There’s No Right or Wrong Way to Travel

by Melissa on July 30, 2015 · 2 comments

Over the last number of years I’ve spent travelling around the world, blogging and working in the travel industry, I’ve come across a particular type of traveller who seems to rub me the wrong way. You’ve likely encountered them at one point or another during your own travels. They’re the know-it-alls, the one-uppers and the ones that think they’re doing it better than the rest. The pretentious travellers who would never do a coach tour or go on a cruise because “ugh… that’s so mainstream.” I’ve got a newsflash for these people… there’s no right or wrong way to travel.
theoneupper
While I may argue that there is a vast difference between vacationing and travelling, the ways in which someone can go about experiencing the world are truly endless.

I remember at one point when I was fresh off the heels of experiencing my first tour with Nomad Adventure Tours where I spent 21 days travelling overland and camping from Cape Town to Victoria Falls, and someone made a comment that I wasn’t “really experiencing Africa.” Excuse me? The same person would go on and on about how they would’ve organized it all themselves, rented a 4X4 and gone off the beaten path. This, of course, was coming from someone who had never experienced Africa before, but what oh-so-sure they could do it on their own. Kudos to you, buddy, I’ll believe it when I see it.
east africa
It doesn’t matter whether you’re the type to do it all on your own – you spend hours researching the destination, mapping out routes you’re going to take and figuring out which mode of transportation will get you to your next destination easiest or cheapest. Or if you simply don’t have time for all that, and source out the tour company you think will suit you best and have someone who’s experienced lead the way. It doesn’t matter if you only have 2 weeks off work, and you figure your best bang for your buck is to go on a 14-night pleasure cruise of the Mediterranean or if you would rather jump on a catamaran and sail across the Pacific. There’s no right or wrong way to travel!

rainy bushcamping

In my opinion, as long as you get what you need, or want out of your travels, then you’ve done your job. As long as you’ve simply gone somewhere, ate great food, met the locals and fulfilled your wanderlust for the time being, then isn’t that the end goal of travelling?

To those who think they can do it better, those who are always right and have to one-up every experience I may try to share – get your foot out of your ass. You look like a douchebag and nobody, except you, thinks you’re better.

In the world of travel, it doesn’t matter if you visit every last country that ever existed – or if you haven’t been outside of your own country. There will always be more to do and see. So even if you aren’t the “off the beaten path” type of traveller go out and do what you want to do, on your own terms and tell the haters to piss off. Chances are they’ll never do the things they’re telling you to improve on, and even if they do, they’re likely so self-absorbed that they won’t truly appreciate it – rather they’ll use it as a means to one-up other travellers they meet along the way.
hahei beach
Remember… there’s no right or wrong way to travel.

Have YOU encountered these types pretentious travellers?  Do you let it bother you, or feel your travels are inadequate compared to theirs?


 

[EDIT:]  I got a bit of feedback after hitting publish, that I thought made a good point, a point I probably should have included here.  Make sure you are travelling in a manner that is ethical, and you are not causing any social, environmental or cultural harm.  A few years back I wrote a post about travellers who expect to get something for nothing.  I feel that post ties in well with this point that was made.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate July 30, 2015 at 3:34 pm

So good! I’ve found that these people are often the same ones who have an opinion on EVERYTHING… Oh you’re trying to be healthier? Their way is the right way, why haven’t you tried it?

Take their opinions with a grain of salt, and return your replies with love… 😉

So glad you’re back to writing!
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Meggie Kay July 30, 2015 at 4:14 pm

I wrote a similar post recently. Personally, I have the problem of comparing what I’m doing to other travelers. Even though I’m happy with my experience sometimes I feel like I’m not doing enough. I keep reminding myself that it’s okay to skip the “must do” of a place if I would rather do something else. My travel is my experience.
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