Here are my seven tips of staying calm and open to the new experience.
- Make it light. Don't overstuff your backpack. If you are travelling for half or one year, you cannot take everything you need. The less you take, the less you will need. It just works reciprocally. Maybe you will be lost or have to walk a long distance on foot to get to somewhere. You never know. The less burden on your shoulders, the more freedom on the road.
- Don't read travel books. This will build a particular picture in your mind how the things should look like and what you by no means shouldn't miss. If there is an expectation, there is a disappointment as well. Let things happen. You are going to understand on spot about the area around, you will be led to hidden or landmark venues by the local strangers your life is going to run into. The planet is not lonely. Let it happen your way without being wrongly prepared on what hasn't happened yet. All what it is important will get visible to you. It is useful however to know the season of the area.
- Accept invitations. Unless you really feel repulsion or suspicion toward someone, accept all casual suggestions you can afford - for a night out, for a walk, for a trip. Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God, says Bokonan. Usually the “fortuity” is what leads you to people you have to encounter and places you have to see. Embrace the chance.
- Eat local food, drink local drinks, meet local people. Your body is hardly adjusting the new climate, you are surrounded by people whose language in most of the cases you cannot understand and the transport, the streets, the behaviour, the whole living mechanism of the new place seem out of every known logic. Ok, give me a break - a MCdonald's sandwich, a can of Heiniken and an English-speaking co-fellow is turning back the ground under my feet. Fair enough. The worst thing you can do is to keep being surrounded by familiar “mainstays”. The best thing you can do is to take a deep breath and to unleash your senses. Taste how the new world feels like. You would never drink that local beer back home, you can never cook the food they sell in the streets and you can never be an outsider if you let the locals to interact with you. Inspite of any cultural differences God gave us common sense.
- Don't be afraid. The unknown opens a place for our fears. You can be afraid from poisonous bites, from criminal acts, from furious dogs, from getting lost, from staying hungry or shelterless. What I know for sure is that the Universe cannot understand what we want or what we don't. It somehows catches the intensity of the thought, no matter if it is a wish for or a fear from, you are probable to attract it likewise. Being afraid will also close your eyes to the beauties and gifts lurking behind the corner. Be mindful but minimize all your worries. Things will happen better having a restful heart.
- If something bad happens however, don't let yourself be down for a long. Don't extend it all over your upcoming experience. You are in a state of a constant change. One simple encounter can change everthing again to good. Zoom out the bad feeling with the belief that everything will take a good course again and try to stay open.
- Be respectful to the land and the people. Don't impose yourself. Your culture is not the best one, your religion is not the only one, your experience is not the richest one. Observe how the people around you behave, how they live, how they think and the magic of the journey will start …