Indie Travel Challenge Roundup: Ah-ha moments, what you’ve learned, slowing down & more!

We are nearing the end of the Indie Travel Challenge, with just a few days left! So many people have been participating and we’re getting lots of great responses shared on Twitter. Search #Doyouindie and have a look at all of them for yourself! There’s some great material here that we know you’ll want to connect with and share.

Each Friday of the ITC we’re sharing the questions for the week and some of the responses we loved. If you want to be considered for the last round up, on Tuesday, be sure you’re using the hashtag: #doyouindie when you share your post on Twitter. That’s the only way we’ll know you’re in!

This week asked about:

Your ah-ha moment


#doyouindie challenge: what “aha” moment have you experienced during, before or after your travels?

A photo posted by Suzanne (@suzanneausha) on

Cristina, LooknWalk[/title3]
[section]In this moving post, Cristina gets very real about how travel helped her see clearly enough to change her life:

“Summer of 2010. My ex asked me to go with him (and friends) to a mountain cabin. I was paying for both, of course. Since I was trying to salvage what was left of a very broken marriage, I agreed. We have fought all the time. On the train to Bucharest to meet our friends, at the mountain cabin, on the train back….once we came back. For me it was the last straw: I decided this whole mess had to end before I lost my sanity. That’s not how I like to travel. That’s not how I liked to be treated.”[/section]


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5 years ago I travelled to Mali alone. I lived with a local family in Bamako and worked with a community development NGO for 5 months. During that time, I gained a new family, travelled to tiny rural villages that were so far off the tourist track, and participated in local customs like preparing food for the Tabaski holiday which is what I am doing in this picture. The journey was life-changing in that I got to experience life through a lens that was very different from my own. I learned to love my family and they loved me in return. I experienced that awe-inspiring kindness that comes from some of the most underprivileged people in the world. I learned to walk to the beat of the local rhythm and understand that despite many things, we’re never really all that different. #DoYouIndie #rttc #travel #travelstoke #instatravel #mytravelgram #mali #travelmemories #family #instagood #instamood #travelphotography #africa #zen #BkoAuCoeur

A photo posted by ZenTravellers (@zentravellers) on


[title2]What you’ve learned[/title2]

Day 21 CHALLENGE: Have you learned some tips that you wish you knew before you started traveling? Share with those of us that haven’t hit the road yet. 1. Medicine control varies A LOT by the country. In some countries a medicine will require a doctor’s prescription whether others won’t. 2. Beware of fake cash notes and coins! Even ATMs can give you fake ones. What to do?! Well, with luck you can pass it forward but in most cases you’ll end up with a nice souvenir. 3. Google offers unlimited image storage for free! Just install their Photos app allow automatic back up. 4. Packing cubes is the best thing ever for managing your full backpack! They are small bags that you fill with your stuff and get more organized. Almost like drawers! Any bag will do, even the plastic ones they give on super markets. 5. The new Google Translate app is also amazing! It’s almost magical how it can Translate the world using the camera. It’s also possible to use many features off line if you download the language package. Happy travels! #uyuni #bolivia #explorers3dot0 #DoYouIndie #train

A photo posted by William R. J. Ribeiro (@billbsb) on


[title3]Angela Koblitz, Ange’s Voyage

“I thought of hitchhiking with a goal, not just because I wanted to do something crazy or wanted to be killed. I wanted to learn about people around me and learn to have trust on people.”

Dani Blanchette, Going Nomadic

She wrote 36 things she’s learned in 36 years of travel. Here are a few of them:

  • 1. Always carry your own toilet paper
  • 2. Breathe
  • 3. Stop and sit once in a while. Don’t do anything. Just sit and enjoy.
  • 4. Check all your batteries are charged the MORNING BEFORE you travel, not 5 minutes before leaving.
  • 5. Spend the money on a good thin rain coat.
  • 6. Always bring at least one pair of warm socks.
  • 7. Listen to yourself first. If you want to travel with jeans, do it, and screw everyone else. Otherwise you’ll be wishing the whole trip for jeans, but you won’t be able to find any you like.
  • 8. Get out of your comfort zone. Voluntarily. Otherwise the universe will do it for you, when you least want it to, and aren’t prepared.
  • 9. Always prepare for spiders and/or cold.
  • 10. Embrace changes. They’re going to happen. Don’t fight them. Shrug your shoulder, laugh, and roll with it.
  • 11. Moneybelts are a waste of money, and uncomfortable. Local’s don’t use them so why should you?
  • 12. Don’t “Give the Papaya”. (Colombian saying meaning “Don’t go around flashing stuff that will attract robbers.)
  • 13. Do stuff that scares you. You’ll feel like a badass after.

What you’ve learned the hard way

RU3 hard way

After a serious car accident and 4 years of intense physical therapy, I graduated with a Master’s degree in Marketing…

Posted by Culturiously on Sunday, November 22, 2015

Rand Blimes, Because Travel

“For me, I think it is about feeling (or at least trying to feel) empathy for a group of people that are different from me in both their culture and where they come from. I visited places in Cambodia that made my heart break, because in that broken heart I find evidence that people are the same all over.”

Arie, Ramblings of a Readheaded Wanderer

  • If you get into an argument, ask yourself, will this matter in 20 years? If the answer is no, then it is not worth your time. If the answer is yes, then do whatever you need to kindly and respectfully.
  • Respect other people. They are human too, no matter how much you may not like them or think they’re strange. This definitely applies to travel, because people in places you’ve never been are usually different than you.
  • Be kind! A little kindness goes a long way, and means a lot to others.


    Slowing down


    Sean Keener, CEO BootsnAll

    A few ideas for Slowing Down in Life and Travel:

    • 1) Chuck the devices away for 1 day or for a weekend. Or if you are on the road for a longer trip, put them away for a week or a month. Trust yourself, you can do it.
    • 2) I’m a lucky man, and have 3 children aged 5, 3, 3. When together – I learned to “hide” the devices, including mine. It’s not an option then, and we end up having fun and learning without them.
    • 3) When I’m waiting, just seeing other folks around me phrozen to their phones, reminds me to be present and slow the mind down.

    Over the past 20+ years, I’ve heard countless people say they don’t have time to travel the world or do the things that they want to.

    I’ve realized, we have the time, it’s a choice. We are free to choose how we spend every minute of everyday.

    Cooking on the road

    RU3 cooking

    A photo posted by Suzanne (@suzanneausha) on

    Kelly Mutchler, Wanderlust & Lipstick

    On celebrating Thanksgiving Abroad:
    “Other foreign elements were added in their stead. A rickety old table with one gamy leg became the centerpiece; tabbouleh replaced mashed yams and tea cakes took over for pumpkin pie; instead of a kitchen full of loud relatives, ours bustled with semi-strangers, close friends and eight different nationalities.

    It was the best Thanksgiving ever.

    Though nothing resembled the event I grew up with, the spirit of the holiday remained unchanged. We shared our forks and our blessings, appreciating full stomachs and strong relationships. Absent from our families, we found comfort in the presence of others.

    Someone even wore a turkey headdress.

    Thanksgiving, it turns out, is an emotion we all experience, and nowhere more so than crowded around a broken table, with smiling faces and Arab salad to remind us how lucky we truly are.”

    Working & traveling

    RU3 work

    Danielle Bricker,Worldsmith

    Danielle gives the 5 ways she makes money traveling and then she ends with this. I love it.

    “Some people may balk at the idea of patching together just enough money to get by, but having graduated into a recession, I already have to do that. I might as well find a way to have a patchwork income and a life I love.”

    Staying healthy

    RU3 health

    My Quarter Life Epiphany

    “If I can offer any advice to you – it’s to make sure you have health insurance while traveling (whether you choose traveler’s insurance or expat’s), and to treat an illness or problem as soon as it comes up.”

    Join us as the Indie Travel Challenge continues:

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