This one is a TRUE traveller through life!

After this New Years Couch-surfers Jess and HeathHeath Jess posting
from Australia headed off again yesterday evening to Hampi  I suddenly received a Facebook tag from last New Years’ couch-surfer Vishakha Tay and what she wrote is so wonderful that I felt I had to let everyone read it – with full credit to her of course!

I truly trust that you won’t mind me pasting this here Vishakha but I really do believe this shows what it is to be a true traveller through life my dear.

Vishakha2Touch Down in Six Continents in 11 Months on Teacher’s Salary! – By Vishakha Tay

January 2012 to November 2012 with Niki SinghGurbachan Singh and 11 others

It didn’t occur to me until the day I was driving to work after coming back from Peru and Bolivia, taking full advantage of my Thanksgiving week off, that I have traveled to six continents in exactly one year of time (or to be more precise-11 months), without planning it, without getting into debt, and without losing my day job! That is when I realized that traveling is my second nature. This is what I do the best. After traveling extensively for the last 14 years, I am going to share my money saving skills that I have inherited from my dad. Although I don’t actually follow his footsteps by hitchhiking around the world in lorries (trucks), but I do follow his unspoken mantra: when you can, don’t pay for stuff which could be earned free by putting some efforts and loyality.LoyaltyNow by nature I am loyal to something worthy! This year I have taken 32 international flights. Some of them were award bookings from my frequent flier program from my past accumulation of points by using my mileage program credit card. I’d use that credit card even to buy a $0.75 soft cone from McDonald. For every ice cream I eat, for every mile I fly, I get more miles, which allows me to travel far.I keep track of my days off at work. As soon as I’d get my master calender from work, I’d mark all the vacation days I can take (as a teacher, my biggest perk is vacation days throughout the year). A long weekend with a few furlough days, sick days (I would travel even when I am sick to take advantage of the free time) have opened more travel opportunities for me. I would then plan my escape route from this country and I’d book that plane ticket with most direct flight plans to save time and money! Planning, planning, planning-without a predetermined destination.

Sacrifice

There were times when I had no spare money to even buy food after securing money for my logistics. Over the years I have become more organized to bring emergency super food-almond, raisins, flax seeds, chocolate bars, and lately protein powder and power bars. Even though I couldn’t experience the local cuisine I was able to nourish my system to enjoy my surrounding. You will be surprised how your fellow travelers can sense you hunger and offer you food. Also, I never take any taxi, unless I can’t get around. To save money, I’d walk. I can walk at least 26 miles a day.

Trust

“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – Cesare Pavese

I spend the least in hotel stays. Just a day or two to splurge towards the end of the trip or to experience a truly beautiful hotel which will be paid by my credit card. After few years of traveling abroad I have made some International friends who had been very generous to offer their homes to me. I have found hosts at couchsurifing.com, I have accepted invitations to stay at strangers home after talking to them for a few hours. Don’t be alarmed, you will become a very good judge of character after interacting with people from all over the world. Our brain is a sharp librarian. It keeps track of all experiences and act as an intuitive instinct to make the right decision. I have stayed in touch with every person after a meaningful encounter throughout my journey. As a constant rule of thumb, a youth hostel has always come handy when I had to worry about the condition of my pocket or my intuition didn’t cooperate with my rational mind.

It’s Worth It

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” – Lin Yutang

After- 32 flights around the word, camel rides in a desert, jeep safari in African Savanna, meandering in the Lake Titicaca on a boat, snrkeling around Great Barrier Reef, taking night buses between far away cities, being the 6th person on a seat for five people in packed trains, hiking in sacred placed as Machu Piccu-every single time I sit behind my comfortable car on my way to work, I would have an overwhelming surreal feeling of never even leaving the the City of Angeles. All these experience become intertwined with my normal routine of going to work, taking notes in a classroom, grading papers until the wee hours at night, buying the next plane ticket, packing/unpacking my carry on suitcase, studying for a test in a long flight… The whole world has become my home. With some inspiration, practice, planning, and an ever open, accepting heart, I am always ready to explore a new corner of my play ground-the earth! This feeling of closeness to distant land, people, and culture should be experienced by every one of us. All you need is a desire, a sense of adventure, an open mind, a bit of sacrifice to your normal spending habit, and a bit of planning until you get good at it. Remember, be loyal, be friendly, sacrifice some comfort at home and open your heart, then, “…the whole world will respond to you.”~Tagore.

“All travel has its advantages. If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own. And if fortune carries him to worse, he may learn to enjoy it.” – Samuel Johnson
Or at least he learns to enjoy simple pleasures in life, i.e., enjoying his familiar pillow!

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About travell1ngthroughl1fe

I am a fun-loving person who goes with the flow and travels through life most of the time though sometimes I have to be responsible when others try to get me on their track! Most of the time though people tell me I am barking mad! hahahaha! Life is short but oh so sweet so I believe in looking out for the bright side of life and I can always find a positive in everything! Half-empty glasses are not for me. Negativity is an ill I want to cure in everyone. Only after you heal your own soul can you help to really heal the world. So when you need help, ask for it and where it is offered, gratefully accept it as a gift.
This entry was posted in Health, India, Life, Lyrical, Mother Nature's Magic, Philosophy, Travel and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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