As I've mentioned in several recent posts, I've been traveling around Southeast Asia the last few months -- and one of my favorite things about travel is exploring cultural differences.
One that keeps popping up this year... is sex. Specifically, sex taboos.
"Excuse me, do you have a lighter?" I'm asked for the third time today.
"Of course not! I'm American -- we don't smoke!" I reply, hoping that whoever ends up lending this European backpacker a lighter is standing far, far away from me.
Travel is... a lot of things. Amazing. Disgusting. Enlightening. Disheartening. But one thing I love about it is that it feels like kindergarten, college, and adulthood, all at once!
Almost everyone who participates in teen travel tours, service trips, and summer abroad programs... is a girl.
"Expats are expats for a reason," I recently wrote in one of my original songs, "And there's a reason I travel alone."
I won't get into the reason expats are expats (but I will say that it's not racist to call expats expats and immigrants immigrants -- it's not about skin color, but passports). But here's the main reason I travel alone: I basically designed my life around being able to travel several months a year, and most people have not.
People often say it's brave and rare for a woman to travel alone, but, empirically, it's really not.
I travel alone. A lot. It's super fun. It's never lonely. You're free to do whatever you want without worrying about other people's fears or physical limitations.
People say it must be "empowering" to travel alone as a woman. But, honestly, I've always found it way more empowering to backpack alone with my dog.
In Roatan’s Best Dive Shop For Experienced Scuba Divers, I discussed the realization that Roatan is NOT Bonaire. Though the shore diving is much more limited than I'd expected, I still had an time in Roatan.
I recently busted my shoulder and learned I couldn't do any of my normal activities (surfing, basketball, mountain biking) for at least two months. The one thing I could still do... was scuba dive!
(As long as it was tropical -- there was no way I could get a wetsuit on over that arm!)
"I'm not a tourist, I'm a traveler!" I've heard this countless times during my travels. If I'm being honest, I've probably said it myself at some point.
But with age comes wisdom. I've changed my tune. I am perfectly happy to be a shameless tourist.
I recently returned from my first trip to Roatan -- and it was amazing. No regrets. I would definitely go back.
BUT. One thing I really wish I'd known before booking my flights is that Roatan is not Bonaire.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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