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If you want to create the perfect vacation, it's not (only) about choosing the perfect hotel, eating at the nicest restaurants, engaging in exciting activities, hitting the most beautiful beaches. There's another crucial factor that has the power to transform your vacation from being like any other to outstanding.
A few years ago, in 2017, I travelled to Scotland with a few friends I made in Finland (wait, what?). It get's even more confusing when I tell you that these friends were from Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.
But that's not the point of my story. :)
So, when I travelled in Scotland, I fell in love. The landscape is just beyond beautiful (and I'm not exaggerating!). Rugged shores, high cliffs, seething sea, roaring wind, rain... I was just so happy. But...
I'd not thought about reading a lot about Scotland beforehand.
I thought: "I'll learn a lot when I'm there! Why should I waste time learning about Scotland right now?"
This was fatal.
During my trip, I was lacking one crucial thing - or better, a certain feeling.
Another flashback: When I travelled to Hawai'i, I thought I knew a lot about the Islands. I've been a fan ever since I was a little girl and accumulated quite some knowledge (so I thought).
I used a great NationalGeographic travel guide and the internet to prepare for this upcoming adventure of a lifetime.
But one thing I didn't really do: I didn't really learn more about Hawai'i.
Once again I thought "I will learn it there".
But the truth is: You'll not find out nearly as much as you think about your travel destination during your trip.
During both my trip to Scotland and to Hawai'i I lacked one crucial factor: knowledge.
And this lead me to lack a certain feeling: connection.
I don't know about you, but I need to know more about a specific place to feel connected.
And my personal goal is to feel connected, always.
It's what I do first when I meet somebody knew. I try to figure out what we have in common, so I can connect and start a relationship.
Otherwise, it's a superficial experience.
And I *hate* superficial... (okay, that's a strong word - I really don't like superficiliaty I should say :) )
If I'd known more and felt conntected more, I'd have appreciated the culture and nature in a different way. I'd have seen it with different eyes.
What does travelling mean?
Travel means getting in touch with yourself. With your surroundings. With nature. With local communities. Traveling means to soak it all in. To be present. To be alive. I read a great sentence in a book by Tim Ferriss (Tools of Titans, Section "How to earn your freedom') some days ago: "[Meaningful travel] means cultivating a new fascination in people and places." Traveling shoudn't be about finding the best spots for pictures, or to only hang out at the beach, sipping sweet cocktails. You shouldn't visit a place far from home just to do the same things you'd do at home.
Traveling should be about connection. Connect to whatever you want. To nature, landscapes, language, culture, communities, people, history. To yourself.
By connecting with our travel destination, we show respect, we support the local community and, ultimately, we make the world a better place.
Connection is the right way to travel.
It's simple, really.
I love to connect with nature and landscapes, really think about how they formed, how long they existed, how they were shaped.
What's yours? Tell me in the comments!
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