From: Justin Gural
May 24, 2010
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Possessions aren't so hard to live without. Most people think they need a vast assortment of crap in order to be happy. But, when you give a man a backpack and a laptop and send him out into the world, he ll usually find he misses his things least of all. We don t get homesick pining for our Plasma HDTV, but rather for the people we used to watch that TV with.
Going out into the world means unplugging from your normal social life. It means leaving the tribe. Man is a social creature, and we fear nothing more than isolation. In the olden days, traveller's were forced to 'go native' and adapt to the local culture in order to socialize and remain sane. Now, thanks to the Internet, it's possible to travel around the globe without disconnecting from friends and family.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to chat with the folks back home, but there IS a dangerous temptation to overdue it. I ve lost count of the kids I've seen in hostels, spending whole days staring at their laptops in isolated corners rather than socializing or exploring. The Internet makes it easier than ever to blot out the real world.
To gain the full value of the travelling experience, you must go out and be social. Here are a few tips for travellers looking for ways to connect with the local culture.
1. A crowded bus is your friend
2. Tours force travelers to socialize
3. Make some friends before you go
4. Don't understand the value of the mundane