Experiencing Exploration

I was reading an article the other day about GPS Spoofing.  For those who don’t know, this is using some software to falsify a location and I know it being used for augmented reality games on mobile phones, which is what I was reading about on Reddit.

The Redditor in question says that they spoof because they like “exploring” the areas around them.  For those who don’t know, this is what Pokémon Go looks like:

That murky green? That’s a field.  The blue green with light green around it is a road.  A building is another shade of green but is flat with no height or depth.  Water is solid blue.

Occasionally you can tap on something and you might see a picture of it with a bit of a description.

In other words, playing the game from your bed doesn’t afford a great deal of what I would call “exploring”.  Certainly not much more than Google Maps does.

That got me thinking about myself and my own approach to exploration, because it is a word that I’ve always found interesting in its usage.  I’ve known people saying that they explore a shop, for example, and it doesn’t seem right.  I also always feel that exploration has an element of danger and greater good, because it’s finding something that no-one has found before.  I realise that that’s all my opinion and that it might not match with everyone else, so the definition I was thinking of was when people go on holiday to explore places they haven’t been to previously.

I have a bit of an unfair reputation for not liking to travel.  That’s not quite right – I find the thought of travel stressful and I don’t experience wanderlust or the necessity to travel in a way that others do.  I can and do enjoy being somewhere different in the same way I can and do enjoy eating a new flavour of ice cream, for example (although the sweetcorn flavour I had in Pittsburgh wasn’t great).

A few years ago I went to Dubrovnik and, while it was a beautiful city, the view didn’t blow me away.  I went to Iceland and went to a massive waterfall which was impressive in its size but, well, I’ve seen a waterfall before.

The bit that makes the travelling interesting (and, indeed, the ice cream eating) is the experience.  It was the understanding of the history of Dubrovnik and the desolation surrounding the power of the waterfall that made going there fun.

I wonder exploring because just a matter of seeing and not only that, but seeing on a screen.  Do people genuinely see exploration as just a chance to see, rather than a chance to feel?  And therefore, are we potentially now being spoiled by being able to see everything we want at the tap of a button?

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