Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.

Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Is it worth it?

While we were on Easter Island, we had a discussion about whether it is right to travel so far and spend so much to see a little island with a few lumps of rock on it, when you can see those rocks in pictures and TV documentaries.

But if you take that approach all of the time, you would never both to leave your house.  Why see a live sporting or music event when you can watch it on TV or listen to a CD? Why go on holiday anywhere?

Easter Island is thousands of miles off the coast of South America and it takes five and a half hours to fly from Santiago.  It is not the cheapest place to visit either for the airfare, the accommodation or for the food and drink when you're there.  For any decision you have to balance the cost and effort against the reward, and clearly at these prices the reward for this particular trip has to be considerable.

If you look at the decision purely rationally, using cost per day type considerations, and thinking about what else you could be spending the money on, then the chances are you would never do it.  And I can quite understand that.  If this is your only holiday of the year and the choice is between spending five days on Easter Island or having two weeks somewhere more accessible, then I would probably take the two weeks.

Of course our situation is somewhat different.  We aren't limited to one holiday a year.  With our plans to travel indefinitely, we expect to be able to see most of the world over the coming years, so we don't have to prioritise our trips in quite the same way as other people do.  And we were already in South America, so the airfare was far less from Santiago than it would have been from the UK.  Even so, this is certainly one of the more expensive parts of our travels this year and had we not come here then we could have saved quite a bit of money to use on better hotels rather than hostels, or on going somewhere else.

But Nic in particular has always been fascinated by Easter Island and its Maoi.  And whilst you can watch documentaries and look at pictures, it is never the same as experiencing something first hand.  We discovered that in South Africa when we went on safari.  I hadn't really been sure if seeing an animal close up, but doing nothing in particular would really be so much better than watching some of the fabulous documentaries that show every aspect of their life in the wild.  I was of course quite wrong.  I loved seeing all of the animals, especially the big cats, and I was completely thrilled when that huge male lion looked straight at me as it passed within a metre of me.  Obviously old rocks aren't quite the same as wild lions, but the principle still applies.

Clearly we had decided to take the trip, but once there, did we think it was the right decision?  Our conclusion was yes.  We are traveling because we want to see amazing things first hand, and have amazing experiences.  For us, including some of these hard to reach places that most people never get the chance to see is exactly the point of what we're doing.  And you will see from the blog that we loved the place.

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