I started writing this as a Facebook post, but it turned into an article, so rather than wasting it, these are my initial thoughts…
Be a traveller, not a tourist, on your journey:
- Try to carry your own baggage: people may offer to lighten the load, but it’s a gift to you, not a right. Other people are not your servants, even if they serve. Better to leave some of the baggage behind so you don’t need help.
- Experience what you’re going through, don’t just dream of the destination, don’t just take selfies to show off to others.
- Remember that everyone else is on a journey, too. They are not just the quaint locals that provide atmosphere for your story. You are as much an encounter for them as they are for you. What will they take away from the encounter? Are you a predator, a parasite or a symbiote?
- No-one owes you a living, or special treatment. You are not superior or untouchable. No-one is going to give you a prize at the end – what you take from life is your reward. Do you have love, happiness, self-respect?
- Thank the people that help you.
I’ll write more about what I’ve learnt from couchsurfers soon – watch for the category