The first time I saw a smart phone and other touch screen equipment while traveling was in Laos in 2012. It was such a bizarre moment. We were sitting at a little cafe in Luang Prabang by the river (if you have been there you know the town is full of those!) and this guy with old school hippie traveler clothes (you know, the really stereotypical ones..) and bare feet walked to the side of the street and sat down on the ground. He had a cross-body bag with string tassels and all his clothing including that bag looked like they had seen the world for sure.
There I was thinking (with my own travel journal in front of me) that he might pull out a notebook and a pen as well. Or even a joint but no. I was quite wrong. He took out a smart phone and a tablet computer and started working on them right there. Later on the same trip I got to follow another traveler using her smart phone while on a tiny boat as she was sitting in front of me . I was genially interested in all those things she had on her phone helping with her travels! We were lugging around a heavy travel guide book and at that point the lighter version seemed appealing (though I have continued with the books regardless of having a smart phone now).
Then on that boat ride I was super excited about how smart devices might ease ones travels. And it has for sure. I do feel quite old talking about how traveling sometimes meant you were very cut off from the rest of the world, how we used payphones to call hostels and so on. I do appreciate having that experience though. Makes for fun stories and precious memories. How many would knowingly leave their phone etc. at home to have those similar experiences..? I do like to think there are people who do so.
Looking through my pictures from Laos took me a while. Cause, wow! What a country! Have you guys been? How did you like it? Do you have any Laos favorites? Let me know below or on my Instagram or Facebook.