My future travels

5 Nov

How do you travel?

I just returned from a trip to Prague and Budapest and unlike my past travels I traveled mostly alone and did the least amount of planning on this trip. I actually did next to no planning besides finding a place to stay.

I decided to take a break from the usual Trip advisor and Lonely Planet route. I felt a new approach was warranted. I could start my own off-beaten track and experience something less predictable. So my plan was to stay away from all organized activities. Routine I can always go back to at work. Maybe this new spontaneity would make travel more exciting and inspiring as it should be.

It’s interesting to watch people on vacation especially those who have a hard time unplugging from work. Reality back at home interrupts vacation or any semblance of it. Some fill all sorts of activities during the day to maximize their stay. They love coming up with detailed itineraries and executing them like a project at work. They have to see x # of monuments and go to all the Michelin star restaurants. It sounds more of a to-do list than a leisurely time. Others join tours to help do the planning for them which is actually great, but I wonder if it encourages people to explore further or just feel content about “seeing everything” in that 3 hour tour? (FYI, I actually really like tours, but I’ve grown dependent on them it seems.)

I’ve learned to plan less in travel. Going into this trip, I was fearful that I would miss out on some sights. I probably did, but the newness I felt strolling in the cities that came with no expectations made up for it immensely. I started relying on locals and fellow tourists more for advice, sources which couldn’t have been more current and reliable. It was a nice change having to decide where to go and what to do rather than a guide recommend the must-see sights. You do what interests you and not necessarily what the masses would like you to do. To me, this is an ideal travel situation, to be free to explore the city and creating your own unique experience.

Traveling without expectations and letting your mind and senses wander in your new surroundings is a travel experience I want. So I am planning to do the same the next time, just trusting my feelings and letting my instinct lead me on a fun ride.


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