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Old 03-08-2017, 06:45 AM
 
Location: Starting a walkabout
1,936 posts, read 937,464 times
Reputation: 2065

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDF View Post
Everyone has their own way of traveling. That's what great about it. There is no wrong way. I don't think I'm superior because of the way I travel...although clearly the OP thinks they are.
The Op's posting was a tongue in cheek post
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Old 03-08-2017, 06:47 AM
 
Location: Texas
43,545 posts, read 52,637,306 times
Reputation: 70782
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zen88 View Post
What I don't get is people who only go on vacation to the same place every year, follow the same schedule, eat at exactly the same places and order the same thing, and never try anything different or go anywhere else. To each his own, but c'mon....
A. Maybe their intention is to relax and not to see new places.

B. Maybe they've already seen everything they want to see and they're happy getting away to a place where they know the service is great, the other guests aren't obnoxious, and the scenery/amenities are amazing
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Old 03-10-2017, 10:41 PM
 
1,371 posts, read 1,810,817 times
Reputation: 1649
I have done pretty much just tour groups. My first two international tours, I was a solo traveler in a tour group. I wasn't comfortable going all by myself and felt that I would get the most bang out of my buck with a tour group. I enjoyed it! Just Sunday, I returned from a Gate 1 tour group to India and Nepal...for those of you who have never been to either countries, some of the parts that I went to were rough and language barriers would have been a big issue. My very first tour was in Europe and my second was in South America. I have enjoyed all of them and have learned a lot.

Now, I am going to China with my boyfriend sometime in September. He wants to wing it while I'm worried about it being a disaster. I am open to traveling without a tour guide and am curious to see how it compares to using a tour company.

Either way, people are impressed that I have been to so many countries by age 25 (born in U.S., have been to Mexico, Canada, England, Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, India and Nepal). Hope to add Morocco and Spain/Portugal next year!
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Old 03-11-2017, 12:36 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,255,922 times
Reputation: 7578
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiltheEndofTime View Post
I have done pretty much just tour groups. My first two international tours, I was a solo traveler in a tour group. I wasn't comfortable going all by myself and felt that I would get the most bang out of my buck with a tour group. I enjoyed it! Just Sunday, I returned from a Gate 1 tour group to India and Nepal...for those of you who have never been to either countries, some of the parts that I went to were rough and language barriers would have been a big issue. My very first tour was in Europe and my second was in South America. I have enjoyed all of them and have learned a lot.

Now, I am going to China with my boyfriend sometime in September. He wants to wing it while I'm worried about it being a disaster. I am open to traveling without a tour guide and am curious to see how it compares to using a tour company.

Either way, people are impressed that I have been to so many countries by age 25 (born in U.S., have been to Mexico, Canada, England, Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, India and Nepal). Hope to add Morocco and Spain/Portugal next year!
I think it might be a good idea to do tour group in certain countries, especially those very unfamililar ones without good infrastructure and safety levels.

As to China, the only concern is the language barrier. Otherwise it is completely doable because the transportation is super great and in many cases with English translation. I would encourage that you do it on your own, and explore outside the typical cities of Beijing & Shanghai. A good mixture of large, small cities as well as a couple of towns and pure nature will give you a far better taste than just the famous urban centers. Group tours only bring you to the clean and famous spots catered to tourists.

Regarding those countries travelled, in many cases it involved nothing but one large city and its perepheral, so the number of countries visited is really meaningless, because it really just means number of cities/regiones which happen to belong to different countries. I could for example take a 2 hour train right now to Geneva and come back for dinner tonight, and add Switzerland to my list, but what's the point. 90% of Americans who claim to have been to France only visited Paris and nothing else, but they can't wait to rush to Brussels because it is in a different country.
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Old 03-11-2017, 12:55 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,255,922 times
Reputation: 7578
Quote:
Originally Posted by lieqiang View Post
What is with this attitude I keep seeing where people think that others who travel in a different manner or prefer seeing different things aren't really traveling correctly or are somehow not having as good a time?

travel ˈtrav(ə)l/verb
1.make a journey, typically of some length.

If you go to the big cities instead of small towns you aren't seeing the "real" country xyz. That is absurd, if most of the population live in the big cities then yeah that is indeed the real country and their day to day lives reflect it. You might be after more small town traditions or other aspects of rural or regional life, but that doesn't make the large city any less real.

I see people saying people in tour groups are missing out and not getting as good an experience. Personally I have no interest in tour groups, if anything they look pretty funny all in a gaggle following their guide through the market, but they are probably in that group because that is how they are comfortable traveling. They might not be happy worrying about how to handle the plans of the trip, or horrified at the thought of finding their own local transportation, etc. so the assumption that they would have a better time if they did it another way is flawed.

You have to go more native to really appreciate the country, if you're not staying with local families and eating every meal as local fare you aren't really traveling. This particular brand of snobbery cracks me up because there is always someone who goes more native than you, they can point at you and say the same thing. There is someone who has lived there longer, is more fluent in the language, has rented more guest rooms, etc.

The food thing. Some seem to think if you dare stray from eating authentic local dishes you aren't really visiting the country properly. My wife and I travel a ton and I love trying everything (sometimes to my regret the next morning) but sometimes dammit that McDonalds/KFC/Pizza Hut/Subway looks really appealing. It doesn't mean I'm not trying local dishes too, it just means I missed some foods I'm familiar with from back home.

You have to pick this country or that country, why would anyone go that other one that ain't really traveling. Everyone's interests are different, and liking different things is entirely subjective. We didn't like Amsterdam that much, but we really loved Dresden. That doesn't mean Amsterdam sucks and I don't have to sit here wondering why others go, it just means my wife and I find different things to be fun.


Live and let live, travel and let others travel how/where/why they want without judging.

/rant
While it sounds sweet to the ears, you miss a lot of important things in your freedom of travel speech.

Regarding large cities: for some small countries where a couple of large cities dominate (such as Korea or Austria), you are maybe right. But if you just visit Rio in Brazil, NYC and Boston in the US, Beijing and Shanghai in China, it is quite a stretch to even say you got a good taste of those countries. Large cities are of course real, but in many cases, they don't represent the life or culture of the countries.

Tour groups:Of course one should feel free to join them, especially for the first couple of international trips. However, if one ALWAYS joins a tourist group year after year, that says something about the adventurousness of this person. Yes, you can say one feels only comfortable with a professional guide, but keeping doing the same again and again without even trying a different way, I would call it boring and would judge it. These people are missing an important part of travelling, and some of us are pointing it out.

Food: I agree with you. One doesn't need to have local food every time if he doesn't like it to begin with. But a bit curiosity goes a long way and from food, one can really tell a lot about culture. Local food means restaurants in inconspicuous locations without menus in 6 different languages. At least try it a couple of times. It is super easy to return to the familiar food scene for burgers chains, but that eliminates a lot of the unertainties, risks and excitement (including often, disappointment) about travelling, and that's a pity.

In sum, while people have the right to travel in different ways, there are indeed better ways and worse/boring ways. To say "live and let live" is misleading as it just justifies and reinforces old habits we stuck with for years, missing the opportunities of more diverse and interesting travelling moments. It is like one can go to the same restaurant eating exactly the same thing for 50 years for fear of ordering the wrong food he might not like, but it goes without saying by being completely risk averse, he is missing all the great (and bad) food out there.

It is one thing to try something new, not liking it and stick with the old fashion, and another not to try anything different ever at all.
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Old 03-11-2017, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
16,411 posts, read 26,224,622 times
Reputation: 16496
Most of the " tourist vs traveler" person who voices their opinions are the biggest tools in the world.

Sit in some hostal, speaking only english with other foreigners going to the bars and running around the city wasted. Then talking about how, because they lived on rice for 5 bucks a day sharing a room with 10 other dudes, they are the true worldly people.

If someone wants to travel like that, be my guest.. but it doesn't make them any more worldly or cultural than someone who stays at a hotel.
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Old 03-11-2017, 07:46 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,679 posts, read 16,095,286 times
Reputation: 7694
Quote:
Originally Posted by burgler09 View Post

If someone wants to travel like that, be my guest.. but it doesn't make them any more worldly or cultural than someone who stays at a hotel.
I hold that if you want an 'authentic' lodging experience, often skip the stuff in the guide books because the only people who will be staying there at this point are the people who read that guide book. The typical budget-friendly Ibis/Motel One/Premier Inn/Holiday Inn Express, etc. will often get you a very diverse group of fellow guests from any number of countries who are traveling for any number of reasons.
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Old 03-12-2017, 07:48 AM
 
1,371 posts, read 1,810,817 times
Reputation: 1649
Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
I think it might be a good idea to do tour group in certain countries, especially those very unfamililar ones without good infrastructure and safety levels.

As to China, the only concern is the language barrier. Otherwise it is completely doable because the transportation is super great and in many cases with English translation. I would encourage that you do it on your own, and explore outside the typical cities of Beijing & Shanghai. A good mixture of large, small cities as well as a couple of towns and pure nature will give you a far better taste than just the famous urban centers. Group tours only bring you to the clean and famous spots catered to tourists.

Regarding those countries travelled, in many cases it involved nothing but one large city and its perepheral, so the number of countries visited is really meaningless, because it really just means number of cities/regiones which happen to belong to different countries. I could for example take a 2 hour train right now to Geneva and come back for dinner tonight, and add Switzerland to my list, but what's the point. 90% of Americans who claim to have been to France only visited Paris and nothing else, but they can't wait to rush to Brussels because it is in a different country.
I have "been" to a couple of other countries but I don't count them. The ones I've listed I've exactly stayed in, not just go through a train.

As for France, I have been to Paris and Dijon. Paris was overrated.
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Old 03-12-2017, 09:51 PM
 
Location: On the road
5,922 posts, read 2,885,080 times
Reputation: 11331
Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
Regarding large cities: for some small countries where a couple of large cities dominate (such as Korea or Austria), you are maybe right. But if you just visit Rio in Brazil, NYC and Boston in the US, Beijing and Shanghai in China, it is quite a stretch to even say you got a good taste of those countries. Large cities are of course real, but in many cases, they don't represent the life or culture of the countries.
Absolutely false. It is asinine to say that millions of people living in Beijing don't represent the culture or life of China. Of course there are different cultures and lifestyles in any large country, but that doesn't discount large ones as valid representations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
However, if one ALWAYS joins a tourist group year after year, that says something about the adventurousness of this person. (...) These people are missing an important part of travelling, and some of us are pointing it out.
Maybe so, but the adventurousness of the person isn't what we're interested in here, other than to be a judgemental douche. There is always something someone else does that you haven't, so by this "missing out" one can claim you are also missing out on something. Either way your opinion on what they are missing doesn't make it not travel.


Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
Local food means restaurants in inconspicuous locations without menus in 6 different languages.
Nope. There is often very good local food in conspicuous locations, and there is often very good local food with an English (or Chinese, or Russian) menu available.


Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
In sum, while people have the right to travel in different ways, there are indeed better ways and worse/boring ways.
Nope. Your ridiculous summary leans on the assumption that what you consider "better" is an opinion shared by everyone. You have a long history of this bizarre self-promoting behavior where you assume what you are interested in or find enjoyable is shared by everyone else, that is not the case. What is better is subjective. If doing something causes someone anxiety or boredom (and I'm sure a lot of the stuff you like to see would bore me to tears) then they aren't doing it better by putting themselves in a situation they'd rather not be in.
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Old 03-13-2017, 07:56 PM
 
5,913 posts, read 2,284,889 times
Reputation: 2221
Our latest trip was with another couple who are close relatives with no great plans other than the one we did accomplish at the end, still 5alking and maybe even planing a trip to Europe in the winter the reason being are hockey tickets being less expensice. My wife likes museums and art galleries and me rural landscape photographing. Some give and take and next trip I will rent a bike for a day or two she is in galleries and maybe kayaks as breaks from hiking and photographing. And in NA I prefer the RAV and a small text.
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