- Friday, 31 January 2014

Ten signs you've grown as a traveler.

I was just sitting today and wondering at all my past travel (which I do pretty much every day) and realised how my taste for traveling has undergone a tremendous change. I certainly feel more evolved and confident when traveling now, than 8-9 years back when I started. I no longer wish to carry my world of comfort with me when traveling. I want to break and get out of that cocoon within which we all live- however big or small. I no longer relate myself to holidayers and tourists. I am a traveler and everyday get inspired by others who travel. Every single day, I reason out my existence to traveling. 

And here I put across some signs of a grown up traveler.

1) You know exactly what it means to travel light. And this is possible only when you have realised from many travels of yours that you actually end up wearing and repeating same set of 2-3 clothes on your whole trip rather than change into fresh set every single day.

2) You no longer go shopping for clothes from sarojini/colaba prior to your trip to buy stuff which normally you would not wear in your city of residence. On your holidays you wear pretty much same clothes you wear otherwise. And you also somewhat seem embarrassed looking at ladies in short beach dresses or tubes knowing well that this is their only chance in life to wear them. And yeah men in vests with black painted fake tattoos.

3) You do not miss carrying a book when traveling. This happens over a period of time. As you travel more and more, the pace of travel grows slower and slower, which means spending more time in one particular town/place which leaves you ample time to look at people/ sunset/ bazaar and read.

4) You do not shop like an addict at your holiday destination. ..even if its a shop haven like Dubai and Bangkok. Shopping is least of  your interest on travels, in fact shopping becomes a mindless chore which you avoid as much as possible in your regular life too. 

5) You dig home stays/ heritage and boutique hotels. You totally hate staying at typical tower style hotel or family resorts with central swimming pool and play area of children. 

6) You reach out and talk to strangers with much more ease. Instead of huddling together  and reaching out to guidebooks or hotel reception when in need of suggestion, you prefer talking to waiters, complete strangers in the bar or just about anyone walking on the street.

7) You walk, use public transport and hitch hike as much as possible. You see public transport in other states or countries as a means to know the culture up-close, be in direct contact of people who live there. Rickety buses no longer disgust you, instead they amaze you and you just want to be part of the people, part of everyday lives of people who live there.

8) You look out for local food and pubs where locals go. You do not consult guidebooks for places to eat or drink. You just follow locals. You are always eager to try out local cuisine at a local joint- not swish palace like hotels selling 'local food'. 

9) Doing nothing days. There are days within your travel when you do nothing. Absolutely nothing. No sight seeing. No photography. Get up late from bed, pick your book and go out, settle somewhere and read or just do people-watching. And these days are not seen as days wasted, instead these are sometimes days which are most cherished.

10) Lesser photography (other than photographers of course). You no longer indulge in selfies or photos of you or your destination at every other nook and corner. You are no longer desperate to click click click all the time. In fact you look amazed at tourists who are huddled together and click photos at murals inside airport terminals, or those who move around with a camera hanging from their neck. And worst of all those with fancy DSLRs but clicking pictures on auto-mode. And most importantly you stop sharing complete albums on your social network. Instead you share only unique and extremely picturesque stuff which you genuinely want your friends to know about (not just showing off your holiday pictures). 

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