Is this what travelling can offer? I could never in my wildest dream imagine how much I would change because of travelling. Here is a run down to the wisdom I learnt post-travels.
1. Being happy when everything is wrong. Yes, it's possible!
Many times in life I have found myself in horrible moods for microscopic problems. We've all been there, its annoying and certainly time wasted for nothing, and hey! Who likes stress? Not you.
After travelling I realised it's about 3 things: perception, perception and perception. If I want my dream job and fail every time the only thing getting me any closer is trying again, not stress not an unhappy mood. I realised this during my travels in Milano, Italy.
It was a hot day in June, I arrived mid day and had to leave for Cinque Terre by evening. I had no accommodation in Milano. I had visited the Dumo and the Galleria already. I went back to the Central Station, and thats when the bomb dropped on me. No train tickets until midnight! I did not book any tickets, obviously and now I was on a station with no place to go, no ticket, no english and a lot of running around with a 15kg backpack. Honestly the staff at the Milan Station is of no help what so ever, I talk to every person I could for about 2 hours with no success. I was running out of time, the heat had got me, I drank a lot of water and so I took a piss. I relaxed myself and walked out of the toilet and there it was. My saviour was right there relaxing next to his bike. A young italian boy flipping through his phone, thankfully with good english. He told me I was searching through the trains which are usually booked (also thanks to the Expo 2015) so I must get on to the local train. So I did, it took longer, was extremely hot, super slow and also broke down half way.But eventually I did reach Cinque Terre.
Image Source| The Daily Best
The stress was it worth? Maybe cause it kept me running like a horse for help. But the thing to notice is, I only found a solution when I was relaxed. We humans work better with stretched capillaries. That day onwards, no matter if I get lost, loose my phone in an unusually named restaurant in a foreign country or have to cancel my masters degree offer for various reasons, I remain calm and happy. Cause none of this harms me in any way worse than other factors in life, as we all know what those factors can be for us "immortal humans". When everything is wrong stay relaxed, don't ignore the issue like an escapist, deal with it in calm and I can guarantee you will find the best solution.
2. Expectations? No Thank You.
Pre- conception may prepare you for the upcoming but might not always lead to as expected. When I visited Cinque Terre in Italy. My visuals were fabricated with colourful saturated photos of a town on a rocky hill. Something like this:
Image Source | YocuzLawyers
With sky high expectations I trekked for an hour to reach to one of the town which looked like this:
Image Source | Traveller.Chris
And oh boy was I not disappointed. It was a total turn off, which should not have been the case because every place adhere its own beauty. So next time, no google images before traveling. Maybe Lonely Planet though!
3. Less is more
Hands down the most important lesson I have learnt. The less "stuff" you have in your travel bag the better you travel and you will never fall short of anything. Just a few pair of clothing, sanitary, a pair of shoes and shades and duh! You are all set. But if I run out of clothes? Laundry service at literary every corner in the world. But what if you run out of your favourite body lotion? Well all do the same job anyway and hello we live in a globalised world so at most destinations you will be just fine.
Image Source | Imgur
Last week in Cambodia I met a guy from Switzerland. Guess what he had for 4 weeks of travelling. A small school bag which was so thin it seemed empty and most importantly a guitar. Could it get any better. Its like me travelling from my home to a friends home who lives 10 miles away from where my school is. Imagine travelling with so less for a month. I said " Is that all you have, that bag right there, the small one?" And he said the same, "You don't need much when travelling". I could not agree more.
4. Money is not everything
Ok, we all hear this a lot in any random conversation. Especially when we see someone drowning in the power of money or someone with almost nothing at all. But we all have been there. Thinking, is really money everything? or nothing at all?
When it comes to travelling, money is needed, but it all depends how much? I travel a lot of places, I have probably visited the same place where your uncle from London was last summer. Although he spent £1000 for a week and I did the same in 500. I am doing everything the same only my standards remain pretty low. And so when it comes to travelling it all depends on how you want to spend those saving you did for years, because after those magical days of travelling, the only thing that remains are the priceless moments you had and the amazing people you met. Money is no where down the memory lane, at least not in mine.
5. Exploring the world. My world.
Travelling the world is fine, but do you know what is happening in the process. You explore yourself too. When I was exploring all those amazing places, later I realised it was a lot more than simply traveling alone.
It made me confident, sharp, active, alive and most importantly, happy. I became carefree and unshackled from all the projections of people I had around me because life is too short to bother what other people think about me.
6. Travelling for free
Image Source | NewYorker
Let me clear out that I myself have never travelled for free, although I have managed to get free 5 star accommodations and high class meals while I was in China recently. The focus here are the people I met who actually did travel countries for free, with free transport and free accommodation. Free transport? Hitch Hike or simply Blah Blah Car and Free stay? Couchsurfing! I met a guy from California who hitchhiked for almost 90 days and couchsurfed along the way. I will probably be posting an interview with him soon, so stay updated. This simply means its all about right people at the right place at the right time.
7. The moment is now, not "When I have enough".
Image Source | Chris Rathore Photography
Many times I found myself in situations when I am telling tales from my travel chronicles and end up igniting a fire inside the listener who want to travel the same. But, but? They always end up saying, " I want to travel places, spend enough time travelling BUT when I have saved enough" or "when I am more settled in life" are you kidding me? seriously thats your plan? No! The moment is now especially when you are young. Who knows if I will be settled off in 2 years time, or save "enough" before I travel
because when is enough? Here is a superb article saying why you should travel when you are young. It says:
"You have very little responsibility so go and travel. When you get to 30, you’re going to want to travel slightly differently, spend a little more, do slightly more expensive things, eat at slightly better restaurants. So work for a year and save enough money to experience the world on the cheap.
How do you know what you want to do if you don’t know what’s out there to do?
Are you still doubting to make your dream travel come true? If not, great but if you are stilled overwhelmed by the idea then read more.