Today, July 28, 2023, the heat index outside my house is forecast to reach 110 degrees before the end of the day, and while I don’t plan on leaving this house as long as the sun is out, the heat of the summer makes me think about the beach, which makes me think about vacation, which makes me think about traveling. And while I could write something inspiring (and actually started to write something else), my heart is on a beach somewhere, downing my third adult beverage, halfway into a really, really good book.
I couldn’t inspire y’all today if I tried, and I think it’s too hot to be inspirational anyway, so this is the perfect time to write about the magic of traveling and encourage y’all to get out and see the world around you.
There are 8 billion people on this planet. 195 countries, 7 continents, 5 oceans, 105 seas, and 10,000 recorded religions. There is an entire world outside of your immediate surroundings, and it is just waiting for you to explore it. I wanted to share a few tips that might make your journey to far and distant places a little bit easier for you.
This is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING I WILL SAY: Know what kind of traveler you are and find your travel tribe. This will save you from a lot of headaches when you travel, so I need to explain both parts separately.
Know what kind of traveler you are. Do you travel to relax and lounge on a beach or by the pool? Are you an adventurer traveler who wants to cliff dive, zipline, or ride ATVs? Are you a foodie traveler who wants to hit up certain food spots? Are you a history traveler more interested in touring and visiting historical sites? Do you want to sleep in and play things by ear or do you prefer an itinerary? Are amenities important to you? Knowing who you are as a traveler and what you want out of a vacation leads you to the second part-
-which is finding your Travel Tribe. Find the people who want the same things out of a vacation that you want. It’s not a good idea to plan a vacation with an early-rising planner if you’re a late-sleeping go-with-the-flow traveler (unless y’all already have that understanding). If you’re a spender on vacation, you probably shouldn’t vacation with budget travelers. You can’t find your group until you know yourself, though, so before you go planning vacations, be sure you like and know the people you’re traveling with and that your plans for the vacation are on one accord.
There’s nothing worse than being away from home with people you don’t like. Or so I’ve heard.
Make a list of the places you want to go. The world is vast and there is so much to see. Narrowing it down to a few places gives you a place to start. Choose one of those destinations and- like right now- make plans to get there. So contact the travel agent. Pay the deposit. Start saving money. Order your passport. Make the reservation. Make some small commitment to getting there. You’ll be on your way in no time.
Once you decide on your destination, make sure you’re well-informed about where you’re going. Know the customs, laws, culture, and climate so you can be reasonably informed and well-prepared. Some destinations require immunizations and visas. Others require passports. Some places require specific attire (like mosques and holy sites). You need all this information so you’re not stuck at the hotel (or, even worse, at the airport) because you got caught slipping.
Have fun. No matter what. You spent your good doggone money on this trip and you deserve the experience of a lifetime. Determine before you go that you will not let anything rob you of a magical trip. You worked hard, you’re well prepared, you’re surrounded by people you like (or maybe you’re solo, which is also an adventure), and you’re having a brand new experience for the very first time. Take all the pictures. Eat new foods. Drink a little too much (but just A LITTLE- don’t go getting arrested in some foreign country). See historic sites that you can’t believe you’re seeing with your own eyes. (Bonus points if you cry when you see them like I did in the Sistine Chapel.) Tour. Marvel. OR. Lay out. Pamper yourself. Do absolutely nothing. Whatever you want- do that thing. It’s your vacation. If you wanted to be regular and do regular things you could’ve stayed home and done that for free.
This blog is your gentle nudge. If there is a place on this planet, near or far, that you want to see, I encourage you to pack up your car or hop on that plane (or bus or train or cruise ship but stay away from submarines for now) and make it happen. The more you see, the more you will understand how you fit into the world around you. This big old planet is waiting for you and your suitcase and your smartphone. It’s time for you to see some world.
Let’s continue the conversation in the comments. What are some of the places that you’ve been? What places are on your dream destination list?