Reasons Why You Should Never Be a Slave to the Guidebook!

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Charlie definitely not doing what the guidebook told him to!

Our mate Charlie Rheinberg is on a mission to stop backpackers and gap year travellers being slaves to the guidebook. Take a look at what he has to say on travelling spontaneously…

Skimp all you want – stay in horrible hostels, eat strange street food and ride every night bus known to mankind, but the fact remains: travelling is an expensive game.

Decisions though, are free. Spontaneity is the spice of backpacking life; on a whim you can change the course of your travels, open yourself up to experiences you’d never imagined and create bonds with friends you’ll keep for life.

Most people travel to discover the unknown. Think about it: the weird, wonderful and challenging parts of travel are the bits we all remember fondly. If you only walk the well-beaten track, chances are you’ll miss out on them.

Friends for Life

Natalie Cihaks travelled with me in Colombia after a bold, spontaneous and slightly hungover decision to change her flight itinerary and stay on the Caribbean coast with people she had known for less than 24 hours.

Her story shows how having flexible plans allows you to drift into the most memorable experiences possible. No ties, no commitments, no disappointments!

‘Cheeks’, now in Honduras completing her dive masters course, speaks so positively about her unplanned ten days in Colombia that it’s changed her entire view on solo travel and not just the importance and fun of having changeable plans…

Natalie’s Story

My travelling companions of six months gone, I found myself on hold to the airline changing my flights. I was about to enter a whirlwind adventure with four boys I had known only a few hours.

Ten days of Colombian carnage awaited but was it the rum, their alluring personalities, or just plain craziness that had me going with my instincts? Either way, the following ten days gave me experiences I won’t be able to repeat any time soon – how often can you bathe in a mud volcano or sleep in hammocks at a surf camp on the Caribbean coast?!

I truly feel we had a bond that should take so much longer to form – travelling is intense and the boys taught me I was confident and happy as a solo traveller, something I’d always feared.

Being spontaneous and changing my flights on instincts taught me so much. The opportunity to change plans cost nothing but the enjoyment, memories, friends and stories I gained were priceless. Thank you boys, and thank you me!


If you’re reading this, chances are you’ll agree that travelling in any form is, or will be, the most invigorating, exciting, adventurous ingredient you can add to your life. When a decision comes your way, don’t think too much about it. It always works out.

So what do you think of Charlie and Natalie’s approach to travelling? Are you a spontaneous traveller, or do you like to have everything planned out?

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