The Currency of Travelers: Knowledge

Jun 19, 2015

I’ve learned that one of the most important things you come across when traveling, is the advice from a fellow traveler. I can’t tell you how many times our plans have been made or changed solely because of a tip we got from a stranger.

One of Matt’s and my favorite little stops in New Zealand was a geothermal hot waterfall (yes, waterfall!) in Kerosene Creek near the Rotorua area. It’s this lovely little creek with various swimming holes, one of which has a small, hot waterfall flowing into it. And it’s free! How did we hear about it? There we were, soaking our feet in a geothermal pool in a park when a man standing nearby struck up a conversation. Turns out he is an Aussie who has been walking around New Zealand for years. He told us about Kerosene Creek and bing bang boom, the next day we were soaking up the warmth in that little creek despite the chilly air!


There are however, some very significant rules of etiquette that I’ve ascertained when it comes to giving and receiving such advice: 1. Don’t advice-rape people you just met while obviously having no desire to get to know them otherwise. You will seem like a dick, because quite frankly, you will sort of be acting like one. 2. Don’t be stingy with your own advice. I’ve seen it a few times, where people take on a sort of ‘figure it out yourself’ or ‘you’re not cool if you’re not in the know’ attitude and are unwilling to share their knowledge. Again, you will seem like a dick because you definiately are one.

What I’m saying is, there are lots of treasures in the world that you won’t find in guidebooks! Give advice when you have it, and take it when it’s offered. We’re all in this together!


Tangential Tip For the Road:

I keep a note on my phone where I can write down all the tips and places suggested by people along the way. There are a lot of question marks and misspellings because I generally spell things how they sound to me at the time and then set to googling later. I have tips like, “Over the rock, follow the rope at end. Beach drops you in Tanszai? Near Railey Beach in Thailand.”


This sounds ridiculous but according to a google search of my misspelled rambling, I discovered that Ton Sai is a neighboring beach of Railey. And now, I not only know that these beaches are worth going to, but if I find myself near those beaches in Thailand, I’ll know there is a rope at the end that might connect them. As crazy as it seems, these sorts of tips have come in rather handy.


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