“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
I spent most of my life dreaming of being anywhere other than where I am. Last year I spent some time in Virginia and Washington D.C. and it was an eye opening experience for me. Now all I think about is the grand escape. I plan travels in my head almost subconsciously.
Virginia was the first time I'd traveled without my family and the liberation I felt was astronomical. Choosing the activities I wanted to do came as natural to me as a river flowing through its course. Since then I've adopted that method for planning. Go with what comes easiest, to make it as relaxing and fun as possible, and choose the things to push back against very carefully.
I went up with a very clear idea of what I wanted to do, and planned an itinerary with Blair, my travel companion and tour guide on this trip. It is very important, I think, to plan enough activities to feed your desire to consume your surroundings, while not planning so much as to make things rushed and stressed.
A great example of this was my plan to visit the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and the Air and Space Museum. I eventually decided, to maximize the experience, to visit the Air and Space Museum on another trip in the future, so I could properly appreciate the experience of being in the Museum of Natural History.
One thing I would suggest to everyone when traveling: try to do one tour, learn the history of an area as it can add so much more to your storytelling. On my first two days in Virginia I visited most of the National Monuments in and around Washington D.C. and the ones I missed, I will be back to visit them.
Do you like to travel? If so, where do you like to go, and what tips would you give to me and others? I'd love to know. Thank you for reading.