While planning my upcoming trip to Montréal (leaving tomorrow!) some thoughts occurred to me. One being: “Why am I not going somewhere warm?!” But, I haven’t really planned anything (except how to get there and where I’m staying), and most of my friends at work think I’m
crazy “brave” for going somewhere alone, for a week. Through these conversations, and in my own experiences, I’ve noted some characteristics of the traveler…
You might be a traveler when… Your bag is a backpack, and you carry it on your back.
Rolling suitcases are for business people in airports. Travelers ensure all of their belongings transport quickly, easily, and efficiently on their person. And they have the sore shoulders to prove it.
You might be a traveler when… You only bring one pair of shoes.
The ones on your feet! Even if they are snow boots. Hey, there is no room for extra shoes in that backpack.
You might be a traveler when… You sleep in a bunk bed, in a room with 4+ strangers.
Minimum. Whenever I mention that I stay in hostels, I typically get two questions: “Have you seen the movie Hostel?” and “Where do you change clothes?” There is no privacy, hardly any quiet, and not boring. But also – it’s cheap. That’s a win!
You might be a traveler when… You book your transportation to your destination, and your accommodation there, and just kinda go.
Traveling tends to be more about the journey than what you do once you get there. Yes, I want to see and do all the things but I don’t know what those things are yet.
You might be a traveler when… You take trips and not vacations.
Traveling is kinda hard work; I hesitate to consider it “relaxing.” Staying at home in my bed would be easier. To a traveler, traveling is a mandatory, often times intense, experience. It’s about exploration and discovery of a new place (and yourself). Poolside piña coladas are typically not included.
You might be a traveler when… People ask you about your upcoming trip, and you’re not sure how to respond.
“Are you excited?!” my mother and a couple friends might ask pre-trip. I don’t know – am I? Sure, a traveler looks forward to the next trip, but excited? I don’t know. A traveler needs to go, there is a deep-seated desire to explore the world around her. Whether that elicits excitement, or is a feeling that you care to explain to any person who asks, is up to the individual traveler.
There are many ways to experience a place. But, in my mind, “travel” does not always come with a daiquiri on the beach (but, that wouldn’t be too bad eh?). Travel should push you, pull you, mold you. Travel is good for the soul. Exploration is essential. However you do it, just go.
“Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.” -Anatole France
Food for thought.