So… I did an awful job of keeping this up to date, but I did it! I’m on the road. I quit my job on April 7, headed to Boston on April 15th, and landed in Cape Town on April 19th.
I spent the first few weeks with a friend, and have been traveling solo ever since!
Day 1: My burner buddy Bucket and I set off for Cape Town to go to Afrikaburn.
Day 30: Left Kigali, Rwanda for Bangkok, Thailand.
I have so much to say about Afrikaburn, Cape Town, and Rwanda… but all in good time.
So here are some things I’ve learned on my 30+ days:
1. Get comfortable, but don’t let your guard down. This is something I thought would be common sense throughout my trip, but was reminded early on when I had some valuables stolen from a hostel. Even when everything feels safe, and everyone seems honest, anything can happen. Always pack up valuables and keep your wits about you. Theft is usually a crime of opportunity.
2. Just because you see a crowd of people going somewhere, does not mean that’s where you want to go. I learned this at the Grand Palace when I saw a group lined up waiting to enter a section of the Palace, apparently it was the exit and even though I had only been there 30 minutes and had accidently walked out, they wouldn’t let me back in.
3. Only book a few nights at a hostel at a time. If you don’t like the vibe, location, amenities, want to change plans, etc. having a few days booked is best. Most of the time you can extend your stay, or if you are in a heavily populated backpacking area find another near by. It sucks to feel like you have to stay or lose your money.
4. You will make friends! I am not an extrovert, I don’t do well in big groups, but it is so easy to meet people traveling! Not at every stop, or every night, but you will meet people! It’s as simple as asking people what they are doing that day or night, and asking to join if you’re keen!
5. Don’t be afraid to venture alone. One of my favorite experiences so far came when I went out in Bangkok alone to see some temples. I ended up on a river boat ride with a mother and daughter from Malaysia. The boat dropped us off on the wrong side of the river and drove away. We ended up spending the next couple of hours together and I got lots of advice and contacts for my continued travel in SEA.
6. Drink more water. Trust me, however much water you’ve had today is not enough. Your body is going through a lot. New time schedule, new atmosphere, food, germs, etc. If you are having a bad day or in a bad mood, find a cool quiet place and drink a whole bottle of water.
7. Listen to your body and let go of FOMO. You’re fucking traveling! It can be anything you want. If you want to sit in your air conditioned room and read a book or nap all day, do it! Not everyone moment is going to be the most experience of your life. Our day to day lives include a lot of down time, don’t feel like you can’t have it on the road. You will never see or do everything in a country, enjoy the experiences and ride. Who knows what you will miss most about traveling when you’re home.
8. Write! Or draw or whatever helps you process your emotions and get things out. Writing has been a great comfort to me during the struggles and challenges of traveling. You don’t have to be an experienced novelist. What did you see? What did you hear? What did you smell? How do you feel?
Don’t listen to me. Everyone’s experiences and needs are different. Travel however, whenever, and wherever you want!