How to Behave when Travelling: The Two Most Important Quality of a Great Traveller

 

Quality One: Humility

Ernest Hemingway said that we are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. I think he was referring to travellers.

In my many travels I have met and spoken to tens of thousands of people. I have also worked many seasons in resorts abroad where I engaged with at least 200 people a week and I can tell you with certainty that the most interesting people are those who have wings, but who walk alongside you and appreciate your pace.

Sometimes you meet people who have gone on two backpacking trips to India and act as though they are gurus who know everything about life and travel in general. You cant talk to them, you can only listen while knowing that they are just apprentices and have a long way to go.

Then there are guys who have traveled to 80 different countries around the world and ask you for information to understand how you visited that one place you told them.

You want to be the second type of traveler, the one who prefers to listen and give advice only when others ask them.

But why do you need humility for a backpacking trip?

Constantly keeping your feet on the ground will put you in a position to never underestimate the situation and always keep your focus level high so that you dont make stupid rookie mistakes. Im sorry about this convoluted part, Ill give you a practical example.

Travelling in Cambodia

 

I had entered Cambodia by land from Vietnam; it was the second time I had done it, but the last time it had been from Thailand. I felt cool, and while everyone else was in line for I dont know what, I went ahead without caring, it was normal for me to cross the border, I didnt need to do like all the other tourists.

Twenty days later, when I arrived at the other border to enter Thailand, at passport control they told me I did have a visa, but it was missing a stamp and they couldnt give it to me. The only solution was to go back to the other border and get it there (after entering a small room and being interrogated to understand how I got in without a stamp).

In order not to spend too much money on internal flights I decided to do it all with local shuttles. It took me 78 hours of travel in uncomfortable vehicles to go to the border with Vietnam and back to the border with Thailand!

All this because I had no humility, I acted like a presumptuous traveler, and this kind of situation can happen every day.

Always remember what Ernest said: we are all apprentices who will never become masters. Write it down with an indelible marker on the inside of the right cortex near your forehead.

Back to School in India 😂

 

Quality Two: Positivity

My mother always tends to think that things will go wrong, and one day I was able to understand why.

We got to the root of the problem. She had deeply respected her grandmother, who always said: think of the bad and youll see that the good will come”, so I asked if her grandmother lived a happy life and my mother said no, because she always got beaten by her husband who was often drunk. My great-grandmother was very negative, and consequently lived a negative life.

Now, Im not going to convince you that positive thinking works, if you want to learn more I recommend this book.

Do you think all these new-age theories are false? If so, I respect your point of view and I cant prove you wrong. Personally, since I started seeing the glass half full, I get sick much less, beautiful and unexpected things happen to me, I get hired in good job places, people seek me out more, Im more creative and I like myself when I look in the mirror.

I think you can agree that if you give people moments of joy and positivity rather than moments of fear and anxiety, these people are more likely to consider you a brilliant person.

Positivity in Myanmar

 

 How does positivity apply to travel?

If you happen to sleep in an obscene place for two nights, think about how good it is that you are testing yourself, you are raising the bar, you are becoming a more flexible and stronger person.

If you miss a bus and you dont have enough time to go and visit the place you wanted to visit so much, then dont start cursing the local god, but rather think about the things left to see in the place you were leaving, which you would have missed if you had gone away.

If theres a smelly person next to you on the train, well, it is difficult to stay positive in that case. Bring out all your adaptability!

People around you are conditioned and change according to your mood.

You dont believe that? When youre with your friends try to complain all the time, let your shoulders slump, make a sad face for at least ten minutes and you will see that the situation will become sadder and darker. And its the other way around too, try it to believe it.

Would you rather make others sadder or happier? And always remember that it is better to be optimistic and to be wrong than to be pessimistic and to be right, because in the first case youll at least enjoy the ride.

 

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”

-Abraham Lincoln

 

In optimism there is magic, in pessimism there is nothing.”

-Abraham Hicks

 

 

From the book World Travel Guide: How to Visit the Best Places on Earth on $28 a Day

 

-Miky Rubini

 

 

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