Hey you, yeah you, reading this. You like to travel, right? You like going new places and having adventures, don’t you? Good. Me too.
So, for the sake of making our trips mean something, please be a traveler, and not a tourist.
Tourists are lazy. They like sitting. They like being told what to do and when to do it. They visit resorts where everything is included and they don’t have to make decisions or put effort into their vacations. All they see is a view from a chaise lounge. All they gain is weight.
Instead, be a traveler. An explorer. Notice details. Collect things. Take notes and photographs. Unlock the secrets of a place, and indulge in the thrill of seeing something new or seeing things in a new way. You can see everything. You can gain perspective.
I try to be a traveler, always. My favorite trips require sweat and energy and a willingness to go beyond what’s easy and relaxing.
I don’t want my trips to end with a sunburn and a hangover. I want an inspired afterglow. I want to come home with field notes and bruises, my legs sore from hiking all day or my toes blistered from diving fins. I want to bring back pictures from mountain peaks and wildflowers tucked into the pages of my notebook.
I’m not saying that my trips don’t include relaxation on a beach or cabin deck… oh boy, they do. But those moments are hard earned and are used as time to let the details soak in; they’re the lull between explorations where my mind can wander once my legs can’t anymore.
So what about you? Are you a traveler?
Will you go beyond what’s easy to make discoveries? Will you stray from a resort up a dirt trail into lush mountains? Will you find cliffs and jump from them into shimmering blue depths? Will you notice the way the light of day changes the dense air of pine filled valleys? Will you pour sand from your shoes and collapse into a sleeping bag or bunk?
Good. Get out there. Go forth, Explorer.