I got this one from my sister-in-law, Sarah, who got it from another blogger. I suppose that’s how the chain works! I’m choosing to write my five favorite things about traveling. I know that I have written similar things before, but having just come off a trip, I love reflecting on the best parts that are in common with all trips I take.
- Time with Loved Ones
There is something incredibly different about spending time with loved ones in your home environment versus in a new and different setting. I mentioned a lot of this when I wrote about why I love traveling with Sean, but it is worth mentioning because it is hands down my favorite part about traveling. Whether with family, friends, or your significant other, traveling gives you the opportunity to get closer, learn new things about each other, and make great memories (yes – even remembering awkward situations counts!).
- Discovering the Beauty in New Places
Sometimes this one is really easy; other times it involves a bit of digging, but every place has its own form of beauty. From breathtaking panoramic views, to ancient crumbling churches; white sand beaches to hidden alley ways, discovering the most beautiful (or mysterious, or secret – you choose your personal adjective) part of each city you visit is an incredibly rewarding experience. I immediately think of Florence when I think of the most beautiful places on earth, and often discard the other cities I have visited; however, when I think of each city I’ve visited individually, I realize how truly fortunate I am to have experienced so much beauty in my 23 years (almost!) so far.
Here are some of my favorite pictures of what I consider beauty in a city:
- Trying New Foods
I would definitely be a food blogger if I had enough time to cook (or blog for that matter)! I think Plan B for my career is as a food critic because I would literally be paid to go sit in restaurants and eat…hello, dream come true! However, I am not a good cook, and my version of critiquing food is usually as simple as “ooh, this is yummy” or “eh, not a fan.” So, instead, I use travel as my way of trying new foods. From local specialties to visiting top international restaurants to trying to discover which city has the best late night street kebabs, food is such an important part of traveling for me. I truly believe that it opens me up to the culture as much as meeting local people, and it’s also just really interesting and usually delicious!
- Doing Unusual Activities
Sean and I just went horseback riding at some ranch in Punta Cana. In Florence, we went to a historical soccer match that only happens once a year and that very few tourists know about. In Marseille, Turkey & Florence, I had an incredible experience wine tasting. Though not all “unusual” activities, traveling always opens the door to do things you do not do on a day-to-day basis. Even when I was biking up and down the coast in Nice I took a moment to think about how long it had been since I was last on a bike. Whether the activity is particular to the city (Calcio Storico in Florence) or just something we had wanted to do but had not had the opportunity to (horseback riding on the beach), there is no better excuse than to say you finally got around to trying it while traveling!
This is a cheesy one, but I love souvenirs. Every time I go someplace, I bring something back, whether it’s a shot glass (trashy), a Starbucks mug (a collectors piece), a little knick-knack (unique), or food/wine (temporary, but yummy). Sean and I are starting a collection of things we have picked up while traveling, soon to be displayed on our bookcase in the travel-themed living room. There’s plenty more about the travel bookcase in my living room inspiration post. I can’t wait to style the bookshelf to best display all of the places we have been & all of the places we hope to go through photos, books, and souvenirs! The wine rack will be a whole different souvenir display case (currently featuring wines from Florence & Turkey – more to come, I’m sure!).