It’s time to share some knowledge with you: Up to now I took you along some of my adventures, but now it is time to create some value for your own travels. But be careful, travelling could change your life.
1. Research Locally
Many times I felt like I’m properly prepared for a trip. I might even bought a travel guide. When I arrived at the destination everything turned out to be different – I had to improvise. Sometimes the hiking track I wanted to walk wasn’t open to public anymore. Or the weather conditions had changed. Or a tourist trip I researched didn’t appeal to me anymore. There is always ‘something’.
Yes, a travel guide is helpful, but don’t rely on it too much. Stay flexible and improvise locally. It’s helpful to have a rough idea about the public transport system, the currency, the language and the weather conditions. But everything else can be researched locally.
2. Don’t Schedule Your Whole Trip
You are creating memories through unique experiences. An adventure is “an unusual, exciting, and possibly dangerous activity, such as a trip or experience, or the excitement produced by such an activity” (source). These experiences just “happen” to you. You can’t plan an adventure – otherwise it’s not an adventure anymore. Basically this is what I love about travelling.
“Plans are made to be changed” 😉
If you have a strict plan there is no room for unforgettable memories. A lot of times I have one rough destination or plan (e.g. Hiking in Durmitor Nationalpark) and then I just go for it. Leave room for spontaneity. This way you also learn to listen to your intuition. Which brings me to the following advice:
3. Follow Your Intuition (and not google maps)
Do you know this feeling of being overwhelmed by a new place? Imagine you are on San Marco Square in Venice, the most popular square of the city. You are surrounded by hundreds of people from different backgrounds: Tourists are taking photos, families are eating ice-cream, street vendors are trying to sell selfie-sticks; different smells and noises are catching your senses. The busyness of the place is demanding your attention.
This is the moment, when I put my map aside. I just follow my intuition. Automatically it guides me to places that attract me – the more quiet corners. This way sometimes I may miss some famous sights, but I discover the most peaceful sunsets of a town or the secluded swimming spot just behind the city wall.
4. Forget About Your Standards
A lot of people think, they can’t travel cheap, because they are not able to reduce there demands on accomodation and food. In my opinion this is one of the first attitudes that needs to be changed in order to travel properly.
You only have real adventures, can immerse yourself in the culture or get to know other travellers if you get out of this hotel bubble. Go find yourself a hostel. If the shower is not perfectly clean, just don’t think about it and don’t spend more time inside it than necessary. You wont die, maybe you even strengthen your immune system. 😉
5. Get up early
Well this is a no brainer – the earlier you get up, the more you get to explore during the day. Of course sometimes it is important to sleep in. But isn’t it the most accomplishing feeling to fall asleep after a long day full of experiences?
The early bird catches the worm. Well, the late riser might snaps a breakfast as well, but the early bird has the rare luxury of having the first ray of sun at the famous square of a city or the peak of mountain for theirselves.
6. Immerse Yourself
Talk to people, open up and appreciate unbiased conversations as an opportunity to get to know the country and the people better. If you travel in a group – open up for others. Don’t be shy. Talk to strangers who look like they could be on your wavelength. What can happen? Nothing. You can only broaden your horizon. Getting to know travelers from other countries is also a way to learn about the rest of the world. Truly take the chance to immerse yourself in different cultures and conversations.
Last but not least….
Be prepared – Travelling could change your life!
No matter if you spend a two weeks holiday in Portugal or you travel through South-East-Asia for several months – make the most of your journey.