Why just do it is a good idea when travelling on a budget

Travelling on a budget is not for the faint-hearted. It’s also not for those who love perfect plans. As they say, a good plan is better than a perfect one that is never executed. Read on to find out why. 
 
A 4x4 vehicle is a must for driving into the Moremi national park in Botswana. Travelling on a budget
We had no idea that a 4×4 vehicle is a must for driving into the Moremi National Park in Botswana
 
Not long ago I travelled to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia with my family. I would call it an adventure of a lifetime. All in all, we did 8000 km by car in around 26 days. That’s a lot, considering the fact that we were driving a car that was not suited for most of the road conditions we came across. We had travelled in other countries in Southern Africa before so we thought we knew what to expect, but we were wrong. But it’s good that we didn’t know. Here are some of the advantages of not knowing exactly what to expect when travelling and “just doing it”, as the Nike advert says.

You are more likely to travel:

  • when you don’t know that most roads are dust roads suitable only for 4×4 cars and you are driving a small passenger car, 
  • when you are not aware that the distances you will be covering are huge and there will be no one in sight, 
  • when you don’t know that if something happens to your car, the nearest service station is hundreds of kilometres away, 
  • when you don’t know that forgetting to buy fuel can be a matter of life and death when you get stranded in the middle of a desert, 
  • when you don’t know that some of the roads are like driving through a nature reserve full of animals that can cross your path and suddenly end your journey, 
  • when you have spent so much time in an urban area or developed country that you forget there are some places where your navigation system and cellphone have no signal and your only option is to walk in search of the highest mountain hoping to find a network,
  • when you forget that bottled water can be a luxury in some places and you need to keep enough of it in the trunk (boot) in case of unexpected events. 

 

A typical road in most parts of Namibia. Travelling on a budget
This speed limit on a dust road was a surprise to us. Our maximum speed was probably 70 km/h .
Not knowing or thinking too much about all these things beforehand and just letting yourself experience new adventures is what makes life beautiful. That is if you survive and live to tell your story, of course.

Never trust a navigation device

I won’t even mention the fact that in one of the cities where we had to find the lodge where we had reserved a room for the night, there were two streets with the same name and our clever navigation system decided to take us to the one which was in a very high-density suburb, in the worst part of the city. The street was dark and the houses looked like they had seen better days. It was a scary moment. I grew up in a ghetto myself, but that place sent the shivers down my spine. That’s the last time I trusted a navigation system again. 

At one point we found ourselves in a national park with no map. At the beginning, I felt safe, because I had brought my favourite navigation system that had previously taken me everywhere without a hiccup. I even had a backup navigation system, just in case. That didn’t help. We got lost and there was no network. To make it worse, the roads were so bad I felt like I was driving on a sandy beach. The fact that I was driving an off-road vehicle did not make much difference. A few times we almost got stuck in the sand. After a while, we lost all sense of direction. For a moment I thought we were not going to find our way out of the park. Fortunately, we managed to find the exit, but more than two hours later than we had planned.  

Just when you think you are experienced, you have seen it all, you suddenly realise that you still have a lot to learn. But it’s all part of the fun of travelling on a budget where the success of everything part of the journey depends on you. 

Just do it!

As you can see, it’s good not to be aware of some of this stuff before you embark on the journey of your life. With as long a list of things that could go wrong as this one, I would probably be crazy to venture outside the comfort of the four walls of my house. But I don’t regret. We had a great time and have a huge number of interesting stories to tell. I recommend taking just enough precautions before travelling. Besides, human brains love surprises. No plan needs to be perfect unless you are producing medication for people. 🙂 Sometimes it’s good to take reasonable risks. Life is too short to worry too much. Just do it. 

1 thought on “Why just do it is a good idea when travelling on a budget”

  1. Kiedy opublikujecie zdjęcia ze Stanów Zjednoczonych, czekam z niecierpliwością i nastawiam się na dużą ilość.
    Przy okazji zapraszam na mój blog, jak by nie było także związany z podróżami :
    fourmg-photoblog.blogspot.com

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