Let’s be honest, once you’ve travelled for some time, you develop a certain type of skill sets that make you an expert traveller. I call those skills a travel superpower. Those powers give you and edge and sometimes you become an envy of everyone else. What are those skills you might ask. Let’s see.
The packing expert
When I first started to travel, I always had a suitcase to myself and it was usually full. Over time, I learned to bring less stuff and do more with what I have. After all, I might want to buy things and bring them home. Those things require space!
Although I think I’m a pretty good packer – I can fit in one suitcase enough stuff for two adults and couple of carry-ons for couple of weeks of travel – I am nowhere near the packing expert level. These are the people who have mastered the art of packing and that is their travel superpower. They can travel with a carry-on and only the necessities. These people can fold anything into a square or a roll and know the types of items that are best for this type of storage and transport. I admire them immensely.
The travel power of a backpacking expert might seem very similar to that of a packing expert, but it goes a little bit further. Backpackers tend to travel for longer periods of time and are reliant on what they can carry. That includes supplies, toiletries and everything else you can think of.
Backpacking is an art in itself and I think deserves its own mention. It’s more like a lifestyle that some people master over time. When you travel with someone else, you can split the things you have between two people. When you are out backpacking, you are sometimes alone and that means you are reliant on yourself. That also means you need to know exactly what you need and what you can do without for long periods of time. That in itself is a superpower in my opinion.
The deal finder
Given the chance, most people love a travel deal, be that flights, accommodations, meals and things to do. Although I love a great deal as much as the next person, I also am ok with paying full price for certain things, especially ones that offer comfort. I am not that fussy (well kinda, maybe), but I am willing to stay in a three star hotel instead of paying through my nose for five start accommodations. To some, this is still a high price. Enter the deal finders.
Finding the best deals is their travel superpower. These individuals will find the cheapest place to stay they can find. That can be couch surfing, a multi-person hostel room, a tent or tiny Airbnb option. They’re not fussy about how large or comfortable the accommodations are, and are more thrilled by the price. Nothing wrong with that. Others will sacrifice travel time to get a cheaper flight, train or a boat ride. There are also those that will scour places for the best things to do and see by any means they can. All of them share the same trait – getting deals is like an adrenaline rush. They become a great source of information on what to see and do in any place they visit. I admire their skills.
I like to think that I have become fairly well versed in the art of travel. While I might not mastered the travel superpowers mentioned above, I do have one that I think is pretty neat. My travel superpower is not getting affected by jet lag. An hour, five or 12 in time difference doesn’t affect me and I can adapt to any time zone without difficulty. I am fortunate enough not to have a problem sleeping which means that when I’m tired and sleepy, I will fall asleep. It also helps to maintain daily routines when changing time zones.
On my first trip to China I was facing a 12 hour time difference. Our flight left Toronto in the early evening on Friday and arrived in China on Saturday evening. In theory, when I got on and off the plane it would have been about the same time. In reality, it was a different day altogether. After few hours on the plane, my body felt like it was night so I ended up sleeping for about 7 hours on the plane. Got up early enough to be awake for few more hours and after we arrived at the hotel, I stayed up till about 11 as I normally did and slept for about 9 hours. In the morning, I was good to go. Easy peasy.
What’s your travel superpower?
Are there any other superpowers you think expert travellers develop?
Do you have a travel superpower? Let me know!