Travel is truly something special. It’s an action, it’s a feeling, it’s a lifestyle. Traveling connects you not only with the world and its culture but also with yourself. It enriches your understanding of the globe, its history and its people. There are so many different types of travel and so many different lifestyles encompassing it. Right now in this moment there are currently thousands upon thousands of people traveling somewhere in the world. Maybe you’re currently traveling, maybe you dream of travel, maybe you traveled some time in your past, but wherever you are with your travel experience there is a way to make your adventures much more impactful and memorable.
Here are some simple steps to embracing your travel experience to the fullest:
1)Travel your way
To truly experience travel at your best you have to personalize it and find a way to make it yours. Go and see the things and places you’re passionate about, don’t assume that there are rules on how to travel or how to be a traveler. Travel your way, make it your own and do what you like to do.
Often we don’t see every part that a city or country has to offer because you’re trying to follow and fulfill the “Top Sites to See in …” guideline, but there is so much more to see if you just venture off and do your own thing. If you’re interested in art and you’re on a trip, go and search if there is an art museum or perhaps an art gallery near you. If you love music, perhaps there is a concert or festival you could attend near you. Your travel experience will feel so much more fulfilling and authentically you when you begin to follow your passion and where it leads you around the world.
2) Savor the flavor
One of my favorite parts about travel is the food. Every new country I visit, I make sure to try the local and authentic food of that place. What better way to get to know the culture then by trying their specialties? After all, something everyone on this earth has in common is a love and need for food. I feel that trying the local food really helps you get in touch with the people and their society. And not only this, you also get to try something new and tasty. Of course most places you travel to nowadays have your typical burgers, sandwiches or pizza as an alternative if you don’t want to try something new, but I feel that to truly understand and experience a destination fully, you have to try their unique local cuisine.
3) Be present
One of the things I struggle with and always try my best to do is to be present. It’s often hard to live in the moment especially while traveling. I struggle when I have a million different thoughts crowding my head and then miss out on the amazing destination I’m in because I’m too busy thinking about something completely off-track and irrelevant. It’s also difficult to fully enjoy a place and live in the moment when you’re constantly on the move. If you’re like me and your home is the world, it gets hard to focus on the present place when you’re busy thinking about where you’ll be off to next. But there is a way to balance it all and still enjoy your present adventure. Take some time to truly enjoy 100% the place you’re in. Do what interests you and don’t miss out on places and sites because you’re planning your next trip. Be in the moment and focus on what you’re currently doing. Your future plans will unfold just fine but in that moment do your best to be 100% aware of where you are, what you are doing, and what you love about it.
4) Step off the beaten path
I feel that another one of the best ways to truly enjoy a city or country to the fullest is to get off the beaten path. What exactly does this mean? It means to not follow the standard “must sees” or “must dos” but rather do something different, something that you want that defines you. Go to a new country, explore unexplored places, be adventurous, do something you usually wouldn’t, visit unknown sights, try your own thing, get to know the locals and make your travel experience as authentic as possible. Don’t only travel to the most known places or where all the other travelers go. Explore a new place and go where your heart invites you.
5) Get to know the locals
This step is possibly one of the most important and impactful parts of travel in my opinion. To truly understand and get to know a culture, you have to get to know its people. So wherever you may be traveling to, I suggest you venture to where the heart of the country lies, with its locals. Get to know the people around you, ask questions, be interactive, listen to their stories. Surprise the locals by learning a few words in their language. There are so many things available for you to truly experience a culture and get to know its people to the fullest. And by showing your love and appreciation for a culture, so much love and gratitude will be returned to you by your new friends, the locals, and in my opinion, this is one of the best travel experiences you can have.
6) Journal your experiences
One of the things I wish I’d started from the very beginning of my travels is journaling. It not only helps you process your thoughts and feelings from all your amazing adventures, but it also captures them forever in time so that one day you can relive those memories once again. It also shows how many things you have to be grateful for and it’s almost as if you’d just created a list of all the extraordinary things in your life. So I invite you to journal on your next exploit, collect stickers, stamps and little memories that remind you of the places you visit. Journaling is also wonderful because it creates a legacy. One day someone in the future, perhaps your grandchildren, can look through your book and read about all the fascinating things you did, stories you told, and achievements you accomplished in your life. I truly believe that is an incredible and magical gift to leave behind.
Overall, everyone has a different way to personalize and fulfill their travel adventures to the fullest, but I suggest trying some of these steps on your next trip to make your venture as authentic as possible. But in the end, it’s up to you, so don’t forget to be yourself and leave a little sparkle wherever you go.