Change your life by changing the way you travel
Have you ever thought about the way you travel? About how travelling makes you feel?
I’ve been wondering through these questions since I started travelling in 2001. Back then I had no idea what going to other countries and meeting people and culture from all over the world may mean to me.
But let’s start from the beginning.
(A little favor)
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1. A curious journey
Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the worldGustave Flaubert
This quote is one of the truths of my evolution through travel.
When we’re all shielded in our comfort zone, it’s easier for our minds to “trick” us, and make us think we’re so strong, that we don’t need to get out of this zone. It makes us feel safe.
“So Erik, why are you telling me this? If I’m stronger and safer here, why would I go there?”
I can relate a lot to this and I still have a vivid memory of the moment I understood that is only when you say goodbye to your Comfort Zone that you can really grow stronger and safer through experiences. Guess what I was doing when I had this enlightenment? I was travelling, of course!
First, I learnt that every single person can teach you something, ergo everyone is a teacher. From your parents, to your friends, even the most improbable individual is able to give you value if you’re able to listen.
Paying attention is yet another ability I recommend you develop. See, listen, touch, feel every little detail, learn how to live fully and how to travel fully. This way you can be present in every moment, absorbe every bit of tradition and become a true citizen of the world, a true tracer.
When I started travelling alone, I was still unaware of what a single journey could give me. I wasn’t humble, and as most of us do these days, I started travelling with the sole purpose of visiting what other people showed on social media, what was “cool”, instead of finding the true nature of a journey, being curious about what it could offer me at a personal level.
2. Searching the purpose
After a little period of enjoyment, I realized that travelling was giving me almost nothing at a personal level. But was this really my problem? What was the real purpose of it?
Just when I thought that was over, that I wouldn’t waste any more of my savings in the next City Bus, monument or any kind of touristic place, I understood that travelling was not the problem. The way I was travelling was.
I wasn’t really living my journeys, and they were eventually becoming fading memories, like the pictures I took just to have a “proof” that I had actually been in some place or another.
Despite all this, I couldn’t give up. Travelling was my greatest passion.
3. Taking action
We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us
I decided to apply for a period of studies abroad, but rather than seeing an academic opportunity, I saw a more attractive, personal one: living this “second life” to discover the true nature of travelling.
So I went studying in Portugal, a surprising piece of earth with a great tradition and beautiful people (I’m currently living here); I went with the objective of exploring the country till its roots, as a starting point for what it has now (3 years since then and a lot of countries behind) become my mission: explore our world with the purpose of knowing every detail of the different countries, people, cultures and traditions to be able to leave a trace in this great journey that is life, helping other people discover what it has been lost in our world while also giving a social help contrasting the problem of mass tourism.
The steps I recommend taking to find all the “essence” a place can give are the following:
- Before leaving to a destination, study the territory, the culture and the environment of the place you’re going to. This can help you in some delicate situation with people (every country has his own identity) and also identify the spots where tradition is more concentrated.
- Upon arrival, try talking with every local you meet in order to collect the best “picture” you can. It is important to be always respectful, and especially give yourself value to the conversations, it always pays.
- It is important, at your arrival, that you forget most of the things you read on the web: if you really pay attention, you’ll notice that most of the “touristic places” are not so traditional.
- After you collected your “data”, start exploring with curiosity everything you consider worthy: don’t stop at what all people see, go beyond that (Rafiki’s style :P).
- The one I like the most: it may seem a cliché but.. Feel every moment of your journey. Talk with people, immerse yourself in that different atmosphere you’re going to live in for the next period.
- In order to do this, you have to be completely open-minded: you must understand that you are outside your usual context; So, to fully make the experience yours, you should be aware that you may face some contrasts with your moral, ethics and way of living. Take this positively and try to get the other side without prejudices.
- Time to leave, time to absorb all the energies and memories of your experience, to make it yours forever.
- Take a little pause to reflect upon your adventure: think of what you think you can make yours to improve your life and also of what in your opinion was negative, and take this as an example too.
4. Tracer workflow
This was my personal travel workflow. In the last period I took it with me in my professional life and in my next project. Follow Tracers, great things are coming.
5. Thank you
This was it! What about you? If you are a traveller, digital-nomad or you just like adventure and exploration, you can leave a comment about this article or even tell us your personal travel workflow. It will be my pleasure to read you all and share some precious value! 🙂
This is it for now! a big hug from your web mate,