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10 lessons I learned from my travels!

Last updated on: August 28, 2014 16:32 IST

CEO and founder of TripHobo.com, Praveen Kumar an avid adventurer lists out his greatest learnings.

I love collecting travel stories from everybody, and telling them as I go!

I'm a hobo who lives and loves by travelling and I want everybody in on my fun.

So here are the things I learnt from my travels:

1. Life is short

Sure, time is relative. But even factoring that in, there is just too much to see!

A moderately well-to-do family taking two major vacations a year, for fifty years is still only going to manage a hundred vacations total.

There are tens of thousands of things to marvel at before you finally sleep.

Stop moving for a single second, and you're missing a thousand opportunities, a thousand experiences are slipping past you.

2. Pack light

There are really only so many things you need these days on a trip.

Water. A GPS device. Good shoes. A first aid kit. A few changes of clothes.

Anytime your backpack is starting to weigh enough that it's detracting from whatever experience you're having, you know you're carrying too much.

Maybe I'm being dramatic, but I've always felt that lugging around a heavy pack on a vacation is like a chain on the freedom of your experience.

3. Never compare

Lining up the year's top mobiles and weighing them for pros and cons is one thing, but it's dumb to treat your memories and experiences that way.

Your travels form you, they shape how you look at the world, and they mould your character -- and that makes every experience priceless.

Even the worst of your travel problems are learning experiences -- a value that you can bring to your future travels.

4. Travel is soul therapy

You know how when a room gets stuffy, you step outside for a breath of fresh air?

That's travel, only the room is your life, and the breath of fresh air is the beautiful perspective travel gives you.

Your problems don't fade away, but they no longer seem like the only thing that matters.

Travel fortifies your psyche, makes you more resilient.

5. Go with the flow

Having a precision itinerary is brilliant!

Except for one thing -- that it allows no room for the unexpected.

Travel and the unexpected go together like bread and butter.

If your plans ever stall or hiccup (they totally will), you have to be ready to smoothly shift gears into an alternative -- at any given moment.

Your itinerary is a guidebook, not a rule book.

6. Always go for the new

If you're digging into a burger in Bhutan instead of the country's chilly-infused dishes, you should have stayed at home.

Pick out the weirdest name on the menu.

Pull an adventure stunt you didn't know was even possible.

Dance to music that sound like it was regurgitated by a drunk clown with unfamiliar instruments.

Variety is the spice of life, and if you aren't racing from one variety to another, your life's going to be very bland indeed.

7. Face your fears

I'll skip over the usual spiritual and character building sermons you've probably heard before and just tell you this -- fear is fun!

On the edge of any terror filled moment, your brain is in full Flight or Fight mode -- that's the adrenalin in your veins.

You know that hysterical laughter everyone does after being really scared?

That's your brain flooding with endorphins, the happy drug, to counteract the adrenalin. There's no high quite like it.

8. Discover yourself

Your soul is happy only when it's growing.

There's a good reason that people strike out into the world to “find themselves”.

Living in a cocoon of familiarity is never going to challenge you.

You need to step out of your comfort zone, take on the unfamiliar and live the unpredictable life.

That's where the magic happens.

9. Smile wherever you go

Oh sure, there are places where smiling isn't culturally “in”.

But more often than not, a friendly grin does a lot to snag you fellow travellers to share in your fun.

It opens doors, disarms suspicious locals, but most importantly it gets the locals to invite you into their homes (something that happens surprisingly frequently), and that's where the true spirit of any place is found.

10. Live like a hobo -- at least once

This will require courage on your part, but trust me; it's not only doable, but possibly the most transformative experience in your life.

It strips away everything unimportant, and leaves you with only your skills, character, and ability to adapt to depend on for your day-to-day life.

It is self-sustenance at its most basic and most intimate.

And once you're home, nothing is ever again going to shake your confidence.

Photograph: Stringer/Reuters

Courtesy:

Praveen Kumar