25 Feb The Unofficial, Totally Biased Top 8 Reasons Why True Backpackers Go to Haiti:
Why would any backpacker in their right mind go to Haiti when a world of sand boarding and elephant rides await you elsewhere? Hey, we get it. Lonely Planet: Haiti isn’t exactly a best seller. There are a million reasons not to go to Haiti, but we don’t find them half as compelling as the reasons why you should:
Drum roll please…here comes the “Unofficial, Totally Biased Top 8 Reasons Why True Backpackers Go to Haiti”:
8. Story worthy transportation.
Why take a predictable ride on an air-conditioned coach when you can squeeze into a converted school bus or celebrity painted “tap tap” and share a ride worth talking about? Wedged in between two strangers joyously yelling about a football match and a woman carrying 3 live chickens, it hits you that just getting from Point A to Point B isn’t really the point at all.
7. Untouristy Everything.
Haiti is a ways off from becoming a booming Caribbean tourist destination again. So for today’s road-less-traveled backpacker types, you’ll be the first. No well marked paths and well staged photo ops. You’ll explore new places and forge new ground that will make traveling through other countries feel like a walk in the park.
6. Connect with NGOs from all over the world.
This place is swarming with some of the most intriguing international travelers you’ll ever meet. Doctors. Inventors. And yes, a bunch of half-dressed hippies. Some come from disaster relief backgrounds in Thailand and Peru. Others left successful practices back home to make a new home, in Haiti. And because of the heat, these spicy expats aren’t exactly wearing parkas, if you know what we mean.
5. Inspiring Locals.
From its roots as the first successful slave rebellion in 1804, Haiti has struggled with politics, famine, disease, and natural disasters. But Haitian people are resilient. The hardships many overcome each day are more than many of us will experience in a lifetime. And despite this, they’re the first to tell a joke, to bust a move or bust out in song. Talk about perspective.
4. Rogue Wildlife
. Beautiful cows and sheep roam the hillside, roosters still serve as alarm clocks and in the cities, you’ll enjoy an urban safari of stray cats and dogs, along with pigs and goats. These aren’t your pampered pet or farm variety, no no, these are hardcore street animals and you’ll get a front row seat.
3. Everyday Ear Candy.
Haiti is loud. Be it the bumping compas music pouring out of public transportation, the football match blaring from a shopkeeper’s radio, or the gospel choir next door that wakes you up each morning. These things could be annoying, but with the right perspective, it’s the perfect soundtrack to an amazing adventure.
2. Intense Discussions.
Why is Haiti constantly in trouble? What role should the U.S. and Canada play, if any, in Haitian politics? Are NGOs causing more harm than good? What happened to all the money we gave after the earthquake? Questions like these come up all the time. And hearing a variety of opinions from both expats and locals is thought-provoking and not something that comes up on your average trip abroad.
1. Life Changing Goodness.
Some only stay for a week, others stay for years, but whoever has been to Haiti knows that the experience stays with you. Seeing a culture that’s so close, yet so different. Seeing a country that’s so broken, yet so beautiful. Gaining more questions than answers. Learning more than you’ll ever teach. Coming to Haiti isn’t a vacation. It’s… it’s…. well, you’ll have to come and experience it yourself to find out!