A Lesson About Experiential Travel
When I left for Europe for a month I made a list…
…the list had items like “rent a motorcycle”, “go to a beach-side discotheque” and “climb rock cliffs over water”. I did pretty great checking items off the list.
What surprised me though, was the list item that ended up being the most important by far. It was a throwaway one near the top. “Meet new people”.
Because “Meet new people” was an unspoken promise to myself. To devote my time to listening to the stories of others, to understand each city by the experiences that were taking place there. This mindset made my time travelling about learning unconditionally, and not about checking things off a list. So that’s it —
Spend less time seeking experiences for yourself, more time listening to the experiences of others.
I probably won’t remember the restaurants that I went to or even the area that I drove around on my motorscooter, but I will remember areas by the people I met there — Jorge the Spanish Catalonian 50 year old who is fighting for a free Catalan, Max the German art therapist with a thriving Airbnb business in Berlin, Gregorio the Italian rock climber who just returned from a year long tour of Thailand, Remi the jolly 29 year old Montrealer with a well-groomed mustache and a talent for making friends in hostels and singing early 2000s american pop.
Without these people I would be vacationing, and not traveling, and I could spend a year abroad without really learning anything. So thanks guys. 很高兴认识你。
TLDR- I traveled around Europe, came to the conclusion that people are the most important part of travel.