Feb 14, 2017 / By Shyla Esko Bare
I have always enjoyed international travel. From my first trip abroad, when I dropped out of University to travel in Australia. On that trip I faced challenges I never expected. And a few times I debated packing it in and flying home. But, the more I traveled, the more I discovered ways to fall in love
with the experience – even when I woke up to bugs in my bed. Or when I missed my bus because a taxi took me to the wrong station. Or when I ordered nice sounding food, only to get mystery meals that I could barely eat. How do I love
travel when it all goes “wrong?” Here are 3 ways to fall in love with travel.
#1 – Embrace the Unexpected
One of the great things about travel is to not actually know what is going to happen. I am a planner, so this was a tough lesson to learn. When I first started traveling, I hated it when everything did not go as I had planned. And believe, me things happen. For instance, transport strikes that kept me from leaving cities when I planned. Or sometimes I loved a place more than I expected, so wanted to stay longer – but felt I couldn’t since it was not to plan.
With time, and many unexpected adventures under my belt, I learned to use my itinerary as only a guide. Once I did that, I was free to have some of the best experiences by mistake. Getting off a train at the wrong station was no longer disastrous – it was now a fun adventure. I now love unexpected serendipitous moments
that often are my favorite times of a trip.
I will admit, it helped to have a travel partner that enjoys winging it on a trip. My husband, Dan, rarely makes plans and he coaxed me into making less. At first, I thought we could not travel together, but now I love it
#2 – Let Go of Your Baggage
On my first trip I traveled with a huge backpack, duffel bag, day-pack, and handbag.
I struggled carrying all my bags. Within days, my back was sore. And I spent a considerable amount of time worried about “my stuff.” On that trip, I actually hated moving from city to city as it was a hassle.
One of the best things I learned when traveling long term to many countries, was to lighten the load. The less things I set off with, the less I worry about. It also lets me run for a train in Paris – and make it. My big lesson here, was learning that if I need something I did not pack, I can get it abroad. And I do love shopping overseas.
#3 – Love the Local Ways
If you want things on vacation to be like they are when you are at home… then stay home. I go on vacation to experience different ways of life. Delving into different cultures can be magical as well as educational. I found life-styles around the world that have impressed me and left me dreaming of living there. I have also experienced conditions I found harsh, repressive, and even saddening. But these have taught me about what I can appreciate from where I grew up in the USA.
I cringe every time I hear a traveler say “We do this better where I am from.”
And yes, I have heard that said. I don’t see better or worse when I travel. I simply love the differences.
A great way to interact with locals when traveling is through Servas International
. It is a worldwide travel club that promotes world peace through cultural exchanges. Through Servas
I have fallen in love with countries
and cultures I never expected too.
If you love to travel share your experiences by using the hashtag #Love2Travel
. And join the Facebook group Wild Spirit Travelers
. There you can share photos, tips, and magical experiences that you loved on your vacation.
By Shyla Esko Bare, 14-February-18 ©www.WildSpiritTravel.com
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