Have you ever wondered what the difference is between travel and vacation? These two things seem pretty similar, but I think there is a big difference. I think when someone really travels, they experience a whole new culture that not only lives on a resort for a week. When I say that I experience a whole new culture, I really mean to experience the sites, the sounds, the taste of the people, all the things that make a culture what it is. I think this is the true essence of travel. How much of a culture can a person experience honestly if he simply goes somewhere for a week and hangs out at a hotel all the time. It always makes me feel when I hear people talking about the amazing vacation they took or their plans to take. Not that I would not take a vacation, it's just not the same as traveling. Now I'm not wrong, I would never break a free holiday, but I'd rather have no foot bill for me to travel. I think the vacation time is more time to relax and try to recharge your battery, where traveling can be physical drainage and tiring. Let's take a look at some of the things that make the journey so different from vacation.
For me, traveling can be an exciting experience, but it can also be exhausting both mentally and physically. I think first and foremost what makes traveling so unique and amazing is that you get a completely different culture. Do I think there is something more exciting than experiencing a new culture? I especially love the new people you can meet during the trip. In most foreign countries, locals will go out of their way to be hospitable to a completely stranger. Of course, not every culture is such and there are actually places where you can actually look down on. Another thing that I really love to visit a new culture is the food of course, I am a total food junkie, so you may not like foreign food just as much as me. While some people get horrified by the idea of eating something that they can not even recognize, I absolutely love the idea of being immersed in a culture through food. I mean thinking about America would really be America without apple pie? Absolutely not! So like America would not be America without apple pie India would not be India without Naan. So next time you travel, try some of the local food. So apart from unique people and unique food, there are a few other things that are good for traveling on vacation.
Some people use their travel time as a kind of soul searching time, and if that's what you want to do, it's definitely a great way to do it. People have been known to go around world tours for as long as two years to try to understand themselves better and often times these people return and know what they want to do with their lives or at least have a better idea. Also when you are living out of your backpack or suitcase with the bare essential, you tend to figure out what you think is really important in life. Nothing will make you aware of the beauty of a sunset like not having a tv. to suck you away from it.
Another thing you can do when traveling abroad in foreign countries that will throw you into a culture and make you feel like yourself is volunteer. Now there are many organizations that make you pay to volunteer abroad, and often it's a ridiculous fee. So my advice to you is that if you want to volunteer somewhere and you are already at your destination, just ask. There are many different organizations in foreign countries, especially developing countries, who would love to get you as voluntary and they will not even make you pay for it.
So now we have looked at a few things that make the actual journey so great and how to really throw yourself in a culture, let's look at how vacation is different than traveling.
To demonstrate how vacation and travel are different I will use an example of vacation in Mexico and traveling in Mexico. First of all, if anyone were to go on vacation in Mexico, they would probably go to some touristy cities like Cancun. Not that I'm bashing Cancun I'm just saying it's likely. So already this puts you in a bad position to learn about a culture because you are likely staying at a resort that was made to tailor your needs. If you are traveling but you probably would choose a less touristy location and you would probably stay at the hostel some kind of budget accommodation. Just staying at a hostel can get you in touch with real locals who are not only there to scam you. Also in a resort they will often have American food tailored to their American customers. This completely destroys the concept of experiencing a new culture through food. On the other hand, if you live on a non-touristy part of the country, you may experience some real local food maybe even go to a real Mexican restaurant. Also, if you are on a resort, just experience the resort's life and when you leave, you will not even get the slightest idea of what the locals live. In addition, you will not learn about a new culture, and I have to say learning about new cultures is one of the main reasons why I love traveling so much. So all in all travel and travel share some similarities, but they are two completely different ways of experiencing a culture. In fact, when you are on vacation, you really do not get to know what true culture is. So what would you rather go on holiday or travel.