I love travelling - I love that feeling that you could meet anyone, anything could happen and that every day feels a bit like a choose-your-own adventure book and the day could end somewhere really unexpected. I also love the “travel self” which for me feels a little impulsive, more open and able to give anything a go. Though unfortunately travelling all the time isn’t possible (unless you’re lucky enough to have an amazing trust fund!), but I do love the idea that you can take a little bit of your “travel self” and bring it to every single day.
I suppose for me, this article got started when I was on the Tube on my way home during the week- I’d just finished work at a contract job that I hated, and I was sitting on there, head buried in a book, on my way home to watch the Olympics on telly. A random guy commented on the book I was reading and I smiled politely and returned to reading. It got me thinking- if I was travelling, there is no way I would be staying in a boring town that I hated- I would jump on a bus to the next place even if I didn’t know much about it or have accommodation booked. I would probably chat to the friendly stranger on the train and might end up with a new friend, or even just a recommendation for an amazing gallery or café you never would have found otherwise- hence the challenge- to live my normal day-to-day life, but with the same enthusiasm and sense of discovery for the traveller!
Wish me luck- below are the rules I’ve come up with…
Just say yes! Whenever I’m backpacking, I love the random adventures that come with staying in the moment and saying yes to suggestion without worrying about what happens next! Whether it’s trying a new bar/restaurant or part of town rather than an old haunt, making an effort to see that exhibition on a Saturday despite your hangover or not letting small concerns like “it’s a week night” get in the way!
Be open to new people - I love the incredible mix of people you come across when you travel, but I’m convinced you come across them every day, it’s just that your eyes are shut to it. After the week I’ve had I’m going to chat to the stranger on the train, the lovely waitress in the café and make an effort to at least stop in at that friend’s party- even if I won’t know many people.
Be a tourist in your own city - no matter where you live, it’s so easy to stop seeing it and just getting into your every-day grind of routine. I’m going to keep making an effort to see what’s on and what’s happening, and if somebody I meet raves about a band/restaurant/market I’m going to write it down and check it out!
After thinking all this through yesterday- I decided to quit the contract job I was hating. I might be horribly misquoting the lovely Marilyn Monroe, but sometimes you have to ‘let things fall apart so better things can fall together’. I have more interviews next week and who knows who I’ll come across, or what I’ll learn next week! All I know is that I’m inviting all my travel adventures into my everyday life!
Let me know- would love to hear anybody else’s thoughts on how to bring the lessons and freedoms of travelling to your normal, professional life…
By Lani Dykes (Traveller & current London Local)
…You can be like a traveller in your own city, by meeting up with travellers using the Party with a Local App!