Growing up I was one lucky kid. From six to 21, I traveled around the globe with my parents. As a child I soaked up history like a sponge, but when I hit my teenaged years my experience was vastly different. I no longer saw life through magical child-eyes. I placed too much expectation on a place to “wow” me and entertain me. I forgot the true nature of travel.
As an adult I can see how personal investment in travel creates a more meaningful experience. Perhaps what I was missing as a teenager was the fact that I didn’t have to invest in my experience, it was more or less handed to me. I’ve compiled a list of ways to make my experiences more meaningful so that I can gain a better appreciation for traveling as an adult.
1. Use Your Own Savings
Not all people but some people have the option to ask family to fund their travel. Since I have started saving my own money for new adventures instead of waiting for the next family vacation to Disneyland, I have come to appreciate the journey and realized that it starts at home.
Before you buy your tickets or book a hotel, your commitment to the expedition means your journey has begun. Working extra hours, sacrificing nights out with friends, and not buying new clothes or other items, increases the value of the upcoming event. I have lived by the phrase you value what you invest in for a few years now. It’s true. The experience of working hard, sacrificing, and the reaping the rewards of your efforts in the form of an amazing travel experience, will greatly heighten your appreciation for the journey.
Whether you enjoy solo travel or traveling with select friends, finding what works for you will ensure a richer experience on your new adventure. Plan your adventures around enough comforts that make you look forward to the trip whether they be staying in a certain kind of hostel or hotel or maybe traveling with a certain group of people; however, make sure to include new things that will enrich your experience by pushing you out of your comfort zone and embracing new customs and cultures. Each time you go, you’ll want to gain something new.
3. Live Minimally
Growing up, we always traveled in luxury. Our traveling experiences as a family were more about relaxation and comfort. However, as an adult I feel differently. My only comfort that I insist on when I travel is that I stay in a clean and safe hotel and part of town. Fly as cheap as possible, pack light (carrying around too much can be frustrating and tiring), and make sure that you save enough money to check those “must do” activities off your bucket list. Living minimally doesn’t mean living without. It means not living in excess and saving for better experiences to indulge in.
Everyone personally invests in different ways. The goal is to invest in your new adventure until it gains an exponential amount of value. How do you personally invest in your travel experiences to create a more meaningful experience?