Have I mentioned that I love traveling? New places, faces, and context. I’m a kinesthetic learner. I’m not content with just thinking about something, considering what may happen, and that is that. I take it further to the actual experience of it, which is frequently different than what was in my imagination. My friend Sol tells me I’m a dopamine addict. (This chemical is naturally released in the body, especially during new experiences.) Maybe so.
I also love swing dancing, beautiful and interesting places in nature, yoga, and music. When I travel I use these passions as fodder for adventure. They are what led me to a tiny swing dance club in the heart of London, to a 60 degree Fahrenheit yoga class outside of Cork city in Ireland, and what got me invited to a private party by the ocean outside of Moville, County Galway.
I do enjoy “seeing the sights” while traveling. I’ve gone on a cruise around the island of Manhattan, to see the Book of Celts in Dublin, and I waited in line for a long time by myself to get to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Good stuff all of it. However, there is something to doing the kinds of things that locals do to send you on a very different adventure in your travels. There’s a simple formula:
-Follow your passions.
-Use the breathtaking capacity of the internet to find out what’s going on in the city you’re traveling in.
-Be willing to get lost, be scared, and pop out of the ordinary.
I’ve discovered that following this formula not only leads to gratifying experiences for myself, it also adds to the experience of local friends whom I travel and stay with. I’ve had more than one of them tell me that because of my interest and follow-through they got to know their own backyard better and see their city or town in a whole new light.
And that leads me to another reason I love traveling: exchange. Cultural and experiential exchange. I’d like to thank my mom for an early introduction to this. She was (and still is) a French professor at the Ohio State University and put me in an airplane not long after birth. She’s taken me on many life-changing trips, from a summer in France as a 10-year old to 6-weeks in China as a junior in high school.
Tell me, do you have experience traveling using the above formula? What kinds of experiences have you had? Leave your comments below!