Who doesnt like to travel? I think everyone in life desires and not just wants to come out of the closet and explore the unknown terrains and see how the world looks like! However, there are certain travel myths that can contest the very idea of a safe and comfortable travelling. Since, myths are a manifestation of collective social psyche, at times, there is certainly a need to debunk them especially if they deter you to do something as wonderful as travelling. Let us just explore, learn and travel so as to unlearn what the myths have imbibed in us!
Myth #1 Travelling needs a lot of planning
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Well this is not to say that travelling doesnt need any planning. It does. But you should leave out a scope for random inclusions, engaging into activities that are unplanned of, exploring places and attractions that do not form a part of your travel itinerary or for that matter leave out a certain space for spontaneity. It is that which adds spice to your travel.
Myth # 2 Book a tour operator for a hassle free travel
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Booking a tour operator and asking for a packaged tour always comes across as a convenient idea for your travel plans. However, if travelling is synonymous with gaining knowledge for you, embark on your own. Dont you read books by yourself? There are good websites which create excellent itineraries for you. Explore the power of internet to prepare and plan for you.
Myth #3 Travelling is for singles!
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Yes there was a time when travelling would have been meant for the solo travelers only. Today, couples along with their children want to explore the world together. The equation between husband and wife has evolved from being a social relationship to being more of a friendly one. Travelling with children might need more of planning but a family that travels together, stays together. Read, Boddhi- the Toddler Traveler who has traveled miles along with his parents.
Myth #4 Travelling to certain countries can be unsafe
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Most of the times the perceptions about a certain country are formed by racist, cultural and colonial ideologies. Dont let these ideas affect your decision to visit a certain country or not. After all, being free thinkers, we cant be slave to ideologies and let them decide for us.
Myth #5 Travelling is for rich
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One main factor in the upward trend of animal life has been the power of wandering. Alfred North Whitehead
Gone are the days when travelling was considered to be the forte of rich people only. Spend wisely and explore the world around yourself. Of course, if a luxurious hotel doesnt fit your pocket, then opt for homestay or hostel. Further, you can also earn while you travel.
Myth #6 Women should not travel alone
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Believe it or not! Solo travelling for women can be one of the most soul-stretching adventures. Without a companion by your side, women can have the opportunity to do anything and everything they want. Travelling alone allows you to acquire knowledge on your own, without the patriarchal prism. It not only pushes you out of your comfort zone but also pushes you out of the zone of others' expectations.
Myth #7 You cant work when abroad
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You always dont need a working Visa while you are abroad. Today, most countries do offer working holiday Visas to tourists. You can also use your skill sets to get a job teaching English, or doing some more specialized work that corresponds to your skill sets.
Myth #8 Buy Local handicrafts as your memorabilia
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Yes, people attach emotions and memories with souvenirs. But then, the truth is that the local handcraft shops offer outrageously overpriced art pieces which can definitely shake your travel budgets. Do remember, souvenirs are not just what you buy from such shops. They can be found in your memories as well.
Myth #9 Travelling Europe by train is cheaper than any other form
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Europe has always been admired for its extensive railway network. But then, travelling by train in Europe might not be the only best way. Airplanes, these days are usually cheaper and quicker if you land a good bargain with a one-way ticket especially. However, do ride in a train in order to watch the scenic beauty of Europe.
Myth #10 You need to know various languages to visit different nations
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Its a general perception that you need to know certain languages if you want to explore nations such as France, Japan, Germany or say Russia. English is lingua Franca today. Speak it in any part of world and you shall be communicated for sure.
So, come out and explore the world on your own terms and de- construct the myths that deter you from travelling.