It’s a description of how we’d like to travel–and how I aspire to travel. I may set off with certain goals, such as “pack light and keep things simple,” but I have to admit: I always end up with more than I need.
Which brings me to one of the truths that I’ve learned through travel: I don’t need 75% of the stuff that I have at home. If I can travel for two months in two very different climates with just a backpack and a daypack, I don’t need the all of the t-shirts that I’ve been saving since high school for “sentimental reasons,” or the text books that I used for one semester in college and kept because “I might need them.” I don’t. They should be given to someone who might actually read it during this century.
I do agree with many of the tenets of the manifesto, mostly the ones that refer to enjoying the small moments during travel, meeting and learning from people (locals and other travelers) and reveling in the “now”–not the “then” or the “later.”
Of course, when I’m traveling, I don’t want to miss anything–but, since I’m human, I will. I have to learn that it’s okay and fully enjoy the events, places and people that I do get to get to experience. I’ve gotten better about this, especially when I travel by myself. If I’m just bumping along, exploring what catches my eye, I often don’t know that I “missed” anything until I’m further afield and have made some incredible memories doing something else. Plus, it always gives me an excuse to visit again.
I truly believe that travel can change you–if you let it. For me, travel is about people. Every person that I meet, no matter for how long we get to spend together, shares a slice of their life. Though these glimpses, I’m exposed to different ways of thinking, dreams, aspirations, core beliefs and lives. It challenges the way that I think and the way that I live–and that’s how I travel.
You can read the full Indie Travel Manifesto here or take a look below: