I don’t want to reveal too much, but my travel adventures might come to a halt/pause sooner than I expected, so as long as I am still a full-time-passionate traveler, I will stick my nose into travel related stuff. Coming back to the “pure minimalist topics” will be soon enough!
Sooo, Minimalist travel. It’s really interesting to write about it, because it is basically minimalism but everything is on a much smaller scale. When you travel, you usually are some kind of “at the moment minimalist”, because all you have with you is your suitcase. So everybody who travels has to go through the very important question:
What do I really need?
Will this item when I pack it and carry it with me be used or is it a “just in case item” which wil just stay in my suitcase until I come back home? Will this item that I carry with me add value to my travel?
For instance, do you really need a guidebook?
I would say that you don’t need it!
Okay, I know guidebooks are useful when you don’t have the internet. They are also nice to look at, because of the many pictures and when you read it you can dream about your perfect vacation/think about how much fun you had when you were there. But this makes it mostly a sentimental item, doesn’t it? So, this is the plus side, now what is the downside of a guidebook?
- It is heavy and therefore inconvenient to carry around.
- I get all the general information from the internet for free and then I get additional information also for free from the hostel, including maps
- Not knowing all the things you will see at your destination gives you a sense of adventure. It also forces you to keep an open mind on things, as you might get interesting recommendations on stuff that you haven’t even thought of seeing/doing
- If I talk to people, I can get different opinions on a thing, while in a guidebook it is usually one opinion only – the author’s – and he might not have the same taste in things as I have.
- A guidebook might be outdated and the information might thus be wrong
- If all people use the same travel guide, then the “insider tips” become tourist spots and if you follow the guidebook like a sheep then you will never really get off the beaten path
So, maybe for your next vacation, try something new: go without a guidebook and listen to what the locals have to say. It forces you out of your protected shell, out of your comfort zone and into some adventures!