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12 Confessions Of Travelers That They Want People To Know

12 Confessions Of Travelers That They Want People To Know

1. I’m not rich, but I do watch my budget.

Most people think we must be rich to be able to travel so much. Yes we’re definitely fortunate, but we might not be rich. When we’re planning for a trip, whether a short jaunt or slow travel, we watch every dollar before we leave, taking full advantage of the latest budgeting apps. I use similar technologies during my trip, too, to make sure I’m not overspending, and I rely on guides for affordable accommodation and budget-friendly travel tips. Sometimes travel is less trains and planes, and more paper and pen.

2. I get excited but also nervous before travel

What we usually see on social media about travel are beautiful photos, with epic scenery and wide smile. But to be frank, every time before travel, we more or less feel nervous, wondering how things will go on and whether we’ve missed anything very important.

3. I like to spend my money on experiences, not things.

Travel is a choice, one that we prioritize over a million others. To be able to make this choice, we pennypinch until we have enough for the next adventure. Dropped my (still two-generations-old) iPhone? Well, a cracked screen isn’t a huge deal. New restaurant opening? Tempting, but I can eat cheaper at home.

I may not have the nicest things or the latest technology, but I have been able to rock climb in Thailand, learn to cook in Vietnam, and hike through the mountains around Macchu Picchu. Besides, who needs the newest fashion? To me, travel chic is always in.

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4. I love to make plans, but I also like to break them.

There are few things more exciting than sitting down to plan our next trip. Where will I go? How I can get there? What can I eat there?

It’s fun to get wrapped up in planning, planning, and more planning. What’s not always so easy is changing those plans. But if the train’s four hours late, my bag got stolen, or I barely missed my flight, I have to. Sometimes it’s scary or frustrating, but by keeping an attitude of adventure and determination, unexpected changes might even become the best part of the trip. Travel is as much about changing plans as it is about making them.

5. I know things can go wrong.

We’ve heard the horror stories about traveling, especially when we travel alone. And that’s the key: research. I look deeply into every place I visit, and if I ever feel unsafe, I leave. No questions asked. Then I refer to Confession #3, embrace my inner last-minute-planner, and do what I can to adapt.

I know that at some point something will go wrong that I can’t anticipate or change. But that’s life, right? We do what we can to plan ahead, but at the end of the day, we know that not everything is in our hands. Relaxing and letting go are two skills not only essential for travel, but for life.

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6. I may start my trip alone, but I end up with friends all over the world.

In addition to meeting some really interesting local people, I get to make friends with fellow travelers from around the globe. Fellow travelers teach me about their home countries, share experiences with me, and have some of best and most budget-friendly tips. If I meet the right group of people, I might even drop my plans to head on a new journey with them! Some of these chance encounters have turned into my very best friends.

7. I’m okay with looking a little silly.

Often the best advice comes not from the thousands of reviews on TripAdvisor, but from the people who actually live wherever I’m traveling. This means that I have to put myself out there by learning and speaking some of the local language. I know I’m pronouncing it wrong, and I’m probably using hilariously incorrect words, but hey, I’m trying!

It can be a struggle to communicate, but we learn so much from the local people. Seeing how appreciative people are that I can say “thank you” makes any embarrassment or fear worth it.

8. I’m not just on a vacation.

It may look like I’m on an extended holiday, but traveling is so much more than that. I’ve traveled for vacation, but I’ve also travelled to study or work abroad. Even when it is “just a vacation,” I’m working hard. Every day. Travel is exhilarating and exhausting, always filled with a million things I didn’t think of and things I couldn’t plan for. I’m enjoying every minute of it, but constantly learning, challenging myself, and expanding my worldview is definitely hard work.

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9. I love new experiences, but I get homesick sometimes, too.

Even though travel is my passion, I do get lonely sometimes. I miss my best friends, my family, my tex-mex, the smell of my hometown, the feeling of effortless belonging. Some days, like holidays or birthdays, can be really hard. But we’re also fortunate to live in the time of endlessly helpful travel and communication apps like WhatsApp, Viber, Line, and Skype, so I can pick up my phone and instantly connect with anyone. (Unless the 14-plus-hour time difference makes me wait out of compassion for my snoozing parents.)

Like any other emotion, homesickness always passes. And when it does, I’m still so happy to be where I am.

10. I know that I’m privileged.

Travel has opened my eyes to the huge range of lives people lead—and are forced to lead—on this planet. To be able to travel as I have, I know that I am more fortunate than so many others. I may scrounge and save to be able to do it, but knowing how fortunate I am makes me especially conscious of the choices I make when I travel. I support local, responsible, and sustainable tourism efforts as much as possible.

11. I understand that this lifestyle isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay.

It’s probably pretty clear by now that I love travel. I love the new foods, smells, people, and even those moments when I think, “What did I get myself into?” But at the same time, I know that travel isn’t right for everyone all the time. If you’re even slightly considering traveling, I encourage you to go for it. But if now isn’t the right time for you, that’s okay too.

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If travel has taught me anything, it’s that the world is full of people who are similar and yet so astoundingly different, and the key to happiness is, as Joseph Campbell says, to follow your bliss.

12. I’m not sure where my travels will take me, but I know it’ll be worth it.

I saved the most exciting confession for last: Who knows where I’ll end up at the end of these travels? Or what I’ll learn? Or how I’ll change? I certainly can’t anticipate even half of what lays before me, but what an exhilarating thought: to be part of a worldwide community of travelers, of people, all going somewhere with open minds to see and learn something new.

Can’t get enough traveling? Read more about the 12 ways travel makes you a better person.

Featured photo credit: Stephen Lewis via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on November 17, 2019

20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You

20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You

Saying, “Thank you,” can be difficult to do. Some things just demand a little something extra because of the magnitude of the favor or the depth of appreciation involved. But what can you do to say thank you in a meaningful way? Sometimes you have to get a little more creative than just firing off an email. Here are 20 creative ways to say thank you that your friends and family will remember and cherish!

1. Make a gift bag.

A unique, homemade gift bag with a custom label or a note is a simple but heartfelt way to show your appreciation for the wonderful things your friends or family have done for you.

2. Give a toast.

Many people fear public speaking more than death, giving this particular thank-you a little extra meaning. Composing a sincere, eloquent toast and delivering it is a nice way to show appreciation that truly comes from the heart.

3. Write a poem.

“Roses are red, violets are blue…” Uh, you could write that...but why not put a little extra zing in it? Find out what their favorite kind of poetry is: haiku, free verse, iambic pentameter, and so on. (Google them if you don’t know what they are.) Then write one that expresses why they deserve your thanks…and why you’re glad to give it!

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4. Create your own labels.

There are a number of websites that offer custom gift labels. Find one that fits your personality and that of your friends and create a personalized thank-you label!

5. Give a gift card.

Sometimes choosing what to give a friend can be tough. A gift card is a good way to get around this problem. As always, be sure to include a personalized note or card thanking the recipient for their friendship and help.

6. Send a letter.

Snail-mail is a largely lost art form. Don’t worry about how long the letter is, though. What really matters here is that you took the time to put pen to paper and express your feelings sincerely and honestly!

7. Use social media to send a special message.

If someone’s done something you think the whole world should know about, why not put out a social media blast? Use your blog, your Facebook, your Google+ account, and your Twitter to spread the word about why this person’s someone your friends will want to know too!

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8. Make your own digital greeting card.

While an email isn’t always the best way to go when saying thank you, a digital greeting card that you put time and effort into creating can really brighten someone’s day! Make the card reflect the recipient’s personality and compose a short message of thanks for their generosity.

9. Make a YouTube video.

Sometimes, actually hearing someone say, “Thank you,” can make all the difference. Why not take it a step further and create a special video of thanks for your friends, family, and those special people who helped make your day so important…or who helped you through that rough time?

10. Deliver cookies or candies.

Making something yourself is a fun and delightful way to say thank you to someone. Create a sampling of baked goods or homemade candies and decorate them with a simple message, or make them so they form letters! (Think Valentine’s candies, only situationally appropriate.) Attach a thank-you note or label and surprise those special people with the gift of your time and creativity.

11. Make surprise gifts for guests.

There’s no need to wait until “later” to send a thank-you message. Why not do it at the time? Create little gift packets or bags for your guests with surprises inside. This is a great way to say thanks to the people who attended your event, and make sure they won’t want to miss the next one!

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12. Put together a flower basket.

Whether you prefer fresh or artificial flowers, assembling a flower basket with a thank-you note is an excellent way to brighten someone’s day and show you appreciate them.

13. Take a picture.

Sometimes capturing the moment is the best way to put a smile on someone’s face. Have someone take a picture of you receiving that special gift or opening that surprise package and send the giver a copy with a quick but sincere note to say thanks!

14. Repay their generosity by paying it forward.

The best gifts come from the heart, and the best way to repay a gift is to pay it forward. If your friend has a special cause they care about or something they believe in passionately, why not make a donation in their name or volunteer some of your time to the cause? This will mean more than any number of cookies, candies, or thank-you notes because you’re taking your friend’s love and spreading it around to others.

15. Do something special for them.

Take them out to dinner. (See “make a toast.”) Give them that movie they’ve been wanting forever. Cook them dinner and give them a present when they arrive. Any of these are good options for showing someone you really appreciate them and how grateful you are to have them in your life.

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16. Reciprocate their help.

Everyone needs help sometime. Whether it’s holding their hand through a particularly traumatic incident or helping them replace the alternator in their car, being there when they need it shows you remember what they did for you and how much it meant. It also shows that you’re willing to be just as good a friend to them as they were to you!

17. Be there for them.

Not every thank-you gesture has to be a grand public spectacle. Sometimes just giving them a place to come hang out when they’re lonely or showing up to offer them a sympathetic shoulder means the world to a person.

18. Listen to them.

Listening is almost as lost an art as the handwritten letter. When your friend or family member needs to talk, listen to them. Ask questions when appropriate, but just letting them know you’re there and paying attention to them to the exclusion of all else for a little while is a great way to say thank you for the times they listened to you.

19. Say it in another language…or two…

A simple thank you is great…but why not spice it up a little? Instead of just saying, “Thank you,” write or make a video of you telling them thank you in different languages. Some examples might be, “Gracias! Merci! Danke schoen! Spasibo! Mahalo!” and any other ways or languages you can think of. (The ones listed above are Spanish, French, German, Russian, and Hawaiian, in case you were wondering.) If you want to really get tricky about it, say a short phrase in each language that conveys why you’re thanking them!

20. Show them some love.

A simple touch, a hug, or helping out when they need it without being asked may be the most powerful gratitude message you can send. Offer to take the dogs for a walk, sit for the kids for a few hours, or run to the grocery store so they don’t have to. The little things are often the most important and meaningful. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still send a note, but sometimes your simple presence and willingness to help is all that really matters.

Featured photo credit: Hanny Naibaho via unsplash.com

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