Travel is exhilarating, for a lot of reasons. While we can’t travel currently, the memory of some of the little joys of travel come to mind:
- Scanning the departure board at the airport. As I look for the right gate for my departure, there are places listed which I have yet to see and can enjoy considering.
2. Take off: as the plane accelerates and takes off, there is that rush of adrenaline. My destination awaits, and take off brings it closer. The world can melt away while I head to the clouds.
3. Getting a passport stamp: on an international trip, that moment of watching my passport get another stamp makes it real that I’m in a new country.
4. Welcome drink at the destination: okay, not all destinations provide a drink when you walk into the lobby, but many tropical resorts do. Whether a glass of champagne, or resort-specific cocktail, the party begins with that first drink.
5. Checking out my room and its amenities. The bed, linens, bathroom amenities, the view, the room service menu; finding the unexpected in my home-away-from home.
6. Seeing the iconic landmark I’ve dreamed about. I still remember my first view of the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty and the Coliseum. Let’s be honest, the landmarks are part of why we traveled this far; how great is it to be there in person?
7. Learning the local culture: how does this destination differ from home? Just going to New York City from the South I found cultural differences, so what will I find in the next destination that differs from home?
8. Sampling the local food: who knew that olive oil gelato was delicious? That’s just one of the unexpected culinary surprises from my travels. I’m always surprised by people who select American chain restaurants when overseas as enjoying the local cuisine is an exciting part of the experience.
9. Trying the language: even if I don’t know the language, I try to learn a few words like “hello”, “thank you” and “please” before I go. Sometimes my pronunciation is off, but I’ve found that most people appreciate the attempt to use their language.
10. Using foreign currency: it may be confusing but how better to feel like you’re not at home than paying with a different currency?
11. Waking in a new land: the first morning in a new location begins with the anticipation and excitement to see it. I came all this way to experience the destination; today is my first day, so let’s get going!
12. Getting out of my comfort zone: a different language, currency, food, dress. . . these factors are pulling me out of my comfort zone, but isn’t that part of the point of travel?
13. Making new friends: at the cruise dining table, on the beach, around the pool, on a tour. Through these experiences, I have met people with shared common interests from around the world. It’s a joy to maintain contact with them through social media, and in some cases, to even meet again on another trip.
14. Buying souvenirs: I souvenir shop at a local pharmacy and grocery store. I’m assured of genuine articles, and usually the prices are better too.
15. Wandering and exploring: aside from the planned excursions to get the most out of the destination, I also allow time to just wander and explore local neighborhoods. Getting lost is okay, too, since I make certain to have the address of my accommodations.
Bonus point: While every destination I have visited provides fantastic experiences, it also brings a stronger appreciation for home, when I return.