When you think about travel, what comes to mind? I would venture to say that the answer will be different for nearly anyone you ask. It is a matter of perspective and individual taste. There is no right or wrong, just differences. Here are a few of the many reasons people travel:
- Recommendations – from friends, relatives, or acquaintances
- Change of scenery – escaping to anyplace that is different
- Relaxation – a need to get away from everyday responsibilities
- Exploration – a desire to seek out new adventures, places, and things
- Experimentation – horseback riding in the surf, diving on a coral reef, hot-air ballooning over unseen lands, to name a few examples.
When reflecting back on destinations traveled, your evaluation of the experience can vary greatly from others’. Once again, it is all a matter of the individual person’s judgment as to what makes the travel experience good or bad. Often this is reflected in the first thing that pops into your mind. Some ways travel can be valued are:
- Scenery – what you saw all around you
- Food – tasting the local or traditional flavors of the area
- People – planned traveling companions; new people encountered along the way
- Cultural experience – learning local customs and traditions
- History – understanding the stories of previous times
- Opportunity – how one place leads to another
- Adventure – the excitement of discovery
- Challenges – pushing boundaries both physical (going beyond what you thought you could do) and mental (learning to extend your visceral perceptions)
To what extent people engage their travel experience using all their senses can make a difference in their takeaways. These may not be normal criteria when people consider how to travel, but if they are taken into consideration, the resulting experience could be that much more memorable. Some examples are:
- Sight – Try to look beyond the obvious and observe more subtle hidden wonders.
- Sound – Close your eyes and listen to the sounds of the city or nature at its finest.
- Taste – Eat and drink slowly to try to identify some unique new flavors.
- Smell – Take a deep breath and smell the sea, or the spices in the foreign markets.
- Touch – Feel your experiences, from the smooth texture of an ancient wall to the coolness of a mountain stream.
- Soul – This is an unexplainable sensation that can warm you from the inside as you sense a deep connection to a place.
Whatever your reasons for travel, I hope you make the most of your experience. It should be a time for reflection and something to be enjoyed long after you unpack your bags. Why not make the effort to experience your travels in all respects possible and create some lasting memories that are as unique as you?