Some of the most remote places in the world are starting to feel less isolated thanks to new technology. This may be good for people who live in them, but for travellers it’s a mixed blessing.

Playa Nancite in the Santa Rosa National Park is a bit different this year. It is still one of Costa Rica’s most remote spots but it no longer has the same sense of isolation.

The change is certainly not obvious.

Getting here requires the same effort – an hour’s drive along a deeply rutted and muddy track, only passable in a four-wheel-drive with a winch, followed by a 40-minute hike over a very steep hill.

The beach itself is also unchanged.

Olive ridley turtles still nest here in their thousands, undisturbed by poachers but hunted by jaguars, which often patrol the beaches at night.

Sadly, there is also little difference to the huge quantity of plastic strewn across the high-tide mark, which washes up on to the golden sands from distant South Pacific islands.

Beach in Costa Rica

No. Change has come invisibly – through the airwaves.

Last year, you could just about get a mobile signal if you were standing in the right spot but now you can sit on Nancite’s beach and connect to the internet.

Don’t get me wrong, I am as much a slave to the world-wide-web as the next person but I cannot help feeling a little sad at this development.

t may be a cliche but there is no doubt that technology makes the world feel a smaller – and less interesting – place.

It has the habit of shrinking the distances between countries and merging cultures.

For me, real adventure travel does not just come from the journey itself but from feeling cut off from one’s normal way of life – a situation that forces you to accept what you find and become absorbed by it.

And being isolated can also be exciting since it often brings a frisson of risk.

Unfortunately, with the unseen umbilical cord of a mobile or internet connection, it is much more of a challenge to experience the unfamiliar and leave the familiar behind.

Source: BBC News Read more

Comment:

It is true. The internet has shrunk the world. I started traveling before the internet and I see the impact that the internet has had in recent years. It has literally taken the adventure out of adventure.

There was a post a week or so ago, a complaint that travel was declining and the blame was place squarely on the internet.

Before the net you could buy a $100 book with lovely glossy photos of a tourist destination, or you could travel there for the real experience.

Today, you use Google to find stories, read the facts and see photos, Google Earth to see the country, YouTube to see the wildlife in action and chat rooms to talk about it; all for $29.95/month.

But the point made in the article above is valid. I was a tourist guide for some years, working around Peru, Bolivia and Brazil. That was in the days before cellphones, Blue Tooth, Blackberry; even laptops weren’t around. Travelers had to rely on internet cafes, today would be so very different.

Imagine giving your narrative as a guide in one, two or more languages or you were waiting for pax to meet travel connections and you’re interrupted by… the mere thought of it gives me the shivers, I’d lose my patience.