Cape Lookout Hike

“Travelers now seek more perspective, meaning, and challenge. They want to see the unvarnished reality of a place, not just the fantasy. [Travelers today] crave fresh, more intimate, and sustainable ways to experience the world.”
~The Editors of National Geographic Traveler Magazine

When I read the article in the May/June 2010 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine titled “50 Tours of a Lifetime“, this quote really resonated with me. When I travel in bare-bones fashion, and try to connect with the place that I’m visiting (as compared to just experiencing things in that place), I tend to gain so much more from the trip.

I love how more and more people are trying to disconnect from all of the things that keep them tied to their home: their cell phones, laptops, Facebook walls and Twitter feeds. Going back to a simpler, slower-paced life is what I seek when I travel. I like being disconnected. I like traveling places where my cell phone doesn’t work. These things make me work to talk to my loved ones back home, and this forced exposure to a way of life that I might never see again only enhances my travels.

Since I work in a job where I’m paid to know how to stay connected and engaged in the online space, I really value the time away from cell phones and computers. Hence the spontaneous Saturday trip to the coast. For safety reasons, I always have my cell phone with me when I go hiking (moms know best, right Mom?) but I tend to keep it on silent. When I’m out and about in a forest or on a sandy beach, I’d prefer to listen to the sounds of the birds or the crash of the waves, not my L.O.V.E. ringtone.

Image credit: National Geographic Traveler Magazine

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