Modern travel in the 21st Century is an interesting paradox. It is easier than ever to travel, and cheaper too.
You can reach almost any country in the world within 24 hours or less. These are journeys that would have previously taken weeks, or sometimes even months, of travel.
However, at the same time, travel I imagine is now less rewarding than it once was. With the advent of globalization, more and more of the world is beginning to feel the same, and the cultural differences, while still there, are not quite as large as they once were.
Couple that with the fact that the world has now been fully discovered, and that you cannot have a true adventure any longer, as tourists crawl to every nook and cranny you can think of. The only solution is to seek the truly dangerous places in the world, those countries still plagued by civil war, or those that have lost any effective government and are run by local warlords.
There is a theme that I have noticed across many things in life, and it is that the very characteristics and features that make something good, are often the very same that take that goodness away.
While cheap air travel makes visiting the pyramids in Egypt or Angkor Watt in Cambodia so much more accessible for you, it also makes it more accessible to the thousands of people that you’ll be sharing that experience with on that day, as you queue up to take the photos from the famous vantage points.
Only a handful of times have I felt a sense that I am having a unique experience, and once was going to Angkor Watt during a tropical rainstorm, which kept all the other people away, and so I essentially had the place to myself.
The second was staying in another temple complex in Cambodia after closing hours, and wandering around and exploring.
Several other times I’ve experienced isolation by cycling up remote mountains in Sicily, climbing through the jungle near the coast in Cambodia.
The rest of the time, you just feel like you are stuck in a bad video game, where there is only one path you can wander down, and you know already what is going to happen.
And so, travel is still a positive experience in life, opening up new possibilities and giving you insights into other cultures, but perhaps it is best if you seek the less trodden path, and find something unique.