A friend wrote me today asking for advice in getting a little more adventure and travel into her life. So this is what I said, and I thought I would also share it here because… I like sharing.
Firstly, what do I mean by shoestring & Universe provided travel?
I mean… cheap and intuitive. The question I always ask myself is, how can I get the most out of my experience with the least amount of money while meeting the coolest people?
The answer: the internet and your own gut feelings.
I have been on the road on and off for 6 years now and the websites I frequent most for travel are:
for free places to stay with nice people all around the world
for hostels, farms, yoga centres, surf schools etc. where you can work 4-6 hours a day in exchange for food/board/friends/skills
for cheap flights & comparisons
for catching rides with people (there are also other great local versions of this depending on where you want to go, Google helps)
1. Use tools like CS & HelpX
These sites have sustained much of my travels. I lasted 6 months in Europe on $1500 because of these two sites alone. Use keyword searches to find hosts with similar interests and vibes as you. You can also search depending on what you want to learn or what you have to offer. Or if you’re feeling extra adventurous, search for someone that is completely different from you and experience life in someone else’s shoes for a minute. Read peer reviews and decide based on the tone of the email exchanges whether or not it feels right for you.
2. Plan ahead
The more advance notice you give the better, some places get busier at certain times of year and if you book early, you usually save a butt-load of money. Beat the rush by having a plan and a pre-booked ticket.
3. Leave room for things to manifest naturally
You will undoubtedly meet people on the road that will offer you rides, food, accommodation, tickets to things, drinks. Be open minded and just say yes (unless it’s dodgy and feels wrong, then know that it is OK to say no)
4. Be grateful
Say thank you to everyone all the time for everything. And mean it. And even if you don’t mean it at the end of a shitty 16 hour bus ride. Saying thanks with a smile will trick your brain into feeling gratitude even when it’s not there and you will attract even more things to be grateful about into your life.
5. Talk to strangers
A lot of travel is waiting around in bus stations & airports, be patient and don’t always have your iPod in – you miss out on opportunities for great conversation when you do that, it is true that sometimes a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.
6. Take lots of pictures
Of everything and nothing and all that’s in between. Memories are best. This can come especially in handy if you are adding intense intoxication to the travel cocktail.
7. Write a journal
And collect mementos. It’s great for personal reflection and growth, but also whenever you feel sad post-travel, you can open up your scrapbook and remember how awesome your life has been.
8. Be frugal
If you eat at a restaurant, split a meal or sneak in your own booze. Buy groceries instead of take-out. Look at local Groupon deals or something similar for cheaper deals around town. Take advantage of food banks and thrift shops. Sneak onto some buses and trains, but don’t push your luck. Walk places. Visit donation entry museums & exhibitions. Pre-drink your store-bought booze instead of buying drinks on the town. There are so many creative ways to have cheap fun.
9. Carry snacks
Hanrgy (hunger induced anger) is the worst. Especially in potentially stressful situations in foreign lands. Have a piece of fruit or some trail mix handy and give yourself a moment when you feel the hanger coming on.
10. Don’t be scared
Fear is toxic and pointless and attracts nothing but negative energy into your life. Take a deep breath, trust in your Higher Power or Darwin or whatever and know that everything will be alright. This doesn’t mean go hang out in dark alleys in the ghetto without a care. What this means is, don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t get caught up in “What If’s” and “worst-cases”. Just trust that you are a beautiful child of the Universe and you are being looked after.
Happy adventures, I hope to see you somewhere sometime around this big beautiful globe.
@lauraocrapira, Thank you very much for the share!
I have been wanting to go to Brazil this summer, more or so into the amazon (I’d like to participate in a spiritual ceremony). I know doing this alone will be hard, but I hope to meet people there that could help me into the amazon and out. Since I’ll be in S.America I would love to visit other countries such as Peru, Costa Rica, Panama. I plan to use these sights to help out. Happy travels to you :).
I haven’t used this site before but a couple of my friends have, it seems really great and I’m probably gonna use it after I save up some $$ for a plane ticket. It’s basically the same thing as helpx – people post up opportunities to work for room & board, figured I’d add it to the list.
This is an ill list though! I myself have been on many less adventures than I would have liked so far but the past couple years I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone a little at a time. Looking to go somewhere real far in the next couple years.
For multiple-stop flights, a great site is http://www.indie.bootsnall.com
I also once found a great blog with a ton of tips to help travel longterm, and I bookmarked it.
Here it is