I’m traveling this week on a business trip. I’m staying in Atlanta, Georgia for a couple of days. This is a short trip, but it reminded me of the things I love about traveling. Taking a trip is a fantastic way to stretch yourself outside your comfort zone. Traveling is always such an adventure because regardless of how far you are going there are so many unknowns involved. I like my routines at home, but I also enjoy the opportunities I get to travel. It broadens my horizons and makes me feel more alive.
Here are several things I love about traveling to new places.
You can call me crazy, but I actually like airports. I love hearing the roar of the big jets and feeling the anticipation in the air. Sure there are lines at the ticket counter and to get through security, but I’m willing to pay this penance to get to travel. It is absolutely worth it to me. Although I’ve logged thousands of hours in the air, I still get a thrill from flying! Airports are the portals to adventure so I hold them in high regard.
I also love people-watching at airports. There is such a mass of humanity especially at airports that have a large number of international flights. The bigger the airport the more fun it is to grab a seat and watch everyone go by.
2. Rental cars
I don’t buy new cars, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy driving them! I love getting a nice rental car occasionally. It is fun to drive something different. They say that cars are an American obsession and an extension of our personalities. I guess getting a rental car gives me the chance to try on a whole new persona for a few of days. I’d call that some radical self-improvement!
Today, when the courtesy bus let us out at the rental lot, I got to pick whichever car I wanted from what was available. What fun! I love the freedom of such a choice. Rental cars are definitely a fun aspect of traveling!
3. A change of scenery
In America, the landscape varies greatly. We have mountains, oceans, forests, deserts, plains, and swamps. However, when you are in the same place everyday, it is easy to grow accustomed to your surroundings. I often find that I don’t even notice the beauty and uniqueness of my local area. Getting out of town helps me to open my eyes again. I take notice because things are different.
I love how traveling jars me out of my daily trance. It stimulates my powers of observation and forces me out of my ruts. I see things anew and experience a fuller, richer life. The change of scenery a trip brings about is certainly welcome and refreshing.
I’ve stayed at some really nice places and I’ve also been in some dumps over the years. Either way, hotels and motels appeal to me and my lazy side. There is nothing better than leaving your room in shambles in the morning only to return later the same afternoon to find the bed made and everything tidied up. The miracle is that all this happens and you so rarely see any of it.
Another thing I love about hotels is that it puts us all on a level playing field. Everyone is out of their usual environment without their normal backdrop that creates so much of the facade of our lives. It is kind of like making kids were school uniforms. You don’t know if the guy or gal next to you is rich or poor. Their room is identical to yours. This removes some of the social barriers and frees people to interact more naturally.
5. Living out of a suitcase
Okay, if you don’t already think I’m crazy, you probably do now. Yes, I actually think it is fun to live out of a suitcase. It forces a sort of simplicity upon you. You have to carefully choose what to take and then live with those choices no matter what. To me, it adds to the excitement! It also makes me realize just how much crap I have that I don’t really need.
If I can live comfortably out of a suitcase in a small hotel room, then why do I need so much more stuff when I’m at home? An interesting question to ponder, but that is really for another article.
6. Local restaurants
When I go to a new city, I like to ask a local for suggestions for a place to eat. In this day and age of national chains, it is awesome to find a quaint little place that is really unique. This is just what I did today and it turned out great. In fact, I am very seldom let down. This evening I got to experience The Feed Store in College Park, GA. It was fantastic! I highly recommend it if you get the chance to visit.
The very best places I have ever eaten, I found by asking a local. It doesn’t matter whether you are 50 or 5000 miles from home. You will exponentially increase your dining pleasure when traveling if you seek out those establishments off the beaten path.
7. Being a guest
Whenever and wherever I travel, I love experiencing the hospitality so generously offered at my destination. I’ve been to many different states and several countries. In all my travels, I have found that people genuinely enjoy having guests in their city. They love bragging about their community and sharing with others what they love about their hometown. This is probably one of the very best things about traveling.
I truly love being the guest. I like to see how it brings out the best in people. Sharing a small piece of their community with out-of-towners seems to help remind people of why they live where they do. It is always fun being the guest and giving others the chance to show off what they love most.
Traveling is always an adventure.
It doesn’t matter whether my trip takes me far or near. I love traveling. It is a passion of mine. I hope that some of my enthusiasm for adventure has rubbed off on you today. I also hope you’ll recall some of my ramblings and find a little more enjoyment on your next trip!
Photo by Cubbie_n_Vegas