I love a good travel read… but nothing beats putting yourself on the page. Here are a few things to consider as you get ready to star in your own travel tale:
1. You’re a treasure trove of information. Put that armchair travel reading to good use! Follow in the footsteps of a favorite travel writer. Create unique daytrips from all that you’ve read. Find the location of your favorite travel photo or travel video and shoot your own! Connect the stories in your head to the paths your feet tread for a doubly satisfying experience. I recall an amazing day in Delhi years ago as I played sleuth for a day trying to locate an old Mughal tomb described in “City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi” by William Dalrymple, one of my favorite travel writers.
2. Do you need to increase energy and physical readiness for travel? Have you developed serious couch potato cred as you’ve indulged your penchant for armchair travel? If you just answered “no” without thinking about it, remember… we tend to overestimate how active we are at home and underestimate what we’ll be asking our body to do during travel. See this recent post by Adventurous Kate on visiting Ankor Wat: her list of things no one tells you about when visiting Ankor begins, “You need to be in good shape”. Core strength, strong walking, good balance, and unflagging energy are a few travel specific fitness items you’ll want to bring along when you take the plunge. The 4 Week Travel Tune-Up will get you started if you need a boost!
3. These days, places change fast. The Internet arrives, roads are completed to previously out-of-the-way rural travel gems, and fast food proliferates. Use this to firm your resolve to leave the chair and see the world NOW! Don’t fret overmuch, though. I’m sure adventurers in the 19th and early 20th centuries were lamenting changes to their favorite haunts too! There’s still a world of adventure and beauty out there for you to enjoy.
Your ability to recall the details of a place from fifty or five hundred years ago and see it clearly in your mind’s eye as you take in its present incarnation… your connection through the written word to the adventurers who’ve gone before you… and your intimate knowledge of the culture and people you’ve spent so much time reading about should give you confidence as it fans your desire to hit the road. If you need to top-up the energy or fitness tank before you go, that can be arranged. Give your imagination the workout it deserves and get out there and travel!
So, where are you going to go first? Tell us in comments!