Most of what passes as tourism and leisure travel is a counterfeit of the real thing, bypassing your innate sense of wonder. The soul is a mystic, an explorer, not cattle to usher into pre-defined paths for energy-zapping. We travel to discover new worlds, make new connections, exchange knowledge. The modern “leisure travel” experience falls short on those counts.
I’d like to ask you to check out these three websites:
This website let’s you virtually teleport to cities around the world and take walks there from the walkers perspective.
This website let’s you drive around cities of the world, from the drivers perspective, while listening to local radio stations.
This website let’s you look out of the windows of people all around the world.
I enjoy these websites because they allow for a quick shift to a different world. A shift in atmosphere – that’s why we travel. Even so, you may have noticed that cities around the world look and feel increasingly homogenized. Whether you’re walking Wuhan or Vilnius, Vienna or Lagos, Melbourne or Sacramento, the differences are not as much as we wish they were. In either of these cities you’re bound to find a Footlocker, a McDonalds and Luis Vuitton. If you wish to find clothing and food unique to that culture you must venture further afield. The radio-stations sound roughly the same in each country, as do the news-headlines. We’ve lived under a uniform global corporate government for some time now. Unique cultural differences that make foreign encounters so magical have eroded. I hope that one day people reclaim their local uniqueness. Sure, we take great comfort in seeing a McDonalds in an otherwise wild and inscrutable Ulaanbataar, Mongolia. But if you knew what’s inside their Burgers, you’d take more comfort in the locals 🙂 Mass-marketing convinces people to find relief and joy in all the wrong things.
Tip 1: Go there outside of tourist season
The final nail-in-the-coffin of normie-tourism for me was when I went to Venice, Italy years ago. I was on the Bridge Ponte della Paglia…along with about 300 other people.
It was so tightly packed I could barely move. Everyone was holding up their cell phones and selfie-sticks, trying to get their smiling shot but then get out as fast as possible. The smiling photo is a pretense, nobody was enraptured about the place. Shortly thereafter I’m on a Gondola perched between 20 000 other gondolas slapping into each other like bumper cars. Far from being the the singing romantics as portrayed in movies, the gondoliers were shouting angry expletives at each other across the water. Mass tourism ruins beautiful places.
I could get a more genuine experience of Venice had I gone out of season. I could take my walk across the bridge at sunrise before anyone else was up. It would be peaceful and I’d be able to psychometrically feel the History and deeper meaning of the place. I’d experience relaxed gondoliers and patient service-staff.
When I went to see the Pyramids of Giza I couldn’t feel the place because I was followed by half a dozen people begging me for money. Thus I was none the wiser about who had built them and why. Had I woken up a few hours earlier, in the silence of dawn, I’d have gained that insight.
Tip 2: Look for a private or low-number-attendance experience
Tourism of the demeaning type is about processing humans. I went to a place where one could “swim with Dolphins”, advertised as an “intimate” experience with them. We arrived to see 200 other people seeking their “intimate” Dolphin experience. Every 30 minutes, 200 people were processed. We were put into groups of 20 and all went through the same motions – shake hands with dolphin, see dolphin jump, take-selfie with dolphin, thank you and next! The poorly treated Dolphins were bribed with fish to keep going through the same motions over and over with every person. Loud and mind-numbing dance music played from gigantic speakers flanking each side of the pool. The whole thing was purely exploitative to both the Dolphins and Humans.
I sought a more genuine experience. A former student ran a Dolphin research center. I asked him if I could drop by and experience his Dolphins. He cheerfully agreed. It was fantastic. There was no rush, no noise and the Dolphins were obviously in a much healthier condition, kept not as play-slaves of mass-tourism but as friends. They were in a playful mood and I experienced a pleasant daze that remained with me for days after.
Image below: A 1969 flight, prior to mass tourism. People treated with dignity and appreciation, given plenty of leg and elbow room and lavish treats.
Not all mass-attendance events are bad. Conferences, seminars and sports-games with thousands of attendees can be energizing. But in the context of tourism, mass-attendance feels like being part of a herd walking along pre-defined routes that don’t allow for a spontaneous experience. Companies set them up to extract money with very little respect to the individual. You can increase your experience by checking beforehand how full a place will be. Walking the local botanic gardens is lovely, but not when you’re walking with crowds. Taking the kids to the zoo is awesome unless there are 50 000 other people with the same idea.
Not following my own advice, I recall going to the water-slide park in Orlando, Florida a few months ago. It was so crowded that, to get on one slide, you waited in a cue for at least 30 minutes. Most of the time was not spent on slides it was spent waiting in line. But I really should have known considering that the area is a mass-tourist hotspot. The problem can be easily solved by visiting a water-slide-park in a non-tourist hotspot. The best two I’ve been to regarding no-crowds were in Hastings, New Zealand and Abu Dhabi. I had both parks almost to myself.
Tip 3: Leave the city for the country.
Knowing how similar cities are too each other, I often opt for the country. I get off the grid, escape the electromagnetic-5-G-mind-fog-zone. I’ve made a lot of first-class experiences away from tourist hotspots. If you’re in Iceland, don’t stay in the main city of Reykjavík, go live on an actual farm for a week. You’ll discover water so pristine you can drink directly from nature. You’ll have the most majestic horse rides ever. You’ll meet genuine people. That applies to any country. Some have this idea that places outside of the city are boring, with little to see. Others believe the people are more “scary” because they only speak their own language. But it usually ends up being more fun precisely because it’s outside of your comfort zone. If you start feeling unsafe because there’s no Starbucks around you really need some country-therapy. I liked visiting Milano to see the gigantic Cathedral at it’s center. But I got a lot more out of taking a Vespa around the country-side and trying to talk to the people. The shop-assistant in the city sees thousands of tourists every day. She’s not excited to see you. But many of the people out in the country are overjoyed to see you and invite you to their houses for dinner. The further you get away from “tourist hotspots”, the more potential fun. Not everything works out perfectly when you leave the beaten path, but that’s part of the fun.
Tip 4: Don’t ask Google, ask Locals
Ignore travel guidebooks, ignore “tripadvisor” and ask the locals. They know better. The stuff you see on the first page of Google or Tripadvisor is where everyone goes. Sometimes those places are good (that’s why everyone goes there) and sometimes they are no longer good (again, because everyone goes there). Locals can point you to special interest activities beyond mainstream.
For example once in Saudi Arabia, a local took me out into the desert to show me a half-buried ancient village. He knew of my interest in lost civilizations. It was phenomenal. The place was not an archaeological site, nobody knew about it, I was possibly the first “westerner” to lay eyes upon the ruins. That’s just my kind of fun! Yes, of course it’s dangerous to walk around untouched ruins without a helmet or knee protection. Anything you walk across could cave in. But which experience do you think you’ll remember for the rest of your life and beyond? The one where all was as expected and safe or the ones full of unknowns?
Tip 5: Focus on Learning
After traveling all day, we arrived back to town we had dinner in a place only a local could have chosen and the food tasted better than ever. Why? Because it was my first meal. Food is not the main point of travel. Many tourists make it the main point. They book all-inclusive hotels that cater especially around eating a several course breakfast, coffee snack, lunch, tea-time snack and dinner. Tourists feel full and energy-less, barely able to discover anything new. Food becomes the main focus of a trip when the trip is otherwise devoid of meaning. Make your focus to learn something new. That satisfies your higher-self. Later you can feed your lower, physical self. Then both selves are satisfied.
A disclaimer: The things you read here are tips, not rules. If you turn them into rules and start berating others on not following them, you again suck the spontaneity out of your travels. Stay open.
Tip 6: Don’t stay safe
Every other email I get these days, tells me to “stay safe”. It’s the mantra of hive-minded normies. Stay safe! Stay safe! Every time I travel somewhere there is someone or other who reminds me to “stay safe!”. With that mentality you’ll never experience what life is about. I was almost alone across several airports while travelling between 2020 and 2022 because the whole world was locked in a “stay safe” mentality. It was exciting to me to travel almost alone. Empty airports, empty airplanes felt like I’d entered my private science-fiction story. “Everyone” thought I was “crazy” and risking my life for travelling. But I was, am and always will be perfectly fine, thanks for asking. The video below is some of my empty-airport footage. OK, surely it’s not amazing to watch on Video, but being there was surreal.
Growing in consciousness-levels is not “safe” it requires courage. The concept of “stay safe” assumes that the world is a mean or dangerous place and that you are at the effect of it. But you are a reality creator. Would anyone be reading adventure comics and watching action-packed movies if these were centered around “staying safe”?
My wife and I went on a kayaking trip out of a beautiful cove. We had rented a private house atop a cliff for some time and the kayaks resting at the bottom were part of the package. We had never kayaked before and thought “well, it can’t be rocket science, we got this”. We went out so far that when we turned our heads we couldn’t even see our house (and there weren’t many houses). Instead of playing it safe and going to look for our starting point, we decided to go to an island in the distance.
Arrival at that island was no soft-landing. The waves made my kayak fly through the air, smashing me shoulders-first against the beach. I realized that maybe this time I’m “in over my head”. The high waves were prelude to a storm that was coming. Soon the sandy beach began disappearing under the waves. We were on an empty island, in a storm and all we had were shorts and flip flops. We had no water, no food, no phones and nobody knew where we were. It was a low-population area with maybe only half a dozen people living in houses on cliffs. So much for “stay safe”.
As precarious as our situation was, it was also exciting. Fear is misguided excitement. If you allow the experience, it’s not fear, it’s excitement. We tried to get away from the island, but we hadn’t learned how to kayak, so the waves kept carrying our kayaks back to the beach, bruising our heads, elbows and knees. After several takes we finally learned that we need to keep the kayak perfectly straight to stand a chance against menacingly high waves. We finally made it back out to the ocean. The rain was intensifying so we had no idea where “back home” was. All we saw now was ocean. We later learned that the area was also teeming with sharks.
I like risky situations because they get me to practice the reality-creation-tools. If we really are divine beings, as I keep saying, then we can handle challenging situations. I’m not recommending you risk your life or health. But I am saying that if “keep safe” is your mentality, you might as well stay home in “comfort”. But you won’t learn and grow that way. Take more medium-level risks!
Tip 6: Lose your sense of Time, Place and Orientation
No, not all my travelling is rough. I love trips on luxury trains for example. That’s super comfortable and pampered. My favorite train trips are through the Alps, from German to Italy, across Austria, through Switzerland and from France to Italy.
A particular trip I haven’t taken yet that’s on my bucket list:
I’m excited for it because I haven’t seen any of these countries. Knowing myself I’ll probably randomly get off the train to have a look around before hopping on the next one. I enjoy losing my sense of time, place and orientation. You develop your extrasensory field-awareness. Nowadays people quickly whip out their Google Maps at the slightest insecurity as to their whereabouts. That’s why I often travel without the phone. You exist within a gigantic infinite realm, you don’t really know your whereabouts…and that’s fun!
When I was only 16 years old, me and a friend took a bicycle and simply rode away for two weeks. My parents and I had long debates about whether I’m allowed to do this. I don’t know how I convinced them, but I did. Because they didn’t give us any money for the trip, they mockingly thought we’d be back home within a day. But we rang on strangers doorbells, telling them what we were doing. Complete strangers invited us in to eat, drink and even stay overnight. After two days we reached the mountains and rode on. We took showers at camping sites. Somehow, we were always provided for. Because we had no map, we rarely knew where we were. Unforgettable! I’m forever grateful for that trip because it taught me about being provided for by unseen providence.
Tip 7: Get Mystical
The innermost of every human yearns for a higher realm. It knows that life is not as boring as taught in school.
I’m not a thrill-hunter and I’m perfectly satisfied if I see nothing more than a beautiful Swan in a lake or bird in a tree. It’s not all about external discoveries. It’s about what such discoveries tell about your inner state. The outside world is a reflection of you. “Getting Mystical” can be as simple as quieting the mind and seeing the sheer beauty of creation.
Even so, there are amazing things to discover. Sometimes I look-up travel destinations according to their spiritual significance or anomalies of the area.
In one region I discovered that all cathedrals and cemetaries were built on a perfectly straight line that ran for approximately 50 miles. Of course this mind-boggling fact was not mentioned in any tour-guide because nobody knew about it. What does it mean? I later learned that many old churches are lined up like that. There’s an ancient energy-grid around the world that we’ve forgotten about.
I’ve discovered unknown Pyramids in the wilderness, as have many other people. They exist but you don’t find them in any travel advisory. An example I found online from someone else:
I discovered a remote place that had flying-saucers come out of the Ocean at regular intervals. They felt more spooky than benevolent. Other people also noticed and were talking about it online. And then those saucers quit using that location to surface. Why don’t I have photos or videos of the saucers? Because most of my trips are without gadgets. I wish to be present instead of photographing. I also no longer care to prove any experiences to the public. People have to make their own experiences and draw their own conclusions.
The people you meet are a reflection of your own state. You could meet enlightened hermits in remote locations. The most interesting person I ever met was a former celebrity who had quit society. He was living in a modest house on one of the Fiji Islands, among locals. He worked at the local school teaching English and other subjects. None of the gossip magazines knew he was living here. If they knew, they’d surely descend on the peaceful town. I barely recognized him because he was a movie-star from before my time. He invited me over to his place for lunch. He built his own furniture, made his own food, had an Islander as his wife. He said that leaving his career and living simply had healed him from depression. There was nothing externally remarkable about the encounter. The extraordinary thing about it was in the feeling it left me with. That guy had found a kind of inner peace one rarely sees and it left a lasting impression.
Tip 8: Step Outdoors
“But can’t I experience most of this from the comfort of my computer without ever leaving the house?” No. That’s a 2-D experience without smell, touch, taste and without risk. Seeing someone else post stuff you haven’t experienced is not nearly as meaningful as discovering a thing yourself. When you discover a thing yourself it has consequences to your belief-system and thus your reality.
This image really says it all:
Where ever you travel, step outdoors.
“But travelling is no longer fun, with all the airport security and stuff”. Then take a car or train or ship.
“But if all of reality is within, what’s the point of looking at the external world?” Internal and external are one and the same, all happening within you. Movement in one equals movement in the other.
“But, If I want to be successful, my time and money are more wisely spent staying here and working on my projects”. Yes. But breaking your routine for some time will give you brand new inspiration for your projects. You can’t see your “daily life” clearly if you never step outside of it.