Going on a long trip?
Whatever your reason for travelling may be, you might as well make the time count. Learn something, make some money, record your experiences or become an artist or musician.
These are just some cool ideas to enhance your journey and yourself. Maybe you've always wanted to paint, write, shoot great photographs or make sculptures, perhaps there is a budding chef in you or you just want to pass the time.
Whatever your hobby or your pursuit, you can definitely use some of those long plane, bus or train journey hours – or rainy days when there is nothing else to do – to your advantage. Here are some thoughts and tips.
How to Make the most of your trip:
Start a journal, blog or a website
When you are travelling, you get so many new ideas and influences from the people you meet and the new places you visit that you might as well grab the opportunity with both hands. Making your own travel log website, complete with funny anecdotes or photos, is a great idea for example. You can also think about making some money from your writing, by blogging about the destinations you visit. Travel websites and guides might be interested in reviews, opinions and pictures, so get in touch with them before you leave.
Do you shoot good pictures? Do friends always compliment you on the photos you take? Is your camera like an extension of your arm? Having a good camera with you and regularly uploading or editing photographs while you are travelling is bound to be fun if you enjoy that kind of thing, and passes the time on long journeys where there is nothing else to see or do. You should make sure you buy and pack all the equipment you need, because you might not be able to get it on the way. If you do a photographic website or online log, make sure you create comprehensive albums, slideshows or even make some documentary mini movies. You could even enter a few photo competitions or set up an exhibition when you return.
Learn to play an instrument
A piano, drum set or even a guitar might not be the ideal travel instruments, especially if you are backpacking across the Gobi Desert. However, a small, pocket size instrument like a small Irish flute or a mouth harmonica could be good bets. You might struggle to begin with (or seriously annoy your travel companions), but you'll be sure to get plenty of practice along the way. If you are staying in one place at your destination and miss you true calling, you could even consider renting a piano, a guitar or various other instruments en situ.
Scrap-booking is a great hobby, and even if you don't want to carry a heavy scrapbook album with you when you travel, you can certainly collect lots of stuff to go in it for when you return. Imagine plane, bus, train or concert tickets, bar and nightclub flyers, menus, beer mats, matchboxes... the possibilities are endless. You could even make funky collages out of them when you get back home, and set up a modern art exhibition in your backyard! If you do take a journal with you, make sure it's lightweight if you plan to do a lot of trekking with it in your backpack. Also bring some colourful pens, a glue stick, scissors and anything else you think you might need to make it great.
Study or take a class
As long as you are not actually travelling abroad to for the purposes of studying already, you could consider doing some kind of a course when you reach your destination. Many travel agencies also offer fantastic learning holidays, ranging from cooking, handicrafts, wine tasting, painting and so on. This could be the perfect chance to take a favourite hobby onto the next level.
The list is endless and there are probably lots of other ways you could give an extra dimension to your trip.
Rest assured though, if you do, your travel experience will be all the more fulfilling – and perhaps even profitable.
Travel tip shared by Johanna Bergstorm