Similar to many things in life such as public speaking, kissing, or being a con artist, travel smarts seems like a talent that you’re either naturally born with, or not.
Some people without travel smarts constantly find themselves in undesirable situations abroad, no matter how much they’ve travelled.
Some examples include: losing their boarding passes upon departure, missing connecting routes, being robbed by gypsies, suffering from diarrhea, or food poisoning, contracting the most absurd diseases, easily sunburnt (never tanned) and generally have no luck in finding travel companions or with the opposite sex.
They are seemingly a constant source of bad luck, and other travellers avoid them as they would a bar with an expired alcohol license.
On the other end, you have the travellers with travel smarts. Sure every now and then they find themselves in moments of peril, but for the most part, they can easily travel from country to country with the luxury of being instantly embraced by both the locals and other travellers alike. They have an acquired tongue for learning new languages both with ease and without a hint of an accent. They excel both physically and mentally, and can negotiate their way out of anything.
Aside from envy, you admire them with awe and inspiration.
From past experience, I can honestly say that I used to be a horrible traveller. When I first began travelling, I’ve missed coach buses by minutes, I’ve carelessly lost my wallet, I’ve showed up on the wrong day for a booked tour, and I actually used to be quite scared of flying. While I can make friends anywhere with ease, this talent was sometimes not enough to save me from my misadventures in being careless and unorganized. It wasn’t until I began travelling more often, on longer trips, and through solo travelling, did I feel like I’ve finally mastered the art of travel.
Of course, knowing how to find the cheapest flights can also greatly help you become a better traveller.
So the question is…are some individuals simply born with travel smarts? Were you travel savvy right from the get-go?