I met a true adventurer in Istanbul. Derek Barnett, an Australian gentleman, told me about his succinct views on being a "Good Traveler". Worth sharing with you. For many years he has travelled to some of the most interesting, extraordinary and remote places on the planet, making himself vulnerable to its idiosyncrasies and cultures. He insists on taking alternate paths to most tourists. In fact he says he is not a tourist but a traveller. He has developed a '3 Goods' philosophy. They are:
By Good Planning he suggests that you should have a good idea of where you are going, why you are going there, and what you expect or hope to experience. Without planning you will waste time, and possibly miss out on the true value of the location. It sounds obvious really but I am sure we are all liable to not do this well enough on some occasions. I certainly am.
By Good Luck he acknowledges that sometimes things happen beyond our control. This might range from the taxi driver who takes you the longer route to charge you more, to the bus driver who falls asleep at the wheel and crashes. Perhaps a military coup might start whilst you are there, or an earthquake, or a cancelled flight. These things are beyond a traveller's control and only by being lucky can you avoid them. Good luck.
Good People. This category he divides into two. Firstly, those good people who serve you well. The hotelier, the restaurateur, the tour guide and so on who deliver you excellent service, above and beyond just doing their job. Secondly, the good people who have absolutely nothing to gain from helping you. They just want to help. They give you directions and advice, offer you a cup of tea, or even a meal and a bed for the night. These are the people who make adventure travel such a joy. I sing their praises, and wholeheartedly agree with my fellow traveller.