I know we can get a little preachy sometimes about having an authentic travel experience and it’s one of the few things I won’t apologize for. I truly believe that travel is about making connections and we are driven as a species to do so.
I think it’s clearly evident with the popularity of Facebook and Twitter, two places we go to make connections with people (in some cases) far, far away. I have to say some of my favorite Twitter friends live on the other side of the country and even the other side of the world.
With that in mind, why would you go through the time and expense of planning a trip somewhere exotic and then surround yourself with people who speak your language and have meals planned around your traditional dietary likes and dislikes? Travel is about experiencing a place; if you only wanted to see the sights you could get a View-Master.
But this doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. You can still take comfort in traveling with old friends and new friends, the large tour bus of people most tours have can be pared down to a dozen companions and traded in for more unique ways to travel. Think rickshaws, carved out boats and bicycles, which are just some of the more interesting options mentioned by Ashley Fraser of Intrepid Travel.
Companies like Intrepid Travel immerse you in the culture as a way to ease into less familiar surroundings.
“People who just want to get their feet wet in a country it’s great to do a week or two week trip with us. You learn a few catch phrases see some of the major sites then go off on your own,” Ashley says.
If you think this sounds like it’s the kind of trip that caters to the young backpack set on a shoestring you may be right, but that’s only part of their clientele.
Ashley says she’s heard it put this way: “When we were young we had lots of time and no money and now that we are getting older we have little time and lots of money.”
Their mission at intrepid is to is to cater to both.