Taking the Road Less Traveled: The Beginning

in #travel4 years ago (edited)



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It's the most recurring question in my mind. It's the most important question to have an answer to, for me anyway. Not HOW, not WHERE, not HOW MUCH, and especially not WHEN (because now, obviously). I keep asking myself WHY, every single time I think about traveling in the near future. I'm going to list my few reasons below.

  1. Staying in same place for the next 50+ years thoroughly terrifies me. At the moment I'm 23 years old, and have not left the country. Going places, especially with the South African exchange rate, can be financially uncomfortable. My husband and I have been saving up for more than 5 years now (him more than me, but I've been doing my bit for year). After investing in several areas in our lives, we are finally stable enough to invest in visiting another country as well. Without leaving us broke at the other end when we come back.

  2. I want to enjoy my early years and spend some quality alone time in my marriage. I watched a video wherein a middle aged man explained why he's so happy that most of his traveling had happened in his 20's and 30's. He felt that traveling is much more valuable and unique when traveling on a budget and being young at heart and in body. I'm sure there's other reasons in favour and against, but this was enough to convince me. I want to be able to tell my kid(s) stories, about several different places in the world. It would be even better to be able to take them there and show them through experienced eyes.

  3. Curiousity. As simple as that xD we live in a very diverse country, in landscape and culture, race and language. The mere fact that there is SO MUCH MORE, makes me unbelievably excited. I refuse to turn 25 without having left the country at least once.

I have done some light research (quite uninformed, actually) on each country I'm listing below. We are starting with these 10, narrowing them down, hopefully sooner than December. We aim to go somewhere next July (which will be in 2019). We've been waiting and saving up for such a long time, that making even the decision around these 10 were difficult. PLEASE feel welcome to comment on any of these and help us out. We're very lucky to know such a variety of people here on Steemit who live in these wonderful countries. I'll breifly say what I've heard about each of these places, and then I'll have to depend on your more trustworthy knowledge and experience. Here we go! In no particular order...

1. Nepal


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Starting off with my personal favourite, the mountain-rich Nepal. Just coming this close to the Himalayas makes my heart leap into my throat. The pictures alone leave me speechless. This country is apparently also very diverse in landscape.

2. Mozambique


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A country that is geographically very close to our own, affordable, and easy to access. It's a tropical paradise. We will probably not regard this destination as our BIG travel goal, and just go there for a week during this year somewhere. Let's see what happens!

3. Iceland


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This place... the probability of us visiting Iceland during the next 5 years is quite low, but it's definitely a place both of us want to visit. The scenery, the variety in landscape, the stillness. I just can't wait. I'll be dreaming of this trip right until we step off of that plane.

4. Vietnam


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"GOOD MORNING VIETNAAAM!" - The Office reference.

This culturally diverse country also has a variety of different landscapes to offer, according to sources. The language barrier isn't massive, and the accommodation is quite affordable. A good possibility of being visited or even for working abroad!

5. The Philippines


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This place is absolutely stunning in every picture I find. According my source, going there might be a bit of a culture shock to some, but it's still do-able for first-time travelers. The infrastructure is decent, and it's fairly affordable to visit. Even if it's not first on our list, we won't skip this one easily.

6. Poland


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I have not done a lot of research on this destination, but it appears to be a very underrated place in Europe to visit. It seems like the things that will appeal to me the most will be the wilderness, the food and the history. Definitely a must-see!

7. India


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India has a very welcoming people, surprisingly tropical areas, and can be extremely affordable. I'm actually pleasantly surprised to see this country on my list. This is getting quite exciting...

8. Sri Lanka


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This place also surprised me quite a bit. It's apparently a very good alternative to India. Not sure in what sense, but this is a learning experience for me. It's also on my list for it's affordability and its underrated nature.

9. Cambodia


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Here cometh the alternatives to Thailand and Bali... this destination is very budget friendly, the spoken English is pretty good, it has a lot to offer and it's quite straightforward to get there. And of course it's another underrated and less spoken of place... perfect. The historic and culture components also seem quite interesting.

10. Malaysia


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Lastly, a country that will probably end up in our top 3! The accommodation is affordable, the public transport is great, there are countless affordable things to do, and overall people have more pros than cons to share about this beautiful place. The fantastic level of English is also a huge plus.


I used the following YouTube channel as a source for most of my comments above. Please check out her channel for more information about some of these places.

And the very comprehensive budget-friendly travel video from the Vagabrothers. Subscribed.

I'm very excited for this journey that's starting. The research, the planning, the wait and the actual travelling... I plan to savour every part of it. What does that corny line say? It's not about the destination, it's about the journey. Thank you in advance for your input in the comments. As they say, a place is best experienced through the eyes of a local. Would love ALL OF THE TIPS.

See you on the flip side. Hopefully the next list is a top 5. Byeeeee.

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I can say without hesitation that traveling to 'foreign lands' has been among the most enlightening and enriching experiences of my life. I wouldn't sweat where to go first -- all of your options look amazing. Best of luck on your first trip!

Vietnams a very budget place to travel. I stay at airbnbs for 10, 15 bucks. Estonia and Amsterdam have some similar housing value among places in Europe!

Thank you for sharing!! Will add this to my rankings and notes :)

No problem! Are you travelling currently?

Not yet. I'm planning my very first trip. :)

Well, I hope you plan your budget travel to Vietnam! I'll head there later this year to see some friends and family again. Hopefully summer.

I would love to visit any of the above countries, for their nature, and also for their food. My children want to visit Japan, just to experience their food. I am a bit of a foodie, I have to admit. However, I have not traveled much. I have been to Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Stunning and beautiful with its wildlife and hospitality. I have also been to England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Oh, I would so love to go back to Scotland, especially. You can actually FEEL the history when you walk on the land. I also have a special affinity to the Scottish people. I don't know exactly what it is, but I feel that there is some invisible link between them and us South Africans. Ireland and Wales has the beauty. In England, I love to visit London itself. I sometimes feel that I belong there. A world class city.

As for your own shortlist - Sri Lanka, most definitely. There is still a dichotomy between their native customs and the colonialism from times gone by, but they have such a rich culture.

looks like you got your list properly set, and it's a good one!
I've been to SA myself, and I have to say it is a beautiful place to be, you are blessed.
Oh and Lebanon, where I am, is amazing too! our countries' nature is very close so you might want to think about visiting here as well!

You are like my twin. I also have a similar list and I love Vagabrothers. I am so happy for you for the journey you are about to embark on with your husband. Wishing you all the best.

And I can relate to that feeling of wanting to not stay at the same place. I took my first major trip from Kenya to South Africa in 2015 and it was the best thing I did.

Good luck!

We didn't get to do much of our traveling until after we had kids (we were in our 30's when we moved aboard a converted bus with our kids and traveled the US for three years) and then later in our 40s on a sailboat... I don't regret not going in our 20's just because we had other things going on at the time and for us, personally, I'm not sure we would have appreciated it as much (plus, no digital cameras? I would have went crazy!) ;)

Your list looks phenomenal and you have the benefit of being able to travel light and find deals and things that we wouldn't have been able to find 20-30 years ago. HOLY BEANS I FEEL OLD!

This is a fantastic post and I look forward to seeing your future adventures!


Thank you for sharing this and all the best on saving up so that you can realise your dream. I can't really give you advice though as I to haven't really travelled much. Looking forward to see which one you decide on in the end.

Very nice
It is really advisable to travel. It doesnt matter what age though but the earlier the better. The more travel hehe

Wonderful post!! I love to travel, but I don't get to do it as much as I would like.

I think you just gave every steemian the travel bug.

Have tons of great fun on your upcoming excursions around the world...

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