Authentic Travel Expectations Crushed

Two days in bed. My stomach, the same one I thought could digest rocks, cried for help after having the most delicious curry in Myanmar. We had to cancel our boat trip. They were kind and let us cruise through Inle Lake when our cry for help hugging toilets stopped.

We started out trip just before the sunrise. I loved everything about it. The morning freshness, crispy sky coloured by the most gorgeous morning sun.

I remember scrolling through travel posts on Instagram and seeing Burmese fishermen performing stunts while catching their dinner. I wanted to see it, take a picture and tick a box.

Do you see a picture of a fisherman that screams the most authentic travel experience?

The truth is this gentleman is not fishing at all. He is posing. It is just an illusion. He looked so miserable in the middle of Inle Lake waiting for silly tourists to reach him and make the very authentic travel snaps. It made me feel so bad. Every single time I look at that picture I remember his face. Faces in Myanmar are not like that. They are filled with light and happiness. Something we lack in the West.

It happens very often that we book certain trips expecting to see locals wearing their authentic clothes and cooking over an open fire. Very often we get disappointed once we see mobile phones or bottles of Coca-Cola. You can hear so many saying that the place has lost its authenticity.

I wish I could learn to take everything as it is. I wish I could just embrace change and not expect others to fulfill ridiculous expectations I might have. That’s the magic of travelling. The very unknown.

Watch a video of our Inle Lake trip. Sorry, most of it is in Lithuanian. Making an effort to stay closer to my family. Something they do in South East Asia admiringly well.

Radical Authenticity

7 Comments Add yours

  1. sim8ba says:

    ^_^ great video, though I could not understand a word, I kept smiling throughout the video clip. Hope ur tummy is ready for another dose of that curry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So happy to hear it made you smile 😊 I could eat some of that curry now. My food poisoning memory has always been very short-term 😃

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It is true. That travel, is not always what it seems to be from the Instagram and Pinterest photos that we judge it on. It is so much better, so much more authentic. It is not always pretty, and that it was we try to find. The unexpected, deeper, truer side of a culture. Here in Ecuador, we always awed by the contract between city and rural life. As if centuries have passed between a few miles. Sometimes the tourist destination are fabulous, but mostly offering a feeling of trickery. The costumes and traditions are obviously replicated, once you’ve seen the real deal. The flawed, unexpected, even dirty realities are worth seeking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So beautifully said. I just wish everyone who is blessed enough to have a luxury of travel spent more time getting to know places. Wandering around and embracing everything they can.. the scents, flavours, colours, noise. All of it. I find is sad that so many travellers are DOING places and ticking boxes instead of just being there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I know what you mean. I get the feeling that many are playing a traveling numbers game, rather than learning about the world. It’s a bit startling for me as well, but to each his own I suppose. It is not important to me how many places I see, but how many places I understand.

        Liked by 1 person

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