TRAVELLING IS NOT VACATIONS
“Wow! You’re going on one-year vacations! This is great!” This is often a perception people have about a trip such as ours. Well, it IS great and it’s also very different from vacations.
Thinking about travelling for one year people often have in mind holidays that include a nice hotel (the same one for the whole stay), food and drinks included in the offer and prepared by someone else, air-condition in a room, clean towels every day and a swimming pool nearby. Yet, the reality is different. At least when you travel as we do.
Travelling requires quite a lot of day-by-day organizing. As you’re moving all the time, you always need to find a place to sleep for a next day or two. Depending on preferences it may be a hostel, a camping, a couch in a private house, or sometimes an airport when your flights are not well connected.
If you’re travelling low-budget, you also need to buy and prepare your own food every day. Shopping for food while travelling is quite different from doing a big, weekend shopping in your favorite supermarket next door. Instead of choosing more or less the same items you’re familiar with, this time you look closely at all products on the shelves and you read what’s written on the pack. It is to be sure you’re buying a soup and not a sauce for example. Adding to it the fact that while on the road you’re in a new store day after day and the products on the shelves often don’t look familiar, a visit to a grocery store is almost always a new experience.
The aspect of travelling taking the majority of time is… travelling. That is moving from one place to another. Depending on the country and your own preferences the best way of transport (meaning comfortable and cheap at the same time) is different. Planes, trains, buses, minivans, taxis, motorcycles, rickshas, bicycles, horses, sailboats or kayaks – and all other you can think of! Every time you want to go to someplace new you need to find the best connection, buy tickets, get to the departure place and then… look for the next connection further. In some places hitch-hiking is a good option, too. We’ve met travelers who had used only this mean of transport. Yet, it’s worth mentioning that getting a ride requires more time and makes you trip a bit less predictable from the time point of view. We’ve also tried hitch-hiking with quite a big luck so far. The longest trip we’ve done was 585 km in only two runs!
Down-to-earth things such as finding a good shoemaker when your trekking shoes break in half, a good doctor when something more that a cold gets you, or locating a cash machine that accepts your cards are also part of everyday travelling.
You travel to visit places, to see the nature, to experience cultures, to meet people, to taste different food, to learn new languages... Everyday you’re in someplace new. Almost every day you need to think about the next destination. To make your journey go smoothly it’s good to plan at least a bit and ahead of time. It’s definitely not possible to precisely organize and prepare the whole one-year-round-the-world trip but it’s worth deciding how much time you will be travelling and, more or less, to set the direction. We’ve decided to travel all year with the summer and therefore the route we took was a result of that choice.
Nowadays, with smartphones and their thousands of applications, omnipresent Internet and fast wi-fi connections available everywhere (unless you go to a really deep jungle or reach a vast desert) traveling is much easier than 20 or even 10 years ago. It’s available for everyone who wants to travel, has time and some money put aside. The most difficult in such a trip is the decision itself. Once you make it, you’ll definitely enjoy all that follows.
Well, for those who have already travelled a lot this post is nothing new. For those who are at the beginning of their journey in exploring the world it may help understanding how it looks like. All written above is based on our own experience and our way of travelling. If you’re preparing for any travel and if you have questions or comments – let us know through this blog, email or FB.