Travel Advice (and why you should ignore it)

We humans love to give out advice. Absolutely love it. You think that you don’t? Take a moment to reflect on some conversations or text threads you’ve had recently. Ah yes, there it is. In any case, apart from us loving the sound of our own voices and communicating our wisdom to all within earshot, it’s prudent sometimes to close your ears and take some chances on the road. Fuck, that was advice wasn’t it?

You should beware of all advice, especially this advice. – unknown

I guess I’m referring to advice mostly about what to do, where to go and what to eat/drink/fill in the blank. Some travel reviews, blogs, YouTube videos make me cringe. It’s all centred around “I” and “must”.

I did this..

You must go..

.. is a must see.

It is helpful sometimes to have the hot tips and tricks handy before you jet off, but it shouldn’t dictate your holiday or adventure, mirroring someone else’s experience, which I can almost guarantee you won’t reproduce, no matter how many filters you apply to your photos.

I’ve written in the past on just the same subject, travel advice, and I cringe a little at myself. Maybe it’s just the media I see from all these dream escapes and the picture perfect captures from these professional travellers that makes me turn away in preference of talking to people on the road and constructing my very own dream holiday. A holiday that is full of adventure, discomfort, excitement, and rolling with the punches no matter what fortune has in store.

Discomfort you say? You’re damn right. Some of my fondest memories are of how things went wrong on the road. It’s not always funny at the time, but give it some time, you’ll see. If you’re someone who likes cruises and lazing on a beach chair at your resort, this post is not for you (and I’m surprised you read this far).

I mention the above because it directly ties in with formulating travel plans on the fly. Making it up as you go along will lend to delays, discomfort, uncertainty, and possibly a sleepless night to top it off. But this doesn’t sound fun all the time? And you’re right. But you know what, that’s the point, you’re doing things your way, for better or worse. That’s what makes memories that you belly laugh at 10 years later. It’s what a single mention of an innocuous subject that has you and your friends reminiscing about that time you stole a pizza slice after riding a stationary wave in San Diego.

From this..
… to this. Yum.
That is priceless.

I actually had a friend visit me in Vancouver recently and this very thing just happened. There was a few of us chatting, and literally one word was mentioned, we both turned and looked at one another, and we were both taken back to some ridiculous event when we were road tripping around Europe togther years ago. We barely even said anything and we both knew exactly what popped into the others mind.

But I digress, the point of this post is to embolden the wary traveller to trust their instincts and have faith in fortune. You’re stronger and more resourceful than you think, even if you can’t speak the local language or are shy around strangers. Good things come to those that put themselves out there and do it for themselves. Leave the expectations at the door and have a real adventure, not something that is prepackaged, safe and yes I’ll say it, boring.

Or don’t.

That’s the beauty, it’s up to you.

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. – Helen Keller

The above was inscribed on a ring that my Mum gave to me before I set off on a year long world trip. We all need a mantra like this sometimes. I can’t tell you how many times it picked me up when times were tough.

So, I leave it to you, how will you plan your next getaway? Will it be a package deal or a one way ticket?

Happy travels everyone!


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