I love to travel...but easier travel. Not difficult and frustrating. From that first camping trip to Northern Wisconsin as a small child to my recent trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with my grown children.
There is just something about traveling that makes me feel good. It stirs my soul. It is how I am and how I want to be.
I have loved traveling since I've been a kid. My parents took my sister and I on camping trips to northern Wisconsin before I was in kindergarten. That travel spot is still dear to me. I love to go to that spot to this day. I can still remember swimming at the beach, seeing a large snake swimming in the water and how the orange pushups at the camp store tasted better than anything in the world.
As I got into grade school, my parents did not travel. I suppose they were strapped for money with 3 young children, a home and home remodeling expenses. They probably bought into the notion that a family has to be sensible and not have that much fun.
Our first epic trip was to Glacier National Park, Montana when I was 15. This was in the early summer before I was going to be a freshmen in high school. My sister was one year younger and my brother was 7 years old.
The trip started with frustration and problems. The first night in northern Minnesota, there was a huge thunderstorm. Our big old tent filled with water. We were trying to sleep in pools of water. We had to delay leaving a few hours the next morning to dry out the sleeping bags at the campground laundromat dryer.
There was a massive windstorm in Western North Dakota the second night. Our tent blew down. We were barely able to stuff it back in the car in the middle of the night. We spent the rest of the night trying to sleep in the car.
My dad was tempted to turn around and go home.
The third night in central Montana was uneventful. Maybe we were going to be OK.
We got to Glacier about noon the next day. The weather the rest of our trip was glorious. It was mid June, cool and dry the rest of the week. No rain, humidity, heat or bugs.
Our luck turned to good for the rest of the trip.
The mountains, of course, were breathtaking. Each hike and drive an adventure in grand views and awe inspiring sights. I felt like I was seeing something no one had seen before.
Travel can be difficult. Not everyone can enjoy easier travel. Some people are hopelessly disorganized and chaotic. Others have no free time, being chained to jobs with no time off. Others have very little excess money, needing every dime to just survive in place.
I get that. I spent most of my adult life with a disorganized, chaotic wife, in a job with very little time off and over my head with day to day survival expenses.
Traveling was not happening for me at that time.
What I don't get is people who have the time and the means to travel, yet don't. They seem to live in fear of doing something different and seem to think that where they are is the only place.
It isn't. And seeing the beautiful travel photos and videos from other people, even if the pictures are high quality, does not equal being there.
I love to travel. I always have and I am certain I always will. But I like easier travel. What I mean is that I like to travel how I like to travel. I hate being bogged down with the excessive drama and chaos of others.
When I was married, my wife was not much of a traveler. I should have figured this out before we were married. She could not travel light to save her life. She was not a person who could not really roll with the stressful situations that travel causes.
She had to take a shower every day and put on an extensive amount of makeup every morning.
I like clean women who look great all made up. But there will be times when traveling that you need to go a few days without bathing and you really need to get up early and get going fast.
If you want to get going and do things, you can't loll about all morning.
If you are trying to drive a thousand miles in a day you have to get up in the middle of the night and get in the car and go. If you are starting an all day hike you don't need to shower first. If you are hiking and camping in the mountains, you don't need makeup.
An easier traveler may need to crawl out of bed in the middle of the night, grab an already packed bag and hop on a plane. How can you do this if your girl insists on taking a long shower and going through a minimum 45 minute makeup routine?
I felt for her. I saw how she transformed herself into a good looking woman with the use of makeup. But after I got to know her, I told her she could leave the makeup off once in awhile. I would still love her. I thought that she would just naturally want to do what I did for traveling. And that was to go when it was time to go.
So, I should have known about this. I did, but chose to ignore it.
Easier travel only works if you are alone or with people who agree with your travel goals.
I can remember being very worried about traveling with friends. I had the feeling, from watching TV shows that if you ever traveled with friends you would quickly be at each others throats.
How wrong that was. The traveling we did were some of the greatest experiences of my life.
The trips I took with friends hold some of my best memories and some of the wildest times, most laughs and certainly some of the deepest conversations. These experiences will sustain you for a lifetime.
I just cannot recommend easier travel enough.
Some good easier travel articles from some of my favorite bloggers.
How to Achieve Travel Goals - Steve Pavlina
5 Minute Travel Guide - Bold and Determined
Be well rested and healthy
Good health carries you even if you are under some stress. I took trips with friends where we drank every day for nearly a week. By the end of those trips I was beat and spent.
I thought I might never drink again.
When you are traveling it is unlikely that you will sleep as much or as well. People sleep better in their own bed. You may go to bed late, get up early, listen to someone snoring, outside noises and toss and turn.
Count on being a little more tired than usual. The new experiences will sustain you.
But you want to start your trip feeling rested and well. Similar to how you want to live your whole life.
Figure out how much money you might spend and bring at least double that. Plus have some means of accessing more if needed.
Travel is enhanced by
spending more money for the things that come up. Rather than worrying about every purchase.
Do Some Planning
Study the area you are going beforehand and have a decent understanding of the lay of the land. I love maps and knowing where I am going before I get somewhere.
Have fun planning your trip. There are ways to find less expensive flights and better deals to make traveling more affordable.
Plan out many options for what to
do on your trip. That way you have plenty to do or not do when you are
there. You can be flexible and spontaneous but with some ideas of what
to do. You don't want to waste a lot of your time on vacation
wondering what to do.
It is just so much easier to deal with a smaller amount of anything. but bring what you need. It is important to pack for the weather and what you are intending to do. You do not want to carry a lot if you don't have to, but you need to bring enough clothes that you look and feel your best.
Don't forget to bring your essential daily items too.
Do Not Bring Easily Obtainable Stuff
Do not bring things that are easy to obtain while traveling. The main thing I can think of is food. Food is everywhere. Even if you are camping, buying food is part of the fun.
Here are a few more:
Choose your traveling companions wisely
If you know the person will not be a good traveler, don't take that person.
You can always tailor the trip to the companion.
Some friends may be good to:
Some may be good with a number of those things. A wife or girlfriend you can enjoy doing a number of things with is great of course.
My kids are good with many of these things now. They can sleep until noon at home, but on a trip, they are up early and eager to explore.
You can make easier travel a part of your lifestyle with the vision of how you want to live.