"My holiday experience now needs to be authentic places, places still undiscovered by anyone except the most discerning traveller...Somewhere with no MacDonalds..!"
The next place I want to go to is Bhutan.
I’m an experienced traveller, done a lot of it and been everywhere. I’ve enjoyed most place but am now tired of arriving to see crowds of my countrymen. Last time I arrived in Bali, for instance, there were more Australians than in my neighbourhood in Tasmania. It was difficult to discover the real Indonesia.
My holiday experience now needs to be authentic places, places still undiscovered by anyone except the most discerning traveller.
Places so exciting that everyone wants to hear about your experience. Somewhere with no MacDonalds. When I got back from Bali and told everyone, their eyes glazed over, as if to say, “been there, done that.”
So why Bhutan?
Firstly it is nestled in the Himalayas, so the experience includes the highest mountains in the world, without the excessive exertion if you try mountain climbing.
Secondly, there is the food. I bet no one can tell me on typical local Bhutan dish. The exotic cuisine comes from a distinct culture. In Bali, there was nothing I couldn’t get back in Hobart.
Thirdly the culture. Squashed between China, Nepal and Bangladesh, the magic of this country is not a hybrid of anything but its own self. The environment is key, as expected in a country still close to nature, and its tourism is low-impact. The country is organic and carbon neutral. These are all living conditions we aspire to in the west but cannot truly expect for years to come. Bhutan has done it.
Fourthly, and most importantly, Bhutan is a country built around happiness. It has a very high Bliss factor, and actually has a Gross National Happiness Index, putting happiness over materialism. Happiness comes with friendliness, respect, civility, enjoyment, all the things we want our travel to consist of, but frequently turns into stress, noise, pace and costs. Not in Bhutan.
Taking a vacation consists of two parts, of course, the travelling: getting to the destination, and the tour itself: the stuff you do when you get there,
In the past, these were not so distinct. So much of travelling was exploration, parts unknown, much of the world still a mystery, so the travelling was part of the excitement. Maybe all of the excitement. In the end, just turn around and come back a different way.
Not today. The travelling has undergone three revolutionary changes. Firstly it is rapid. You can be anywhere else in the world within a day. And all of the worlds are now more or less known.
Secondly, it is cheap. Travel in the past was expensive, leisurely, fully serviced. And thirdly, as a consequence of travel becoming quick and cheap comes discomfort. Except for cruises, even first-class travel can be tedious and confined. Our September story about the Grand Tour delves into this matter.
All of this is compensated for by the actual sojourn when you arrive. Never before has a tourist been able to experience so much once at the destination as we can today. But this also comes with a price. Anyone and everyone can get there and do it. Check out Bali for instance, or Paris.
So how do you plan your holiday to minimise the travel part, maximise the destination experience, and be one of the first few to discover someplace unique?
A holiday to Bhutan ticks all the boxes. Ask any of our expert travel consultants at Travel With a Cause about visiting Bhutan, (A package introduced by one of the former staff from Bhutan) or any of several similar undiscovered destinations in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, remote Asia, or even unknown parts of standard destinations like Japan or Turkey. Be different.