Travel evokes different moods in different people. For some, it is a sense of adventure, for some, it’s an exercise in leisure. Some people seek thrills in discovering the unknown, while some live vicariously on the trodden path. Some choose guided tours, while some venture off on their own. It takes all kinds of people to make travel, the multi-faceted entity that it is. So, how do you go about experiencing the different sides that this entity has to offer? How do you improve your travel game? The biggest question to ask is – do you want to? If you answered “Yes”…then you have come to the right place. Here are a few tips to make you push the limits of travel further.
- Do your research (online & offline) – Avoid behaving like a tourist and learn to blend into the crowd. Cliché travel outfits are passé. That safari suit you bought last year, probably won’t help matters if you happen to go to a Luau. Neither will that Polka dotted bikini that you got at an absolute steal, win you some local favor, if you choose to wear it at an Indian temple town. Dress comfortably and wear clothing more befitting of local traditions. This way you don’t stand out like a sore thumb, and will enjoy a more natural, travel experience. Before you head off to destinations unknown, be more tech savvy, and enquire about online apps and maps that simplify your travel.
- Go Local – Travelling should be an enriching experience. Learn a new language or simply pick up basic phrases of the local language. What better way to learn and practice your school French, than in the city of L’amour itself? Make sure you try out local delicacies. Most tourists make a bee line for the closest McDonald or Pizza hut. Why not try the Escargots or Souvlaki instead?
- Get in shape – Travel can be tiring, and very demanding, both physically and mentally. After planning a meticulous tour itinerary, you wouldn’t want to travel all the way to a wonderful city just to run out of gas and be unable to act on all your plans, would you? Prepare yourself physically to be in sync with your plans. In short, work out, to make your plans work out.
- Teach yourself to pack light and tight – Nothing drains a traveler and drags them down more easily than over-packed luggage. As tough as it may seem, learn to tackle the challenges of travelling light. You will thank yourself. Weight not, want not.
- Organize themes around your destinations (renaissance art museums, world war sites, surfing beaches etc) – Create theme-trips of your own, according to your own reading habits & historical stories of personal significance.. Go read that favorite book of yours in the city it is set in, or attend a performance of your favorite art form in the country/city of its origin…for there’s nothing like experiencing the real thing.
- Adopt an art form for memory-keeping – Adopt or hone a lost hobby. Be a writer or a photographer or an artist and document your expressions. Preserve your best moments for posterity.
- Indulge in the art of conversation – Nothing spruces up travel like a chance encounter and a fascinating conversation. Let your guard down and strike a conversation. You will gain fascinating new insights.