Originally Posted by Travelnik
They go from hostel to hostel, and everything is mapped out on their iPhone or iPad. They don't need to interact with the locals to even ask directions!
The world has changed a lot in the past 10-15 years and even more so in the era since my grandparents, or even parents, were travelling. While the use of technology may seem like it takes the fun out of exploring, it adds a measure of safety and reliability you otherwise wouldn't have. In eras past, that may not have been a big concern, but today many parts of the world are increasingly dangerous and roaming around acting like you don't know what you are doing is a recipe for disaster. It also can allow a more thorough experience and opens doors for people to participate that may not have been able otherwise.
The new technology we have today has changed things a lot, but it's a two sided coin. In some ways, things are better and in others not so much. We just need to accept that the way things are now is how they are going to be, it is the new norm. If exploring is your thing, I'd be grateful if my kids choose to go the route you describe above even with the changes. Looking back I don't know that many of my classmates really even cared about exploring foreign countries even with the technology.