A Reflective Post on Travel: Why and How I Travel

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Many people have asked me why I like to travel and what type of I practise (e.g. luxury, solo, budget, etc…). Rather than taking a few minutes to give a fully developed answer, I often shrug ‍and smile by saying because it’s fun and I like exploring. I also summarize my type of travel as just wanting to see as much as possible. While that’s true, it’s not the full answer.

Why I like to Travel

As I sit at my desk recovering from jet lag and a pesky cold, I’m finally able to share my thoughts. First off, I like to travel because for me it is the best way to remain fully in the present moment. While away, I don’t think about what I’m missing at home or situations that I need to deal with when I return. As someone that experiences places primarily through the senses (smell, seeing spectacular colours, and feeling the rhythm of a new place, tasting new food), I am often so fixated on what is in front of me. That tends to shut down my mind. I often feel that I have more energy when I am abroad, as I suffer from a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out).  

Traveling also makes me realize how people can live and call home anywhere. It stops me from thinking that Vancouver is the only place anyone can live. It also opens me up to what’s beautiful in the world. There are so many examples of beautiful landscapes, panoramic views, sunsets, etc… I used to think that the Pacific North West was the definition of beautiful. Not the case, as there are so many stunning places that are just as beautiful and even more so. I find that realizing this is very liberating. It stops you from thinking one way and that the world is a little less scary. ⠀⠀⠀

My Type of Travel

Secondly, my type of travel involves researching weeks before leaving and doing your best to see a variety of places historic, touristy, and off the beaten path. I am comfortable traveling alone, with family, friends and new people from a tour. As I have gotten older, I am less interested in “roughing it” for my accommodations. I’ve done the hostel thing in my early 20s many times and I am now over it. I’d also love to fly business class, but I often trade being uncomfortable on the plane to having a better hotel or AirBnB experience, epic meals, and of course being able to travel more. I strive to keep costs down while traveling, but I’d like to get into the luxury side of travel. 

My type of travel also conquers long flights, energy for walking miles, trying a variety of local cuisine, and exploring until I have circled the area. It also involves learning more about the world and gaining cultural and adventurous experiences such as riding a camel in the Sahara Desert. I even try my best to smile in spite of lost luggage and whatever other travel mishap may happen. As Marie Forleo often says “everything is figureoutable”. This applies to travel as well as business.

During the trip, I prop myself at local eatery with a great meal and a couple glasses of wine. While eating, I always subconsciously ask myself, would Anthony Bourdain approve of this restaurant and experience? Is it authentic enough? Then I shrug it off and continue eating and later exploring because it’s probably good enough. 

And no judgement if your idea of travel is sitting at an all inclusive resort with a line up of cocktails as long as your arm. You do you. That’s not what I like anymore, but I understand when it calls for it.

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Next Time

For my next trip, I want to push myself out of my comfort zone and go somewhere else besides Europe. That is where my cultural heritage comes from, so there is always a rhythm I fall into. I am happy I traveled to Morocco earlier this year, and got my first taste of the diversity of Africa. That sense of anticipation, discovery, and a little nervousness makes you feel alive. 

I will travel to anywhere mostly safe, has a great culinary scene food and amazing drinks, epic history, and has beautiful landscapes. For my next trip, I want to travel to S.E Asia and/or South America. On the one hand, South America feels less daunting because I can understand and speak Spanish and have some experience traveling to Latin America. On the other hand, S.E. Asia will be a brand new experience for me.

Let me know in the comments below 👇🏻 and what travel means to you. There are no wrong answers!