The world is a few Google Map clicks away

Technology is a wondrous, wondrous thing.

I spent the day touring the streets of Ginza, Shibuya and then had a quick jaunt at Mt. Fuji. When I grew bored salivating the many amazing sights of Japan, I made a quick jump at Namsan in Seoul, and revisited my old neighborhood in Myeongdong. I made a quick stop at Nature Republic, trawled the streets of the Myeongdong Market then changed my mind again and strolled the pleasantly chaotic Nathan Road in HK, checked where we will be staying in October then made a quick jaunt at Chungking Mansions before ending the trip at the Avenue of Stars.

Amazing, I know. And impossible to do in one day unless you have Harry Potter’s Firebolt.

I was actually doing all these through good old Google Maps.

tokyo tower, minato
A quick visit to the Tokyo Tower

I was actually doing research for my sister, who is Tokyo-bound this September for a seven-day vacay. She wanted to have an idea on how the hotel would look like and its surrounding neighborhood and I had the brilliant idea to look for it via Google Maps. After I managed to find her hotel, I thought about visiting my sister’s future neighborhood and boy—was I crushed and envious that I am not going with her.

From there, I just followed the many streets and little alleys around Ginza and had fun looking at the quaint restaurants and the people crossing the street. Before I knew it, I already had a look around Shibuya, Harajuku and Keio University neighboring areas. I also managed to lose track of time.

It amazes me how technology allows us to see the places we want to see, “to visit” them and enjoy the view while thinking what would it be like being there for real.

HK Nathan Road
Our little hostel is located here, Nathan Road between Bowring and Pilkhem Street

Of course, nothing comes close to being there and soaking the view for real, feeling the vibe of the place and the energy of the people. When I saw the places in Tokyo, the more I wanted to go. I knew that the reason why I can’t go this time is because I am penniless and I am afraid to go broke in the city I loved most. A part of me kept on telling me how pathetic it looked–seeing the places you’ve always wanted to see through Google Maps.

But then again, why not? It was never wrong to dream or hope or even yearn about things, people or places. Deep in my heart, I know, that the next time I’ll post a picture of Tokyo Tower here–it’ll be the one with me standing next to it — grinning from ear to ear.

45 thoughts on “The world is a few Google Map clicks away

  1. I’m really inspired with your writing skills and also with the format on your blog. Is this a paid subject matter or did you customize it your self? Either way keep up the excellent high quality writing, it is rare to peer a nice weblog like this one nowadays..

  2. Google maps vacation ! Its nice, no umbrella needed but for effect I wear my swimming outfit when I a at the beach and quickly change to rain protection suit if its rainy area…however I have not seen rain in google maps jet…. πŸ™‚ J/k nice article…yes visiting trough google maps…its nice but I cant do it to much my travel vibes kicks in and I only crave traveling more if I do !

  3. This past year my US History teacher used Google Earth/Maps as a teaching tool because we could explore geography, and even zoom in on Jamestown and Plymouth Plantation! You’re right, it’s pretty amazing.

    1. Yeah, I know what you mean — think of the stress and hassle of not knowing ahead.
      To think I am a “research nut” especially when I am traveling! Thanks for dropping by! πŸ™‚

  4. Many an author on success has written about the power of visualizing your dreams and goals ahead of time. Until I read your article, it never occurred to me how powerful a tool Google Maps could be for someone who has a dream of world travel. So enjoy your trip to Tokyo, which I’m sure will be coming soon!

    1. Thanks, Matt!
      Seriously, what I wouldn’t give just to see Tokyo for real. I know it’s coming — I’m pretty much harassing the universe for this dream trip to come true. It’s just a matter of “when” πŸ™‚

  5. Google Maps has saved me a lot of money over the years. Not only has it prevented me in visiting places that sound cool initially, but once I visited them via satellite maps, I realized…they sucked. Fun post!

    1. Exactly! Besides, think of the money we get to save just by doing our research ahead of time!
      Thanks for visiting! πŸ™‚

  6. The power of Google maps and street view are something to behold and yet I’m amazed at the number of people who remain unaware of the possibilities. Good post.

  7. Congratulation for being on Freshly Pressed, YES, I strongly agree with you, Technology today is so amazing, and of course really helpful. I constantly using Google maps too πŸ™‚

  8. Congrats on being FP. Google maps, is a great way to learn about places. To have an idea when you step outside the airport, where you are in a strange place. To have a rough idea which way to go from the hotel, to find all those street vendors. Also to find places we want to see in person.
    However the sights don’t compare to seeing them with our eyes, as the sun slides across the sky. Seeing a crowd around a street vendor, you miss the thrill of the first taste of something new. The wow is that hot, or the subtle hint of, what spice is that? Seeing a peach tree blooming on Google doesn’t compare to the sweet scent, that transports you to another place in time, where the pace of life was slower, and people smiled more often.
    But like you, it’s back to dreaming about far away places today, and preparing for tomorrow, now if I could only find that perfect coffee shop in ?

    1. I agree with you that nothing compares to being there for real.
      In fact, what I wouldn’t give just to in Japan right now.
      But while I am still saving for my dream trip, I will pass away my time seeing them through Google Maps.

      Thank you for visiting! πŸ™‚

  9. Reblogged this on Under an Artichoke and commented:
    Agreed, totally. “Nothing comes close to being there and soaking the view *for real*”β€”but when you can’t get away, Google Maps is totally amazing. I love how I can see different places I’ve visited and therefore reimagine parts of my life in just a few mouse clicks too.

  10. I visited Times Square, New York the other day. Then Milan. One day it’ll be for real! This is a lovely little post I’ve never really thought about it this way.

    1. Thanks!
      Due to my lack of funds…I have resorted to this! πŸ™‚
      Thanks for visiting….
      oh, and let’s go visit Alaska next via Google Maps, what do you say? πŸ™‚

      1. I was actually heading to Ireland next! But we should meet up in Alaska after that? πŸ˜€

    1. Thanks, Meandering Matriarch!
      I was out of loop for a few days due to hell at work — I opened my WP and see this!
      It’s a nice reward πŸ™‚

  11. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return. The power of Google maps !!!

  12. Google map is like my best friend whenever I am researching on a place I want to travel next. It is just so different than just looking at a pictures and the street view already makes it feels like I am there already!

  13. I love browsing around on Google Maps… it’s so cool to be able to explore the world while sitting at your desk. You’re right, of course, that it’s not the same as actually being there, but it’s awesome that technology at least gives us a decent idea of what it’s like.

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