Richard Ayoade Hates Traveling. Here are Surprising Lessons from His Show, Travel Man.

March 06, 2019

[Above: Paul Rudd and Richard Ayoade in Hong Kong for Travel Man.]

Getting out of town can be daunting. Dealing with TSA Lines, weather conditions, and not to mention your own family can feel like an uphill battle. There are many reasons to stay within your cocoon on vacation. But if patron saint of trekking and host of the Journy show Travel Man, Richard Ayoade, can teach us anything, it’s that you don’t need to be a consummate swashbuckler to get off the beaten path.

1. Don’t be afraid to try new things.


Ayoade often seems unhappy venturing out into the wild, but he does it anyway. The next time you stare down a zip line, remember that if Richard can do it, so can you.

2. Learn about different cultures.


If your version of cultural education is ordering pizza from Domino’s, it’s time to get out of your generic bubble. There is a whole big world out there where people are completely different than you.

One of the best parts of traveling is discovering the way that other cultures live from eat, dance, and sleep. We take for granted that our way of life is the only way do things, but stepping outside your comfort zone teaches you that there are alternatives all around us. For example, in Japan it is customary to slurp your noodles; in the U.S., that would be considered quite gauche. In the U.S., you can bite into your apple with just your bare hands; but in many parts of Western Europe, you would be making a faux pas if you don’t use a knife to slice an apple first.

So, the next time you’re on a cultural excursion, make sure to experience some of the local traditions, whether it be flamenco, tai chi, or ice dancing.

3. Expand your palate.


There’s a popular street food delicacy in the Philippines called balut, which is hard-boiled duck embryo served in the shell. If the thought of this is intimidating, you’re not alone. But what if you’re one of the rare people who has a hankering for balut and never knew it until your jaunt to Manila?

Durian, another acquired taste from South Asia, smells so terrible it may take the paint off a house, but the fruit tastes like delicious Mexican flan. If you never try these acquired tastes, you’ll never know.


4. Feeling Anxious While Traveling is A-OK.


Richard often deals with being a highly neurotic man while traveling, but just because you struggle with anxiety does not mean that you should cancel your next expedition.

Getting out of your daily routine can bring up tons of feelings you may have been avoiding. It can also tap into hidden emotions. When you see a beautiful waterfall at a national park, you may start sobbing for the first time in years. This influx of feelings can be overwhelming, but not detrimental.

Traveling can also be a great way to practice letting go as things can and will go wrong. You may miss a flight, or a bus, and the only option will be to breathe, have a glass of wine, and go with the flow.

5. Get in touch with your inner child while traveling.


In a world dominated by schedules and achievement, we rarely break out and play. The best part about traveling is that you can tap into the fun of being a kid. You may find yourself climbing a tree for the first time in years. Travel allows us to have fun and be a whole different person than we are at work.

In conclusion, just like Richard, even if you hate traveling, get out there and explore!