One of the best things about traveling is also the worst thing. You can never really know what will happen!
True, this is the very aspect that appeals to the wonderers and wayfarers who travel with very little, but for the average trip you can find yourself lugging along quite a bit of stuff. Suitcases, instruments, cool souvenirs, etc., and with a world of opportunity opening up for you, you can feel enslaved to your possessions. Maybe it be a festival you just became aware of happening in the next city over or a new interest you discovered on your trip and want to explore it in depth, whatever it may be, your belongings are now along for the ride as well … which can sometimes get expensive.
With that in mind and to keep you in the best possible position for your confrontation with opportunity, here are a few packing and hacking tips for the trips you have lined up!
Pack with necessity in mind. If you can live without it… leave it. About half of the time it takes to pack your bags is spent on arguing with yourself wether you should take it or not, you know its true. Be decisive, cut the scenarios and pack whats obviously needed not hypothetically needed.
Clothes. A good rule for minimal packing is to pack everything in threes. Wear one, wash one, dry one. If you do find yourself needing more once you’re there, most stuff can be bought for under $5 if you look.
Hotel luggage rooms. If you do find yourself out in the world wanting to go somewhere without lugging along your stuff, you can turn to the hotels. Hotels will commonly allow you to store your stuff in their luggage room for a day, just tell them your going to explore and will be back later to check in.
Pawnshops. Pawnshops are great if you have an instrument or something of value that you don’t want to carry. Pawnshops have superb storages spaces and will give you storage at a very low cost… however don’t forget that you will have to pay what owe or else you may loose your stuff. You will need an ID and an address.
Once you get a taste of whats comfortable for you, you can adjust your belongings. I myself really enjoy being able to explore crazy opportunities and take risks on a whim and having just a bag or two makes it that much easier to be myself.
Hope this helps and invokes some crazy adventures;)
If I had been a financially adept man, I would’ve divvied up my spending habits into an organized chart to show where all my money was going and what it was I was trading numbers for. However, I didn’t need a spreadsheet to tell me this information, because I already knew where the money went and where it is going to go.
Good food. Skills. And travel.
Priorities are reflected in the patterns that show up in spending. I’ll buy a movie ticket every now and then but the chance for experiences is where my awareness focuses.
I was sitting under a lamppost in south Brisbane where the park offered free wi-fi. I had been staying in a hostel for the past few nights and was getting concerned that I was wasting the little time I had free in Australia.
Going off in a mental debate on what to do next, a notification “ting” brought my attention to my ipod that had automatically connected to the wifi network and picked up the incoming message from a fellow I had met back in Sydney a few months prior.
The message was an invitation to come down towards Newcastle for a chance to hangout. The idea of the travel sparked an all too familiar excitement. I ran through the calculations in my head as to how much money I needed for the coming month and how much the cost would be to travel down south for a day or two. Of course the trip was out of budget but the adventure and experience sang a far greater tune than the thought of running out of money. Leaving the funds up to fait I spent what little money I had and embarked down to Newcastle for the thrill of spontaneity.
In a days time I found myself smelling the breezy Newcastle air and felt the familiar rush of novelty that places have upon arrival. My means to connecting to the world were boiled down to wifi where it was offered and a facebook app on an old number letter cell-phone. I had yet to hear back from my friend who sparked this adventure and was walking about the small airport trying to figure out the public transportation system. Finally I got word from my friend and discovered that the invitation was sent a few days to early, for he was busy with work in the next town over.
Being accustomed to the mishaps of travel, this scenario had already been considered. Soon I would find a new reason to be in Newcastle and the reason later revealed itself to be in the kindness and grace of individuals. From the bus driver who let me hitch a free ride from the airport to the city center to the coffeehouse lady who spent a whole minute making sure I got connected to the wifi network that other places were always so protective and insecure about.
An adventure from beginning to end. A bouncy flight over the puffiest clouds I have seen yet, and a constant rush of buses, bookings, and a sweat wind-down of good company, barbeque, and big-screen Game of Thrones in the super chill hostel.
There is so much more to the experience of travel than just the getting from one place to another. Travel expands your world in ways that are humorously simplistic and it constricts your desires of comforts and securities. The pages of the world’s books are in the subtle differences from place to place. Go find them.
Travel has been the universal catalyst. It has made men think faster, imagine larger, want more passionately. The returning traveller brings home disturbing ideas.
– Daniel J. Boorstin
I was nearing the end of my stay in the city of Oslo, when the realization dawned on me that I had yet to find what it was that initially sparked this winter adventure to the north. Analyzing the time and rescources I had left, I dug out a tourist map I had received in the first few hours of my arrival in the snowy landscape. On the map I saw traces of the past few days; the edges of the folds began to fade and tear, and the dampness of the paper made not tearing the map a real challenge.
Upon looking at the map, I made out the word “museum.” I had not seen this museum before, despite its location being far closer than many of the sites and places I had seen in the previous days. An idea that had not been considered before made finding this museum an intriguing last minute goal.
I soon discovered that finding the building proved more difficult than I had first thought, rather than a square grid-like system, Oslo’s streets span out like a spider web that only a local would be able to efficiently navigate. To make things more challenging the streets are poorly labeled and every road is parralled with buildings that constantly make for a enclosed canyon like feel. Finally after many wrong turns and the many distractions of the beautiful Norwegian women walking by, I found the building.
I entered the building and a calm-voiced lady welcomed me, telling me the entry-prices and that I had to check in my backpack. After stuffing my bag into a small locker she handed me the corresponding locker key, smiled and gestured me towards the exhibition entrance.
I passed artifact after artifact, telling the stories and history of this cold crisp land. The inspiration and surge of finding the building began to die down and I began to feel a bit doubtful about spending what little time I had in a museum. But upon turning a corner I walked into an unexpected set of depictions and artifacts.
Depicted life size on the wall was a man in confrontation with a great bear with only a spear as reasurrence to his ill choice in opponents. Intrigued, I read the little informational squares scattered throughout the room, more thoroughly than the previous rooms and I came to understand that this man was a representation of the Sami people. And far more surprising was the cultural practices of the Sami that I had read in the room, and how they were in a lot of ways similar to my own people across the sea.
My mind opened abit more to understand that the word indigenous is applicable to the European cultures in many more ways than I had previously thought.
Finally after a few more exhibits, I arrived in the world I was looking for and was accuratley greeted by a wall of ancient swords. I found something I had hoped to find in my travels to Norway. The metal works of the Vikings; swords that were crafted and weilded by people of the renown Norse warrior culture.
My intrigue leaped into a frantic questioning of the security guard if he knew any blacksmiths. He barely spoke english, but I think he understood that he didnt have what I was looking for.
After a good long examination of the ancient craftmanship, I left the exhibit and walked the remainder of the tour to find the counter lady again. This time, however, I noticed a replica sword behind her counter and asked if I could hold the far too shiny sword. I was suprised by how top heavy the sword was, and wondered if it was me that needed to get stronger or if the sword was poorly made.
She then asked if I liked swords and I responded that swords were the reason I came to Norway. She was intrigued when I said I was a blacksmith, and I told her how I was inspired by the ancient Viking metalwork and was in search of Norwegian blacksmiths whom I could chat with and hopefully learn from. After hearing of my unfulfilled mission she went to the back of her counter, pulled out a city map, and gestured for me to come over.
She began to tell me of an interesting female friend of her’s who owned a coffee shop, where the friend was a simple shop keeper during store hours but after closing went behind her store and proceeded her craft at her forge. I began to laugh inside as to the coincidence of the situation, and we began to discuss the confusing details on how to get to this coffeehouse/forge.
I roughly knew the direction I needed to go and set out walking. I got to a point I considered about half way, where I could see a familiar tram-stop and the snowy hill peeking out above the buildings. I looked at my iPod and realized that the train taking me to my next destination was set to depart in another 45 minutes, about the same amount of time it would take me to walk back or walk to the woman blacksmith. It was a moment I remember well, the blacksmith in one direction and the departing train in the other.
I made a decision and moments later I made the train just in time. After catching my breath, I sat down and leaned against the large window. The train departed very smoothly and I watched Oslo’s city lights streak past. Finally when we were out of city limits I kept my attention to the black sky, hoping for a chance to see the northern lights.
I strongly believe one of the best things you can take from the experiences of crossing oceans and introducing yourself to the world’s cultures is the simple ability to understand.
In the big picture of the human race, the significance of understanding has been largely overshadowed by our ability and addiction to change. We want to change the flow of things, gain more of the profits, decrease the costs, a constant discovery of change rather than understanding.
Understanding that the earth is dying and that there are rules of the natural world; the ancestors were said to breathe all the way into their feet, they understood the connection and placed value on the lost art of paying attention.
Awareness of ones surroundings and ones self; a simple guide to living without regrets and creating fulfillment.
There is something about the adventure and the journey that speaks to humans. The telling of mythical heroes and events has been the most effective method in communicating cultural teachings and values for thousands of years. Books, movies and orators captivated the human psyche, where we are characters to a larger story.
There is a certain freedom in seeing yourself as a character, and interestingly this view of myself as a character becomes very real when I embark on adventure, something ticks and I’m no longer the center of everything but rather apart of a bigger story.
However, unlike the mythical heroes, you are both the character and the author. The child and guide. It becomes a reality of creating, where the story only becomes more clearer and bolder as it is told.
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature,
nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits
in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.