As I’ve been travelling for a short while now, I’ve started to notice a number of familiar questions that a lot of people seem to ask. These may be new people who I’ve just met in a hostel or people I’ve known for years back home, but it seems there are questions that absolutely everyone wants to know about my trip. Here are five of the most common questions I’m asked about travelling…
How long are you travelling for?
The reactions of some people when I respond to this question with “I don’t know” are absolutely priceless. It is nice to have no time constraints as I can stay in a place for as long as I want and don’t have to make rigid plans, which I’ve already mentioned I hate doing! This is definitely the most common question, and it’s almost started to go in one ear and out of the other now!
This question could also be reworded to “when are you coming home?”, which I feel has a much more negative slant!
What’s been the highlight of your travels?
A really tough one to answer as I’m fortunate enough to have done so much awesome stuff since I’ve been travelling.
People probably actually regret asking me this question, as I could talk for days on end about how amazing my easy rider tour was in Vietnam, how beautiful the Whitsunday Islands are and just how mental Songkran was in Bangkok! It’s an impossible question to answer, because after crazy experiences like Songkran then a week of sitting around doing nothing is probably an absolute dream to me at that’s point!
Are you scared of travelling alone?
Many people, especially those who have never been on a backpacking trip, find the very concept of solo travelling strange and, dare I say it, scary.
Sure, when my brother Chris left me after Surfers Paradise last year and I was heading to Brisbane alone for the first time as a backpacker I felt a little bit nervous. I soon realised though that there are so many people doing the same thing, and that you’re rarely “alone”.
The way I look at it is this: walking into a new hostel on your own is like the first day in a new job or, if you went to university, walking into your halls for the first time – only less intimidating. Just be confident and you’ll get along fine.
What if you don’t meet anyone?
I rarely entertain this thought as I know I’m a confident guy who can talk to anyone. That might sound big headed but it’s true! As long as you don’t sit in a corner of a hostel or bar waiting for people to come and talk to you without making any effort yourself, you’ll be fine. Of course, alcohol also helps make those introductions a little less awkward!
On the rare occasions that I go to a place and meet absolutely no one, I take the opportunity to do some writing or reading. I’m quite happy in my own company and I think everyone needs a bit of time to themselves every now and then.
Do you miss home?
This is a tough one, and I guess the answer is yes and no.
Of course, I miss my family and friends hugely. Over the past year in particular, I’ve grown even closer to these people than I ever thought was possible so in that aspect, I do miss home. FaceTime is a great way of keeping in touch though, and I can’t wait for my mate James to come travelling in September!
What I don’t miss, however, is English life. I don’t miss the cold weather, I don’t miss how uptight people are, and I certainly don’t miss the monotony of a 9-5 routine. Maybe later in life I will go back to England and feel ready to do the whole 9-5/settling down thing, but for now I feel Asia and indeed the rest of the world has so much more to offer me.
So there are five of the most common questions I get asked. Do you have any questions? Feel free to leave a comment – it’s good to talk!
I have a few questions:
Do you speak languages other than english? How much of a language barrier do you encounter in different parts of the world?
How do you earn money to sustain the travels? What sort of jobs do you do and how easy are they to find?
Hi Karl – thanks for reading!
Sadly I’m not yet fluent in another language just yet – but as a rule I ensure I learn at least the very basics to get by in any new country. Simple things like ‘hello’, ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and a few words for food and drink etc usually see me right. The truth is though that in the large majority of places I’ve visited so far there is often a basic understanding of English or someone on hand to translate if needs be.
As for work, I’m currently teaching English in Singapore for a few months to find the next stage of my travels. You can read about that here: https://ramblingnortherner.com/2014/06/20/lessons-ive-learnt-in-my-first-week-as-a-teacher/
Hope this answers your questions!