What makes you a seasoned traveler? It’s the passion to explore and learn about other countries and cultures. It’s putting yourself into a local’s shoes and connecting with them. And of course, it’s traveling a lot!
The more adventure you bring to your life, the more different situations you experience — the good and the bad ones. From one country to another you slowly gain an acute awareness and very rarely do you make the same mistake again.
You taste new foods, you hear new languages and you see new landscapes — everything changes with a new journey. Yet, there are aspects of traveling that are always the same. Let me tell you what they are:
1.You Know Things Go Wrong
Sometimes you wait couple of hours as your van gets a flat tire in rural Bolivia and needs to be fixed or you can’t buy a ferry ticket in Thailand for your next destination as it’s all sold out. Problems happen all the time and you just get used to them.
You see fellow travelers fretting over small stuff, but for you, it’s just another day in the office. You probably get a rough estimate of when the problem is going to be fixed and go for a walk or take a nap. Why bother?
2. You Plan Ahead When You Need To
When you plan all your trip down to the hour, you’re bound to get stressed and end up not leaving room for spontaneity. Equally, if you don’t plan anything, you might find yourself traveling during a country’s festival, where every hotel is fully booked — it happened to me!
I traveled around Southeast Asia with ease up until Vietnam, where I somehow forgot about Tet — the Chinese New Year — and had to spend nearly two hours walking up and down in Dalat just trying to find a place to sleep. We met a couple who walked for eight hours and ended up sleeping in someone’s kitchen!
3. You Budget Wisely
When I worked in a hostel in Rio de Janeiro, I saw many travelers falling in love with the city and spending most of their money. The problem was that it was their first month in a year-long round the world trip. The lucky ones asked their parents for more money, while the others went deep into their overdraft.
By the time you’re traveling on your own for the third or fourth time, you pretty much know the things you like to see and do. You also know whether you prefer spending more time cooking to save a dime, or visiting new trendy bars and pubs. Basically, you know how to spend your money without breaking the bank.