Back in Part 1 I discussed The Cost of Travelling, Is Travelling Dangerous? and It’s Not Always Paradise
Here are some more things I learned from travelling…
4) Travelling Alone isn’t scary
The idea of travelling can put people off because they don’t like the idea of doing it alone. But honestly, the hardest part of travelling alone is simply deciding to do it. Once you’ve made that decision it only takes a few minutes at your first hostel to realise that you won’t be alone for long. Hostels are social places where people talk, hang out and do stuff together. Likely some people in the hostel will be travelling alone too and there’ll be someone in the hostel who’s planning to do something you want to do. Suddenly you have someone (or a group) to hang out with, to hike with, to go to dinner with or even go partying with. All it takes is a ‘hi’ to the person next to you at the breakfast table and things go from there.
Travelling solo can also be the best way to travel. You can go exactly where you want without having to persuade anyone. You don’t have to sit through hours doing things you aren’t interested in and if you like a place you can stay for as long as you want, only moving on when you alone are ready. The down side is that you’ll have to get used to leaving your new friends behind, but there will be more friends to make at the next hostel.
5) There’s a Difference Between a Tourist And a Traveller
Tourists and travellers are different. While they both travel, they do it in different ways. Here are a few areas of difference…
Time. The tourist is usually on holiday from work for a week or three and has chosen to go to a place where they can make the most of their time off. If they are visiting multiple destinations, they will fly between them. The traveller on the other hand has chosen to take time off from their life to get to know something more than just a holiday destination, often exploring entire countries or even a continents. They’re usually travelling for a minimum of a few weeks but most probably longer, sometimes even years. And while some occasionally fly, most find cheaper and slower transportation.
Tours. A tourist wants to have a quick fun time at their holiday destination seeing what they went there to see be it the beaches, ski slopes, ruins or a particular hike. They often book tours, while more expensive, they’re efficient because their transport, food and destinations are planned beforehand by someone else. The expense is usually thrown on a credit card and paid off later. Travellers are usually less time conscious and more money aware. They’ll still take a tour, as sometimes it’s the only way to do things, but are just as likely to do it themselves even if it means taking 3 buses and an extra overnight stay at hostel on the way.
Culture. Beyond eating local food and buying trinkets, the tourist tends to not delve beneath the surface of their holiday destination. Because of time, they try to fit in as much as possible and this includes allocating time to just hang out at the pool of their overly comfortable hotel. Tourists tend to stand out from the locals. Travellers like to get to know the region by exploring it, even learning the language and talking to the locals. Then, when they hear about an interesting place from other travellers, they work it into their plans and learn about the culture along the way. They’ll try to blend in with the locals and look like they’re supposed to be there.
6) Travelling Slowly Is Better
I’ve met people who are travelling for three months and are on a mission to get to 12 countries and 30 destinations while doing 54 different activities along the way. This is a recipe for exhaustion and half way through suffer from burn-out.
Unless you’re in the last days of your trip and must make a flight, there’s really no hurry. When travelling for a long time it’s best to take your time, getting to know the country you’re visiting and the culture there. This gives the ability to change things on the fly, staying somewhere longer if they like it or just having a break from travelling for a while. Having time means you can stop in one place to take a language course for a couple of weeks, go on an extended hike through the mountains or take a cruise to Antarctica. Plus, the slower you travel, the less likely you are to suffer from Travel Burnout.
In Part 3 I discuss Travel Burnout, Travel Addiction and How Travel Changes You