Pros and Cons of Going Remote
By: Mike Argyle
So you’ve been traveling for a while and are tired of seeing all the clichéd things everyone else has seen – you want to go off the beaten track and not follow some guide. While you really should have some experience before opting for this method of travel (unless you don’t care about huge problems), you can experience some incredible adventures – just be aware of some things before heading out.
Pro: It Will Be an Adventure
Going to see something not often visited by tourists will ensure whatever you do is fresh, thrilling and mind expanding. You can’t really have your expectations dashed because what is there to expect? Plus when you get back home, you will have stories to tell that very few people can match.
Con: Hard to Plan For
The issue with going to a remote location is it requires an enormous amount of planning on your part to ensure things go smoothly. Is it safe for tourists to go to the lesser known areas? How are you going to get around? Since there aren’t as many resources at your disposal to plan from, figuring out how to get to and what to do at a remote location can be much more daunting than taking the touristy route. Local guides are great ways to find these hidden gems, but finding a reliable one can be a task in itself. Be prepared!
Pro: Virtually Authentic
If you go truly remote, tourism is likely not an important part of the day to day life of your chosen location. You can see life as it really is without souvenir shops or hundreds of other foreigners altering the landscape and population. If you’re up for seeing something truly different, you can’t beat going remote.
Con: Remote for a Reason
Sometimes the places that aren’t popular just aren’t worth visiting. This isn’t always true, but some people go after the ‘true’ experience when traveling and their definition may be different than yours. See that beautiful waterfall across the bay? Sure would be nice if you could get a boat tour out to it, but remote areas don’t typically do that. Chances are though, if you’re looking to go remote, you know this already, but just don’t be shocked if you get to some place hours away from civilization and find out it wasn’t worth the hassle.
Pro: No Crowds!
Con: We Don’t Take Kindly to Your Kind Around Here
Crowds aren’t always bad. It’s the way you know something is worth visiting and there is safety in numbers. Some people aren’t fond of outsiders and will not accommodate you. They might not speak your language or care why you’re there – they just want you to leave because just as you chose said location because of a lack of crowds, they live there for the same reason. Xenophobia exists everywhere – don’t be so naïve to think nothing bad could happen if you wander off where not even locals frequent.
Pro: Local Prices
On average, local prices are cheaper than tourist prices, so going remote will ensure you don’t pay inflated tourist prices. Street vendors won’t be trying to screw you because there aren’t any.
Getting to a remote location is more expensive than getting to a touristy one because there isn’t regular demand for transportation. You may save on the activities and living expenses once there, but the initial expense and hassle of getting there may not be worth the experience. You can’t book most authentic remote experiences in advance, necessitating a large amount of cash to be brought – a risky move regardless of destination.
These are great observations, Mike. Whenever I’m traveling in another country, I feel like I want to go remote, but my thoughts often shift to the negative possibilities of doing so. I expect that, in the future, I’ll take the plunge based on who I know–if I meet someone in a large city who’s from a more remote location, for example, and they don’t mind introducing me to their hometown.
Nice post! 😀
I went remote for about 4-weeks when I was in Vanuatu. I was completely unplugged and lived on a ship near a tribal village (sometimes I stayed with the tribes or in guest houses). I loved every freakin’ second and wouldn’t change a thing about it.
It’s a completely different kind of experience, and definitely one worth checking out.