20 rules for a true traveler
- You can travel at any age
It is never too early or too late to start traveling. Here are just a few of the most striking examples: a 16-year-old girl made a round-the-world trip on a yacht, the youngest Everest conqueror was only 13 years old, a pensioner walked around the world…
- The best time to travel is now
Travel is first of all an inner state. This state has no time, it does not fit into the categories of space. If you feel that the road beckons, pack your bags and hit the road. The best moment to start a new journey is now!
- Traveling is not as scary as it sounds
The opinion that traveling is dangerous is the biggest myth created by people who are afraid to stick their noses out of the house. The world is a much safer place than we are used to thinking about it, there are a lot more good and open people in the world than there are secretive and bad people.
- Preparing for the journey is also part of the journey
Preparing for my last big trip took exactly as long as the trip itself – 8 months. And that was part of the journey, too: I was counting the days on the calendar; imagining what it would be like; thinking about what to take with me.
- The less you take, the more you travel
Going on a trip, don’t try to take all the things from home, take the optimal amount based on your needs, the time of year, the country you’re going to… There is nothing worse than an unsupportable backpack that you cannot get rid of.
- You can travel with little or no budget
Four major human needs are solved very easily on the road: you can get clothes in second hand, eat in a cheap outdoor cafe or a guest, sleep overnight stay couchsurfing, and hitchhike. Essentially you only need money for airfare and personal expenses.
- Travel sustainably without harming the environment
Airplanes produce the most emissions, so travel across the continents by ground transportation whenever possible. Don’t leave garbage anywhere, and save water and electricity, which are considered luxuries in many countries.
- The best way to get to know a country and people is to do things in it that you do at home
Museums and monuments are the province of tourists. Go to the market, go to the library, play soccer/basketball on the playground, rent a bike or motorcycle and ride around, attend a lecture or workshop, make art… And it’s all on the road!
- Never read a book about the country you’re in
There is no more ridiculous picture than a traveler reading books about India in India. Going to the south, take something about the north, going to the west, put books about the east in your backpack, at the edge of the world traveling through texts about your home country… That way you’ll make two journeys at once.
- Travel for a good cause: creativity, sports, volunteering…
Traveling on your own is yesterday. Sign up for a volunteer project, do some art or sports on the road, just help someone… Anywhere in the world you can do something useful for yourself and others. Don’t think of travel as a way to “do nothing.
- Present your home away from home with dignity
Residents of other countries are always interested to know where you come from, how and what people live in your city, country… Study the history and geography of your native places, dig up some interesting facts, myths and legends, follow the latest news from home… Be interesting to other people!
- It’s not where you’re going (or even where you’re going) that matters, but who you meet along the way
Some say it’s the destination that counts. Others say it’s the journey. I say: the journey is people. Each individual person is a cosmos and contains more than all the beauty of the world and all its roads. Communicating with people gives something that no road or natural landmark gives.
- Travel with good spirits and a good heart
The most important thing about traveling is the mood. A good mood will help you catch a hitch, connect with people… A bad mood can turn any trip into a nightmare. The world is a mirror: as you are to it, so it is to you. Smile and the world will smile back at you.
- Travel thematically and with imagination
It’s easy to make the trip interesting! Just think of a theme for it: travel in the footsteps of other travelers, go to the coldest place in the middle of summer, travel through countries in a zigzag fashion, settle down in the countryside for a year… and so on and so forth.
- You only need a travel plan to break it
No, this does not mean that it is not necessary to plan – on the contrary. That said, the most valuable things in life often happen by accident. On the road, this principle works better than ever. So you can visit places you would never have been in, meet people you would never have met.
- Adventures don’t happen by themselves, you have to make them up
Let me tell you a secret: adventures are also a traveler’s concern. Purposely skip a stop, buy that ticket with enough money in the here and now, send a few “blind” requests on couchsurfing, knock on strangers’ doors. Once again: adventures don’t happen by themselves!
- Bring emotions, not souvenirs
If you didn’t bring any souvenirs from your trip (or almost none) it means that your trip was a success, it means that during the trip something happened: bright, unforgettable… In comparison with what a magnet on the fridge will look absurd.
- Quality of travel is more important than quantity, content is more important than form
I have been to only 13 countries, but I spent from three months to a year in half of them. I had a job in these countries, I have friends, I know traditions, cuisine, even if a little, but the languages of these countries… All this allows me to say that I was not just in these countries, but I was in them.
- A real journey is always (!) done alone
The difference is that in company there is no time to think, feelings are dulled. And only traveling alone allows you to be alone with yourself. And thoughts and feelings become at times brighter, sharper. This doesn’t mean you always have to travel alone. It’s more fun to travel alone.
- You can travel without leaving your seat
As my favorite writer says, “You don’t have to leave your cell to travel. You can travel through your memories, through your favorite books, through the city or neighborhood in which you live, through your home, even through your own room – there are such examples in history.
And the most important rule (let’s put it out of brackets) is that you don’t have to travel anywhere.
Traveling is only part of life. Many go on the road to escape from the routine and problems. But traveling is not the solution to all problems, although it does help change the environment for a while. Sooner or later you will return to what you were running away from. What’s important is to be yourself and do what you love.