10 Ways to Politicise Your Travel Experience

  1. Take more people with you- an exodus is a political act. If you can convince more people to go with you then you will be able to share the experience and enlightenment with more people.
  2. Get a political consciousness- use the internet and talk to people whilst on your trip in order to find out about the political situation of the people in the countries you are visiting instead of passing through and having the mindset of a tourist who is exempt from that sort of thing.
  3. Make your travel philosophy public and distribute it. If there is a reason for your travel, or you have a particular approach then tell the world- print some documentation- a small flier or card which can spread your message.
  4. Highlight the political aspects of travel - travel is about being able to leave a particular system, see other systems and gain a sense of perspective- highlight this and communicate it. Be aware of the system that you came from and how that effects your thinking.
  5. Make your trip about others as well as about yourself. Your trip will have more significance if you involve other people in it and make it about other people- but do not forget that a large part of the experience will be about personal learning.
  6. Be aware of the difference in thinking and living in the different places that you visit in order to become more aware of different human lifestyles.
  7. Be curious - resist the modes of security in different countries in order to get a deeper understanding. Read about your rights and the laws of the countries you pass through in order to understand what you can and can't get away with. Of course be careful, but be prepared to take risks for the sake of experience and understanding.
  8. Make a point of being critical of others who mysticise or romanticise the experiences. Education and mutual learning should be promoted instead. Don't confuse this for creating boring information; aim for truth not exaggeration.
  9. Research a range of different information sources about any place which you are visiting. For example the information you get from the FCO website is normally extremely conservative compared to the reality on the ground. Base your decisions on at least three different sources and don't really solely on official information. Equally don't really solely on information on the street.
  10. Gain an appreciation of the benefit of cultivating wisdom, political and travel know-how and pass it on without expecting anything in return. Read about the plight of people past and present and the influence of big thinkers on how societies are structured.