I packed my bag as quickly as I could and headed out the door. I didn’t plan this at all. I didn’t know what I was going to see or how long I would be gone.
I just needed to go. A spontaneous trip is like that.
You feel that tug and this time you don’t ignore it. In your mind, you are already there – breeze on your face, the smell of somewhere new and different, the sensations of the sun dancing all around you, the images of people and places.
You haven’t left yet but you’re already there.
Your wanderlust has been tickled in just the right spot.
In my mind, I have visited this place many times. However, I had never really seen it. My view of the world was changed.
Not many people know about this place. It’s not a big tourist destination. Yet this was my escape. Spontaneous travel called. So I packed up and left.
Travel photos from a spontaneous trip
However, I can’t tell you where I went this time.
That would ruin the journey.
To be a part of this experience, you must enjoy every step with me – spontaneously.
No hints. No stories. Just the travel experience with your eyes and soul.
Travel on my mind
It starts simply enough.
This wrought iron masterpiece, molded into the shape of an inside out, upside down umbrella that’s been battered by a ferocious storm and then attacked by pretzels, looks oddly perfect yet beautiful. You see the Eiffel Tower on the first trip to Paris and smile.
You watch in awe as a powerful lion, bigger and stronger than you ever imagined, watches over his kingdom on the African plain. You realize, for the first time, that you are just a small part of a world much bigger than you can possibly understand.
The travel disease
Infection begins in the eyes. Suddenly, your brain is altered and you feel strange. Your behavior changes and people begin to wonder what has happened to you. This disease makes its way to your heart and the process is complete.
Many are at risk of becoming infected because you are contagious.
Seems the only cure for the travel disease is to travel as much as you can and see the world.
And you would be wrong.
Travel is a journey, not a destination
My international travels began in 1995 with that first trip to Estonia. I had no idea the infection was coming. However, it spread quickly.
Over the next 18 years, I’ve traveled to various countries. These encounters with distant lands and people began to change me. I discovered that I love to get off the beaten path, connect with the culture, embrace the passion of sports and travel, and see the beauty of the world through nature.
Yet travel has taught me some valuable life lessons – even during those frustrating moments when I wanted to quit traveling.
Through the ups and downs, I’ve realized that traveling is about the journey and not the destination.
You can travel the world but it’s really all in your mind.
Travel is a mindset
My best travel experiences have been the people I’ve met or those moments when travel spoke to my soul.
Because of those moments in my life, I remember where I was. However, it wasn’t the destination itself that changed me. My mind, heart, soul, and desire to be connected to the people around me are what made my travel experiences so special.
In Yosemite, the mountains whispered to me as I sat there alone, by myself, in Sentinel Meadow watching the sun set.
One of my favorite places in the world is Lake Tahoe. I have special memories there – people, hikes, experiences.
Yosemite is three hours away. Lake Tahoe is a hundred miles from my home.
To experience the joys of spontaneous travel, it starts with your mind.
Picture yourself on a beach.
The sun on your face. Sounds of the ocean crashing. A light breeze blows over you. You are perfectly relaxed.
Do you remember when your travel infection started? In that moment, your perspective changed, you were absorbed in the moment, and your spirit content.
Where was your first time?
I bet for many of you, you didn’t have to go far away.
4 ways to change your travel perspective
My life is busy and I can’t travel as much as I would like. I want to see more places and do more things. I would love to travel the world but it’s difficult traveling with a full time job.
However, this spontaneous trip changed my perspective and view of the world.
Whether you travel full time, go on family vacations, use all your time off to travel, or just want to travel more, here are a few tips that can change your perspective.
See travel through the eyes of someone else
Rather than share your passion, ask others about their travel adventures. If you always travel to the same places, experience travel like a child.
Travel close to home
Whether it’s Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, or Apple Hill, I don’t have to go far to enjoy an awesome travel experience. While many of us want to travel to other parts of the world, your best travel adventures may be just around the corner. You may discover yourself in a place you never thought to look – travel close to home.
Share your passion for travel
Teach a class. Show a child places on a map. Tell your travel stories to people who have never heard them. Join a local travel or hiker’s group. Become contagious.
Change your travel point of view
Do something different on your next trip. Take photos of sunsets rather than snapshots of monuments. Wander the back streets. Look up to the sky rather than see what’s on the ground. Watch people as you pass on the streets. Leave the city and visit the country.
A spontaneous travel journey revealed
Flowers in a field. Clouds floating above the sky. Ducks, birds, and geese. An oak tree with limbs reaching to the ground. Streams flowing through a field.
Do you really want to know where this spontaneous trip led me?
I’ve passed by every one of those places many times. Today was the first time I experienced them like that.
Every one of those photos above was less than a 10 minute walk from my house.
It’s easy to change your travel perspective. You don’t have to go far on a spontaneous trip to enjoy some of your best travel experiences.
What’s your favorite thing about spontaneous travel? How has your travel perspective changed?
Latest posts by Jeremy Branham (see all)
- I am retiring from travel blogging but Budget Travel Adventures continues - July 20, 2013
- A sacrebleu Sacre Coeur sunset - July 12, 2013
- 4th of July, a different side of me, and a world domination summit in Portland - July 10, 2013