Although this post would perhaps be better suited with me sharing it a year from now, the reason I'm doing so currently has to do with the numerous blogs I check out each week that are written by individuals in their early 20s, individuals whose travel lifestyles could not be more different than my own.
I'm not old by any means but I do work full-time and so when I travel somewhere I want to stay in above average accommodations, even luxurious ones when I can swing it. I do not want to stay in someplace where 1) I feel unsafe, 2) bugs and/or vermin are my unwanted roommates and 3) I feel dirty each night I go to sleep due to the lack of "cleanliness" at said place. One of the bloggers who I follow talked about her recent "nightmare" accommodations at two hostels in Southeast Asia where rats, rat excrement, and cockroaches were "all around." Although she obviously succeeded in sharing these experiences in a comical light after the fact, as a female, I know that she as a female would have been majorly freaking out when this was occurring (males too, I don't know many males that are ever like "oh yay, rats").
Sleeping with complete strangers? Done with that!
My kind of accommodations!
And of course there is the universal culture phenomenon known as "party hard" something of which I've never been into and certainly am not going to "adopt" as an almost 30 year old. When I studied abroad I was not like some of the students in my program who it seemed spent most of their money on drinking and really didn't go a lot of places. While I went out a bit I always made sure to have money for the things I couldn't get at home like a weekend trip to Paris, a week in Italy, trips to other cities in Spain.
Not to mention that for me, food has become such an important part of my travels. Although inexpensive meals often offer some of the best food you have on a trip, I also like to indulge whenever possible. So while I greatly loved my meal I had on Oahu at a hole in the wall Korean place, I also adored my elegant meal I had at a French restaurant in Old Montreal. Not to mention there was no way in heck I was not going to have afternoon tea at one of the most historic hotels in Hawaii even though it cost $40 a person...for tea and treats essentially.
Amuse-Bouche meet galbi
But all in all, the reason why I don't want to be like these type of bloggers was perfectly summed by by one of them:
"I'm tired of almost always sharing my space with someone else. I'm tired of cheap, unhealthy food. I'm tired of spending hours searching for the least expensive room/flight/ticket. Sometimes I wish that I didn't have to worry about the money."
However, I don't mean to say that this blogger demographic is all the early 20s variety. I know there's plenty of backpackers and "around the world trekkers" that are in their 30s and upwards. I'm simply commenting on the bloggers I have encountered who are in their early 20s.
When I travel, when I book plane tickets, reserve accommodations, I don't do so entirely blindly like there's no tomorrow. But if there's a restaurant I want to eat at, I will. If there's a souvenir I want, I will get it. If there's a hotel that just looks perfect, I'll stay there. Yes, the young "party hard" traveler demographic may go to more countries than me, see more amazing sights than me, and yet I don't feel I'm having to sacrifice anything to do so not to mention knowing that my feet are not black (the number of backpackers I've seen whose soles of their feet were jet black is just disgusting) and I am not sleeping amongst rat excrement and cockroaches is always a plus.
I'm not a travel snob, I've simply grown up and know what I want and what I will not do without when it comes to my favorite activity.