my travels around the world

Travel Motto #2: Whatever

I tend to be laid back about most decisions while I travel. (Ok maybe this a bit of an understatement… I generally don't like to make decisions when I travel (or ever). An example: When I was studying in China, my best friend [who is just as indecisive as I am] and I went out to eat a lot. Since neither of us could ever pick which of the restaurants by the back gate of the school to go to we actually had to take turns making the decision, or we just stood there not caring for a good long chunk of time waiting of the other person to make a decision…)

So, whenever there is someone else to make a decision, I will generally acquiesce. But even when I am traveling alone, I am generally laid back about what I do. As I wrote about in Travel Motto #1: I Don't Know… I don't really like schedules for travel. I think “Whatever” fits into this same mold of free wheeling travel. I know that I miss some opportunities to see things as I travel because of my lack of planning. But I also get to see things that I would have no opportunity to see if I followed maps, schedules, and the like. I got to stop and a play some volleyball with a group of kids who live in a village in the Angkor Archeological Park when I got really lost (and shortly after the volleyball, completely soaked) on a bike ride. If I had had a map with me, and a plan of where to go I never would have had that opportunity. I also tend to get somewhat frustrated when I make plans and then things go wrong. So I remind myself to go with the flow and have the “whatever” attitude towards travel.

I like to let the world happen around me. I am frustrated by tourists who insist that things be done just like they are at home. I recently read a review of a hotel that said “you forget you are in Rwanda until you hear someone speak Kinyarwanda [the local language].” I think that it was meant to be a compliment, but I see it as a backhanded insult. If you are traveling (and this is different for people who travel on business), why would you want to have your hotel be so much like home that you have to hear people speaking to remember that you aren't home. If you want to be home so much, stay there.

As with the last motto post, I think this is somewhat scattered and lacks some focus, but this is summer break. I think I'll leave this post at this.


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