Sitting in a hostel, two beers on each arm (gotta stock up during happy hour, of course), you strike up a conversation with the couple having dinner to your right. Soon, some sun-burnt guys across the table join in. The shy girl in the corner has something to say, and soon there’s a rollicking hostel party.
The music in the bar isn’t quite up to par, so you offer the bartender some of your own music. No cumbersome CD case, of course – you simply hand him your little white device, and your own personal playlists are flooding the hostel bar.
Hours later, as the party wraps up, you embrace your new friends, leaving to catch a flight in just a few hours. “Let’s stay in touch,” you promise. Some will hand out business cards, others will draw out notebooks and ask for addresses. But in the summer of 2011, my money’s on the fact that more people than not would have whipped out a little black or white device, opened up a Facebook application, and handed it over to their friends. “Just add yourself,” they say.
Looking around the hostel lounge, home of free wifi, it’s a sea of metallic-colored fruit emblems, as Macbook after Macbook appears perched on every lap. White chargers dot the walls in hostels, backpacker bars, airports and cafes, and shiny tablet-sized iPads emerge from backpacks on trains and busses throughout the world.
In an Apple world, travel has been enhanced enormously in the years since Steve Jobs has revolutionized personal computing. Music, books and movies are at your fingertips – no matter where in the world you may be. We can do our jobs from anywhere, with a personal office that fits inside our backpacks, available for any job from film editing to investment banking.
“There’s an app for that” becomes the catchphrase, as restaurants, bars, tourist attractions, events, maps, and of course, hostels, are easily located with a few taps and slides.
As we travel, we learn, we explore, and we grow. We connect with others, we share our interests, we entertain our friends, and we maintain the connections.
Technology is not a hindrance when travelling – on the contrary, it enhances our ability to make friends and to connect with the cultures we visit. And for this, we thank Steve Jobs. Founder, inventor, pioneer, and most importantly, a passionate, inspiring role model we will all sorely miss. The world was a better place with him in it.
Rest in Peace