Monday, December 3, 2018

Which version did you visit?

I spent Thanksgiving in Phuket at at JW Marriott overlooking the Andaman Sea. It was pure luxury with gourmet restaurants, fancy cocktails, three pools, breathtaking sunsets, and a fabulous spa. It  was right out of the pages of a travel magazine.

Two weeks before that I took the third class train to Ayutthaya for the equivalent of 45 cents, cruised around the sights in a tuck tuck, ate delicious Thai food on the street and slept to the sounds of the river at an AirBnB.

As I was lounging by the pool in Phuket watching people around me I contemplated that for some a trip to the resorts in Phuket, amazing though they may be, might be their only experience of Thailand.     This isn’t judgment but it did make me sad for them.

There are so many ways to travel, and I feel blessed to be able to experience both but popping into a place and only lounging at pristine beaches and dining on the expensive versions of food you buy for less than a few dollars that might be just as delicious if not better means you may experience some of the beauty but you miss the soul of a place.

I’d like to challenge you. Next time you travel. Make sure you step off the path. Take a risk and try the locals way.

If you’re in your home country. Go eat where the locals eat and not a national chain. Get off the highway and try a different route. Stretch beyond your comfort zone.

If you try both I think you’ll be amazed. And you’ll enjoy a few sunsets too!