What I learned From Travelling This Year

There’s so much to travelling that no books in the world can teach you. And that’s exactly why I quit my nine-to-five job at 35 and followed my heart around the world—to places near and far to sate my wanderlust. I realised home isn’t one single place or person, but many. I’ve been writing loads of articles about the places and people I met. But this one’s a bit different, more like a monologous narrative of my growth as a traveller and a person. I welcomed this new year aboard one of the New Year’s Eve cruises on Sydney Harbour. I had tagged along with my friends from work to blow off some year-end steam and ah…’twas a dream night to cherish an entire lifetime. It was never on my itinerary to get aboard a cruise but there I was, drinking and dancing away like a 23-year old. The Sydney NYE cruises were never on my list, but I had the best time with my colleagues. And that’s the first of the few things I wish to discuss today. 

 

Unplanned trips make the best trips 

 

Impulsivity runs in my blood and there’s something about unplanned trips that makes my heart go ‘weeee’. It’s the rush, the uncertainty and the newness of it all that makes every unplanned trip better than planned trips. Although an unscheduled trip comes with numerous unforeseen inconveniences, most people tackle it creatively. Afterall, necessity is the mother of invention, isn’t it? I remember once I went on a 10-day road trip with my friends with just one extra pair of clothes and a few $50 bills. And I swear, it’s the best trip I’ve had till date. 

 

Strangers aren’t as bad as we think 

 

As a child, my parents always told me to stay away from strangers and associated them with ruffians and thugs. But after having travelled to some 20 countries, my perspectives have changed. Strangers aren’t as bad as I thought, maybe they’re better than what I thought. On all my solo trips, I made friends with strangers who came to help. For introverted people like me, meeting strangers might be less intimidating than meeting familiar faces. ‘Cause no stranger is going to start a conversation with  “Aren’t you getting married?” or “Why don’t you find a better job?”. But, of course, I consciously filter the kind of people who try to approach me so that I don’t put myself at risk. 

 

Funding your trips is important 

 

 Not every trip could be executed like how we do unplanned trips. And that’s why it’s important to save up for funding all your travel expenses. When I say saving up, it doesn’t just mean hoarding your unused money in your bank account, but finding the right finance schemes for secure travelling experiences. And this may take a minimum of 8-12 months. For starters, here are some ideas that will help:
1. Set a travel budget

  1. Start a recurring deposit
  2. Create a travel savings account with added benefits 
  3. Collect travel vouchers 
  4. Convert your credit card points 

 

Don’t experiment too much with food

 

One of the biggest challenges travellers face is finding their comfort food. Our bodies are naturally aligned to our native food habits, which implies we should be careful about what we eat when travelling around. And if you didn’t know, food poisoning is one of the biggest reasons for people falling sick while travelling. Speaking from experience, I suggest you allow yourself some time before experimenting with food in a new country, city or village. 

 

In case you’re wondering if these are all, that’s a solid ‘no’. There’s more tips I can give you for a safe and happy travel experience. But I hate it when my articles keep trailing without a foreseeable end. So here I take a bow. I’ll be back again with my next set of travel tips soon next week. Until then…ciao folks! 

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