Tag archives for Offbeat Observer

The digital detox bandwagon is growing these days. People are increasingly looking for vacations that offer a break not just from the daily grind at home or at the office, but from their smartphones. Quick tip: It’s not about where you go. Once we reach a destination, we have to make the same decisions as we do back home. The real way to disconnect–wherever you happen to be–is what writer Rebecca Solnit calls “the most obvious and the most obscure thing in the world.”

Since the fateful first edition of Patricia Schultz’s “1,000 Places to See Before You Die” was published in 2003–a few years before that Jack Nicholson-Morgan Freeman dying-buddy film would lend the concept a buzz-worthy name–”bucket lists” have hijacked popular discourse on travel. Here’s what’s wrong with that.

Too often, we travelers let good old fashioned guilt seep into the decision-making process when we’re building our itineraries. Rather than following our inherent interests (canoes, Rococo, hockey), we let the expectations of friends and family–or what we’ve read in some magazine–serve as some proxy “travel conscience,” guiding us toward things we should or shouldn’t see.