2011 has been definitely the year of travels:
I’ve always liked traveling (who doesn’ t!?), but now I changed my attitude towards it.
Before, traveling for me meant holiday , something that happened once/twice in a year and it was more the physical displacement from my house to a new place, better if by airplane, forgetting everything else.
I was more focused on sightseeing and crossing places off a checklist.And then life as usual.I didn’ t care that much about getting into the culture of the place, of the people that live there. And this is actually the most enriching part of the overall traveling experience.
I could not think that traveling could become so important for me and that it was possible even having a low budget.
Because you don’t have necessarily to sleep at Four Seasons, even hostels are a good option.
I had the idea they were pretty dirty/messy places, but so far I found good hostels (ok, not the one in San Sebastian…no comment! but look the one in Marrakech) and much much cheaper than hotels!
Sometimes I traveled just with another person, some other times with a small/medium group of friends – once we were 18! – and now I like traveling alone. It’s not better or worse, it’s different. Because you are independent and you can decide how to organise your time. If you want to stop, you stop; if you want to go, you go. Pure freedom.
On the other side, it’s true that you miss the ” sharing part” with your travel companions - I feel this especially when I’m eating – and sometimes you would like to be with someone.
But if I think deeper, it’s almost impossible to be alone while you are traveling. Think about Couchsurfing. You can be hosted or host travelers from all over the world, meet local people for a coffee or attend events in the city where you are.
On Sunday afternoon I decided to go to Aix-en-Provence, less than 1 hr bus from Marseille. Really nice! I spent there a couple of hours but it was too cold to hang around so I decided to anticipate and go the airport for catching the flight back to Madrid. I was on my way when I met by accident a 40 something years old woman that was getting lost and asked me some directions. We were going to the same place, so we walked together and we started talking. I found out she was from Amsterdam, visiting a friend there and she spent part of her life between Buenos Aires, Paris and other cities in France. She changed the direction of her life many times..that is actually what I’m doing now. You are relieved when you meet people that had similar experiences to you…
At the end we went to have sushi together and I we exchanged our contacts. I have a place to stay even in Amsterdam now .
Lesson #1: When you travel alone, you are never alone!