What does traveling mean to you?

Saturday 19 July 2014
houses 2

I used to plan my trips with military precision. I carried a pile of paper with every tourist attraction, bus/train schedule, restaurant (complete with asterisk and feedback) scribbled on them...... God forbid I should miss a church, gallery or important ruins. Preparation and research began months prior to my journey akin to writing a post grad dissertation. Thinking back, I felt sorry for the poor soul who had the misfortune to accompany me on my grand adventure because it was like doing a month long relentless marathon with an overzealous traveler.

Pretty church started to look like another. It didn't matter if it was the longest, biggest, widest, narrowest......or that it was the most incredible gothic/medieval/baroque/whatchamacallit known to mankind, I was getting to the point of saturation.

A couple of decades after my initial O.E (overseas experience) and many subsequent trips, I've done a 180 turn around. These days, all I can manage is my passport, smartphone, boarding pass and wallet. I "sort of" have an idea what I'll be doing the next day but wandering aimlessly, getting lost, people watching and making friends are the tall orders of the day. I have trouble recalling impressive buildings but my fondest memories have been a picnic under a tree with fruits and bread I picked up from the market, taking the longest route from Eze to the bottom of the hill while my husband and Lil L cheered me on (bad knees + downhill  = BAD idea), meeting various individuals who have enriched my life one way or another..........

Traveling has become a way of collecting memories and stories. What about you? What does traveling mean to you?


  1. As me and my boyfriend are from different countries, and neither of us live in our home country, most of the travelling we do is to visit our families, every second time in Finland and every other time it's Malta. For the Malta trips I do the planning and my boyfriend who knows the places works as my guide, and the other way round when we visit Finland. This way we both get to explore new places, and it works awesome for us!

  2. I'm sort of over the whole cathedral/ruins/art gallery thing. I might plan a jaunt to a couple of architectural wonders, but my travels now mostly revolves around people and food, lots of local food.

  3. I think I do a mix of both... I do plan my trips with visits to specific attractions/etc, but I also allow for some wandering/exploring/free-for-all... but I find a lot of my trips revolve around food.

    i love sprungli!!! i used to eat their eclairs almost every day when I was visiting my sister in Zurich.

  4. Just beautiful photographs. So lovely! I've become much more laid back about travelling since we bought our old VW, Dorothy. We wander wherever the mood takes us and spend a lot of time just mooching around, drinking, eating and people watching. It suits us perfectly :-) Lynne x

  5. Traveling to me means being able to immerse in the culture of the destination. I tend to start off doing the tourist-y things but then taper off to something more off the beaten path. It doesn't necessarily have to involve food but I suppose a large part of one's culture IS food. I really don't like wandering around aimlessly, I feel more stressed out. I'd much rather have most things meticulously planned out while taking into account some time to just lounge around.

  6. I think there is room for both extremes of approach - I find a little planning and pre-reading helps save time by focussing on essential sightseeing and I enjoy it but there has to be time to relax and go with the flow too. I never discount the 'tourist' sights - there is something very moving to me about visiting a site that has enthralled millions before me - but you are right that often our fondest holiday memories are of leisurely meals with loved ones or new friends. Susan, London

  7. As much as I love visiting planned destinations, the best experiences I've had abroad involved the least planning. It's impossible to predict who you're going to meet and what else you'll see, what else you'll learn. The best way to experience a country's culture is to stray a little bit off the beaten path...

  8. I love that these days you just let the day take you where it will. I like to meticulously plan every detail, what we can cram into a day, although It hunk sometimes the best days are those which end up unexpectedly - like when I was in NYC and a friend and I spontaneously went to Aloe Blacc - one of the best nights out!

  9. Amazing photos as always.
    I'm a rubbish traveller! Always over pack and lazy looking around a city - I always get side tracked by coffee shops and bars!

  10. Travel is about connecting to family and friends and building new memories as we grow older. I used to be an uber planner but similarly try to enjoy myself though my experiences are mostly based around food and one major site! Ok it's mostly travel around food...

    little luxury list formerly Chic 'n Cheap Living

  11. I can so relate to this. We're actually planning our anniversary trip to Canada (first time for us!), and while I'm trying to nail down all the logistics so that we have smooth sailing getting from place to place, I can't wait to just walk around, hand-in-hand and explore. And lot's of bistro sitting. Haha. You're so right: it's those seemingly small things that become the most cherished memories.



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