Hello World

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I have travelled across India and can definitely say they have been one of the best experiences. Have travelled the farthest when I had the least money and was a student. Hence, the misconception of having good buffer money during travels is biased. Have travelled from Kashmir to Kerala. Other states include Delhi, Punjab, UP, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Telangana. All of the visits have been memorable and linger on even after decades. Travelling is also good for the soul.

Below are few of the many benefits of travelling, which I have experienced over the years.

  1. Brings humility:

The first change is that travel brings humility. During travels one needs the cooperation of others. Be it co-passengers or those engaged in service. You share stories and food with co-passengers. If you are planning a stay, then you need the cooperation of locals in the area to guide you. As you are new, you accept the terms or negotiate a bit but in a friendly manner, else no negotiation will be ever possible. Observe how this solo traveler is being humble, while travelling to Tajikistan. Humility makes you new friends and is a good way to stay out of trouble.

2. Appreciate different cultures and perspectives

When you experience different cultures, you realize that there are so many different perspective. Even in your residence, no one person has the same opinion about a point. This just gets magnified manifolds during travels and stay in other locations. You are more mindful of others opinions and take care to ask beforehand. For first time travelers, it may not be natural but with greater travel and experience you feel comfortable adjusting. I have seen many first time travelers, mostly students in other cities who have an initial difficult time adjusting as the homely care may be missing. However, that should be expected to avoid unnecessary disappointment. If you go with the flow and are mindful, the journey would be fun and interesting. Else, it will be boring like hell. The choice is yours.

3. Brings patience

While travelling, you will not receive everything at the drop of the hat. It usually depends on the location and availability of items in your wish list and will vary drastically. You have to be patient to find your seat, your accommodation and most probably wait for the food to be served. You cannot yell everywhere, else you will be shown the door in a jiffy. You also need to learn to be patient with fellow passengers and residents where applicable. This will ensure an enjoyable outing for you.

4. Improves observation skills

You tend to be more observant while travelling. You are often surprised or may feel overwhelmed. But it becomes a habit quickly. You observe the behavior of people in the same journey and accommodation as it is a good way to strike rapport with people and also to avoid dangerous situations. It also improves your knowledge as you do your homework about the place you are going to visit. Based of what you know, the observations are sharpened, which then help you make the right decision.

5. Money management

You definitely become smart in money management, if travelling alone on a budget. You will not not learn anything if the budget is unlimited, hence always limit it. You will be forced to prioritize choices and spend accordingly. Most importantly you will be able to recognize impulsive urges. You will automatically practice delayed gratification as your budget is limited, specially during the fag end of the trip, if the spends have been unwise initially.

You also learn to earn from temporary jobs during your stays. You volunteer, give tuitions or simply help with chores. Earning money during travels has become easier with the advent of You Tube and online jobs. All you need is an internet connection and a decent camera to start off.

6. Time management

You need to be disciplined with your time. As there is always a train, bus or flight to catch . Destinations usually arrive during ungodly hours and you need to be awake on time. Also, you need to visit places according to your schedule, which again demands good time management from your end. If you are meeting someone, you need to be punctual and show that you definitely respect others time.

7. Improves creative skills

Travelling frequently has unplanned events. You may miss a transport or not get that hotel due to last minute issues. A lockdown may suddenly be imposed, while you are in the city. Anything can happen. This is where you are forced to think out of the box and seek help from others. You may have to hitch hike or search for another accommodation all be yourself. You ask around and take the help of Google. Offering your services is another way of getting by in lieu of something, in a different land. You may also learn a new skill, while travelling. Opportunities are limitless. The best default skill that one picks up is the language of the area.

8. Improves communication skills

As you keep interacting with different people the communication skills improve a lot. Observe how this Indian Village boy after so many solo trips abroad, has developed his personality and is more confident while communicating with foreigners. Keen observation develops and you are able to modify your words according to the response of the listener. Improved communication skills result in great dialogues. You quickly identify if the other person seems interested or not. Call these the survival skills that you acquire, while on the job. Life has a unique way of giving the lesson first and then giving the learning.

Parting thoughts:

All of the learnings during travels make you more mature. You learn life long skills and make great friends. Empathy develops. There are many misconceptions around travel. However, daily life and people are a lot different and a thundering majority would make you feel welcome. There are numerous resources out there including travel vlogs of solo travelers from around the world. They are usually cheerful and are masters at striking a conversation. A few vlogs have been embedded as links within the write up. Hope you are able to shed those inhibitions and false perceptions to undertake a wonderful trip and learn more about the beautiful world of ours.

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