Five-year-old Saroo finds himself alone and travelling on the wrong train away from his home in northern India.... Read more...
21st Oct 2012 3:56pm | By Helen Elfer
A shimmering and fizzing aura of information was supposed to surround me everywhere I went on my last holiday.
By this I mean for the first time on a backpacking jaunt, I packed my iPhone, Kindle and lightweight netbook, smugly confident that they would keep me armed with infallible knowledge every step of the way.
Now we’re in an age of expat blogs, travellers’ forums, online reviews and all sorts of other travel networking magic, surely messing up on a trip is a thing of the past.
Booked a dirty room? Should have checked the ratings on Hostels.com first, my friend. Looking for proper filter coffee?
Put a shout out on Twitter. Lost? Just check Google Maps you complete Luddite!
I was determined not a single second of my trip to Kerala in India would be wasted either – if I wasn’t reading up on Indian history on my Kindle, I’d be posting pictures of the backwaters on Facebook and doing, um, other useful, tech-savvy things.
But the best-laid plans and all that. What actually happened is I was completely paralysed with indecision at every turn.
If hostel reviewers contradicted each other I’d spend 15 minutes trying to work out if excessive punctuation meant one of them was an angry nutter and couldn’t be trusted.
I couldn’t even pick a place for brekkie without feverishly wading through endless forums to find the best place for eggs and toast.
I’m not blaming the technology, of course. There’s a lot to be gained from being constantly connected, but it’s also easy to get overwhelmed with information.
Next time I’ll probably try to do without the support of the travel networking army – it’s always worked before.
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