Things I learned after 5 years of traveling

I still vividly remember the time when I was in college and used to save my pocket-money to go on a trip to Himalaya.

Little did I know that few years down the line, it will become my one of the biggest passion and calling in life. Now, there is hardly any time when I don’t think about the places I want to visit and how to get there and the least money I would need to finally give a nod?

Unlike many influential travel bloggers, I couldn’t do it full time. It’s not that I don’t want to but right now I don’t have that liberty. You can not become an influencer by putting your parent’s health and sibling’s education at stake.

Contemplating in Hampi
Contemplating in Hampi

So I chose to be a just another middle class IT guy who loves traveling and gather as many first-hand experiences as possible in this short span of life. And while doing so I did learn quite a few meaningful lessons and busted a few of the popular myths of traveling.

1. You don’t need to have tons of money to have a great travel experience

I grew up in a society where there is a popular notion that if you want to have a great experience of anything then you got to spend handsomely for that.

This might be true in other industries but definitely not in travel. A far as my opinion is concerned, I personally got the best of my experiences in a place where I had least expected, with the people I never ever met and having less cash to burn out.

For instance, I trekked to one of the Himalayan peaks at an altitude of 10k ft. for 3 days under 3k INR and that included return bus fare from Delhi, accommodation, meals, and other misc expenses. And believe me, It was kind of a rewarding and surreal trip.

Smiling at Nag Tibba
Smiling at Nag Tibba

On the other hand, on one trip, I splurged 5k INR for a day and couldn’t find it even worthy of 1k INR.

As I kept traveling over a period of time — traveling frugally is what I felt is made for me. Book a reasonable and decent comfortable bus to travel, stay in the dormitory and eat the local cuisine and commute locally on a sharing basis.

This way you will save a lot of bucks to plan your next adventure and at the same time won’t miss the expected fun and thrill.

Random click in Hampi
Random click in Hampi

2. Avoid cliched and crowded places

For me traveling is all about seeing the world in its purest and pristine form, to know there are other cultures out there which is as beautiful as mine and to have some leisure time where I can sit back and contemplate life and reconnect with myself at the deepest level.

cola beach goa

This long list of things will never gonna happen if I would be surrounded by a plethora of people taking selfies while making weird faces.

So I always try to visit off-beat places — if not do all the time due to various reasons. This way I can totally avoid the flood of people and which directly results in saving more money — fewer the people, less the price of the services and higher the crowd, more the prices — Demand and supply rule, you know.

kedarkantha summit peak
kedarkantha summit peak

3. Be a responsible traveler

If you follow the news and are aware of what’s going on around the earth. Then this must not be a shock to you that, this planet is going through it’s one of the worst phases.

Global temperature is rising, frozen oceans are melting rapidly resulting in a rise of the water level of the sea which might sweep away a handful of cities of the world. The scarcity of water is no more an alien thing — Last year cape town water per person was limited to 23 liters. The million cubic tons of plastic we are throwing in the ocean every day which is questioning the survival of the underwater life. And at the rate of speed, we are cutting the trees, we might have to purchase oxygen in the future.

The tribe Goa
The tribe Goa

So now it’s high time, we understand the importance of traveling responsibly. Please don’t litter the place you are visiting. Keep all the garbage in your bag and dump it at the right location. Try to leave a much lesser carbon-footprint if not stop at all. Clean the place if possible if it is already littered.

I have been to several trekking expeditions and quite very often I find plastic wrappers and water bottles thrown on the way or at the peak.

Plastic is toxic
Plastic is toxic

Jack, who is a responsible traveler, knows how it feels to have a place that gives you peace and a dose of nature’s love. Littering it will be the highest form of human stupidity. He understands this and keeps a place litter free on every trip he goes on.

Jack is smart.

Be like Jack.

4. Don’t buy the idea of traveling for free

Every now and then I stumble upon the articles and posts on social media where people claim, how are they traveling the world without spending a dime?

This definitely sounds enticing as — why on earth someone would let go of an opportunity of traveling for free?

But if you dig down deeper then you would know that many are doing odd jobs to support their traveling expenses which is good if you are utterly passionate about traveling and don’t care what impediments and discomfort you are facing along the way.

Manali to Leh bike trip
Manali to Leh bike trip

But the problem is, this is not sustainable in the long term— One day, you might burn out doing all these very badly and want to return back.

For instance, a few months back, I met a guy in Hampi (India), who gave up his job for the love of traveling. He was working in a backpacker hostel to meet his basic needs. When I asked him — what’s his future plan? He was quite oblivious and was not sure where he would go next and what would he do?

This might sound thrilling and exciting to the people reading this on the Internet while sitting on a cozy sofa drinking coffee sip by sip.

And it truly might be, but only for a few days then you would just forgo this idea.

The people who are a professional travel blogger and always be on the road created a consistent and sustainable income stream for themselves before making this unpopular choice.

Running a travel blog or writing content and articles for someone else are a few of the popular ways of making adequate money to support your dream of traveling the world.

Exploring Valley of flowers
Exploring Valley of flowers

5. Avoid tour packages to save money and have an authentic traveling experience

I don’t know what’s your notion of traveling but for me, it is getting the most authentic experience of a place in the cheapest way possible.

And when it comes to tour packages, it is entirely opposite.

They will make you visit the most crowded and cliched places at almost double prices.

Yes, it’s true, you don’t have to stress over the plethora of things traveling summons— flight, accommodation, taxi, entry fees. I didn’t mention food as in the majority of tour packages, only breakfast is included. So even after spending so much money, you are still not sure whether you will get a three-time proper meal or not.

South goa beach
South goa beach

But as in this era of digitalization where anything or everything can be done on fingertips, planning a trip on your own is no big deal.

Right from flights and accommodation to day-tours and local transport pass to the museum ticket and adrenaline activities, everything can be booked in advance at the minimal cost. And on top of that, you don’t have to follow a certain itinerary. You can include some must-visit places as per local’s suggestion and ditch some pre-planned overrated places.

To cut the long story short, you can do whatever you want if your budget allows you to.

while river rafting in rishikesh

Don’t forget, you will save tons of money which can be utilized on taking on your next dream destination.

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A writer, guitarist, programmer, backpacker, skateboarder, and everything else that intrigues me.
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