About 7 years (!) after almost every other big city, finally, we can also find Vienna on the map of the world. By that I mean, the Wiener Linien recently took the decision to provide Google Maps with data on Vienna’s public transportation systems, so everyone, may it be tourist or local, can find her or his way around Vienna easily. Navigation 101.
Being able to explore the world has become the new normal. A big part in planning one’s voyages, might it be a weekend trip to a place close by or an extended journey to a rather remote area, is done via online research and a large number of destinations allow you to plan your experiences ahead up until the last detail.
Once we’ve arrived at our desired location, nothing needs to be left to chance either. We researched all places of interest in advance: We know which bus to take, which corner to turn, which way to look, and when. If we checked out Google Earth before departure, we might even have seen a satellite picture and, therefore, know exactly what the place we are going to visit looks like. And who hasn’t watched a fellow tourist (or even has not been that person oneself) at the desperate attempt to recreate the EXACT picture (including every shadow, angle or cool pair of shoes) she or he has seen on the internet beforehand.
To really connect, just disconnect
But doesn’t all that preparation and planning ahead take away of the experience? Think about it. Exactly like at your life at home, the occasional look away from your phone (or map in the case of traveling) can be very beneficial. It is always worth to take a look. An undistracted look at your environment and at the people in your surroundings. An unplanned interaction with a local might become the most memorable experience of a lifetime. While visiting a foreign place, try to follow a delicious smell that could possibly lead you to an even more delicious meal, take a stroll around an unknown area (without getting yourself in danger, of course), have a rest where someone gives you a welcoming smile and talk to the person having a coffee next to you. Stand still and smell the roses. A cliché? It sure is, but there is also something very true to it.
Detox while on the road
Leaving your phone at home – seems like an impossible ordeal, but is it really? Maybe you want to try this, and if it is just for a few hours a day, on your next trip to an unknown destination. (Maybe take an old-school map, a real one, and yes, you can still buy those in stores.) It is very likely that it will take you a bit longer to find certain places. But there is also a good chance that you even discover some places you had not been looking for. And if you are very lucky… you might even find a piece of yourself on the way…
Header image credits royalty free