If you’re like most Generation-Y travelers, you probably have a travel bucket list a mile long. I know I certainly do, and deciding which places to go and which to skip for now can be a lot harder than one might think. I find myself overwhelmed by all the locations I have yet to go—and knowing that I won’t get to all of them in my lifetime is something I have to recognize.
I also can’t help but instantly plan my next trip while I’m already on one. There’s something about being on a journey that perpetuates the desire for another when you are addicted to travel. My mind begins to wander to Japan and Peru and Australia all in a matter of a few seconds. But as with any healthy addiction (if there is one, travel is it), knowing when to stop and enjoy the moment can take some self-reflection and acknowledgment of the opportunity you have been given.
This has been on my mind of late now that I am in Reykjavik, Iceland. I have been planning this trip for months, and I’m trying to enjoy the experience as much as possible—realistically, I doubt I’ll ever make it back unless I have a layover. It’s required me to slow down a bit and to think not of how many likes I can get on my Facebook pictures, but what I want to remember the most about a journey like this.
I want to remember stretching out of my comfort zone to a new location on this planet I would have never imagined seeing. I want to remember that as a pescatarian, I tried minke whale and was surprised how morally okay I was with it. Also, I never want to forget how divine the coffee is here, both in scent and taste. Travel is, in an essence, enjoying the present moment to the fullest extent possible. It’s about inserting yourself into the uncomfortable, or the new, or the unexpected on purpose—because those are the moments you will remember the most when you have forgotten almost everything else.
I think we try and accomplish that as Generation-Y travelers, but we can always put the phone down a little bit more and think about the rest of the world a little bit less.
What do you think? Do you think we as travelers appreciate our experiences enough? Is it possible to as connected as we are with social media and technology?
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Image courtesy of Brandon Satterwhite.