Do NOT book trips too far in advance if you are traveling to lots of places. Things come up, prices drop, plans change and so much more.You may meet someone who will be a great short term travel companion, or better yet, you may find out that it’s just a $30 bus ticket rather than a $200 series of flights, baggage fees and taxis. When you do buy flights, I recommend Expedia. It's my favorite. You can get great deals and play around with dates simply and easily and the app interfaces with the full site beautifully. When I say great deals, keep in mind that the majority of my travel is for 4. I try not to pay more than $72 for any given flight, train or bus ticket. There are exceptions, but really no need to spend a fortune on travel.
Don’t pay too much for phone service.It sounds funny, but the truth is, when you’re traveling you want to be reached, but you don’t want to necessarily have your phone ringing like you’re in the office. I have been traveling for over 5 months with 3 children. We all have phones.I pay less than $140/month for all of our phones with unlimited everything on mine and unlimited talk, text and 30 G for the children. If you go with Metro PCS you get a good choice of phones, a great choice of plans, dope customer service and my favorite thing: Wifi Calling! Yes… This means that even if you don’t have a network signal, you can connect to a wifi signal and your phone will work like a charm. Happiness.
Talk to strangers! People are interesting. Most people know stuff that you want to know… Some know things that will really come in handy later. For instance, a random guy I was talking to on an Amtrak train told me about the deals for traveling up and down the west coast. Super cheap and super worth it!I would say pick one or two questions that you will always ask the person sitting next to you on the ferry, or bus or airplane, etc. Strike up a conversation and get to know someone.“What’s your art?” is my question and I asked it of Charles in Starbucks who happened to be a jazz musician working in Zimbabwe looking for a poet to collaborate with! And there it is.
Stop and look around. It can get normal to look in a certain direction, with your face in a certain expression. Make normal unusual. Try looking at things and people from the perspective of an explorer. Seriously, have fun with it. Walking down the street in Boise with my 3 children and my friend Jamar, I was caught off guard when everyone was moving slowly to cross the street.Jamar yelled “You’re in the lava!” Suddenly the game was alive and we were all staying on the white pedestrian crossing lines, crossing the street (more quickly) but very careful not to touch the lava.It means that that city now has a new memory attached to it. We put our bodies into action and noticed the ways that we could play with our environment to make it more fun. Jamar taught me that one.
Bring Your Own Soap! Ok, look… When traveling as I am… at this point a new city every Tuesday… You learn quickly the importance of being prepared. Have your soap, tooth paste, tooth brush, wash cloth, razor, towel, eye liner, deodorant, lotion/shea butter ready! You want them in a cosmetic bag or something easy to tote and somewhat discreet. Ladies: Do not forget to bring a stash of pads and tampons. This will save you and likely help you make a friend or two on the road. I’m serious! Even if you don’t need to use them, bring them anyway. You'll surely run into someone frantically searching their purse to beat the flow.
Help out, at least a little where ever you go.Spend time with your hosts.Don’t be afraid of getting in the way.Most likely if you were invited into the home, its because time with you is valued.When visiting family and friends on the road, pay attention to them.Love up on them.Let them know how valuable they are to you.It will make your journey so much richer and more joyful.You will likely be invited to return, too!
When traveling with children. Listen to them. My children have stopped us from getting lost many times. They remember the way much more easily than I do. They are also very much in touch with their intuition, most times. When they want to be away from a certain person, or talk to another; listen to them and stay close. It’s important that they learn how very important their voice is in the matter.
Go ahead and eat it. Okay, let me start by saying that there are lots of things I don’t eat. Pork tops the list. I will try most things that are not pork. Only because I was so against this before, am I mentioning it. I have had some wonderful things to eat that I simply would not have tried a year ago. Flavors I didn’t know could be perfected in such ways. Fresh vegetables that are surprisingly full of flavor and texture and OMG. Good. Some of these dishes have included fermented green beans. Some were from food trucks. Some were introduced to me suddenly in messy kitchens and more often than not… My heart melted with my taste buds.Go ahead! Eat it!
Be yourself.I’ve always thought that to Be Yourself, you have to know yourself.Not true.There is so much more to us than can be figured out in a single lifetime.We are multi-generational legacies squished into the now.The right now.The blood pumping, mind working selves that we are right now.To get to know yourself, you have to be yourself.You have to find yourself at ease in your own space.Solo travel is great for that because you get to watch what you do in new ways.For instance, when I imagine talking to my higher self, the first thing I see is the me I am today. Then magically, in my imagination, she evolves into my current future vision. What I know from this is that right now I am the best self I will ever be or have ever been and every day I will work to be the greatest possible example of myself. Even if sometimes that means it’s hot so I will wet my dress in cold water and wear it bra-less while looking for the last of the watermelon. Something so fresh and so clean about that “to thine own self be true” lifestyle.
Always have a back-up plan. Always know that even if you plan to stay with a friend, there’s a hostel within a $10 Uber ride from the plan. Be prepared for friends to make weird decisions, gut instincts to kick in that tell you to stay or go. There is any number of ways that things can go in unexpected ways. Go with it and be prepared to handle yourself completely. Take this opportunity, when it arises, to step out of your comfort zone and try a new inner personality that you don’t usually act out.
You are capable of anything.Try something great today!
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!