What attracts people to self-guided travelling and what lessons do they take out of them? Is this a real rest and is it dangerous to travel just by yourself? I got involved in travelling not so long ago, about six years away back.
I mean travelling in the textual meaning of the word, that is, when you take with you a minimum of things and start the trip on your own. Honestly, this is quite another thing than organized tourism, where you are transported by groups in buses from the hotel to the showplace and back.
Such sightseeing and resting leisure don’t much differ from the reclining in front of TV at home and gives only visual impressions. In addition to relishing the beautiful spots of the Earth and learning new, self-guided tours allow you to receive a special experience of a completely different kind. These are special life lessons that can be acquired solely on your own and only in certain circumstances.
1. The most hard part of traveling is to leave the house
No, I’m serious. At home, it feels like you will encounter million dangers on your way and that every day you will have to deal with problems of accommodation and food.
You will be hampered by not knowing the language or financial problems. But in general, the better part of these fears are totally ungrounded, and all problems are not worth experiencing. So, the most important thing is summoning up your courage and yet setting off on a trip.
2. The better part of people on Earth are quite friendly
For people who visit “civilized” countries, there is no discovery in it. But as you visit, relatively speaking, “problem” regions, states with a bad reputation, you’ll immediately understand that this is really so.
Ordinary people in any country treat travelers with utmost caution, courtesy and a wish to help. They will demonstrate you the way, provide with the lodging for the night, talk about worth seeing places of their country, genuinely be interested in your adventures.
Especially if you demonstrate proper respect for them, their customs and language (it is enough to memorize leastwise several common words).
3. It’s not as unsafe as it looks to your mom
The absolute majority of the regions are no more unsafe than your hometown. Yes, some countries are notorious, but as a rule, it is greatly overstated and does not match the real life. The same applies to wildlife.
It is enough to keep elementary security rules and simple sanity to completely avoid any trouble. After all, if you dwell in a big town, then you are much more likely to be bumped by the car than to die from the tusks of wild animals even in the wildest Africa.
4. Travelling is not expensive
Well, if, of course, you are not fixated only on a yacht cruise on tropical palm islands. In principle, all your expenses for the self-guided journey consist of only three blocks: food, place to live, transportation.
And, then, you yourself are free to choose on what you want to save, and with what you can not part with. Someone chooses a hike with backpacks, in which you don’t waste bunch of money, someone moves by buses and stops at hostels, others prefer rented cars and hotels. In any case, you have enough possibilities to keep within the financial framework that is preferable for you.
5. Every extra pound makes your journey worse
Preparing a backpack or suitcase to the journey, you can not decide which t-shirt to get with you, and take both? Then you’ll have to carry it on you all the way, cursing your “foresight.”
Excess weight on the trip comes out to be a burden, making you heavy, clumsy and tired. And from this follows the next lesson, much more important.
6. Necessary things for life are not so much
Just then when you pack things to the journey with the intention of keeping within a few pounds, you begin to comprehend the supreme Zen. It comes out that for a normal life, a man does not need a lot.
A pair of comfortable shoes, some clothes, protection from rain and sun, hygiene products, documents, money – the scroll is surely not full, and everyone can expand it a little, but, anyways, you will get some overestimation of the value of things around you. Wait a minute, and what is my whole house overstuffed with?
7. Travel is not a relaxation
More precisely, it is not exactly the kind of rest that most people imagine to themselves. Well, really, you are climbing the mountains with a big bag, then sweat in the tropics or freeze in the tundra – what a rest.
Moreover, some trips are so laborious that they cause fatigue, exhaustion, nervous breakdowns, quarrels. Why this is all necessary and why people decide to do this- is a separate great topic, but you need to comprehend that in physical terms it’s not a rest, but rather a hard work.
8. Travelers and tourists – different people
I mentioned this a little in the introduction, but here I want to note again. Travelers live, eat and communicate with locals, and tourists look at them puzzledly from the windows of air-conditioned buses.
Travelers are being shared with bread, and tourists are being hit up for money. Travelers live in historical places, and tourists are being run through them as a herd under the guidance of a guide-shepherd. These are completely different roles, and it’s up to you who you prefer to be.
9. Do not fear to travel by yourself
It is not always possible to find fellow travelers for a great journey. And if you could even find those, you still need to match the schedules of all team participants, solve problems, the quantity of which increases according to the quantity of members.
Therefore, many travelers, consciously or forcedly, choose independent travelling. There is nothing extremely dangerous or bad in it. You are not going to be alone, since everywhere you will be surrounded by people, and may even find new acquaintances.
In addition, this is a marvelous spiritual experience that will assist you to know yourself, teach you to faith in yourself and deal with difficulties on your own. More details about individual trips we wrote in this article.
10. Be prepared to disappointments (and unexpected pleasant discoveries)
Preparing for the next journey, you probably will view numerous handouts, photos of attractions and descriptions of relics. However, when you come to place, you may encounter a reality that may slightly differ from expected.
Giant waterfall from the picture may turn up to be a thin stream, ancient ruins may appear like a pile of constructional debris, and the paradise shore of a tropical island may be completely unsuitable for life.
You should be prepared for the adventure in advance and calmly perceive such a side of reality. At the same time, you can be forever struck by the sunset somewhere in the bare field, by a cup of delicious tea in a local eatery or by other unplanned trifle. The world is beautiful not only in places, specially advertised and prepared for tourists.
11. We really do not have such a big planet
When you sit at home and see other countries on TV, it feels like they are somewhere infinitely far away, somewhere in another galaxy. But as soon as you fly there and come back, you understand that the Earth really appears to be like a ball from Google Earth, and we are all, in general, neighbors.
This feeling intensifies even more, when suddenly you meet mutual acquaintances somewhere in the far end of the Earth.
12. The most pleasant thing is coming back home
No matter how interesting and good it is on the trip, always comes time to return. And, indeed, this is the culmination moment of the journey. You see your city, your home, your work, your relationships a little bit in a new way, look at everything with different eyes.
Because your ambiance remains the same, but you’ve already changed. So the general lesson is that travelling alters people, and, always for better. What have you got out of your wanderings around the world?