I went backpacking (Asia/Australia/NZ) in 1997 (now 12 years ago!), and though on this trip I will be mainly trying to go to different places than before (Borneo/Chiang Mai/ Angkor Wat etc.) it will be really interesting to see how things have changed in some of the places that I will be re-visiting, such as KL, HCMC, Bangkok and Phuket (I was on Ko Phi Phi just before they were filming ‘the beach’ we moved a few of the trees that they had set out for planting a few feet here and there, so I feel that we should have got some credit for set design in the film credits 😉
It is quite interesting to compare things that I will be taking with me this time over last. For example, I remember I had a sony Walkman, and half a bag full of tapes; that has been reduced down to the size of an mp3 player. I will probably take a cheap ‘pay as you go’ mobile for emergencies. My camera is now digital, it is about a third the size of the one I had in 97; which was a film camera. Last time I used to develop the pictures and send them home, but keep the negatives with me just in case.
The biggest difference of course will be that I’ll pick up a cheap throwaway netbook. This will add Skype (no trudging off to the telephone exchanges) and other communication with wireless, I won’t be spending lots of time and money in internet cafes like back in 97.
If all these changes are a good thing or not for the whole travelling experience are debatable, but I’m pretty sure that they will make life easier.
Oh yeah, last time we carted a great big tent around with us as we were planning to camp in Australia; why we dragged it all around SE Asia instead of buying one in Australia is still beyond me now!