There are different ways of travelling. A tourist goes away to be entertained or enjoy a relaxed vacation. A traveler goes to experience new things and learn from new cultures. An adventurer or wanderer goes to challenge him/herself and come back a different person. Here we present you some challenges for your trip to achieve the latter 🙂
I have no clue of what she’s serving me, but isn’t traveling all about trying new and unknown things?
Change the traditional “where are you from?” when you talk with other travelers: ask more profound questions such as how’s the trip changing this person, or what are the biggest challenges and learning experiences he/she’s having. How’s the country you are both traveling takes him/herself from the comfort zone? Share as well your story, connect more deeply.
Go against what’s normal: eat only what the locals eat, try more street food or, even, why not letting go entirely of your food decisions and when you arrive to a restaurant asking a local to choose for you? Use couchsurfing in cities and, while in villages, ask a local family to sleep in their house and share meals with them – these are often the experiences that will stay with you longer and impact your overall trip. Or even, try sometimes to sleep on the street, you will be surprised by what you can learn from homeless people or the random acts of kindness that emerge from everywhere.
Talk more with people you usually don’t meet: sit in local coffee shops and start conversations with that old man sitting there passing time. Stay yourself nearby a street musician and after enjoying a concert (and giving a coin) strike a conversation and try to learn his/her story. Buy some food or drinks to share with and unknown person.
Follow a person for a day: make friends with someone local from the country you are traveling and ask him/her to spend a day together, visit the family, go to work and learn a new skill, etc. How is this person living life and the different ways he or she sees the world?
Be mindful: during every moment but special in those ones that some tension emerges from inside, try to be present with yourself and instead of reacting aggressively pay attention to the sensations in your body, the prejudices in your mind, a more general and unbiased point of view as if you were observing the situation you are in from a third-person perspective.
Hitchhike: for short trips, especially in the countryside, try the vulnerability of staying on the side of the road to ask for a ride with an unknown person. Surrendering to the uncertainty of destination has the power of giving a whole different level of experience to your journey, and on the way you will definitely meet some incredible people and have different conversations of what you would have in the comfort and certainty of a touristic bus.
Document and express your journey: journaling, doodling or any other medium of expression, keep a way to represent your trip beyond the typical tweets and selfies. How was really your journey? How were you confronted with different ways of seeing and living? How did it made you grow? Keep a diary, draw more instead of only photographing, experiment new mediums of expression and find one that really represents you.
And besides all, traveling is all about crafting your own journey and not following other people’s rules, so feel free to dismiss any of the above and do your own thing… And meanwhile, we wish you great and beautiful adventures!