Posted on

The right way to travel …

What is that, how is that done, the right way to travel.

I have given this a thought while traveling for the past eight months. Especially since I decided not to plan my traveling but to see what comes to me, I didn’t create a must-see or must-do bulletlist. But today social media and people you meet will always provide your with their best tips on on best things to do or best places to see.

We all travel for different reasons but I think we can all agree that we all want to see other cultures.

Facebook is very emphathetic, pays attention to where I am and therefor provides me with suggestion on various activities. Since I’m in Bali FB tips me about Bali Treetop Adventure Park. Apart from the adrenaline kick you get to witness great scenery I guess.

There is more. You can do rafting too. Bali Raft is one organizer.

A few months ago I received an email with the text The right way to travel. The sender was a company who asked if I wanted to contribute with stories and photos from my traveling to their website. I looked into it and what i saw was everything but my way of traveling. Luxury hotels, champagne, infinity pools and so on.

A friend of mine told me how much money his daughter makes on her Instagram account. I looked into it and what I saw was luxury hotels, champagne and infinity pools. When another friend of mine asked me if I had tried earn money from my Instagram account I told him that my photos are not that kind of photos companies would find interesting to sponsor.

What I am getting at is that we seem to forget why we are traveling. We go because we want to se the things we don’t have at home but we end up with visiting a world constructed for tourists, both local and foreign.

I see local restaurants filled with local customers. I see tourists gather in restaurants where western food is served. In my opinion the best food is served at the local stalls. And no, you don’t get sick from it. The other thing is that you get a chance to interact with locals. Yes, you will probably be looked at but a smile and a simple Hello will break the ice.

I see same sort of markets throughout whole Asia, with same sort of clothes and hats and this and that. But while the tourists are sleeping the same spot is used for the local food market. I vibrant place, a colourful place where one gets a chance to see the local culture as it is today.

I meet travellers who take the domestic flight instead of taking the bus because they are in a hurry to explore the next city. And when you calculate the hours it takes to get to the airport, waiting at airport, flying and getting from the airport to the city centre to check in to their accommodation it turns out they didn’t save more than an hour. But they lost the experience of interacting with locals, enjoying the scenery and witnessing how things are done in that country.

The best way to travel the right way is the way everyone chooses for themselves.

But I strongly urge all travellers to skip the rafting for an early morning walk to the local food market. Skip the fancy restaurant in favour of the local one. Try the food even if you don’t know what it is. And if you chose the vegetarian option you won’t have to be afraid of getting sick or thinking of what sort of meat you’re putting in your mouth. Stay at a local home stay and observe how the locals live their lives. The standard won’t be the one you’re accustomed to but that you have at home. A few days with no hot water will just make you appreciate it when you get back home. Gratitude for the simple things in life is underestimated.