I’m from the US and have lived for a couple years in one of these “fun” countries in Southeast Asia…
Greg Scoggin
244

That’s a really good point, and I struggle in re-conciliating myself with this reality every time I go abroad.

The only fact of being able to afford a plane ticket already makes you privileged in those countries. So how can you make sure you do not disrespect people who suffer while you experience one of life’s most amazing lifestyle even if it’s for a couple weeks / months?

Some solutions are really simple and easy. Plus they make your experience even more authentic:

Lower your standards. Instead of getting that 20$ room in the most crowded party hostels, get that 5$ one ran by a family of locals for locals.

Volunteer your time if you’re at some place for a long time.

Learn the locals’ language. Hang out with them, and learn from them.

Cook your own things instead of going to the restaurant for every meal.

Those are only some ideas that may or may not work for you. At the most fundamental level we are still way more privileged than anyone around us in those “fun” countries, but I think there’s at least some things that can be done to minimize you’re “privilege” footprint.