We are big fans of innovative travel technology. We recently discovered Esplorio, a digital travel journal which allows us to automatically document our trips. This technology makes it easier to connect the dots between the highlights of a journey and turn those moments into a story. #ShareAJourney.

 

What happens in Madrid…

Dear Diary: This evening I woke up, sprawled across the sofa in a strange Airbnb apartment somewhere in the heart of Madrid. A cool evening breeze drifts through the open shutters, shifting some of the humidity that hangs heavy in the air and soothing my banging headache. As the cobwebs begin to clear from my brain, I begin to piece together the day’s events…

Share a Journey and Not Just Moments with Esplorio | via @dipyourtoesin

Madrid had been a slow starter. However, once she got going, there was no stopping her. Her electric buzz was impossible to resist and soon we were sucked into her rhythm.  Having missed the early morning trains to nearby Toledo, our quiet morning soon gave way to a full day of exploring Madrid’s sights and historical landmarks. We took our own advice as travel bloggers and ditched the maps, preferring instead to ‘get lost and wander’.

We began our wanderings from the bustling 17th century Plaza Mayor before moving on to explore cafes, churches and palaces; the magnificent Palacio Real de Madrid (Royal Palace of Madrid) being a highlight. As with many old European cities, meandering backstreets and alleyways contributes a great deal to the overall visitor experience and Madrid delivered. We browsed food stalls at one of Madrid’s famous food markets, the Mercado de San Miguel, and savoured the colours, aromas and sounds of life happening all around us.

Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid, Share a Journey and Not Just Moments with Esplorio | via @dipyourtoesin

Dear Diary: Mercado de San Miguel is a feast for the soul. It reminds me of Luciano Pavarotti’s famous quote where he says: One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.

We continued exploring late into the afternoon and soon tired from our exertions, we charted a course back to our flat near La Latina. However, along the way, we succumbed to the entreaties of a restaurant manager who instinctively sensing our indecisiveness, thrust menus into our hands and deftly steered us towards his outdoor seating area. Soon we were devouring gambas al ajillo (shrimp scampi), calamares fritos (fried squid), seasoned potatoes and classic Spanish omelettes.

Our host spoke no English and we spoke basic Spanish. However, we managed to communicate through our smiles, nods, gestures, and limited Spanish vocabulary,  and by the end of the meal we had established a good rapport. He decided to offer us a treat and soon, two shot glasses and half a bottle of cream liqueur appeared before us. With thanks we accepted the treat and after downing the shots, we made ready to leave. Our host was having none of that and insisted that we stay and enjoy the rest of the bottle on the house, an offer that we gladly accepted.

Dear Diary: In Spain, life and food are savoured slowly, giving the impression that one does not need to worry about time. Full disclosure: Eulanda decided she wasn’t drinking and later admitted she secretly planned on getting me drunk. With no pressure to leave, and having no competition for that delightful bottle of Spanish liqueur, I settled into a late evening Madrid tempo and savoured every sip until it was all gone.

Dear Diary: Now I remember where the banging headache came from. This is my Madrid story and I’m going back to bed.

 

Taking control of the narrative

Travel gives us a blank canvas and an invitation to create our own stories like the one above. Our memories are like brush strokes while our specific experiences are the colours that bring to life our own unique perspectives of a destination. Every story is an attempt to capture a present reality in order to preserve it long into the future.

In the age of social media, sharing our stories has never been easier. However, with multiple platforms at our disposal, it can often be difficult to keep track of what goes where. The resulting effect is that we lose control of the narrative of our stories and leave it to others to connect the dots.

For example, the details of my Madrid caper are scattered across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google, Dropbox and the SD card of my smartphone. To retell this story, I had to reach into all these data repositories to recall check-ins, routes, names of landmarks, photos and my expressed sentiments at the time. A travel journal that collects and links all this data would have been helpful!

HDYTI checking emails in Zanzibar | via @dipyourtoesin

We recently came across a mobile app called Esplorio which solves this problem. Esplorio is a ‘digital travel journal’ which allows users to document and share their travels. Esplorio creates your travel story by collecting contextual data from your social media including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. More organised travellers can also link their travel itineraries from apps like TripIt and TripCase to Esplorio.

Esplorio allows users to stay in charge of their own privacy by restricting data collection from specific sources and controlling how much they want to share. The power of Esplorio is its simplicity and how it quietly works behind-the-scenes without compromising battery life or incurring roaming charges. When your trip is completed, you can connect to the internet and create a map of your trip (including adding notes and comments) and share your digital travel journal publicly or to a selected group. Travel bloggers may find Esplorio especially useful as an automatic travel blog which creates basic material for blog posts.

Venice view from onboard P&O cruise ship Oceana | via @dipyourtoesin

 

Share a Journey and Not Just Moments

Developed and managed by eggheads, travellers and foodies Tim Fernando, Essa Saulat and Sean Pham, Esplorio launched as a start-up in the summer of 2015. With the team now based within the Travel Tech Lab at London & Partners, the app has been featured in multiple digital publications including TechCrunch, Huffington Post and Mashable.

The Esplorio user ranges from hard core world travellers to ‘staycationers’ who like to keep things as simple as searching for Pokémon around their cities. Examples of Esplorio travel journals include this Sweden to Mongolia rally, the Williams Formula One racing team’s journey to the Hungarian and German Grand Prix and our own recent trip to the Austrian Alps.

So whether you fancy walking the streets of Madrid to find restaurants that offer free Spanish liqueur treats or discovering street art in Shoreditch, East London, Esplorio could become ‘the perfect digital travel companion’ (Wired Magazine) for creating the ultimate travel journal. Why not share a journey and not just moments?

Exploring Exploring the canals of Venice | via @dipyourtoesin

 

Download Esplorio

Download Esplorio from the iPhone App Store for FREE (Esplorio is currently only available on IOS).

Esplorio Logo | via @dipyourtoesin

 

#ShareAJourney

Join our conversation about Esplorio on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook using #ShareAJourney.

 

Full disclosure: We loved Esplorio so much that we contacted the team to ask if we could help them promote the app. The team at Esplorio are providing support for the #ShareaJourney campaign. However all views and opinions expressed here remain ours.

 

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Share a Journey and Not Just Moments with Esplorio | via @dipyourtoesin

Co-Founders & Curators at HDYTI

Eulanda & Omo Osagiede are London-based freelance writers and award-winning social influencers who run the popular travel, food, and lifestyle blog HDYTI (Hey! Dip your toes in).