The beauty of exotic travel is that it’s relative to a fault and that means there’s a whole lot of exoticness to experience in the world no matter who you are.
“Strikingly, excitingly and mysteriously different or unusual…” -EXOTIC / ig zah dik
If you’re home, look outside a window and you won’t see any surprises, just the ordinary and familiar things you see everyday. Breakfast, work, lunch, activities, dinner, some TV or web browsing then sleep… Repeat.
Exotic travel is the opposite. Looking outside a window or just about anything else is surprising. The ordinary things we all know are somehow unfamiliar. Food, people, life, ambiance and even the air is different…
New. Interesting. Beautiful. Enigmatic… Exotic.
All those things entices the senses and stimulates the mind. Combine them and it can even enlighten the soul.
That is the exotic travel experience and while it’s precious and valuable, it’s not rare. In fact, it’s abundant with all the world’s exotic travel destinations.
Traveling to a different country than your own is the core of exotic travel. But that’s just the beginning. You can’t simply be present, you need to immerse yourself in the new world around you. The exotic travel experience can only be realized through experimentation.
The word “exotic” is relative to a person and their way of life as well as place of being with cultural upbringing.
A New Yorker visiting Los Angeles for the first time will experience minimal exotic levels. An Angeleno staying in the same continent but a different country such as Canada will experience some bits of the exotic. A Canadian traveling halfway around the world to Cambodia will experience exotic travel to the point of culture shock – the highest form of exotic travel.
“Culture shock is an adrenaline rush that should be treated like an action sport.” -John Cain
Regardless of how far you go or how culturally dissimilar the place is, the affect of the exotic will only be as effective as how bright-eyed and bushy-tailed you are.
You have to seek it and let it in, no, take it in. And just like the intentional affliction of the wanderlust, exotic travel is not for everyone, it’s for the explorer.
When I get to a new city, I hit up the most touristic tourist tour spots and traps within vicinity first.
Unlike most jaded travelers, I have no shame in this. Those super-popular sights got that way for a reason, just like any cliche. It may not be a good reason, but it’s there and I’m here so I’m gonna’ go.
Once that’s out of my system, I take it slow and random like a directionless explorer. Then I can focus on the obscure and culturally potent parts of wherever I am.
Just because something is touristy doesn’t mean it’s not exotic, remember it’s all relative. Take The Great Pyramids of Giza for example, arguably the most famous tourist attraction in the world and yet to a Westerner it’s exotic as hell. Take a native Egyptian and show them Times Square and that’ll be exotic as hell.
Again, that’s the beauty of exotic travel.
It goes beyond specific places and far out destinations. A location is more like a Petri dish for the exotic.
The country’s structures, landscapes and wildlife in themselves can be profoundly beautiful but the idea of the exotic extends even more intricately with their foods, their customs, their beliefs, their styles, their tastes and most importantly the individual peoples.
“Beauty is everywhere, that’s why I travel everywhere.” -John Cain
The Exotic Travel Experience.