#DoYouIndie That’s the hashtag for these quiz questions I’m answering for Bootsn’all.com in their independent traveler challenge. Yes, I Indie!….
…….which I interpret as traveling solo all over the world. We intrepid veterans of the road are being asked a question a day for the month of November in order to pass on our wisdom to the not-yet-initiated. Here are my answers to the November 6th question:
What are your top five travel tips for new travelers before they start a trip?
- Be imaginative and don’t follow the crowd! Do you really enjoy trooping behind a tour guide’s little red umbrella? Didn’t think so. You won’t be lonely, even if you travel solo, like I do. So, get familiar with an Atlas and a globe and go for it!
3. Initiate your conversations with strangers when on the road! People are friendly and interested in your story, as you will be in theirs. Start talking, often and early. Otherwise, why bother leaving home?
4. Get comfortable with your budget. If you can live within it in the U.S, and if you can control your ongoing, at-home expenses by renting out your house, for instance; then you can probably live cheaper while you’re out on the world trail and still stay well within your budget. Hotels are expensive and boring. Hostels are four times less, have kitchens and big dining tables that encourage friendships. They also have fine rooms with double beds and ensuite bathrooms; as well as dormitory bunk rooms with shared bathrooms down the hall. And, contrary to kneejerk conclusions, they’re not noisy or full of juveniles. I know! I stay in hostel dormitories, even the mixed dorm rooms and I sleep like a baby!
5. Beware of that old wet-blanket Fear! You can’t afford it and it’s not worth the attention you might give it. Confident, well-prepared travelers deflect danger that might lie in wait for the timid. The difference is the same as that between the Captain of a ship and a steerage passenger. The first has done his homework; the latter doesn’t have a clue about the sea that surrounds him and can’t even enjoy the voyage.
So, there it is! Take charge of your life! Eat alone in restaurants , as I’m doing as I write this. Don’t worry about anything. You really can’t go wrong. You may wind up “Somewhere Else” but it will expand your comfort zone, just like our Ship Captain has learned in a few stormy seas. It’s the journey that counts!