Travel Tips
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7 Things I’d Tell A New Traveler

traveller

Hope. Anxiety. And Excitement. Such emotions are inevitable, when you leave for the first ever grand adventures of your life. When I’d initially quit my job to travel, I had no idea what to expect. No one I knew had ever done it before. I was feeling a bout of jitters. To compensate my unpreparedness, I followed a few guidebooks and hoped for the best. I was an inexperienced and a hopeless wanderer, and my actions spoke about my condition well enough.

But now, after travelling for a few years, I know better. And if I could sit my younger self, I’d give him this advice:

Don’t Be Scared

parachute

Walking off the beaten path and travelling places you’re not familiar with, might be a little scary, but you aren’t the first person doing so.  There is a well-worn travel trail and hundreds of online blogs and guidebooks to walk with you along the way. So don’t be scared. And if thousands of people can make their way around to the world, and to the place you’re going, why can’t you.

Look Beyond The Guidebook Experiences

riding on top of bus

Guidebooks are helpful. But don’t completely rely on them for shaping your travel experiences. They will never talk about the hidden, off-the-beaten-path experiences. For the best information, connect to locals, or speak to fellow travellers. People are always the best information source when it comes to travelling. The best experiences can only be learned,  not studied.

Travel Slow

lost mountains

It might initially feel boring to a few, but slow travel is addictive. Don’t try to squeeze your experiences. ‘7 countries in 10 days’, or ‘around the world in a month’ will only give you a handful of photos to share, but no real knowledge of the places you will travel. So don’t rush your trip. Make time to lie down under the mountains, or sit in a café. Watch, as people behave. Slow travelling, is far more compelling, and a lot more educating.

Don’t Carry Much

truck

When I visited Bhutan last year, I carried with myself, a 90 ltr rucksack – full of stuff that only sat in my bag all across the journey. And I learned a simple lesson the hard way: Pack Light. Don’t carry everything you owned back home. Because if you truly need something, you can always pick it up on the way. Travelling, moreover, is not only about seeing new places or meeting new people, a part of it also teaches you about self governance. You learn to live with whatever little resources you have.

Go With The Flow

conoe alleppey

If there is one thing I believe in, it is – a journey is only best experienced when unplanned. Because when everything is planned, and you only follow a fixed itinerary, there is no room for happy accidents. So just go with the flow and let the random moments shape your experiences. Let serendipity do its work.

Carry Extra Cash

majuli island car

Every time I go somewhere I carry some extra cash with me, because no matter how well you budget, there are always unexpected expenses. And disasters like losing your waist pouch and all your debit cards with it, are never inevitable. Carrying extra cash moreover gives you the freedom to explore a little extra than what you’d initially planned.

Make Friends

bonfire

I know you’re an introvert. But no matter where you go, there is a network of travellers who want to be your friends – for they might be travelling solo, just like you. So don’t be afraid, just say “Hello” and everything will fall into place. Ask fellow travellers in a hostel, if you can join their conversation. No one ever says no. Take the first step and you’ll see how easy it was to make friends.

[Also Read: Why I Travel Alone]

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Filed under: Travel Tips

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Shortly after my first real nine-to-five job, I left that lifestyle behind, and with it, everything that didn't fit in my backpack. I've learned that this world is too big (and too interesting!) to stay in one place. I believe that with a little courage and inspiration, everyone has the power to follow their dreams. Just as I've followed mine!

14 Comments

  1. Laveena Sengar says

    The list you have mentioned is pretty awesome and I admire people who take this wonderful decision to travel. It all depends on the luxury of time you are provided with.

  2. I am thinking of quitting my job and travelling the world. What I liked in particular in this blog post was the concept of “slow travel”! This is basically why I want to quit my job – not have to rush and squeeze as much as possible in a short period of time.

  3. Really useful tips you’ve got there. It is a great decision to quit your job and start to travel. I do not have any close to me that has done the same and I can say I admire these people!

  4. Perfect tips… I kept thinking, this one is the best one… nah… this one…. Particularly travel slow and don’t carry much! Probably great tips that translate into real life well as well 😀

  5. This is good advice! I would agree most with “don’t be scared” and “pack light”. Nothing is more annoying than being weighed down by a whole bunch of things you wish you’d left at home.

  6. I totally agree with the 7 things that you mentioned. “Don’t be scared” this should be written on top of travel flyers , people usually missed out a lot because of the fear “of something might happen”, something can happen anywhere at any given time, we are not in control of anything . I had to remind myself of all of this tips at some point, especially to travel slow and enjoy more the experience rather than the achievement of it. Cheers!

  7. I This is really great advice! I wish I had had this advice 12 years back when I went on my first backpack trip… I think the most importants parts are the “Look Beyond The Guidebook Experiences”! and “make friends”… I thinks it’s exactly that, that makes ones travel adventures unforgettable!

  8. I agree with you Dev and I would definitely say the same things buuuut I know from experience that many people would not have the courage to folllow these tips .. most of my friends are so scared !

  9. Absolutely awesome points. I used to travel with the large trolley suitcase and last year I found the pleasure of travelling with just one backpack. I went on 3 day trip with a 27l backpack! Lolz!!! Esp., I agree with your point of travelling slow too…

  10. These are some amazing tips. I especially like Travel Slow, something I have to remind myself of all the time. I am definitely a fan of the slow travel movement!

  11. All seven things that you mention make so much sense and I guess all of these emerge naturally as one has starts having the luxury of more time. One also evolves along the way, and learns better ways of travelling deeper.

  12. Nalin Trehan says

    Hi, I liked your blog on solo travel and have placed a similar comment on it.
    I am new to bike travelling though i do travel a lot due to my profession of being a Scuba diving Instructor. I have a thunderbird 350CC bike and very new to biking. Just did some short trips, nothing big but would like to do long trips in my off season. Where and how do I start?
    Would appreciate your comments on it.
    Regards
    Nalin

    • Though I’ve already answered you on my Facebook page, and since you live in Hyderabad. you can do: Hyderabad-Goa-Chikmaglur-Bangalore-Ooty-Munnar, or Hyderabad-Bangalore-Kannur(Kerala)-Alleppey-Trivandrum-Kanyakumari (This is good to drive close to coast) Good luck (y)

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