Before I joined the travel blogging community, I would read travel blogs and articles religiously.
I would scour Instagram to find my next dream destination and imagine myself enjoying a pastel pink sunset whilst on a paddle board. However now that I’m apart of the travel blogger community, there is something that I have noticed.
Many travel bloggers focus on providing destination tips and reviews, allowing you to live vicariously through them. They post the most amazing pictures of themselves in the best destinations wearing the best bikinis in front of the best waterfalls. But one thing I have noticed, is that so few of these travel bloggers talk about the reality of travelling and how it makes them feel.
Finding a new perspective on travel
I started travelling solo because it was the next step in my mental health recovery. I needed to take a big leap in order for me to reach the next stage in my mental health, so I stepped out of my comfort zone and started to tick things off my travel bucket list.
Things were going great for a while, I was clocking up the air miles and ticking off my travel bucket list at lightning speed. What I wasn’t doing however, was experiencing travel the way I had originally set out to.
I realised, after heading to China with the Mental Health Foundation, that I needed to change the way I was looking at my travel experiences. I needed to find a balance between seeing the world and experiencing the world.
Don’t just travel for the sake of travelling
I find myself actually feeling sorry for some travel bloggers, who now have so many opportunities that they find themselves hopping from destination to destination. I’m sure they don’t want my sympathy, but for me, I know I would be missing out on a huge part of why I started travelling in the first place.
To find balance, peace and to find out what I’m capable of.
For me, I want a slower pace of travel. I want to spend some quality time with a destination, not just head there to tick it off my travel bucket list.
For me, every destination needs to have an effect on me, I need to have some sort of emotional connection to it to make it worth it. Whether that is a feeling of calm, a feeling of empowerment or just having learned something about the world.
We have all the time in the world – use it
We are a generation of fast consumers, we want as much information as possible in as little time as possible and this applies to travel as well. We want to experience a destination fully in just a week and then move on to the next place.
Even in that week, we try and squash as much sightseeing and restaurant tasting in as possible, but that destination isn’t going anywhere. You can always go back to it again later in life. Not to mention, you’ll always see a destination differently depending on the person you are in that moment. So even if you don’t click with a place straight away, there’s nothing to say future you won’t love it.
You have your entire life to see the world, but just seeing it isn’t enough to make travel life changing. Slow things down, even if you only have a weekend in a destination, schedule in some down time to just wander and take everything in. Take a day off from being a tourist and just be a local.
I’m always interested in hearing about other people’s travel habits. Do you head to destinations to tick them off your travel bucket list? Or do you make sure to immerse yourself in the location and culture?