8 Alternative Ways to See The World
We tend to think of travelling as, you know, boarding a plane, landing somewhere new, and taking in the local sights for a couple of days before heading home. But it’s always good to keep in mind that there’s more than one way to go exploring. It’s a big, diverse world out there, with just as many travel options, too. If you’re looking to spice up your travelling life or push yourself, take a read below, where we outline nine options for doing things differently.
Before we begin thinking about the best way to see those corners of the globe that are a long flight away, let’s keep something in mind -- your home area is also part of the world, and while it might not be as glamorous as distant lands, it probably has more to offer than you think. Most people from within the UK look to Europe and beyond, and forget that their country is, in itself, one of the world’s best tourist destinations. If it has been some time since you explored England, Scotland, Wales, or Ireland, look at taking a trip -- there are enough spectacular cities and natural beauty to rival anywhere else on earth.
We live in the information age. The map has been fully labelled. Now, this doesn’t take away from travelling; in fact, in many cases, it adds to it. We can look up all the best places to go, where to avoid, etc. But it’s also true that some of the excitement has been removed -- there’s not all that much that can surprise us if we know everything before we go. So for your next trip, why not look at travelling blind? That is, without doing bags of research beforehand. When you land, you’ll find that you have to figure out new ways to make the most of your trip -- and that you succeed.
When we travel, we’re usually there just to soak up another culture, have a good time, and, well, that’s usually it. But what if, instead, we looked at giving back a little, too? There are websites that connect travellers who are happy to do a little work with people who need some help. You get to meet a local, pick up a new skill, and step into a different life for a while. And the best part? It’s a wonderfully economical way of doing things. In exchange for a few hours of work, you’ll get free accommodation and food. If you’re on a budget this year, look at signing up to HelpX or Workaway, and finding a volunteering experience that’ll make your heart sing.
Volunteering Your Time
Set Up a Base
The problem with conventional travel is that we’re never really in a space for long enough to really get a feel for the culture. We get a brief insight, but that’s it -- just when we’re beginning to understand, we’re heading to the airport and home again. But what if we could spend much longer in a place? Then, we’d be able to understand the destination much better. Eventually, we’d be in sync with the local culture. Nice! So how do you go about this? One option is to buy a house in a destination that interests you. Whenever you have time for a holiday, you’ll be able to get a flight and enjoy some time there. You won’t just be able to enjoy that place, either -- you’ll have all the nearby countries and destinations available to you, too.
But what if you’re already happy with the house you have, and don’t want to go through the process of buying another one? Then put your house to work! There are websites that allow you to temporarily swap homes with another person. You’ll get their keys, and they’ll get yours. It’s an effective way to keep costs down (no accommodation costs) and stay in a place “like a local.” You’ll also find that you’re able to visit those destinations that are more off the beaten path (places where there are homes, but no hotels).
From A to B
Most people, when it comes to travelling, only think about the destination, not the journey. And with good reason -- though it’s not always the case, flights are, for the most part, not all that exciting. There are, however, much more exciting options out there -- ways of getting from A to B that are nearly as fun as spending time in the eventual destination. For example, there are few things more enjoyable than a long train journey through a beautiful landscape. If you’re looking for a bigger adventure, then try your hand at hitchhiking, though in certain areas it’s advisable to do some research beforehand. You’ll discover that, contrary to what you’re told, the world is generally a safe and kind place.
We’re all creatures of habit. Though we might go into our travelling life with an open mind and so on, eventually we fall into one type of adventure, and then we just do it again and again. This year, why not mix things up, and go on a different type of holiday? If you’re always in a city, then take a trip to nature, or vice versa. You might find that you’ve been missing out all this time (or, conversely, that you had it right the first time).
A Different Scene
Set a Budget
You might have heard of lifestyle inflation - it’s the process of upgrading our lifestyles once we get a salary increase. When we go travelling, we can get used to staying in a certain type of standard, such as a nice hotel and quality restaurants. They’re good, no doubt, but there’s another side to travelling. Why not look at setting a budget, and simply making it work? You’ll find that it gets your creative juices flowing. Alternatively, if you’re always looking for the cheapest ways to do things, then look at saving up some cash, and living the high life for a couple of days. You won’t regret it!