Is it worth traveling in our digital age?

Is it worth traveling if you can watch videos, photos and read information about any place?

Several decades ago, before the advent and widespread spread of the Internet, it was possible to learn about distant places, for example, foreign countries, only from television programs or from books.

And before that – only from books and black and white photographs.

Now everything has changed – the number of videos, photographs, detailed text instructions and short reviews about any place is more than one person can study.

And this leads to a rather simple question – why should I go somewhere if I travel well on YouTube?

I don’t want to impose my point of view, I just want to share my thoughts that arose during my travels.

1. Photos and videos do not convey the true size of large objects

Mountain views, sea views, large caves, tall buildings – you see all this on the screen of your monitors and phones differently than those who take photographs see it.

Neither a wide-angle lens, nor panoramic shots, nor expensive cameras help – there are no technologies that could convey a seascape from above or the view of an abyss.

Perhaps the way the direct participant sees is mixed with a range of other emotions from the smells of this place, meeting fellow travelers, fear of heights, meeting a snake and many other factors that do not affect the video or photograph.

Sorry for such a vulgar comparison, but watching a video about a place and visiting there are the same difference between these events as making love and watching pornography. That is, you can get general ideas, but there are almost more differences than similarities in these activities.

2. The authors’ opinion is subjective, the number of places visited is very limited

Authors filming videos and writing travel reports may be limited by time or money, or by commitments to sponsors. A popular blogger's video about a tropical island might consist of a quarter of an advertisement for an “investment condominium”. And this does not mean that the remaining ¾ of the material will be interesting to you – there may be conversations with people you are not interested in and visits to places that are not interesting to you personally. For example, a video blogger considered it necessary (or was paid for it) to talk about a water park, but did not visit a single beach. And you are interested in the beaches. And as a result, you will be left with the impression that this place is not suitable for a beach holiday. I actually watched such a video about the island of Phuket. The feeling is that on this island there is one “investment condominium” that you must definitely buy and there is nothing else to do there.

Then I visited Phuket myself. There are a dozen huge and beautiful beaches – some filled with people, some deserted. I had an amazing time and relaxed there. And, to be honest, I wish I had never seen that popular blogger’s video.

Another story from a travel report about Phuket: a backpacker traveler suffered from the lack of public transport on this large (the largest in Thailand) island and, according to his report, everything is simply bad and nothing interesting there.

I took into account the lack of public transport and rented a motorcycle – the island opened up before me with stunning sea and mountain views, I saw snow-white beaches, so large that you simply can’t see where they end!

In general, it would be better if I didn’t read that travel report either.

3. Meet people

Even if you don't intend to make new acquaintances, you will meet a huge number of new people. From receptionists in hotels to random fellow travelers in vehicles and on boats. And some of them are interesting, and sometimes you meet simply amazing people.

Among these people there are always those who inspire me, surprise me, cause envy and many other feelings.

This experience of communication and interaction brings you back to earth from the clouds and allows you to see reality more clearly.

I don’t know how to put it into words, but this is almost the most important aspect of any trip – new people.

4. Local food, sunbathing, swimming in the sea, climbing a mountain

These are all the things that help you feel alive. This awakens inner strength, the desire to live, the desire to possess, the desire to return or continue the journey.

5. Reality is much more multifaceted than we think when studying someone’s experience.

To make it clearer, I'll start with an example. I visited a large open-air zoo. So big that they rent golf carts there.

I could start saying again that the size of, for example, giraffes is difficult to imagine until you see these animals live. But it's not even about the animals. After all, I have already seen live giraffes more than once.

The golf cart has forever sunk into my heart. Yes, the most pleasant impression, the most vivid emotions I retained was from driving a golf cart. Including how I taught my wife to drive it)))

And this happens often: you buy a tour to a place famous for its beaches, and you fall in love with the locals; you come to a country famous for its cuisine, and fall in love with the peace of its small streets; you travel to see the famous mountain, but the measured and leisurely life of a small town in that province remains in your heart forever.

You won’t be able to fill your life with only someone else’s experience – you need to start living yourself.


To be honest, during my trip I was faced with the fact that there were too many tourists: the rooms in inexpensive but good hotels were all booked, the transport was crowded, many beaches were crowded with people.

I would be happier if there were fewer tourists, not more. Therefore, I don’t care whether I managed to convince you or not)))) I just shared my thoughts.

Continuation: What to choose – a long budget trip or a short, but more eventful one for the same money?

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