Inspiration thru travel, being a mindful traveler, not a tourist

I love this travel quote from Mark Twain: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

Travel is my favorite thing to do. I don’t really remember how old I was when I decided that all I wanted to do was to travel and see the world, all I know is that travel is all I think about, dream about, breath about, however, traveling has not come easy to me.

Up to June 2017 I was working in corporate America for over 18 years, in addition and depending on the corporation I was working for, his meant 3 weeks’ vacation a year, sometimes allowing me to only take 1 or 2 weeks off at a time, due to this I was frustrated and unable to fulfill my travel addiction; I mean, where can I really go 3 weeks out of the year and truly make a meaningful difference in my life and others,  other than mostly being a tourist?

Inspiring travel requires thoughtful planning; When I travel, I like to prepare myself for the new adventure, not only by researching the places, city and or countries I will be visiting, I want to make sure that when I go, I feel and act like a local, not a tourist.

I try to visit 1 to 3 new countries a year and when I choose my next destination(s); I do so by answering a couple of questions: have I been there before; how much it will cost to get/stay there; if I am traveling solo, is it a solo friendly destination; will I be/feel safe and most importantly, does/will it inspire me?

As a traveler, I want to learn, see, taste, experience as much as I can in every place I visit, for example, if I am visiting a country where a different language is spoken , I try to learn a few or a lot of words before I get there (depending on how difficult the new language is to me) and I have found for the most part, that most people will appreciate the fact that you are at least trying and will be more willing to help you out.

I have noticed during my travels and thru conversations with some American friends that when they travel abroad they believe that everywhere they go, English will be spoken, this is not always the case, so my advice for fellow travelers out there is to do yourself a favor and avoid disappointment, do your due diligence and research were you are going and prepare yourself before you get there.

Inspiration is personal to everyone, but to me travel is everything. I find nothing more invigorating, exciting and inspirational than planning the next adventure that will give me a wider view of the world we live in and thus making me a better person.

Lastly, there are 196 countries in the world, I have only visited 21, at this rate, it would take me about 58 years to visit every country if I only visited 3 new countries a year; this is not only uninspiring, it is utterly terrifying; I am trying to right this wrong and share my experiences on the way, thank you for reading my blog, stay tuned for more, until next time…

 

 

 

 

 

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