Day 7 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge – Thoughts on Being a Nomad
Nomads can get around in as many different ways as there are kinds of transportation. You can travel as fast as a plane or as slow as your own walking pace. My favorite way of getting around depends on the situation and the location, and I usually end up picking the most practical (and affordable) choice available.
To cover long distances between destinations, I prefer taking a plane, with just that goal in mind. It is a method I have used many times, for relatively quick visits to family and friends in Belgium, for vacations back when those were part of my life and to start a backpacking journey. The more enjoyable way to travel big parts of the planet and see some of the areas along the way, is by train. I find this a comfortable and relaxing way to get around, as long as I have a seat to myself. Buses also have the advantage you don’t have to drive yourself, but I get motion sick and the “visibility” isn’t always great, so I am not too fond of them. The cost is usually right, though, especially outside first world countries.
While the true meaning of backpacking is “hiking multiple days (in nature) with a backpack holding all your gear”, the term also describes exploring the world with all your belongings packed in said pack. But, instead of mostly walking, you mostly take buses, or trains. I rarely ever covered long distances by foot, when backpacking for two years in my twenties.
I do believe that a car gives you the most freedom while traveling – and who doesn’t enjoy an exciting road trip? – but increased traffic and bad driving behavior of others take some of those pleasures away. All we can do is be very vigilant on the road, and we might as well do that in a camper, which is my preferred means to travel freely and have my home with me. Another way to – slowly – see the world while having your whole life with you, is by sailboat. To visit remote areas and immerse yourself in different cultures on island time, getting around in your own boat can’t be beaten.
I do realize that there are other cool options to travel from place to place, like by camel, donkey, elephant, and horse, but since I have only used those forms of transportation for short jaunts, I can’t comment on them too much, except that I get seasick on a camel! Another way to get around in the alternative category is hitchhiking. It is free and adventurous and, yes, it can be dangerous, but when performed in safe countries with hospitable people, it leads to so much more than moving from point A to point B. Hitchhiking has allowed me to really meet the local people, get invited into their homes and create long-lasting relationships and memories.
What is your favorite method of travel? What is your favorite way to get around in your own country? Have you tried any adventurous means of transportation?
(Stay tuned for tomorrow’s installment of Thoughts on Being a Nomad: “H is for Health Care”)