It seems that people who enjoy travel or at least get pleasure from reading about travel pay for magazines or read travel articles online. I find that many of these sources are selling something. They write about tours and it seems the prices are in many cases excessive for the average "Joe" or "Jane" to allow regular overseas travel. Some are touted as "budget" and others "exclusive", but the bottom line seems to be that if one has a lot of disposable income, then go right ahead, travel based on offers and information from these sites.
If you are like me, your funds are limited...and...a trip abroad is not something that can be undertaken frivolously ...so...I offer the following advice...
Try travel on your own. Don't be afraid of language barriers and don't pay too much attention to fear mongers and bigots who either try to scare you with cautions about other cultures or or fill you head full of stories of pick pockets and other petty crime. It is more dangerous in many of our big cities than it ever would be traveling in Europe, for example. Over the years we have traveled, on our own, in Mexico (back roads, driving), and in Italy, as well as a few other less exotic places and we have but one (minor) negative experience, mostly of our own doing and only because we failed to understand the cultural norms of the country.
Travel on your own (no tour guide or tour bus, just you, a rental car or train or bus and your adventurous spirit) is much more fun and certainly more fulfilling than any tour one might take. My only caution, self guided tours...this is not for everyone! If you are used to being pampered, don't try travel on your own. If you expect others to figure out the next move, stay away, as well. But, if you want to save money traveling and have the gift of patience and a moderate spirit of adventure, try it...you might just really enjoy the challenge.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
It has been quite a while (months) since I posted to this blog. We are visiting some relatives in Maryland...a visit we usually make on our way to or returning from, Italy. This time...alas...no Italy in the plan.
Our news for now is a trip planned this fall that will at the very least include a cruise of the west coast of Italy terminating in Palermo (actually Barcelona start and finish) but we plan to get "off the boat" in Palermo and work our way up through Puglia and into Calabria ending up in Rome after a few weeks. Then, if the plan comes together, I will spend an additional two or three weeks exploring Umbria for possible "digs" for our first extended stay in 2010...months instead of only weeks...
Well, everyone is gathering for dinner so I will wrap up for today. Check in in a few days and I will post more about Baltimore and the Maryland trip.