Monday, August 20, 2018

Travelling Isn’t Tough anymore.

Travelling isn’t tough anymore.  Most of the time at least, so is traveling alone no longer that tough.

I remembered that it was through a book that Kelly introduced - Vagabonding, that I decided that I needed to travel alone someday.  To put myself out of the comfort zone and feel uncomfortable.

Alas, the first travel alone didn’t come by choice.  Miranti and I wanted a day or two on our own in Krabi before we join my friends.  Well, we broke up before the trip came and I had a day or two alone.  What I remembered the most was that, then I was still trying to travel poor - just starting work at NUS, and I stayed in this dodgy room with that darn recommendation from Lonely Planet or Rough Guide.  That room was warm, small and looked like one of those room that people on the run will stay in.    That was probably in 2009.   A side story of how cheapskate I was, I remembered Audrey nagging at me about being unhappy to spend money on a nicer hotel and yet being vain enough to spend some 20 Thai Baht on a Ocean Pack bag with nicer designs…

That’s one of the reason why I say traveling isn’t tough anymore.  While you used to rely on that pathetic short list of recommendations from Rough Guide, now you can access dozens of hotel on Agoda or whatever.


The real trip to travel alone by choice came about in India - for about 5-6 days. Traveling alone from Hyderabad across India to Mumbai to look for Meijun. 

First, was the nightmare hostel after staying in Sheraton as part of work. As China taught me, try not to stay next to the train station. I remember meeting a Korean girl traveller on the streets that looked like she has been living in the streets for years. I remember that room had like spots of blood on the wall where the air con unit was. I suspect that is bed bug blood. Thankfully, I already had my wonderful sleeping bag from Decathlon China. Looking back, it is rather silly that even as an working adult, I could really afford a cleaner room somewhere.

The next bad thing that happened was that the train ride arriving in the middle of the night at the next destination - the hotel that I was trying to prebook after reading about it from lonely planet was not available.  Arriving at the train station in middle India, whereby once you walked out of the train station it was dark and simply walking to any random lighted hotel sign to find a place to crash.

Next making my way to Arungabad.  All I relied on was just a small short paragraph on lonely planet, and so I happily boarded in rickety bus where by the entire bus was Indian except for myself.  Halfway as the bus came to short stop at a village, one of my fellow passenger gestured for me to get down the bus. Luckily. Another passenger told me not to -  I may have landed in the middle of no where.   I may have died there with nobody knowing.

All that happened in 2009, whereby not even to talk about mobile data, but there may not even be wifi at the hotel/hostel which you stayed at. As such, one is really out of contact with one’s friends and family. 

Travel forward to South Korea travel 2018. 24 days in Korea- mostly alone.  With mobile data internet, nope I didn’t need to ask for directions much by using Kakao Map.  I was lonely for most of the trip but I could share photos with my friends and don’t feel as lonely.  I could even Google translate and have simple conversations with my WWOOF host family.  I earned more money than my poor childhood adjusted me to now and I can always make sure I have a clean place to sleep every night.

In summary, Travelling, even alone, is no longer tough because of technology, but also because I am willing to spend more money than before. 

Must remind myself though this ability to spend will disappear in 15 years time or even sooner once I enter the sandwich generation.  Therefore,  You must never make the comfort of the travelling be the main reason of your travelling.

No comments:

No dancing girls on top

You Live only Once