As summer nears, now is as good a time as ever planning the next vacation. Usually I find myself planning some exotic “road less traveled” vacation. This year I’m hitting the road in a more literal sense as I take off on a road trip to Wanderlust Festival. Whether you are taking a tuk tuk in Bali, floating down the Ganges, or trekking in Peru, I have outlined some tips on how to take the journey of a lifetime.
- Define your intentions
Just like in yoga, setting an intention for your trip will give focus and meaning to your travels. If you are seeking rest and relaxation, set an intention to find peace and detachment. Or find connection and love by planning a trip with close friends or a partner. Solidifying your intention at the beginning of your planning process will ensure that you don’t plan a trip to an isolated beach town when you’re actually seeking a social and high-energy experience.
- Choose your companions.
Now that you have chosen the destination of your travels you must decide who or what will accompany you. My journal and camera accompany me regardless of whether I go backpacking or sit on a beach all day. I am lucky to have found a travel buddy that, more likely than not, will join me on any vacation, no matter how last minute it is. Choose companions that will match your level of adventure and desire to connect with the local culture and each other.
- Go deep.
Whether you are traveling to a nearby city or a foreign land, you’ll have myriad opportunities to meet new people, connect with other cultures, and visit natural wonders. Plan one or two experiences where you can delve deep into and really integrate with those cultures. One of my favorite journeys was a trip around Europe where I bounced from country to country every other day. Until I took a week in one city I did not realize that no matter how many times you have been somewhere you can always find something new about it.
- Plan and let go.
Our time off from work is precious, and the desire to plan your trip down to the minute seems pragmatic if you’re trying to pack everything in. However, the fun of going on an adventure is leaving some aspects to chance. Sure, the Michelin-starred restaurant will likely impress, but what about the hole-in-the-wall café you stumble upon that has been serving locals for decades? Plan the important logistical items and a few interesting spots and then let your feet be your guide as you walk through the city, stopping whenever something piques your interest.
- Find some nature.
Walking your way through a city also provides a convenient way to stay fit on your travels. Connecting with nature by walking along a river or packing in for a week of camping can help you slow down and enjoy life at a slower pace than your daily life allows. If you are somewhere where your cell phone does not work, consider using your vacation as an excuse to digital detox. These common comforts are easy to default to when you are waiting for the next train or bus, but take those moments to soak in the scene of a different local atmosphere.
- Give back
Every journey away from home is an opportunity to give back or share a some kindness with others. Finding local organizations or disaster relief projects can add purpose to your journey. Do some research prior to your trip to learn about local organizations or organized trips.