Because it has been a long time since I traveled out of my country, local living has become my daily routine. I still travel around the country and have experienced the lifestyle of different classes of society.
Somehow I do see the benefits of each side of the story. If you’re gonna ask me which lifestyle suits me best, I’d say it depends on the situation.
When you’re traveling as an elitist, or part of the upper class, you will be served with comfort and class. However, people will look at you with $$ in your eyes and expect money in every move you make. I was traveling in style when a cousin from London and a Chinese friend came over last month. And you have no idea how worried I am about being kidnapped… not because I’m rich, but because kidnappers might notice my companions are rich.. so dear elite friends, please dress down when you are with me.. I had enough mishaps in my life already, thank you. Sorry posh pictures are private property unless I’m given permission to boast about them :P
Here’s one of our tour spots, Waterfalls of Tibiao, Antique:
And even if I travel solo, I just don’t blend. One time while eating breakfast solo in a hotel, a police woman went in the hotel to observe me.. Does this thin looking frail lady look harmful? Maybe the owner think I look like I will eat all the food in the buffet. :D
On the other hand, when traveling on a budget, you’ll get glares from the elitists who will look at you from head to toe. I do notice that when I was in Tagaytay in a gathering. Amongst families with cars, I was one of the people who arrived in a tricycle. Well at least I will not be taken advantage of.. wait, the tricycle driver overcharged me I think. Great.
This scenario makes me not want to travel around the country.
Not traveling has its advantage actually.. you’re safe eating home made fresh foods in a house that you call home. You can be your true self and no matter what you wear, your pet dog will adore you.
In my case, not traveling makes my friends from afar visit instead.. So far, friends from Vietnam, Switzerland, Hong Kong, France, Taiwan, China, US and UK has visited my hidden paradise.. My aunt who hasn’t traveled out of the Philippines yet felt like she has traveled already thru the stories of my friends..
But not traveling will also make a person not see the beauty of the world.. I hope people continue to travel despite what harshness media is telling them.. or despite harshness I have personally experienced :)).. coz yours might be a different story who knows..
Travel peels off all your labels and brings out the best in you.. Authentic travel brings out true friends too.. It is thru understanding cultures and learning their way of life that true peace is achieved. Isn’t it great that you be friends with everyone in any part of the world?
I do look forward to the time where I can become myself with no labels. I can stay in whatever posh hotels or serviced apartments.. or sleep on bus stops or hitchhike in Europe.. and no one will measure my ability just by looking at me from head to toe.
I look forward to the day I can travel freely, where I can encounter no hatred, only welcoming people wanting me to stay in their warm homes.. But for now, I can just dream.. until I set foot on that long journey again.