“Mai udna chahta hoon, daudna chahta hoon, girna bhi chahta hoon …
Bus, rukhna nahi chahta”
When Bunny from Yeh Jawaani Hai Dewani said this, there were people who could directly relate. There are some others; however, who are like Naina and want to come back home and live on familiar grounds. I find myself to be a mixture of both Bunny and Naina. I have been travelling for five years now. While my soul is free-spirited and loves travel, I am also a medical student like Naina. For as long as I have browsed through medical books, I have also studied at the University of Travel. The lessons that I have learnt from my travels are no less than my dental studies. Travelling has taught me lessons for life, relationships, lessons in self-discovery, solitude and well, lessons in the journey itself. Travel has led me to wisdom and fulfilment!
The Basic Formula to Nailing Every Trip
Almost everyone has to take a trip at least once in their lifetime. It might be a business trip, a trip to visit maternal grandparents, a leisure vacation or even just a daycation! While this is true, at certain times – people end up having a rather tough time on their trip. Something or the other seems to be amiss. This could be such a mood downer. Sometimes the weather is a bore, or the schedule is so hectic that you end up all drained out. Do you relate too?
Over my years of travelling, I have cracked the basic formula to nailing every trip I ever take! I have curated a quick read for you, comprising the top five lessons that I learnt from travelling in the past five years.
This is a general standard guideline that I’d give to anyone taking any trip. No matter where you’re going, you can follow this guideline, and it will contribute to having a better stay.
Number #1: Always say yes to a trip!
5 Lessons I Learnt From 5 Years of Travelling!
Arrange for your Absence
The 1st lesson and the most important lesson I learnt from travelling!
It’s a beautiful Monday morning. You’re sipping hot lemon tea while listening to the melodious chirping of the birds. Hues of green and brown fill the canvas in front of you. You feel the mountain breeze as it gently kisses your face. Just then, an exciting and peculiar bird hops in front of you. You’re noticing its deep blue feathers and ora… ring ring; your phone rings and away flies the bird!
On the other side of the phone is an angry boss demanding documents that you were supposed to deliver before you left for the trip. You panic, make a few calls and inform your boss that you have arranged for the documents to reach him within an hour. When you’re finally done, an hour has passed, and the lemon tea has gone cold. Total bummer, right?
Well, I am a dentist, and I blog for a heartfelt passion for travel and writing. You too might have a job you do while you’re not travelling. It might be something as simple as feeding your cat or taking your dog for a walk. Taking a trip can cause disturbance to these schedules. Having to worry about who will do your job or worse, being yelled at for your work can negatively impact your mood.
The A1 way of making sure you enjoy your trip is by making arrangements for your absence. This is the first and most important lesson I learnt from travelling over the past five years. Make a list of what has to be done and who will best do the work. Once this is taken care of, you can begin the worry-free process of travelling!
Budget and Book
The actual lesson because of which I could travel extensively!
For the longest time, I had the misconception that travelling is an expensive affair. I thought that I would never be able to travel unless I had a steady flow of income. This changed when I started saving money and doing small freelance jobs to earn money. I was still studying in college at this point. In my free time, I would research about places and set aside a budget for the trip. Next, I would go ahead and book my tickets well in advance. By doing this, I saved a great deal of money because early bird bookings are a whole lot cheaper than the last-minute ones. I remember taking my first trip with a meagre sum of Rs2800 and trust me; some of the trips that followed were even more economical. Learning this lesson from my initial travels has helped me save a great deal of money and thus enjoy more vacations!
By pre-budgeting your trip, you will know exactly how much you can afford on tickets and hotels. By booking in advance, you give yourself the chance to have an upgraded room for the same price you would have spent on a small space had you booked last minute.
Choose your Company
The lesson I learnt the hard way during my travels!
I remember having this 5-minute discussion in the backseat of a cab with my friend. We had a little debate about which place we should club at that night. This is when our cab driver turned around and said: “It’s never the place, it’s always the people”.
Now take a moment and think about your happiest trips. Think about your day-long getaway at a resort or the month you lived away from home. If you had to choose the best one out of these, which one would it be?
Well, most often, the trips that are closest to our hearts are the ones with people we are most comfortable with. It’s only when you are with people who make you feel good or share common interests with, that you can make the most out of your trips. Even at boring destinations and in distressful situations, I have woven the most beautiful memories with my crazy friends!
I would suggest, if you can’t find the right company, don’t settle to go with someone you don’t get along with. Instead, go alone! Be your own companion and let yourself cherish the solo experience!
So, that night, after the cab driver told us that, my friend and I asked him to take us to the nearest club and we had the best time ever! It truly is all about the company and maybe a little beer sometimes!
Decide your Reason for Travelling and Dedicate to your Priority
The secret lesson that makes my travels unique experiences!
In today’s world, trips are no longer taken just to visit the place. People take trips to take a break from monotony or to spend time with someone. It could be a business trip or a trip to visit your maternal house. With different reasons, come different priorities.
So, if you go on a honeymoon but spend all your time surfing at the beach while your partner sits on shore; then let me tell you, that’s not a very good honeymoon. Set your priorities right and remain honest about your reasons for travelling. By doing this, you’ll know what to focus on, and this will help guide your overall mood.
Well, let’s suppose you’re going on a business trip then your primary focus will be to complete your job. Once that’s done, you can do some sightseeing as a bonus. This way you won’t be bummed because the light show clashed with your meeting.
The lesson that has been my savior during my travels
Gen Y and Z turn to Google almost immediately for travel-related advice. However, many of us only read the top few picks and set the day plan. To make your trip a memorable one, put in more effort. Do extensive detailed research.
Find out precisely what the top attractions are and whether you are even interested in seeing those places. If you’ve only slept through all your history classes, it might be a good idea to skip the museum and boat in the surreal lake instead.
I personally make a list of the offbeat and the unexplored places that I definitely want to visit. Post this; I go on to make a sub-list of sites that I could see if I have the time. This way, I always have a backup option in case I’m not too fond of something. This is one thing that I picked up during my travels. It is a lesson that I vouch for and personally can’t ever forget!
Learn the language
How about a Bonus Lesson?
It is always useful to learn a few common phrases in the local language of the place you’re travelling to. Just simple terms like “Thank you”, “Where is this”, “Hello”, “I need help” etc. can help communicate so much better.
With all the excitement of the trip, the packing, the booking and the shopping, the language factor is often missed out.
It is a common misconception that if you’re travelling around India – basic Hindi will get you through. Even when you think of world travel at large – English is considered to be enough to row your boat.
I know a lot of you already think there’s the internet to take care of this. But let me question you; how often have you been to zones with zero network? How often have you religiously followed the google maps only to be disappointed by barren land instead of the lake you’re looking for?
While the internet makes things easier, it doesn’t have your back all the time.
Learning a little bit of the local language can come handy in more ways than you think.
Pro tip: More often than not, you will find people touched and amazed when they discover you can communicate in their beloved tongue. It helps form a connection more profound than the one you’d build in your touristy language.
These lessons that I have learnt during my five years of travelling have been my valuable souvenirs. I want to fill my life with such souvenirs rather than any materialistic things.
No matter where you travel, these five lessons will contribute to making sure your trip is a smooth one. While I have graduated from my medical studies, I never want to graduate from the University of Travelling. I want to be a student forever and learn precious life lessons by travelling!
Is there any lesson that you’ve learnt during your travels? Tell me in the comments below!
Also Read: Majuli Island in Assam – A Rustic Beauty