Back in April, I celebrated three years of traveling blogging, and in five days, I will celebrate five years of traveling. In honor of both those occasions, I asked you, my readers, six questions as a lead-up to my big travel anniversary. It’s been really interesting seeing your responses over the last few months. We’ve been through five of the questions, and today we finish with the last one: What advice would you give to new travelers?
One of the first blog posts I ever wrote was my advice for new travelers. Since I shared my advice, it’s time for you to share yours:
“Most people in the world are out to help, not hurt you. We spend so much time being told not to accept candy from strangers because they are going harm us that we forget that sometimes, the woman next to you on the bus just has some spare sweets to share.” – Alex
“Never have expectations. Open yourself up to the endless possibilities, and the world will offer you more than you knew was out there.” – Jessica
“Take it slow and don’t plan too much. Have an idea of what you want to do and see, but try not to lock anything down until you have to.” – Mike
“You’re going to enjoy these experiences ten times more once you are back home. You will relive every moment, regret all you didn’t do, and make it out to be much more exciting than you realized it was at the time. While few newbies realize it at the time, your travel experience only becomes better once you are home and as time goes on.” – Aaron
“A big smile and some enthusiastic pointing will get you a lot further than looking stricken as you struggle with unfamiliar verbs. That being said, if you can memorize “hello,” “thank you,” and “I’ll have a beer, please,” it does make life slightly easier.” – Susan
“Traveling is not so much about the places you visit or the things you do, it’s about the people you connect with and the experiences you share. It’s about immersing yourself in and learning about another culture, so be open-minded and respectful so you can get the most out of your travels.” – Niki
” ‘When you travel, things go wrong.’ That’s been my mantra for years now. If people can be at peace with that before they leave home, they’ll have much happier trips. The farther away we step from our comfort zones, and our homes where we know how to do things, the greater the chances are that things will go awry. If we’re going to have happy journeys, we need to accept those moments rather than resist them. Later on, they usually end up being our best stories.” – David Fox
“Slow down and enjoy your time. So many new travelers try to see everything in a short amount of time and they get burnt out.” – James
“Pack less and spend less! As we did Asia first, we quickly realized that all the expensive clothes we bought and packed into our big rucksacks were a waste of money and time. Just buy the cheaper T-shirts and tops, as when you need new ones, they last about as long and cost a whole lot less.” – JW
“Don’t skip out on doing something, because you never know if or when you’ll return.” – Michael
“All the stuff you really need can fit into one bag that’s easy to carry, no matter how long your trip.” – Sarah
“Take it slow! You have your whole life ahead of you; there’s no need to fit everything you possibly can into a single trip. Also, build in some recovery days, particularly if you plan to travel long-term. It’s important to remember to take care of yourself, even when (or perhaps especially when!) you’re on the road.” – Christy
“Accept every invitation, because you don’t know the outcome until it arrives.” – Maria
“Go with the flow! Be amenable to change. Not everything is going to go according to plan, and you have to be OK with that. Embrace spontaneity!” – Allie
“You CAN do the travel thing. It’s easier than it seems, and there are so many other people out there doing the same thing.” – Mike
“Keep in touch with home. Some travelers will tell you that the Internet has destroyed travel, and I get their point. Once in a while, it’s good to disconnect. However, traveling solo will mean you sometimes get lonely, and even a five-minute Facebook chat with a friend back home can help cheer you up on a blue day.” – Tom
“Be open to everything. Traveling is meant to be a new experience, so don’t close yourself off to things you initially reckon you won’t like, as you will more likely than not be surprised.” – Rob
“Clean underwear are a luxury worth having.” – Crystal
“Book the flight that starts your trip, and leave the rest to the road. That first one makes sure you don’t put it off forever, and the freedom afterward leaves you open to whatever randomness traveling throws at you. ” – Stephen
Thank you, everybody who participated and sent in responses to the questions over the last few months. This was very interesting and I learned a lot about you. (I hope you learned a lot about each other!)
I asked my readers a series of six questions about travel. Read their answers to the other five intriguing questions:
Why did you start traveling?
What is your greatest travel memory?
What’s the one item you can’t travel without?
What’s the worst thing that has happened to you?
What is your greatest regret?