What Kind of Travel Excites You?

I was complaining to my wife the other day that we simply haven’t gone “anywhere” lately. She promptly reminded me that this year we’ve been to Florida, North Carolina, and San Diego.  Somehow it felt like those trips didn’t count.  It has caused me to ponder the question, “What kind of travel excites you?”

Angkor Wat

Sunrise over Angkor Wat…..Yes Please

It had never occurred to me that some trips simply wouldn’t be exciting enough to count as an exciting trip.  Don’t get me wrong here, I love traveling and going to those locations was a blast, however none of them seemed to “count” as a valid vacation.  It further confirmed that I am a Travel Snob.

Reflecting on my snobbery has caused me to think about the requirements for me to be excited about a trip.  Check them out and let me know what you think.  Am I crazy?

Blood Pressure Must Rise

For most people trying something new causes them to be nervous when they do something for the first time.  Booking a trip to Asia with my wife in tow less than a year after we had been married definitely fit the bill here.  Some of my in-laws were demanding that we cancel the trip and that they might even cover the sunk cost of our flights.  After I booked the flight at midnight I went to bed but didn’t fall asleep forever.  My heart was racing and my mind was wandering about putting it all together.

You Gotta Leave the USA

playing dominos

When else do you get a chance to compete with local Haitians playing dominoes?

I love America.  This place is amazing.  You get free refills on your Mountain Dew, paper towels abound in our bathrooms, and you can almost always drink the water.  Traveling within the USA is easy because you know that you English will get you anywhere.  The menus will be easy to read, and you’re never far from a million chain restaurants.  These are huge benefits to most people, and sometimes I feel that way, but for the most part a trip outside the USA gets me more excited!

Leaving America puts all of those feelings behind you.  Of course it provides more challenges when ordering from a menu that you don’t understand.  Just look around the restaurant and order what someone else has on their plate.  Visiting locations like this will provide experiences that you’ll never get anywhere else.  These feelings of vulnerability make you think harder, and appreciate more of what you have.

Another Pin On the Map

It’s no mystery that I’m counting the number of countries, states, continents, and basically anything else that you can count.  Sure it is a competition.  Life is a competition, and everyone wants to win.  Seeing others who go to new places causes me to want to expand my horizons and put a new pin on the map.  Visiting the same old places doesn’t get me excited.  It doesn’t mean I won’t return to the same places, but I simply won’t be as excited the second time.

Stamps in the Passport

This isn’t too different from the “Pin on the Map” idea listed above, but flipping though an empty passport is boring.  Seeing a single stamp on 25 pages is embarrassing. Flipping though an old passport brings back memories of border crossings and things that happened as I embarked upon new territories.

New Foods

I still dream about eating another Nutella crepe on a park bench while pondering the beauty of the Eiffel Tower.  What about eating a delicious pizza on the Grand Canal in Venice?  Been there and done that.  Those memories make my vacations memorable when you can associate your taste buds with travel.

Architecture

architecture

Tyler and I in Tikal (circa 2007)

This is a bit of a broad category, but traveling to places with interesting architecture can make my trips much more fun.  I want to visit buildings, castles, temples, and more every time I take a vacation.  I often find myself exploring post offices, courthouses, and other municipal buildings because of their beauty.

One day in Moscow I spent the day exploring all of their remarkable subway stops, and you should too.  Each stop isn’t the scariest place on Earth like the ones in NYC.  They’re adorned with statues, fountains, paintings, murals, mosaics, and arches.

Wonders of the World-(Natural and Man-Made)

Heading down to Peru sounds exciting, yet hiking to the top of Machu Picchu so I can watch the sunrise from one of the most picturesque spots in South America is over the top. Somehow adding a visit to a huge wonder of the world can really get me excited.  Visiting Egypt would be incredible to visit, but wouldn’t be the same if I missed the Great Pyramids.

Factories

The idea behind the “How Stuff is Made” show is awesome.  The problem is that I have a hard time getting excited about it sitting in my living room.  That’s because they can’t bring all of the five senses to you.  Walking through a chocolate factory when you can smell melting chocolate and even give it a taste at the end holds my attention much longer than the tube.  I love visiting factories and learning how things are made.

History

Walking through Gettysburg could give me chills.  I love visiting war sites and museums that are dedicated to historical events.  I’m always down to visit these locations.

What Kind of Travel Excites You?

Everyone is different.  Some people are excited about trips to WalMart, and I guess that’s cool.  They know what they like, and it works for them.  I want to know what makes a trip exciting for you!

 

 

 

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One Response to What Kind of Travel Excites You?

  1. Lance says:

    For us, what really makes the trip a “vacation” is proximity to a beach, the weather (warm) compared to home, some sort of exciting tour or adventure (e.g. zip lining, Segways, etc.), and, as you mentioned, unique foods. I love leaving the country, but there are quite a few places within the U.S. that I haven’t experienced.

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