A more ‘tailor-made’ trip, a trip for meditation and new experiences for mental and physical healing rather than any handbags, apparel, watches, or jewelry. More and more people are beginning to pursue values of experience rather than material possessions. Development of technology and internet has made new experiences that were once just imaginable now realisable, which led to numerous experiential services coming out every day. People across the world is now connected as one. Shopping for clothes on the screen that perfectly fits me and getting international deliveries in a matter of a few days is now considered normal. In addition, VR has enabled us to experience the space and to become another animal; to see the world from their point of view. All these spectacle experiences are ready and accessible for anyone in the world nowadays.
The new experiences that people are willing to obtain can be divided into diverse directions. The most striking trend is “digital detox and disconnection”. We now live in a high-tech, convenient world where everything is connected, but ironically, a lot of people sometimes feel like breaking away from all this technology. Everything is excessively connected thus making everything faster. This is making it harder for people to concentrate on themselves. Obsession to create and connect something virtual rather than something real has aroused individuals’ loss of humanity and feeling of fatigue. Nostalgia for something sentimental and something real that one can touch became bigger, thus offline experiences where we can feel life fulfillment and mindfulness is becoming big again.
1. Concentrating on myself
There are moments when you feel small, when you feel skeptical about everything; your life yourself and everyone else. Moments when the city noise feel louder and when you feel like hiding somewhere where you can finally put your body and mind at ease. However, finding the optimal place to get away the sense of futility coming from your daily life; the place to solely concentrate yourself is not easy. Companies are starting to catch this need; more and more companies are starting to provide individualised places and time for people who need this space.
“Get Lost” Credit : Black tomato
“Bring it back” Credit : Black tomato
An American travel agency called ‘Black tomato’ suggests an unconventional trip with phrases like ‘Get lost on purpose’ and ‘Bring it back’. ‘Get lost’ is a programme where you are cut off from the rest of the world. You get to explore polar regions, jungles, deserts, mountains and beaches on your own. Travelers’ location and condition are traced by the safety net made by the Black Tomato team, so there is no need to worry about one’s safety. People get an opportunity to purely concentrate on themselves and explore the nature with their own ability.
The programme ‘Bring it back’ has a purpose to ‘go with a question and bring back the answer’. This programme was designed to enable people to find their answers to questions they wish to solve in their lives. If you want answers to questions about your business go to South Iceland, if you want answers to questions about how to be more creative, to Morocco, and if you want to find answers to questions about finding work-life balance, to Copenhagen. They consist of common questions that everyone would have at least thought about once in their life. This attractive programme allows people to not only find answers but also to spend time in great locations around the world.
Credit : Off The Grid Travel
There are also increasing number of travel agencies which provide trip programmes where people get to break away from electronics and transmission medium so they can solely concentrate on the nature and not anything else. A travel agency called ‘Off the Grid Travel’ specializing in the South Pacific made programmes to go to AITUTAKI, FREYCINET, and SAMOA. These places are unfamiliar, but they were picked after the travel agents went there for themselves. There are ‘off the Grid levels’ marked in each destination so customers can choose how much disconnection they want.
Only for Burning man, tens of thousands of people gather in the middle of a desert and form a community every year. And now, similar festivals to this are continuously being created. One of the reasons to this popularity is probably ‘living in a vacuum’. Businessmen, artists, musicians who have priceless value spend their time and money to participate in Burning man. Inside this festival, they survive as a single member, build their independence and might also find their new selves. Participants of Burning man have commented that they have gained tremendous experiential, mental value from this programme and that they would love to go again next year. This shows us how time away from the world; time to concentrate solely on oneself is becoming significant to more and more people.
2. Going in the previously considered dangerous nature
Wild lions, tigers, grassland with zebras galloping around, safari, mysterious turtles in the deep sea, and starting a day with tropical fish was something previously thought to be only seen on National Geographic. VR can reproduce places in nature that wasn’t approachable by human in the past so that we can experience these places in the cities, but it’s not 100% real. It does not fully satisfy people who really want to feel and experience the wonders of nature itself. People yearn for satisfaction of going somewhere where others haven’t, and also for a breakaway from this busy city full of artificial components. These are probably why they search for ways to co-exist with the nature.
Credit : Yellow zebra safaris
Credit: THE HEART OF EUROPE 2019/Floating Seahorse
Even compared to 2-3 years ago, the number of companies that provide Safari tours has increased dramatically. Some have set ‘Safari tours’ as an option that customers can add, and some companies like ‘Yellow Zebra Safaris’ only provide Safari tours. Most companies mainly focus on perfect safety and letting their customers stay in a pleasant, almost overly furnished camp while savoring the nature. The service can vary according to costs and programmes, but in some programmes, people get on light aircrafts to move from camp to camp or bathe right in front of wild animals and watch them move. These are all proven to be perfectly safe as well. If you look at the websites of these travel agencies or look up the pictures of customers of these programmes, you will be amazed at how extraordinary they are.
People’s greed for a more special vacation and longing for the nature lead to the creation of ‘Floating Seahorse’, a floating 3-story ultraluxury villa. These villas were built along the beach in Dubai which is known as the heart of Europe. The rooftop of the hotel is at sea level, and the bedrooms and bathrooms beneath them are surrounded by glasses, not walls, so the residents can see the surrounding breathtaking scenery under the sea. They wake up surrounded by marine creatures, and they practically live in it. This luxurious villa is sold at 2.8 million dollars, but its high cost didn’t keep it from being sold out as soon as it was introduced to the public in 2015.
3. Exploring the unknown world out of curiosity
Technology can be developed exceeding the intelligence of human, but creativity and curiosity will always only be ours. Curiosity can lead to wanting new things, and these demands can be met by using creativity. From a long time ago, many have been interested in the unknown world; the world we cannot reach. The developing technology along with creativity is now making it possible to solve these curiosities.
Credit: ANDREA GATTI
In accordance to this, there are also services that were designed to fulfill the curiosity of the wealthy who wanted to see the historical scene down in deep sea which none has seen before. A London-based tourism company called “Blue Marble Private” and a American company called “OceanGate” are discovering the Titanic, which sank due to a shipwreck from a shipping disaster in 1912, and the ship is located under the Atlantic Coast. Many remains of historical events from the past, buried deep in the sea out of our reach are now being discovered and used as an attractive tourism spot. A good example of this would be taking a look at the Titanic for eight days 4,000 meters under sea level on submarines specially made with carbon fiber and titanium. The expected price for this is 76570 pounds, which, considering the inflation over the years, is similar to the amount paid by the first class passenger of the actual Titanic in the past.
Credit: Zero 2 Infinity
While some of the services are provided in the deep ocean, new services for outer space like the balloon flight are being developed as well, and this particular service is at the hands of the Spanish company Zero2Infinity. To make space traveling happen, this company is pouring in a lot of effort to develop, launch and test rockets.
These offline experiential services can’t actually be considered as easily affordable for most people. These services are now only targeted to a minority of people, but the fact that more and more people are willing to pay these huge amounts of money for these services is telling us that this trend is becoming bigger. Loss of humanity coming from the development of technology and stress from the busy lives in the city are problems that everyone living the world now can relate to. It’s not something that just a few are experiencing. So, with no doubt, increasing numbers of people will want time for themselves; they will want some kind of concentration that takes them away from daily stress. What more new offline experiences to come? How will it change, come and go?
By Yeony Do