7 Things I Love About Traveling

Sweetheart and I got back from our trip to Seattle on Monday night. There was something about Seattle that left me feeling rejuvenated, inspired, rested, and content. Maybe it was the scenery, the lush green trees, the beautiful bodies of water, or the city architecture. Maybe it was the fact that it was my birthday, and I felt loved and happy. Either way, travel always gives me a new appreciation for the things I have in my life. I always seem to come home with a fresh pair of eyes and perspective.

Here are 7 things I love about traveling:

1. Bills, chores, work, and any "to-do" lists, are not on my mind. On a trip (for pleasure, as opposed to a work trip,) I tend to have little to no responsibilities. The only responsibilities I really consider having are a) having a great time b) being a gracious guest and c) experiencing the local area. Taking a break from the burdens of daily living is a wonderful breath of fresh air and truly one of my favorite things about traveling.

2. Living like a local. I love visiting places that locals frequent when I'm on a trip. It's a great way to experience mom and pop restaurants, small cafes, local brews and foods, etc. I like to think of it as an anthropological adventure - "observing locals in their natural habitat..." It's also a good reminder that people live differently than I do, and that there are many different paths in life to take. Something about it feels freeing, like if I ever got tired of the way I live my life, I could choose a new way to live it.

3. Being a tourist. At the same time, it's fun to whip out the camera and be a crazy tourist. Tourist attractions are famous for a reason. I like being able to cross things off my bucket list and see the amazing sights that different parts of the world have to offer.

4. Food, glorious food. Most of you know by now how much I love food and love to eat. I love being able to taste local treats and engage in the local food and consumption rituals. Examples: croissants in France, coffee in Seattle, kale in California (ok, that was a joke.) Participating in the local food rituals is a good reminder that the food we get to eat is often special to our region. Even in a day and age where the transportation of food all over the world is mainstream, it's still nice to appreciate the unique specialties of a geographic location.

5. Photographing everything. When I travel, I love to take my camera everywhere. If I'm planning on being active like horseback riding or hiking, I might only bring my point and shoot because it's compact, fits in my jacket pocket, and takes quality pictures quickly. Otherwise, I like to bring along my DSLR and practice my photography skills. It's always fun to take the memories home to admire at a later date.

6. The sounds. I love taking in the sounds of my surroundings when I travel. Examples: a babbling brook in a nearby wood. Waves crashing on the beach. Birds chirping. People celebrating. The sounds of a place give a good indication of the mood, culture, liveliness, lifestyle, etc of the location you're visiting. I especially love the sounds in a natural setting (running water, for instance.) I find it calming, soothing and relaxing. When I travel, I have a heightened awareness of the sounds around me. Because I'm not being bogged down by the sensory overload of daily life, I pay more attention. This is rewarding and refreshing, don't you think?

7. Novelty. By far one of my favorite things about traveling is the novelty of it all. Even if I'm going to someplace I've been before, my senses are heightened, the breaths I take are deeper, my eyes are open wider, all of my senses are just alive and taking everything in, trying not to miss anything. I really love the way traveling makes me feel alive, interested and curious.

Thanks for reading!

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