Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Best Travel Experiences

Becky the Bartender by Dance Party Duo on Flickr

I read an article recently where the author mentioned the best travel experiences come from interactions with people.* I can't stop thinking about that idea. Many articles mention the importance of interacting with locals when you travel, but this made it seem so much more than that. It is more about the connections you make with anyone you meet while traveling.

When we make connections with other people, it shows us just how small our world really is. Those connections can teach us about other cultures, and give us a better understanding of our differences and similarities. Best of all, though, they can be a great source of humor and friendship.

The travel memories that make me smile usually involve other people; the bartender and other diners at a restaurant bar, fellow hikers in a state park, the locals in a small town Irish pub, and the instructors at a falconry school are a few of those memories. Sometimes the other people are my own travel companions when we share a special moment or humorous experience.

It is the same for other people, too. Think about the travel stories that people share. My aunt and uncle recently returned from a trip that included stops in Switzerland and Italy, where one branch of our family emigrated from. They saw some incredible sites on their trip, but their best memories were of the people. Their favorite stories were about the distant cousins they met and the Australian who befriended them in Rome.

The lesson here? Go out and make those connections. Make your travel experience even better.

*Unfortunately, I didn't mark the article, and now I can't remember where I read it. Many of you follow the same travel sites I do, and if you think you know which article it was, please let me know in the comments.