It was the name of the first Traveller of the world.
He was also the first hippie traveller.
After Magellan, millions of people have traveled to several places on the earth, you and me being one. Several have traveled to far more places than even Magellan did.
Then why aren't everybody else also hippies?
The answer lies in one very simple fact : Magellan traveled around the world looking for the unknown. Whereas, you and me, the modern day travelers, journey for the known fearing the unknown.
You take so many precautions fearing the unknown that the entire fun of travelling is long gone even before you start the trip.
And then you complain that travelling is not for you. That it's boring, costly and a sheet waste of time.
People who travel right feel happiness even doing the simple and mundane task of journeying in a Bullock cart. While, you may find even a plane trip boring.
This is the purpose of below post by HippieBaba. We want to make you a hippie, by travelling right. Incidentally, it's way cheap too.
Just follow the below 10 advices and you would never again feel bored with your trip or life.
You can also implement them in your daily schedule to make the most out of your life.
1. TALK TO RANDOM STRANGERS
Every place on the earth is a book. To read it, you have to deal with the pages who are the people living in that place - Hippiebaba.
You can't understand one without indulging another.
Every thing related to that person : his appearance, the way he talks, things about which he talks tells a story. This story can't be found in any book, guide or help-outs.
I myself experienced it while being in Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj. Kumbh Mela is the world's largest gathering of human beings andI have talked about it in detail in this post. If I had kept mum there, not talked with the Nagas and Sadhus present there, I wouldn't have got to know the amazing stories of why people become Sadhus or Nagas.
Besides, social skills and confidence gained by talking to random strangers on random things is just unmatched. No amount of money can buy that.
Pro Tip: Start small.Talk about small things in the beginning but in a very confident manner.You may start with a hello/namstey or other introductory greeting to break the ice. Some inoffensive jokes in local language would also serve well.
2. LEARN LOCAL LANGUAGE & CUSTOMS
The importance of speaking local language (even partly) and acting as per prevalent custom is unmatched.
Not only will it make communication a lot easier but will also endear you to local people who will appreciate your speaking their language.
Not to say, language is the best way to experience any culture.
Being aware of custom of any place will help you to understand the views, values, hopes, and worries and fears of local populace.
All this makes you feel more connected to that place, so much so that when you leave, a part of that place will be forever etched in your memory.
Pro Tip : Know the offensive signs and gestures of the place you are planning to visit. For example: "Thumbs Up" gesture is normally used to signify a job well done. But in some cultures such as Australia, Greece and Middle East, it's a curse meaning essentially "Up yours!" or "Sit on this!"
3. EAT WHERE POOR EAT
If you visit a place and not eat with the poor at places where they eat, then you are missing on a lot of experience.
You travel to experience a place, it's culture and local food is an integral part of it.
Don't miss it for any amount of money.
When I was in Netarhat (Jharkhand), I met some primitive Adivasis (tribals) and they invited me to eat with them at their place. The simple rice pudding and bamboo pickle that I ate that day is the best meal I have had in my life.
Also, there is a place named Chuian Bhuian in Raigarh, Chattisgarh where daily wagers and rickshaw pullers go at night to have some food. The sweet rice I had there was also awesome.
Pro Tip: Eating differently may leave you with upset stomach. So, carry some medicines along with.
4. EARN YOUR OWN MONEY BY WORKING
This brings your hippiness to another level.
The pro level.
Here you not just talk and eat with strangers, but work with them too.
By talking and eating with them, you understand a place and person but by working, you do something for them.
This is invaluable.
It need not be for money. But only survival and helping out.
Infact, Hippies of this world have been doing this for a very long Period.
For Example: You can find many hippies in Goa doing random tasks such as repairing musical instruements, doing programming, photographing and filming, selling things in flea stores etc.
Pro Tip: You are coming from a different culture endowed with different skill sets. The best thing you can do is to teach your skills to some lucky, interested child who never had an opportunity to learn that. By this simple act of kindness, you can change someone's life beyond recognition.
5. LIVE WHERE COMMON FOLKS LIVE
After talking, eating and working with someone from a different culture, the only thing left for you to immerse yourself with the place is to live where common people live.
I am not asking you to sleep in some random person's home, but at places such as lodges, working man hostels, host families etc, in your own separate room.
It will help you see local traditions firsthand apart from enjoying home cooked meals. It will also act as a real life lesson to learn local culture and practice local language learnt. What's most important is that you gain a second family, you can talk to and feel connected to, even after leaving that place.
Pro Tip: This can be a bit dangerous esp. for hippie girls. You can avoid this if even 1% safety risk is there.
6. KNOW THE STORY OF EVERY PLACE
Knowing why a place became famous before you actually visit it, is of supreme importance for every travel hippie.
It also helps you connect with local people in a better manner apart from helping appreciate what's happening now.
It also keeps you in sync with it's culture & values.
Pro Tip :Hippie Stories section of HippieBaba is intended to do just that. You can come here to check ancient stories, folklores and myths associated with the place you are planning to visit next.
7. TRAVEL SOLO
Travelling alone isn't always solo travel. It's solo travel when you travel alone AND have enough time to spend with yourself.
Having said that, travelling solo doesn't always mean that you will feel alone during travel. Instead, you will make new friends, new connections which will make your trip worthwhile.
Travelling solo doesn't always mean travel carelessly. Infact, if you are a girl, you must pay heed to advice given here.
Pro Tip : Always get a travel insurance before starting out.
8. BRING NOTHING, TAKE BACK NOTHING
Take only memories, leave only footprints - Chief Seattle.
Start your journey with a empty slate and end it likewise. Dont bring too many items on your journey. Neither accumulate a lot during your trips.
Instead, the only thing to take back is the memories of your wonderful trip. Physical objects will leave you at some moment but the memory of those wonderful moments will continue to live with you till your last breath.
9.BE PREPARED TO GET ROBBED, BEATEN OR KILLED
Hippies travel in the same manner as day to day living. Both travelling and living is connected for them.
They live while travelling and travel while living. And they do both of them as normal people, not some hi-fi person wanting special treatment everywhere.
When you travel like a common person, you entail the risk of facing circumstances which common folks face everyday.
Getting robbed, beaten or killed are few of the possibilities.
Pro tip : By being prepared i just mean to immerse yourself totally in every situation. Naturally, at those times you risk the same things as any other local would do.
10. HELP EVERYONE ON YOUR WAY
You can't leave your footprint on the sands of time if you are sitting on your butt.
Instead, travel actively. Try to help out where you can.
Small acts of kindness such as offering your seat to someone more needy or helping a sick women with timely help are great acts of kindness which would go a long way.
Pro Tip : Don't get too involved in something. Know where to step in and where to back out. Helping a wrong person or in wrong amount may leave you with an unpleasant experience.
These small advices, if followed correctly, and in correct measure can be the difference between a normal traveller and a hippie one.