Travelling; it’s something we’re all familiar with, but only some do well. We’re not talking about the ferocity with which you face the daily commute in TFL’s cattle trailer, the vicarious passion of living the jet set lifestyle via Instagram or even the burning desire to go back to nature armed with a tent, sleeping bag and misplaced optimism. We’re talking about the ability to go on a voyage both physically and mentally.
Why? Because like Jay-Z’s empire, travelling is also a state of mind. So if you too, love but want to leave the concrete jungle where dreams are made of and go further afield, make sure you do it properly. And what better way for us to tell you how to, than through more musical tropes? Dance moves optional.
Don’t be a legal alien
For the avoidance of doubt, we don’t quite mean be an illegal one either. More that being an ‘Englishman in New York’ just isn’t going to cut the mustard. Instead you need to go with the ‘When in Rome…’ mentality. Don’t worry if you’ve never been to the The Eternal City, we mean this on the cliched figurative level only.
So, rather than a mere tourist trip to a different city / country, you need to get over the ‘visitor’ status and actually become a local. Forget 5* hotels with never-ending buffets (no one needs that 4th helping do they?), in order to really go somewhere, you must Little Mermaid the shizzle out of it and be where the people are: stay where the locals stay, eat what they eat, and do what they do. Although it’s good to have a vague plan, don’t be afraid to go off the beaten track. You never know what you might find, but you’ll be a part of that world.
Gonna show you a higher ground
Stevie wanted you to broaden your horizons both internally and externally. When you travel, you need to be open to experiencing a new culture. Don’t fall into the trap of missing things, just because they ‘weren’t on the list’. ‘Different’ is good, so you need to make a conscious decision to respect and appreciate the people, sights and customs of a new society. Consideration is reciprocal and you will reap any rewards you sow. Be ready and willing to learn as knowledge is power and you have the chance to expand yours every time you go on a trip. Yes, even if that is simply the route to the nearest bar / supermarket. Totes counts.
You will survive
Travelling in a group? Solo? With your new BFF? Whether you’re interrailing across Europe having only just understood how an oyster card works, or navigating the Three Peaks challenge when the closest you’ve come to a mountain is Planet Earth II, it doesn’t matter. What is important is having the courage and a willingness to test yourself. Until you step outside of your comfort zone, you won’t realise what you’re truly capable of. And we guarantee it will surprise you.
Also, feel free to sing Gloria’s cult classic while doing so by the way; everyone deserves a theme tune.
As Mr Michael (rest in peace) quite rightly said (well, ‘sang’, for all you pedants out there): ‘Sometimes the clothes do not make the (Wo)man’. Go forth and allow yourself to be free to do what you want to do – it certainly worked for Ultra Nate.
We all live with self-imposed restraints which can be incredibly limiting. Try removing them and just allow yourself to go with the flow. Not quite in the strip poker / 4+ fishbowl cocktails / outraging common decency kind of free, more that you should branch out and try something new (and legal). You’ll learn more about who you are and find out which of those restrictions are transient and which in fact, truly matter.
We are Fam-i-ly
Whoever said you can choose your friends, but not your family, clearly was not thinking outside of the (music) box. When you travel, you realise how interconnected we all are despite the gargantuan size of this planet. While you may feel insignificant in comparison, the reality is one individual can impact anyone they meet. So do it – make a great impression and let others leave their impression on you. Travelling should be home-from-home experience, so open your heart and arms wide (probably not whilst on a busy street though – we said impression, not hit) and watch as your fellow travellers and locals alike become your new, extended inner circle of life. Boom.
And in case you aren’t yet done with lyrics and cliches, don’t forget: changing your mindset is all about the journey, not the destination. Like Coolio, we’ll see you when you get there. (We’ll stop now, promise.)
As a bonus, we found this fantastic article: 8 Reasons Why Travelling is Good for you Health. Check it out!