Any adventure that takes us out of the routine is nourishing for the spirit, but there are a number of attitudes that contribute to making a trip truly transformative.
Follow these 7 tips and you will ensure that your trip is much more than just a getaway: you will enjoy an experience that will change you and that you can always relive through memories.
1. Follow your own inspiration
Do not choose a destination because it is a must or because all your co-workers have been there. Traveling is an act of personal freedom, not emulation.
The pleasure of traveling begins with dreaming of multiple destinations, perhaps walking through a travel bookstore, until you find the one that knocks on the doors of your heart.
2. Dispense with programs
Leave room for improvisation. Unless you like to go whistle, it is a mistake to foresee everything flights, trips, hotels by heart, since you do not know how you will feel in each place of your route. The ability to change plans is a great experience enhancer.
If for the time of year there are places where it is essential to reserve, give yourself that freedom in others where there is not so much occupation. And on a day-to-day basis, do not take travel guides at face value, as they are never fully updated. The best cafes, restaurants or accommodations are not there, and it is a pleasure to discover them.
Let go of obligations and, if you do not enjoy museums, do not go just because the guide says so. You travel precisely to be able to do what your body asks you to do. An Argentine photographer I met had the habit of visiting the market and the cemetery in each city because, in his own words, “that is how I understand how they live and how they die.”
3. Mingle with the local environment
Augustine of Hippo used to say: “When you go to Rome, behave like the Romans” and we could add: “without ceasing to be yourself.”
Much better than seeing places and observing human fauna as if we were in a zoo, is to mix with local life and, as far as possible, follow their customs. Being able to chat with people on the street is the best learning that we will take.
4. More prints, fewer photos
Like many passersby stumble down the street because they have their eyes on their mobile, there are tourists who see the country through their smartphone screen, which is a sad way to travel. When reels and development had a price, the traveler thought twice before clicking, allowing him to see the places with his own eyes.
Spending the day with the mobile camera to take photos or film is the perfect way to “not be present” in the experience. If you want to have memories forever, turn off the phone and open your eyes wide.
5. Choose a good company
The success of the adventure will depend in large part on that. Traveling with people who complain all the time, making comparisons with their country for example, with food – can be more tedious and stressful than staying at home. To paraphrase the old saying, tell me who you are traveling with and I will tell you if you enjoy or suffer.
If you don’t have companions who bring lightness and positivity, seriously consider traveling alone. It is an experience that, in addition to making us more sociable, gives us precious time to reflect on our lives.
6. write a travel notebook
Like the great pioneers, taking a written note of what we are experiencing gives us an extra depth and reflection.
Writing allows us to chew on everything we have experienced, reflect and draw valuable conclusions.
While we travel by train, fly or rest from the day’s walk, “going clean” what we have experienced stimulates our ability to understand, at the same time that it allows us to “chew” the experiences the hand is slower than the thought – and extract valuable conclusions.
7. Take home treasures
It is not about physical souvenirs, but about what you have learned about the place, its people, about yourself throughout this adventure.
Kavafis wrote that “Ithaca gave you the beautiful journey”, that is the wealth with which you return home. Then it will be time to ask yourself: “How have I changed?”