From my 10+ years of traveling to every country in the World, I have learned how you can travel cheap and have much more memorable experiences than an expensive tour would give you. I have made friends along the way, who I highly trust. These people can show you places you otherwise would not have seen. They will make you understand the place you are going to. They will take care of you. They will be your friends.
Let me ask you: would you rather explore the Tsiribinha river in Madagascar by traveling with locals in canoes, seeing wildlife on the way, make a bonfire for cooking in the evening and then sleep on the riverbank under the stars at night, or would you rather stay at Hilton and make a touristy and overpriced speedboat trip? Chose the first. Go real.
Traveling does not have to cost a fortune. And the more you pay, the more you usually get shielded from seeing how people actually live. Go cheap.
Riding local buses and eating in local restaurants will give you a chance to rub shoulders with people. Staying in simple beach huts, with cold showers give you an understanding of how they live. Go local.
My itineraries have been optimized to get the best out of each destination, but if you want me to tailormake you a trip or have other requests, feel free to send me a message.