Ever notice how Jane and Judith go off to Mexico and Jane seems to enjoy it and wouldn’t stop raving about it while Judith just cannot understand what the hype is all about? Two people, same destination but two different reactions. I believe there is an art to traveling and traveling well and will be sharing how to have the best travel experience, ever!
I know individual preferences and circumstances may differ and there can be some challenges during a trip that may prevent you from having a great experience but all things being equal, everything all well and good, here are some ways to ensure that you have a trip that totally kicks ass!
Travel, it leaves you speechless, and then turns you into a storyteller- lbn Batutta
1. Be interested in where you are going
Perhaps Judith wasn’t as interested in visiting Mexico as Jane was? I find that the more excited you are about a trip, the more enjoyable it becomes. But how can you be excited when you aren’t even interested? If you are not jumping for joy to be headed there, stalking the internet for photos of the place, googling the destination for latest news or having sleepless nights before your travel date (this is extreme but not judging you!) then you just may not be feeling it and if you can, you may want to look out for another option.
2. Choose your travel buddies like you will your men (or women.)
Be picky! You’re either going to have an absolute blast on your trip or a total nightmare and your choice of travel partner has a huge role to play in it. I think it is way better to travel solo than to go with someone who just doesn’t match your vibe. Sometimes, even your best friend may not be the best person to hop on the plane and jet off to another country with.
3. Get sentimentally attached to the destination
A sentimental attachment may come from finally getting to visit that dream location on your bucket list. You’ve checked out several photos of the landmarks you’ll love to visit, imagined yourself there and then boom, there you are! It’s a special kind of feeling, sort of like finally getting the chance to talk to your crush after months and months of stalking on Facebook. Maybe even better.
Another way to get sentimentally attached is by knowing about the history of the place before getting there. I remember heading to the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial and I was floored because I knew the history behind it all and it made for such a surreal moment. Any other person who didn’t have the background story would have stepped in there and termed it “just okay.”
4. Do and/or try something new
Challenge yourself to doing something totally new. I always suggest to start with a local dish, it is a great way to learn about the culture of a place. You can get a sense of how the locals are by how they eat and socialize. Try new food or something totally new during your travels, especially something you wouldn’t be able to experience back home. This may be the transportation, food, nightlife, etc. By trying or doing something new, your trip gets a lot more interesting.
5. Be open and flexible
If you whine about every single thing, you may never be able to fully experience the joys of traveling. Contrary to what you may think, travel is not perfect and it is not always going to be comfortable. We may be able to curate the perfect Instagram feed, but we can unfortunately not curate the perfect trip. Sometimes, things go wrong. You may arrive to a hotel that is totally messy, or you may discover that your bag got delayed in transit and have very limited options. You must be able to roll with the punches at every given time.
When you travel, remember that a country is not designed to make you comfortable, it is designed to make it’s own people comfortable- Clifton Fadiman
6. Get adventurous
Put on your adventurous mask and get ready for the ride! No, really. You may be a couch potato at home but when you are abroad, shake it off, get up, get out there and experience what the city has to offer. A travel experience is only as good as the memories and adventures that you create. It is great to know your limits but do not let fear hold you back from having the absolute time of your life.
7. Kick it off with the locals (and other travelers!)
Travel is a great opportunity to meet new people, make new friends and immerse yourself in a new culture. When you travel, try to connect with the locals as much as you can. Sit and dine with them, stay in an AirBnB with a local, exchange stories and be welcoming. Some of the best travel experiences will come from the conversations you have with the people you meet and will really give your travel experience a boost.
8. Draw up a firecracker itinerary
Do some research and come up with a great itinerary as that definitely sets the tone for your travel experience. Give room for flexibility but also draw up a plan to ensure there is not a dull moment during your trip. A mix of popular touristy things to do and some off-the beat activities are great to start. You can use tripadvisor as a guide but always tailor the activities to you and what interests you. If you are a beach person, schedule lots of beach time but some room to do something out of the norm. You can use tripadvisor as a guide.
9. Take photos
Photos are great to relive memories. They are awesome souvenirs to take home with you. Sometimes when I look over my camera roll, I see some details I have captured in the frame that I didn’t even notice while I was there. Plus, photos are just amazing. Looking over photos after a trip is over really adds a layer of excitement to the experience, doesn’t it? God bless Nicéphore Niépce for inventing them.
So, these are some of the things that I do to ensure that I have a memorable travel experience. A travel experience is only as good as what you make it. While some cities carry their own magic effortlessly, some others have to be discovered carefully. So, next time you go on a trip, do something different, step out of your comfort zone, be free-spirited, open and adventurous and you’ll come back with a lot of stories to tell and a heart full of travel joys.
Did I miss anything? Tell me some of the things that you do to ensure you have a really great travel experience. I’ll love to hear your thoughts.
I’ll talk to you next Friday
Until next time,