Why I play Pokémon Go while traveling

 

Ever wondered what happened to those people who went crazy after the release of Niantic’s Pokémon Go?

 

Yeah, well, some are still playing it (hint: me and my boyfriend) 😀

 

In case you are a Slowpoke (pun intended), Pokémon Go was released in 2016 as a mobile game and uses augmented reality and your phone’s GPS to locate and catch Pokémons in the wild. In just a few days the game became the most popular app, millions of people have downloaded it. Hey, it was even more popular than porn!

 

Back in the old days (it hurts to write it down, but I’m talking about the 90’s), I was a huuuge fan of Pokémon. I spent an entire summer (ok, maybe two summers) collecting and trading Pokémon stickers, learning all the names of these little creatures and watching the television series. Childhood well spent 😀

 

You might as well consider this my coming out: I love playing Pokémon Go. I’m an adult and I miiight have spent a few hours catching Pikachus in Budapest or chasing one for a few kilometers in Split. It’s crazy, I know. But so does taking selfies on Snapchat looking like a puppy, so don’t judge 🙂

 

 

Here are a few reasons why I enjoy playing Pokémon Go while traveling:

 

 

I get to see new sights

One of the main reason I play this game: I get to discover some hidden gems in every city.
You may think that the only way to play Pokémon Go is to be buried in your phone and hitting trees- it’s not 🙂 Actually the whole point of the game is to go outside and discover places!

 

There are these things called PokéStops that you need to visit in order to gain items to play the game. Here comes the traveling part of the game: these so-called PokéStops are real life monuments, landmarks, museums, historical buildings, unique facades or street art.
Not only are they marked on the map, but sometimes there is a brief description of the place as well.

 

I have discovered a lot of unique places while playing: from hidden murals to the house where Bartók Béla (a famous Hungarian composer) lived in Istanbul, from communist “street art” in my hometown, to historical buildings I never knew were important.

 

 

It makes you walk more

As if getting lost and trying to find my way in a city wasn’t enough 😀

 
The whole point of the game is to make you go outdoors and walk a lot. Which is really great, given the fact that we don’t see lots of kids nowadays running outside and playing like back in the 90’s (seriously, it hurts to write this down).

 
I have walked 539 kilometers while playing Pokémon Go (the game provided the numbers, I’m really not a lunatic, who’s recording every kilometer). And you know what? I enjoyed every single step!

 
Ever had that feeling after spending a day of exploring a new place that you just want to sleep for two days? Well, yeah, that’s not the case while you’re playing Pokémon Go 😀 There’s always a new landmark you want to visit, a new street you want to walk down or a Charmander just around the corner.

 

Seriously, have you ever tried chasing down a Bulbasaur in Barcelona after walking 20 kilometers a day? 😀

 

 

Pokémon Go connects people

 

This may not be the case anymore, but in the summer when it was released, it brought a lot of people together.

 
We met a bunch of kids Pokémon trainers last summer in Croatia, and it was amazing. I get it, it sounds awesome strange: two (very cool) adults trying to fight for a Pokémon Gym with Croatian teenagers.  (We won, by the way) 😀

 
It was a really unique experience meeting and speaking with them. It’s easy to connect with a local of your age- but to speak with teenagers in a foreign country is really not that easy. And the “I know what you did last summer”-style eye contacts with other players are priceless!

 

 

Pokémon Go makes you aware of your surroundings

 

You probably read a lot of scary stories about players getting robbed, finding corpses or getting in jail for playing the game.

 
While discovering new landmarks may sound exciting, there are certain places where chasing Pokémons is not only rude, but it can be considered an immoral or insensitive thing to do.

 
I was shocked to read last year that the Holocaust Memorial has “kindly asked that tourists refrain from catching Pokémon while on the grounds”.

 
Common sense and respect should always be the first things to chase while playing Pokémon Go and traveling. It may sound like an exotic Pokémon name for some because there were several cases where players forgot that some things are more important that playing.

 

 

Gotta catch ’em all!

15 Comments

  • Carina says:

    I actually just started playing the game a month ago with my boyfriend. “It makes you walk more” is our main reason although the other two are also great reasons. And I’m really enjoying it. But. I Can’t even count how many teenagers have asked us by now “Are you catching Pokemons”? with a slightly skeptic look on their face. Just to answer “yeah, we, know, we’re about a year too late”.

  • Alaine says:

    HAHAHA I was playing Pokemon Go a lot last year and a couple months earlier this year but it has since dwindled down because the allure and hype of it all is not exciting anymore. I do like to turn it on while traveling though especially if I’m jet lagged. As long as wifi is working then its fair game to catch’em’all

  • Kelly says:

    I am not a huge Pokemon person but I love how dedicated you are and appreciate anything that allows you to get out and explore the world.

  • Rhiannon says:

    I was one of those who jumped on the PokemonGo bandwagon when it first came out too! Stopped after like a month and didn’t play until March this year in Japan! Haha 🙂 I love this post, and your reasons for playing while traveling 🙂

  • jin says:

    You know, I have to wholeheartedly agree with you! I was in Lithuania when PokemonGo came out. We went on a 2 hour walking tour and it was so much fun playing while walking around and learning. We were crazy about it the 6 months we were in Europe. By the time we got to Asia – we grew out of the fad and internet was hard to come by. But we do play it once in awhile to get the rare pokemon. =)

  • Wow! I never thought of it like that, very interesting. I’ve never really played it, i was in Thailand when it came out and it wouldn’t let me download it so i forgot about it. I might reconsider downloading it! Thank you for sharing!

  • Reb says:

    This is awesome! I’m so sad it’s not available in China. I would’ve loved trying to catch a Pokémon on the Great Wall of China

  • Anisa says:

    I have not played Pokemon Go before but you do make a good case for trying it. I especially need to motivate myself to walk more!

  • Lisanne says:

    I have never tried playing before! Perhaps I should give it a go 🙂

  • Cherene Saradar says:

    I’ve never played but nice to hear the pros of doing it. I never thought of it as being a way to see new things! Your story about competing with the teenagers made me laugh!

  • My boyfriend and I played Pokemon Go a lot while traveling last year! You’re right — it’s great for exploring new cities! We went to visit my family in Michigan and adventured to a small, charming lakeside town we’d never been to before, and it was so much fun running around chasing Pokemon we didn’t have in my home city while simultaneously visiting historical land markers! <3

  • Charley says:

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  • gaurav says:

    thanks for the information.i love this game and also its best for health.

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