As India has changed, the way India travels has changed too. See the difference
As India has changed, the way India travels has changed too. See how we did things then, and what happens now instead. Bon voyage!brunch Updated: Apr 07, 2015 19:03 IST
As India has changed, the way India travels has changed too. See how we did things then, and what happens now instead. Bon voyage!
Then: Waiting for a gift from that one relative abroad. Usually cheap tat, which you’d keep in the showcase.
Now: One fridge magnet from every place you visit. Europe makes nice ones. But they’re Made In China.
Then: Two months in your native place, you nap every day, the kids climb trees, grandpa is happy, everyone gets a tan.
Now: Six-night-seven-day group tour of the foreign destination of the moment. English-speaking guide. Adventure activities. Indian food.
Then: Quick multiplication tables in your head when you saw the prices of anything abroad.
Now: There’s an app for that, plus you can use your international credit card.
Then: Manali/Alibaug was lovely, let’s go back.
Now: Pick one international destination. Visit. Tick off list. Start with another place.
Then: Budget travel meant picking a place where an NRI relative had a house and spare bed.
Now: Backpacking, youth hostels, Air BnB, Couchsurfing and yes, the NRI relative’s house too.
Then: Two-page school essay in June on How I Spent My Summer Vacation.
Now: Live, unwanted updates on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook on How I Am Spending My Summer Vacation.
Then: Nashik = Sai Baba.
Now: Nashik = Sulafest.
Then: Guidebooks, huge maps you could never fold back the same way.
Now: Internet listicles, and GPS.
Then: Let’s not go where we will not like the food.
Now: Veg options practically everywhere, Indian restaurants abound.
Then: Same kindly neighbourhood cabbie took you to the airport.
Now: Ola cabs booked and ready. Driver Samir is on his way.
Then: Modest State Tourism resorts, with “bed tea”. What? Hot water in the morning only?
Now:Four-star plush resorts with buffet breakfast. What? No bathtub in every room?
Then: Mr Sharma went to Bali, so we must go too.
Now: Let’s go to Croatia. No one I know has been.
Then: Tour operator lists six sights in this place. We see all six and come back.
Now: Customised food tours, nature trails, heritage walks, music festivals and shopping holidays.
Then: Airline tickets look like chequebooks.
Now: Web check-in.
Then: Does the hotel room have a TV?
Now: Does it also have free WiFi, and enough plug points for phone charger?
Then: Collecting postcards.
Now: Collecting air miles.
Then: Trunks, one big ugly suitcase, rolled up green bisterbunds.
Now: Hardtop coordinated check-in and carry-on luggage that conforms to airline standards and has the US-wala TSA lock.
Then: Being able to disconnect on holiday.
Now: If you have a smartphone, no chance!
Then: Requesting the kindly local or fellow tourist to take one family photo of all of you.
Now: Selfie stick, panorama mode, multiple shots and smile-finder on your cellphone.
Then: Wish I could be on holiday forever.
Now: I want to be a travel writer.
Now: Corny photo of you pinching The Eiffel Tower.
From HT Brunch, March 22
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