If you ask me how my travel around Asia started, I will try to sound cool and say “hey, one day I woke up, packed my backpack and took the next flight to Thailand”. In reality, though it took me months of research prior to even having this thought, about the places I want to go, restaurants I want to eat at, monuments I want to see, markets that I need to experience. I know now I sound totally “uncool” but how would I know that there are floating vineyards in Thailand or a teddy bear hostel in Singapore or a place to find traditional Benjarong pottery and experience the royal cuisine.
Travelling without research is like jumping off a plane without skydiving gear. It will be exhilarating at first, well adrenaline rush is the new high isn’t it? And then freedom starts to become free doom very fast. It is the same with travelling. Going to a country you are unfamiliar with is thrilling at first but the thrill only lasts so long. You will end up doing all the touristy things suggested by your local tour guide or cab driver, probably spend a little too much on everything, get duped and more importantly miss out on the actual fun and the local culture. It is very important to know why you need to do this particular journey. There are many answers to that question and all of them are right. Some people want to have fun or relax; some to understand and enjoy the history of the place, some need to find themselves in this journey to far off lands, some wants adventure and for some local cuisine is the most important factor. You can have a mix of all these and more as the reason for your travel.
I have met a lot of people on my journey who said their reason in travelling to that particular place is to experience everything and anything in that place, that got me thinking. I have lived in my hometown for 17 years of my life before shifting to a new city or country every few years. And every single time I go back to this place I find something new or something I missed in my previous visit. I believe an entire lifetime won’t be sufficient to experience anything and everything in any place and that is why you need a reason or a motive for this particular journey. Don’t agree with me? Well, as I have always said my views are my own and you can probably achieve the unthinkable but I can’t. I would like to leave a place with this mindset “It was an awesome trip and I have loved every part of it. I still have lots more to see and someday I will come back here again”.
Finally, I would love to jump off that plane or boat knowing that I will never get bored of it and there is always something new to discover.