How to Travel for Maximum Joy
Traveling can be an exciting adventure, but sometimes it can be hard to keep the joy of spontaneous experiences alive. Whether it's a weekend getaway or a longer trip, I try to apply a few simple principals to my travel and the more I stick to them, the more fun I have.
Before embarking on any journey, make sure to grab a coffee before you hit the road. The first thing you should be doing every morning is finding, making, and consuming coffee. This seems like a joke or something that can be delayed; it is not.
Travel is more fun if you just accept the fact that you will make mistakes and wrong turns and unforeseen circumstances will delay or divert you. Those things are the joy of travel; not sources of frustration. A slight divergence in how you see the same situation will radically alter your enjoyment of it. While not always possible on minimal sleep, food, or patience- you can often switch your brain to the right spot by reminding yourself this is an adventure.
It's completely normal to feel a certain level of stress when you're traveling. After all, you're in a new environment, potentially far from home, and things might not always go as planned. But it's important to remember that these are all part of the travel experience.
Instead of stressing over what might go wrong, try to focus on what's going right. Maybe your flight was delayed, but that gave you an extra hour to finish that book you've been engrossed in. Perhaps you got lost trying to find a restaurant, but you stumbled upon a great little café.
In order to do this without stress, you need to strategically plan your travel in a way that leaves space for synchronicities to happen. A tight schedule makes everything stressful and should be avoided when traveling for pleasure.
Sometimes, when you're traveling, you can come across amazing opportunities and experiences that you didn't even know were possible. Make sure to leave some room in your schedule and your heart to be open to these unexpected moments - you never know what you'll find if you just go with the flow.
When traversing new landscapes, whether it's bustling city streets or quiet country roads, it's crucial to remember we're sharing these spaces with others. This principle is integral to maintaining harmonious relationships with locals and fellow travelers alike.
If you're meandering through a city, make sure to step to the side when stopping to gaze at the architectural wonders or consult your map. This simple gesture helps prevent pedestrian traffic jams and signals respect for the city's rhythm and the people who live there.
The same applies when riding a motorcycle or driving. Pay attention to your surroundings and ensure you're not obstructing traffic when you stop to take in the view or check your route. Strategically design your stops to be safe and considerate, perhaps choosing a designated lookout point or parking space rather than pulling over haphazardly.
When traveling with others, disagreements are inevitable. Here's a simple, three-step approach to navigate them:
- Listen: Ensure everyone involved has the chance to express their view without interruption - take a break to cool down before doing so if necessary.
- Compromise: Find a middle ground that may not be perfect but is acceptable to all parties.
- Move on: Don't dwell on the disagreement. Remember, you're here for the adventure and shared experiences.
Traveling, especially on a motorcycle, can be a very economical way to see the world. Camping out under the stars, cooking meals over an open fire, and immersing yourself in nature can not only create memorable experiences but save money but also.
Utilize budget accommodations like campsites or motels when needed, eat at local diners or cook your own meals with ingredients from local markets, and take advantage of the free beauty that the great outdoors has to offer. This type of travel gives you an authentic connection with the place and its people without costing a fortune.
But just because you're traveling on a budget doesn't mean you can't indulge once in a while. If you find yourself in Maine, it might be worth splurging on some fresh oysters straight from the sea. Or maybe you pass through Kentucky and decide to treat yourself to a bottle of locally distilled bourbon.
It's about finding a balance between frugality and enjoyment. Yes, travel economically, but remember to savor those unique regional delights that you won't find anywhere else. Because at the end of the day, these are the experiences that make your journey unforgettable.
Allowing occasional splurges doesn't mean throwing caution to the wind. You can set aside a 'treat yourself' budget for those unique local experiences and stick to more economical options otherwise. This approach ensures you don't miss out on regional specialties while keeping your finances in check.
Planning for travel can provide a sense of structure and security, but it's equally important to remain open to spontaneous experiences and listen to your own energy levels. Your plans serve you, not the other way around.
Plan But Stay Flexible: Begin by creating a plan that includes must-see spots or activities. However, consider these plans as options rather than obligations. This way, you've created a safety net of planned activities without anchoring yourself to them.
Tune Into Your Energy: Pay attention to how you're feeling each day. If you wake up exhausted, don't force yourself to stick to a plan that involves a lot of physical activity. It's okay to have a slow day, rest, or explore something less demanding. Travel is about enjoyment, not endurance.
Spontaneity Over Schedule: Leave ample room in your schedule for unexpected adventures. This might mean exploring a local market recommended by a friendly local or spending the afternoon getting lost in a beautiful neighborhood you just discovered.
Embrace Change: Plans can change due to external factors like weather or closures, or internal factors like mood or energy levels. Instead of seeing this as a disruption, view it as an opportunity for an unexpected adventure.
Safety, of course, should never be compromised. Being spontaneous doesn't mean being reckless. Always stay informed about local risks and safety guidelines and above all: trust your instincts.
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain. This applies fittingly to travel as well. When planning a trip, it's easy to become preoccupied with weather forecasts and dread the possibility of rain ruining your carefully planned adventure. But in reality, these concerns only serve to drain your energy and cast unnecessary worry over your journey.
Rain or shine, travel is about experiencing a place authentically and completely. Weather is an integral part of any destination's charm and identity – it can shape landscapes, inspire cultures, influence cuisine and determine local lifestyles. To reject or fear an aspect of this because it may bring discomfort or inconvenience is contrary to the true spirit of travel.
Embracing potential rainy days with open arms involves changing our perspective on what 'good' travel looks like. Sure, sunshine may be ideal for a picture-perfect beach day or city sightseeing tour but consider this: how ethereal would a misty forest hike be? Or how atmospheric would a quiet mountain valley appear after a downpour? Sometimes it’s these unpredictable conditions that can lead to unforgettable moments.
My proclivity for overpacking, Ms. Beckford told me, comes from a place of pessimism and a “scarcity mentality,” whereby I’m constantly imagining everything that could go wrong on a trip and trying to pack accordingly. That negativity can color a trip from the start.