Many people have seen the now classic film Into the Wild (based on the Jon Krakeur book). In the movie, the young protagonist gives up ambitions of wealth and a more traditional lifestyle to embrace the wonders of nature.
Although the ending is not the happiest, most people can agree with the central theme of the work which is to break out of our everyday routine and experience something unique. Since its release, it has inspired countless travelers to leave aside the technology and go off the beaten track.
Further, with the growing encroachment on technology on our lives, many of us would welcome a break from our phone and computer screens. So now that you have finally managed to go on that dream vacation, it is a good time to embrace this concept. Maybe you have three months, maybe you have three days. Regardless of the amount of time you have available you want to make the best of it. The following tips will help you to truly immerse yourself into your journey.
The main rule of traveling like this is that you need to make a small compromise with technology. You never know what can go wrong. So even if you are planning on going completely old school and having no technology whatsoever to help guide you on your trip, you should at least buy a sim card with a tiny amount of minutes and data. Then put this bundle in a plastic bag and bury your phone at the very bottom of your suitcase.
Keep it virtually inaccessible, it will prevent you from being tempted to check Facebook or Twitter if you have dig through mounds of clothes and other items. However, when your motorbike is broken down in the middle of nowhere and night is falling fast, you’ll be happy that you can call someone to come pick you up.
Now that you have arranged your “break in case of emergency” pack. It is time to get the supplies you need. Some of these might be a little more helpful if you prepare them before your trip. And yes, there is some irony in the fact that you might use Amazon to order stuff for a trip that centers on getting away from technology.
You will definitely need a map, and depending on where you go, finding one in English may be difficult (hence the Amazon order). On top of that, an English to XYZ language phrasebook will help you get through your transactions a little easier than simply pointing at things or making gestures. The last required thing will be a watch if you don’t have one already. Unless you have some ability to look at the sun and figure out the time, you’ll need this when you are trying to figure out everything from train tickets to calculating distances between places.
Travelling with a notebook is also a great idea because it allows you to not only practice whatever language you are trying to learn, but also you can record your experiences. Even if you are not a writer, you will enjoy being able to read about your travels later on. Not only that, journaling is a good way to kill time while you are waiting for that bus or train.
Travelling is also no excuse to neglect your health. If you have supplements or vitamins that you take regularly, make sure to bring them along on your trip.
Some Good Guidelines
You don’t need to completely stop using your phone to enjoy your trip. As fun as maps and phrasebooks are, sometimes it is so much nicer to just simply plug in directly where you want to go and get there without hassle. The best thing you can do is find a balance between the two.
On an adventure, it is fun just to discover things on the way. That is what makes it exciting. However, after you are doing that all day, you might just want to find a hotel so you can shower and rest. This is perfectly reasonable.
The best thing you can do whether you are traveling alone, but particularly with other people is set up a dedicated phone time. For example, the first ten minutes you wake up, you can email and catch back up with people and another fifteen minutes in the evening before dinner. As we all well know when one person starts using a phone at a meal or something, then it is a chain reaction until the entire evening is spent in empty silence.
This can help you to not get too far behind if you have to keep track of work emails or something like that, but at the same time it keep you from being distracted from the adventure around you. You likely spent some money (or hard-earned travel reward points) to be on this trip and you should enjoy it to the fullest instead of craning your neck down into the phone like you do on your lunch break at work.
Be in the Moment
The whole purpose for doing this is to keep you present in the moment. This is not just advice for your travels, but something you can incorporate into your daily life. These days, no matter where you go people always have their head in their phones and don’t even see the world around them. There are so many beautiful places and things to see, you just have to look up.