When it comes to packing for a memorable trip, you’ll get tons of advice from people telling you what to bring with you. From the right clothing for the climate, to must-have travel essentials and gadgets, and let’s not forget everything related to logistics like the who, what, where, and when of sightseeing when you arrive at your destination.
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What most people won’t tell you is how to absorb what you see and do in order to make the most of your trip. It’s up to you to decide how you’ll absorb your surroundings, but the purpose of this list is to give you some tools to help that you don’t even need to pack. Sure, travel feasts the senses, but what speaks to you and reaches your heart during the journey are much deeper than what you’ll carry in your bag.
Keep these 5 ideas in mind before any trip for a truly unique experience and profound memories after.
1. Forget to pack something
While you’re prepping for your trip, you’ll be tempted to come up with the ultimate list of clothing to bring with you. Consider forgetting a few things, you know, purposely. Packing a couple less shirts will encourage you to keep an eye out for replacements in your destination. You’ll know you need it, leaving your mind free to keep an eye out for a couple prized local pieces that’ll have a story.
2. Get out from behind the camera
Find a shop and buy a journal. A nice, locally handmade notebook is ideal, and then put pen to paper and write what your heart feels as a result of what you do and see, visually or in your mind’s eye. Think about what words and pictures describe your surroundings and jot or sketch them down. A locally-made journal also makes a great memento. You can even tuck keepsakes you find like pretty leaves or flowers between the pages.
3. Don’t learn too much before hand
Sure, you should learn ahead of time what piques your interest, but leave some room for your imagination. Once you get to your destination, pay attention to what makes you curious and then give into it. Do you see an interesting sign, a piece of art, or intriguing person sitting down at a cafe? Linger, browse or walk in. Whenever you feel a nagging feeling, that’s your heart telling you to explore.
4. Pick up on local customs
The best way to identify with others is to put yourself in their shoes. Do people take breaks at interesting times during the day, like a siesta? Take one, too. Do people eat meals earlier or later than you’re used to? Find out what’s customary in your destination and follow suit.
5. Remember that people are people
You might be tempted to spend your time in places where you see familiar attributes. If you let your heart guide you, you’ll end up in a unique shop or an eatery made up of locals, and you’re guaranteed to discover something you didn’t know you’d love. Every time you interact with someone new, or someplace new, you’ll find that while the gestures might be different, a genuine greeting is always recognizable.
The next time you’re traveling, remember these five ideas for a more memorable experience. When you remember to follow these tips, to keep an eye out for greater experiences than you’ve imagined, to get on their level and to identify with them, you’re bound to feed more than your senses.