The places I get... and don't get
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A few weeks ago I read an article on Stuff Travel titled Overhyped: The places I just don't get. I was so frustrated that author was met with such disdain from the general public.
Almost no one could understand his point of view and the general consensus was that he should count himself lucky to have had the privilege to travel. People! That was not his point!
As someone who was born and raised in New Zealand, lived in Australia and now Canada and having travelled most of the world I whole-heartedly agree with his view, and this has nothing to do with having lived the privileged life of a spoilt brat, because I most certainly have not.
Many people feel that their self-worth is measured by the number of countries they have visited, unable to admit to anyone that their most recent vacation wasn't the 'trip of a lifetime'.
There are definitely going to be parts of any holiday that are going to make it fantastic and memorable, but some places just don't do it for me either.
For good measure, and to hopefully avoid the scorn of my fellow Kiwi's, I have also written about some places that did really soothe my soul.
For me, unequivocally, the measure of a great destination is the people you meet along the way.
Vastly generalising, I found Europe almost gimmicky. The hordes of tourists (myself included) ruined almost all of my pre-conceived notions and I was left feeling under-whelmed.
Friends used words like breath-taking, beautiful, spectacular and awe-inspiring down your throat after every trip to Europe... I personally couldn't see it.
That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy my time there, and there were some amazing parts of course. Venice is a beautiful city; I could walk aimlessly for days. As too with Prague and Florence.
Paris, Rome and Berlin? I could take them or leave them. But I would go back to Amsterdam or Munich in a heartbeat. Could that simply be because I was in the company of good friends in both places?
What's not to love? This is my favourite travel destination so far. It is such an untouched paradise, full of truly welcoming people.
The food, culture, beaches and general way of life made it an incredibly relaxing and affordable destination.
This is currently where I call 'home' and I can unashamedly say that it isn't what it's cracked up to be.
Vancouver certainly has a large base of staunch support but it's hard to understand why when it's those people whose quality of life is hindered by extremely low minimum wage and astronomical housing costs.
I have witnessed more drug abuse and homelessness than anywhere else I have travelled. It's a city of lost souls.
I'm also putting Bali in the 'what's not to love' category.
Living in Western Australia, flights were sometimes less than $100 each way, combine that with the $1 beers, delicious local food and great people you have yourself an affordable and entertaining island getaway so it's easy to understand why Australians flock there in the masses.
The best month I've ever had. Do it while you are still young. I went there to party with friends and I can, without a doubt, say that is exactly what I did and I loved every minute of it.
I lived in Australia for 3 years and experienced it as more than just a holiday destination.
For me it is the land of opportunity; great wages and career opportunities, along with hard work. It enabled me to see and do almost anything I wished. Combined with a motley crew of the best friends and endless summers, I will definitely return again.
Travel is one of those things you will never regret and everyone's reason for travelling is different. Let's remember that and appreciate that everyone's opinion and experiences will differ too!
These are my opinions and they are based on my experiences, approach life with an open mind and let the experiences find you.