Setting Personal Travel Intentions for Long-Term Travel: The Pages to Passport Manifesto
There are travelers of every shape and size these days. There are digital nomads, luxury instagram professionals, house sitters, and tourists oblivious to the entire online travel world. As a relatively new bookish travel blogger, you might be wondering exactly what kind I am. That’s where this list of travel intentions comes in.
With a long-term travel journey just around the corner and more travel possibilities at my doorstep than I ever thought possible, I know how important it is for me to define my purpose. Setting travel intentions allows me to narrow down the infinite travel opportunities.
I let these eight intentions guide me when I’m deciding where to go, where to stay, what I’ll do, how long I’ll do it, and of course what I’ll read.
The Pages to Passport List of Travel Intentions
I will read at least one book with historical context about where I’m going before I get there.
Why it matters? Knowing the history of a place, its dark days and its triumphs, gives a depth to travel like no other genre does. It makes that one monument everyone snaps photos of that much more meaningful.
If it will take less than 45 minutes, I walk.
Why it matters? You’ll never learn a city better than walking it. You’ll find the narrowest alleyways and get lost in the best way possible. Plus, it’s hard enough to stay healthy on the road. Walking helps. This is a cornerstone of my travel intentions list without a doubt.
I will not let solo travel stop me.
Why it matters? I’m single and full of wanderlust. I have passions that will send me around the globe. I will not let my dear friends with less ambitious travel goals slow me down. I’ll travel despite a man on my arm.
I will travel slow.
Why it matters? I am naturally a to do list type. Saying no to the extra city to cram in is not easy for me, but it’s important. It’s hard to live like a local when you spend less than 24 hours in a place. It’s hard to see beyond the TripAdvisor Top 10 lists unless you slow down, remember your travel intentions, and feel the vibe of a place for a while. Not to mention, it’s easier on the budget.
I will learn at least “hello, goodbye and thank you” in the native language before arrival.
Why it matters? You’d be amazed by the doors that a “hello” can open. Most memorably for me, a single “bonjour” opened the door to a bread festival in Paris. You can’t make this stuff up. Learning the basics is just plain good manners. Let’s all vow to show the respect for other cultures they deserve with a few simple manners.
I will reach beyond the standard “where are you going, where have you been, how long are you traveling” questions when I meet fellow travelers.
Why it matters? Travel offers a rare opportunity to meet diverse people and cross paths with lives drastically different than our own. I won’t waste that with small talk and autopilot travel talk.
I will not hide behind a phone, camera or book.
Why it matters?
As an introvert, my inclination in times of discomfort is to hide. When hostel dorms make me want to hide under the covers with a flashlight and a good book, I converse for a few minutes longer. When the crowds are overwhelming, I pause instead of click away. When I’m lost, I trust my gut for a bit before consulting Mr. Google. Travel is really all about growth after all.
I will assess my intention.
Why it matters? Travel, especially solo travel, means making a lot of decisions. Sometimes, I find myself doing something because TripAdvisor or Aunt Sue or the hostel receptionist told me so. I seek an ideal instagram photo because I’m looking for validation. I go to places that don’t align well with my priorities. Knowing “why” is key to knowing “me” and that’s key to setting my travel intentions well for this long-term travel journey.
What travel intentions do you set for yourself?