What does a person need to Become a Traveller like you? One of my readers in China, Twinkel Auho asked me this via Facebook. To inspire others who also want to Become a Traveller let’s discuss the question below using my 5 years experience!!
Many of us “Travel,” that is take holidays and vacations. But a traveller is someone who takes it a step further and makes travelling more of a lifestyle. Perhaps they spend months at a time away from home, even years, finding work along the way to fund their travels.
So what do you need to Become a Traveller?
Travellers are always in search of something new. It could be beaches, jungles, wild mountains, cities, intense isolation. Whatever it is there, they have one thing in common. We all enjoy new experiences. New friends, new languages, new food, new cultures. It is what makes our life interesting and therefore we continue to search for it.
I can honestly say that almost every day something happens that requires flexibility. Maybe a change of local bus timetable, bad weather, you didn’t make it to the destination or didn’t feel safe at your hostel. At times like these you will have to be flexible and just “go with it.” If you are easy going and can think out side the box there is no situation that cant be solved!
To avoid these sort of problems travellers tend to have less set plans. And the best experiences are often spontaneous and can happen at anytime! “Must see” places can always wait for next time.
Don’t expect to travel like a “tourist” every day for months on end. If you try to see every sight and do every tour everywhere you go you will get burnt out fast. Learn to pace yourself and enjoy the moment.
This is more for the really long term travellers like me. Every week or so I say good bye to new friends. Awesome people that I might have been forever best friends with if I lived in one place but because I constantly move it hard to keep in touch. I do keep in touch with a lot of people via Facebook but its challenging.
My family and I keep in touch via Skype and email regularly.
I also never get homesick, or miss anything almost ever. In some ways you actually become a bit heartless.
Its ok to miss a few things but to be a long term traveller its better to look forward at what amazing experiences are coming next. Rather than dwell in the past missing home. In most case home is always going to be there when you go back so just live in the moment and enjoy!
This is very important. As a traveller you don’t tend to have a lot of money. Or at least the goal is to make it last as long as possible. So to make travelling easier I recommend having as little on going expenses as possible.
Some common ongoing expenses to try and avoid are:
Yes you need money to travel. But no you don’t need as much as you think. How much? Well I travel for around $1000 a month. In a good month that’s $1000 New Zealand so $700 USD and an expensive month its $1000 USD. I try to get jobs that include food and board and work intensively, 7 days a week to save money faster.
If $1000 a month is too much for you don’t worry. There are other ways. You can try volunteering, Woofing or best of all working and travelling! My best travel memories are from working in different countries. See This Link for everything about working holiday countries.
For some ways to save money while travelling please: 10 Awesome Money Saving Tips For Travellers
Number one you need a backpack! Don’t take a suit case! A backpack gives you the freedom to go where you want when you want without relying on other people and paying for taxis and stuff.
Also take just the minimum of what you REALLY need. There is no point carrying extra things. I have never been to a country that I couldn’t find everything I needed anyway! Don’t take extras and spares of things.
To read more about what you REALLY need to carry please read my post: Whats in my Backpack?
Unless you are in the EU travelling in the EU then you will need a passport. And for Americans, true travelling starts when you leave your home country so get that passport and be free!
Some passports are surely much better than others. I have been very lucky to have a “good” passport. However if your passport requires you to obtain visa’s for most countries then it will be a bit more work. Every passport can travel to some countries without a visa so start with these countries to get the hang of travelling and then move on to countries that require a visa.
A common misconception is that travellers are always on “holiday” or “vacation” therefore life must always be perfect and amazing. Yes lots of the time it is but to go with that there also the harder times. Like the long haul flight, or 10-20 hour bus rides. The sleeping in rough hostels or hotels or sleeping on the deck of ferries.
For example in Turkey I spent 30 hours on a bus trying to get somewhere. My longest flight was 36 hours from Malaysia to New York. The most sleep I have ever managed in an airport over-nighter is probably 3 hours. Unless you have a high budget these sort of thing may well become apart of your adventure too! Don’t let it put you off! Be prepared and embrace it! You generally forget the hardships and just remember the good times!
Equally important is what don’t you need to Become a Traveller?
I hope to inspire others to also travel like I do. If you find this post useful or know someone who wants to Become a Traveller then please share this post around!
Remember: “Don’t listen to what they say…go see!”