It’s time for a vacation, right?
If you’re thinking of your next trip and envisioning hiking shoes over stilettos, and local meals over Michelin restaurants, you’re probably part of the growing number of us craving off the beaten track adventures.
But why are we dreaming of open spaces when we used to fantasize about champagne and city lights? We have a few theories...
Our smartphones are great and all, but they have also created a culture where our entire lives live in our pockets, regardless of how far away from home we are.
Roaming plans and the availability of WiFi practically everywhere we go nowadays means that we can have access to our contacts, work emails and all of our home responsibilities no matter where we travel to, which can make us feel less like we’re on vacation and more like we’re just working remotely. Travellers wanted WiFi, and WiFi is what we got, virtually everywhere we go.
Airplane mode is always an option, but for those of us who have a hard time logging off, places where there’s no option for WiFi are becoming more and more appealing, as they force us to disconnect from our real lives and really take a vacation. We’ve gone from begging for WiFi to realizing it’s often better when it isn’t an option, at least for a few days or so.
That coveted social media crown
Social media has brought everyone’s photo albums to our faces on a daily basis, and when we see all of our friends standing in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, it not only makes us want to do the same, but for many of us, we get the desire to one-up them as well. We want to have the best experiences, the best photos, and what better way to win the IG game than to go to places where none of our friends have been yet?
When you hang in a circle of travel lovers and adventurers, it’s almost like a race to see who will conquer the most remote corners of the world first, because once someone else has done it, it just doesn’t feel as impressive.
"Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs." - Susan Sontag
Our wanderlust is at an all time high
It’s easier than ever to fantasize about travelling the world when we have the internet at our fingertips. The amount of information we have access to means pretty much nothing is off limits anymore. Nowadays, we’re thinking about places that we never would even have known about unless we had pulled out an encyclopedia back in the ‘90s. The places our parents would never have dreamed of going to in the ‘80s are a legitimate option for us.
All of this means that places that seemed so exotic and off limits feel so much more doable, and as long as we can Google it, find some photos and look up reviews we’re down to give it a try. More and more of the world has entered our comfort zone, and that just means it’s harder and harder to actually push the boundaries and explore the unknown.
We’re over the gym
For some of us who are making fitness a priority, spending an hour on the elliptical just isn’t cutting it anymore, and we’re craving different ways to stay fit without dying of boredom. Fitness-centric vacations are a trend that we’re totally digging, and it just makes sense that these don’t take place in the major tourist cities of the world. If we’re exercising on vacation, we’d rather bike the countryside, kayak the rivers or trek the mountains than hit up that city hotel gym.
A jungle yoga retreat? A four-day trail trek? Count us in, but if we’re going to focus on our fitness, we’re not gonna spend our vacation in the basement of an Intercontinental.
EXPERIENCE IT: COSTA RICA UNPLUGGED WITH CONTIKI
We need a break
The world is going through some crazy stuff. More and more studies are telling us to get back to basics and spend time in nature in order to relieve stress and find true happiness. Self-care is top of mind for many of us, and travel can be an important part of that.
Sometimes we just need to get away from everyone and everything, escape from the places with a lot of people and enjoy more of a serene and local experience. Now more than ever for some of us, us and our home countries just need some quality time apart.
Maybe it’s a tiny village in Italy, or maybe it’s a tent in the middle of the woods, but we all have our dream places to just hide out in for a while. Regardless of how or why we do it, expect to see a rise in vacations that have more of the unexpected and less of the frenetic energy and creature comforts we’ve come to associate with traditional travels of generations past.