by Joan Ko
"I'd love to, but..." is a more common phrase that oftentimes hinders our desires to capture moments worth remembering our golden days by. If our parents could only see how much we spend for travelling, we'd definitely never hear the end of it.
While financial priorites like life insurance or saving up for the "rainy days" are all important, our generation is starting to shift towards a different perspective where experiences are valued more than material possessions. Sounds familiar, right? Take for example one of today's "it" girls Lauren Reid, who regularly feeds her wanderlust by vacationing with friends and family. Not only has she found a sense of freedom in her travels but a way to turn her love for the provincial life a new business opportunity as well. Just recently, Lauren opened her spa boutique in the beautiful shores of Siargao. But before she got busy with her new baby, Laured shared with us a few insights during her recent trip to India.
Check out our quick chat below!
Chalk: Hi, Lauren! We know you had a great time in India. Can you tell us what was the most interesting part or suprising thing you did or saw in your trip?
Lauren: It was interesting how completely different it was to what people told me. The image people have of India is soooooo wrong, but I suppose Filipinos want to experience something different from their home country. They don’t want to see more poverty, they want to see beauty and luxury. I get where they’re coming from, but it’s so much more than that.
C: Were you able to try activities that are off the beaten path or not part of your original itinerary?
L: I attended an Indian wedding! It was totally not like anything or any wedding I’ve ever experienced. My itinerary wasn’t like most travellers; I went to a wedding, I hosted a meet & greet for a Korean artist, and I filmed a tourism video with Koreans for an Indian film company.
C: How do you feel when you get side-tracked from your orignal travel plans?
When things get sidetracked from the original plan, I’m calm. I wasn’t always like this but since moving to the Philippines I’ve learnt patience and understanding! It’s the traffic! It’s changed me.
C: Would you want to go back to India? If so, what would you change up on your next visit?
L: I wasn’t really a daredevil during my trip but I enjoyed it so much I’m already planning on returning next year! I’ll be going to the north-eastern areas of India as well as Nepal and Tibet!
C: You're a known foodie, so did you try anything new in India?
L: I followed a vegetarian diet when I was in India, and I loved it. Who knew there were so many ways to enjoy vegetables?
C: Did you get to try any strange delicacy?
L: The "strangest" food would have been the ghost chilli pepper. It was insanely spicy, I thought my head was going to explode. No amount of bread, milk, or bananas could help!
C: What was it like spending time with the locals?
L: Speaking to locals in general was just so amazing. They were so excited to talk to us, and that we were talking to them. Most foreigners are scared of dangers of rape and theft that they steer clear but that’s not the way to travel in their country. Be careful but don’t shun the locals because of what people have told you. I didn’t experience anything negative when I was there and it might be because I respected the dress code fully, didn’t make light that I was foreigner, or show that I had much money to spend.
C: Did you get anything as souvenir?
L: I'm one of those people who always buy fridge magnets. I love buying locally made items, too. I went broke on buying sarees!
C: Would you recommend unplugging from the digital world when travelling?
L: Absolutely, because you’ll miss out on everything that’s happening around you! Take photos with your friends and have fun, but leave social media behind! When I’m travelling I’ll still post, but I won’t browse or respond.
C: What's the advice you'd give for travelling on a budget without compromising the fun?
L: You don’t need a lot of money to have a lot of fun! There are so many cheap or free things to do when travelling, you just need to research, talk to locals, and be open minded to the culture and experiences.
There are no hard or fast rules when it comes to travelling while you still can. The next time you have a hard time deciding whether you should book that trip or not, just keep in mind that as you trot the globe in pursuit of new things to explore, you open up new opportunities and conversely let yourself take in something that will eventually enrich you in ways that no material things ever can. So book that flight now and collect as much memories while you can!
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