“Travelling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things: air, sleep, dreams, sea, the sky…” Cesare Pavese
Plan your trips but don’t be afraid to wander of your plan
More than often, planning a trip gets us to a dimension of excitement, anticipating and researching. Even after an umpteenth time of making travel lists, every next travel is new, original, special and unique. Every undiscovered region, unseen place and unmet face calls you to set off and get to know another you at another site. For what’s more, sometimes going back to the same place just to see all the ways you have grown and changed. Nevertheless, all of this travel frenzy might make travellers neglect a very important notion – one’s safety when travelling.
We have all figured out that planning a trip is more than just about choosing the country and picking out the place to stay.
But what is actually safety and what does it mean when you are on an adventurous journey?
Firstly, it’s planning and secondly it’s responsibility. Carefree travel means responsible travel and you need to start by arranging it while at the same time having enough responsibility to see it through. Knowing where you are every step of the way removes stress and anxiety from the unforeseeable; it makes you feel in control.
You might say, “Oh, but that kills all the fun!” Or I could hear “You sound like my mom!” (and I really don’t want that here). Actually, I must admit, it might kill the fun the first time you travel but only for a while, while you think about it, once you start planning and preparing for it, and feel the moment when know you are ready and all set, the adventure starts.
Learn about the place you are about to visit
What I’ve also learned on my trips is that you want to know things. So the third thing is knowledge.
You get educated by traveling.- Solange Knowles
Whenever you take a new destination, you want to know as many things as you can about the place, the country and the people. History is an everyday thing; maybe you already heard and know so much.
But what do you know about the actual people? Is there something you are not supposed to say or do, and are there words that will make an awkward moment and send a wrong message? What are the cultural differences that can bring the satisfaction of hearing someone’s life story, seeing the different life they lead and in the long run make you appreciate yours even more? Now, if you fail to learn this, you are being careless, and it might ruin the joy of meeting new people.
Any big, poisonous spiders around? Eeeek!
Then, it couldn’t hurt knowing about the creatures that can visit you at night, especially when rounding exotic countries. You do not want to scream like a lunatic in the middle of the night just because there is “something” in your room or tent.
A small thing like a spider or mosquito can change the way you see the world. It is the very thing that expands consciousness and denotes content in living through every moment.
Brush up on the bite symptoms common to the part of the world you have set out to experience.
Ask about the ingredients of the food you will succumb to eating especially if you have any kind of allergies. Yeah, it is a new experience people neglect to think they’ll have. Know where the closest doctor is and how to reach it.
Fourthly, and undeniably, safety means freedom
Safety is something that happens between your ears, not something you hold in your hands. Jeff Cooper
The very thing that should happen between your ears, aside from evaluating where and what to eat, regards researching if there are any constraints to movement. Asking about the areas you want to wander off to will keep you out of trouble.
The moment you can relax and follow your itinerary, you know you have reached the stage of freedom. This can be freedom of movement, freedom of not thinking about the time of the day, freedom of being far away from the rut or just feeling the liberation and plunging into breathing in the world which is old for some and at the same time fresh and new for you.
Just remember one thing; not having a watch is for a holiday, for lying on the beach and not being worried about dinner. On the contrary to this, visiting remote areas means you need to mind the time of the day, firstly because of animals that you might encounter at a certain time, or in the modern concrete jungle – people.
You do not want to miss your last ride. Somehow, you get the picture that staying without a ride can ensure acquaintance with more freedom than you ever thought you’ll have (not necessarily a good thing again) or rob you from its preciousness. Resourcefulness is one thing, but developing adeptness in examining what your next step is leads to smart travel and an escapade of events.
Let’s make money the final bullet point.
Of course, you will manage the budget you have for the travel and you will do it in a way suitable for you. Some like to plan the budget for every day and stick to it rigorously, while others risk staying with a few bucks in their pockets and make it an art of coming home (which is a topic for another time).
Whatever works for you, it’s OK, but you should have some “back up” money or “just in case” money in the amount of the ticket home. Prudently decide where that money should be as pickpockets target tourists, and it’s difficult not to look like one with a giant backpack.
A first aid kit, fresh batch of bandages and antiseptic are by now on the list of every traveller.
Making these things your routine by no means takes away the fun from travelling. On the contrary, they allow you to give yourself in completely to the new world you have decided to enter and have given yourself in to experience.