This post is part of BootsnAll’s Indie Travel Challenge 2012.
Week two’s topic: Indie Travel: What do you think?
Are you an indie traveler? What do you think makes someone an indie traveler?
What do I think makes someone an indie traveler? I think its funny that when I started writing this out of instinct I wrote “India” rather than “Indie.” This is probably because I write India a lot more than I write Indie, but actually India Travel works with my definition of Indie Travel. I don’t think you can travel to India without being somewhat independent, even if you are doing it as a packaged deal.
Going to India, at least for anyone that isn’t Indian, is experiencing a culture way different than your own. When you first arrive you are bombarded with people at the airport and everything even smells differently than home. The people have different cultural norms, people are still divided by sexes on buses and in lines. And when you go to buy something like train tickets, you’ll experience a difference in personal space and often have someone trying to read your personal documents from over your shoulder. At every turn you’ll see someone begging and understand what competition to survive is. If you can travel to India, and don’t immediately go running and screaming home, in my book you are an Indie Traveller. Actually, if you go anywhere and see things that are different than home or things dont go as planned and you don’t go running and screaming home, you have successfully performed Indie Travel.
An Indie traveller also doesn’t make excuses of why not travel. Most of my friend’s don’t get me, my constant urge to see new places and different cultures is bizarre to them. They look at me often when I have returned from a trip and say “I wish I could travel like you, but I have…(insert: dog, not enough money, a mortgage, too much going on with my job).” Being an Indie Traveller is finding time to travel. Its realizing you dont need money or a lot of time to travel. Any free weekend can be spent treking out to the woods. In a year of traveling abroad, I have spent less than I would have spent in the US. Its realizing that you are going to meet awesome people, if none of your friends at homes schedules coincide with yours or are interested in seeing the places you want to see.
India was when I started being an Indie Traveler. Its the first country I travelled solo. It’s the first time I relied completely on myself to make the decisions of whether following some strange tuk tuk driver was the adventure I wanted to have that day. I would never change the places I visited or the experiences I had. The great thing is that its never to late to become an Indie Traveler. The world is always there to explore and adventures are always ready to be had.