Take Time to Enjoy Travel

adventure of the week, europe, France, italy, Scotland, Travel, United Kingdom, United States

I see this same scenarios time after time in my job:

My client wants to travel overseas and check off some places on their bucket list. They have one week, three kids, and they want to cram as much culture in their little brains as they possibly can. They want to see ALL of Italy in a week.

My client is taking his dad to Europe, his dad is 80 years old, they want to see ALL of Europe in three weeks.

I research their top places and assemble a schedule that I think is ideal. I find options that match their budget, and activities that all extra time if someone needs a break or a coffee or if a train is late. The savvy travelers agree to my suggestions. The wild ones try to break records, or so it seems, on how many countries they can visit in no time.

While a week, or three weeks seems like a long time, the truth is there will never be seeing ALL of anything in a week, or a month, or a lifetime. It is literally impossible to see everything Rick Steves tells you to, or eat at every Michelin restaurant. It’s just not something that can be done. Besides, the best travel experiences are the unexpected, the moments when nothing was planned, and the stars seem to align. It’s when you actually take time to ENJOY traveling that good things come together.

My favorite meals, or my most loved memories don’t come from the days I planned out hour-by-hour they are finding randomness on this planet we call home. Sometimes it has been a funeral procession or a wedding. Other times it has been making friends with a child or getting lost on a side street. Sometimes it was simply sitting in a train station and people watching while I ate a sandwich. I saw the Queen of England when I just wanted to enjoy being in London in a park. I made friends while hanging out at pubs and hostels. I have always fallen in love with cities I never expected to, or never planned to originally visit.

When one takes time to slow down and breath in their time in a new location, then one REALLY understands the heart and soul of why people travel. It’s a cafe in Paris, or a bakery in Dublin, and taking the time to eat a pastry or drink a cup of coffee. It is a club in Edinburgh or a pub in London that opens up conversation and connection. It’s never when you have museum after museum planned. It’s never when you follow a massive group from sea of people to sea of people. It is always the in between.

As I have seen more and more of the world over ten years I have moved from racing to one place and another, and instead I have craved more of the in between. When I mentally picture a trip back to Paris, I see a mosey instead of a rush. When I mentally picture a visit to China, it’s sitting on the Great Wall and listening to others speak in awe. I imagine crying at finally seeing the Pyramids of Giza and sitting in the sand as I feel the centuries of life in front of and around me. I want the cups of teas and messy foods as much too. I want making friends and photographs of new connections too.

So, dear reader, slow down your plans. See two cities instead of five. See one less museum, and add in a park. Walk everywhere you can so that you can absorb the essence of what is around you. Speak to everyone you can so that you know the people better. Try new foods that would otherwise freak you out. Most importantly, live it all, as much as you can.

Happy Travels!

Travel Inspiration Shows 2018

documentary, food, geek, Travel

While having down time, I often seek out some great travel inspiration (travelspiration) via shows. Often Netflix is my new favorite land of travel shows that offer an intense, personal, and inspiring reflection on the world.

Here is my list of what you should watch to learn more on the world around you.

For Foodie Travelers

It should be a given, but chef’s table is an awesome way to see what the top restaurants in the world offer. I am quite fond of what I consider the more obscure places that reflect a deep and rich cultural identity such as Central and Gaggan.

Weird Food Lovers

The travel channel loves cornering the market on this, but between Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern, there are dozens of shows to watch on the oddities and snacks that exist in the world.

Hotel Lovers

My absolute favorite one from the last few years, and one I binged in 24 hours was Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby. This fantastic show did more than just show where you can stay and what is up for offer. This well-planned, and elegantly executed show delved deep into what it takes to make a hotel work. It also questioned the ethics, social, and economic impact of these global locations. This paired with fantastic shots, enjoyable and informed hosts, created a wonderful show for information and inspiration.

For Those that Love Cultural Reflection

Even if Bourdain is an old fart that complains about vegetarians, I do love his writing style. This amazing writing and ability of this chef turned travel journalist offers an enjoyable look at the world. In Parts Unknown, I especially enjoy the episodes that visit places that have been forgotten or are only now being discovered. 

For the Spiritual Travelers

Believer was a phenomenal look at religions around the globe. Regardless of the politics of Reza Aslan, he’s a great researcher and writer. As a researcher and professor of theology, his books and media works show a truly in depth glance at the systems of belief around us. See the few episodes that were released, because they are really great. 

Travelers that Love to Laugh

My house is one that loves to laugh, so An Idiot Abroad is the best option for my husband and I to sit, and just die laughing at. The show matches wit, with the goofiness of a candid camera show, and just attempts to torture the said “idiot”. Ricky Gervais is one of the mad men behind the scenes, so you know it was a level of humor that can’t be beat.

Happy Travels, even from the couch 😉

travelspiration