1. Hairdryers, make up, and daily showers are not essentials. Clean (ish) clothes and a fun travel group are.
2. Getting lost isn’t the worst thing in the world. It’s actually an unplanned opportunity to explore a new place (as long as you keep alert and stay safe).
3. However long you think you can go without sleeping, eating, and showering, you can actually go twice that.
4. However long you think you can go without WiFi, you can go longer. Surprisingly, not checking Instagram every couple hours won’t kill you.
5. When hostels say they include showers, it doesn’t necessarily mean hot showers. And forget about free towels.
6. Despite the above, hostels give you the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, which is something the Holiday Inn doesn’t offer.
7. One of the best feelings ever is being asked directions by a stranger because that means you no longer look like a lost tourist and have achieved local status to the outside world.
8. Most of the time, pictures don’t do the world’s natural beauties justice. Stop looking at views through an iPhone screen or Cannon lens and actually just look at them.
9. Traveling alone and navigating a city where they don’t speak your native language gives you a kind of unexplainable confidence.
10. Putting on headphones in any type of public transportation, or anywhere really, could close you off to meeting some really interesting people with lots of stories to tell (not to mention recommendations to all the cool local places you can’t find on the web). You can listen to that new album by so-and-so on the flight home. For now, strike up a conversation with anyone and everyone.
11. Time really does fly by. Taking time to soak it all in is a necessity.