Traveling is a very different thing from taking a vacation. I don’t know about you, but when I usually travel, it’s not to sit on a beach and enjoy myself with pina colada in hand. (Though, take me there. I won’t complain.) It’s another mindset altogether. I was in Cinque Terre this past week, and I was so surprised to find myself relaxing by the beach, wishing it was just a little warmer so I could fall asleep in the sun.
Generation-Y travelers have changed how we define “taking a trip.” Before, traveling was just to get away from responsibilities and to have a break from the stresses of work and life back home. Now, travel is more about experiences—it’s about seeing the world from a new perspective. When I run into my peers on the road, they’re usually backpacking or planning on enjoying certain aspects of the culture they have chosen to travel to. It’s a job more than anything– though you might have some relaxing aspects of a journey, there are also some stressful times, as well.
Between putting together plane tickets, train tickets, hostels or hotels, and making sure everything is in order for your journey, you can find yourself more freaked out than actually enjoying your time away—and that’s just stupid. Every journey is a learning experience, but if you hate more than you are having a great time, then maybe it’s time to think about some new locations. I spent a few days in the south of France during a crazy tour, and it ended up being one of my favorite parts of the trip—the weather was just too good to do anything else but sit on a beach and sunbathe.
Being in the gorgeous, warming atmosphere of Cinque Terre this past week has reminded me that the Baby Boomers aren’t completely wrong for wanting to take a break every now and then. Hearing the ocean waves and climbing up to various churches and towers was just what I needed to ready myself for the giant solo trip I am about to take through Slovenia, Croatia, and Hungary. Traveling isn’t always fun—but a vacation can be just what you need to get back on the road and to continue to enjoy your travels.
Have you ever taken a trip just to relax? What spots would you recommend?