When Carolina and I were getting ready to travel we consumed a lot of travel media such as blogs, shows, and movies. We did it for education, to hype ourselves, and to try and get a feel for what it would be like to actually do this crazy travelling thing.
So now that we are actually doing it, we like to reflect on our perceptions regarding how we thought travel would be versus how it actually is. The best answer we think we have come up with is that they are different realms of experience. One isn’t necessarily better than the other, they are different.
The best metaphor would be that of a movie director. A movie director, no matter how hard they try, could never really understand the experience of a fresh eyed observer watching their movie for the first time. In contrast, the observer will never truly understand the experience of the director creating the movie.
There are also some other subtle differences you will notice when you start travelling. Travel media is often times compressed and distilled down to only the best bits. Real travel, on the other hand, is a much wider range of experiences. Most days are average, some are bad, and then some are amazing. You live for the amazing days. It’s a cliche but to understand travel you really do have to do it.
More Than a Hotel Room
The initial experience I had when we arrived in Dublin, Ireland was actually that of disappointment. I spent so much time thinking about it that when I finally arrived and felt normal, I was disappointed. Was this it? Did I just travel across the Atlantic so that I could feel the same as before I left?
That lasted for a couple days until we had our first experience with another digital nomad who actually was from Dublin and showed us around. It was one of the first lessons we learned. The quality of a place is often determined by the experiences and people you interact with while there.
One of the best examples of this was when we went on a road trip to Chiang Rai and saw the white temple with some people we had met up with in Chiang Mai. This was probably one of our best experiences from our entire time in Northern Thailand.
In addition to viewing the White Temple and Black House, we also took an impromptu boat trip that turned out to be one of the top 10 experiences of my life to date.
Excited for Tomorrow
Travelling seems to get better the more we do it. Our initial experiences while great were also not the best we had. This actually has little to do with the experiences themselves and more to do with the fact that we didn’t know what to expect. Now that we know what to expect, we are starting to enjoy ourselves much more and are always excited for tomorrow.