How to...truly Enjoy Traveling

By Tom Evans

A huge number of people never get the chance to travel around the world, experience different cultures and learn from others. That is why those that do travel should really embrace it and fully enjoy their time in countries other than their own, and those that don’t might be inspired to try knowing that great enjoyment is just a trip away.

I’d separate backpacking and ‘traveling’ from holidays; on holiday you sit on a beach or next to a pool and stay in a comfy hotel, however, when traveling you tend to live out of a backpack, budget yourself and do a mixture of activities. I’ve had some of the best times of my life (so far, in 21 years) traveling around East Africa, South-East Asia and India/Nepal.
I’ve always found that the best way to travel is to immerse your self in the country, the landscape and the culture as fully as possible. Don’t sit in a hotel or on a beach for a few weeks, instead travel around the country on a rickety old bus, seeing people of different walks of life, with different values and beliefs. 

[post_ads]Guide books don’t always have the answers and die-hard travelers often revel in the fact that they travel new ground, away from the crowds of party-goers. I think many countries have places you HAVE to go to, such as Angkor Wat in Cambodia or The Taj Mahal in India, but there are plenty of places you wouldn’t necessarily think of going but would equally enjoy.

Uganda is a country that a lot of people don’t think about all that much; I enjoyed living and traveling around Uganda more than many other countries I’ve been to – incredibly friendly people and a beautiful orange and green landscape. I like getting away from the big cities such as Delhi and Bangkok and in to the country side where there will be less people and generally a less Western feel to the locals. In Uganda we were invited by a boy, who we were teaching (I spent 4 months teaching there), to have a meal with his family. We walked for an hour and sat on a log in the evening breeze having an awesome local meal, far better than a McDonalds sitting in Nairobi!
My general message is that traveling can be even more fun when you try new things, whether it’s bungee jumping or learning to cook Thai cuisine. Go to places where the West hasn’t had such a great, and often negative, cultural influence. I can’t condone taking massive risks but sometimes you have to live on the edge to experience a place; getting a lift on a faulty motorbike without a light in the middle of the night down an African road or a night out in a fairly dodgy local nightclub (and seeing things you probably wouldn’t mention to your parents) are memories I’ll keep forever.

You might take a copy of the ‘Lonely Planet’ with you next time you travel but it can never tell you how to experience a country as intimately as immersing yourself in it can. Talk to locals, not fellow travellers who are mates with a mate from home, eat local foods, visit more local places and learn a little about a place beyond what it says in the guide. You won’t regret it.


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Travel Magazine: How to...truly Enjoy Traveling
How to...truly Enjoy Traveling
Travel Magazine
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