It’s finally 2018, and although new year’s resolutions are becoming passé, it doesn’t hurt to learn from maxims that seemingly withstand the test of time.
Forget leaving all your responsibilities behind to travel. Before impulsively booking those flight tickets, maybe it would be wiser to pay off debts and settle your obligations first. When everyone seems to be traveling—this we all know from constantly updated 24/7 social media feeds—it’s easy to fall into the pressure of constantly basking in a tropical paradise, sipping on exquisite wine in a vineyard, or frolicking in picturesque destinations halfway around the world.
Travel, with the rise of social media and spending power, is ever-present in seemingly everyone’s agenda. And with that, comes good reason. Traveling allows you to see the world’s beauty and thrills, learn new things, gain friendships, and expand your mindset, among many other benefits. But when travel has become a competition of status, it’s important to keep a good head on your shoulders.
This 2018, instead of getting addicted to likes on your travel photos and videos, travel with a sense of humility, contentment, and awareness. Switch up your perspective and learn from these timeless mantras to get the best travel experience possible.
“Quality trumps quantity.”
Travel is not a competition. If you treat it as such, it will lose all its meaning.
Endless travel bucket lists and long must-try travel listicles can be fun, but you don’t need to check every item in your list in order to have a good time. Have you ever come back from a trip feeling more exhausted than rejuvenated? Then maybe you need to put more emphasis on immersing in your surroundings at an ideal pace rather than tiring yourself with frenetic sightseeing.
This year, instead of briefly staying in various destinations, try extending the duration of your trip in one place to fully absorb what it’s like to live there. In doing so, you may have more stories to cherish and an even more fruitful stay.
While traveling, get more bang for your buck by completely immersing in your surroundings.
You don’t fly overseas just to glue your eyes on your phone and see what other people are doing. Give your eyes a rest from screen-induced eye strain and relief your vision with your new environment. Strike up conversations with locals, go people watching, or simply enjoy the foreign setting. Be open and brave—see where your body takes you without any distractions from gadgets.
Traveling is about seeing people, places and things in the flesh—don’t waste your time focusing on pixels from your screen while you’re at it.
“Experiences over things.”
People who often travel, unless born with a silver spoon in their mouths, are usually precarious when it comes to their spending habits. These travellers limit material purchases in order to afford invaluable travel experiences.
If your 2018 agenda consists of numerous travels, make sure you adjust your spending habits to accommodate them. Unfortunately, you must let go of certain things in order to afford certain experiences. Let’s say, instead of eating out often, you can cook your own meals and use that extra cash to help fund your trips.
On another note, it’s foolish to listen to people who encourage you to spend all of your money to travel, especially when these people don’t care about what you might have to suffer because of it. Don’t hesitate to buy material items if these are good investments, and don’t forget to pay the bills and settle debts as well. In short: Spend more on experiences but don’t break the bank to travel!
Besides taking pleasure in picturesque sceneries, indulging in flavorful cuisine, and participating in cultural activities, traveling is also an opportunity for you to give back to local communities in need.
You don’t necessarily have to volunteer for a social organization. You can even help run hostels, teach a language, or even plant crops in an organic farm. Doing so will not only help the community, but will also help you gain more friends and have a different perspective from that of a typical tourist’s.
Before you join environmental activities or a volunteering program, make sure to read up on how to do it ethically.
About the Author
Danna Peña is a Writer based in Manila, Philippines. She was previously a Social Media Specialist for a digital advertising agency and a Content Producer for a news publication. When she’s not writing about lifestyle, culture, travel and technical topics such as food safety, she dabbles in prose and poetry. Besides writing, she is deeply passionate about photography. View her travels at her blog and Instagram. For more of her writing works, view her online portfolio.