Sunday, 21 September 2014

Fighting your demons, becoming better; Travel to cure your soul


We could have endless discussions about the positive effects of leaving the security and comforts of home in favour of the mixture of excitement and fear that you experience by leaving that familiarity behind to face the unknown.

If you have never done it before  and however you are contemplating the possibility of doing it eventually, I am writing this to give you the final push.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

7 Essential Don'ts for the solo traveller that won't save your life but will may it easier

Very recently I wrote an apparently quite successful (thank you!) post about my personal 9 politically incorrect Do’s for the Solo Traveller and because where there is Ying there is Yang, where there is love there is hate, here there are another 9 because when there are reasons why you should do something, there also some other reasons why you shouldn’t do it.
In my opinion some of us we must be deliciously insane to take a backpack and fly for far too many hours in an uncomfortable plane seat (I take it that if you are travelling with your backpack and a budget and not in that order of priorities) you will fly tourist and throw yourself to a strange land.
While out there, there are so many things that you should Do, I truly believe that to make the experience unforgettable and useful for you, the Do’s must always overcome the Don’ts, it is just a matter of common sense; Do has a positive connotation of being proactive, brave, an achiever, a creator of experiences BUT not always is a good idea to be ready to DO and hence this post. It is indeed based only on my own experiences and so you must read it like this. May you find something useful among my words, please do take it and use it, how wonderful that we can all learn from each other.
 Here they are, I hope you like them!
I was really naïve at the very beginning of my travels; I badly wanted to believe that everyone was nice and the world was full of good people. For most of the time I like to believe that, BUT.
Look, I may sound now like a bad person and don’t take me wrong, I love helping because I have the capacity to put myself in other people’s shoes but the sad reality is that there are a lot of scams out there and many of them will come from fellow travellers (shock!). My first DON’T is be nice and emphatic but not naïve. If you see an a fellow traveller that looks more capable of travelling the world that you will ever do and tells you that someone has stolen his wallet and has not money at all and needs you to give him so money…well, think but really think, observe and trust your feelings.
If you become Saint Mother of Theresa of the Travellers and give him money and then he tells you to give him a bigger amount, well….What would you do? I tell you what you should do. Don’t give this traveller money, 90% he is lying and relying on your good faith.
  Be forever grateful for the countries you visit and the people that welcome you to their houses and lives, most locals are just too wonderful for words BUT the world is not pink, unfortunately and so not all the locals are nice, accommodating, generous people. Truth is, out there are also those that are waiting for you to get something. Unfortunately there are countries where these are abundant. I did experience a lot of that in Vietnam, incredible place but also incredible scams.
Don’t trust every local that approach you with a smile, unfortunately, chances are that many of those smiles are not genuine hence why, once again, you should trust your feelings. You don’t know yet, but they are full of wisdom.

  We all love a drink. We all love a drink in an exotic land. We all love a drink in a exotic land full of attractive people. We all love a free drink in an exotic land full or attractive people.
I guarantee you that if you travel long enough, there will be a time or many times that you will end up in a bar in good company and you must enjoy it, those are moments to be lived with intensity but as tempted as you are to accept that exotic colourful drink that this attractive man (in my case) is offering you…well, Don’t. You want a drink, you get it. You want to accept a drink from someone, please do spend some time talking and getting to know this person. Of course most people will wish the same as you, to have a good time but hey…the world is not pinkie, remember?
  Oh… the joys of having sex with a stranger. The night if young, the music loud, the sky has a curtain of stars, the sea is warm, the beer cold, you are tanned and happy and carefree and the world is your oyster and you are as far away from home as you can be, so far away…you can do anything, no one if going to judge you, they won’t find out if you don’t want to. Those are very powerful feelings, very powerful….
To be this free in an exotic land it makes you do things that you wouldn’t do at home, I know because I’ve been there. You know the been there, done that, right?
If you are alone and happy to be alive, I can pretty much promise to you that you will sleep with a stranger and you totally should, why not?  But if this is a male stranger and desires you as much as you desire him, chances are that he will slip protection. Don’t let that happen, just don’t. An orgasm doesn’t’ last a lifetime unless other things.
  My fifth don’t is very simple and straight forward. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. It is simple and yet many people ignore this. Call it a sixth sense that help us protect ourselves, I really don’t know what it is but I know how important is to learn to read the signs that unconsciously your mind gives you. No travels are exempt of difficulties, it is highly important that you remain aware of everything that surrounds you and act in accordance to how you feel.
 Don’t shut up, do speak up. You will disagree fully in many circumstances, many times you will have to fight your way into things, discuss it or argue and so what, don’t be shy or stupid because you feel you own to people to be nice because you are far away from home. It does not matter, backpacking can be tough, don’t believe those that come back home full of only good experiences, that is not true. You go out there and many times you will go through difficulties, I promise you that not every day will be easy hence why you should never shut up, do yourself a favour and don’t because the moment you jump onto that plane and your most faithful company is a backpack, you will have only yourself to take you to places, this won’t be any easier by not expressing yourself.
Don’t stop the communication with your people. You own to your family all sorts of explanations about your new life, whether is temporary or not. Because you are overwhelmed with this new life of freedom and lack of responsibilities, doesn’t mind that what you leave behind it suddenly appears less important. I know is too easy to keep travelling and getting lost in your experiences but don’t forget that possibly none of that is because somehow you had a family that supported you and that is why, no matter how much fun are you getting or how difficult is to find a computer, you should never forget about those that are at home concern about you, They deserve to know that you are taking care of yourself. Don’t let anything get on the way between you and them. Don’t forget the important stuff.

About those travel struggles that make you stronger

“Never let a stumble on the road be the end of the journey”

Have you ever been far, far away from home in a country that surprised, scared or shocked you? Have you been challenged in your travels? Have the circumstances been difficult to handle?
Have you ever being in a country that you have dreamt endlessly to visit, wishing you could go back home, even if this feeling lasted for only ten seconds just to realised right away of your own stupidity for wishing such thing?

When your friend picks up his/her backpack and head towards the unknown, you are too right to admire this person. Believe me that whichever adventures or tales your friend brings back home, this person has struggled beautifully to accomplish a dream, to be awaken by other realities.
There are so many ways you can choose to visit the world but not all of them will present you with the same difficulties, therefore you must decide what kind of person you wish to be. Do you want to be a traveller or do you want to be a tourist? Whichever option you choose, I’m sure it will bring magic and surprise to your life, however I dare to affirm that there is one of those options that will change you forever where you will never look ahead the same way as you did before when you didn’t know what you were; a tourist or a traveller.