My travel style

A number of people have expressed interest in travelling with me. Unfortunately, I don't think many have the same travel style and preferences as me.

I always fly on budget airlines, except when the destination of choice is not served by budget flights, the flight schedules are not optimal (you lose a whole day in transit) or somehow the budget flights are more expensive.

I speak only English, Mandarin (no dialects), and very little German (I will need to revise if I have to use it). It would be beneficial for my travel partner to speak the local language of the country we are visiting, or at least learn some words and phrases such as:
- where is the toilet,
- taxi, bus, train, airport

Accommodation and sleeping
I don't usually share rooms regardless of whether my partner is male or female. I would do so with female friends if the rooms of any class in that country is very expensive, e.g. I shared a room with 2 female friends in San Francisco Hilton because all hotels there are expensive and they managed to get it at corporate rate. I would only share the room with a guy if he's my boyfriend. I won't splurge on 4 or 5 star hotels, but the hotels or resthouses I would want to stay in must at least have a clean toilet and the room should not smell bad.

I prefer sleeping overnight in a room on land. I have difficulty sleeping in a moving vehicle like a bus, plane or ship. I need sufficient sleep to function properly.

I prefer quality over quantity. I would skip a few tourist spots and spend more time to appreciate particular places that I like. I can spend time at the beach, in a nature reserve or in my room doing nothing. I am seldom tired or ill after my vacation.

I dislike being kept waiting especially in the morning. 10 minutes of my time spent waiting could have been time spent sleeping!

Package tours
I hate package tours. Prices are marked up and I dislike getting up so early daily. Lots of time is spent waiting, then you get hurried through the sights - hurry up and wait. At most I'll join a 1-day tour which I would book in the country itself so that I won't be paying so many agent fees.

Getting around and fitness
I can cycle, drive a car, ride a motorbike, and can definitely walk. Depending on the place, certain skills would be important. E.g. In Vietnam, knowing how to ride a motorbike and being confident of riding on the 'wrong' side of the road would be useful. There are people who are afraid to  travel on motorbikes... Hmm not so fun and very inconvenient.

Fitness is really important. I've encountered a person (a friend's friend) who can't walk up a slope without being exhausted halfway through. I was afraid she would have a heart attack so I slowed down and walked with her to encourage her. At the end of the trip she said she felt very motivated to hit the gym (but I don't know whether she did). I won't want to go on a trip again with someone of her (un)fitness level.

Uncertainty and flexibility
There is a great amount of uncertainty during my trips. The only things that are certain are my flights. I don't even book accommodation in advance in most Asian cities. I plan what I want to do before the trip at a very high level, and I can change the plan suddenly during the trip.

I always eat the local food. I eat food by the roadside. It makes me happy to eat where the locals eat. I have a strong stomach and common sense so I've not gotten food poisoning from eating street-food.

I have no ideas why some people are terrified of stray animals. Even rats stay away from you if you leave them alone. There would be some difficulty eating out together if stray animals are a problem.

I tend to do things that seem dangerous, e.g. visiting places that tourists don't go to, talking to locals, following locals whom I've just met, driving or riding in a foreign place, etc. If I visit tourist spots only, I get only a one-sided view of the place. My mind and my curiosity to learn and experience new things drive me to take some risk. Of course, I don't always believe everyone I talk to. I go with my gut feel - so far it has served me well.

It would be useful for my travel partner to know self -defence, to remain calm in emergencies and have strong survival instincts. The worst thing type of partner to have is one who panics easily.

Going dutch and splitting the cost down to the very last cent is fine with me. Or we can take turns to pay for meals.

I just realised that I'm a fussy traveller in my own way. I would rather travel alone than with companions who need me to be their mother or  tour guide.


Anonymous said...

No wonder you're alone....

Anonymous said...

Dear Yu Kym,

In summary, v can b life travel partner! We do things alike.


Anonymous said...

Uncompromising, full of spirit, brutally honest.

Formula for spinsterhood. It's not your pyramid, it's YOU.