phi phi tour boat with life jackets

Don’t Tell Me What To Do

Traveling provides ample opportunities for personalities to truly shine.

I am the middle child of five, growing up on a small farm in North Dakota, where it was survival of the fittest.

My mother is a strong, confident, get-things-done type of woman. My father is laid back, adventurous, and has the ability to conveniently look the other way when it comes to rules. I mention this due to the fact that genetics and upbringing both weigh significantly on the individuals we become.

phi-phi-tour boat ride
Limestone cliffs of Koh Phi Phi

Growing up I came to the conclusion that asking for forgiveness is almost always easier than asking for permission. I find this to be true even now. Act like you know where you are going, or what you are doing, and rarely will you be stopped or questioned.

The aspect of traveling without set plans, where anything can happen, is very appealing to me. The challenge of figuring things out for myself, even if it is learned the hard way, is my preferred method. The journey this becomes is always unforgettable and usually worth it.

phi-phi-tour-boat
Limestone cliffs of Koh Phi Phi

There is something in me that needs to look over the edge, wedge myself through the chained-off fence, or walk past the “no trespassing” sign. I have never liked following the rules, behaving as expected, or being told what to do. This could be one of the reasons why I disdain tours.

Tour guides, although helpful and sometimes very nice, are in essence adult babysitters. They make sure everyone has a life jacket, buddy, sticker, are sitting still in neat little rows, keeping their hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times, and behaving themselves. Everything is planned out and written down with no room for surprises.

langkawi-tour-boat
Island hopping boat tour in Langkawi

I understand the need for this kind of business. I truly do. I would rather choose to be lost for days, chased by a mammoth komodo dragon, endure torrential down pours, and sleep in a tree, than to be part of a tour group.

Tour offices put you in a massive tour group, on an enormous tour bus or tour boat, and haul you to a tiny tour area, where countless other giant tour groups go.  Besides the mad chaos and mass of hot sweaty bodies, the cost is high. I am frugal and it hurts to pay so much money for such little benefit.

phi-phi-leh-busy-beach
Koh Phi Phi Leh Beach day tour

I do believe that there is a time and a place for tour groups. For example, when all other options are exhausted.

I desire the freedom of flexibility and the potential for spontaneity. I do not know why I am this way. Maybe this year I will figure it out, without too many tours under my belt.

2 thoughts on “Don’t Tell Me What To Do”

  1. I saw the title of this entry and thought, “Oh, that has to be Laura writing”. 🙂 You come by it honestly, dear. 🙂 I tend to live in fear of getting in trouble for breaking the rules and even try to find out the rules ahead of time to make sure I follow them. However, being a rebel has its good points too. Just don’t end up in jail in while you’re abroad, please! Your mama wouldn’t be happy. 🙂

  2. This post made me laugh out loud 🙂 love this:
    “Growing up I came to the conclusion that asking for forgiveness is almost always easier than asking for permission”

    Total Lauraism 🙂

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