traveller.
Actually, the plugged in traveller and the wired traveller are generally one and the same person. But first, let’s reminisce…(insert dreamy transition sequence as we flash back to the olden days…).
Dear reader, if you are as old as I am, you will still remember the days of ‘snail mail’ – that ancient and all but lost art of letter writing. When men (and women) of letters sent home detailed reports of their adventures as they crossed the globe encountering strange and exotic people, in lands they had previously only read about in geography class. You do remember geography class, don’t you?
If you didn’t have time to write extended reports you could always get away with a PAR AVION* letter.
Remember them? Bought from a local post office, these were light weight, pale blue, one page, prepaid sheets of paper with gummed edges, that had to be folded in a particular sequence before you could drop them into any post box you stumbled across (see image illustrating this entry).
The really lazy traveller always made do with Post Cards. At least post cards gave you the added bonus of including a picture of a famous landmark, or island sunset to make the folks back home envious of your exciting adventures.
You can still get post cards of course, but I haven’t seen an air mail letter in years, and as for long letters home, they too are pretty much a thing of the past. Because today, we are living in a wired world, and the wired traveller wants to work fast, cheap, and online.
Yes, the wired traveller is constantly plugged in, switched on, instant messaging, and uploading to their FaceBook, MySpace, Blogger, Twitter, WordPress, Flickr, YouTube or personal web sites. In fact, the truly wired traveller probably keeps in contact through all the above portals.
Now as you travel the world you can take photographs of the pyramids with your mobile phone and upload them instantly to any number of free websites. Or you could send them to everyone on your phone contact list, and really make your friends back home jealous as they sit, shackled to their work desks, dreaming of their own foreign escapades.
The wired traveller moves around the world with a GPS enabled phone and never has to worry about getting lost in a strange city. He can check his email on the move, and answer them while enjoying a cappuccino in London, a slice of pizza in New York, or a kebab within sight of the pyramids.
The wired traveller can pop into her nearest Internet Café and Google her favourite fashion chain, before heading out to try on the latest summer craze, whether she is in Paris, Milan or Rio. Come to think of it – she can do that from her phone.
If your mobile phone is up to the task, a new opt-in service being trialled by Google called, Google Latitude allows your friends and family to know exactly where you are in the world, at any time, at the touch of a button. While there are some privacy concerns, the security conscious among us will feel a lot happier knowing our movements can be tracked in real time as we travel the world in search of new experiences. Click on the video to watch a short demonstration of Google Latitude’s features.
It won’t be long before you are able to hit a special key on your phone, to send out an alarm to the nearest police station if you are caught up in an emergency, allowing law enforcement to know exactly where you are and track your movements while they close in on you and those threatening you – if it can’t be done already!
Welcome to the wired world, indeed.
*PAR AVION is French for ‘By Air’.