The virtual world is beginning to blend seamlessly with the real world. The social side of technology is making the World Wide Web much more localized by bringing like-minded people together and in the process creating closely knit online communities.
A combination of features like worldwide accessibility and instantaneous communication has made it possible for backpackers, globetrotters, and other adventurers from all over the world to join together at different online platforms to exchange information, experiences, and plans in their favorite pursuit — travel.
Subscribers range from the professional travel writers to hardcore travelers and adventurers and regular folks who are simply interested in reading online. Travel communities are accessible by millions of interested people all over the world.
Out of some major and lesser travel forums on the Web, I have had the good fortune to belong to a few and have been visiting some others for my travel information needs.
Exceptions apart, all virtual travel communities have some common features. Communities mostly provide a warm, trusting, and supportive atmosphere. When members share information, they do it with great care and responsibility. They rely on each other more than they do on outdated travel guidebooks or on second-hand and static information from conventional travel literature.
Visit any online community and one finds anything related to travel, along with flames and off topic comments, which are sometimes informative, sometimes funny, and occasionally annoying. The mutual exchange of information is not restricted only to destinations, affordable places to stay and dine in, security issues, maps, weather conditions there. and where to find the best bargains and how to find public restrooms or which Websites better describe any particular place (or which dress a female anthropologist going to study Kalash clan up in northern district Chitral should wear during her extended stay there). It goes much further to helping in finding work, selling and promoting each other in local markets.
“Travel forums have become hunting grounds for meeting fellow travelers and making new friends. You really do not require any other reason to join a community or two,” says Atoorva Sinha, who intends building up the travelers’ community at Mindzwine.