We used to do busy trips. You know exactly the kind that I am talking about. When there is just so much that you HAVE to see, and so little time to see it in that you cram your schedule full from morning until night so that you don’t feel like anything was left out.
Even before having our baby, I had begun to dislike that style of travel more and more. Now that I have been able to check some of my big to do’s off of my bucket list, my intense drive to go-go-go has let up a little.
I still want to get out and see things (I am just not the person that enjoys sitting for a week dong NOTHING but relaxing…I am just too “type A” for that) but some of that frantic energy has been replaced with something else.
Today, we slept off our jetlag a little. Once we got up, we made breakfast in the kitchen at our apartment, then we all headed out for an excursion to the local food and flower market here in Nice to collect lunch and ingredients for dinner. On the way back, we stopped at a little italian deli and picked up some fresh pasta.
After a leisurely lunch of brie and baguette from the market, everyone else is napping a little to wait out the intense heat of the afternoon.
We will spend our evening making pasta with fresh tomato and red pepper sauce and enjoying it with a bottle of wine (even the cheap wine here in the grocery store is loads better than most of the middle priced wine at home n the US).
We don’t have any scheduled plans, no where that we “have” to be. We will decide what we feel like doing each day, and if all that we do is go to the market each morning, that will be good enough for me.
No, I will probably not get to see everything that I might want to, but I will get something else in return. A feeling of belonging, and of getting to know a place in a more intimate way than I would just visiting the tourist highlights.
Do you want your travel experiences from an eye dropper or a bucket? For me it is about slowly absorbing experiences, and having time to savor them, instead of having them dumped over our heads and having most of them slip away into the gutter. The health benefits of traveling are most profound when you take time and SLOW DOWN!
It is the little experiences that sometimes are the most meaningful, and those are the ones that often get lost when travel is experienced from a bucket. Yes, you might not get to see every church on your list, but you will remember sitting and watching the children play in the park as the heat of the day cooled to evening.
If you enjoyed this piece about our travel experience, here are some other pieces that you might enjoy as well!
International Travel Tips: How NOT to be a jerk in a another country
Driving in France: How I Overcame My Fear of Driving in a Foreign Land
Travel and World Peace: How Travel has Changed My Perspective