My Great Leap

Published on March 28th, 2011


Travel’n McNuggets: an Antidote for Global Glut

TravelMcNuggetsRomanceNovels350x329Curiously, though I adore traveling to far away places, I’ve never been one to favor month after month of living on the lam. Nope, I learned early that long drawn-out RTW trips just weren’t for me. I’ve met far too many young RTW travelers who’ve been on the trail for 18, 12, even just 6 or 7 continuous months – who seem bored out of their skulls with their umpteenth destination. Utterly blasé about the dazzling sights and fascinating cultures that surround them. Waking at noon and lounging around hostel rooftops day after day chatting with fellow backpackers – too world-weary to appreciate the spectacular and unique attractions that await them just outside their hostel door. The symptoms are unmistakable. I call it Global Glut. And it’s perfectly understandable.

I mean, a person simply can’t keep taking in astounding experience after astonishing sight – world wonders to behold that most folks only read about in books – day after day after day. The human psyche simply can’t process it all with no let up. After awhile it all just blurs together. Apathy sets in and… you end up slumped on a lumpy hostel couch one day, languidly skimming a dog-eared discarded Harlequin novel – while the glory of the Nile or the majesty of the Himalayas lies (yawn) unseen outside your door.

Truly sad. Such a shame. For unless you happen to be some Microsoft millionaire, the chances are slim to none that you’ll ever be lucky enough to explore that unique corner of the globe again. The world is just too darn BIG and the wonders far too many, for any but the rare few to see it all – much less go back to hike that Himalayan trail that you missed whilst dozing with your nose in “Too Hard to Resist”.

Which is one of the reasons why I’m now planning on moving lock, stock ‘n barrel to Southeast Asia, to settle in for a goodly while.  Alas I don’t have enough time (does anyone?) to explore all of the globe I want to see via 3-4 week biannual jaunts (which is all I might afford given spendy airfares to ‘n fro.)  So living in Vietnam puts me nicely amid a wholly new corner of the globe from which to make short forays (a week to a month or so) into the delicious array of Vietnam’s nearby neighbors.

I’ve previously visited a smattering of China, Thailand, Bali, and once spent an idyllic day geocaching in Taipei, but now I’ll be able to further explore these, as well as Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, and all of Indonesia.  Shoot, once I’m tucked into that side of the globe, I might even end up shifting west to India and her enticing neighbors (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan), and/or teaching EFL in China (and roaming perhaps up to Harbin for the legendary Ice Festival – an event long on my bucket list), or even dipping down to Australia and New Zealand.

In any case, by settling into a series of “base camps” on the other side of the Planet, I’m hoping to avoid Global Glut and instead savor the wonders of the world in McNugget-size bites – completely digesting each global Happy Meal before rushing off to yet another new border.


About the Author

Off-the-beaten-path travel is my passion,and I’ve always lived life “like-a-kid-in-a-candy-store” – eager to sample as many flavors as I can. Indeed, my life motto has long been: This ain’t a dress rehearsal, folks!

7 Responses to Travel’n McNuggets: an Antidote for Global Glut

  1. Haha, this is so funny — because it’s true! Nonetheless, after being an expat for 2 years, I’m planning on doing a Global Glut — just because it’s usually cheaper to travel in a straight line around the world than taking multiple return trips. And I’m ridiculously enchanted by the world, even in everyday life, so if it’s possible for anyone to experience continual amazement, it will be me. 😀

  2. Ruth says:

    @Dyanne – I’m starting my CELTA in Saigon tomorrow! I think if you’re set on where you want to teach it makes sense to take the course in that country especially as you make local connections. That said, I’m not completely set on Vietnam (China also appeals) and honestly I think it’s pretty fluid – a CELTA is a CELTA. Maybe my perspective will change through the course though!

  3. Great post though I don’t travel as much I wondered about this. How can someone travel so much? Its like how people question someone who works all the time. Eventually it sets in and you are just going through the motions.

  4. Ruth says:

    ‘Global glut’ is an accurate term (I want to say I like it but of course I don’t like the glut itself) to describe the unfortunate fact that there’s only so much you can take in in one stint.

    I tried slowing down my pace since month 2 (of 4) but I’ve still hit the wall. So I too am planning to foray into teaching in Asia (I’m just about to start a TEFL course while on the road). Shorter trips are the way forward!

    • says:

      @Ruth – ah, so you too I see have opted to settle down a bit – in likewise VIETNAM! Trust that I look forward to “following” your every word – sounds like you’re off to a great start!

      btw, what TEFL course? I’ve pretty much settled on biting bullet and taking the gold standard (the CELTA) – not quite sure yet whether I’ll take the month-long course in Chiang Mai or Saigon… Would love to hear your views on such.

  5. Raymond says:

    I know what you mean about ‘Global glut’ — seen lots of folks suffering from that and just laying about in a backpacker haze. I’ve been lucky to have extended work trips in the Philippines, Guatemala, and El Salvador, and you really get to experience the country full-tilt when you’re working there and seeing the sights on the weekends.

    Luvin’ the Travel’n McNuggets too!

    • says:

      Indeed Raymond, such a shame. I know it’s mighty tempting to just speed-date ’round the globe. But better to insert a few months pause here and there, to savor and digest the wonders you’ve seen, and recharge your wanderlust batteries.

      Sounds like you’ve got the best of all worlds – able to explore distant lands in depth in your leisure time.

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