How do I travel without burning a hole in my pocket? More so, how do I travel responsibly? Earlier, the entire idea of travelling was a big deal for me. Unlike now, travelling wouldn’t come naturally. It would mean days of conscious prepping, a lot of time spent losing my mind over irrelevant questions and a lot more money lost on shorter trips. Hence, I would never really enjoy my experience without feeling guilty.
If you’re someone going through the same thoughts, I’ve identified five ways that one can adopt to make your travels seem seamless and more fulfilling.
Note: I’ve written the below pointers based on my own experience. Ideas, thoughts and opinions might differ with different circumstances.
Say goodbye to luxury mode of transport
If you’re short of money and still want to have a fulfilling experience, I would say, ditch the taxis (unless that’s the only option you have). More so, even ditch the Volvo buses for that uber-comfortable ride to the mountains. Earlier, I had been sceptical about travelling in ordinary HRTC buses, be it those short 8 hour journeys, or even those super long 18 hours ones. But it only took me like two trips to change my mind. I realized that those ordinary HRTC buses are equally enriching. In fact, it prepares you better for the coming days. Benefits: when you start off with the hilly roads, you get to inhale the cool mountain breeze to acclimatize yourself for the coming days. Not just that, HRTC ordinary buses have even enabled me to bid a goodbye to my mountain sickness. It’s more real, bumpy and fun. And you even find a number of locals travelling along with you that makes you feel closer to the experience.
If you’re exploring a small town, just walk
I explored entire Kalpa on foot, twice! If you have the whole day to spend in a place that’s small and doable on foot, then better do it. Exploring on foot gives you a fresher, deeper perspective about the place. You observe the tiniest of things, pause in corners to ponder over the culture and even get to chit chat with the locals on the way! What’s better than that?
Boycott routine eating while travelling
No kidding here. Sometimes, routine-eating is just a thing of the mind. When I am travelling, I can even survive on fruits for lunch. I don’t always need those fancy eateries and wholesome lunch options to fill my tummy. Sometimes, a roadside Maggi, bread or even chai can suffice and satiate my soul for the next few hours. Even better, have fruits at regular intervals. And when you’re in the mountains, there’s nothing better than savouring those mountain fruits that are fresher than ever! Additionally, don’t forget to drink loads of loads of water. Make sure you keep yourself hydrated throughout the day!
Don’t keep stuffing those dustbins with multiple plastic bottles
Water is essential. But try and reduce plastic consumption as much as you can by refilling your old water bottles. There’s never a dearth of water in tourist places. You can fill water from the local eatery where you had your breakfast, from the waterfall and even from your own hotel. This makes your travel more sustainable, cheaper and fulfilling.
Take travel slowly, don’t rush
The biggest mistake that travelers make is to rush through things. I’ve met multiple people who are always eager to tick places off their bucket list. In fact, I won’t lie. I’ve been the same for a major part of my life. But there’s nothing better than just sitting across a lake, peaceful as hell, breathing and inhaling from the mountains around me. Sometimes, it’s okay to visit a place and not being able to visit all those places you had thought you would visit. Rather, live in the moment and embrace one or two places for longer hours. That makes your trip more enriching and memorable for how it makes you feel at the end. If you want to read more about slow travel, you can read my blog on the same.