Saturday, May 16, 2009

Not Enough Time for [Fill in the Blank]

Most of our stays will be about three days in a given country -- not exactly what the RTW Traveler Conventional Wisdom dictates.

If you read the books and blogs about long-term long-distance travel, as I have, you recognize some themes. Travelers take at least a year. They leave their plans loose. They carry backpacks, never wheelie bags. They always spend time in Thailand. And they never, ever associate with Tourists, unless their parents are picking up the tab.

We recognize that we won't be immersed in every culture. But we're comfortable with that, largely because of our 2007 visit to South Korea.

It lasted 15 hours.

We stopped in Seoul in order to make our free frequent flyer trip to Australia and New Zealand work. (Thank you, Marianne P., for the routing idea!)

In our 15 hours, we traveled on public transit. We strolled through palaces and temples. (The photo is of a sort-of changing of the guard at one important site.) We ate multiple yummy Korean meals. We talked with local people. (They wanted to practice English.) We shopped and bought cute souvenirs. We got a basic grasp of local geography, and we took lots of photos, despite the gray weather. It was a blast. Exhausting, but unforgettable.

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