I’d like to discuss traveling in general today. There are three types of “traveling” and it’s important that you know this before deciding how you want to spend your money.
- All inclusive resort.
- The more expensive the better (5 star hotels, first class flights, etc).
- Money saving/budget trip.
Now I’ve done all 3 of these myself, so when I speak about these I actually have experienced to back my thoughts with.
The first one, all inclusive resorts packages are not for me. Here’s why:
People don’t realize that this isn’t really traveling, all you’re doing is paying a package which ships you out to another country, then puts you in a beautiful resort and keeps a drink in your hand for a week. It’s literally the same as spending a week in your backward (if it’s summer and warm) with a drink in your hand staying drunk the whole week. Now you might say “oh, but the people make it fun”. Well then go to a club buddy, because you’re overspending in my opinion. Resort packages are not real traveling, because you do not learn about a new culture, you’re not immersed in it, and you are certainly not living in it. The true people you’re around are just other people like yourself that are from richer countries. Now you might come up again with another argument like “oh, but we just want to relax and it’s very relaxing in those resorts with their spas, etc”. Great argument… Not. Again, you’re overspending for your spa treatment. Why spend hundreds of dollars to go to the spa in a different country, just go in your city. Take a week off work, and buy yourself a week at the spa at home. I’ve got so much more to say about this, but honestly I’d prefer to just give you reasons to do another type of travel so read on.
The second type is hell of a lot of fun, because it makes you feel like a king, like a really rich and important person. Who wouldn’t feel great being in first class on a plane and having the best room available at your 5 star hotel. “That room is where Oprah stays when she’s here”. Cool story bud.
However the honest truth is that most people really can’t sustain that type of cost and the fun really can’t be sustained. Now I don’t pretend to understand your financial situation, because for all I know you have the money to do this and honestly if you do. Why not have a bit of fun and do this for a week or two. However again, this isn’t the best way to travel, because it’s fake. There is no way to understand a culture when you’re living above them. When I was young and traveled to Jamaica, I remembered staying in two different amazing resorts and 5 star hotels. It was an amazing trip, but I only remember walking into the actual city once or twice out of the couple of weeks we were there. What is the point of traveling if you don’t set foot outside your hotel. So honestly this type of traveling is fine as long as you step off your high throne to go and experience life. Go see the city, speak with the locals. Experience the culture around you. It’s worth more than all the money you could ever dream of.
Now the third type of traveling is my favourite. I’ve learned so much from it. It’s the budget travel, backpacking through countries or cities. It’s the cheapest and best type of traveling out there in my opinion and here’s why:
I’ve used services before like couchsurfing.org which allows you to find a host in a city and stay with them for a few days while in that city. Those were the best experiences I could ever hope for while traveling. Cheap hostels are great, but you don’t learn quite so much about the people if you aren’t living with them. While using couch surfing, I had the opportunity to learn about many diverse cultures, not only learn, but participate. The beauty of living with a foreigner in their country is not that it’s free, however that is nice, it’s that you have someone who loves their country and really wants to share it with you. You have a tour guide who isn’t paid, but fuelled by his(her) love for his(her) country which is something amazing to see. They tell you everything, they show you their food, they take you around the city and most importantly you make a real and new genuine friend and are able to bond over a wonderful experience.
The greatest reason I love this is that through seeing the love another person has for his own country, it makes us, the more privileged citizens of the world (Americans, Canadians, etc), understand and remember that we should love our country more also and learn more about our own roots.
I want to share with you one of the greatest experiences I’ve had while traveling, while I was in Kosice, Slovakia. A friend of mine called Matusik hosted me for about 10 days. The morning I arrived was the Monday after Easter and there was this amazing and very different tradition I had a chance to partake in. It is called Dyngus (as far as I can find online). They were dressed in traditional Slovakian clothing, driving around the city to find their various female friends. We’d get out of the car with small little sticks and a big bucket of water to go knock at their front door. They would come out of the house and let us throw/pour water on them from the bucket and then lightly slap them with the sticks. After this it was tradition to invite us inside for boiled eggs and hard liquor, we would eat small meats, eggs, and have shots of vodka. Then onto the next house! It was very interesting. We did that all morning and I have to say I never in a million years would’ve imagined they did something like this and to partake in the tradition was even better. That is the reason why I urge you to visit and stay with locals. I have more stories that prove this is the best way to travel.
Through my future blogs here, I will share with you the easiest and cheapest ways to get around the world and live with locals.
If you have any experiences you’ve experienced, please share in the comments, I’d love to read them!