This is a 6-part short series on how to be a frequent traveller. This chapter talks about the trevellers mindset. I am talking about inner changes, about your attitude, on how you interact with the world, about how you see things.
You Will Change Internally
There you go, living the dream, one country after another! You will teach, learn, share and, sooner or later, you’ll start to think different. You will be aware that beyond your city, your country, your motherland, there is the World. And there is a lot to learn from it!
To take the best from it, you should behave differently. We’re not talking about changing your routine in life here. No, I am talking about inner changes, about your attitude, on how you interact with the world, about how you see things.
Become a Social Person
Becoming a social person might seem pretty wide and bullshit advice, but it’s not. First, ask yourself why you travel; if the answer is “chilling by the pool on fancy resorts”, you are reading the wrong article and can go back to your tabloid; if the answer is “to explore the world and know yourself better”, you’re at the right place.
One golden rule: reciprocity. This is an exchange, you’re not buying, selling or paying for anything! When people help you, you cannot just say “sorry dude, I cannot” when they ask you something back, it just cannot work like that. When someone helps me, I see it as a favor to give back. You don’t want to be seen as a hypocrite arrogant asshole, I met a few. There is no accounting of course, but the most basic thing is to always answer your messages. I hate that so much when I message someone and that person just never answers, even after days. Try to connect her/him with others friend of your network, they might be able to help each other, become friends or even start dating! I contributed to form two international couples by connecting my friends together.
Information is Power
The power you’re looking for is not a competitive advantage, but rather, flexibility. Be curious & and anticipate what comes next. When you’re travelling, I suggest that you try to do 3 things: find alternatives, challenge options and keep calender vacant to be more flexible.
You sure you want to do this group trekking whereas you have a map and your equipment? Is that or this tour worth its price? What about a cheap overnight train instead of a short expensive flight or a long free hitchhiking ride(s)?
Challenge various options
Once you have your alternatives in mind, assess them. Most of the time, you will be facing the time vs money paradox, aka “what’s fast is expensive and what’s slow is cheap”. How much is your time worth? It’s all about choices
- You want to go to Machu Picchu. Are you going to pay 120USD for a direct 3h train ride or about three times less for a bumpy but yet scenic 8h bus + 3h hiking trip?
- Pay 100USD for the 3day Santa Cruz trek tour in Peru or are you going to do it on your own for half of the price?
- Fly to Australia with Emirates for a 1000 USD or low cost with 2 layovers for half of the price?
Keep your calendar vacant
Don’t forget a Treveller is looking for flexibility so that he/she can jump on a cool opportunity. Try not to commit in advance. There is nothing more frustrating than being stuck with a deadline for an existing booking.
- Keep your calendar clear, apart from your round-trip flights if you have some.
- It will allow you to go trekking when the weather is best, to assist a given event you haven’t planned before, like a concert, a fair or a race and, more generally, get last minute deals.
- The downside of it is sometimes to find yourself stuck, because of overbooking or over-pricing, this is part of the game but luckily, it’s not so common.
Trevellers tips: if you have to choose between bus and train, always go for the train. This is another atmosphere, you can walk around, socialize, and most of the time the scenery is even better, that’s what I found out in Myanmar, Indonesia or Vietnam. It is sometimes much slower than the bus though. Check out www.seat61.com, best website ever to plan your rail journeys.
Travelling expensively has changed me, even shaped me in a way. I am very keen to share this experience with people, from all backgrounds: people willing to start travelling, or doing it even more often, wiser or in a more sustainable way. I have received more help, friendships and kindness that I would have expected. For me, this is a way for me to give back, to help people in return, to inspire beginners.