How to travel – (some personal aphorisms to help you)

Travelling as recreation is a luxury most people can’t afford. If you never forget this, you’ll never get frustrated when things go wrong.

If you come back the same person as when you left – you didn’t travel. You should have stayed at home.

Every man is a fortress with high walls and watchtowers. Lower the drawbridge. Lower the walls. Only then will you see the far horizon and the distant mountains with the white peaks.

We view the world and we view the people in it through the ‘lens’ of our preconceptions and personalities. Some see the world through a gloomy lens. Others through a sunny blue filter. Is the world sunny or gloomy – or is it your filter that makes it so?

When you arrive at a new place and don’t feel anything…you should have gone somewhere else.

Sights. Smells. Tastes. Touch. Hearing. These are your tools of exploration. But the biggest and best tool is your brain. Let it soak in everything. Let it be another skin.

To many people travel can seem like just ‘getting to a place’ and then ‘getting to another place’ followed by ‘getting to another place’. Yet it is the intervening period, when you are getting somewhere, en route, that takes up most of your time. The getting to a place and the finally being there are both just as important. It’s not only the destination, it’s also the journey.

Don’t join tour groups if you can help it. Go solo. Explore on your own two feet. Head down alleyways that don’t look inviting and knock on doors…who knows who might answer.

From a distance all places lack detail and seem smooth and perfect and like dreams. Once you’re there – the detail can hit you hard. That is a good thing.

If you don’t suffer any misery or difficulty or annoyance on a trip…you are not stepping outside your zone.

Always try and stay in cheap hotels and eat local food. It is not poisonous. The unique tastes of a place will dissolve into the sights in your memory scape.

People might look different abroad and speak a strange guttural tongue that seems barbarian. But they are like you and me. They want the same things: love, hope, food, shelter, a good fulfilling job and a smile now and again.

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