How To Embrace The Life Of A Traveller
It goes without saying that when you embark on a long-term travel venture, you will see and experience unbelievable things that will embed memories deep into your mind and heart for as long as you live. Embracing these astounding moments is no trouble at all. However, the life of a traveller is made up of so much more than these and to truly make the most of the journey, you need to embrace all that travelling entails – the good and the not so good.
Below follows my top five instructions on how to stay positive, make friends and not only enjoy a life on the road but get the utmost from it.
1. Try to speak the local language
On my first trip to Central America, I could just about say hello, goodbye and ask where the toilets were. The second time around (I’m in Mexico on a bus whilst writing this) I ensured that prior to arriving I’d take the time to learn the basics of Spanish, and boy am I getting so much more out of this country already! Just being able to roughly understand and communicate with the locals has meant I’m much more deeply immersed in the country than before. Attempt to speak the local language as much as possible, not only will people appreciate your effort and be more willing to help, but you’ll gain a better understanding of the country, its people and their lives; which in turn enhances your travel experience.
2. Be a glass half full person
A life of travel means literally that, but with travel comes delays, wrong directions and uncomfortable transport. When you’re tired from a ten-hour bus journey or the previous day’s trekking, it can be easy to let these types of realities dampen your spirit. Please don’t! Stay positive, take in the landscape around you and remember what an incredible opportunity you have to simply be in these places at all.
3. Try the local cuisine
This rule applies even to the strangest of foods that you’re convinced you won’t like. Whether it’s scorpions in Thailand, crickets in Mexico or some other concoction of homegrown ingredients, give it a go. What’s the worst that can happen?
4. Talk to people
All people. From fellow travellers in your hostel dorm to cleaners, restaurant workers and people on the street. Such a huge bonus of the travel lifestyle is the amazing variety of people you’ll meet and the stories they have to share. Hearing about the backgrounds and upbringings of people from all walks of life is humbling and a lot of the time makes you even more thankful for how fortunate you really are.
5. Give back to the places you visit
Even in some of the more remote countries of the world, you’ll come across corporations such as McDonald’s, Starbucks and others. I love a Maccy D’s as much as the next person and will buy from them occasionally, but I’ll also do my utmost to give back to the local economy by eating in local restaurants or consuming street food, using local tour guides when needed and making sure to avoid environmentally or morally hurtful places and purchases i.e. jewellery made from turtle. Be respectful of the countries you visit and be mindful of the need for residents to prosper as much as possible.
That’s it. Such simple rules to abide by right? Keep them in mind when you’re moving from city to city, hiking through jungles, stood atop mountains or volcanos, and even when sitting on chicken buses for hours with sweat dripping down your back. It’ll make it worth it, I promise. Don’t forget, you can sign up to this blog for more updates on round-the-world-travel!