I have been reading the lonely planet series for more than a decade. The first lonely planet book I read was Europe, before the exchange
vacation program. During those days, smartphones were just in the cradle, far from being called ‘smart’. And my computer was soaked with Germany’s winter snow. The sole information source I could rely on was the Lonely Planet Europe book. With maps, hostel addresses, and tourist attractions, this book guided me through the entire ten days.
In the next ten years, I have not been able to explore many new countries. The only books I have read, and the only destinations I have been to are Russia and Mexico. This year, I was fortunate enough to have stepped into both Great Britain and the South American continent. And early next year, I will set out again to Japan. Though I prepared for my London trip without Lonely Planet, I did scrutinize Chile and Argentina. Several days ago, I got my Japan series.
I enjoy traveling, not only physically being there, but virtually as well. Even without modern technologies like AR/VR, I could still enjoy foreign atmospheres by reading books and browsing websites. I often spend time on Google Maps on a whim, reading signs and pictures, reviews and comments. It feels surprisingly real and surreal at the same time, that 8 million people live on the same planet, busy minding their businesses.