28 June, 2014


On my Delhi to Chennai 3 hour (also delayed) flight, my neighbour on the plane broke the unspoken rule with "what are you reading?" He then apologised for interrupting, excusing himself with the fact that he travels so much and feels lonely, so he often talks to strangers. Here we go, I thought...
Having met a fellow traveller we started talking about our kind (I will define it as Globetrotter?) and so I thought I'll share here what I think is required for doing what I do long term.
(This is a work in progress)

  • Being single and very, very independent - although my fellow traveller Helga crushes this requirement with her husband and 2 kids very successfully, but she is very, very independent.
  • Related to above - having something or someone to return to - something meaningful to give you a sense of "home", otherwise you might not come back one day... For me this is my study.
  • A risk taking personality - "this was the worst turbulence ever and I will never ever fly again, well not for another two days". Plus an addiction to going to more and more extreme places - more dangerous or difficult, more bizarre, hard to get into, rare and unusual. Hong Kong or Singapore does not satisfy for long.
  • Collecting - countries visited, frequent flyer miles, hotel points, cities that start wit "B", number of airlines flown, number of flights in a trip - there has to be a meaning to this repetitive job.
  • Air Crash Investigations (but it is forbidden or in REALLY BAD TASTE to watch it on the plane).
  • Adaptability and also a dislike of routines,  if you have a high need for daily rituals this will leave you frustrated. So don't try to unpack and put things in order - you will change hotels tomorrow.
  • Navigation skills - whether it is finding your room (was it 2403 or 622?), navigating the trains in Tokyo or yet another room layout in the dark, this is essential.
  • Strong stomach - in all senses of the word!
  • Dealing with all kinds of people - people who don't shake hands, people who want to hug you, people who say very offensive things and those who want to marry you after a 10min conversation, strangers who talk to you and strangers who ignore you when you try to talk to them.
  • Tolerant friends who don't abandon you because you don't call or write for months and sometimes years, and then when you meet everything is as if you've seen them yesterday!

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