Traveling the eRoute

AS you read this I am probably on my way to Barcelona, Spain.
I am off to deliver a paper at the OpenEd Conference at the beginning of November.
As I am busy preparing for the conference and also the trip, I realise how things have changed since the last time I’ve travelled overseas. Or rather the way in which we plan our trips and the way we explore before we explore.
We now explore online and then we explore in the real world. The last time I travelled overseas I just looked at the travel brochure and off I went. Now it is a whole online expedition. I firstly take a very good look at the hotel. I watched a number of videos posted about the hotel and then I read hundreds of reviews that visitors posted.
I read all about the culture online in Wikipedia and found loads of travel tips about Barcelona.
I then went to Google earth and worked out the route we will take from the airport to the hotel. As bonus I was able to use Google StreetView to see exactly what the streets will look like where we have to walk to get from the train to the hotel. Yes, indeed, things have changed since the last time I went on a trip, but most importantly we have changed in the way that we make use of technology to make our lives easier and to ensure that we know where to go and what to do when we get there. Now when we go on a trip we actually go twice.
Once when we plan and get information online and a second time when we actually experience it in the real world.
Next week I will write my column from Barcelona. I hope to share many insights with you from the OpenEd Conference.