As independent travelers we discuss the best light weight gear or how to save pennies. But what about something that weights nothing and can’t be bought: common sense.
Like, pavement is more slippery when wet.
Rolling down the highway earlier today, I recalled a lesson my Grandfather taught my mother. “Drive five miles slower when it’s raining.” The charcoal sky began to pour and within moments even my windshield wipers–on high–did no good. Vehicles on all sides dropped from 70 to 40mph, and I decided to pull over and wait it out at a gas station. I got a cup of coffee and read another chapter of my book. Down pour turned to hail, then back to rain, and eventually subsided. A ways down the highway a wreaker truck was busy pulling several crumpled cars from a muddy meridian. I was thankful not to be one of them.
Yes, accidents do happen that aren’t always avoidable. But following your GPS when it tells you to drive into the Pacific Ocean is avoidable. Three tourists in Australia actually did that back in March. It was no accident. I’d say more like lack of common sense.
Of course this doesn’t just apply to driving and isn’t a new concept. Thomas Paine wrote a pamphlet about it in the 1770’s. But it still seems people have a hard time using, “the basic level of practical knowledge and judgment that we all need to help us live in a reasonable and safe way”, as defined by the Cambridge Dictionary.
Vagabonding almost requires common sense. The more you apply, the richer the experience can be.