What I Wish I Knew When I Started Traveling: The Rest Of The Story

Holy canoli! Did you just see the response from 50 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Traveling?

There were literally hundreds of years of traveling behind all of those gems. No wonder, then, as to date it has been re-tweeted more than 150 times! Thank you so much everybody for sharing it!

The Voice Of Experience

You rarely can go wrong by listening to the voice of experience, particularly for people you respect. Dan, for example, who runs his own business from the Philippines, is one of a handful of people that I really think understands how to be a digital entrepreneur and the mindset it requires. His words of wisdom were about simplicity and keeping the loads that you are carrying down to a minimum– you don’t really need more things.

You can also keep tabs on people who have been engaged in particular kinds of escapades. Mara, for example, has extensive experience traveling with young kids. She mentioned that it isn’t as hard as you might think. So, instead of dealing with these situations cold turkey, you can have confidence that you can do it, and perhaps consult with her for the better ways to handle certain types of family travel.

The takeaway: listen to the voice of experience.

More Gems

For the sake of space, last week I didn’t get to include some other nuggets that were sent to me. But here they are now:

  1. I think the one thing I wish I’d knew when I started traveling is that it is really futile to plan too far ahead. When you are at home reading guidebooks it’s so tempting to buy all your plane tickets and plan out every last day, but once you are out on the road things change in all sorts of weird ways, and you’ll want to be able to roll with the punches. My current plan/itinerary looks nothing like the one I sketched out a year ago- and that’s part of the fun!
    – Steph from Twenty-Something Travel
  2. How absolutely incredible the world and its people are. Had I not listened to (or at least, not believed) what fearful people around me said about the dangers “out there,” I would’ve started traveling even sooner.
    – Mark from Powers Percussion
  3. There is no need for special, expensive traveling clothing or gadgets. Buy the smallest backpack possible. Traveling slower makes things much less stressful.
    – Ayngelina from Bacon Is Magic
  4. In reality, I don’t wish anyone had told me anything about traveling before I started backpacking, in any case, I don’t tend to listen to advice because I am stubborn and I like to figure things out for myself. I like knowing that almost everything I’ve learned from traveling I’ve had to figure out on own, and the experiences have helped shape my personality. Every mistake I’ve made or amazing experience I’ve had-each moment has helped me grow as a person and learn for the next time.
    – Mica from Kaypacha Travels
  5. It will seam trivial at best, but the most important thing we have learned is fairly cliché: plans are meant to be broken and routes are meant to be altered. Don’t have a strict plan and or schedule and you will enjoy the journey a lot more.
    – Luis from Lost World Expedition
  6. If I only knew how much enjoyment I’d get from reading my old travel journal, I would have been more motivated to write more. Experiences and memories are priceless. Live them, document them.
    – Michelle from My Traveling Lens
  7. I wish I had been less afraid to make a fool of myself. Sometimes playing charades to communicate with others and singing karaoke in front of huge groups are completely necessary and are best completed with a degree of silliness.
    – Kelsi from Some Sojourns
  8. I wish I had known that traveling isn’t as hard, or complicated as many people make it out to be. It’s just like life, it may seem scary or confusing at first, but you’ll find your way through.
    – Alouise from Traveler Ahoy
  9. The most amazing aspect is that all the prep, planning and dreaming – the pre-trip angst, evaporates once you get ‘there’. There’s this wonderful transition to being present, IF – big if, you’re able to surrender to the rhythm of traveling and let go of control.
    – Elaine from Trip Wellness
  10. Three things I wish I knew from the very beginning: How to make lasting friendships that create a world-wide network of home bases. How to bargain so effectively that I can always travel on $25 a day. When to slow down, when to power up and when to go see friends, so you don’t fall into the traveling-hole.
    – Marco from 25 Dollar Travel


How You Can Take Advantage Of This

Several contributors to the post last week (Gareth and Dalen & Peter) mentioned the value of the travel blog community. I wholeheartedly concur, as I have met several bloggers down here in Colombia who are doing really cool things, and have helped me acclimate to new surroundings. I have also found a number of folks through Twitter. So if you haven’t jumped into social media to share your experiences, this might be the time for you.

Also, realize how much you will learn as you travel. You don’t need to know everything before you start, and many things you really can’t know unless you just get out there. So, don’t be overwhelmed by the need to know everything… It can actually slow you down or make you worried you won’t remember everything.

If you haven’t traveled extensively before, you may want to consider a medium length trip (~3 months) to get use to living as a traveler. I can almost guarantee you will pack too much stuff… but the amount you learn will be MASSIVE, and it will be an unforgettable experience.

Your Time Is Now

Can you feel how great it is to have such a wide online community of adventurers, entrepreneurs, and experienced travelers? Ladies and Gentlemen, I have never been as stoked as I am right now. With a laptop and a blog, you can connect with so many cool people around the world.

There’s never been a better time to pack up and go. Do whatever you can to make travel happen now, not some time in the “distant future”. Truth is, you never make it to the distant future. Your life is happening is now.

  • Great tips from some awesome bloggers! I think travel can seem daunting to many people but if they read these tips and just take that first step they’ll quickly find that it’s easy to get to know the world for themselves.

    • Totally! If people just talk to a few experienced travelers and then hit the road, everything turns out just fine. Thanks for the comment!

  • Ryan! So cool of you to include me in this collection of “nuggets.” And your first 50 are incredible- what a terrific way to gain insight from this amazing list of travelers!

    • Great to have you included, Mark! Thanks for the comment!

  • Glad to have you included Michelle!

  •  There is definitely some great advice here.  Another one that I’m sure was mentioned is saving pennies by buying at your destinations.

    I’ve paid a pittance for meds, clothes, toiletries, and shoes.

    A final thing I also recommend is be open to everyone.  Some of my best experiences were engaging with people who aren’t travel bloggers.  Not to say we only engage with each other, but it’s easy to get sucked into a single community.  

    Cheers on a great post!

    • Great advice, Jeannie. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

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