I love to travel. That said, the experiences I have on my travels make or break the trips. I’ve been on tours which required me to sit for hours on buses, expected to listen, or at least stay quiet, while an expert guide told the group all about the places we were visiting. Some of it I read in an expert guide-book or on the Internet before I came. Much of it was new information–quite interesting for the first twenty minutes. After hours and hours over days and days of listening, however…. Perhaps it’s because I’m a visual learner. I forget most of what I hear.
When I remember my favorite trips or times I enjoyed most on my vacations, they were those during which I met people from the area or strayed away from the must see sights to visit a mountain path, a country pub, or a tiny village where tourists rarely flock.
Also, it seems to me I remember every one of the people with whom I’ve talked personally in far-flung locations, each of us smiling a lot, gesturing, and using what little of the other person’s language we knew. So what if we didn’t understand every word? We were both proud of the parts where we connected. If it was a person who spoke English and could give me inside info about his or her part of our world, well–fantastic.. I brought home three e-mail addresses of new friends from Ireland, and I made practically a photo essay of the bed-and-breakfast proprietor in the English Cotswold wearing her gardening gloves while working in her lovely flower gardens.
Have you ever set at a communal table outside a pub in Munich, drinking beer and eating German sausages and been joined by a couple from Austria who wanted to practice their English on you? A revelation to me–people in Europe pop across borders for short trips like we cross to other states for little getaways.
Here is a link to the post of a virtual writer buddy. He describes the kind of travel experience I’d like to have–off the beaten path in the Fiji Islands. Wow, what a photo he included! http://venturegalleries.com/blog/driving-the-danger-zone-the-authors-collection/
Enjoy your trips, however you like to travel.