It started with an unexpected spare ten minutes and a glass of wine.
I’d heard all the fuss about the game, and had been firmly in the ‘I don’t get it’ camp. I remember walking down a gorgeous street in Basel under a full moon and judging two people for having their face in their phone rather than taking in the view as they excitedly talked about catching a certain Pokemon.
Then came the night when my friends were running a little late and I was enjoying a little glass of vino. ‘What’s the harm in a little look to see what all the fuss is all about?’ I thought to myself as I headed to the App Store.
I had some fun picking what colour outfit my gal would wear and choosing her hair and eye colour, and then I wondered why she wasn’t moving. Until I remembered that was one of the points of the game… I had to move for her to do the same.
I’ve done a lot of moving since then, as has she, and here’s why I am so glad we’ve become a team.
Pokemon Go Makes Travel Even More Fun
As Pokemon Go players know, PokeStops are where you go to get goodies, from PokeBalls to catch your critters to eggs, potions and other things you want in your backpack.
What I love about them is they also show points of interest around where you are.
I’m constantly finding interesting spots thanks to PokeStops, from sculptures to street art, and you can even learn a few things about your own neighbourhood. Friends in London for example had no idea that a structure next to them was an old air raid shelter until I mentioned it from a PokeStop.
Of course you can find this information out by just researching your surroundings, but in reality I’m not going to research every street I walk down. So to be able to just wander along, clicking on the stops and having the info about what’s there pop up is a treat in my book.
Since downloading the game I’ve travelled in the UK, France and Germany and I’ve loved the way new Pokemon have appeared in unexpected places.
From city landmarks to a truck stop, you never know where they’ll turn up and which new one will appear.
As you can rename them I’ve started incorporating place names into mine to remind me of where I found them. ClaphamBat and DijonClefair put a smile on my face when I see them again, even if we are a bit rubbish when we actually get into a gym.
And I’ll admit that I have walked an extra kilometre or two to hatch an egg, so I’ve seen more of the places I’ve been.
I’m a big walker anyway, but a couple of times I’ve been ready to head back to my room, and decided to take the long way back to hatch that egg. Yeah, sad but true.
Traffic jams and waiting for buses sure gets a lot more interesting when there are Pokemon about. The only downside is between Pokemon Go, Snapchat and Instagram I’m going to need to carry around extra battery back up packs for my phone.
But as much as I love playing Pokemon Go when I travel I do still love those moments of totally unplugging. Of just watching the world go by and taking in my surroundings.
That will never change. There’ll just be a few Pokemon moments here and there as I go.
So do tell me – what about you? Have you been finding out new things about what’s around you as you try to catch them all? And what’s the best new place you’ve found thanks to a PokeStop?
Pokemon Go isn’t the only app I love to travel with. Here’s a look at some of the best travel apps to pack in your phone. And if you’re planning to connect your phone to a rental car on your travels, here’s a guide to how to keep your personal mobile data safe in a hire car.