What quirky little routines do you fly away with when you travel overseas? Superstitious or celebratory, everyone plots, plans and packs for their adventures just a little bit differently. Here are five traditions that shape and inspire every one of my escapes.
G&T and Fly
Every time I travel out of Australia I order a G&T. Just one mind you (cos that’s all it takes!). Why? Because once the bags are stowed and the plane’s in the air, my celebratory G&T reminds me that all the pre-trip planning, the packing, and the drama of airport check-in is finally behind me and I can sit back, relax and let the adventure unfold. That potent little bottle of Blue Sapphire does the trick every time and although I’ve ordered it at home, it never tastes as good as it does at 35,000 feet.
Visit a place that’s not in Lonely Planet
Is that possible you ask? Well Rancabuaya – my favourite seaside haunt in southwest Java – is proof that is it. We discovered this tiny coastal hotspot on last year’s cycling trip and fell in love with our clifftop bungalow and the deep blue sea. Since then I always seek out a place that I can’t read about in guidebooks, googling picture book images that inspire me and then tracking down them down.
Stick to the guidebooks and you’ll only meet everyone else, strike out on your own and you’ll soon meet the locals
If a twenty-something Lonely Planet researcher can find their way around the backwaters of Borneo, you can too. Stick to the guidebooks and you’ll only meet everyone else. Strike out on your own and you’ll soon meet the locals whose recommendations and advice just might lead you to the discovery of your trip.
Go to the furthest point & work back
I’ve turned this little piece of wisdom from a favourite aunt into a how-to for trip planning, and it has worked for me ever since. It takes courage to venture into the unknown, to willingly land yourself in the most remote, difficult-to-reach location, but experience has shown me that when I play it safe, I seldom get off the beaten track at all.
Travelling this way might invite language confusion and rough beds, rugged roads and all kinds of mishaps that keep you challenged and on your toes, but the rewards (not to mention the great photos and stories afterwards) are worth all of it, trust me! After the road less travelled, everything else is a walk in the park.
Shhh…my secret stash of cash
This is a new travel tradition since I lost the family’s passports, credit cards and every last dollar in one nice, tidy bundle en route to the airport in KL. The aftermath was dire, so now, I literally stash a tiny bundle of cash inside a pair of socks at the bottom of my backpack. Just in case…..
Holding hands on takeoff
Around 16% of planes crash on takeoff, but that’s not exactly why I routinely clasp my partner’s and daughter’s hands when the plane lifts off the tarmac. Gratitude must be practiced and I’m never more grateful than on the verge of the next adventure to have two superb, unshakeable travellers by my side.