Madrid Hotels Articles

August 18, 2010

Reflections: Self

To best understand the reasons why to travel, it is important to classify the to two possible ways one can approach travel. The first is a vacation and second is an adventure. Let’s look at each: A vacation obviously involves travel to the degree that you take some mode of transportation from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ and get away.

Additionally, vacations are well planned, which removes the possible headaches one would get from planning them, but unfortunately are very predictable. Vacations may include a tour, which has its benefits if you want to be led around in a group and have everything explained to you. The mere name implies rest and relaxation and that can be a good thing on occasion if one is severely overworked. In my opinion, however, they are limiting.


A traveling adventure, on the other hand, is so much more. Potential traveler be warned though, you will most likely return more tired than when you left. To best relate why to travel and how I personally approach it, it would be necessary to draw on my own great traveling experience which was a trip I took in ‘93 for three-months and involved visiting 13 countries.

I left on soggy morning from LAX and flew off to Madrid with only a backpack and about $4000 in travelers checks. I was alone, save for a couple of travel books for companions that were swiftly ditched in a dirty hotel in Madrid due to the excess weight and lack a usable information they offered. It was a difficult decision, but trust me the ounces (in this case pounds) count when one is lugging a heavy backpack around!

As a male, going alone was not as much as an issue as it would be for a female. That is respectfully stated and in some Latin and Middle Eastern countries is a sad reality. Having said that, it would be something to strongly consider if you are, especially if visiting some locales where women are often deemed with less respect than they deserve. In the end, I estimated that I traveled with others I had met on trains or boats for about 75% of my trip – so going alone was not traveling alone by any means. Make sure that you read up on the culture where you will be visiting. All too often travelers forget that where they are going is someone else’s home. In Portugal, an okay sign (hand gesture) means something derogatory.

My trip was a non-stop adventure! I would wake very early and the day would leave myself open to any number of possibilities. I had a loose itinerary that I more or less

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