5 Things Every Traveler Should Do
Paul Salva Cruz recently quit his job as a behavior therapist, sold his car and chased his dream; to travel the world and do a working holiday in Australia. At first he was uncertain of what was to come but it turned out to be one of the best decisions he has ever made. Here he shares his experience and 5 things he has learned so far.
1. Learn to Navigate
Tegalalang Rice Terrace (Ubud), Indonesia
Being in a different country comes with new adventures. After dealing with sensory overload and the high amounts of adrenaline flowing through my body, I finally come into grips with reality that everything I do is outside of my comfort zone. Traveling to a new city will require getting lost. In fact, it’s a good way to discover hidden gems by taking “the road less travelled.” Talk to locals, go to a supermarket, check out the buildings and architecture, and my personal favorite, go to a coffee shop and people watch. It helps me be familiar with the layout of the city, know the atmosphere of the place, and fully experience the culture and how people live. Take time to smell the flowers.
2. Learn to Ride a Motorbike
"Real Life SuperHero Go-Karting" in Tokyo, Japan
When you’re in a place for a couple of days, one of the best ways to get around is renting a motorbike. In particular places in SouthEast Asia where the main source of transportation is a motorbike, learning how to ride it can help reduce the cost of transportation and can get you to your destination quickly. There are some precautions that you need to consider before hopping on one but it goes without saying, just be safe and learn the rules of the road. It’s organized chaos out there!
3. Learn Basic Greetings
Meeting new faces from different places, Tangalooma Island Resort
People are generally nice when it comes to helping someone who is lost. Learning simple greetings such as a “hello” (como estas, was geht, sawadikap, chao ban, kamusta, etc…) can go a long way. Many locals get a kick out of a foreigner learning to speak their language and can help turn strangers into friends. The warm smiles and good vibes can lead to communal meals and everlasting experiences. Search language courses abroad.
4. Say “Yes” to Everything
Desert party, Tangalooma Island Resort
Traveling is all about having an open mind. It’s the opposite of what we have been taught at home which is to never talk to strangers (stranger danger) and be afraid of the unknown. When traveling, the options are endless and the way to experience them is to say yes. The people that you meet in hostels are in the same mindset as you; to have a good time, see new things, and be comfortable with the uncomfortable. “No plan is the plan” has been my motto and it has given me great amounts of stories to share and memories I will always remember.
5. Be Proactive and Not Reactive
Feeding a kangaroo, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
There are moments in life where we really want something. We hope to have more money, or wait for that perfect moment to take action. What I learned from traveling is that everyday is an opportunity to do something you love. Money will always come and go and the future is uncertain. However, by being proactive, taking action instead of waiting for what will come next is a very satisfying feeling.
Traveling can be such a learning experience and a great investment for personal growth. I am thankful for such living a wonderful life and being in my twenties is the perfect time to do so. The time is now to chase after what you love. It makes you become a better person and be prepared for anything life throws at you.
What are some life lessons that you learned from your trip?
By Paul Salva Cruz