It was a rainy Saturday afternoon and I was browsing through a bunch of travelling blogs hoping to get inspired on this rather uneventful day. At one point there’s this question that starts floating around in my head, and then it brought up five more, and I couldn’t get it out of my head. I needed to write about it. The question is: What do you travel for?
When I think about freedom, I think about travelling. If travelling is freedom, does this mean that there is no freedom when not travelling? Then what do you travel for? It isn’t just one question, but five questions in one. We have all studied the Five Ws in school, they certainly apply to the travelling mind.
- Who ?
- What ?
- When ?
- Where ?
- Why ?
First question: who?
I have always told myself that I would never depend on anyone for my travels, or wait for anyone. If I want to go somewhere, it’s in my hands to make it happen. It is just too disappointing to depend on someone and then at the last minute, they pull out for whatever reason. Once I’m decided on where to travel, my organisational skills take over. I’m on drive mode and thrive on this adrenaline boost for months of research and planning.
I’ll Tell You What, Where & When!
I’m like a travel agent that works for free. I plan the trip, and you bring the good company. The way I work is that as soon as I have saved enough money for the plane ticket; I buy it. The rest is part of the adventure. Once you have your plane ticket, it becomes your motivation. It becomes so exciting to think about what is coming up next; a trip to Iceland, Austria or Croatia? Can’t stop working, give me double shifts, a second job, I’ll cut the neighbour’s grass!
My Booking Website Go-Tos
Am I a travel agent? No, but I have to say, I love planning trips. I love looking for the cheapest plane tickets, the nicest hostels or couches to surf on, the best deals on activities and tours, the best ways to get from one town to another. Google flights has proved to be a resourceful tool for finding cheap flights recently. There is also this new app that has amazing deals on flights called Momondo. I would have to say that Momondo is the first website I look at when I start dreaming about a destination.
Travelling Solo: Why?
Solo travelling can sometimes get quite expensive. The only reason you need to be at the hostel is to sleep; the adventure is outside. Plus you meet great people at hostels. Last year when I was road tripping Arizona, I met amazing people at a hostel in Flagstaff and their suggestions helped me not miss the most amazing landmarks and wonders of the world. I usually prefer to reserve at HI Hostels and YHA hostels which a known to be almost always clean, cheap and they all have wifi. Tip: If you get a membership card at HI Hostels, you usually safe 10% each night 😉
Most of my trips are lightly planned, but not for every minute of every day. It’s nice to leave space to spontaneity because that is a big part of what backpacking is. I never really book more than the first two nights of my trip at a hostel or Air BNB, the rest can be figured out as I go.
The Adventure Awaits
I was in Sydney, Australia a few years ago and I had only booked two nights at the hostel when I first got there, Then came the weekend. It was October and Sydney Harbour was celebrating the 100th anniversary of the naval fleet of Australia. The whole town was booked out, Rihanna and One Direction were giving concerts and Prince William was also in town for the occasion. I had no place to sleep that night. No panic I told myself, it was still early in the day and surely I had other options. So I booked a flight to Melbourne and left 2 hours later. Just like that, I packed my bags and jumped into another adventure. That is how you travel, always prepare for the unexpected because the adventure is waiting for you.
So What do I Travel For?
Back to the original question, it’s now time for the answer. I travel for life experiences and freedom. But I haven’t answered the whole question yet, because when you travel you have to figure out which part of you is travelling. I guess that’s the real question. It’s not about what but rather who do you travel for? Ask me who I’m travelling for.
Me, myself, and I.