I have been through a tonne of cities and towns all over the world. In fact, its probably a figure which is somewhere in the region of 50 up. All different, all unique and all I’ve spent about 24 hours in.
My experiences tend to follow this format:
- arrive at the hotel some time after 3pm
- Laze around/ complete some sort of activity
- Dine at generic restaurant and have 3-4 options for mains
- Go out and drink self silly
Don’t get me wrong- Group tours are amazing, they are my favourite and always will be. – Or so I imagine until I’m tired of waking up to a day song, playing coach games and meeting 20 million aussies. I think it’s because, and I only realise this now as I’m writing this now that actually- the best nights and experiences I have had in life haven’t been to do with the place, no matter how beautiful or amazing it was ( although I imagine that did help a little bit) but the people I have been with. This is the same for group tours. When a group gels and real friendships are made that is the beauty of travel.
But as I think of the many towns I have visited in America for example, like Durango, New Orleans and Dallas, which ultimately I just rolled through without a care in the world. I realise that I can’t really tell you anything about the place. Sure I can roll of some historical facts but when it comes to wheres best to eat/wheres best to stay/wheres best to drink. I am clueless. It’s different when someone talks to me about Bangkok, Venice and NYC, places where I have spent substantial time exploring at my own pace. The only thing I can say about Dallas is what I actually did- ‘ Eat here, because I did, it’s kind of okay but I can’t actually compare it to anywhere else’ That’s kind of why group tours are like someone offering you one crisp from their packet. Just leaves you wanting the rest of it.
This whole thing leaves me with one clear point. I can’t really write about some places because I have nothing constructive to say. However a lot of the time people are judged by their way of travel, which I don’t believe should ever happen. Travel is unique to every individual. If you prefer to travel alone and stay in hostels why should you judge someone who likes to travel around on a coach with a group of strangers. You can take what you want from travel, and sometimes you don’t need to share it with the world.