I reader just sent me a question asking if he should stay in Chiang Mai for 5 weeks, or if he should split it up and breeze through several locations all over Thailand a week at a time. I think that was a really good question so I will give my thoughts on it!
I think that question depends on a million factors. Where are you travelling in the world? Are you traveling alone? What is your budget? What’s your purpose of travel? How long will you be abroad? What makes you happy?
Why we travel
I travel for many reasons, but my two main reasons is that my hometown sucks and that I love to meet people and experience new places, cultures, women, food and art.
The world is a big place. Why the hell would I stay inside a cubicle taking orders from a manager I hate? If you are unlucky your job has been replaced by AI robots within a few years anyways so you better start working on that alternative income!
This is 2017! It’s not that hard to make money online if you use your imagination a little bit. There is no excuse to postpone.
Every place is unique and I want to see and experience it all!
Nothing makes me more happy than to arrive on a new location that I know nothing about, ready to be explored! It’s the best feeling there is!
If you have read anything on this blog you probably already know what my answer will be regarding slow or fast travel.
I usually always travel slow. Very slow.
I’ve spent the last two years mostly in Bangkok, I’ve also spent a decent amount of time on both Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Chang. Whenever I go outside Bangkok I usually spend 3-4 weeks in each location I go. Sometimes more if it’s fun, sometimes less if it sucks.
Benefits of travelling slow
First of. What is slow? I think if you stay in each location more than 1 month you are traveling slow. That’s what it takes for me to get a good feel for a place. Yesterday I passed my first month on Koh Chang. I’m loving this island more and more for each day that passes.
Budget and saving money
Traveling slow will obviously save you a lot of money in the long run. Travelling in itself cost a lot of money. If you are travelling around in Southeast Asia all the worst people who just want as much money as possible out of you linger around bus stations and other travel hubs ready to rip you off.
The bungalow I’m renting now cost 650 baht if I would rent it day by day on Agoda. However, I called up the reception before I came here asking for a monthly rate. That rate was 6000 baht!
Just by agreeing beforehand with the landowner that I’m staying long time made my accommodation over 3 times cheaper. That’s a lot of money saved when you are constantly on the road like I am.
I also got the motorbike I’m renting for half price!
Another benefit of traveling slow is that you’ll find out where all the good, clean and cheap food is.
The first week I was here I was eating my lunch at a restaurant where it costed 150 baht for a garlic dish that I really like, then a local girl that I met some days later asked me why the hell I was eating there as the restaurant 200 m further down the road had the same dish for 50 baht!
Boooom..!! 3 times cheaper food also!
The locals will show much more interest
Usually the first thing the locals will ask you when you arrive at hotels, restaurants, bars etc is how long you stay.
If you answer “3 days” you’re just another ATM.
If you answer “minimum 4 weeks” you are a potential friend or date if you are talking with a girl.
Everyday you meet the same people the places you go and the places you eat. You start talking with the locals and before you know it you have a new friend. New relationships will evolve and at some point you will start to hang out with locals that will show you around.
Moving around is exhausting
I hate to move around from city to city. It’s boring, tiresome, your ass hurts from sitting too much and people try to rip you of at every opportunity at the travel hubs.
Airplanes are delayed, buses are delayed, taxis get stuck in traffic and tuktuks just suck!
Usually if I have been moving around all day I have no energy when the night comes to do anything. So that makes me want to move around as little as possible.
A big reason why I traveled to Asia is because I have yellow fewer. I love Asian girls.
If you’re moving around every third day it’s obvious that dating will not work. You can of course stay clear of normal girls and only go with P4P girls, but that gets very shallow and boring in the long run.
Real relationships with girls that want to fuck you is much more fun imo.
You can only get that if you travel slow and stay at one location over a longer period of time. The sex is also better with regular girls as you learn from each other what you like in bed.
You can also take her for a HIV test so you can drop that awful condom!
Benefits of travelling fast
If I had traveled like most tourist I meet. I would have been in every damn city of Southeast-Asia by now. However this would be very expensive and unsatisfying for me.
I would only see the stuff that I have already seen in the travel magazines and the big mainstream travel sites like TripAdvisor. There would be zero surprises!
I would only have time to say hello to people before I had to say goodbye again.
I mean… Getting to know the locals is the best thing you can do to get real and everlasting memories.
So, when should you travel fast?
I think if you’re on a big budget or you only have 2 or 3 weeks abroad anyways. You can just as well check out more places as you wont get a feel for one place in 3 weeks anyways.
Except for that I can’t really find any great benefits on traveling fast. It’s expensive and shallow. Sure, it’s cool to see the Eiffel Tower in Paris on a weekend trip, but that will probably not be an everlasting memory that stays with you until you die.
The best memories I have is when I was with real people that I met on the road doing unique and spontaneous things.
So my advice to anyone who wants unique experiences while traveling abroad is; travel slow, dig in and enjoy every second of it! No need to hurry!