Five things I’ve learned about myself from traveling

It’s no secret that traveling is my favorite past time. I am always thinking about the next place I want to visit and usually have my next three trips planned at any given time. I always learn something new when I travel. However, during Andy and mine’s most recent trip to Turkey I realized a few things about myself that I will now shape the way I travel moving forward.

  1. I’m not a budget traveler

That’s not to say I’m a luxury traveler either. To be fair, I’m extremely frugal and I don’t believe in spending a lot of money on things. However, when it comes to travel, I do believe it’s worth splurging a bit where it makes sense. For me, I like to splurge on a nice-ish place to stay (preferably with a bar – duh!). If I’m feeling really fancy, I might want to upgrade my room to one with a view. Check out the view from our hotel in Bodrum, Turkey and you’ll see what I mean.

turkey view 2

Or this one from my trip to Seattle:

space needle night

I love waking up with a view of the ocean or seeing the Space Needle from my bed. It’s those small things that I live (and work a 9-5 job) for.

  1. Whenever possible, I try NOT to take a metered taxi

I have nothing against them. However, my very obvious American accent in London has taught me that sometimes, some cabbies will think you’re an out-of-towner and will, therefore, assume you don’t know how to get where you’re going and take you the long way (all while the meter is running!). Remember, I’m frugal. I do however think it’s a great idea to hire a private car (think Uber) whenever possible to get you to/from the airport – especially when there are language barriers or when the place you’re visiting isn’t exactly safe. Oftentimes, these private cars will end up costing you less than a metered taxi. And for traveling around the place I’m visiting, I think traveling via public transit is just fine.

  1. I hate over packing

I’m not about that “let’s do laundry while on vacation!” life. I have nothing against people that wash clothes while on holiday. I’m just not one of them. However, I’m also not about lugging around a bunch of crap I never actually use. Some people prefer to play it safe and bring a little of this and a little of that…or a different bikini for each day. I actually prefer to bring exactly what I need and maybe an extra pair of jeans and/or top. When in doubt I just pack versatile items that I can dress up or dress down, and wear as layers. Or, if all else fails and I find myself in a pinch, I pull out my credit card and find the nearest H&M.

  1. Seeing the sights is great but…

I love seeing the “must see” sights everywhere I go but I don’t need to see ALL of them. In fact, I’m actually happier seeing only the sights I REALLY have an interest in and then spending my time in a pub or a bar, throwing back a few drinks and doing some people watching. Not only do you appreciate what you see so much more when you’re not seeing all of it, you can actually learn a lot about a city by people watching. Another great option is to just go somewhere, anywhere (as long as it seems safe) and just walk around. When I first got to London, I did a lot of my sightseeing this way and learned that, usually, if you just follow the crowds they’ll lead you to somewhere good.

  1. I travel for food

While I’m not a self-proclaimed foodie, the places that excite me the most are those that offer amazing cuisines. Sometimes, I get more excited about the food than the actual sights. Just look at this fresh and delicious meal I had while in Turkey:

turkish lunch

Or when we finally got to try Turkish pizza:

Turkish pizza

Pair that with really good beer or wine and I’m sold. Really good weather, good food and good wine/beer and I’ll never want to leave.

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