You will remember the people more than the place.

Talk­ing to ran­dos is the norm. I’ll nev­er for­get the con­ver­sa­tion with the aquar­i­um fish­er­man, for­est ranger, and women at the Thai mar­ket. It’s refresh­ing to com­pare notes on life with peo­ple from vast­ly dif­fer­ent back­grounds. When you are alone for days or weeks at a time, you even­tu­al­ly become drawn to peo­ple.

When you meet fel­low trav­el­ers, you’ll find they are also filled with a sim­i­lar sense of adven­ture and curios­i­ty about the world. Five days of friend­ship on the road is like five months of friend­ship at home. It’s the expe­ri­ences that bond you togeth­er, not the place. A rule I fol­lowed that worked well: be the first to ini­ti­ate con­ver­sa­tion. I met some incred­i­ble peo­ple by sim­ply being the first to talk.

Make a rad­i­cal change in your lifestyle and begin to bold­ly do things which you may pre­vi­ous­ly nev­er have thought of doing, or been too hes­i­tant to attempt. But once you become accus­tomed to such a life you will see its full mean­ing and its incred­i­ble beau­ty.

Travel can be affordable.

Long term trav­el is dif­fer­ent than a lux­u­ry vaca­tion. The point is to see the world, not stay in a 5‑star hotel. Dur­ing the trip, I stayed on a strict bud­get. The goal was to spend no more than $33 per day on accom­mo­da­tions. After a year, I was able to spend only $26.15 per day by book­ing through Hostel­World and Airbnb. When I want­ed to meet peo­ple, I’d stay in a shared room at a hos­tel. When I want­ed to be alone, I’d book a pri­vate room with Airbnb.

Take the cost of your rent or mort­gage + food per month and divide it by 30. This is how much it costs per day to live at home. You will find that it’s pos­si­ble to trav­el the world for rough­ly the same amount. Or, if you live in an expen­sive city like San Fran­cis­co, far less.

English is a universal language.

I was sur­prised how many peo­ple spoke Eng­lish (appar­ent­ly 1.8 bil­lion peo­ple world­wide). Places where Eng­lish was less preva­lent, I made an effort to learn a hand­ful of words and phras­es in the local lan­guage. Even though it’s pass­able, I do desire to learn anoth­er lan­guage flu­ent­ly. You can only take the con­ver­sa­tion so far when all you can say is: “¿Esto con­tiene gluten?”

It’s pos­si­ble to com­mu­ni­cate a lot with­out say­ing a word. For instance, I left my phone at a restau­rant in Chile. I point­ed at the table where I was sit­ting, put my hand to my ear like a phone, then shrugged — 2 min­utes lat­er, my phone had been retrieved.

Trust your intuition.

I learned to trust that tiny voice in my head a bit more. When you are alone in a for­eign coun­try and your phone is dead, you are forced to trust your intu­ition. Is this neigh­bor­hood safe to walk around? Is this per­son some­one I should inter­act with? Am I head­ing the right direc­tion? Intu­ition is like a mus­cle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes. It’s feels like a sixth sense when you’re able to read between the lines of a sit­u­a­tion.

The world is end­less. The world’s a tiny neigh­bor­hood. My fav peo­ple are the ones who can hold two impos­si­ble ideas in their heads.