All those great trips you went on pre-social media

If you’re a travel blogger in your late 30s and beyond you possibly rue all those amazing trips you had in the 90s/early “noughties” that you couldn’t blog/Instagram/Tweet about as social media didn’t exist back then!

Me with some Hula girls in Hawaii

Me with some Hula girls in back in 2002

I hadn’t really considered this until I stumbled across a photo album back at my parent’s house and a trip I took to Hawaii via Los Angeles back in 2002. It’s a red coloured, sturdy bound album containing 100 6×4 glossy photos held neatly in little see-through pockets. It was rather nostalgic having something tangible to hand that I could actually see and hold, rather than finding a random memory stick at the back of a drawer that’s now obsolete anyway as you’ve updated your laptop a few times since you last inserted it. Either way this was a trip I’d love to go on now as it would allow me to blog/Instagram/Tweet about it to my heart’s content.

At the top of Diamond Head in Oahu Hawaii

At the top of Diamond Head in Oahu Hawaii

It made we think about some recent well-written articles, published by young 20-something bloggers, that might give the impression they were the first travel bloggers to properly explore such destinations. Possibly because of there being few existing posts about certain places? Well kind of “yes” as we weren’t technically travel bloggers back then when we visited, but kind of “no” as lots of us have been to these places over the last 20 years, it’s just we didn’t have the opportunity to tell a wider audience at the time.

Learning to surf on Waikiki Beach

Learning to surf on Waikiki Beach

So with that in mind I’ve cherrypicked four photos from my trip to Hawaii that I would have loved to have blogged/Instagramed/Tweeted about back in 2002 if only I’d had the tools to do so. My two week trip started out on the famous beaches of Oahu, moved onto the active volcanoes of the Big Island, before ending on the mountainous and quite spectacular island of Maui. The highlight for me was learning to surf on Waikiki Beach and driving a 4.0 liter automatic Jeep along Maui’s famous Hana Highway. It’s just very scary to think that I did this over 15 years ago now!

Driving a 4 litre Jeep around Maui

Driving a 4 litre Jeep around Maui

What wonderful trips have you been on before social media came along?

Which places can’t you visit anymore?

In light of today’s news that the Azure Window arch in Gozi, Malta has fallen into the sea during a storm, it made me think of some other places that friends and I have been to before, and things we’ve done, that for one reason or another you can’t do today either. Whether that be due to:

  1. Terrorism (my friend from Hornblower Travels who visited the Arch of Triumph in Syria or my dad who went to the Twin Towers in New York)
  2. Accident (I flew in Concorde back in 1989 but since 2003 she’s been permanently grounded).
  3. Repair (you can’t currently climb up the Elizabeth Tower to see “Big Ben”)
Walking across the Azure Window in 2010

Walking across the Azure Window in 2010

Back to the Azure Window, I visited it in November 2010 with a friend Al after we’d got a boat over from Malta to view the arch and the lagoon next to it. On the day we visited it was a bit blustery so we couldn’t get any “picture perfect” shots or see any scuba divers below the water surface. However we did walk across the arch and took photos of each other on the top. Whether people jumping off from the top loosened any stones over the years is another thing but the Azure Window eventually succumbed to the sea, which 1000s of similar arches have done over hundreds of thousands of years.

My friend Rob visited the Arch of Triumph in the 2,000-year-old city of Palmyra in Syria back in 2000 which was destroyed mindlessly by ISIS back in 2015. He was on a 10 day unplanned journey through Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. And the Twin Towers? We all know what happened back in 2001.

The Arch of Triumph in Syria

The Arch of Triumph in Syria

The chances of being able to fly again in Concorde are slim even though many of the planes still exist. Sadly Concorde stopped flying for good it seems back in 2003. This was due to the Paris airport crash of 2000, the general downturn in the commercial aviation industry as well as increasing maintenance costs. The world suddenly became a bigger place again on 25th October, the day after it stopped flying. I got to fly in Concorde back in 1989 and feel very lucky to have done so.

There's wasn't much room in the cabin

There’s wasn’t much room in the cabin

That leaves climbing up the Elizabeth Tower to see Big Ben. Now with this one you “can” do this again but not until 2020 when the restoration works are complete, and then only if you’re a UK citizen and get invited by your MP! Simply write to yours and they will hopefully oblige.

The Elizabeth Tower from Westminster Bridge

The Elizabeth Tower from Westminster Bridge

That leads finally to those places you can go to still but not with the people you used to go with. One of my favourite places is the beach resort of Eastbourne on the south coast of England, having been to countless Summer holidays there with my mum and gran over the years. I loved going there at the time and can still go there, but only with my mum now so maybe that’s what I should do this summer 🙂

What places can you think of that you can’t go to anymore? Or ones that might not be around for much longer? The Maldives before they’re under water? Wild rhinos before they go extinct? I certainly hope not for the latter.