Making the most of your time away (even when things go wrong)

Travelling makes philosophers of us all. When you’re away there are good times, there are brilliant times and then occasionally there are the not so much talked-about sad and bad times too. How you deal with these is really a matter of personality and experience, but in my INFINITE wisdom (just call me Descartes, or something) I’ve put together some advice — some sensible, some mawkishly sentimental — about how to pick yourself up when times are hard and generally make the most of your time away.

When you feel overwhelmed…

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…find a safe and peaceful spot, then take a little time out to rest and reassess.

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When the view from the top isn’t what you’d hoped…

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…go in search of alternative rewards.

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When you end up somewhere really grotty and/or scary and find yourself missing home…

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…rest safe in the knowledge that there’ll probably be an email from your mum awaiting you at the next Internet café.

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Make the most of those solo adventures by learning to embrace peace and solitude…

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…and you’ll have great stories to tell when you finally do find an audience.

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Beware false friends…

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…but learn to recognise the good ‘uns…

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…and be patient with them, even if they seem a little too keen at times.

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When the weather goes nuts…

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…remember that you’ll feel the sun on your face again soon…

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…and that every season has its charms.

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Take risks – that meal you took a photo of because you thought it would give you food poisoning might just turn out to be one of the best of your life.

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Be prepared to reconsider your definition of ‘bed’…

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…if it means you’ll end up somewhere entirely unique and remarkable.

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Be smug and happy when you’re in paradise – it doesn’t last forever.

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Embrace local customs and don’t be afraid to get into character.

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And if you ever get the chance to ride off barefoot into the sunset, don’t look back.

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What’s the most important thing you’ve learned while travelling? Let me know!