I've met a few of them too, sirwhale... I know exactly the type you mean. People doing what in the 19th Century would have been regarded as the 'Grand Tour'. These are the people, as I've said earlier, who are traveling just for the sake of it - to have something to put on the Life CV. I know so many people of a certain class who have 'done the world' and who don't seem to have been changed very much by the experience. Real travel is about the effect it has on you as a person: the way it stretches your mental and physical resources, changes your priorities, affords you perspective, enables you to approach life in a new way. I only know that the more I've traveled - and I haven't done anywhere near as much traveling as many people on here - the more I've changed my outlook on life. Things that I once considered important - houses, cars, careers, money - are now not so. I personally don't give a toss if I never have a high income ever again. I can see the value of things beyond it: the intrinsic things that are, at the bottom of it all, what life's all about and what make it worth living.
you make perfect sense mate im no where near as traveled as most poeple on here ive spent a couple of months in thailand but thats about it but i think im heading off in october for my first round the world!! im heading off on my own and i cant wait to just be away just relying on myself and no other!! im currently saving at this time and its hard but i know its going to be worthwhile because of the eye opening experience i hope its going to be!! but when i was in thailand i met loads of the kind of people that you are talking about!! just pretty much doing it just to say they have done it and not really looking to learn from their experience?
This is sooo True. Good thing I don't enjoy doing research about the places I visit or it simply does not stick in my head.
Its like reading a review of a film before actually viewing it. Or a MOVIE trailer that gives you all the details.
Interesting. I've been travelling for a year now and still have perhaps another 6 months and possibly 10 countries to visit on my way home from thailand to the uk. I consider myself lucky to a point, however before I left for my trip my mates were all telling me how lucky I am to which I replied that.... "Its nothing to do with luck". I decided that I was gonna do it, I saved a pack of money through hard work and determination, packed in my job and left, rather than pissing all my money against the wall and complaining how it would be great to get out of here.
I spoke to my dad a while back and he asked me what I intended to get out of it? And told me that he thought that what I was doing was hedonistic. I probably replied with a few worn out cliche's, but I think the point for me is to see more than just my own backyard, theres this huge planet that we get to experience for maybe 80 years (if we're lucky) and I want to see it, to experience life to its fullest, perhaps that is hedonistic, well whatever. I dont brag about my travels, however I love being able to have storys to tell, great experiences, funny things.
1) I met a woman a few years ago who told me that she was turning 50 and was depressed. I said that I would'nt mind turning 50 as long as I've seen the world......she said she hadn't.......... Sh!t excuse me!
2) Guy comes back from france and is sitting in the local English boozer, he sees an old mate. The old mate asks him where he's been. The guy replies that hes set up a restaurant in france and that he should visit sometime. The old mate asks how to get there! Guy says that he should get the ferry. The old mate says......Oh so you live on an Island do you?.............Needless to say he never left our backyard.
How long do you expect to take on your RTW and how much money do you expect to need? Just curious as I'm considering a similar thing. I'd originally set myself 4 - 6 months with a total outlay of around £10,000. I'm now beginning to realise that both figures may be ambitious!
Quoting Swept Away
"There is only so much you can learn in one place. The more that I wait the more time that I waste."
I like that philosophy. A bit of a wake-up call for me!
As for research, well... I like to keep it to a minimum, too. But things like the LP Guides can give you often vital information (scams to look out for, etc), so are useful to at least look at. I've been helped out of a couple of scams that way - one in particular where I could potentially have lost everything had I not been forewarned about what to look for.
Mate, you could live in England for 12 months on 10 grand. It entirely depends on where you plan to go, how many flights you will need, and what you want to do whilst you're there. If you're careful with your money, use hostel dorms, eat at the right places and dont go on the piss every night then you should budget yourself around 100 quid a week or less. so for 6months or 26 weeks you should need about 2600 pounds. flights you should be able to fly around the world for about 1000 - 1200 quid. So 3700 pounds should do ya. If I was you Id save a bit more than you budget , then you can afford to push the boat out now and then and have a bit of money when you get home!!
I stayed in Loki Hostel in Cusco and moved on from there quite quickly for the very reasons you mentioned. I dont think I ever labelled travellers before until I stayed there. I actually felt uncomfortable there. Dont get me wrong, it's a lovely hostel, a very lively atmosphere there but the majority of people staying there were coked off their heads all day and did nothing other than watch DVDs and drink and talk sh*t. Plus, at the time, at 26 I felt older than most people there.
I think though that certain hostels attract certain types of travellers. If you do a bit of research by talking to other travellers/looking online, you can suss out the "party hostels" easily enough and just give them a wide berth. I rarely stay in hostels that are mentioned in Lonely Planet now. Maybe that's unreasonable of me, but I find that by using sites like hostelworld.com you can find newer hostels that are less well known, maybe more off the beaten path, and attract a better mix of people.
Going back to corneggs post, I think that it's okay to visit the tourist attractions when you go somewhere. Usually, they are still worth experiencing. It doesn't necessarily mean that you have fallen into the wrong kind of travel. I try to have a balance of doing those things (e.g. visiting Iguazu falls or the Christ statue in Rio) and then doing things that are challenging, not touristy at all and involve some hard work/courage (eg. a 4 day hike in the jungle, or climbing a mountain, staying with a host family in the back of beyonds somewhere when you dont speak the language )
All that matters is that you feel enriched by travelling, that you are really living and seeing the world. If it becomes just stamps in a passport, then maybe it's not worth the time, effort and money.
All you can do when you travel somewhere is go with as few preconceived ideas as possible. I've been really surprised and disappointed by places when I've gone expecting something definite. An open mind in life is always a good thing
...sometimes our preconceptions of places are already so fixed (and skewed) that when we are in the place, we are constantly looking for things that might not necessarily there - stereotypes, exoticness, etc...
I absolutely agree with this. Perhaps it's a kind of 'culture shock' in reverse?
[ Edit: Edited on 03-Jun-2009, at 19:15 by fabyomama ]
I don't think there is such a thing as "travelling for the wrong reasons." Everybody is entitled to their own opinions, beliefs, and definitions of such a broad term. Certain people have absolutely no interest in site-seeing and learning about other cultures - their point of travelling is to relax and have a good time...I suppose simply a vacation in another part of the world. Ideally yes, I believe people should attempt to learn about other cultures in order to expand their minds.
Simply put, it is no right to force one's opinions and beliefs onto others. I'm sure that a Christian would be very displeased if a Buddhist told them that their culture is wrong and that Christians should change their ways. In my mind, there is no wrong way to travel...there is no wrong way to enjoy their lives short of harming another's.
Getting back to the topic at hand, my favourite part of travelling is visiting the small cities/towns that have not been much affected by tourism - that is where one can find the culture and a more accurate representation of another country. It's also somewhat import that visit these "tourist traps" to understand why people make such a big deal about it. Keeping an open mind means that one should also understand or atleast accept that other people have different goals with their travels. The thing that can open your own mind a bit more is not only visiting the landmark just for the sake of visiting, but understanding why it's so significant to that country's history/culture, which not many of these "mindless tourists" These landmarks are tourist traps for a reason...
A list of the wrong reasons to travel:
- escape from the law
- escape from debt
- avoiding spousal/child payments
- the voices in your head made you do it
- you feel the need to start up a dictatorship overseas
After that, I'm stumped.
How about collecting (dead) rare animals? I think that's a bit wrong.
And I think escape from debt is a pretty good reason to head for Mongolia meself.
..travelling on daddy's credit card is a classic!
I think there are 2 main types of traveller
1) Those who think it's the thing to do (poss before or after college) so they have to go and do their RTW trip, Brits usually to Australia via SE Asia, oh and now South America is one of 'the' places to go
and 2) those who travel to experience the rich diversity and interesting things that the World has to offer.