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You may have heard that a professor at Cornel University has been studying happiness. The results may surprise you! Once our basic needs are met, buying more things doesn’t make you that much happier.
Now, most of us think that because a physical object lasts longer, it will make us happier longer. Actually, a one off experience like a concert or a trip makes us happier much longer!
New objects are exciting and we feel good about them, but then we get used to them. We love our new car, or phone or outfit when we first buy it, but because it’s around all the time we get complacent. And after a while the car may need a service, the phone may need an upgrade; the clothes maybe don’t fit as well. They now are a source of stress, not happiness.
However, experiences become part of who you are, and the enjoyment of it stays with you. (even experiences that weren’t the best at the time are better in retrospect). So even if you took a trip years ago, when you remember the trip, you also remember and re-experience the happiness!
We are now well into summer, and many people are off on their summer trips. When you’re travelling at a popular time of year there are things that you can do to make your trip less stressful and more enjoyable.
I’ve just returned from a wonderful trip to Croatia. (more about that in a different Blog)
In Trogir, one of the cities we visited, the symbol of the city is the Kairos, the God of the happy moment.
The legend says that when confronted by the Kairos you must grasp him by his tuft of hair, otherwise the moment flies away without return and cannot be caught anymore. In other words- Carpe Diem – seize the day! In travel, as in life, enjoy the moment. Put down your cell phone and shut your guidebook. Enjoy where you are, you may not be coming back!
I recently attended a seminar on how to make vacations extraordinary. There was an overwhelming offing of trip ideas from around the world, but here were some overlapping themes;
Experiential, Learning, and Focused.
As you might suspect, I’m a big fan this type of travel. Instead of trying to do “everything”, stay a little longer in each place and concentrate on the things that interest you. For example, I love to walk, and I love food, so I try and do a “Walking food tour” on each trip. I find it’s a great way to get my bearings, learn about a city (food and history often go together) and discover some great restaurants and dishes to come back and try. I’ve done this in many places, from Hanoi to Rome, and I’m happy to share my experiences and recommendations with you!
If possible spend part of your time exploring places by foot, you’ll get a better understanding and feel for them. Don’t over schedule; you won’t enjoy yourself if you’re exhausted and overwhelmed.
Of course, the shorter your holiday, the more it needs to be planned (and well planned) so you can make the most of your time.
Life is too short to take ordinary vacations, let me help you make yours extraordinary!
Which is better? A vacation to one of the “must sees” of travel like London, Paris or Hong Kong, or to head off to a lesser know area like Myanmar, Estonia or Oman?
If you’re new to travel, you most likely are yearning to see world famous sites like the Eiffel Tower or Sydney Opera House. You may not be comfortable going to a destination without a good tourism infrastructure, or where you may have difficulty being understood. Don’t forget, there is a reason that tourist hot-spots are popular, it’s because they are wonderful places to visit! However, my favourite thing to suggest to clients is that they mix things up a bit. By all means visit the famous cities, but try and get out and see some small towns as well. You’ll see a different side of the culture, the pace of life is usually slower, people tend to be friendlier, and you can have a more authentic experience. Smaller towns will usually be less crowded and less expensive as well!
One of my favourite memories of Italy is of staying in Coversano, small town in Puglia. As we sat eating dinner in the main square, we were able to watch the people of the town promenading around the square. We recognised and were greeted by our cooking teachers of the day before, out with their families. We really felt like a part of the town though we were only there for a few days!
January, the start of a new year, and of course, New Year’s Resolutions! Love them or hate them, but consider that if you’re going to make resolutions you might as well make ones that you’re going to enjoy keeping.
It will be of no surprise that my resolutions often resolve around travel. Sometimes it’s the place I want to visit, other times it’s more to do with the type of travel.
Here are a few resolutions of this type;
Take some time to think about what your New Years Travel Resolution should be!
And is it the right travel option for you?
Sometimes when I suggest a “Soft Adventure Tour” to clients, I hear a lot of concerns;
It’s true that there are some trips designed for the hard core adventurer, often camping, carrying a pack and involving long physically demanding days. However, these days there are many more trips and tours that I would categorize as Soft Adventure, meaning that the trip has adventurous aspects, but is access able to anyone with an average fitness level, and you’ll be staying in comfortable accommodation.
Really, Adventure travel has more to do with state of mind than it does a specific type of trip. Here are some aspects that these trips usually have in common;
If you want to stay in luxury accommodation & be totally pampered, these trips are probably not for you. But, if you are open to new experiences, don’t need to be totally structured, and can handle your own luggage, why not give one a try? If you’re hesitant, start off with a day trip or shore excursion. I think you’ll be glad you did!
I'm away on vacation in Italy. If you would like to follow my travel blog;
I have many happy clients who prefer cruising as a holiday choice. But sometimes when I suggest a cruise to a new client I’ll hear one or more of these common myths;
Travel Consultant specializing in Cruise and Independent Travel.