Find value in each place you go by opening your eyes and mind to the possibilities and beauty around you.
Dear Judgemental Traveler,
I know, I know. You have your favorite places to visit. And you have your least favorite places. We all do because we’ve all got opinions, for better or worse.
Yet, it is one thing to rank places by your own preferences (i.e. “I like Croatia first, and then Colombia, then Turkey…” and so on an so forth) and another thing entirely to deem a place unworthy or distasteful with just one visit, one perspective, and/or one experience.
You mustn’t be too quick to judge a place badly simply because there are too many crowds, too many vendors, not enough activities, and/or not enough interesting food options (or any other reasons you can think of).
Sure, crowds, for example, can be a pain in the ass, but that also means there is something worth appreciating at that particular place. And if you can’t find it within the crowds, then take yourself out of the masses and venture down alleyways or forest corridors where fewer people congregate.
Talking to locals and asking for their advice and recommendations provides another way to travel more deeply in a particular location and experience it in a different way.
But, what’s perhaps most important is to enjoy an area by allowing it to thrill you, as Ines so wisely stated.
There is something new, exciting, and interesting to discover in every single place you go–even in your own backyard. In order to access this fresh perspective, you need to widen your gaze, figuratively and literally.
Take the time to travel slowly and open your eyes and mind wide as you look around, observing a color in a new way or the arch of a building with a new admiration. If changing your perspective in such a way wasn’t possible, there wouldn’t be so many poets, writers, and artists in this world.
So next time you want to bemoan an area’s massive crowds (I know I have!) or uncleanliness or grassroots vendor operation, take a moment and look past this initial, superficial observation.
Look deeper, in yourself and in the world around you, for the gem–that thrill–that’s surely there. Allowing yourself to do this will make whatever trip you take worth it every time.
To finding value everywhere,
P.S. Do you have a travel question you’d like me to answer, or a travel topic you’d like me to cover? Email me and let me know–I’ll feature it on a future Travel Quick Tip post!
Featured photo location: Plitvice Lakes National Park