“The most meaningful and enlightening experiences have been those that seem the most frightening,” says Trisha Alcisto, an avid traveller, who learned this travelling for what is now twelve months and counting.
Alcisto gained an interest in travel after taking a summer abroad in Costa Rica during her sophomore year of college. She returned to Costa Rica after graduating college and taught English and Spanish there.
Throughout this year of travel, Alcisto learned that there are better ways to travel and has discovered more suitable and affordable accommodations. When first entering a country, Alcisto stays in a hotel for the first night and later figures out where to stay “based on the energy of the town.” Depending on the type of city or town or city she is staying in, Alcisto finds the right accomodations and says that airbnb.com helps her find affordable and culture-immersing places.
During her earlier days travelling, Alcisto planned everything ahead of time, but now that she has learned easier ways to travel, she buys plane tickets just weeks before leaving. The more spontaneous approach to travel makes it more enriching.
Alcisto explained better ways to work and pointed out that it is easy to make money online and in the community, especially by teaching English classes as a second language. She works in coworking spaces because they help her “connect with people and get to know where [she] is organically.” Coworking spaces are usually open spaces like lofts used by dozens of people daily to provide an easy place to go to work productively. They prove effective for Alcisto especially because she can make friends and converse with travellers from across the globe right in the coworking space community.
“The limitless kindness of strangers that I have found in the most obscure of places has been, on many occasions, so unmerited that I couldn’t help but be suspicious,” she says on her blog thereisnectarinthemargins.wordpress.com regarding people she has met.
Her travel lifestyle keeps her out of her element and forces her not to be afraid of people and interacting with them. Alcisto began her yearlong journey in Europe and continued into Southeast Asia, including where she now is in Indonesia. While travelling, Alcisto is working to get her masters degree in linguistics online through the University of Massachusetts-Boston to further her education and be able to do more with language, one of her many interests.
When there is a need for change, travel is a great alternative because in certain places the cost of living is less than in the United States, and the only extra spending would be the initial cost of the plane ticket. The cost of the ticket can then be ignored because the lower cost of living allows for the extra spending at first. The enrichment and knowledge gained from the experience is worth so much more, especially by living more affordably. By becoming more like the locals in a community, a traveler like Alcisto can have eye-opening experiences.
Alcisto plans on continuing her journey but doesn’t yet know where or for how long. She is now travelling in Indonesia, where she has been before but returned because of “it is beautiful, safe for a woman to travel alone, and affordable.” She says that “If you ask yourself why you’re scared, you’ll often find that it is rooted in what you don’t know.” Alcisto’s advice for anyone considering long-term travel is to “keep it simple in the terms of the plans that you make; stay in a hostel, carry as little as possible”. She says that a traveller who does this will “find that the frightening world of the unknown shrinks ever and ever smaller while your world grows larger and larger still.”