Friday, April 28, 2017

Transformed Attitude Toward Travel

Wow: $596 from NYC to Vietnam, roundtrip, including all fees and taxes, courtesy of the addictive and life-changing The Flight Deal web site (previously described here).

I've used the site to fly to/from Austin for $80, Savanna for $96, Barcelona for $325, and Bogota for about $250 (minus another $100, due to a special deal, long story). And I've very nearly pulled the trigger on a bunch more.

Between, Airbnb (or Hotel Tonight for nice lodgings at sharp discount) and Uber, my attitude toward travel has changed entirely. I treat it all like an informal drive to Boston or DC, i.e. minimal planning and fuss. Just go and sort of...hang out. Chowhound a bit, try the beer, sit in at some jazz clubs and try to make contacts. Otherwise, it's about feeling perfectly normal while I'm somewhere completely different (as a touring musician, I've had a bit of a head start on this mindset).

A friend recently proposed hitting Paris for culinary exploration. That (airfare aside) would cost serious dough. I'd need to plan carefully...and disappointing results would feel crushing and wasteful. The stress  doesn't appeal to me. It's just not how I travel anymore. I'm not looking for home run experiences. 

In an era when I can spend a week in Bogota for under $500, total, I'm content to find a park bench to read a book, and to scarf some randomly-found street arepas, while feeling blissfully happy about the momentary flavor of my life. It involves making a big thing into more of a small thing, but enjoying the hell out of that small thing.

I can work just as I do at home - have laptop will travel - but, when I step away from my tasks, I'm somewhere breathtaking. I don't gear up for it. I don't bone up on the history, or try to really "do" the city. I essentially "go to ground". No sights, no guide books. Rather: I just blend in, feeling normal and at-home, except I'm not in Kansas anymore.

I didn't invent this, by the way. This is a Thing...and it's called "digital nomadism".

$600 is too expensive for whimmy travel, so I won't be hitting Vietnam. But still....tempting!

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