I’ve written before about the unfortunate phenomenon that has arisen of the ‘travel snob’… Ones who like to think they know the best ways to see places, and have the most ‘real’ experiences. Opinions are fine, and great, I mean I’m blogging about travel and sharing opinions and views from my experience myself. But no-one, should or could tell you how ‘best’ to travel. In this post I want to encourage you to take negative views with a huge pinch of salt, and to dispel the myth that you have to travel in a certain way to get the ‘best’ experience.
Who not to listen to
When I had booked my trip, I met for a drink with a friend of mine who had been travelling himself for over a year in South East Asia, he lived on incredible beaches, dived, met girls, had an awesome time he often recollects. So, excitedly I started to tell him of my plans, where I was going, what I hoped to be doing, and see what he thought about it all? Unfortunately it seemed that he thought what I was planning to do wasn’t actually that great. A lot of ‘oh, well I think you should do it this way’ and ‘why are you doing that’ type comments, which all in all, burst my excited bubble a little bit. I felt like I was having to defend myself and my decisions on where I wanted to go and how I wanted to travel, which wasn’t a very nice feeling…
Why he thought my trip wasn’t that great
A big negative for him was me choosing to do a few tours throughout my trip. Not that I should have needed to justify myself, but my justification was that 1) the best experience I had had prior to that while travelling was on a group tour, 2) in the little time I had to travel, I knew it was the best chance to see and do loads without worrying about organising it all or missing out, 3) travelling solo I wanted to make sure I met and travelled with people, 4) The idea of staying in cheap but low quality hostels in massive dorms, really didn’t appeal to me. 5) I wanted to go to countries across Africa, and as a relatively inexperienced traveller this didn’t seem too safe for a solo newbie (he disagreed having never been…). So in all in, hopefully you can tell I’d given it a bit of thought.
What I learnt
Throughout my time travelling I’ve ended up experiencing all sorts, and yes I preferred some type of travel to others, but although I can recommend based on what I liked and didn’t, that’s just my personal opinion and experience, and I would never like to look negatively on someone for doing it a different way. I ended up visiting 18 countries in 7 months, and felt I experienced a hell of a lot more than I would have, had I done it ‘his way’ or anyone’s way. You really will never know how you’ll find the experience of travelling until you do it yourself. For example my cousin went to Australia, planning to be there for a year, came back after 2 weeks, while another friend planned to stop by for a month, stayed for 2 years. We’re all different in so many ways and no-one knows how you’re experience will be.
Hopefully this post hasn’t come across as negative or like I’m venting. Because travel snobbery, and people judging others (especially when travel is concerned) is something that I’m really against. My advice is, don’t listen to negative or judgemental people, or those who think they know what is best where travel is concerned. There are plenty of people who will be positive and enthusiastic and offer advice to help you make the best decisions possible. Luckily 99% of my friends fit into this category, and were so positive and encouraging about it all. When it really comes down to it, only you will know what you want out of a travel experience. So don’t be afraid to just forget what others think and travel in exactly the way you want to!