Travel begins with selection of a location. Different places appeal to different people, so it is important to be clear about the location and the purpose of travel in order to plan and budget effectively. For most, accumulating a fund is not an easy task and often you might have to save for months, sometimes for years to undertake a travel. But the planning part, is not a cake walk either. You need to find out the best possible time to visit the place, scan airfares for months, evaluate accommodation and decide on logistics. If you work somewhere, you have to apply for leaves and hope that your boss grants the same! And again, unless you are doing a tour, conducted by some travel company where you have the luxury of off-loading all operational difficulties to the trip organizer, it involves taking risk of going to an unknown land all by yourself, communicate with strangers and at times also depend on them. It’s definitely not easy, but this is exactly where the thrill begins!
In case you want to make your travel more interesting you should be willing to take it beyond touristy activities. Let’s say you are in a country, whose culture is different than yours. As a traveller, you should not only limit yourself to visiting places like museum, heritage monuments or national parks but take a step ahead to look into the lives of the local people. Explore the local market, experience the local cuisine and try discovering popular traditions. Infact, you should never shy away from experiencing the intangible cultural heritages, like the local music, cultural shows and the local festivals. If you get a chance to learn something, it would surely enrich your experience and if you get a chance to teach something, you’ll derive an immense satisfaction out of it! For instance, I learned to cook pasta, from a Slovenian guy, who I hosted at my place for few days. My culinary skills had always been below average – so this guy taught me 3-4 different stuffs, all under 20 minutes of preparation.
Budget travel is another very interesting concept that you should experience at some point of time. As the name suggests, it’s travelling with limited budget, trying more and more local options including stay, food and public transports. There would be no one to welcome you at the airports, no pickups, no welcome drinks on arrivals at hotels. You would have to figure out everything by yourself depending on other’s advices, even for most basic needs. But what this will let you know is how a country works, how welcoming people of a certain place are and it will enable you to trust yourself. Home stay options or budget hostels are interesting concepts which can be explored for the same.
Travel has many sides to it. It is enriching yet complicated, pleasurable but testing, awe inspiring and yet savings depleting, but in order to evolve as a traveller, it is important to experience travel fully. Only when you shed all your inhibitions and come out of your comfort zone, you will experience the magic of travel. This will not only change your perspective about the world but also about you. In fact, I sincerely believe, that once you fall in love with travelling, you would not look at it as just a ‘break’ from a routine life, but rather accept it as a way of life!