Here’s What Happens When You Move to Another Country

Here’s What Happens When You Move to Another Country

Ever since I was in school I wanted to move to another country to see what it would be like. Back in college, I got through a few universities in the UK for my Master’s degree and even paid a part of the tuition fee for one of them. A month before I was supposed to move, I developed cold feet and changed my mind.

No, I never regretted my decision but I knew I wasn’t ready then. Perhaps I should have jumped right in? I’ll never know. But hey, it took me ten years after that to finally move out of India – my home country.

It can be career, education or just seeking a change that makes some of us move to another country. Not everyone wants to do it and not many who want to do it can actually end up doing it. The process is not easy! But hey, the part where you actually move is the most difficult part, but after that is a rollercoaster ride.

Moving to another country is surely exhilarating but can be terrifying in equal measure. No matter how prepared you think you are certain things are still going to take you by surprise. And that’s good, because this way it never gets boring.

One thing is more certain than the sunrise, no matter how old you are, 18 or 48, your dear-old mommy is going to worry! It happens with me, it happens with my friends and I’m sure it happens with you too. Well, if you’re just about to move to a new country and are smiling to yourself, go tell your mom not to worry because things are going to be ok.

Even if you’ve visited your intended new home countless times already there is a big difference between being a repeated visiter and a resident. I visited Germany a few times but never knew I was going to get surprised and shocked so often after moving here. From my experience there are a few things that every new expat or an immigrant will have to get used to at some stage in their new life.

I use the terms “expat” and “immigrant” interchangeably and I encourage you to do so too. There is a tendency of using the word expat for people from first world countries who move to a third world country and immigrant for the other way around. There’s an interesting discussion on Reddit about Expats vs Immigrant.

Anyway, here’s what happens when you move to a another country:

Love it or hate it – you will have to do a lot of Paperwork

Paperwork doesn't seem to end when you move to another country

Paperwork doesn’t seem to end when you move to another country [CC0] via Pixabay

If you enjoy paperwork and filling endless form, then you’re not like most of the people on the planet. For the rest of us, this aspect of moving to a new country is going to totally suck.

Changing your residence to a new country involves crazy amount of paperwork. You will have to register yourself and obtain some sort of ID and address proof. Without that, you will not be able to open a bank account or be able to sign a rent agreement. Whether you have a job or not, you will also need to get some sort of tax ID for yourself. In most of the countries, you will also need to sign up for a mandatory health insurance.

Now many of you will say that this point is #1 on this list because I moved to Germany, the country of abundant paperwork at every opportunity. Well guess what, before I moved here, San had moved to India for a while and the paperwork that he had to do in my country was also insane.

You’re going to get homesick (of course)

Skype will be your best friend when you move to a new country

Skype will be your best friend when you move to a new country [CC0] via Pixabay

Homesickness is not what is once was. Thanks to the proliferation of cheap internet and the omnipresence of smartphones being in touch with friends and family from back home is no longer the problem it was even five years ago. Let alone in the dark days before the internet! Argh, remember them? No, of course you don’t you’re far too young.

Through WhatsApp and FB Messenger groups you’re still going to hear all the gossip going on. Have a burning desire to see your best friend’s disgustingly silly yet endearing smile? Then Skype or Facetime will be your best buddies!

This constant interconnectedness will however mean that you will quickly discover that life goes on without you. Your friends will still go out drinking without you (of course). They will still meet up for that post-session brunch the following day. They will still go dancing until dawn at that secret music festival you introduced them to. And what’s worse you are going to get real time updates, photos and videos of all of it. All of it! Ugh.

You will miss your family like crazy on festivals and special occasions. It will be a strange feeling knowing you’re not there when any of your close family members are cutting their birthday cakes.

You are going to get homesick like never before. I guarantee it.

You’re going to have to get used to being the ‘other’

Sometimes you will be the odd one out

Sometimes you will be the odd one out [cc0] via Pixabay

My good friend says she had always considered herself fairly tactful, that was until she spent some time in Japan. Suddenly she was a blundering fool banging around and constantly putting her foot in things – including her mouth. I often feel the same way too in Germany. Even small things matter – such as being the most colorfully attired in a church event where everyone’s wearing black. Before you ask, no it wasn’t a funeral.

No matter what country you move to you are going to have to get used to feeling a little bit different about yourself. Whatever ‘type’ of person you were at home isn’t necessarily how the inhabitants of your new country are going to view you. From now on, you’re going to be the ‘other’.

For instance, being opinionated and outspoken might be seen as strength in one country where in another it might the height of bad manners.

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to go about changing yourself completely just to fit in but it will take a period of adjustment before you know the lay of the land. It can also be a great opportunity for you to reinvent yourself!

You will probably need to learn a new language

Learning a new language can be fun

Learning a new language can be fun [cc0] via Pixabay

Learning a new language can be fun because it will help you understand the culture of your new country of residence in a better way. Moreover, it will give you a chance to connect with the locals in a far more deeper way than before.

There are some countries like Germany where the new residents are required by law to learn the basic language for their residence permit. However, you can luckily avoid this step if you’re moving country where English is widely spoken. You may not need to learn a new language at all, but it will surely help you if you can speak a few basic sentences. The time when San was living in India, he did not necessarily need to know Hindi, but speaking a few Hindi words got always him extra brownie points.

Your habits will change

So you’ve always been a night-owl have you? Moving to Lusaka are you? Well, prepare to be in bed by 9pm every night my friend.

Moving to a new country and immersing yourself in a new culture means different things for different people but for almost everyone it is going to mean some of your habits are going to change. Whether you want them to or not!

Some countries start their day early and go to bed early, sometimes really early. Others don’t eat their dinner until the stars are in the night sky. You can try and fight against it but you’re not going to win. My advice is lean into. Your assimilation into your new life is going to go a lot smoother if you go with the flow.

If you do find yourself struggling to get enough shuteye in your newly adopted homeland then visit the sleepadvisor site for handy hints and helpful tips on rediscovering your sleep mojo.

Your mind will open up like never before

Literally every single day I see a post on Instagram about someone confessing how “travel changed their life and made them a better person”. Well, moving to a new country does the same and usually on a deeper level.

This happens because your mind absorbs the new culture, etiquettes, social norms, language, food and so much more. There will be days when you will hate how different your new country of residence is as compared to your home country. But again, there will be days when the exact same thing will make you smile.

Moving to a new country is a non stop learning process where our minds have no choice but to evolve and open up further to changes and a world of more possibilities.

You’re going to have weird cravings

Momos (Dumplings or dimsums) - miss my favorite food back home in Delhi

Momos (Dumplings or dimsums) – miss my favorite food back home in Delhi [cc0] via Pixabay

Moving to another country doesn’t mean you are leaving behind all the things you love, rather it’s an opportunity to fall in love with a whole host of new things. By things I am mainly referring to food and drink here. After all what’s more important than food and drink?

The less you live somewhere new, the less you will desire things from home. For most of the year being without your beloved blue roti or samosa is going to be a little bit of a pain. Yes, there is a picture of dumplings here (or Momos as we call it) because that was my favorite street food while I was living in Delhi.

Where this all becomes even more extreme is during special occasions – for me it is Diwali or Holi but for many others it would be Christmas, Eid or Halloween. For instance, an Irish person not having a pint Guinness on Paddy’s Day is akin to a crime against humanity!

Some foods and drinks are so associated with certain occasions that going without them on that day is almost unbearable and you might find yourself going to unreasonable lengths and paying reasonable prices to get hold of them.

You will need new friends

For some the thought of making new friends is very exciting and for others it can be frightening. If you’ve moved cities a lot during school (I did too), then this will not be difficult. But hey, the process can be a tad frustrating. Why? Because it is easier to make friend when you’re in a school or when you’re traveling.

Depending upon where you have moved, it can take a while to find people who you’d love to be friends with. My suggestion is to join a course or a club – it can be a fitness course, a language course, a book club, a library, or even a swimming pool membership. Talk to people and introduce yourself and who knows – maybe you’ll start an awesome new friendship.

Comment below and let us laugh or cry at your experiences. Share this post with your friend or family member who has just moved to a new country to make them smile.

9 Things That Will Happen When You Travel Solo for the First Time

9 Things That Will Happen When You Travel Solo for the First Time

“I don’t get to travel. I have no one to travel with!”  

If I had a penny for every time someone said those words to me, I’d be rich by now. Not just a few friends but a lot of my blog readers say that they want to travel more, but they don’t have people to travel with.

Guess what – even I didn’t a few years back. Back then, two of my closest friends were studying abroad and I had no idea who to go with. Thankfully, I didn’t wait for them and booked my ticket when I was between jobs. I had absolutely no idea what to expect but it was an experience that I will remember for life.

Sounds fun? Well, there’s more. So what really happens when you travel solo for the first time? Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly so that you can mentally prepare yourself beforehand. If you’re getting ready for your first solo trip and wondering what it’s like, you’re going to LOVE this post. On the other hand, if you have already traveled solo and are on this page, you will totally relate to the points in this list.

 

What Happens When You Travel Solo for the first time

01 | You will get scared and think you have lost your mind

Am I crazy to travel alone?

The first time I traveled solo, I was unnecessarily jittery at the airport. I felt that everyone was watching me because I was alone. I even imagined that some people were pointing at me. Their faces looked familiar – did they know my dad? OMG, were they going to call my family? The fact that I had lied to my parents about traveling solo didn’t help.

I’m not trying to scare you away from traveling solo, but I want to prepare you for scary moments. There will be a moment (or many) when you will wonder what the hell is wrong with you. This will most likely happen before you actually leave but may happen again at the airport or any other place where you have to sit and wait. At this point I suggest you to keep a bunch of travel quotes on your desk for your daily dose of inspiration.

Some of your friends or family members may say that you’re crazy to be doing this. There will be times when their statements will borderline amazement and shock, as a result you may also wonder if you have made the right decision. Some other people may discourage you and tell you you’ve been reading too many travel blogs. Stay away from them.

Suggested Post – Things that all travel addicts are sick of hearing –

9 Things Travel Addicts Are Sick of Hearing (And Why)

02 | You will have to take your bags to the toilet, so pack light

The advantage of traveling with someone is that you have someone to look after your bags when you go to the toilet. So what do you do when you travel solo? Of course, you take your bag WITH you to the toilet.

It sounds easier than it’s done because not every toilet is big enough. It is very easy to do this when you’re at an airport but not so when you’re at a bus station. Make things easy for yourself and pack the lightest bag possible. Your back will thank you and so will your bladder. Invest in a compact backpack that you can easily carry. For information about the best travel backpacks, check out this post by the Broke Backpacker.

03 | You will learn to get creative to get pictures of yourself

Let’s be honest – we all want at least ONE good picture from our travels, no? After all, it is your trip and you should be a part of at least one shot. It’s not always possible to ask someone else to click you. After taking 100 bad photos, you will eventually learn how to get creative.

Getting creative with taking my own pictures on self timer

Getting creative with taking my own pictures on self timer – I put my camera on a rock to click this

I absolutely hated selfies when I first traveled solo for the first time and I refused to click a single one back. A few days of traveling and I realized that I had absolutely no pictures of myself. Too shy to ask someone, I tried looking for the perfect spots to balance my camera so that I could fit in the frame along with the view. I finally learned the art of clicking epic pictures of myself when I was alone in Turkey. BTW: check out this post about easy ways to take awesome photos when you travel solo.

Suggested post: Are you making these travel mistakes? I sometimes do!

20 Travel Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Trip

 

04 | You will feel very lonely at times

Yes, solo travel is about enjoying solitude but there will be times when it will make you feel lonely.

It will happen when you see a spectacular sight and you’d wish you had someone to share that moment with. It will happen again when you get lost and wished you had someone with you.

Loneliness is unavoidable when you travel solo and as long as you don’t embrace it, you will not be happy with your own company.

One of my favorite travel movies of all time is Into the Wild, especially the final scene where Christopher writes – “happiness is only real when shared”.

Loneliness is unavoidable when you travel solo.

I did not fully realize the meaning of this until I traveled solo and something exciting happened and I had no one to share my happiness with. Of course, I could later call my sister and tell her, but that was the mo9ment I embraced loneliness.

Suggested post: That one time I suffered from a massive travel hangover! (It made me meet my soulmate)

My Travel Hangover Made Me Meet My Soul Mate

05 | You will make new friends.. even if you’re an introvert

If you’re an extrovert then you will probably make friends even before your plane takes off. By the time you arrive at your destination, you’d have already made a little group in the airplane and will share your taxi with them. Before you know, you will end up staying at the same hostel and spend literally every evening together. Doesn’t sound like you? Well, that’s not me either.

Extroverts have an easier time making friends when they’re solo. Over the years I have realized that I’m not exactly an extrovert – perhaps because I’m very selective about my company. If you’re anything like me, you will continue your journey alone because you love your own company. However, you will end up making friends at the most unexpected places. You will suddenly realize that you have a LOT to talk about with your new friend. Your friendship will probably be short-lived but it will bring you a lot of happiness on the road. I’m remembering my friend Eva as I type this, who I met while I was in Turkey.

06 | You will end up having more fun than you had ever imagined

Believe it or not, your first solo trip will be a lot more fun than your other trips. You will end up doing things that you never imagined you could. You will learn to survive on your own and will have a lot of fun doing so.

Personal Stories - Drifter Planet

You will end up having more fun than you can ever imagine

My first solo trip was the most fun that I ever had in Goa. I did exactly what I wanted to do without having to compromise anything with a travel buddy or a boyfriend. I made a lot of friends and experienced the craziest parties. Yes, those were the days when I was a “party girl”. I woke up when I wanted and slept early on days when I was lazy. There was no need to see the needs of another person and I loved that experience.

Keep an open mind, smile and be happy that you’re traveling. Oh and by the way, check this guide if you’re planning on backpacking India alone.

 

07 | You will realize you have a “gut feel” and you will learn to use it

Call it your instinct, sixth sense or gut feel, but at times something inside will tell you something just isn’t right. Your instinct will tell you to get the hell out of the place that you’re in, and you should listen to it.

After traveling alone for a while, the reason why you will develop this instinct is because you are all by yourself. You will end up being more aware of your surroundings than how you would have been if you were with a friend.

Yes, solo travel is fun but you should be aware that not all areas in this world are safe. Even if they are, you never know what goes inside someone’s mind. I’m all in for backing your decisions with evidence or data – but at times if your instinct is telling you something, you should listen to it.

Traveling solo has taught me to trust my instinct.

08 | Be warned, you will get addicted

Have you ever met someone who traveled solo once and never again? Neither have I.

Solo travel is addictive AF and it is so for all the reasons that I have mentioned above. It will bring you a lot of happiness and will leave you wanting for more.

We all have our reasons to be addicted to things but here is what happened to me. I came back home, ended my relationship that wasn’t going anywhere. I decided to spend more time and energy into learning things (like playing guitar) that I had always wanted. Even though I realized that playing guitar wasn’t really for me, at least I tried for three months and I don’t have any regrets.

There are a lot of things in this world that you can get addicted to. Solo travel is one of the better ones.

09 | You will never be the same again

Yes, I know it sounds cliché but solo travel will open your mind and make you see things a little differently.

It happens because most of us live our lives in an autopilot mode and get into a routine. Many of us don’t shut up and spend enough time alone with our thoughts.

Traveling solo will push you to spend time alone with yourself

Traveling solo will push you to spend time alone with yourself

Don’t get me wrong – there is nothing wrong with communicating but at times it is important to be silent. Traveling solo will push you to spend time alone with yourself. You will end up thinking about your family, your career, your decisions and life in general. When you return, you will never be the same again.

So have you ever traveled solo? Let me know in the comments section where and why not. I’d love to know more.

7 Thoughts That Crossed My Mind Before My First Bungee Jump

7 Thoughts That Crossed My Mind Before My First Bungee Jump

“Your turn”, said Olly, the jump instructor at Jumping Heights, Rishikesh.
“OMG Whaaaaaat”, I thought. However, I smiled and said “Awesome!”

I could hear my heart in my ears! I was standing at the edge of the bridge, 83 meters above the ground, ready to take a leap of faith. This was the first time I was going to bungee jump!

What felt like an eternity but in reality was just a couple of seconds. In that moment, a lot of thoughts flashed through my mind but only a few of them I remember today. The common phrase is “butterflies in the stomach” but what I felt was more like a tornado through my nervous system. The tingling started from my toes, went up to my knees, made a circle in my stomach and rose up from my spine and I felt a little dizzy.

By the way, this post is my bungee experience near Rishikesh. In case you’re looking for travel information, then check out this travel guide to Rishikesh.

Things That Crossed My Mind Before My First Bungee Jump:

What if I accidentally pee while bungee jumping?

Don’t laugh but this can happen to anyone. Blame it on that MasterCard commercial where a guy actually poops in his pants while bungee jumping so the thought stuck in my head. What if I’m too scared while jumping and I end up peeing out of fear?

What if I puke while bungee jumping?

Even though I had eaten a very light breakfast, I could still feel my it in my stomach. I was hoping it wouldn’t come out while jumping. What if I puke while bungee jumping? Will my puke fall back on my face? If you’re laughing, then you’re going to love reading about this hilarious first bungee jump experience.

What if my chord breaks while bungee jumping?

There is a reason why bungee jumping is a leap of faith. It’s because you have to trust the system. I still remembered a news article that I had read about an Aussie woman whose chord snapped in Victoria Falls and she fell into the water.

What if my back breaks during the bungee jump?

It just suddenly struck me that they had asked me if I had a back problem before I registered for the bungee jump. Is it because a jump can break someone’s back? What have I done?

What if I get a heart attack while bungee jumping?

What if this rush of excitement is too much for my heart? What if my heart cannot handle it and gives up. Do I have a strong heart? I was going to find out now.

What if I am too afraid to bungee jump?

What if I’m not as much of an adrenaline junkie that I thought I was? What if I chicken out? At this point, I was really hoping that it wouldn’t happen.

Am I crazy to be doing this?

Not completely crazy, but only a little. No sane person would ever jump off a bridge just for kicks. Why can’t I just eat chocolate and enjoy the rush? Or some form of intoxication for a decent high.

My first bungee jump in Rishikesh, India

My first bungee jump in Rishikesh, India

Yes, I did end up jumping and NONE of the above mentioned things happened. In fact, as soon as I jumped, the fear vanished and I was let out a sound that was a mix of laughter and scream. My friend Archana also bungee jumped in Rishikesh with me and she felt it was scarier the second time.

Oh and by the way, actually bungee jumped with the famous Dangal girls – Fatima Sana Shaikh (“Geeta Phogat” in Dangal movie) and Sanya Malhotra (“Babita Phogat” in Dangal movie). In fact, Sanya did Jumping Heights’ 50,000th jump. It’s crazy but the first three jumpers at Jumping Heights were also women. Talk about celebrating girl power, eh?

Here, you can watch this video

Have you ever bungee jumped? If so, let me know about it in the comments. Note: Cover picture credit

Or, watch San’s first bungee jump in Last Resort, Nepal. This is Asia’s second highest bungee spot.

Like it? Please subscribe to our YouTube channel for more travel videos!

PS: Drifter Planet contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us reduce the costs of keeping this site active. Thanks for reading!

25 Things That Happened When We Traveled Around for Music Festivals

25 Things That Happened When We Traveled Around for Music Festivals

If you have been following our adventures on Instagram and Facebook, then you know for sure that our summer was full of music festivals.

We started in Manali, India where we danced with our Japanese family at Dance of Shiva festival. Next on our list was Germany’s Freqs of Nature where it was time to dance on dark psychedelic tunes. After Germany, it was time enjoy old school psychedelic tunes and meet our S.U.N. Festival family in Hungary. Right after this, Modem’s amazing hi tech décor and music blew us away next to the Springs of Mreznica in Croatia.

Somewhere around the full moon, it was time to be ONE with nature (and people) at Boom Festival in Portugal. After Boom, we volunteered at Lost Theory Festival’s kitchen in Spain. Our last festival of the season was Earthquake festival in Germany.

Seven music festivals, six countries in just one summer – obviously a lot of things were bound to happen. If I start writing in detail, I can easily write enough material to make a book but I don’t want to bore you to death. So here are N things that happened during our summer full of music festivals:

01 | We got to travel for REALLY cheap (sometimes FREE)

Summer full of music festivals

Summer full of music festivals

Euro trips are expensive, no? Not so much of you hitchhike. The best thing about traveling from one festival to another was we didn’t even have to make an effort to hitchhike. From one festival to another, it was easy to find people who were happy to take us in their campervan to the next festival. Our best ride to remember was from Portugal to Spain in our friend’s ancient campervan.

02 | We lost a lot of things… and found many others

Yes, people lose a lot of things at music festivals – so did we. But each time we lost something; we found a replacement for free. No we’re not talking about finding other people’s lost things, but we got these things from people who were leaving the festival and didn’t want to carry them.

You may also like – How I met my soul mate in a psytrance music festival 

03 | Strange things happened with our hair

I went with 22 dreadlocks and came back with just 10. San went with 4 and came back with 5. Conclusion: dreadlocks require hard work and maintenance.

04 | We realized it is possible to dance for 30 hours straight

Energy on the dance floor at Boom Festival 2016

We danced for 30 hours straight at Boom Festival 2016

Blame it on the lineup or the vibes on the dance floor but at Boom festival, San and I ended up spending two nights and one day on the dance floor without sleeping. How did we do it? We have no idea.

05 | We now know how much fun it is to volunteer at a music festival

San and I working inside Lost Theory Festival's kitchen

San and I working inside Lost Theory Festival’s kitchen

For the first time in our lives, San and I volunteered at a music festival. It was the Lost Theory festival in Spain where we worked in the kitchen for four hours every day. In return, our festival entry and food was absolutely free!

06 | We fell in love with Acai

Acai or açaí berry is a Brazilian fruit that should be labeled as the perfect party food. We tried it for the first time at Boom Festival in Portugal and ate it almost everyday after. It is very low in sugar but very high in vitamin C and antioxidants. It provided us with a much needed energy boost after dancing for hours.

You may also enjoy – 9 Reasons Why We Love Music Festivals

07 | We realized that every festival has an outdoor sex spot (you just need to find it)

Modem Festival, Croatia 2016

Modem Festival, Croatia 2016

While it may not appear so during the day but things drastically change when it gets dark. Not every area is well lit and if you try hard enough, you can find many spots that you can have to just to yourselves for a long time.

08 | We met our favorite PsyTrance artist – Arjuna

Arjuna at Modem Festival, Photo by Es Web

Arjuna at Modem Festival, Photo by Es Web

After dancing to Arjuna’s music at every festival, we finally got a chance to meet him and hug him. Believe it or not but at every festival we decided are sleep (and tripping) schedule based on when he was playing.

09 | We met the famous Mr. Pink (and also his soul brother)

Mr Pink at Boom Festival, Portugal - 22 Things that happened during our summer full of music festivals
Me with Mr. Pink at Boom festival 2016- 22 Things that happened during our summer full of music festivals
Me hugging Mr Pink at Boom Festival - 22 Things that happened during our summer full of music festivals

If you’re a regular at PsyTrance festivals, then you know of Mr. Pink for sure. Since the last two years, he’s in almost every PsyTrance music festival video where he is colored fully pink. Well, we have been following his adventures everywhere and at the Boom festival, we actually got to hug him. Check it out!

10 | We can now use almost every kind of toilet

Compost toilet at Modem festival - the cleanest festival toilet this season

Compost toilet at Modem festival – the cleanest festival toilet this season

Believe it or not, dirty toilets are my biggest fear. A few months back, I would have preferred to jump off a cliff than to use a toilet that’s dirty. However, seven back to back music festivals and 100s of dirty toilets – I had no choice but to face my fear head on. Yes, now I can use every kind of toilet.

11 | We now know that almost everything can be recycled… even poop

A beautiful garden at Boomland which was built using human waste

A beautiful garden at Boomland (Boom Festival 2016, Portugal) which was built using human waste

Do you know how much environmental damage a music festival can cause if not done correctly? Almost all of the festivals that we attended this summer had invested in tonnes of environmental programs to leave no trace on the land. Almost all the waste was recycled, even poop. Most of these festivals also had compost toilets where they recycled human waste to provide for food for building elaborate gardens.

12 | We became camping experts

Our camp at Modem festival 2016, Croatia

Our camp at Modem festival 2016, Croatia

Camping is a very important part of a music festival experience. Pitching a tent is a different matter but making it super comfortable requires a little more work. After spending most of our summer in our tent, we became camping experts and can now make our tent almost as comfortable as our bedroom.

You may also like – The Ultimate Packing List for Music Festivals

13| We experienced a few Divine Moments of Truth

divine moments of truth at Boom festival 2016

divine moments of truth at Boom festival 2016

We visited another planet and met aliens while we experienced a few divine moments of truth. No, we did not do anything “illegal” because many things have been decriminalized in Portugal, including recreational use of a few substances.

14 | We met a lot of talented children

Modem baby by GemeosVB Fotografia

Modem baby by GemeosVB Fotografia

Music festivals have areas that are specifically designed for children. We think that parents who bring their children to festivals end up fueling their creativity. Being in a creative zone for 4-5 days continuously is very good to open up their minds’ creative window. We couldn’t help but notice how talented most of these children were.

15 | We now know that hand fans make the perfect festival accessory

My hand fan with a water spray in Portugal
My paper hand fan

Even if the temperature is low, things are bound to get sweaty after dancing for a few hours. A hand fan is the perfect dance accessory because you can fan your face while dancing.

Read: 17 Psychedelic Festivals You Should Attend in 2017

16 | We learnt that tutus aren’t only for girls

Why did I ever think that tutus looked good only on girls? They look amazing on women and men alike!

 

17 | We had to take a “forced vacation” from blogging

A Psytrance Festival in Old Manali (Dance of Shiva)

Dance of Shiva Festival in Old Manali, 2016

You must be thinking – wait, isn’t travel blogging a permanent vacation? Wrong. It’s a lot of work and it requires good Internet connectivity. Of course I was fooling myself when I thought I was going to be able to continue blogging from my phone but in reality, I was too wasted to ever charge my phone.

 

18 | We lost a lot of weight

What else did you imagine would happen after dancing for many hours and eating a lot of Acai?

 

19 | We embraced “Free Body Culture”

Free body culture at Lost Theory festival 2016

Free body culture at Lost Theory festival 2016

Free body culture.. or as Germans call it Freikörperkultur is awesome. There is nothing sexual about it but it’s just an expression of being free and natural. Naked body is not a source of shame but in almost all the civilizations, it is a social taboo. Festival naturism is real. And it’s not just limited to Woodstock.

20 | Our skin became better because of natural soap

At most of the festivals, we were given free bars of natural soap so that we could use them to bathe in rivers (Modem), waterfalls (Lost Theory) or lakes (Boom). These soaps that are usually made with olive oil, coconut and honey, are 100% biodegradable because they don’t contain chemical detergents that most of other soaps do. Obviously these are good for the environment they are very good for hair and skin too!

 

21 | We fell in love with life a little more..

Bring Out Your Inner Child at Boom Festival 2016 Portugal

Falling in love with life a little more at Boom Festival 2016 Portugal

At music festivals, people celebrate life and happiness. It is difficult not being happy when the collective energy of everyone’s happiness influences you. It works a little like laughter Yoga that is based on the principle of collective energy. These festivals gave us a massive dose of happiness, hope and love. They changed us for life.

22 | We sold little things to make money

San and I selling earrings and bindi at Lost Theiry festival, Spain

San and I selling earrings and bindi at Lost Theiry festival, Spain

Here’s a picture of our little “pirate shop” where we’re selling small dreamcatcher earrings from Nepal and bindis from India.

23 | Our Wardrobe became “fashionably” torn

Torn clothes but fashionably so

Torn clothes but fashionably so

A little rip in my tights? No worries, I can make them evenly ripped. While I’m at it, why don’t I do the same with my tunic?

24 | We got a little more creative

We spent hours drawing, making new things with our hands and San now makes jewelry!

Getting creative at Earthquake festival in Germany (2016)

Getting creative at Earthquake festival in Germany (2016)

25 | We made at least 150 new friends

Some of our festival friends

Some of our festival friends

At the first festival we had just 20 friends. By the time it was our 7th festival, we realized we had made at least 150 new friends from all over the world. Why not, coconut?

Summer of 2016 was the best summer of our lives. We met many amazing people, discovered many new things about ourselves and fell in love with life a little more than before. For us, traveling for music festivals was definitely cheaper than just backpacking around because move from one place to another for free and sleep for free.  These festivals changed us for life and things will never be the same again.

Do you also love music festivals as much as we do? If so, share this post with your friends!

Hey, if you want to see more pictures from our music festival madness, search #PsytranceDrifterPlanet on Instagram. 🙂

 

Wondering what we’re doing in Goa?

Wondering what we’re doing in Goa?

If you’re following us on Facebook, you must have noticed that we’re in Goa. No, we are not here for a week or two but are here for a few months. We’re not “holiday”ing here but are volunteering in Goa. This is our way of slow travel because we want to make our way to Sri Lanka by January 2017.

So what exactly are we doing in Goa?

A little work in the hostel..

I’m volunteering in Goa ‘s Red Door Hostel in Anjuna. The same hostel also has a restaurant where San is working in the bar and kitchen. We get two meals a day here and get to sleep for free. I don’t get paid because I’m a volunteer but San get a little money because he’s a professionally trained chef. Both of us work for half a day and get a day off per week. Our work is very relaxed and a lot of fun.

If you’re looking for information about volunteering, check out this post about traveling the world for free and volunteering.

A little travel blogging..

2016 was a very crazy year. I traveled to 10 countries and didn’t even get a chance to write about them all. I had to take a forced break from blogging while I was attending back-to-back music festivals and later preparing for my German examination. Sitting behind the hostel help desk for half a day has given me a little stability that I needed. I’m finally getting some writing done.

And a little party..

Goa is the birthplace of Psychedelic Trance genre and a typical old school Goa party has no match. This is where I got my first taste of Psychedelic trance music back in 2004 and I was hooked. So yes, we are partying a LOT here. Again.

Why did we choose Goa?

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, I’m sure you know by now how much I love Goa. A lot of people hate it because it’s getting touristy, but which place isn’t? Honestly, Goa is massive and there are many empty areas. It’s mostly the beach belt that gets crowded and we have our own secret spots. We’re in North Goa, which is busier than South Goa.

The cost of living in Goa is definitely lower than most of the places we know of, so it is easy to survive here with little money. The fact that we’re sleeping and eating for free has made it possible for us to live off the earnings of our travel blog. Goa is a good place for digital nomads.

I visited Goa for the first time in 2004 and have always wanted to live here. After finally finding courage to quit my full time job, I can finally make my dream come true. Better late than never, don’t you think?

Want to meet us?

A lot of my friends and blog readers are in Goa at the moment because it is a popular spot to celebrate New Year’s Eve. If you’re planning on visiting, do check out my post about Goa travel tips and my detailed guide about North Goa Beaches. It has some amazing hotel and hostel reccomendations too. Oh, and send us a message on Facebook or Instagram if you want to meet us in Goa.

PS: Drifter Planet contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us reduce the costs of keeping this site active. Thanks for reading!

Did Yogyakarta in Indonesia change me as a traveler?

Did Yogyakarta in Indonesia change me as a traveler?

This is one of my rare “travel diary” kind of posts which is a result of my introspection and where I express my deepest thoughts.

Can visiting a place for just a few days change me for life?

I thought to myself as I reflected back on the time I spent in Yogyakarta.

I arrived here as a backpacker with a typical “herd mentality”. Over the last few years, without realizing I was usually following the typical backpacker trail. Yes, from time to time, I did make an effort to interact with the locals and to learn about their culture. However, the majority of my time was spent with the other backpackers who I had met while traveling and spending many hours partying. But hey, I thought I was different.

Now here I am, thinking of my fondest memories of my travel in Indonesia, and what’s the first thing that comes to my mind? Spending many hours with the locals, learning more about their culture, learning their language and creating new things every day with my own hands in Yogyakarta after watching how the locals did it. Yogyakarta isn’t the only place that I visited in Indonesia − I spent a few days in spectacular Raja Ampat with dream like beaches and picture perfect Bali with lovely rice terraces in Ubud.

Click here to read about places to visit in Yogyakarta 

Now don’t get me wrong – there is nothing wrong with being a backpacker. It is a lot of fun being one and I will be a backpacker for a long time. Not everyone has the same travel style and it is absolutely okay as long you’re happy without harming anyone or anything else in the process. This post is not about that – it is just an expression of my thoughts after hours of introspection.

Paddy farming at Desa Pentingsari

Paddy farming at Desa Pentingsari

I can’t forget the time I said “no” for a party in Indonesia because, by that time, I was absolutely in love with Indonesian culture and wanted to wake up early to see more. I wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t got my taste of experiencing local culture in Yogyakarta. My mind has found a new snack and it is always hungry for more. I am hopelessly in love, and this time it is with Indonesian culture.

If you ask me to describe Yogyakarta in short, I would just utter three words – Art, culture, & heritage. Mind you, it is not one of those pretentious places where you spend a bomb to experience the local way of life by being a part of a carefully orchestrated charade. It is a place where things get real, whether it is making pottery with the villagers or carving faces on clay puppets.

Before traveling to Yogyakarta, a lot of people mentioned that it is a very touristy destination in Indonesia. But upon visiting, I wondered where the tourists were. I didn’t see any while I was exploring some very interesting areas in Yogyakarta. I got my answer when I visited the famous Borobudur temple. Yes, many people visit Yogyakarta to see this largest Buddhist temple that has a fascinating history. But only a few stay on for a longer time to explore the villages and the old town areas.

What is it about Yogyakarta that had this effect on me? Perhaps the fact I was making things with my hands made a difference. Or maybe it was because I was away from my smartphone while making those things that I finally allowed my brain to think and introspect.

Today I promise myself to take out time away from my gadgets as often as I can. I will use this time to create something with my own hands. I will give more time to Art.

Art is magic and it makes us forget a lot of things while making us realize who we are.

Did Yogyakarta transform me into a cultural traveler?

I don’t know the answer to that yet, but I hope to find out soon. What do you think? Have you ever felt this way about a destination? How has travel changed you?

PS: watch out, an epic Yogyakarta post is coming up next where I will shed more light on the things I did.

PPS: to get a glimpse, you can stalk me a little on Instagram 😉

Photo Credit: Bressiona Chastity (Indonesia) and Najii (Japan)

PS: Drifter Planet contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us reduce the costs of keeping this site active. Thanks for reading!

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