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Travelling is a great way to see the world — in fact, it’s the only way to see the world if you don’t count watching it on a screen or imagining it. Travel broadens the horizons and reminds you, or makes you realise for the first time, how amazingly diverse and brilliant our planet actually is.
Travelling, in the sense we’re using it here, is much more than simply moving from A to B. You don’t “travel” to Lidl twice a week, for example. You don’t even “travel” to Marbella for that packaged fortnight in August. Rather, what we talk about when we talk about travelling is really going somewhere new and taking full responsibility for where you go, what you do and how you survive. It’s you, out there in the world, exploring.
Travelling can be meticulously planned or wholly spontaneous, as you prefer. Or it can be a delightful combination of the two. It can be on a shoestring or if you can afford it, quite a luxurious affair. It can be damn hard work, maybe backpacking into the Himalayas, or a constant breeze, maybe shuffling through antiques markets in the Dordogne. The important thing is, you’re out there in the world, exploring.
The question should really be: why haven’t you started yet?! But if you haven’t done much travelling, you should definitely start now while you still can. It’s one of the things people tend to regret on their death-beds. “Why didn’t I see more of the world?” they moan. Don’t be that person. See it while you can!
Who is it for?
Travelling is for anyone who has a genuine interest in life. If life fascinates you, and you’d like to see more of it, then what you need to do, is travel.
Are there any prerequisites?
The only prerequisite is that you have a fascination with the rest of the world and the cash to fund it. The one downside to travelling is that it’s rarely cheap.
What are the benefits?
Aside from the places you’ll go and the people you’ll meet, travelling keeps you fit and active, whilst opening up the mind to new experiences. More generally, the challenges of travel, and how you respond to them, will amaze you.
How much will it cost?
This depends greatly on where you end up going. Generally speaking though, travel is expensive. Having said that, there are ways of doing it cheaply, including volunteering, house-swapping, hitchhiking and so on. It’s up to you. How adventurous do you feel?
Can I take it to another level?
You can indeed. No matter when you start, travel can become quite addictive. It can even become a way of life. Lots of older people who travel for the first time, maybe after retiring, get the bug and find they just can’t stop. And neither do they have to.
What Equipment do I need?
Depends how you want to travel. At the very least, you’ll need a rucksack. For super luxurious travel, you might want to get hold of a minivan of some kind, with fold up bunk beds and a stove and fridge. Plus, sunglasses and snorkel. The sky’s the limit here…
Where can I take part?
Anywhere but at home. Aside from that, there are no limitations. Travelling is about getting away from home, and staying there for a while.
Is there helpful technology?
Probably the greatest piece of technology you can have whilst travelling is a fairly up-to-date smartphone. With this you’d have access to GPS, a variety of specific travel-related apps and the internet, which will help you out of most scrapes (signal permitting). Don’t forget your charger.
* There are some great tips for people new to travelling here: http://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/new-traveler-advice/
* Interested in travelling on the cheap? Start here: http://www.vergemagazine.com/travel-intelligence/budget-travel/76-15-ways-to-travel-for-free-or-at-least-cheap.html
* And just about everything else you could possibly want to know about starting your life as a traveller is here: http://www.worldofwanderlust.com/50-essential-tips-for-first-time-travellers/
Facts & Stats
* Studies have shown that travel makes you live longer (and just because the studies were commissioned by travel organisations, that doesn’t mean they’re rigged): http://articles.latimes.com/2013/dec/17/news/la-trb-travel-best-medicine-study-20131217
* Couples who travel together are friskier (it’s the US Travel Assn. again, but come on, it makes sense): https://www.ustravel.org/research/travel-strengthens-relationships-and-ignites-romance
* While France is the most visited country in the world (81.4 million visitors annually), Bangkok is the most visited city.
Did you know…
* You almost certainly did know that the older you are, the more expensive it is to insure you. Here are some tips for bringing your premium down: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/advice/Travel-insurance-for-older-holidaymakers/
NOTTOT RELATED LINKS…
11 stories of life-changing travel experiences: https://www.buzzfeed.com/laraparker/inspiring-stories-of-people-who-left-normal-life-and-emba