Travel not to see but to discover

To fully discover yourself and start living with different priorities and needs, you need to turn your own, well known and quite safe world, upside down. You need to set on a journey. You need to do that if you want to know who you really are, what you are capable of, what you can achieve, what would you learn about yourself. Don’t be scared.

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The best experiences are about meeting locals 🙂

It’s your life and you can choose how to live it. Do not be afraid to try something new. At the end of the day you have one life, you have one opportunity to find out about not only the world outside your own surroundings but about what is making you happy. Again – be wise not to be scared.

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Eating local food with locals in Tunisia
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Swimming in the open sea in Tunisia
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Staying on a ship in Rotterdam

People who travel often say that the experience changed them. In our case the decision we took on 8 years ago made us (hopefully!) better people, more open, less selfish, we somehow became more foreign to people who have never done what we did – left everything behind and set off on a journey we did not know how it’s going to end. We still do not know that.  Moving from a country we were born and rise and settling down in another one was the biggest change we have ever done. It somehow made us feeling blessed, special, although not better than anyone else. It gave us a new start and equipped with new skills, made us more resourceful and adventures, changed the perspective on what is more important, taught us value our own time. Taught us how to create our own unique travelling experiences too!

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Street art in London
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Colorful sands on Isle of Wight
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Seeing a wedding in Rome

Travel experience has become something entirely different. Before opening myself up to the world, making the biggest change ever, I traveled with fear of being independent, afraid of breaking the rule of seeing all the important sights. How silly! Such a poor judgment and absolute lack of imagination!  Now we want slowly sink into the place, take on the beauty hidden not only in views but in people, make sure we will not miss what became important to us – atmosphere of the country we visit, quiet corner of the street with surprisingly colorful street art, people faces when they go about their everyday chores, smell of the food from local stall…

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Drinking coffee in Rome
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Taking in street art in Limassol
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Spending Easter in Sardinia

Traveling made us choosy. I am not very kin on ticking off the box with the names of the most attractive sites anymore and fallowing advises in a guide book or passed on by others. Now I do  not like being told – o, you must see that, you must try that, this is what people do, this is what you need to do too, otherwise you will miss on so much! There were times when I wanted to see something really badly, made an extra journey just to find out that it was not worth my time and effort at all. My expectations were crashed, not because the place was disappointing but because the picture of the place which I built in my mind by others impressions has nothing to do with the reality. I am sure this happened to you too.

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Ugly and dissapointing monument of John Paul II in Rome
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Not worth an extra effort – St. Nicholas of the Cats monastery in Cyprus

Now, if I go somewhere, I try not to build my expectations at all, I just want the place to take over, trying not to create imaginary picture in my head. I stopped planning what we want to see and do – I just take the travel guide and read a little while sitting on the plane. I stopped making sure that I need to find the time to see all the “important” sights – I think it is better to create your own best “travel bites”. I want to make sure that any journey, no matter how long, will become an adventure, different every time but equally exciting.  I have learnt to travel not to see but to discover.

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Spanish Steps and us – Rome 🙂
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2 thoughts on “Travel not to see but to discover”

  1. I agree with a lot of this. I touched on similar points in a few of my recent posts. I find I can be disappointed with whole cities when all the guidebooks and every other traveller raves about them, and magnificent though the so-called Modern Wonders of the World might be, it’s a struggle not to dislike them on principle the way the guidebooks go on. But I think people go too far in avoiding things they class as touristy. Why would you go to Cairo and not see the pyramids? And if you discount Angkor, it’s hard to see much point in Siem Reap. My most memorable experiences are a mixture of big sights and everyday things which would, and could, never be in the guidebooks. Ultimately – as I’m forever saying – you should decide for yourself what you want to see and experience

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    1. I agree with you on that – the mixture of travel “hits” and your own ideas works perfectly for us too. I think the most important thing is to avoid the overwhelming feeling that I did not see everything. But this is my journey so I want it to be unique. Of course, there is nothing wrong with going to see famous spots, at the end of the day there are people who travel to do just that and there is nothing wrong with that at all – that is their need. And travel should be about what you need 🙂

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