Wednesday, May 27, 2015

the [new] old fashioned way to travel

now, more than ever, i'm convinced smaller cities must embrace technology to compete in the tourist game.

that...and city pride.

memorial day weekend, my girlfriend and i, traveled to tulsa, oklahoma for a little trip. we started out finding a great deal online on a great downtown hotel; from there we left the weekend to chance...well chance...and social media...and iphone apps.

upon arriving in tulsa, lunch was chosen using yelp.  while at the restaurant, we decided to visit a local brewery i follow on twitter.  as we tried the many samples of amazing beer, we got back on yelp to locate a place for dinner that night, easily finding which restaurants included gluten free items.  minutes after checking into our hotel we added the hotel's wifi password onto our iphones.  we got our bags settled and changed for dinner.  not knowing exactly where we might need to park for dinner, we checked to see if uber was available; it was.  while on the elevator we set our location and a minute after reaching the lobby, our driver was there.  ironically during the uber ride, technology took a back seat as our driver told us other locations to try near our destination.

the rest of the weekend followed suit.  finding places to eat, drink and visit using facebook, twitter or yelp and uber-ing our way there.  however once at those places, conversations we had with bartenders, waiters and drivers led to other great places to visit around town.

it's easy to know where to go in larger cities. anyone could name off several places they'd visit in new york, la, chicago and paris, however i'm not sure the same could be said about cities like tulsa, lincoln or wichita. it's harder to know where to go, but thankfully technology changes that, but it's not everything.

tulsa was a fantastic weekend getaway, in large part because of the information we had available at our fingertips.  even with technology helping us find the little jewels of the city; the people encountered at those places let us know why those jewels shine and help make tulsa a great place to visit.

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