Traveling from your bed!
Good day to you all!
Today, I want to share with you everything I know about one of my favorite hobby : Traveling. In this article, I chose to focus on the various possibilities that allows you to connect yourself with the outside world without leaving your bed (or your home country). If, like me you are eager to learn more about what the world is like but you either don't have the money or the time to travel, here are ideas to overcome those problems!
A - Meeting foreigners
1) Facebook groups
For many years now, actually ever since I was able to speak english... that means 4 years-ish, I've been very active on a couple of different facebook groups such as "exchange students exchange postcards" or "Ridiculous things people asks exchange students". By "active", I meant that I introduce myself as "the french girl" and start to chat with whomever is intrested in a cultural exchange or I just answer to questions about France. This is a very easy way to connect with foreigners. You just have to find active communities that shares the same interests as you (like Japanese community or american or even worldwide).
I won't lie, 90% of the times, you just have a small chat with someone nice and friendly, maybe you'll exchange your address for a postcard exchange and then, it's likely that you'll never talk to him/her again. However, the other 10% can turn out to become friends. It is conceivable to actually build a strong relationship. There are very few people I met that way that I would consider as "friends". I can count them on my fingers : Taiwan being probably the first one. ;)
New discovery! Tandem is an app that enables you to text people from all over the world with the motive to interact in the language you are willing to learn. My desire to master the german language led me to this app. I've just started using Tandem and so far, I have been surprisingly amazed. At first, I thought, "how am I supposed to talk in german with my shitty skills?!". I tryed anyway. It started half english/german but as the conversations went on, I was feeling a tiny bit more confidante and I picked up some expressions pretty quickly. Of course, I had different tools to help me out... thanks google translate and "deutsch for dummies" haha. Also another great thing about the app is that it's meant for language exchange so, you can easily correct or be checked by your penpal.
3) Why not joining a group in a field you like?
Also something I've been doing for quiet some time : find online communities! Personnaly, I'm a big reader so, I joined GoodRead which is a website really useful to keep your own library updated and to receive advice from friends on what to read next. You can also check out new books, most read or look for book's summary. Emma Watson made her own book club (bookshelf) and every month she shares a new book. That's where I met my Indian penpal! We talked about books for awhile and now, we just babble about anything. The only problem is their message box which does not work propery. You'll probably have to switch to whatsapp or messenger. You can find this kind of group in any fields : photography, music, sports...
Certainly, I had to write about the best of the best lol! Very quickly, CouchSurfing is a platform and a community of travelers from pretty much every corner of earth. What does those people do? Easy, they share their "couch" which means, they let you sleep in their home for free and in exchange you just share your story and listen to theirs. It is a very simple idea: we are all citizen of the world, my home is your home. Basically, we re-invent what "sharing" is really like (and we screw capitalism). Nevertheless, we are not all able to host someone but you can always just "meet up" or only speak with them. People on CouchSurfing are very open minded and nice. I've been to a couple of event in Paris and it was always a keen experience.
You might be thinking, why the hell would I want to talk to strangers? It's dangerous! What do you even get out of it? Get a life Juliette!
Very simple: You gain a real insight into the country! It's not just words coming from text books or the internet. You actually talk with the locals and connect deeply with any place you'd like to visit through someone very well alive. I mean, even when you travel you don't always take the chance to know the natives. When you talk with foreigners, you can perceive how the way they think is different from yours. I have no word strong enough to describe how incredibly fascinating and pleasant it is. I encourage you to give it a try, careful... your mind might open itself in a whole new dimension.
B - Media & internet ressources
I do spend a lot of time on youtube haha... here are some of my favorite channels about traveling:
PsychoTraveler (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfBczdzN3Rf86e7liQYbZRg) english
TED Talks (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsT0YIqwnpJCM-mx7-gSA4Q) english & french [those talks are about everything but they are full of knowledge]
Tokidoki Traveller (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAKZ2vtm_-hfqeCGTNNbZqA) english
ZOEY (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7IBETC7KeyWaJEFTUKhw_w) french
What the Fuck France (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9pVaOtZ8vdLBrlHu5xaaOA) english with subtitles in french
2) Blog & websites
It would take a while to list every webpages I have saved so far. I'll just make a quick summary with people that inspired me or websites I found useful:
Fabrice gives good advice for all french speakers travelers www.instinct-voyageur.fr
Liked the quote page www.therussianabroad.com
That one is for french people traveling to NYC www.bons-plans-voyage-new-york.com
C- Books that will transport your soul
Two books that instantly pops into my head when someone asks me what are my favorite books : "My Life On The Road" by Gloria Steinem and "La Terre N'est Qu'un Seul Pays" (One People One Planet" by André Brugiroux.
G. Steinem initiated me to feminism and her book has changed my mind. I often quote her ;) .
A. Brugiroux hichhikyed all around the earth. He made a whole world tour without paying a single euro for housing or transportation! His book taught me about the notion of "global citizen", that we are all the same, no matter where we come from.
Please feel free to add whatever you have in mind. I hope, that I've been helpful in any way.
PS: Next time, I'll try to give you an insight of a few things I learnt from people I've talked to aboard --> India, Slovakia, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, Sweden, Danemark, America, Mexico, Canada...