Travelling can be a beautiful experience but it isn’t all perfect!
Travelling is about stepping out of your comfort zone, about questioning yourself, about changes, about being aware of our environment and learn how to make more eco-friendly choices when travelling, about learning from other cultures.
Creating the right mindset for long term travel take a bit of practice and time but these 9 tips will help you do it quicker.
9 Steps to Create the Right Mindset For Long Term Travel
This can even more difficult when you travel to a destination that has a completely different view on certain topics or it’s the opposite of your own culture.
You don’t need to agree with a tradition or way of doing something but be open-minded is being able to respect and accept others have different views.
You can also think that travelling somewhere is dangerous and, obviously, you avoid going there and even talking about that place. I’m not referring to places that are in war but those that you’ve heard from family or friends “Oh don’t go there! It is so dangerous.”
I’ve been there and I recognise that I was a bit worried about travelling to that city because others had told me to be extra careful with my luggage and bag. However, I didn’t listen to others and went. Guess what? Nothing happened.
There isn’t a safe place in this world so don’t limit yourself but overcome your fears.
Be ready to step out of your comfort zone
If you go for a week all-inclusive holiday (sitting by the pool while having margaritas), you won’t step out of your comfort zone.
But if you’re constantly planning to travel around a certain country, be ready to do so.
For example, It may be tempting to go to a 4 or 5-star hotel with infinity pool and great views in Bali. However, if you only do this, you’re missing so much.
When you step out, you’ll discover amazing places and you’ll learn about the culture and what the locals think about themselves and others.
Don’t travel to forget your problems
You may have heard that travelling solves all your problems. The truth is that travelling helps you with being happy plus it keeps you motivated.
This is because you won’t have time to think about your problems and you’ll be doing different activities, meeting new people, etc.
However, there’s always a return date and those problems are likely to be there unless you’ve worked on yourself during your travelling.
Escape when you don’t have any worries when you’re ready to grow and see things from a different perspective.
Be ready for change
This is something that no one tells you about! Before I moved abroad or stayed for more than a month in a destination, I asked friends, people who had been travelling and living abroad and their answers were “it was amazing, I wish I were back in X place.”
But no one, (absolutely no one) told me how your perspective of the world changes and how much you grow.
You hear people complaining about why others have changed so much since they left, how come they have such a complete idea of something, how their food taste has changed and the list goes on…
Or it may be you and it’s when you start asking yourself:
- Why am I not fitting here anymore?
- Why don’t my friends understand me or support me?
You are completely fine! Changes make you grow, achieve things you hadn’t thought of before and the best is to surround yourself with people that support you.
It may be you don’t have someone close, get online support from travel communities, coaches, etc. because they’ve been in the same position as you.
Be willing to walk and exercise
This seems obvious but you may have a partner who loves being on the beach and not moving all day. That’s absolutely fine with them, but 99% of the time, travelling involves walking from place to place.
Wherever I go, I walk and it can sometimes be hard because of the weather or your feet start to hurt (if you aren’t used to!)
However, experiencing a city by walking is amazing! You feel the atmosphere of the people and place, you discover hidden gems and stop to contemplate them, you set your own pace.
I remember being in Barcelona and to get to the Park Güell from Sagrada Familia is a good walk! You’ll only find hills and it isn’t close but it was great to see other parts of the city.
If you go all-inclusive or you’re a foodie (like me), it’s very easy to relax and do nothing. However, exercise is important for your body and mind: it reduces stress, makes you feel happier, it improves your sleep, etc.
Travelling is a great way to learn a new sport. You can try surfing in the beautiful blue sea in Australia or doing yoga in the green forests in Bali.
Don’t fall into the currency trap
Everything seems very cheap so you end up spending more money than expected. You really fancy eating avocado on toast in an instagrammable place or you see a nice pair of shoes that match your outfit…money flies!
I remember going to Poland and the exchange rate was so good. I changed my euros to Polish złoty and thought I had plenty of money.
I had to change more money because I didn’t track what I was spending.
TIP: keep a track of what you spend and don’t always think that it’s cheap.
Be cautious of street sellers
The non-beautiful side of travelling. Wherever you go, you’ll find people trying to sell you those “branded and luxurious” bags from Gucci or selfie sticks.
Some of them are totally fine. You tell them you don’t want any and they leave you alone. However, you can also be in a position in which they follow you and make you feel uncomfortable.
I couldn’t say this only happened to me in one place but in many. Especially in big cities such as New York and Paris.
Street sellers are confident enough to persuade you and many of them may speak different languages.
I was visiting the Eiffel Tower and there was a guy trying to sell me a selfie stick. I said no, thanks. But he tried harder to and spotted that I wasn’t a native English speaker so told me the same stuff in 3 different languages.
I was with some friends so I didn’t feel as uncomfortable as I would have been if I had been alone.
However, if you visit places like South Asia, you’ll find that local people will try to sell you things at all times. But you need to be extra careful with taxis!
Some of them will make you pay much more than a normal fare so I would always check private taxis with good ratings and safe payment.
As I said, this can happen everywhere in a lower or a higher rate.
Interact and build relationships
If you’re travelling for a long-term and you’re spending a couple of weeks or months, interact with the locals and other people to take your travel experience to the next level.
Maybe you think you don’t need this because you’re travelling with your bestie or your other half. But it will make your experience better and special.
It’s beautiful to build relationships with people from other countries because you can learn so much from them and their culture (habits, traditions, food, values…)
Get involved in their communities by volunteering, joining an activity or making friends.
I volunteered for an Erasmus project in Poland in which Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Polish people participated.
We shared our views on unemployment for young people in Europe and stay together for 9 days.
By the end of the project, it was amazing how we built a close relationship and it felt like a “family.”
Make eco-friendly choices
Travelling isn’t the most eco-friendly choice and it’s proved that it has a significant environmental footprint. However, you can make small changes while you are travelling that will have a lower impact on the earth!
When you start being more aware of the environment and you want to make eco-friendly choices, it can be very daunting! You ask yourself questions like What products should I buy? Can I recycle this plastic?
That’s why I’m telling you only three basic ways you can help the environment.
Use reusable bottles and shopping bags
Plastic continues to be a big problem because they don’t biodegrade. You can find them in the sea, rivers, lands and they pollute the environment as well as sicken animals.
You can see beautiful green locations and crystal blue sea on the internet, Instagram, etc. but when you get there you find the dark side of tourism and pollution. You see plenty of bottles and bags on the shore and the sea.
Take a reusable bottle that you can fill up every time and a reusable bag if you plan to do some shopping.
I had no idea about this until I recently discovered it. The more you pack, the more you contribute to carbon emissions.
If you fly, every kilo counts so if you want to help reduce the carbon emissions, pack lighter: only pack what you need and you know you will use!
I personally find it difficult to pack lighter but I’ve improved so much since I’m following these tips.
Keep it local
You can help the environment and the locals by doing your shopping locally or going to independent cafes or restaurants rather than restaurant chains.
Independent cafes and restaurants work with local farmers to make sure that they are sustainable (they create their menus using seasonal veggies and fruits, they reduce food waste, etc.)
All these tips helped me to have a better travelling experience and reflect on myself (how I like travelling, the reason I travel, how I can grow personally, etc.)
There isn’t an exact formula to create the right mindset but do what feels better and works for you.
What does it help you have a better travelling experience? Let me know in the comments below.
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