“To me, being an indie traveler means many things, but most importantly it means that you are willing to put yourself out there to explore the world. It means taking every chance, every opportunity to just get out there, no matter what obstacles are in the way.”
That’s how I defined indie travel back in early January when BootsnAll asked those participating in the Indie Travel Challenge for a definition. To me, being an indie traveler is all about stopping the excuses and getting out there to explore this amazing world we live in and the people in it.
Just this week, BootsnAll announced their Indie Travel Manifesto:
While I agree with all listed above, there are three that I can best relate to. The first of those is Slow Down and Enjoy the Experience. I am often looking for the next best thing, however, life for me slows down when I travel. I have time to watch the sunsets, linger over dinner and drinks, explore, and wander around aimlessly. I take my time and try not to rush around, even if it means missing a sight or two along the way. To me, it’s more important to make connections to the country and people living there, and if that means slowing down, I’m all for it.
The next idea I relate to is Pack Light and Keep Things Simple. Over the years, I have learned that the less you bring the better. This goes for emotional baggage, as well as the physical kind. Pre-conceived notions or ideas of a place, stereotypes, and judgements should all be left at home. As for physical baggage, I believe that nothing more than a carry-on is necessary. You can find a few pieces that go well together and mix and match over your travels. The experience is really what’s important while traveling, and you begin to realize that what you bring with you isn’t all that important, especially compared to what you bring back with you.
The final idea that caught my eye was Find Pleasure in Simple Moments and Details. While traveling, you may often be focused on the big picture, like seeing all of the famous sites or eating the food the country is known for, but it’s often the smaller, simpler moments that wind up meaning the most. Most likely, it’s the encounters you have with people along the way. Whether it’s a conversation with a woman in a market about life in your home country, or discussions with other travelers from around the world, magical moments can happen anywhere, from airports to buses or markets to villages.
True travelers, indie travelers, go for the experience. They go to explore the world and learn about. They are changed by what they encountered along the journey. And, for them, after travel, life is never completely the same.
This post is part of BootsnAll’s Indie Travel Challenge 2012.
Week six’s topic: This week we’re introducing our Indie Travel Manifesto and we want to know: do you agree with our principles of indie travel? What would your own personal Manifesto for travel say?