It’s pretty excruciating for many people before they travel. They have to find a home for the dog or cat, close up the house, tell neighbors they are going, get tickets, pack, download boarding passes, remember to turn on the vacation response on their computers. This is not, by any stretch of the imagination, fun. But once you board the plane….it’s all behind you. Your attention is on the excitement of the trip. And since you have a clear mind with no major worries, here are a few thoughts you might consider while on the road.
1) THE ART OF TRAVEL
If you are a collector, you already know that the art world in your destination is your oyster. If the only thing you collect is parking tickets, then there is no better time to start collecting than now. You can start with street art—perhaps a piece from someone selling wire sculptures on a street corner. You can wander into galleries. Or you can find art in restaurants and coffee houses. Take the plunge. Your first piece may be under $100, and, depending upon what you collect, your 100th piece may also be under $100.
2) PART WAYS WITH POSTCARDS
You probably have friends and family who say to you, “Send me a postcard from Prague, okay?” Your answer should be, “I would love to, but I really don’t have time when I am on the road.” Why do we suggest you act like a postcard Grinch? Because it can be a hassle to find the right postcard, score a stamp, locate a mailbox or bring the postcard back to your hotel. In the latter instance, it’s probably creased or soggy after you’ve carried it in your bag or tote all day. If you FEEL LIKE sending someone a postcard, it’s a great reminder to someone back home that you are thinking of her. But an obligation? That’s not what you need on vacation.
3) NO, NO, A THOUSAND TIMES NO
Once you have said “no” to postcards, it’s an easy stretch to saying “no” more often. Of course you want to compromise. Of course you want to be a good travel mate. But don’t say “yes” when you mean “no.” Say “yes” when you mean it and don’t be afraid to turn down an offer or invitation. Do it politely, do it gently, but learn to say “no” on the road to authenticity.
4) ALL THE SOUVENIRS THAT FIT IN PRINT
Almost everywhere you go—hotels, museums, restaurants, attractions—there are brochures and business cards. Avail yourself of them. Instead of having to remind yourself of the name of a hotel or restaurant when you get back home, the card or brochure will do it for you. Ask for an envelope at your hotel and put the cards or thin brochures it in. Label it “contact info.” You will thank yourself when you get back home.
5) THE MOST IMPORTANT ENDORSEMENT
When you are traveling, you are accomplishing new and perhaps difficult things all the time. You are eating fried grasshoppers for the first time. You are speaking German for the first time since high school. You have a meal alone in a restaurant. You go to your first opera. You forego spending a wad on a pair of shoes and blow it instead on a piece of art. Each time you do something new or challenging, endorse yourself. Recognize that you are growing as a traveler and a human.
The only other thing you have to think of is this: Relax, enjoy and bon voyage from the Wild Pair.