I know it’s been a long time since we’ve posted anything – we’ve been busy adapting to life back in the States, and sorting through the lessons we’ve learned while trying to figure out how to turn this simple journal of our travels into a valuable resource for other families and aspiring travelers.
For me, one of the biggest challenges is avoiding the rather self-righteous tone some of the famous travel bloggers seem to take. You know, it’s not that they’re conceited or anything – they’re just aware that because they’ve been all around the world, they’re a little bit better than everyone else.
I’m sure most of them don’t really feel that way – and for the most part, these people really are awesome. I just wish they weren’t so in-your-face about it. Gosh, I hope I never come across that way, but I probably do sometimes. Sorry.
These accomplished travelers might lead you to believe there’s a “right” and a “wrong” way to travel and experience other cultures. They might give you the idea that if your travel plans include air conditioning, hot showers, tour guides or recognizable food, then you’re not a “real traveler”. Don’t believe them.
NOTE to any famous travel bloggers who read this article:
I’m not talking about you. Really, I’m talking about someone else. You’re awesome. And totally down-to-earth. I mean it.
So what is “real travel” anyway? What is fake travel? I have to admit that I’ve met a number of people who travel in such an isolated way that they never interact at all with other cultures and probably don’t learn anything in the process. Maybe that’s not “real travel”. But how far beyond that do you have to go?
For me, real travel is anything that not only moves you to another physical location, but to another mental one as well. While I agree that the further you push outside your comfort zone the more you can grow, just getting out there (both physically and mentally) is more important than how you do it.
I think just about any kind of travel can help a person grow – even the touristy kind – if you pay attention, keep an open mind, think about what you’re seeing and doing, and interact with the locals at least enough to learn something about them.
But that’s just my opinion. What does “real travel” mean for you?