I really wanted to be a budget traveler; that was before I encountered a budget room. In the planning phase of our new life adventure, we decided on Southeast Asia/Thailand for our first stop, partly due to its reputation for being an inexpensive place to visit. I remember how I would romanticize about staying in basic (cheap) accommodations, and about how we would be living simply, with nothing more than the clothes that we could carry in our backpacks. We would be free, and we’d need nothing more than a roof over our heads and each other to keep us warm and safe. Throw in some cheap food from street carts and that completed the fantasy; ah yes, blissful simple, cheap living in paradise.
Those were the days, and those were the dreams.
Fast-forward and a harsh slap in the head reality check-I am not a budget traveler. I would like to make excuses and say that I’ve come to a certain point in my life where I’ve worked hard, and feel I’ve earned some upgrades and certain luxuries. While this is true to an extent, I also know that at my core I’m a candy-ass princess. This is who I am. I like pretty things, shiny things, I like smelling good and I like makeup. Bugs and creepy crawlers make me say ewwwww! I’m not opposed to trying new things, like I might possibly still eat bugs or something (as long as they are cleaned and served by someone with good hygiene of course). LOL But the truth is that I like comfort, and security, and clean beds, and shower stalls, and certain luxuries and privileges that a lot of people have never known, and may never know, and that I (used to) just take for granted.
Does that make me a bad person? I sure hope not, but it makes me hugely grateful that I have been blessed with being born into my cushy North American life, and that I have had the gifts of clean water, food a plenty, free healthcare, high wages, a safe environment free of worries of being bitten by a bug that might kill me, you know, stuff like that.
But back to my point – I’m a non-budget, luxury-loving girl. Like I was saying, I truly did romanticize this whole adventure before we started, and I liked to imagine myself as someone that I’m realizing I am not. I do think about being without stuff, and about how great it is to not be burdened by ‘things’, and to be real. I like having the opportunity to drop the shit and see what’s beneath it all, and what I am discovering is that while I don’t need 5-star luxury villas and rock star treatment, I just want some nice creature comforts that don’t seem to be on the budget traveler plan.
Maybe I’m just stuck in my ways, and I’m less flexible to change than I was when I was younger? Maybe I’m just not a very adventurous gal? Or maybe I just like having it all, and I think that I can still have a genuine, live-like-a-local experience while still having a hot shower every day, and eating food in a restaurant when I want too.
I’m still pretty thrifty (cheap) about some things, and I can’t imagine ever forking out hundreds of dollars a night for a hotel room, but I’m not so budget-minded that I’m willing to share a dorm style room with a shared bathroom to save a few bucks so that I can travel longer.
Perhaps there should be a new category for travelers like me? There is the budget category on one end of the spectrum, and luxury on the other, so am I the middle-class traveler? Or perhaps a budgury (budget-luxury) traveler? Or maybe econolux traveler?
What are your thoughts? What type of traveler are you?