01 December 2014

Wishful Traveler

"I am earning so that I can travel."
 "I will go there someday."
 "I dream about traveling day and night."
 "I have all these place on my wishlist."
 “I want to do a road trip, but don’t know when and how.”
"Let me Google this place for you."
"Dude, I have this destination on my mind since ages!"

If you have found yourself repeating one or all of the above more than once a week, you fall in the category of what I call now; Wishful traveler. Most of my life, I have been that. Even now.

Refraining to go out and often finding my solace in virtual traveling and reading about those stunning places. Friends taunt me, "You call yourself a Wanderlust-Girl but we hardly see you going out." Well, they are right. However, I don’t take these things too seriously; because I know what my travel goals are and I shall live all of them! I have always traveled with my family but now, would like to explore the places solo or with friends too.

If you know me well, follow me on twitter or are friends on Facebook; would know how I irritate people with posting travel related updates every day. I spend most of my day on my new Dell Venue 8 tablet, looking for destinations waiting to be explored. Putting pictures on Instagram or simply writing more about my travel plans.

 With this article, I am just trying to share what I have learnt in these days of wishful traveling. Pick up what you like and let go off what you already know. Also, don’t forget to add to it freely.

I have decided to cover at least 3 places in India starting 2015. And if possible, one International destination.

Let’s begin? Come, travel with me :)

The first step of devoting a part (or whole) of your life to travel is to make sure your family/spouse is okay with your thoughts. After all, they are the ones' who will be left behind in case you decide to set on an expedition of traveling solo. If not solo, you can always pep them up with your travel dreams and take along. I have always believed that, be it solo or group; traveling is the ultimate happiness one can gift him/herself. When I told my parents I want to travel; the first point was, you can always travel after getting married. I said, no. Before I get married. Result? I have been granted the wish to travel to at least 3 places every year. Condition? I start with my own country. Me? Happy!

 Moving on, the next comes is your wishlist. I hope you have one. Like a really-really long wishlist. There are 196 countries in the world with god knows how many places waiting for your visit. You better have a wishlist! Go, make one J

The Budget. Oh dear lord! This is where many of us get stuck. Money. Traveling requires money and planning. If you plan well, you spend well. Plan a trip well in advance. Keep yourself abreast with airline offers, hotel packages, couch surfing offers (try it at least once!), etc. Cut down on luxury expenditures. You don't need to live in expensive hotels (unless of course if the trip is sponsored). Having said that, it is a sheer delight if you stay with the locals or small hotels. These guys have some amazing travel tips and stories to share about the place. I am sure, you want to know them all.

Gather your friends along. There will be at least one friend who would do anything (just like you!) to travel. All he/she needs is a little push. Not off the cliff but a little motivation I mean. Take them along. Shared joy brings in more joy and we are talking about travel here. Just imagine the amount of stories you guys will bring back with you. Moreover, a travel partner is important. Don't you think?

Itineraries. As you are reading this, I have my itinerary being planned for 'another' trip to Rajasthan. Yes, another. One can never get enough of this place. Moreover, I missed out on a lot of cities earlier when I visited Jaipur, Udaipur, Mt. Abu and Ranthambore with family and friends. There are a lot of itineraries available online. You need not 'follow' them but do take a cue from them. It is not necessary that you want to visit the same places but they always give you an idea on what to miss and what not to. Have a wish list? Go make an itinerary.

 Next up is a few points which one may follow:
  • Travel with a diary, it is an essential. I have made it a mandatory note to travel with my Dell Venue 8 tablet. It lets me save my tickets, itineraries, locate places, take pictures and even share my City Diaries on social media.
  • Wanting to visit a city as a traveller? Go during off season. Less crowd, better transport rates and peace.
  • Always plan to spend less on traveling to the city and keep aside more money to taste the local cuisine and travel within the city.
  • A lot of people say that do not spend money on souvenirs. I would say the same. But, I am a big time fan of postcards and fridge magnets. Hence, please do spend a little money on them and get back some for yourself, friends, family and me?
  • You do not need lots of beauty and personal care products while traveling. Please cut down on packaging and carry travel packs available in the market or make one for yourself. Take the miniatures with you and not the big packs.
  • Please ensure that a copy of your itinerary, tickets, hotel room bookings, etc. is with someone back home. Also, save a copy of all the documents on your smartphone. Always.
  • Please check on the weather and political situation of the place you are traveling to. Please.
  • Lastly, let all the negative and bad thoughts go off while you travel. Because, traveling brings out the best in one! Even the thought of it :)
Before 2014 ends, make a promise to yourself. Go, travel!

See you on the other side.
Wanderlust Girl.