One thing that I learnt while away: Make the most of all opportunities.
It’s easy to be too budget, or safety, conscious these days, especially when you’re travelling around. But we can’t take anything with us, so let’s enjoy everything we can while we’re alive (but don’t be a dick).
Working as a travel agent in Australia and New Zealand I had a lot of incredible opportunities, from Bungy Jumps, to Helicopter trips, all for free, and I tried to do as many as I could. Even the stuff that didn’t appeal to so much, it’s worth a try just to be sure! I even went to Milford Sound twice, just to enjoy the spectacular scenery. I did most of these things alone, I wasn’t worried about that.
More recently I was in Cornwall, and despite long drives, I went to meet people and visit new places. Cornwall isn’t quite as impressive as New Zealand, or South Africa, but it still has some beautiful areas, and I’m very glad I made the trip, even if it cost me in petrol. Even locally there are cool places and things to do, so don’t be afraid to go have a look.
I am currently working at a hostel in Dublin, and this has opened doors for me again to try certain activities for no cost. I am doing most of them alone, but usually I meet other people. Admittedly, some of the bus tours have been pretty dry and boring, but I’m still glad I got to see the wonderful sights they took me to. I’d always prefer to go with a friend, but if it’s not feasible, going alone is better than not going at all.
Talking to a friend the other day, she told me she wouldn’t do the things I do alone. She sounded pretty interested in them, but was perhaps too nervous to go alone. She would always need company, even to go bouldering or trampolining. Yet she also wasn’t motivated enough to organise a trip with her friends. It seems a shame to me that either laziness, or nervousness would prevent a person from enjoying activities like these.
So I guess what I’d like to see is more people trying new things, and more of the places that run such activities hosting ‘newbie nights’ or something similar, a session designed to get people meeting each other and enjoying fun things together. Perhaps ‘singles nights’ might be fun as well, not just to meet training partners, but also to meet people with common interests.