About two weeks ago I told Augusto – he has joined the adventure back in Valencia to start travelling – actually he could write a guest article for About Wings. It would help me out a little, due to the lots of work I got myself into. Also it would be interesting for you to read about our travels and experiences from another perspective.
He ended up saying yes and so I am very happy to present you the article of a complete blogging newbie. However, he is not so new to travelling: Originally from Venezuela, he has studied in the US, in China and in Spain, where I finally met him.
So, go on. Take it away, Augusto!
Maybe is just a dream (for now), maybe a simple thought that crosses your mind once in while, or maybe it’s just your plan for when you’re retired. Either way, we all have our illusions, fantasies and fears when it comes to travelling.
Is not impossible, however is not always an easy thing to do, I give you that. But let me remind you: If you are always delaying your wishes and aspirations, you might never accomplish them.
No, there will never be a perfect time. And yet, there always is. It’s when you make up your mind and decide to do it. Nevertheless, I understand you can’t abandon all your responsibilities, your studies, your kids and forget about the world, no.
When I say there isn’t a perfect time to start travelling it’s because you will always be thinking of the things that might keep you in that comfort zone. That comfort zone that you may be in right now. Our brain will always tell us to stay where it’s safe, where we know how things work.
I recommend you make a checklist of the most important things that you think you should get done before you start your journey. Have in mind when you would like to start out. Set a departure day. And remember that you can always come back. You decide how long your journey is going to be.
Choose the things you want to see, hear, touch or experience (there are going to be more impressive things than the ones you have in mind) but don’t try to do everything at once. The idea is not to collapse and being stressed all the time.
Keep it simple, slow and steady. Stressing yourself from one thing to the next will make the journey unpleasant. Very likely you wouldn’t remember much of it in the end. At the end of the day, the point is to appreciate the experience.
Remember Antoine de Saint-Exupery once said “A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”.
Establish priorities but the reasons of your journey are yours. If someone tells you, you should see this or do that, take it in consideration but don’t let other people’s experience displace yours.
Would you like to travel by yourself? Or would it be better to travel with your best friend? Or maybe even a bunch of friends? Perhaps you would like to travel with your partner.
Travel with a van? How about hitchhiking? Maybe it would be better by train or plane?
Do you want to travel on a small budget? Or are you planning to go for luxury? Maybe a mix of both is your choice of preference?
You need to think about these questions because they will give you clues about the experience ahead. Furthermore it will make it easier to create a basic framework for the adventure.
There are plenty of programs and apps out there, that can make the organisational part of your adventure easier: Couchsurfing, volunteering or Airbnb are just a few out of many options, you can use. Also, if you have any doubts you can always look up experts and see their story. About Wings is only one out of millions of travel blogs out there.
One of the best advices I figured out over time is: Try to find communities while you travel and connect with people. There are kind people everywhere. Sometimes we’re just too busy to notice them.
Depending of your plan and how long you are going to be travelling this can vary.
The basic things you’re going to need are, a pair of comfortable shoes, your favorite sweater or hoodie, any medical necessities, a good book and your favorite music. Music will always help in case you feel a little bit homesick.
Try to travel light. You’ll soon find out that it’s nice to lose the phrase “I think I’ve forgotten something but I don’t know what it is”.
The less stuff you have, the less stuff ties you down. When you travel, this is to be taken literally.
At some point we all may questions our travel plans, but remember: The idea, the dream, the feeling of travelling is there and probably won’t go away.
You can do it. Most likely there will be people telling you “That’s madness”, “Why don’t you wait a little longer?”, and yes, it can be very scary at the beginning but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.
Don’t overthink. Overthinking will always lead to negative thoughts and selfdoubt.
Once you’re home again you will see that you have changed and that travelling is not as hard as it may have seemed when you started out. By the end you’ve figured out that the hardest part is to start.
You will have gained, improved or discovered your skills. Probably you’ll learn problem solving. You’ll practice your tolerance and you will find out how open minded you are. You’ll have the chance to get to know yourself a little better (this was a really important one for myself).
If you are going to travel with somebody else, you will be more likely to take chances and train your courage.
Depending on the people you can set some rules first. Seeing the same person every day is not always easy, though you can get used to it (when the journey is over, you are probably going to miss them).
These rules should be as clear as possible, for example:
My personal rule is “If I say I’m hungry and I want food now, I am not joking. I mean now”, though I try to control myself keeping the good mood [Robin: Signed. But we are both like that, so it’s easier to relate].
Communication is very important, and you should be tolerant with yourself and with others.
Also try to appreciate the silent moments. Immerse yourself in those other cultures. Learn daily and enjoy it. Life it’s too short to spend it only aspiring “to do things some day” instead of doing them right now.
So it’s important to remember these simple things:
Finally: Share your experience.
You’re going to be grateful.
Hey, it’s me again. Robin. Not Augusto anymore.
I hope you enjoyed Augusto’s first work on here just as much as I did. There is a lot of actionable advice in there and I’ll happily pass more writing work on to him in the future 😛
But for now we will give YOU a little job: Augusto and I are waiting for you in the comment area below. Tell us about your experiences, your doubts or questions and we will answer and hopefully help you start travelling.
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PS.: Think you need more actionable advice? Why not get my book about travelling on a small budget?