I wouldn’t say that travelling was my childhood dream or that I have always wanted to travel in my life. But somewhere down the line, I developed the wings which longed for their first flight. Initially, I was too afraid to travel alone because I knew that I was not one of those travelers who could just pack their bags, leave and let the path decide their destination. I started travelling quite late since I never had anyone to travel with. But once I got to know about ‘Couch Surfing’, I never looked back.
All the solo trips which I have done in the last few years have changed me as a person. My friends used to think I was going on a vacation, but I kept correcting them about the difference between ‘vacation’ and ‘travelling’. Holidays affect your body, but travel affects your heart. It did so to me, in various ways.
During solo travels, most of the time things don’t go as I plan or hope. I have been in places where I didn’t know the language, didn’t understand the culture or hadn’t known the process of getting a particular thing done. The only thing that kept me from panicking was my patience. Travelling has made me a much more patient person. I didn’t realize this until I experienced it when I was back from my trips. We learn things without making any effort and it tends to stay with us.
Less complaining, more living:
Couch Surfing for my travel was the best decision I ever made. When one finds a host, one doesn’t expect anything more than a place where you can lay down under a roof over your head. For someone who can afford the luxury of a 5-star hotel, expecting only a little space on the couch of a stranger in an unknown country is a great twist of tale. When one has low expectations, one can enjoy even the smallest things in life. When I hosted some CSs and told them that I had a bed with a warm duvet ready for them, the expression on their faces was priceless.
Surviving on minimum Resources:
On my first trip, I packed a bag which was 30 kgs. My second trip had a bag worth18 kgs and on my last trip it was 8 kgs. No, I didn’t start walking around naked on my trip. What changed? I had the realisation that I don’t actually need all the things that I carry. There are lots of things which we think might be useful but end up never using them. I learnt how to survive with minimum resources on me. It taught me not to be disappointed in life even if I don’t have something that I want. I can still survive without it and that is more than enough.
Travelling opened my mind to infinite possibilities:
I will never be able to thank Couch Surfing enough for teaching me how to reserve my judgements. I stopped believing in Media after my first few trips. I have been to places where, as per the media, one should never go. Those places happened to have the best people and experiences that I cherish in my memories. I stopped judging things and people based on what I see or listen on TV; I started exploring by myself to create opinions of my own. I have met tons of people worldwide and learned about them, asked the stereotypical questions about their country and have received answers totally different from what I had previously heard or read about.