The biggest ripoff of modern times wasn’t the mere stealing of billions by Bernie Madoff, it was convincing most of the people on the planet that they need anything the modern world provides.
In fact, you were born with everything you need and whether you believe it or not you will keep getting everything you need until the day you die. Included in that isn’t shampoo, peanut butter, a new car, a great job, breast implants, or a college degree. I fell for it too…but the truth is all you need is the desire to move to the next second in this life and you already have it or else you’d already be dead.
World Travel Tip #2
Modern nation states are built on a simple lie. That lie tells you that unless you can pay for new goods and services your life won’t be worth anything. It’s complete and total crap.
A look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs shows what you actually need. Food, sleep, air, defecation, and a sense of who you are. That’s it. The rest is luxury and as such is not necessary. In fact, it often gets in the way.
Nobody is charging you to breathe. Water can be found for free just about everywhere on the planet (though it may take a little umm…digestive adjustment), if there isn’t a free toilet, you can probably defecate on the ground, and if you don’t know who you are, isn’t it time you found out? You don’t need a therapist to tell you, you just need to take the time to ask yourself and listen for an answer. In addition companionship, love, self esteem, and even security can be found for little to nothing.
Step outside and start a conversation with a stranger and I can promise you that if you are looking for food or shelter, you will find them, maybe not with the first person you talk with but certainly with someone. Contrary to popular belief, people are GOOD and they want to help each other. Unless you are a real ass, you’ll find people take joy in being a part of your life and that includes food and shelter.
Tomorrow: Adjusting your pace
7 thoughts on “World Travel for Almost Nothing #2”
I have been reading this series World Travel for Almost Nothing with tremendous interest. Thanks for discussing it.
I’d like to clarify a distinction here: travel for pleasure and travel for knowledge. I think the idea we are sold by the tourism industry is certainly the former, whereas the one you and I live by is the latter. It is unfortunate that many people associate travel only with the images they are given in the glossy travel brochures: five-star hotels, fancy restaurants, and tourist traps. Travel can be so much more.
I have been fortunate to have travelled both ways. That is as a tourist in a pampered tour group with an air-conditioned bus, five-star hotels, and line bypass at tourist attractions and as a backpacker: hitchhiking, living with strangers, and making my own itinerary. I can tell you which one I prefer. It is not the answer most people expect.
I have sat on a tour bus and listened to the tour guide regurgitate some rehearsed speech while the other vapid tourists barely listened. I have been picked up as a hitchhiker by wonderful and generous people who have allowed me to practice a foreign language, share stories, and share laughter. I have slept in a comfortable bed in a nice hotel in touristy district and I have slept on an undersize, saggy couch in the home of local in a real neighbourhood. I’ve eaten at expensive restaurants with other tourists or had Hanane’s mom roll balls of couscous for me; it should be obvious which meal I cherished more.
It really comes down to a choice between the packaged deal and the real deal. I’m glad you’re sharing your experience about which is more valuable. The kindness I’ve received from strangers while travelling never ceases to amaze me. I just wish that more people would go and discover it for themselves.
Thanks Bruce. I’ve traveled both ways too and there is no doubt about the fact I agree with you. You are absolutely right about there being a difference between travel for pleasure and travel for knowledge, I would say that the two actually overlap in a lot of ways. I for one travel for both, and maybe that’s why sitting in a big resort surrounded by a bunch of people that don’t know how to actually enjoy themselves isn’t my favorite way to do things…
How was your trip to China? The girls both say hi.
Sadly, many people I know prefer the cruise ship experience: eating from a menu and seeing the same people again and again. They find complete freedom to be stressful. Perhaps that says more about the shackles society imposes which is not limited to travel. When you spend your life in a cubicle, the world seems like a big and scary place. Alas, that is a discussion for another day… over your less-than-stellar mint tea. 🙂
My trip to China made me realize that I am fortunate to have grown up in an old and ancient culture whose values and traditions have stood the test of time. I plan to go back to learn more about my parents homeland, enough to make it my own. My best to you and the Souidis.
Bruce…didn’t you grow up in Canada? By the way…my tea is getting better….schwiya bischwiya
Yes, but I was using homeland in a cultural sense. Not surprised your tea is getting better; it was the only direction it could go in. Look fwd to the next glass inchallah…
Hey guys, I am so glad there are so many other people out there in the world still believing in the good side of others. I just finished my journey through Asia and used Couchsurfing in one of the places that met people believe is the unsafest place for women to travel alone: India, and guess what I had nothing but fantastic experiences, lovely people who opened up their homes and hearts to me, and to be quite honest never felt safer.
2 experiences cannot be more different from each other: traveling as a tourist and traveling as world citizen… I will take my pick for the second one anyday!
I’m a tourist sometimes through chance and there is nothing less fulfilling. Days of “What should I eat, drink, see in the guidebook?” are not for me. I think the key is a combination of carefulness and trust in fellow human beings.
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