All of us experience things differently. My memory of a place can be completely contradictory to that of yours. You might not agree with the lessons I’ve learnt, but that doesn’t make them any less true or real to me. The road has taught all of us something or the other. Here are some of the subtle lessons travelling has taught me.
Refer to the map, don’t completely rely on it
While the map can be your good, dependent friend in an unknown place, it’s not always your best friend. Having a map in a foreign place saves you a lot of time, especially if you’re anything like me (directionally challenged).It is safe to carry with you wherever it is you choose to go, but don’t religiously refer to it the entire time. The best way I can put this into words is: A map can guide you with directions, but it can’t help you experience the spirit of the city. Remember this, a map is only as efficient as its user.
Explore the lesser known
If you look up a location on the net or ask a few of your friends about it, the result would most probably be that you hear the name of a few popular landmarks over and over again. As good as it is to be part of the crowd and visit those landmarks, they aren’t the only things that give life to the place. It’s a complicated, weird, and beautiful mix of thousands of things – small and big- that give it life. Exploring is the best way to understand this. You never know what you’ll end up discovering. A little treasure hidden in plain sight or you end up in the completely opposite side of town in front of a dumpster (that might make a good story). Either way, exploring is definitely worth the risk.
Always travel light
I had heard this so often but did not really grasp the concept until I was at an airport in Hong Kong carrying luggage weighing way more than the maximum limit. The fewer the items, the lighter your luggage while going for a holiday, the more convenient it will be. For there is a high possibility that while returning, you’ll have forgotten this concept entirely, and will return with at least double the amount of items you initially had. Make sure to carry extra empty bags with you, so you won’t have any trouble packing after a good holiday. Travelling light isn’t a myth and is an extremely smart and convenient way of travelling.
Choose Quality over Quantity
The number of places you visit on a holiday doesn’t matter. There is no definite number of things to do on a holiday that makes it a definite success or failure. Seeing all the landmarks a location has to offer in a rush makes no sense. If you aren’t able to genuinely sense the environment a landmark has to provide, to feel whatever it has to offer you sink into your bones, there won’t be any meaning to your travel. We already rush so much in our daily lives, let’s not bring that into our travels too. It should never be about how many places you have ticked off of your list, it should be about the moments that impacted you (for good and bad). Surely, travelling teaches a lot and this is one of the good things about travelling.
Water is your new best friend
There is no telling how the environment of a place may affect you. Exhaustion is the new enemy; water your new best friend. In all the excitement, don’t forget that your body isn’t an inexhaustible machine. Keeping your body hydrated is something which every solo traveller gives importance too, as these lessons come for solo travellers in handy. It requires looking after too. There is nothing worse than your perfect vacation being ruined solely by your own hands, for not being able to take part in anything you were looking forward to due to your health.
Connect with locals and travellers
You never know what sort of person you will run into in a new place. As important it is to not trust strangers so easily, it is equally important to meet new people in order to experience the place in a completely different way. A way you didn’t even know was possible. Fellow travellers you run into may end up showing you a different side of the place, and locals may introduce you to the really intricate details of your surroundings that you failed to notice. Best of all, you can run into people who make the world seem like a better place to be in. Some connections you make on the road do last forever. As you travel, you begin to realise importance of connecting and this is what travelling teaches you.
I’ll be updating the list of lessons and tips for you as I travel more and more. Do you have any tips to be added? We’ll add them and give you the credits. All you need to do is comment down below or mail us.