The art of traveling with less stress.
Travel planning brings out different emotions in different people. For some, the act of planning a trip is exciting, yet for others, it is a bit overwhelming, stressful, and draining.
For me, it has always brought great joy and a buzz of anticipation.
Planning does not always need to be filled with stress, trying to book expensive excursions and organizing every second of every minute. I have found that the greatest and most memorable trips are the simplest ones, complete with plenty of time to explore and experiencing new places.
To achieve a trip that is as stress-free as visiting a new country or city can possibly be, it is important to start by figuring out your must-haves and must-sees, and then plan accordingly. For example, I always like to take my time exploring big cities. It is imperative for me to have time to sit in a local café and write, eat local delicacies, and sip on tea (or an espresso). However for others, a travel must-have may include days specifically set aside for shopping or for checking out different museums and galleries.
We must always remember that travel is an amazing and privileged experience, and that not everything has to go perfectly all of the time. Instagram models and Photoshopped travel pictures often lead us to believe that our adventures must consist of perfectly curated pics and expensive destinations. This is simply not true.
Though photography provides us with a visual means of reminiscing on past memories as well as a creative outlet, it is also good to be mindful of not getting too caught up in our snapping away. Being present and submerging yourself in the culture is something you do not want to miss out on. After all, life is more of a theme park than a photoshoot.
Many travelers tell you that the worst part about traveling is the flights and layovers, but for me, these essential and unavoidable processes are part of the adventure. From 9-hour layovers to 11-hour flights, they have all been a blast. Sitting in an airport with a book or a laptop and relaxing with a coffee, wondering where the bustling people around me are headed has always been a memorable and valuable part of every trip I have gone on. If your layover is long enough, you may even be able to explore sights in the city as well. Embrace the journey and view it as part of the trip.
The essence of traveling is that it opens you up to so many different things outside of normal life. There is so much to be learned. Everywhere on earth, there is such beauty, diverse foods and customs, and amazing people—all with stories to tell. So, if we can prioritize, relax, and focus on the journey, we will all be more connected and present.