“My different way to travel”

Since very young I discovered that travelling, for me, was the best way to learn. Even today I have this pilgrim soul. Here are some of the lessons I learned. I hope they are helpful to other pilgrims like me.

 

    • Avoid museums. The advice may seem absurd, but let's reflect together: if you are in a foreign city, is not much more interesting to look for the present instead of the past? People feel obliged to visit museums because they learned since they were small that travelling is trying this type of culture. Of course, museums are important, but they require time and objectivity; you need to know what you want or you will go out with the impression of having seen a number of fundamental things for your life, but you do not remember.
    • Go into the bars. Here, unlike museums, you can see the life of the city. The bars are not discos, but places where people go to drink something, think about the time and is always available for a chat. Buy a newspaper and sit to contemplate the everyday life. If someone talks to you, as stupid it may seem, listen to him: you can not judge the beauty of a road looking at it only from the beginning.
    • Be available. The best tour guide is someone who lives in the place, knows everything, is proud of his city, but does not work in a travel agency. Go out in the street, choose a person with whom you want to talk and ask for information (where is the cathedral? Where is the post office?): If you do not get any results, try with another person: I guarantee you that at the end of day is an excellent company.
    • Try to travel alone or, if you are married, with your partner. It will be more difficult, nobody will take care of you, but only in this way you can really escape from your country. The group trips are a disguised way of being in a foreign land speaking your own language, obeying to the leader of the group and paying attention more to the gossips of the group than of the place you are visiting.
    • Do not make comparisons. Do not compare anything, neither prices nor cleaning, or quality of life, nor means of transport, nothing. Ypu are not travelling to show that you live better than others. Actually, your research is to know how the others live, what they can teach you, how they face the reality and the extraordinary life
    • Do as if the whole world understands you. Even if you do not speak the language, do not be afraid: I have already been in many places where there was no way to communicate through words and I have always found support, guidance and important suggestions. Some people believe that if they travel alone they will loose the way. Just have the visiting card of the hotel and in an extreme situation take a taxi and show it to the taxi driver.
    • Do not buy too many things. Spend money for things that you do not have to bring with you: good theater programs, restaurants, walks. Today, with the global market and Internet, you can have everything without paying excess weight.
    • Do not try to see the world in a month. It's better to stay in a city four or five days than visit five cities in a week. A city is like a capricious woman, she needs time to be seduced and to show herself completely.
    • A trip is an adventure. Henry Miller used to say that it is very important to discover a church that nobody has ever heard than going to Rome and feel obliged to visit the Sistine Chapel, with other 200 thousand tourists who shout in the ears. Go and visit the Sistine Chapel, but let you roam between the streets and alleys, feeling the freedom to seek something that you don't know what it is, but that certainly you will find and that will change your life.
 

- Coelho Paulo -
"My different way to travel".

"Real travellers are the one who leave just to leave."
- Baudelaire -

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