How I Know I'm A Traveler At Heart
I realized something lately as I was planning out an upcoming trip, and that is that nothing in the world seems to make me happier than planning out a trip. Obviously the traveling part of a trip is the most wonderful thing in the world too, but when I get into travel planning mode, there is such a joy in me as I research where to go, the best deals I can find for planes, trains and automobiles and looking at the beautiful photos taken of the place that I will soon be in myself.
Travel is what makes me happy. It breathes life into me. I am a restless person. I get bored with my surroundings quite easily. I am always wanting to see something new and exciting and travel is the number one way for me to be able to do that. This is how I know I am a traveler at heart. Some people enjoy going on vacations just because they need a break and time to relax on a beach somewhere or have to go have some fun in Disneyland, but to me, I need more. I can't take vacations. I don't even know how to take a vacation. I am not interested in leisurely sitting somewhere when there is so much to see and do in the world. I have to fit in as much as possible to wherever I go and make the most of my adventure.
Sometimes I feel like a fraud though. I think my sights are not set wide enough on the world and then get discouraged. For example, I recently received a flight voucher from Spirit so I could fly anywhere on their network for "free." Spirit only flies within the USA, Central America and a few locations in South America. I've never been very interested in exploring much of the Americas because for some reason, not a lot of places there spoke to me like the rest of the world. But not wanting to waste this opportunity, I used my voucher to fly to the furthest location on their network, that happened to be Lima, Peru.
Now, Machu Picchu has always been something I wanted to see before I died, but it wasn't really anywhere near the top of my bucket list, and truthfully, Peru, while a lovely country, wasn't a place I was super passionate about traveling too quite yet. In my mind, I still have so much of Europe to see, all of New Zealand and Australia, South Africa, Egypt and Southeast Asia to explore. I have nothing against Peru, it just was just chosen out of a limited list of locations. So I booked the flight, paid $178 for my "free flight" (stupid fees!) and asked for time off work so I could go there in May for 11 days.
But as I did research for this trip to Peru, I wasn't discovering much happiness, but rather stress. I wasn't as entranced by Peru as I felt I should be to be going there alone for 11 days. All the information I looked up made it seem like the trip would get expensive once I factored in all the things I would want to see there. Other than thinking seeing Machu Picchu and Cuzco was going to be fabulous, I was wondering how I'd fill up the other days of my trip and researching different tours I could take to make it easier for myself. But all these tours were ridiculously expensive and I wasn't willing to spend that kind of money on a place I wasn't entirely hyped on going to in the first place.
And since Skyscanner, Google Flights, Secret Flying and The Flight Deal are all websites that I constantly check for flights almost everyday, I kept seeing potentially good deals for places I did actually want to go to and I was so conflicted as to what I should do. Do I go somewhere new that I've never been to be before, or go somewhere I've already been, but know I love with all my heart? I asked a forum of female travelers what I should do, and all of them said to go to Peru, but my heart was telling me to go back to Europe. I was so confused. Did wanting to go back to London, Paris, Iceland and Italy, all places I've been, make me less of a traveler than if I had gone to a new location?
But after talking with a friend, she assured me that just because I had already been to these places, didn't mean I couldn't explore more of it and see new things I'd missed out on before, and she was right. While I did live in London, there's always new things to find and friends to see. Paris is too big for me to have seen all of it in three short trips there. Iceland only got a couple hours out of me and deserved much, much more of a viewing. And while I've seen much of Italy, the Amalfi coast was somewhere I hadn't been yet and dearly wanted to go for much of my life. I wouldn't be any less of a traveler for experiencing more of a place I had technically been, especially since there's just something magical about Europe that can't be emulated anywhere else in the world.
And while there are still so many places I want to see in the world, I'll just be a bit patient for now and wait until I see another flight deal for those locations and hope that I can save up some more money to be able to get to there. I am very much a traveler, no matter where I go, because I am someone who wants to see the world and capture it through my camera lens and experience new cultures and food and people. I will get to Peru someday, but hopefully when it's meant to be and not forced out of convenience. For now, I'll use my days off work to go somewhere I love dearly and get excited about when planning my travel.