these are a few of my favorite things // travel edition

Why do we choose to travel the way we do? I think this is an important question because in an industry such as travel, our small decisions often have economic implications for communities around the globe. However, in the last few months since I began my “nomadic” lifestyle, I have experienced a huge diversity in travel experiences. The most acute example of this is perhaps comparing my time working in the refugee camps to the luxurious seaside English hotel I found myself in a week later. My lack of a consolidated “travel style” makes it difficult to answer my initial question: why do I travel the way I do?
There have been very few constants over the last few months. I’ve taken planes, trains, buses, boats, and rental cars. I’ve stayed in four star hotels, Airbnb’s, hostels, friends’ homes, farm-stays, and even the ramshackle and rather sandy caravan in Northern France. And although I’ve stayed within Europe, I’ve found myself from Belgium to Slovenia, huge capitol cities to tiny mountain cobbled streets parading as “villages”. I’ve lazed at relaxing thermal baths with city views, and flew across mountain passes on a thin zip wire.

To knit together a pattern across these months of travel is, therefore, challenging. If my travel preferences seem random and unpredictable to myself, I can imagine how they look to strangers, or even old friends and longtime readers of my blog. But…they’re not random. Which brings me to my favorite things. I’ve realized that many of my travel decisions are governed by a desire to fill my days with my favorite things. I have grown to love travel not for the style of travel, but rather the small moments and tastes and experiences that leave a lasting impression. I am, quite literally, chasing my favorite things around the globe, and my transport or accommodation (and sometimes even budget) depend first and foremost on them.

So I thought it would be fun to give you guys a short list of my favorite things, and challenge you to write your own lists!

I could go on, of course… jumping into the sea, admiring colorful hanging laundry, finding gluten free versions of traditional food (or gluten free food in general!), the feeling that comes over me when I just have to write it all down.

So, I’m challenging you (and I’m curious!). Why do you travel? What are your favorite things?

Sarah xx

This post is part of a collaboration with Barcelo Travel Insights, which examines from a research standpoint why we make the decisions we do when we travel. As always, all opinions are my own!

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  1. What a great list! I also love buffet breakfasts, trying local food, exploring on foot, seeing sunsets, colourful buildings and weirdly, although I’m afraid of heights, I love checking out the view from rooftops/observation decks!

  2. Oh what a big question haha! Most of the reason I travel is really hard to put into words :). But, I love arriving at the airport, arriving to a new country for the first time, cafe and bar time, trying new food, leisurely travel breakfasts, hearing a different language, public transportation, possibilities!

    1. Leisurely travel breakfasts are the best. You know you’re there to enjoy it, you don’t have to be at work afterward, and the only person holding you responsible for the rest of the day is yourself.

  3. That is such a lovely idea for a post!! I love staring out of train windows too 🙂 My favourite thing has got to be snowy landscapes, the mountains and the ocean, though, so I guess that’s what I’m chasing living in Scandinavia 🙂

  4. I can’t afford to travel very far or very often, but since it’s just under two years since I’ve moved back to America, I still have that urge to explore where I am as much as possible. I’m not sure that urge ever goes away after being an expat. My favorite things are: finding a new cafe where I feel at home (the cafe culture was much stronger in Seoul), walking through regular American neighborhoods and marveling at the beautiful architecture of small family homes, enjoying the vast green spaces (I missed grass a lot while living in Seoul), driving out of Denver and seeing the flatness and the mountains of Colorado, walking to work and enjoying the buildings of the civic center, visiting galleries and art museums, and knowing that I still have so much more to see.

    1. I can’t imagine it going away after being an expat! I’m definitely going to enjoy the vast green spaces when I come back to the USA, although they will probably be vast white spaces of snow in December haha, I’ll have to look forward to the green!

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