Tag Archives: travel

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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Why I travel

5 Jul

I like the jet lag that follows when you return from a great trip. Even though you’re home, you’re not all back mentally. You’re in limbo – a part of you still wants to be on vacation and the rest is trying to catch up with real life. Jetlag lends to nights of insomnia which surprisingly become great times of reflection. As I spend the odd hours of the early morning uploading pictures, I revisit some great moments from the trip. I am happy.

I travel as much as my vacation time allows me. It became a passion (an addiction maybe) that year in 2007 when I traveled to Central America for the first time. I traveled alone, did not know Spanish, and felt completely out of my element. I was so intent on challenging myself, discovering new areas of personal growth that I stayed despite feeling homesick at some points. It turned out that living there for two months actually fed my curiosity, and the travel bug bit me hard and I wanted to see and experience more.

I travel for many reasons, and ultimately they point towards the same thing: creating my own adventure. Striking up a conversation with a stranger, walking into new neighborhoods typically lead you to a new unknown. It’s exciting, and nothing is truly predictable. If you believe in fate and feel like actions have consequences, becoming open to travel is in a way like testing your fate. You allow Mother Nature, God, the Karma gods or whoever you believe in to take control. The result? More often than not, fellow travelers become new friends. The strange fruit you’ve never tried before turns out delicious. The other path on the fork of the road actually leads to something more exciting than on your guidebook. Like fate, it’s not all positive. Sometimes things happen for no apparent reason. Still, it’s unexpected and leaves you wanting to experience more.

And that is why I love to travel and why I won’t stop traveling, and it’s to get that feeling of newness and excitement over and over again.