My Travel Style


Solo. I’m a natural loner. I do tag along with family on the occasional group trip, in no small part because my parents pay for nearly everything when I travel with them (and I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth).

Selective. I’m not the sort of traveller who will carpet-bomb an entire continent with “Diego Was Here” markers, hopping from place to place like a nomad. With my time and resources both painfully limited, I invest them in journeys to those few places that best suit my interests. This ties in with the next point, which is…

Repetitive, where merited. If I fall in love with a country, or a city, or even a certain garden or street or building, I’d happily go back more than once. Japan was the first country to tug at my heartstrings strongly enough to warrant an annual return visit (as early as my first time there back in 2009), and Korea has now earned that same distinction (after I enjoyed a great fourth visit in 2015).

Moderate, cost-wise. My standards for travel necessities – such as transport and accommodations – are a few notches higher than bare-bones, but far below top-end luxury. I like saving money as much as the next chap, but sharing bedrooms or bathrooms with strangers is something I’d rather avoid, which means that dormitory-style spaces don’t figure very often in my bookings. For example, whenever I’m in Japan, I tend to avoid hostels on the one hand and high-end ryokan on the other, preferring the splendid mid-range compromise of the business hotel.

Non-adventurous. As you can tell from the places I’ve been, I like areas with reliable transportation, reasonable crime rates (not that any level of crime is reasonable), Catholic churches in major cities (can’t skip Mass on Sundays!), and places that take credit cards. This isn’t a dig at adventure travel in general, but more of a reflection of my own personality: that of a timid, mildly antisocial, non-beachgoing lad who enjoys peace, order, and strict train timetables. (Is it any wonder I visit Japan so often?) Thailand is pretty much the closest place I’ve been to an adventure destination, but that was a parent-sponsored family trip rather than a personal choice – and we never even left Bangkok.

(Mostly) selfie-free. That’s right, I (almost) never take pictures of myself when I travel, only of the things and places I see. After all, why on earth would anyone spoil a snapshot of beautiful scenery or incredible architecture by blocking whatever’s in the background with their face? (^_^) I say that half in jest, of course: many of my family and friends take selfies, and I don’t necessarily think less of anyone who does so. On a purely personal level though, this occasionally fatal practice makes very little sense and it’s something I’d rather avoid doing, except for the rare snapshot sent to the folks back home to prove that I am (regrettably) still alive.


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