Thursday, 18 January 2018

Analog Travel | Travel Blogging, Social Media, Human Relationships, and the Here & Now

Cabo de Gata natural park
9:36am, Thursday,
high 22°, low 14°
Bright Sunshine, windy
Altitude: 2m
Distance covered: 2189 miles

I'm enjoying my coffee in the morning sun with a salty breeze blowing across the sheltered doorway, I must keep brushing hair from my eyes as I write. Still only the sounds of the sea, the occasional dog barking breaks the silence..

I've been in the natural park area now maybe over a week - I haven't been counting the days, and really now taking things as they come.. and go..

The Christmas and new year period was once of many new friends and social experiences, first at a wild hot springs place, with many colourful characters of all nationalities, then on the coast again, mostly with the same organically occurring band of travellers. (You know who you are if you're reading this - I keep most of the personal things offline, as it should be. Someday you might be a character in a novel though so watch out!)
'There is also a time for being out of touch, living fully in the time and place where I am..'

It's got me thinking about the role of travel blogging and social media in general when on the road, so maybe I'll develop my thoughts here. In some ways it can be a great benefit, and in others a great distraction.

Gone are the days of the map, the compass, and the occasional postcard or phone call to family or friends far away. Our friends are only a 'ding' away on messenger apps and even video chatting happens with 4G mobile internet. I can reach an entire audience online, and exchange thoughts with the readers of this blog by email at any time.

Is it a good or bad thing? Or are there ways to use the technology skilfully to enhance our lives while travelling? For me, writing the articles, and receiving feedback is sometimes a great thing, especially whilst travelling alone for long periods, the contact provides a missing social side to life. However, there is also a time for being out of touch, living fully in the time and place where I am, and really having my mind and heart completely in my unfolding adventures. I think this is how longer road travel used to be before the new technology - 'analog travel'.

I enjoy times of being completely cut off (it can only be through choice nowadays), and times of being in social contact when alone by sharing thoughts and experiences on the website, or keeping in touch with friends by message, text or phone. Each has their time I feel, and peace of mind is only maintained by knowing oneself and what's best 'now'.

There is also another time, when a social scene develops on its own; when a community spontaneously forms, as a group of travellers come together - sometimes the good old camp fire and shared wine or beer are catalysts in this but it's not always the case. Being in an open and free environment, out of familiar surroundings, and the excitement of 'everyday a new adventure' creates intimacy among us - like the exchanged smiles and laughter in those moments a roller coaster cruises in after a thrilling ride.
'The longer I've been living this way, the more I've learned to let things come and go'

During these times I rarely feel motivated, or even make time to share online as life is happening right here, right now to its fullest extent, new friendships are developing and experiences shared, so unless the events around me are to become a serialised soap opera, with myself an often more distant observer it's simply not possible.

These times too come to an end, and there are often even more Facebook friends as a result! I can only laugh 😆. But the longer I've been living this way, the more I've learned to let things come and go; the deepest connections made are always the most enduring.

You may already realise that this cannot be a lonely way of life! I think thanks to the internet there's always a friend to talk to and more like minded souls joining the 'circle' as each year passes - or just park up and see who comes along to say hello - it could be your new best friend! I hope we meet on the journey..

Thanks for following along!

Get in touch if you're in the area..

Have a good one!


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