I’m always so glad to home to my own bed and the next morning, I’m thinking about my next trip. What’s it like for you? How do you know if you’re an Adventurer or an Explorer or a Traveller? I know because of the list below. You may have more to add. Some of these might not fit with you. But I guarantee that some of these will sit with you deeply and connect with you.
1. Planning the trip is gets you excited and revved up for travelling
Whether you make it up as you go along, go through a travel agent to book it all or are part of a tour, it’s all in the pre trip stuff that gets the juices flowing. What route will I take, where will I stay, who will I meet, will there be toilets and so on. The exploring of what is ahead of you is so much fun. I remember travelling to Burma on an Intrepid Trip and was buddied up with another woman of a similar age. We got along well without living in each others pockets. When you fart on the en suite and know your new travel buddy heard it – the barriers are dropped and a different friendship begins.
2. You’re not uncomfortable if you get lost
I have an amazing sense of direction and rarely get lost and if I do, I’m happy to ask someone ‘which way to….’ ‘where is the….’. SOme trips take me on detours I wouldn’t have expected. I love the serendipitous nature of travel – Not sort for but desirable discoveries. Venice can be one of those challenging places to navigate but yet each time, I manage to get to where I need to because of….perhaps it’s intuition. But if I got lost, there was always someone to guide me to where I needed to go. Having faith in the compassion of people gets you a long way.
3. You can’t see a travel magazine, documentary or even a plane overhead without a strong urge to travel
Every time I hear that lovely English voice of Sir David Attenborough, I get tingles to travel. I used to be my dream to be his PA and travel the world. Now I want to be him and explore and discover every corner of the world. If I pass a travel agent, I stop and see what flights are on sale. If pick up a travel magazine, I’m enthralled about others adventures. Then the research begins – where shall I go next, how much does it cost, who would like to come with me and so on. The urge to travel is ingrained.
4. It’s always about the journey, not the destination
Ah we hear that so often but it is true. Half the fun is getting there. It’s when you arrive that a different travelling experience happens. Meeting someone on the Metro, chatting to a businessman in an elevator, ordering your lunch and sharing stories with waiting staff – it’s the fun of doing and being rather than getting to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
5. You travel light and efficiently
I travelled to Egypt and Jordan with 10kgs, one pair of shoes and not much else. It was winter which meant I had some bulky warm clothes but it was easy and travelling light, mean more treasures to buy. That = rugs! I’ve been known to travel to Bali with a daypack and if I need something like a t-shirt or shampoo – you can buy it there. As a regular traveller, I know that I’ll wear that t-shirt for 2 – 4 days depending on temperatures. I know I’ll fall in love with those black shorts and they’ll be my first choice every morning. I have my essentials and you’ll find that in other posts. But travel light as possible – it saves heartache and for some – a bad back.
6. Your luggage is simple and probably a travelpack / backpack rather than a suitcase
I have a gorgeous Samsonite suitcase which I bought recently for a long trip to Europe and Iceland. I was leading the trip so needed to keep with me some sensitive information and needed to know my case was secure and solid. Otherwise, I take a One Planet wheelie bag for trips. For shorter trips, it’s carry on. I do have a bit of a fetish about luggage and own a variety of shapes, styles. volumes and capacities but have to say that I use all of them for different occasions. For new travellers, borrow first, see how things go and then buy the best that you can afford. You really do get what you pay for. For backpacks and travelgear, I personally go to One Planet – Australian owned and made.
7. You want to hang out with the locals rather than the tourists
I’m always surprised how people head to Shopping Centres in countries when there are local farmers, villages and communities nearby. I can visit a shopping centre in my hone town and frankly, there isn’t much different from country to country. But people – that’s different. Walking through villages, chatting, smiling, sharing is what its all about for me.
8. Itinerary? Blah – make it up as you go along
I’ve done my fair share of group tours and I’ve always enjoyed them. But there is nothing like exploring on your own terms. Staying longer when others have left or getting there earlier when no one else is around. Soak up those opportunities to live in the moment without an agenda or itinerary to adhere to – they can be rare.
9. Destinations off the beaten tourist track push your buttons
I can technically say I’ve been to the USA (Hawaii) but it’s not somewhere that is on my hit list. I consider it’ll be a place I’ll visit when I’m in my 70’s. The only attractions are Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountains and so on. If it’s popular – you probably won’t see me there unless I’m in transit. My favourite countries in the last few years have been Burma and Iceland. So much more than I expected and felt blessed to meet the locals and their customs, try their food (their beer) and immerse myself in everything that they have to offer.
10. A camera is your number one travel item
I only use my iPhone 6+ and I’ve done an online editing course which makes my pictures even better. If you lose a charger or cord they are easily replaceable (except in Jordan and Egypt as they are considered expensive, so mostly Samsung there). I upload to the Cloud whenever I can and if I’m travelling with a computer I’ll dump them onto the desktop as well. Yes an iPhone doesn’t do great night photos or close-ups but the technology is getting better and frankly, carrying around chargers, lenses, camera bodies, memory cards etc. etc. is less time I can be meeting locals.
11. The unknown inspires you
Ah Iceland. Can’t talk enough about it. What I thought it would be like and what it was were two very different things. From green valleys to icebergs, then underground hot pools. Oh and the food, the people, the vistas. Again, a serendipitous experience – not expected but so desirable.
12. New country different food and cultures yearn within you
Now I didn’t try the minke whale in Iceland, nor the puffin – I do have my boundaries. But I did try grasshoppers in Thailand recently but only because I met an American woman who was sharing. No they don’t taste like chicken and yes they tickled as they went down my throat. I’ve only ever got sick travelling from eating two things – spaghetti bolognese in Bombay (Mumbai) and samosas in Arusha in Tanzania. Both made me very ill but since then – nothing. I’m more prudent and happy to eat off the streets and vendors if I see it cooked in front of me. Plus the culture. Drinking kava with a family of teachers or in Burma eating lunch with school children. Ahhh, that’s what travel is about.
13. Scrolling through Netflix looking for travel documentary and travel shows is a pastime
Sometimes I have to just not look at doco’s or I’ll ge the itchy bug to travel when I can’t afford it or don’t have enough holidays accrued. Then there are days I just binge on everything that is available about travel. It’s a great way of seeing what’s around and places you can visit, give you ideas and new adventures.
14. An adventure hasn’t finished before you’re thinking of your next one
So as I enter Jordan across the Red Sea, I was looking over to Israel and was planning how I could visit that country on another trip. Syria to the north is in turmoil and I’m no hero so wasn’t go anywhere near that country. But it doesn’t stop. I’m always thinking of the next adventure, the next adventure. Hoping it’s Cuba in 2017.
15. Being somewhere totally new and different is when you feel you are truly happy.
I’m blessed that my work has me in forests, mountains, lakes, oceans and more but there is never enough. I live in a street where literally, kangaroos hop down the street and cockatoos line up on my front deck waiting for their seed. Even in my own home, I found peace and joy. I chose to live here because it connects me with the outdoors and the environment and grounds me about who I am and why I’m here.
Now it’s your turn. Share what makes you travel, tips, parts of you that yearn for more adventures. Write a comment below.