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Pack Light Walk Slow Calvin: "It's a magical world out there Hobbes, ol' buddy.

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A Traveller's Quandary

USA | Tuesday, 12 May 2009 | Views [914]

Traveller vs. Tourist. Freedom vs. Itineraries. Blaze your own way vs. the Tour. It's too bad the two don't get along. 

So I'm going to Scotland, and I found this tour that I think I'd really enjoy. It goes to the places I want to go, it's green, one evening is spent gathering our own wild foods for dinner (really cool), visits one of Scotland's finest distilleries - Tullibardine Distillery - and the biggest advantage is that tours provide access to experts, greatly adding to the educational value of a trip. Unfortunately, I can't book it because they technically don't start running until June, but it brings up a question and a looming dilemma, especially for solo travellers who love to meet new people but find it difficult to do so on the road (like myself). And of course it's always nice to bypass the mandatory hostel hike (do you have a bed? no? ok... do you have a bed? no?...)

I love wandering my own path, cherishing the freedom of solo travel, meeting new people, no restrictions, a small budget and an open rail pass.  But then again, I also love to learn, and I know it's unlikely that I'll meet anyone who could teach me about wild herbs or paint William Wallace or Dunbaeg with such clarity as if it were yesterday. But then again, tours are generally more expensive than what I'd do on my own and they leave little time to do your own thing. 

Oh my head is spinning. I guess the big question here is, how much more valuable is an educational experience vs. the satisfaction of carrying out a personal plan (or non-plan, as I like to do it)?  With 5 days to go, a tour isn't an option for me right now, but I guess the value of which is something to ponder for future wanderings...

Tags: musings, solo travel, the planning phase

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