A Word A Week Challenge: Tropical

When most visitors think of tropical, this is the picture in their minds.

yachts at Sandy Lane ResortBut beautiful and lush isn’t all that tropical locations offer. Many visitors never see the nitty gritty side of tropical islands. Sometimes that means missing the chance to discover stunning beauty or find out the daily realities of the residents who live in the desired locale.

Tropical can also be barren. Rainy. Rugged. Dilapidated. Rural.

From my first big solo trip, which was to Hawaii in my 20s, I had a travel philosophy–experience some of what regular residents of a place would. I asks my friends who were hosting me to take me to where “real Polynesians” live—something not touristy. After warning me it wouldn’t be particularly attractive, and me assuring them I didn’t care, we went.

It’s not always possible to do everywhere, travelers do have to consider their safety, too.  I throughly love resort living like anyone. But when you can, take time to experience the culture of a place and not just through the offerings for tourists. After all, you didn’t travel so far just to gain half an experience!

Inspiration provided by A Word in Your Ear Word A Week Photography Challenge.

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