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Once you’ve got over the initial romance and excitement, travel can be thoroughly dull. In fact, the very expectation of romance and excitement sets high probabilities of disappointment.

Without care, days, weeks or even months could go by empty of interest. This, of course, could be heavenly for many, but it feels a darned shame in my book. Which is why I like to search for the THREE Cha’s:

Change, Chance and Challenge.

If a day goes by without one, two, or all three of these, I consider that day wasted. Packing days with them totally busts boredom.

Here’s what I mean:

The easiest way to shake things up is to move. Moving to a new place, or even just a different spot in town, is always more interesting than staying still. Even if the grass isn’t greener, at least you know it isn’t.
eg. Bored in Lake Taupo, NZ, after two days, I packed up and moved 250m North to a new hostel: new people; different environment; free sauna. Success.

You can’t always plan adventures, but you certainly can open yourself up to them. Striking up conversations, wandering, or simply being a bit nosey can result in fantastic chance encounters.
eg. In Vietnam I accepted an offer of accommodation from someone on the street. I slept soundly just meters from the mighty Mekong after an evening chatting to all his neighbours (lubricated generously by rice wine.)

Boasting is thoroughly enjoyable. To earn boasting rights, setting and achieving a challenge works wonders. Endurance, daring or skill all constitute challenging pursuits. Darkening the tan does not. Despite usually being ultimately pointless, challenges provide a lasting sense of self-worth.
eg. The standard “See that mountain? I’m gonna climb it today” is a staple. Others are less physical, like entering a haggle battle, or snapping an elusive photo.

There you have it. The Three Cha’s. Your recipe for travel success.

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