or… not
Natalie San Luis

Right? I grew up an expat in SE Asia and related directly to the human beings living in these “fun” slums, villages, and so on. Many of them were like family, and bartering/haggling was not some delicious hobby, it was an agreement between people who knew they had to endure significant tradeoffs that would translate immediately to household welfare. Sometimes as an expat I would actually allow a taxi driver or vendor to set a higher price because I could see in their eyes and posture that they desperately needed it. That’s the next-level savvy the author and many other third-world backpackers think they have, but haven’t risked years of continuous experience to actually gain. While I respect the search for new experiences and the attainment of “street wisdom,” a thing most Western middle-class dudes haven’t ever needed, this article just shrieks poverty tourism and casual exploitation. In the end, I’m not criticizing his virtually universal human instinct for exploration — I’m cautioning others against swallowing the advice whole.

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