Heavy travelers

Muna Al-Fuzai

As a frequent traveler, I have new findings that show many major differences between Arab, Asian and Western tourists. In the past, I thought Arab travelers, especially families with children and domestic helpers, were the only heavy travelers with a large number of bags, but now I have another opinion that this theory is incorrect because I often see single people or a small family or a couple with a large number of bags, especially Arabs and Asians. Is it a cultural issue or a psychological feeling for showing off? I believe heavy travelers lose the spirit and joy of travel. Here is why.

This article comes at a time when the subject of tourism and traveling are the perfect topics, as it is the summer holidays for students and everything is quiet. Many people see travel as a way to reward themselves, yet this should not be limited to booking tickets and cheap hotels, but planning and selecting so as not to end the vacation with unexpected problems.

The Western tourist is usually accurate in determining the appropriate time for travel and not just because the summer is hot and everyone goes on leave. He usually plans and arranges his trips in order to be balanced in all aspects, away from chaos and financial loss, while making sure to enjoy himself and fulfill his needs .Therefore, they spend time reading about where to go, the places to visit, currencies and prices of hotels and cheap tourism providers.

In contrast, many Arabs prefer to visit the same place every year, either because they know the place or because their friends are there, except for some who own an apartment or a house in that country. They tend to be obliged to go to the same place every year. If the purpose of traveling is to change the place, it is possible to do this without leaving the country and wasting too much money.

Tourists usually make a comparison between their country and other countries. I believe the most important value that the Arab tourist should accept and learn when traveling is freedom, which teaches you to respect differences in culture and accept yourself and others, because no one is responsible for anyone, and no one is your guardian and everyone is equal before the law. This is the freedom that we miss in most Arab countries and in a culture of violence, we need these ethics as lessons of travel.

Another key point is that unfortunately, many of the world’s leading tourist destinations are risky, either because of the high rate of crime, theft and many other manmade reasons. When travelers ignore travel tips such as travel insurance or keeping copies of passports and not carrying a lot of cash and jewelry, then they become a target for thieves.

There are many countries where the local water is contaminated and not directly drinkable without filtration, such as some Asian and African countries. So before you go to these areas, make sure that the water is safe for use. Some people pack a lot of things, thinking they will need them while traveling, and thus fill the bag with a lot of items. The bag hinders their movement and they also pay money for excess weight. Worse, some people take foodstuff or hairdryers in their bags!
A heavy traveler is likely to waste a lot of money and time and may be robbed because of carrying many things they do not need. Travel is a cultural activity and an opportunity to learn about yourself and others.

By Muna Al-Fuzai
muna@kuwaittimes.net


This article was published on 19/07/2018