With an upcoming trip to the South of France in June, I thought I’d share a post I’ve been wanting to write for a while. Mostly because this trip is turning out to be the opposite of what I typically do. We’re having to cram a ton of shit in to just a couple days and have too many flights, with too many different hotels. I know it’ll be a blast and such a great experience, but it had me realizing that I definitely have a style of traveling. It usually is less rushed, somewhat of an agenda (at least a general idea) and limited schlepping.
I’d love to know, what kind of traveler are you? Are you adventurous, a party goer, a backpacker or an agenda abiding one. Every time I travel, I always learn a little more about myself. That time I lost my luggage for nearly 3 days in Paris that taught me I’m a lot more easy going than I expected. There was also that time we totally missed our flight in Santorini and I could’ve legit cared less. But then on the other hand, while in Athens, I never felt more unsafe, but actually kept it together. Traveling definitely tests your strengths, weaknesses and your patience. I’d say I’m a fairly easy going traveler as in I don’t stress too much about things and I typically like to have a general idea of what I’m doing.
Scheduled or Free Range
When you head to a new place, do you plan a full on itinerary, or do you just figure it out? I’d say I fall somewhere in the middle. I have a general idea of what I want to do each day, or a neighborhood I want to visit, but am open to finding new adventures along the way. Depending on how long of a trip I’m on, I also like to just plan on doing nothing and seeing where the day takes me. Having too many things planned can be too stressful and hard to enjoy yourself. I also love to ask people once I get to a place what they’ve done, or suggest to do and add that to my list.
Adventure or Relaxation
I joke that I’ve never been to Mexico, a super popular destination for most of the southern states, because I don’t know what the hell I’d do for 4 days on a beach at an all inclusive. I think I would for sure climb the walls and go stir crazy. And for a few reasons. One, I can’t just sit for days. And two, I like an authentic experience, specifically in food. I definitely like a bit of both at times and don’t hate lounging at a pool or beach for a day or two. But a whole week of just lounging is not my style. I like to explore cities, museums, neighborhoods and maybe even do something active. From boat rides, to hikes to water sports, I’m all about getting out there. But maybe with a good afternoon nap afterwards before dinner of course.
Live To Eat or Eat To Live
While in Maui I said to my friend as we walked past a Subway, I can’t imagine eating at a Subway while traveling. Her response was, my mom would! Not because she’s a massive Subway fan, but simply because food isn’t her top priority when she travels. Some people either live to eat, or eat to live. I’m the former as I think experiencing the food is half if not more than half the fun of visiting a new country. Getting to experience and indulge in what the locals eat and getting a better sense of their culture is probably my favorite part about traveling. I like to do my research ahead of time and also ask the locals as soon as I land.
Luxury or Bare Minimum
It’s no secret I like my luxuries when I travel. Like my mother always said, if it isn’t 2 ply toilet paper, it’s considered camping. However, I learned while in Hawaii, I like luxury with an authentic feel. I don’t like being at big box hotels that feel the same no matter what country you’re in. Personally, I like to get a more authentic feel for a country with little luxuries. The best blend of this was when we went to Phuket. We stayed on a remote island, in our own private huts overlooking the jungle (literally). It was incredible. If a Westin had done it, it wouldn’t have felt the same. No hate for a Westin, but when I’m in a totally foreign and unique country, I want to get a better feel of the culture from the decor, to the experience and the ambiance. I get that people in Phuket may not live in luxury huts, but the point is it had the culture, and aesthetic of the region.
Another great example is when we went to Palm Springs. Staying in a normal vanilla home through AirBNB is silly to me. I want to stay in a mid-century home that looks and feels like it’s been there since the 50s. That to me is authentic luxury. It’s also probably the most expensive option, but go figure. I’m not surprised by that. Going the AirBNB route is a great way to do this though and (sometimes) stay within a budget. We did this in Paris and loved it. We stayed in a true Parisian apartment with incredible character and charm and got to experience a not so touristy neighborhood all at the same time.