This year is our 20th anniversary at Good Neighbor Insurance! Twenty years keeping travelers and overseas workers safe.
Here are some things you could never imagine 20 years ago 2017:
1. 1.) Someone skydiving in outer space, or on the verge of outer space. (I hope he had some good adventure sports insurance!)
5.) The rise of “selfies” and “selfie sticks.” (No need to say more.) Narcissism anyone? (Granted giving your smartphone to a stranger overseas to snap a photo of you is a good way to get it stolen. More tips like this in our Travel Safety Guide at https://www.gninsurance.com/resources/guides/travel-safety-overseas/. Did you see what we did? ;-)
What else would you never imagine 20 years ago for 2017?…
6.) 9-11 and the rise of Al-Qaeda and ISIS. (It’s almost hard to remember two decades ago when “terrorism” usually meant “violence as a political statement” or a “political act,” trying to get the world’s attention in the press; hostages were taken, but also expected to be released after negotiations, often based on nationalism rather than religious extremism; striving to be recognized on a world stage or to assert rights /justice, rather than to simply kill as many people as possible. Also the actors have changed, from state actors and political groups to small, networked cells and even individuals deciding to act independently, often finding encouragement over the internet. This has made dealing with terrorism [and keeping people safe], much, much more complicated. But America and other democracies have largely ‘weathered the storm’ as well as challenges to civil liberties.)
7.) That modern pompadours would be back in 2016-2017 after a welcome hiatus since the 1950’s. (Wha?!) Wow. I guess EVERYTHING comes back into style given enough time. What does that say, when we can include the rise of Al Qaeda and ISIS in between selfies and pompadours? How sad is it that we have become so accustomed to dealing with terror in our modern era?
8.) The takeover of Amazon (and online shopping) over local retail stores for basically everything, including food shopping. (And cyber crime and identity theft that follows the money.)
9.) That there would be a world outcry against Monsanto (and DuPont, Syngenta, Dow) regarding genetically engineered/enhanced, GMO-grown food worldwide, since the original intent was developing better, more resistant crops, but has descended into an argument over control/protection of our food sources (biodiversity), farmers sued by Monsanto and others for inadvertent contamination, and Monsanto forbidding farmers from saving seeds year-to-year, a practice that has been part of agriculture since before Joseph went to Egypt.
Wikileaks exposed “A concerted strategy by the U.S. government to promote agricultural biotechnology overseas, compel countries to import biotech crops and foods that they do not want, and lobby foreign governments—especially in the developing world—to adopt policies to pave the way to cultivate biotech crops.”
10.) Flatscreen televisions (or 60″ flatscreens for $600USD at Walmart. Or even Walmart’s rise for that matter!) HDR TV is the new 4K. (Which would give rise to arguments over whether you can you be “poor” if you own a flatscreen TV? – And this. Or WWJD and “Would Jesus drive an SUV?”)
Welcome to 2017. Some more items we’d never imagine 20 years ago…
11.) Smoking on airplanes disappeared. As well as in restaurants. And basically everywhere else. (Even China is restricting smoking and tobacco advertising!)
12.) Travel: Charging for luggage and TSA security checks (see #6 above). (And coming soon, Charging for overhead storage and carry on bags – Boo!)
14.) Who knew that Titanic would be the top-grossing film ever, even though we all knew the ending? Can you believe that Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet were just 21 and 22! (At least it was the top grossing movie of all time until Avatar. Was Avatar really even that good?)
16.) Uber/Lyft. (Did anyone foresee that people might choose one of the other based on politics?!)
17.) 20 years ago would anyone predict that Dubai and the ArabGulf would become the coolest travel hotspot with the world’s tallest building (Burj Khalifa), SkiDubai and the penguins, The world’s fastest roller coaster at #FerrariWorld, the wonders of the Atlantis The Palm hotel and the Lost Chambers, The Dubai aquarium, The Mall of the World, (and soon to be world’s tallest ferris wheel the 210 m (689 ft) Ain Dubai or Dubai Eye at Bluewaters Island – and largest underwater theme park and heart of Europe)?
18.) That phone booths would disappear worldwide as cell phones became ubiquitous. (Plus Facetime, Facebook messenger, Google hangouts, Viber, Skype, WhatsApp, WeChat,…that would link the world and allow us to connect as never before.)
19.) “Maps? Maps, we don’t need no stinking maps!” (Replaced by GPS and global location services along with Google Maps, iPhones and Android operating systems. But note, unless you download a map into your device, it won’t help if you are remote, out-of-service or if your battery dies.)
20.) That flying would go from PanAm, with attendants, martinis, and hot towels (being a posh “luxury cruiseliner in the sky”– Remember “Catch Me if You Can?“) to the present. The equivalent of riding cross-country on a Greyhound bus.
What about you? What would you say about changes from 20 years ago, in 2017?
Has a lot changed for you? If some kids saw a rotary phone today, they would probably wonder why the buttons/numbers don’t work when they pushed them. Aha! That’s one item about “tech” that we know, that the younger generation does not! Tell us about your experiences with travel and change below, from 20 years ago till today.
In some ways we could say:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” – Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
We have made great strides towards ending poverty, famine, sex slavery, fair trade, the education of girls, and more, but we have also seen the atrocities of Bosnia, Rwanda, the failure of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone.
We have seen the rise of thousands of amazing social good businesses and non-profits. They are working at both sustainability and local decision making to become more effective. We also continue to see huge areas of waste and ineffectiveness in global aid.
We have seen a rise in global education and wonderful examples such as Malala Yousafzai. But we have also seen the rise of radical groups that would seek to silence or kill a young girl such as Malala, simply because she was outspoken in the cause of education for girls.