Editors Note:Those seeking cool pictures of our roamings should wait for a few more days for their fix. This post is mostly philosophical in nature.
Wherever we roam, we inevitably encounter fellow travelers. While we may share the same locale, and often the same nationality as them; our motivations for traveling are usually different. Many backpackers are simply looking for excitement with a different backdrop. Often this takes place separate from the local culture.
Some are looking to meet new people. To gain new experiences, to test themselves. A few are seasoned veterans who simply enjoy having each day greet them with a different face. An even smaller number fall in love with a country, a people, and become permanent ex-pats.
Still more are seeking a freedom they cannot have or are unwilling to use in their native settings. Being freed from obligations, expectations, and cultural limitations is an interesting litmus test of a person's basic nature. When you are accountable to only yourself what are your limits?
An intriguing trend in the budget/ backpacker community is the tendency to use travel as sort of a rolling review of nightlife. The typical backpacker on this kind of course is checking off landmarks, and canned experiences from social media during the day; and hitting up the "local" (read familiar backpacker) bars and hangouts at night. Change locations and repeat. This is most common in big cities with well established routes and infrastructure for budget travelers. The Internet has made this easier by concentrating information and connecting people. Thus reducing the difficulty and variety of experiences.
I have no right to judge, nor its my experience representative, but I feel it is a shame to waste such great opportunities hung over in a dorm, checking off lists on Facebook, and Skyping your friends back home.
I may be a bit biased as I find most clubs and some bars to be difficult, at best, settings for socialization. I have also concluded that inebriation is a hindrance. Being married means I am not hunting for hookups either.
So, why do we travel? I guess what most people see as reasons to stay home we see as exciting opportunities. The unknown is still scary, but the reward far outweighs the risk and frustration.
On that note we will be concluding our visit to South Korea shortly. Be looking out for some cool pictures once we recover from the inevitable jet-lag.