I decided to go to Indonesia because the travel agent we spoke to recommended it. We marched in there and just started asking questions about places to go that weren’t too expensive and a little exotic. I was living in the Netherlands at the time so perhaps it’s not too surprising that the agent suggested a former colony, but it was great trip.
It’s gotten much more difficult lately. Budget travel is hardly dead but it’s becoming much more scarce (which surely separates me from more cash than I’d like but is usually a good thing for the folks I travel to visit.) I am working on my next trip now, and mostly all I’ve been successful at doing is ruling things out. Kilimanjaro will have to wait—very, very expensive. Galapagos isn’t really much cheaper, so it’s only hold as well.
Time is a limiting factor too. Some day I’ll give it all up and do a round-the-world trip, but let’s not forget the advantages of short trips. I get to buy some really nice things to remind me of the experience when I’ve returned home and I actually have enough time to make sense of all the pictures I took and even put together a slide show for friends. I can also afford to squeeze a whole bunch into a short trip and rest up after vacation. Some places are just too difficult to visit in a short time though. The Lonely Planet Guidebooks don’t really even have a two week tour of Papua New Guinea. In that little time a backpacker can’t really get very many places in this remote land.
I don’t care for beaches much and I don’t have much interest in fancy hotels either. Of course weather, or at least timing, is a factor too. Carrying only one change of clothes makes me want to avoid cold muddy places until they’re a bit dryer and easier to move around in, and doesn’t make me a candidate for the Ibiza dance club scene. (And not for that reason alone, either.)
My dear readers can help: where in the world do you want to go next. More importantly: why?
I’m not saying I’ll take you’re advice on my next trip, but I would be curious to hear where folks are headed next, and other readers (all seven of you) might be interested as well!