Solo Travel Around the World

The ori­gin of the word “trav­el” is most like­ly lost to his­to­ry. The term “trav­el” may orig­i­nate from the Old French word tra­vail. Accord­ing to the Mer­ri­am Web­ster dic­tio­nary, the first known use of the word trav­el was in the 14th cen­tu­ry. In Eng­lish we still occa­sion­al­ly use the words tra­vail and tra­vails, which mean strug­gle. Accord­ing to Simon Win­ches­ter in his book The Best Trav­el­ers’ Tales, the words trav­el and tra­vail both share an even more ancient root: a Roman instru­ment of tor­ture called the tri­pal­i­um.

Today, trav­el may or may not be much eas­i­er depend­ing upon the des­ti­na­tion you choose (i.e., Mt. Ever­est, the Ama­zon rain­for­est), how you plan to get there (tour bus, cruise ship, or oxcart), and whether or not you decide to “rough it (see extreme tourism and adven­ture trav­el). “There’s a big dif­fer­ence between sim­ply being a tourist and being a true world trav­el­er,” notes trav­el writer Michael Kasum. This is, how­ev­er, a con­test­ed dis­tinc­tion as aca­d­e­m­ic work on the cul­tures and soci­ol­o­gy of trav­el has not­ed.

Wher­ev­er you go, go with all your heart.

Con­fu­cius

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Author­i­ties empha­size the impor­tance of tak­ing pre­cau­tions to ensure trav­el safe­ty. When trav­el­ing abroad, the odds favor a safe and inci­dent-free trip, how­ev­er, trav­el­ers can be sub­ject to dif­fi­cul­ties, crime and vio­lence. Some safe­ty con­sid­er­a­tions include being aware of one’s sur­round­ings, avoid­ing being the tar­get of a crime, leav­ing copies of one’s pass­port and itin­er­ary infor­ma­tion with trust­ed peo­ple, obtain­ing med­ical insur­ance valid in the coun­try being vis­it­ed and reg­is­ter­ing with one’s nation­al embassy when arriv­ing in a for­eign coun­try. Many coun­tries do not rec­og­nize dri­vers’ licens­es from oth­er coun­tries; how­ev­er most coun­tries accept inter­na­tion­al dri­ving per­mits.

Auto­mo­bile insur­ance poli­cies issued in one’s own coun­try are often invalid in for­eign coun­tries, and it is often a require­ment to obtain tem­po­rary auto insur­ance valid in the coun­try being vis­it­ed. It is also advis­able to become ori­ent­ed with the dri­ving-rules and -reg­u­la­tions of des­ti­na­tion coun­tries. Wear­ing a seat belt is high­ly advis­able for safe­ty rea­sons; many coun­tries have penal­ties for vio­lat­ing seat­belt laws.
The ori­gin of the word “trav­el” is most like­ly lost to his­to­ry. The term “trav­el” may orig­i­nate from the Old French word tra­vail. Accord­ing to the Mer­ri­am Web­ster dic­tio­nary, the first known use of the word trav­el was in the 14th cen­tu­ry. It also states that the word comes from Mid­dle Eng­lish tra­vailen, trav­e­len (which means to tor­ment, labor, strive, jour­ney) and ear­li­er from Old French tra­vailler (which means to work stren­u­ous­ly, toil). In Eng­lish we still occa­sion­al­ly use the words tra­vail and tra­vails, which mean strug­gle.

Accord­ing to Simon Win­ches­ter in his book The Best Trav­el­ers’ Tales (2004), the words trav­el and tra­vail both share an even more ancient root: a Roman instru­ment of tor­ture called the tri­pal­i­um (in Latin it means “three stakes”, as in to impale). This link reflects the extreme dif­fi­cul­ty of trav­el in ancient times. Also note the tor­tur­ous con­no­ta­tion of the word “tra­vailler.”

Today, trav­el may or may not be much eas­i­er depend­ing upon the des­ti­na­tion you choose (i.e., Mt. Ever­est, the Ama­zon rain­for­est), how you plan to get there (tour bus, cruise ship, or oxcart), and whether or not you decide to “rough it (see extreme tourism and adven­ture trav­el). “There’s a big dif­fer­ence between sim­ply being a tourist and being a true world trav­el­er,” notes trav­el writer Michael Kasum. This is, how­ev­er, a con­test­ed dis­tinc­tion as aca­d­e­m­ic work on the cul­tures and soci­ol­o­gy of trav­el has not­ed.

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