Where’s My Backpack has asked fellow WordPressers to think on the theme “smooth”. As a predominately travel based blog, my thoughts invariably drifted to smooth travels.
To become a seasoned traveller do you need to navigate some rough waters (be they metaphorical or actual) to consider yourself as such? I’m inclined to say no, but then I’m a believer that an experience doesn’t need to be arduous to be authentic.
I don’t think it’s “more real” travelling in the back of a make-shift songtaew [สองแถว] or tuk tuk [ตุ๊กตุ๊ก] than getting to one’s destination by plane, train, boat, bus or car. My connection to my travels were not increased travelling in a third class carriage in Sri Lanka and were not diminished travelling first class in Mongolia. Similarly, I don’t feel that glamping is “less real” than camping if the object of the experience is to enjoy your surroundings, your company, and the moment. Glamping in Kanchanburi with my brother was likely more expensive, more comfortable, and less difficult than it’s camping counterpart, but not, I argue, any less real an experience to explore Hellfire Pass and the River Kwai.
But I do find that it’s when travels veer off script that memorable stories are made; those times when the sailing is less than smooth. So while smooth travels may make an experienced traveller, smooth travels never made for a tale of adventure.