I miss the girl from Singapore. You would think that after six months of not talking to her that I would have moved on and just chocked the experience up to traveling alone. For some reason though I still think about her all the time and wonder what she is doing now. Having said that, I miss her.
I’m sitting in a café on what can best be described as a three-sided couch that surrounds a table. There are cushions to rest your back on and I am basically sitting on a bench (couch). I am forced to sit cross-legged to be close enough to the table to type. So why am I describing this so much… the simple answer is that I love it completely. I’m on my second beer and I’ve got a great view of the street just a few yards from my seat. I know that if I ever move back to the US that this type of experience is what I will miss the most. People in the US just don’t realize what they are missing.
There are several different types of travelers. The extremes are those people that want to be pampered and on the other side are the travelers that want to experience something different than they are used to. A professor that I worked with and traveled with to Sri Lanka, wanted to experience what can best be describe as poverty. I also had a friend that would not stay in a hotel that the bathroom wasn’t spotless. The two groups are the extremes and they may share some similarities with groups leaning to one extreme to another. I am the type of traveler that wants to see the real life of the people of the area that I’m in. I don’t want luxury, in fact I hate the idea of luxury, especially if the people around me aren’t living that way.
The reason I am making this statement is for a couple of reasons, the first being how hard I was on Luang Prabang, and the second is because I’ve read some really bad things about Vang Vieng. I also have recently been wondering why I seem to love it here so much. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s my Mother’s fault. 🙂 When I was young my mother would take my brother and myself to Mexico for the summer. It was a magical part of my life and have always considered it to be one of the strongest influences to the wanderlust that I have had as an adult. The place that she took us was, at the time, a small fishing village called San Felipe.
San Felipe was a small one street town that was dirty and dusty, but held me captivated for reasons I don’t fully understand. The old, beaten fishing boats that were beached during the day, the dirt roads leading into the city, and the bars that although I couldn’t enter, felt like something almost magical. It has occurred to me recently that I qualify places that I visit by my experience as a child in San Felipe. I want dirt, I want rough, and I absolutely hate luxury.