6 Things I’ve Learnt About Travelling

6 Things I’ve Learnt About Travelling

Posted on 02. Jan, 2011 by in Blogs

I’ve been in New Zealand for two months now and I’m just coming to the end of a six week road trip, so decided now’s the perfect time to write about what I’ve learnt about travelling so far. Of course I’ve learnt more than 6 things, but these are the biggest travel-related ones.

1. Making Friends Is Easy

I wasn’t sure how easy I’d find it to make friends and I’m no wall flower so I now laugh at myself to think I worried at all. It really is easy. I’m not talking lifelong best friends of course – they normally take a bit more time and effort!
I’m sure someone out there sent a memo to travellers with an opening script, which whilst slightly tedious does the trick! I’ll let you into the secret… the conversation goes a little like this:
“Hello/Hi.Hiya”   “Hello/Hi/Hiya”
“Where are you from?”   “Insert country of choice”
“How long have you been travelling?”   “X number of days/weeks/months”
“Where were you before here?”   “Insert location”

This can be done in any combination and generally sets you up for half an hour of chat about what you’re doing, where you’re going, where you’ve been etc etc. From there you can safely move onto other topics cos the groundwork has been successfully completed.

2. Travelling Can Be Lonely

This sounds like I’m contracticting my first point, and yes making friends is easy but that’s not to say that you can’t feel lonely as well. Sometimes you can be surrounded by people and still feel alone. One of the things you can’t pack in your backpack is a pop-out friend who knows exactly when you need a hug or when you need to laugh. Everyone needs a hug sometimes and I’ve not yet found myself feeling comfortable enough to ask a stranger for one!

3. Travelling Is Liberating

I have no job. I mean I tried to work but it didn’t agree with me, or I didn’t agree with it, I’m not too sure which is truer! That means that I can wake up and decide where to go and what to do today. Not only that, but the world is my personal oyster. New Zealand is also making it easy for me – do I want to go walking up a mountain today or do I want to go and laze on a beach? Tough decisions? Not really. I also have found I don’t need to know where I’m sleeping at night because I’ll find somewhere when I get there – and not only that but I can decide if it’s actually a place I want to lay my head.

 
4. Travelling Can Be Tiring

I love travelling, but I’m finally craving a bit of a lie-in. I know I’m not working, but I am on the go all the time. Even when I stay somewhere for a few days there are still things to get up for be that a day trip or a checkout (or the sun has heated the car to a greenhouse temperature and there’s no choice but to get up). I’m sure the solution is to get an early night every now but how can I do that when I’m busy talking and drinking with my newly made friends until late at night?! My one chance of a lie in was Christmas Day and yet I had couldn’t because I had to rescue my frozen roast potatoes from the hostel owners before they left for the day – dinner would have been a disaster without them!

5. You Are Adaptable

I have found myself doing new things every day that I wouldn’t do at home. I use long-drop toilets on a regular basis – this is something strictly reserved for festivals at home and even then I’ve normally got the luxury of a port-a-loo! It stopped bothering me after the second day.  I’ve not always been able to shower every day, and in fact have found myself seeking out toilets in order to wash my face and brush my teeth. Sure I feel like a homeless person sometimes when someone sees me washing my face in the sinks, and yes my skin is often alternate layers of suncream and insect repellent but I’ve got a nice washbag that I hope says I’m not homeless, simply a camping backpacker (who only has access to long drop toilets!)

6. The Simple Things Make Your Day

The main thing that makes my day is finding free wifi – be it in a hostel or some random persons whilst sat on the pavement (yes I have done this!) Wifi isn’t as free and available as I thought, and whilst I do pay for it like normal people, free wifi is something that makes me very happy! Even just a quick email off to my family or a facebook/twitter update makes me smile. The other thing that made my week was a fringe trim – yes exciting stuff I know! Going 2 months without a haircut because I couldn’t afford it meant that finding a hairdresser doing $7 fringe trims made me feel nice and pretty again. Of course, the simple things are also free…sunsets anyone?

27 Responses to “6 Things I’ve Learnt About Travelling”

  1. ayngelina

    02. Jan, 2011

    It’s so funny how the number 1 thing we’re afraid of when traveling is that we’ll never meet anyone and be lonely. The good news is that we meet lots of people but the bad news is that you can’t escape loneliness.

    But I have learned that even when I was home there were times I felt lonely. It’s just a natural part of life and traveling teaches you it’s okay to feel that way.

    Reply to this comment
    • Dayle

      03. Jan, 2011

      I know, especially as you always have something in common with the people you meet – because you’re all doing the same thing!

      I’m beginning to accept it’s OK to be lonely sometimes, and luckily it’s not something that ever lasts for too long 🙂

      Reply to this comment
  2. Lesley

    02. Jan, 2011

    I can’t beleive that you’ve been gone for two months! Sounds like you’re having an amazing time. I always knew you’d never have any problems meeting and befriending people! 😉

    xxxx

    Reply to this comment
    • Dayle

      03. Jan, 2011

      I know, 10 more to go (or more…. who knows!) If only it was possible to listen to and believe what everyone else knows…but it’s OK, I’ll say the three words…You were right 🙂 xx

      Reply to this comment
  3. Aaron

    02. Jan, 2011

    Number 1 is the ENTIRE reason why I love traveling alone! Because, of course, the reality is that you’re not alone, unless of course you want to be. You’re surrounded by people who you instantly share an interest with and are all in the same situation that you are!

    Reply to this comment
    • Dayle

      03. Jan, 2011

      Yeah it’s a reason I’m swiftly becoming to appreciate! I can’t help but think it’s the way forward!

      Reply to this comment
  4. Chris - The Aussie Nomad

    03. Jan, 2011

    You’d think that after reading so much about travel we would know that making friends is easy, yet we still worry about it. I still do now when I think about my next trip away.

    Oh and I have to laugh at your toilet situation, long drops are everywhere in aus, the joys of camping life.

    Reply to this comment
    • Dayle

      03. Jan, 2011

      It’s silly but seems to be the biggest worry with everyone!
      Long drops aren’t quite my best friends yet but they’re no longer my mortal enemies…

      Reply to this comment
  5. Mike

    03. Jan, 2011

    Just read number 2. “Travelling Can Be Lonely”
    Giving you a big hug. I’m not good on technology but I’ve seen you give a slap via the computer so guess a hug works as well!!. Must say the edges of the computer screen do dig in a bit. Hope you get the hug when you read this.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Rebecca

    03. Jan, 2011

    I LOVED that it was the smallest things that could make me happy…an empty seat next to me on the bus…a free cookie tossed in at lunch…a good book at a hostel book swap…agh, I miss the simple life sometimes!

    Glad NZ has treated you well!

    Reply to this comment
    • Dayle

      11. Feb, 2011

      Oooh I still need to get a free cookie at lunchtime! I’ll have to start smiling more!

      Reply to this comment
  7. Jeni

    20. Jan, 2011

    The photo is amazing – the sea looks so blue!
    Its wonderful to hear you are enjoying yourself and that making friends is easy as I know you were worried about that before you left.
    Love reading your updates 🙂
    Sending you a BIG hug xxx

    Reply to this comment
    • Dayle

      11. Feb, 2011

      It’s not even the sea, it’s Lake Pukaki – and it’s absolutely gorgeous! My favourite lake so far! Thanks for the hug, hope all’s good with you x

      Reply to this comment
  8. wing

    03. Apr, 2011

    I love #6. Small simple things could really make you smile. Especially if you are in a place of foreign language. Words can’t get through but random acts of kindness (like getting a biscuit when all you want is the directions) make all the difference. Making friends could be easy but maintaining friendship on the road despite all the social media has always been a challenge for me!

    Reply to this comment
  9. Mike's Road Trip

    16. Apr, 2011

    Hi Dayle,

    Love your list…spot on! If you make it to the States, let me know…I can suggest all kinds of cool places.

    Cheers,
    Mike

    Reply to this comment
    • Dayle

      25. May, 2011

      Thanks Mike! I definitely will shout and check our your blog for tips, I’ve got family that way so no doubt my travels will take me there at some point, it’s just not in my immediate plans for now.

      Reply to this comment
  10. Meyvi

    04. May, 2011

    Nice list and agree! 🙂

    Reply to this comment
  11. […] here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.I read a post over at Dayle’s travelling blog which inspired me to write this article about the things I learned about […]

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  12. chris

    25. Sep, 2011

    Hi Dayle, nice summary you have here. You inspired me to write my own post about the things I have learned, though being the cheeky guy i am, I went one better and did 7. 🙂

    You can find my post here if you are interested http://www.mytravellogs.co.uk/7-things-i-learned-about-travelling/

    Reply to this comment
  13. Andy

    31. Jan, 2013

    Traveling is extremely liberating Dayle. Given that a person goes in with the right mindset, someone can be free of many of life’s headaches. At the same time, traveling can be exhausting. That is why I think travelers need to find a way to pace themselves at times.
    Andy recently posted..What Traveling Teaches YouMy Profile

    Reply to this comment
  14. 张赳赳

    25. Aug, 2013

    so cool~欢迎有天来中国玩!

    Reply to this comment
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