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Laws of Nature - How The Wild Can Teach Us To Be Better Travellers

KENYA | Tuesday, 3 May 2016 | Views [234]


You never forget the first time you imagine yourself on the safari, or in the rainforest, or even in the middle of an excellent zoo getting up and close with the natural world and then finding out the real thing was so much better. Even in your wildest dreams the actual experience is incomparable to a dream when you actually get to connect with the different organisms of the earth, and find that you’re really a part of this bigger, greater world.  


One of my first “real” jobs was working as an assistant in a wildlife refuge, helping rehabilitate animals, helping people learn about the amazing local wildlife of my home, and learning how to be a global citizen. It was a dream come true; it got me close to wildlife and I didn’t just learn things about myself, but things from the creatures of the world as well, and it made me a better traveller.


From learning to be efficient on my own to giving up on knowing where everything is and just letting myself wander into opportunities, being one of the animals has made my experiences on the road that much better.


Camouflage yourself.


When I first set out to wander Marrakech, I knew it wasn’t going to be like any place I’d ever been before. It was early in my travels, and the first Muslim country, or African country at all, that I had visited. There were customs, rules, traditions, that I didn’t know anything about, ways of communicating, bartering, eating, that I wasn’t familiar with; it was a whole new world. So I set out to do plenty of research and make sure my travels wouldn’t be the kind to draw attention to anyone.


The biggest piece of advice I have before you travel anywhere is to do a little research so that you blend in with the locals—it’s not just about respect for their differences, it’s also about being able to navigate around and see everything you want uninterrupted. Just wearing the right clothes can make a world of difference.


Be the Alpha.


We had a pack of wolves at the place I worked and the alpha was always the one we had to get the approval from before we entered their habitat to feed them, or give medicine, or even to clean up the place after a storm. The alpha was in charge, and the alpha knew it.


When I travel alone, I always think of the alpha mindset to make sure I’m getting the most out of every one of my experiences. Whether it’s learning how to barter in the souk or not getting swindled into paying too much for a taxi ride, the alpha mentality of being in total control and not letting anyone get the better of you will save you time and money in the long run. It’s completely different from the tourist approach to travel, so stick to your guns and you’ll stand out as someone not to be messed with, because there is always a situation where being your own boss is the best job around.


Scavengers live a long life.


Okay, so no one ever wants to be the vulture. Or the hyena. Or the tiny mouse-like creatures that roam every corner of the earth. But the truth is that scavengers the world over live long lives, and it’s because they’re adaptable to the world that’s around them and learn to live off what’s available.


When you’re on the road, nothing makes more sense for your purse strings or your needs than getting down and dirty with the local fare, hotels, and activities (even the free ones like people watching in a busy marketplace). Essentially, scavenging is how you can get the best out of everything from street food to guesthouses. As long as you do your homework, or are prepared for a little spontaneity, adapting can be the best thing you ever did on a trip, and I totally encourage it for any budget or destination.


Turtle tips.


You know where I’m going with this, right?


When it comes to travel, take what you need, make sure you can carry it yourself, and leave all the extras at home. Turtles are great travellers because everything they need they carry with them, and it makes their lifestyle (moving slow, taking it all in) easier since they’re protected from the unexpected. Travellers are very much like turtles; they’re easy to spot, don’t move so quickly, and can be easy targets. But if you’re savvy, all of those things don’t have to be a liability, so learn how to pack like a boss and you’ll never go wrong again.


Travel in packs.


There’s a lot of great reasons to travel solo, but there are just as many reasons to travel with friends, and I personally love travelling with others. Whether it’s a huge expedition or just a weekend jaunt, travelling with friends can make a great time become an unforgettable time, and you can form amazing bonds that last a lifetime.


But other than that, there’s also safety in numbers, especially in places that are not as familiar with tourists, and you often can get great deals when you book in bulk. So don’t think that every expedition you take has to be on your own—there’s pros to taking the whole squad every once in awhile!


Take these tips from the animals straight to the heart and you’ll discover the kind of environment that makes for really great travel experiences for you and everyone around you.


Until next time...bon voyage!

Tags: animal kingdom, guides, laws of nature, nature, wild

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