To give it away right from the start, yes, it is! Travelling can be a lot of fun. BUT and yes, there is always a ‘but’, you have to do it right and better start thinking of how you like to do it before you even leave your home. From experience I can tell you that if you leave everything open and up to your spontaneity, then it CAN turn into a stressful experience…if you are not the person who can handle it. So make up your mind first and then chose your way. Who wants to come home after a trip with nothing but the need for more vacation…?
Travelling really can be a very fulfilling activity from which you get lots of new insights and that can even change your life. You make new friends all over the world, you might come home with an even longer list of places to visit next, you might have a totally different attitude or have changed your thoughts about life in general. Travelling is not only about bringing home tons of megabytes in form of a trillion more pictures. If you do it right, it could bring you a long lasting positive effect.
So, before you start travelling, put on your gear and get ready for your adventure!
You might want to ask yourself some questions, yes, philosophical ones like: how do I like my life? Organised or spontaneously created? Would I be miserable if I didn’t have the same standards or comforts that I have at home? Do I need to be surrounded by friends or do I enjoy being alone? What is important to me when visiting a new place? Would I rather relax at the beach all the time or fill my schedule with sightseeing or sports?
All these questions before you go on a trip will help you to avoid disappointments and stressful situations later on the road. Ask yourself, what makes you happy and try to consider that in your organisation. Take with you all that you really can’t miss on your trip…..
…but be critical with yourself and try to decide to take only REALLY important things…
Once you have decided how your trip should look like, be honest with yourself. Look, I did my first year of travelling with the conviction that my preferred way of travelling would have to follow the motto ‘go with the flow’. And I actually enjoyed it that way and never minded much those long, mostly very hot and chaotic arrivals to a new place without having a plan. It was a great experience from which I learned that I am absolutely open to changes and love considering all those options that are out there….
During that first year I mostly never knew where I would sleep the following night. Sometimes I did not even know where I would go next. All I knew was that I had a rough route to follow and that I had to go into one direction around the world. I purchased my ticket back in 2011 from a German travel agency called “Reiss aus” http://www.aroundtheworldticket.de who gave me the option to change my dates for free any time I wanted.
I called the airline to postpone each and every single one of my 10 flights!
That was great! I loved it….but it was also really tiring! Oh boy did I change my mind a lot! Staying in one place longer than planned obviously affected all the following flight dates and meant that I had less time for those other scheduled places… well, technically that could have been the consequence of my changes. But since I had no rush to go home or keep my initial schedule it just meant that in the end my intended 6 months trip turned into one complete year of travelling.
To Australia I even came back a couple of years later and stayed there for a whole year. But that’s a different story…..
So if you are flexible in time then better go get yourself an open return ticket! You never know before how much you might like the places you go to!!! And leaving everything open is a great way if you have the time to do so. I remember there were many situations when I even got a much better deal than fellow backpackers who booked their rooms in advance. Just because sometimes (not every time of course!) you are lucky enough to get some real insider advice from a local or you get to a place where you can actually negotiate before you check in….
To be fair though, running around with your luggage can be really exhausting. Plus all that time that you are spending on your search for an accommodation reduces your free time that you might use for exploring the place or lay on the beach. Unless of course you do it like I did it that first year and simply adjust your return flight…
Always keep in mind that it all depends on your taste and if you prefer to have things fully planned ahead. So there are two options for you to consider:
- book accommodation in advance if you want a hassle free arrival and have more time to stand and stare at the beauty of the places you go to…
- OR don’t book anything ahead if you are on a mission to simply go with the flow! In that case, just sit back, relax and be open for spontaneous changes…
After four years on the road, I am still have an open-minded spirit, I guess. And I don’t book everything in advance. But I do appreciate a certain amount of organisation and preparation…now I do more research about the places I go to in order to have a better idea where I want to go and what I want to see. Just because I have come to prefer those luggage-less moments a lot more than the ones where you are you are fully geared up and feel like a donkey.
But perhaps everyone has to grow into travelling and find out their own ideal way of doing it. For whatever style you decide, you have to make sure you and the person who travels with you can enjoy it and you both keep on smiling! 😀