When I had the opportunity to live in Europe about 8 years ago for a 2 year period, I felt like I had to hit the ground running. So much to see from gathered “must-dos” of guidebooks and internet sites! My photo album/Facebook life wouldn’t be complete without shots of iconic sites alone, with me and my family or visiting friends.
So that is what I did. For about 6 months I spent hours and hours in research additional to what I had done as soon as I got he news we were moving. I scoured websites, accommodation sites, touring sites.
Immersive Travel: Searching For Answers Only To Gain More Questions
I was searching for a feeling of the type of trip I wanted. And was increasingly confused as I chased that feeling. Every saved search only added more questions.
- WHICH accommodation would be right?
- WHICH tour?
- WHAT restaurant?
- Were the most popular on sharing sites accurate or MY likes and desires?
And just how many tabs can I keep open on my compute screen?
Fast forward to the trips: not everything was 100% fabulous.How will I know which travel search result is right for me? Click To Tweet
I hated the group tour because it was too generic. The private guide booked online for the touring I wanted for my kids was not a great personality match for them. The “quaint” and “authentic” accommodation creeped me out with thin walls and even thinner pillow.
And going by guidebook?
Good for preliminary research but not for actual touring. My kids did NOT want me reading to them! And I found it detracted from the experience.
What do I remember from those first trips?
Some sights and some moments of memory-makers, but also frustration, wrong turns, wasted time, and a few disappointments.Immersive travel gives you expanded knowledge and a broadened perspective. Click To Tweet
But living in Europe, when I wasn’t squinting at a computer screen or with nose in a guidebook, I was doing what is my forte anyway- getting to know locals and asking them what THEY knew about their immediate world. How they lived. Where they shopped or went with family and partied, among others. And just sitting and talking with them I learned even more: their worldview, which gave me perspective on my own. Introductions to others from whom I would learn even more in other parts of the country and in Europe.
It was THESE contacts and travel experiences that I remember with joy and fulfillment.
Because it was the feeling I sought from travel – immersion from which came an expanded knowledge and broadened perspective, and ultimately, a transformation or addition to my life.
Which, honestly, IMHO, you SHOULD come home from your travels with, right?
I kept a list of these early contacts, who led me to more, and then went on to build a database of partners who could provide the traveler with limited time ( or lots) to have that friendly local in any destination in the world to connect them to the places they visit. And partners to provide the activities and adventures that suited each person.
Sure, I continue to explore my own passions as wide-ranging as they are.Immersive travel gives you, ultimately, transformation. Click To Tweet
But I also seek sources to provide for an even wider range of interests and travel styles. Travel should never be crowd-sourced. You don’t want to just “see”; you remember by feeling and doing.
I want all travelers who trust me with their precious time to say: #IAmAnEnlightenedTraveler
Keep exploring – Life’s an adventure!
I look forward
to opening hidden doors
in private travel for you!
Enjoy the Inspiration!
P.S. Do you know someone who would benefit from my luxury travel services? Sharing is caring!