T Nation

Traveling: Destinations


#1

Being 18 and graduated this year brings up this topic. I started working immediately after getting my diploma in hand, earned some money and have saved up not much but a substantial amount. I've always had a desire to travel and now that I have some means to do it I want to pursue it In full effect. So my question is what are some places you've always wanted to travel to and why given the opportunity ? Preferably something other than the typical tourist spots.

P.S I do realize I should be saving up for college but at this point I do put aside some money for college but not to sure if it's for me yet.


#2

Travelling is more a state of mind than a place. I would go in the cheapest place (that let you spend the most time with the less money) with a friendly culture. Europe is expensive, muslim world and africa isn’t friendly. Pick whatever else. Some countries need a visa, that means you can’t enter when you get to the border, you need to file some papers and wait.

By the way I travelled in 2010, I bought a plane ticket to France and went wherever I felt like going for some months. Bought a plane ticket to home in Istanbul when I was sick of it. It can be quite hard.


#3

So yeah wherever else is mysterious for you or that you feel attracted to for whatever personal/poetical reason. Don’t ask a bunch of weightlifting dorks on the internet.

Prepare yourself to be able to spend time outside of cities. Cities are the most convenient place to be but with the less interesting outcomes.


#4

If you’re looking to travel, try Vietnam. I was there earlier this year and it’s a great place to go. Friendly people, rich in history, very cheap ($5 steaks in restaurants), and less touristy than other SE Asian places like Thailand or Bali.


#5

What are you looking for? People travel for lots of reasons. For instance:
–See historic places and things
–Meet new people and experience interesting night life, etc.
–See interesting natural wonders and wilderness
–Experience new cultures, ways of living, cuisine, clothing, transportation, etc.

Probably you should think about why you want to travel in order to decide where to go. You also should consider language. Some places you’ll be fine with just English, but in other places it will really limit your ability to meet new people or just navigate the area and do things without a native guide or a specific and up to date plan. As far as visas, if you are an American then you will mostly need to plan visas to go to the BRIC. Otherwise, you either don’t need a visa or can get one at entry in a short period of time.

I spent a couple years in Siberia starting when I was 19. It was a great experience, but if you don’t know the language and don’t have a plan, it would get boring pretty quick.


#6

[quote]Iron Condor wrote:
If you’re looking to travel, try Vietnam. I was there earlier this year and it’s a great place to go. Friendly people, rich in history, very cheap ($5 steaks in restaurants), and less touristy than other SE Asian places like Thailand or Bali.[/quote]
There’s quite a bad haze around SE Asia at the moment from forest fires in Indonesia.


#7

Depends what you like to do. If you like cities, backpack through Europe. If you’re more into nature backpacking, SE Asia is the place to go. Laos/Cambodia/Vietnam is a lot of fun.

If you speak spanish, South America is amazing. If you don’t, travelling in rural areas is a bit more challenging but you can alwasy find cheap places/hostels to stay, buses to get from country to country, and meet a lot of cool people.

I will add in, make sure you are checking in with someone so people know where you’re at. I personally haven’t had anything bad happen, but getting a passport stolen can make life difficult so have a lock on your bag and have a backup plan.

I would also recommend going with a good friend, or have different friends meet you along the way. Its good to be able to share the experiences. I have travelled alone in SE Asia and South America and its easy to meet people in hostels, but usually in transit its nice to have someone to pass the time.


#8

[quote]Drew1411 wrote:

I will add in, make sure you are checking in with someone so people know where you’re at. I personally haven’t had anything bad happen, but getting a passport stolen can make life difficult so have a lock on your bag and have a backup plan.
[/quote]

A good thing is to sew a pocket inside your pants/shorts to hide your passport, bank card and money for the week/day. You keep a bit of money in your pockets to give to the person who threaten you with a knife or gun and to buy things. So it’s not the end of the world if your bag gets stolen.

Don’t travel with a big hiking backpack that goes over your head. That makes you a target. A big school bag is the biggest bag I would carry. I travelled with a small school bag. Look for the system people who do outdoor things use.


#9

[quote]Silyak wrote:
What are you looking for? People travel for lots of reasons. For instance:
–See historic places and things
–Meet new people and experience interesting night life, etc.
–See interesting natural wonders and wilderness
–Experience new cultures, ways of living, cuisine, clothing, transportation, etc.

Probably you should think about why you want to travel in order to decide where to go. You also should consider language. Some places you’ll be fine with just English, but in other places it will really limit your ability to meet new people or just navigate the area and do things without a native guide or a specific and up to date plan. As far as visas, if you are an American then you will mostly need to plan visas to go to the BRIC. Otherwise, you either don’t need a visa or can get one at entry in a short period of time.

I spent a couple years in Siberia starting when I was 19. It was a great experience, but if you don’t know the language and don’t have a plan, it would get boring pretty quick. [/quote]

My reason for travel is simply to see another way of life other then people chasing the American Dream just working there life away and letting money get to them. I also really like water and tropical areas which is why currently I’m looking in to Greece so heavily.
My question to you is how much money did you take on your trip to Siberia? And how was your lifestyle over There for your stay? Did you get a job and work and pay as you went? Or live like a tourist? Would you do it again?


#10

[quote]Drew1411 wrote:
Depends what you like to do. If you like cities, backpack through Europe. If you’re more into nature backpacking, SE Asia is the place to go. Laos/Cambodia/Vietnam is a lot of fun.

If you speak spanish, South America is amazing. If you don’t, travelling in rural areas is a bit more challenging but you can alwasy find cheap places/hostels to stay, buses to get from country to country, and meet a lot of cool people.

I will add in, make sure you are checking in with someone so people know where you’re at. I personally haven’t had anything bad happen, but getting a passport stolen can make life difficult so have a lock on your bag and have a backup plan.

I would also recommend going with a good friend, or have different friends meet you along the way. Its good to be able to share the experiences. I have travelled alone in SE Asia and South America and its easy to meet people in hostels, but usually in transit its nice to have someone to pass the time.[/quote]

I personally wouldn’t want to backpack Europe even if it’s an adventure on its own I don’t possess that type of courage. I’m part mexican so I do speak Spanish, what places in South America would you travel to. Sadly even though I would want to take a friend or relative they don’t have the spare money or desire to take a trip.
What places have you personally been to and did you like it?


#11

[quote]Iron Condor wrote:
If you’re looking to travel, try Vietnam. I was there earlier this year and it’s a great place to go. Friendly people, rich in history, very cheap ($5 steaks in restaurants), and less touristy than other SE Asian places like Thailand or Bali.[/quote]

Did you feel safe? Was it accommodating for foreigners?


#12

[quote]jasmincar wrote:
Travelling is more a state of mind than a place. I would go in the cheapest place (that let you spend the most time with the less money) with a friendly culture. Europe is expensive, muslim world and africa isn’t friendly. Pick whatever else. Some countries need a visa, that means you can’t enter when you get to the border, you need to file some papers and wait.

By the way I travelled in 2010, I bought a plane ticket to France and went wherever I felt like going for some months. Bought a plane ticket to home in Istanbul when I was sick of it. It can be quite hard.[/quote]

How much money did you spend on this adventure of yours? And would you consider worth it and do it again?


#13

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]Iron Condor wrote:
If you’re looking to travel, try Vietnam. I was there earlier this year and it’s a great place to go. Friendly people, rich in history, very cheap ($5 steaks in restaurants), and less touristy than other SE Asian places like Thailand or Bali.[/quote]
There’s quite a bad haze around SE Asia at the moment from forest fires in Indonesia. [/quote]

I had not heard about that. Still worth looking into when it clears up.


#14

[quote]Alexis Smash wrote:

[quote]Iron Condor wrote:
If you’re looking to travel, try Vietnam. I was there earlier this year and it’s a great place to go. Friendly people, rich in history, very cheap ($5 steaks in restaurants), and less touristy than other SE Asian places like Thailand or Bali.[/quote]

Did you feel safe? Was it accommodating for foreigners? [/quote]

Yes it felt very safe. There is some petty crime and scams (I didn’t encounter any), but violent crime is very low in Vietnam. Usually it’s stuff like taxi meters rigged to overcharge you (so you pay a whopping $3 instead of $2), but if you stick with the taxi services with a solid reputation you will be fine. Obviously avoid dark alleys alone at night etc, but overall it’s safer than a lot of places, and probably even some Western countries.

The people were friendly to me, I didn’t have any bad experiences. You’d think there would be some lingering animosity towards white foreigners but that is not the case, maybe only in very rural areas with old farmers who remember the war. That said I went out into rural areas and interacted with locals, including some elderly South Vietnamese fishermen who had blown their own toes off to avoid the war, but everyone was extremely friendly. When I was in Ho Chi Minh City I went to a bus stop and tried to explain where I wanted to go and ended up having like 4 people who gathered around me trying to help me out. You will get people badgering you on the street to buy their tourist junk as in most places, but overall the vibe was very positive.


#15

[quote]Iron Condor wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]Iron Condor wrote:
If you’re looking to travel, try Vietnam. I was there earlier this year and it’s a great place to go. Friendly people, rich in history, very cheap ($5 steaks in restaurants), and less touristy than other SE Asian places like Thailand or Bali.[/quote]
There’s quite a bad haze around SE Asia at the moment from forest fires in Indonesia. [/quote]

I had not heard about that. Still worth looking into when it clears up.[/quote]

Clear skies here in Luzon, Philippines. It probably worse further South.


#16

[quote]Alexis Smash wrote:

[quote]jasmincar wrote:
Travelling is more a state of mind than a place. I would go in the cheapest place (that let you spend the most time with the less money) with a friendly culture. Europe is expensive, muslim world and africa isn’t friendly. Pick whatever else. Some countries need a visa, that means you can’t enter when you get to the border, you need to file some papers and wait.

By the way I travelled in 2010, I bought a plane ticket to France and went wherever I felt like going for some months. Bought a plane ticket to home in Istanbul when I was sick of it. It can be quite hard.[/quote]

How much money did you spend on this adventure of yours? And would you consider worth it and do it again? [/quote]

The way I did it at that time was not the cheap way. I went to some very good restaurants just for the hell of it and spent in the nightlife thing. I saved my money a lot before that. If I was this age and at this point of my life and going to redo it (not now), I would spend less. You can’t do that stuff if you are older and expect the same thing. I would get a tent and sleep outside more often to be able to reach more remote places, but at that time the travel was already a big thing for me and sleeping outside is another level. I think Europe is too expensive, but at that time I had never been to Europe.

If you are the kind of guy that don’t mind walking near highway belts and sleeping in bushes you can go anywhere and do anything. It takes some toughness.

The best thing to do is to try to meet locals outside and try to have a conversation with them. Some of them can show you around/ invite you to their house, farm /show you their life and whatever they do. Don’t be scared to slow the pace if the place looks somewhat promising. You can use social media to meet people in bars, etc.

I wouldn’t travel that way in Europe in 2015 because all the cheap accomodation is probably filled with migrants now. The reality is that native europeans and travellers are great to be with but immigrants are not. Poverty isn’t only a material thing, there is also poverty in ways of being. There was already in 2010 quite a bit of angry non-european immigrants/religious ethnic/whatever people around in the accomodations and in the street. These people will harass you and will try to take advantage of you if given the chance. You have nothing to do with them. Other than that if you feel someone is shady, listen to your feeling and don’t give him a chance just to give him a chance.

What a wall of text.


#17

I enjoyed my time in Thailand. It can be pretty touristy depending on where you go though. Still, it was a lot of fun and the people are very friendly. Don’t forget to pack condoms…


#18

I came back home 3 months ago from traveling 8,5 months in Asia, you’re about to do something amazing.

If you really want to travel/explore, i’d highly suggest India & Myanmar. Entirely different, very low in violent crime, great people & amazing places to really explore off the beaten path. Nepal might be included as well.

Vietnam is ok as well but i wouldnt go Thailand for traveling, full of stupid 18-24 yr old Americans with only aim of getting drunk & getting laid. I would skip Greece/Europe forsure too.


#19

There are 50+ countries in Europe. Might be bit of a sweeping generalisation to expect it all to be the same.


#20

[quote]Alexis Smash wrote:

[quote]Drew1411 wrote:
Depends what you like to do. If you like cities, backpack through Europe. If you’re more into nature backpacking, SE Asia is the place to go. Laos/Cambodia/Vietnam is a lot of fun.

If you speak spanish, South America is amazing. If you don’t, travelling in rural areas is a bit more challenging but you can alwasy find cheap places/hostels to stay, buses to get from country to country, and meet a lot of cool people.

I will add in, make sure you are checking in with someone so people know where you’re at. I personally haven’t had anything bad happen, but getting a passport stolen can make life difficult so have a lock on your bag and have a backup plan.

I would also recommend going with a good friend, or have different friends meet you along the way. Its good to be able to share the experiences. I have travelled alone in SE Asia and South America and its easy to meet people in hostels, but usually in transit its nice to have someone to pass the time.[/quote]

I personally wouldn’t want to backpack Europe even if it’s an adventure on its own I don’t possess that type of courage. I’m part mexican so I do speak Spanish, what places in South America would you travel to. Sadly even though I would want to take a friend or relative they don’t have the spare money or desire to take a trip.
What places have you personally been to and did you like it? [/quote]

I’ve lived in SE Asia, been all over there, travelled through Europe, and travelled through South America. I personally really enjoyed Peru and Colombia. My buddy loved Brazil and my gf is in love with Argentina. I’ve found its usually not the place, but the people you meet and/or the experiences you have.

If you speak spanish, you have a leg up and could have a great time anywhere in South America. I would avoid Venezuala, and personally didn’t like Bolivia much but find out on your own. Depending on how long you want to go, start in Colombia, bus to Peru, Brazil (if you want to get the Visa, otherwise not necessary), Argentina, Chile, etc. Don’t have set plans, if you find a place you like stick around for a week or so. If you don’t like it, move to the next.

Other alternative is to pick a place to settle down in for a month+ and learn a skill. My personal ideas would be salsa dancing in Colombia, surfing in Chile/Nicaragua/anywhere in Latin America, tango in Argentina, jiu-jitsu in Brazil (my buddy has been doing that for 9 months), Spanish guitar in Mexico… whatever you want. I personally don’t like just hanging out and if you have something you’re doing (surfing, yoga, jiu-jitsu, dance, lifting… whatever) you will meet people doing the same thing and will have a good group to hang out with.

If you’re thinking of doing it, do it while you can. Roaming around another country can’t happen once you have stronger commitments at home. Read the book vagabonding, if that doesn’t connect with you then you’re not meant for backpacking.