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Travel is inherently selfish…

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

…no matter what type of spin you put on it.

I stumbled upon the the travel blog, Travelvice, and the author humourously points out in a post that a lot of young, white travelers seek not only to travel, but to do so in a strange or alternative way so as to impress their friends. The practice has even been lampooned in Stuff White People Like #120, Taking a Year Off, he points out. I can’t help but feel a perfect example for both of these claims. It’s true, not too many people, young especially, travel by boat;  the high price of owning and maintaining a boat usually limits the activity to someone older or retired. Unless, of course, you’re like me and you’re freeloading on someone else’s boat.

I get a kick out of telling people what I’ve done and what I’m going to do, and while vanity may be my reason for telling other people, it’s certainly not the reason I’m actually doing it. I’ve been sailing for 8 years now and since I spent the night on the Balclutha in San Francisco in the 4th grade, I’ve always wanted to go on a sailing voyage. The nature and history surrounding seafaring have always been lures for me. Most of the best cities are situated on the water. Another attraction is the price. Different skippers have different requirements, but usually, sailing as a crew member means that lodging and transportation are free, leaving food as the only expense. Some people think that you get paid to crew, and in most cases that’s not true. It’s simple supply-and-demand; there are plenty of qualified sailors who are willing to lend a hand in exchange for a free trip.

Craig Heimburger, the author, is interviewed by RooshV (Part I, Part II). One question is how he keeps his budget so low. Most surprisingly, he reccommends drinking tap water. It’s true I spend a lot of money on bottled water and drinking the tap would save me quite a bit of money, but everything I’ve ever been taught was don’t drink the tap water; and I’ve had turista a few times—it’s not pleasant. If it’s just a matter of acculmation, maybe it’s worthwhile to sack-up and drink the tap. Whatever doesn’t kill me will make me stronger, right?