Travel Delights: Going Old School

If you know me, virtually or in real life, you might have guessed by now that I am extremely attached to my gadgets. My addiction is deeply embedded and quite serious and I can honestly say I could not survive without my laptop and my smartphone. Mind you, I am not even trying to get clean! I did so with cigarettes and – the bigger addiction of my life – Coca Cola, but when it comes to tech toys, you cannot clean the geek out of me. And yet when I travel there are some things I prefer to do old school. No matter how cool technology gets, these dated, hard copy travel delights will always be my first choice.

Tourist maps

Whenever I get into a new city, I buy a tourist map. You know them, they have the main tourist hot spots marked, in some cases they’re only of the city center. But I buy them everywhere I go. Sure, I have Google Maps and Foursquare and some travel apps, but nothing beats walking around with that map in my hand, folded to show the area I am currently moving in.

Treasure map

The appeal of maps is that they somehow give me the sense of adventure. I am hunting for travel treasures and follow the clues on my map to get to them. I love their smell when I buy them and first spread them out to create my itinerary, and it warms my heart to see how they get all worn off and torn after a few days of intense use.

City/Attraction Guides

I also buy these from the places I visit. I started with an Istanbul guide and a Topkapi Palace one, bought, as they should be, from the street vendors, after a lovely negotiation. I hardly ever use them to decide what to see. But they make for great memories and sometimes, in the evening, I like to browse them, reliving the adventures of the day. They are also perfect to store the maps, the bus tickets, museum entrance tickets, restaurant bills and all the other memorabilia I just have to bring home.

All the flyers you can think of!

I usually check for tours and activities online, so I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do. For example, I knew I’d go paragliding and on a day cruise in Oludeniz long before I arrived there! But I take flyers and brochures on all possible activities and tours from the hotel or from tourist information kiosks. Not everyone is online, as it happens, and I might miss out if I don’t pay attention. But it’s mostly because I want to add them to my trip reminder collection stored in the aforementioned guides!


I rarely mail them. The get lost more often than not and my ability to find post offices is laughable. My friend Alexandra once found kitting supplies in a post office in Scotland, but that’s a different story! I save some of the postcards for myself, others I give to friends and family, along with the now traditional fridge magnets that we all seem to love and desperately need. I know I could make my own from the thousands of photos I take like a veritable shutterbug that I am, but these remind me of my first seaside or mountain vacations where I’d buy the prettiest to send home to my family. I’d say I missed them and I wished they were there with me.