Our 10 commandments to make the most out of a travel experience
These are just our personal views on travel, nothing to complicated, just a few ground rules we like to follow so everybody involved in the travel experience gets the best out of it, while leaving all the parts happy and satisfied. (This means YOU, of course, the places you visit with their people, traditions, animals, buildings and ecosystems of those places). You may not agree or differ from them, and that is alright, we just hope they can be of help to you!
1/ Realize how fortunate you are to be travelling, not everybody can do it, be grateful because you are healthy and you are spending your money in the “only thing that you buy and makes you richer”, travel.
2/ Embrace the unknown and the “uncomfortable”. Every time you move, every new town, city or country is going to sweep your floor and take you out of your comfort zone, you are going to become the stranger, the minority, the one who doesn’t speak the language, and learning to deal with these feelings and situations, is the main reason why everybody should travel.
3/ You don’t have to see and do everything, we know that place / experience you read about in your guidebook looks amazing, but maybe it is too expensive and goes way out of your budget, it is OK if you don’t go. There will be some other amazing places, that you will be able to do for free, realize that travel is a very personal experience and whatever you are able to do and see is going to be great and will add up to your own experience.
4/ Whatever you do, do it for yourself. You will be surprised by the amount of people back home that won’t give a s#!t about your adventures and what you did. That is ok because deep inside yourself you will know that you lived something that only a few people will experience in a lifetime.
5/ Try and make the effort of learning a few useful words of the local language, this will enrich your experience in ways you can not imagine, also the locals appreciate a lot when visitors can say some nice words in their language. Our basic words are: thank you, good morning / afternoon / night, goodbye, cheers and beer.
6/ Don’t do the ANIMAL tour/experience, it is simply not worth it. Come on, you know better, it is common knowledge and widely spread that animals in this type of industry are mistreated in horrible ways. We understand, the profile pic hugging a huge tiger (who is drugged by the way) looks ”very impressive”, but by you paying to take the picture just helps to keep this stuff going on and on. After spending 4 Months around South East Asia we were not even close to an elephant or a tiger, this didn’t meant that we had a bad or a boring time! You can do amazing stuff and still be nice with the animals. RESPECT THE WILD LIFE.
7/ Be clean and aware of the environment, usually in less developed countries there is a big issue with the trash, pollution and waste management. This doesn’t mean that if you are in a place that looks trashy and dirty you are allowed to throw trash in the street, river or ocean. Behave yourself as if you were in your own country. If possible try to educate people politely about contamination and its effects.
8/ Always have something to read with you, better if it is literature about the place you visit. Yes, books can bulk up quickly and be really heavy, don’t compromise space of vital stuff in your backpack over a book. We recommend to take just one, almost in every hostel in the world they have a library with books left behind by other travelers, we are sure the staff at the place will be happy if you switch it for another when you are finished with yours. Let them know you are doing that. We had some great reads from hostel books!
9/ Don’t compare yourself and your trip with anybody’s. Every experience is unique and you should embrace it with its highs and lows. You may fall in love with one specific place, and later hear that a lot of people really hate that same place, that’s cool everybody is different and will make a different thing about the same experience. Enjoy what you can within your means and we promise you it is going to be epic!
10/ You will make mistakes, maybe take the longest route, the most expensive line of train, buy souvenirs with scammers charging 3 times the price, loose your phone or wallet, (all of them true stories for us) this things are bound to happen. Believe us, you will deal with and solve these situations. Even if at the moment you see it as a big hit, don’t be disappointed if things don’t happen the way you expected them to happen, this twist is going to be for the best. On the long run these experiences are the biggest teachers, the ones that make you into an expert traveler.
11/ Stay curious. Visit the local market, be brave, eat the street food, try the crafted alcoholic beverages, take the bus and public transport to see how people move around. Speak with the locals and always offer a smile.
We ended up with eleven commandments on the list! Don’t judge us, we added the 11th because a playful and curious mindset has helped us to develop better travel techniques.