Augustine of Hippo once said, “The world is a book; and those who don’t travel only read one page.” It’s one of the quotes I always have loved since I started traveling. It is one of the obsessions of the 21st-century population. And one of the major reasons for that is movies and books that depict travels in the most unrealistic ways. You have to understand that real life traveling is nowhere close to the one’s depicted in movies. Most of the people who want to be travelers actually are tourists. You may think both of them are the same thing. But I am here to tell you how you can stop being a tourist and start being a traveler.
Trash the planning
Which flight to book? Which hotel to book? Which guide to be hired? We are too concerned with the planning. Spontaneity is an essential part of a traveler. If you want to be a traveler you need to stop planning every trip to the last detail. Other than the utmost essential you have to just go with the flow. Choose a place to go and follow your heart rather than a plan.
How many times have you seen the hand on top of Eifel tower picture? Enough to make it a joke by now. This is what is called stereotypes when it comes to tourists. If you really wanna travel don’t try to squeeze all the landmarks in minimum time. Is it really so necessary to watch everything rather than relax and enjoy the places you visit?
Take the road less traveled
You already know the famous spots you can see and those are probably the most crowded too. So take the roads that lead you to places that generally tourists don’t visit. It’s okay if you miss a few famous landscapes rather than an opportunity to discover a place that no other tourist has gone. It’s like a private souvenir.
Ditch the 5-star
Does the hotel have a television? Does it provide Wi-Fi? Does it have a cab service? Reminds you of something? Yes, it’s the question we ask the hotels we want a room in when we travel to a place. The whole point of traveling is not to stay in the room so are these things really necessary? No, ditch the costly hotels and use the money to travel more.
Try a homestay
If you really want to learn about a place, you can do that by spending time with the local people. The best way is to try staying with the locals. There are a number of affordable homestays where you would not only get a homely environment but also a lot of memories. Wouldn’t it be better to stay around people rather than alone in a room? Also, this would help you to learn the culture and traditions of the place you are visiting. Don’t hesitate to try a homestay the next time you visit a new place.
Try the public transport
If you want to be a traveler you need to get out of your comfort zone and experiment. Most tourists have a habit of going around the places in cabs. You should avoid that and try maybe a bus or train ride. This way you’ll be able to interact with the locals and also get to see a much larger portion of the place you are visiting.
Speak their language
You don’t need to be fluent in every language on the planet but you can always learn the important words. When you are traveling try learning words like, Please, Hello, Thank you, Bye etc in the native language. This not only makes it easy for you but also makes the locals appreciate you. So spend some time and learn it.
It’s never too late to become a traveler and this obsession is not wrong because traveling would teach you things a classroom can’t. So pack your bags and go somewhere.