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Why Travel? Why Not?!
Why (not) travel?
Member Name: Essexgirl2006
Why (not) travel?
Advantages: Travel broadens the mind, lots of opportunities for experiencing new things
Disadvantages: It is expensive
Welcome to my 200th review. Browsing the site for a Lounge topic that I fancied, instead of reviewing a product, I came across this set of questions for thos that are interested.
Travel has been a passion of mine all my adult life. As a very young child I was taken abroad quite often (The Balearic Islands, which were opening up in the early Seventies), but after my father died, holidays were usually in the UK, most often Frinton-on-Sea on the Essex coast which was quiet, safe and easy to get to. I had a one week package holiday abroad in one school holiday, but 'proper' travel didn't really open up to me until I was older. In my early twenties I worked with a girl who had travelled a bit and she introduced me to TrekAmerica who organised camping holidays in the USA for the under thirties (I think it is under 40 now). On that trip I met other people who had travelled and I then realised how easy it was to travel independently, and the following year went backpacking around the world. These days I am restricted by annual leave entitlements, so often use specialist adventure travel companies that organise small group tours to a specific country or region.
DO YOU STAY IN YOUR HOME COUNTRY OR GO ABROAD?
I usually go abroad every year at least once. My main holiday has usually been overseas, but this year it is likely to be UK based. I am a big fan of the attractions and history we have here in the UK, so it is time I put my money where my mouth is and explored it further. Saying that, I do love to learn firsthand about the people and culture of other countries, so will take opportunities to travel overseas when I can (and the budget allows).
DO YOU ORGANISE YOUR HOLIDAYS YOURSELF OR GO TO A TRAVEL AGENCY?
I usually organise them myself. I don't recall the last time I went into a travel agency other than to buy foreign currency (if they had a good rate) or to book a flight somewhere (prior to the internet being widely available). That is not to say that I haven't booked 'package' tours of some description, it is more that I have gone direct to the company or specialist tour operator. I have taken occassional mainstream beach orintated package tours for a week or so of sun, but otherwise like to have the flexibility and opportunity to travel around a bit more.
DO YOU PREPARE YOUR HOLIDAYS IN ADVANCE BY READING GUIDEBOOKS & STUDYING MAPS?
It depends on where I am going and the type of trip I am taking, but I usually buy a guide book (Lonely Planet or Rough Guides are my preferred choice). I don't always read it though, I like to look at them on my shelves.. I tend to read certain sections and check out where my hotel is, but I never read them cover to cover, and am usually relatively unprepared. Whilst there are usually 'must-see' places to visit (and I am happy to oblige), if time allows I also like to have a wander and discover some places off the beaten track. Sometimes this works, and I discover a gem of a small art gallery, or a fabulous local restaurant. Sometimes this backfires and I walk for hours getting hot, tired and all I have is a bag of crisps for lunch.
DO YOU TRAVEL ALONE, WITH FAMILY OR FRIENDS OR AN ORGANISED GROUP?
All of the above!
I have travelled alone, when I was backpacking, but in that environment you are not alone for long and can often make friends in the hostel and share travel advice.
I have also travelled with my partner or friends and we have booked something independently or one of the aforementioned travel groups.
When I have been single (and also with a friend or partner) I have used specialist adventure tour companies. When you are restricted by your annual leave entitlement from work, it can be quiet a challenge to see the highlights of Peru or Vietnam in a fortnight independently. By using these companies, the logistics and internal transportation is all organised leaving me free time to sightsee.
DO YOU PREFER THE SEA, MOUNTAINS, PLAINS, OR CITIES AS DESTINATIONS?
Again all of the above could apply. In fact a bit of everything would be ideal! Given a choice I would probably push for 'jungle', but that isn't one of the options.
I don't dive or snorkel very much, nor do I really take that many beach based holidays, but when forced I find I often enjoy spending a few days doing nothing but reading and watching the world go by. A nice bit of island hopping doesn't go amiss where available.
I have never climbed a mountain but am happy to admire them or get a cable car up them. I also enjoy viewing wildlife in their native habitat when abroad, so a safari on the plains of Africa will always have an appeal. For a short break I do enjoy a city break - culture/museums, a wide choice of restaurants and activities and usually all within a manageable distance.
DO YOU MAINLY RELAX OR ARE YOU AN ACTIVE HOLIDAYER?
I am very much an active holidaymaker, but I do like to be able to take a couple of days out from sightseeing to relax if I can. Generally I figure that if I have spent all that money to go to a place, then I should at least make a bit of an effort to see what it has to offer. Again this can depend on the destination and the duration of the trip.
IF YOU GO ABROAD DO YOU LEARN AT LEAST SOME WORDS OF THE FOREIGN LANGUAGE?
I can usually manage 'hello', 'thank you' and 'vegetarian' before I go. Obviously if I go to any of the main Western European countries there is often an overlap in the languages and you can pick things up quicker, however places like Hungary are more challenging.
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN THE CUISINE OF A FOREIGN COUNTRY?
Yes, I love to try new foods. As a veggie, in certain countries this can be more challenging than others. Not all countries 'get' the concept of vegetarianism and I end up eating pizza, spaghetti and chips for most of the trip. Ambiguous menus are a bit of a nightmare to traverse through as not all ingredients are made clear so I always try and clarify. Some restaurants are really happy to oblige and make suggestions, others don't want to know, but it is my choice and I just have to make do with what I can get.
WHICH MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION DO YOU PREFER?
I prefer to travel using local trains or buses, but I really don't have a strong enough preference. Often (especially when trying to cover long distances on tours) it is necessary to use the most time efficient method within a reasonable budget. I don't like flying but it is a means to an end.
WHAT KIND OF LUGGAGE DO YOU TAKE WITH YOU? DO YOU HAVE PROBLEMS PACKING? DO YOU TEND TO TAKE TOO MANY/TOO FEW THINGS WITH YOU?
For a long two week tour I usually take a backpack as I can carry it. I do tend to over pack however. When going for two weeks I have a capsule wardrobe down to a fine art as the dress code is always casual, and I know I can get laundry done part of the way round. It going away for weekends or short breaks that I find a problem - I may need to change for dinner (at least into something other than a different pair of jeans and a T-shirt), hair straighteners and hair dryers may be required (especially in colder climates - I can wing it in the heat) and I end up taking the same number of sweaters/rain jackets as I would for a longer trip as I can never be sure of the temperature.
DO YOU SEND PICTURE POSTCARDS TO FAMILY & FRIENDS?
I often buy them, I don't often get round to writing/sending them!
WHAT ARE YOU MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS ~ GOOD & BAD?
I am fortunate that I don't really have too many bad memories; certainly I cannot recall any events that have marred a trip significantly. Everything considered, my travel memories are all good, and too numerous for one or two to stand out. This is why I think it is a good thing to travel and to experience new things. It doesn't have to be an expensive holiday or a far flung destination, but a family day out or a weekend break not far from home. Whatever happens you will nearly always have fond memories of the trip.
ANY MORE PLACES YOU'D LIKE TO VISIT?
Antarctica, Galapagos Islands, China, South Africa, Cuba. That will do for a start.
Summary: Why not travel?