When I first went travelling, I had a backpack on my back, a smaller backpack on my front, and I wouldn’t have dreamed of staying in a hotel (it was hostels all the way), especially in Southeast Asia. I sneered at packaged tours, rolled my eyes at the idea of taking a cruise, and wouldn’t be caught dead taking a guided city tours.
Oh how things have changed.
After a few years of roughing it, I realised that taking a 24-hour bus ride doesn’t make you a better traveller- it just means you have more time on your hands. I also learned to live with my limitations. Unfortunately, I have a pretty lame immune system. I simply can’t go out two nights in a row or function after an all nighter without getting sick. Sure, I can take that night bus, but I’ll be tired and grumpy and won’t even enjoy exploring my new destination the next day.
These days, I find myself browsing cruise deals on the regular. I’m legitimately more excited about cruising than basically any other travel experience. I’ve spent too many days flying on long-haul flights with low-cost airlines, sitting on bumpy buses, and checking out of a different hostel every second day.
Much of this is due to my work. Since I freelance, I’m continually working on the road. And when I’m super tired I know I’m not going to get any work done, which will just mean I end up stressed out and unable to go out and do anything I’ve got planned in my new destination.
If you’re in the same boat, or you’re simply not interested in spending hours planning a trip, you may want to consider browsing some holiday packages. Not only does this mean that someone else does all the hard work for you, but since these are often agreements between hotels and airlines it’s sometimes a more cost-effective way to travel.
As I sit on another long-haul flight, with aching knees, a sore back, and a bad attitude from watching everyone else watch movies while I work, I can guarantee that my next real holiday will involve a complete work-free week, a nice hotel or cruise, and lots of fun in the sun.
I’m sure a big part of the evolution of the way I travel is due to age. When I first moved overseas I was 21, and I went backpacking through Southeast Asia at 23. Now I’m 29, and I’ve accepted that the way the old me liked to travel simply doesn’t work for me anymore, and that’s ok.