A year ago, when a dear friend held a goodbye party for himself before a long solo adventure around the world, I wandered the room collecting friends’ best travel tips to share.
The result was riveting conversation, boisterous laughter and the most perfect list to read before heading off on an adventure—solo or not.
I want to share this one with the world.
So here they are—tips on how to travel, from friends who know from their own experiences:
1. Say yes to everything.
2. Burn your plans.
3. Give yourself permission to fall in love. Short or sweet. Dip your toes or dive in.
4. Be alone, ideally in beautiful places. Feel how sad and dark and wild aloneness can be.
5. Get lost, and be vulnerable there. Don’t look at a map. Just get more lost—being found is overrated.
6. Go barefoot.
7. Grow a beard again. (Ladies, okay, you can skip this one.)
8. Miss your flight, change your flight.
9. Write. Oh f*ck, write stories, poems, limericks. Then leave your words with strangers.
10. Eat regularly and drink water till you’re as healthy as a horse.
11. Figure out what the gem is that every person has to give to you.
12. Say thank you. Take maple sugar candies to give to everyone that helps and inspires you.
13. Talk and play with children, even if you don’t speak their language.
14. The less stuff you take, the more fun you have.
15. Obey street signs.
16. Take less photos and experience more.
17. Bug Sur Henry Miller library. And be honest. Always.
18. Charades is your best form of communication when you don’t speak the lingo.
19. If your butt hurts, get off your bike.
20. Bring baby powder for your balls. Or female equivalent.
21. Try everything, like worms and snake blood.
22. Never buy drugs in Bali. You will lose your head. (Literally).
23. Don’t judge anyone of anything.
24. Don’t be a dick.
25. Don’t take offence to anything.
26. Go to the prayer rooms in airports.
27. Surf. Surf. Surf.
28. Never drink dirty Thai whiskey—your toes will go numb.
29. Pick up a hitchhiker; bring an extra helmet.
30. Always make room for two.
31. Buy fresh bread.
32. Mark Twain—please make me write for life so I never have to edit.
33. All girls love fresh strawberries.
34. Always wear clean underwear.
35. Make friends with your neighbours.
36. When in doubt, stay in a hostel with a bar…not a hotel.
37. Eat everything in sight.
38. Go rural.
39. When you’re feeling sad and blue, google Iggy Azalea and Jennifer Lopez. (Note: I searched this and I’m not sure this will accomplish what is hoped for but a thoughtful suggestion nonetheless.)
40. Sleep with your feet pointing in the direction you will travel.
41. If it doesn’t smell right, don’t eat it.
42. Don’t let travelling interfere with your love for good food and drink.
43. Write a song.
44. Spend a day on a river with a stranger.
45. Feel the wind, fly. Be yourself right down to the deepest darkest parts. Laugh. Learn stuff. Connect and be nice. Remain at ease, nothing is that big a deal. Swim naked. At night. With phosphorescent things. Get lost in the stars. Float away. Be. Make friends with a plant. Read, in a hammock. Let go. Take the first bus that comes along and see where it goes. Eat weird stuff. Take care of yourself. Soak it in. Come alive.
Author: Ashley Holly
Apprentice Editor: Ellie Cleary / Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Author’s Own