Are we missing out?

Traveling nowadays is a whole new experience than even a few years ago. Within minutes of landing in Europe, we have figured out ways to access the Internet, set up VPNs, and are connected to back home. Each night before bed, I watch my favorite American tv shows on Netflix and Hulu, video Skype with my family and friends, and more or less live the American lifestyle through technology. Drastically different from how former skaters remember traveling.

While this is nice to alleviate homesickness and stay in touched with our loved ones, it makes me wonder if we are missing out on some parts of being overseas that former skaters talk so glowingly about. I haven’t learned a single German word in the three weeks I am here, and that is the norm when we travel to anywhere in the world. We walk around to the sites in each town that can be found in a German tour guide book but that’s it. I rarely sit and watch any German tv. If I do, it is a sporting event with the sound on mute. We sit behind our iPads and laptops most evenings hitting refresh over and over again on Facebook and twitter.

Granted I am 100% over here to NOT be a tourist. The sole reason I am here is to train and compete. But it does make you wonder if we can spend an extra five minutes a day absorbing being in a foreign country.

Auf wiedersehen.