How to Travel Recap
From Great Outdoor Store
Great Outdoor Store held its first How to Travel talk almost 2 years ago. We hosted a Sioux Falls couple who had hiked the French route of the Camino de Santiago. We had a great turnout and loved the community engagement so much that we have continued hold talks almost every month since then. Speakers have taken us around the world and inspired us through their stories and photographs.
Each presentation is different and flavored by the presenter’s personal take on travel. We are provided with tips and tricks about anything from living in a van to through-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail to international travel. We’ve had several requests to film or broadcast these presentations, but with our limited technology the presentations don’t translate well to video and posting the slideshow doesn’t give the viewer the verbal information provided by the presenter. Our plan moving forward to is to try to capture the highlights from each presentation through photos and quotes from the presenter.
Our last presenter, Paul, traveled the world for 20 months visiting countries in South America, Europe, and Asia. The only planning Paul did was to purchase two airline tickets: one to Columbia and one from Brazil to Europe.
For those of us listening to his presentation, dreaming of traveling the world and getting away for 20 months, I think it’s safe to say we were all wondering how to afford this. Paul was open and honest in saying his travels cost around $28k including the airline tickets. He stayed in hostels to stretch his budget, stayed away from expensive countries (Europe) and used websites like Workaway to extend his travels. Workaway experiences also allowed him to become more immersed in a community. Experiences like this enrich your travels in ways that are hard to quantify
Paul did seem to fly by the seat of his pants and used very little technology to aid in his travels. Other than fellow travelers, though, he did make use of Wikitravel for information and the maps.me app for offline map access. Both are a wealth of information and really easy to access and use. Wikitravel is user generated so the information is current and includes travel alerts, useful phrases in a particular region, and a great list of things to do, see and eat all over the world.
Paul had several great comments to make about this type of travel. He purposefully didn’t show us many photos from his trip because he didn’t want to influence anyone’s trip/experience. When asked what his favorite place was, he was also vague stating that each place he went had its own charm and beauty. This type of trip is as much about experiencing the world as it is getting to know yourself. If your trip follows a very regimented schedule, then you will miss out on the unexpected opportunities that come along. While this unplanned trip may not work for everyone on every trip, it is something to consider. Most of us live very scheduled lives guided by a routine that is comfortable. Stepping outside of the boxes on the calendar may seem scary, but with each of those steps a new story and experience is waiting to unfold.