There is something so empowering about traveling to a foreign place. Whether it's immersing yourself in a completely foreign country where English is not the primary language, or it's picking one of the 50 U.S. states yet to be stepped in, or it's finally visiting the state park you drive by on your way to work everyday, you come away from the experience with new things discovered about yourself and the world around you. Sure, it might just be that you found a fun picnic spot for a Sunday afternoon at the nearby park, but taking the risk of trying something new no matter how big or small, and coming out successful gives an invigorating sense of accomplishment.
However, it's a big wide world out there, so how do you choose where to explore?
The biggest reason people give for not traveling is lack of money. But the truth is, as long as you can give up some amenities and luxuries—ones you probably don't even have in everyday life (like a bell hop to carry your bags, or meals delivered to your bedroom door) even the most money-conscious person can travel. There are options that emphasize the sharing economy where locals offer their resources to traveler’s can often not only save significant amounts of money than conventional traveling, but offer a truly immersed experience into the culture and way of life the place you're visiting. Sites like Airbnb, Relay Rides and Couchsurfing all accomplish this. Setting a budget will help determine the scope and style of travel you will do.
2) Mode of Transportation
Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Life is a journey, not a destination.” The same can be said about a trip. Travel can be at the heart of the journey, like a road trip or a cruise, continuously changing your surroundings, and constantly stepping outside your comfort zone to experience new things as the trip progresses. Or, travel can be a small facet of the trip, like a plane ride at the beginning and end of the trip and experiencing only one location for your vacation. The mode of transit chosen can greatly influence what kind of trip you will take.
Getting to a destination is only half the journey. What do you want your trip to focus on? The traditional picturesque postcard of white sandy beaches with palm trees doesn't describe every traveler’s ideal vacation. When planning your trip, what is it you want to experience while away? Perhaps your love for food will take you on a culinary tour of whatever region you choose to visit? Your adoration with the outdoors will have you seeking out the highest peaks or tallest waterfalls in the area? Or, your fascination with culture will lead you winding down ancient cobblestone streets, exploring architecturally beautiful cathedrals or soaking in the copious amounts of world history or art or scientific understandings offered in local museums. Or, is it utter relaxation and a care-free mindset you seek, focusing only on your mental rejuvenation? No one vacation is the right one, but planning to gain something from it, be it new experiences or total relaxation, will leave you feeling fulfilled and satisfied at the end of it.
So my question is, as you sit bundled up in thick socks and a sweater, where will you go this year that you've never been before?
- Chelsea Amaio