How to connect when you travel
To watch this episode on YouTube, click here.
To listen to this as a podcast, click here. A couple of Saturdays ago, my husband Sean and I kept running into people we knew. At Costco, we ran into Sean’s cousin and her husband, who we hadn’t seen since their trip to an all-inclusive Mexico resort last fall, which I helped them plan.
They raved about their experience; they loved the resort, the food, the beach, and the excursions they’d done. And then Dale said something that really caught my attention. He said, “Everyone needs to do that. You need to do that for the health of your relationship. We go through our everyday lives and don’t take time to connect like that. It was the best thing we could have done for us!”
Pam and Dale are empty nesters; you would think that they would have plenty of time together on a daily basis. And yet, the best part of their entire vacation was the opportunity to connect with each other.
You might be a wellness traveler if travel helps you connect with your destination and with people.
Connect with your destination
Doesn’t just being there help you connect with your destination? Yes, definitely it does! I love experiencing other destinations, and if you’re reading this, you probably do too. There’s just something about the ability to go somewhere new and being able to experience that place.
Here are some of my top suggestions for connecting with the place you’re traveling to:
Walk. If you’re always driving or being driven, you see things quickly and cover a lot of area, but you don’t really get to experience the place. Walking helps you slow down and really get to know where you are.
What you see and do while walking may be some of your favorite discoveries of the trip.
Eat. Oh, yes! Getting out of your comfort zone and trying some of the local flavor is an incredible way to connect.
It’s amazing to try the authentic food onsite, especially when you’re used to tasting an Americanized version at home. Different tastes. Different textures. Different mixing of flavors. Sometimes you’ll love it more, and sometimes you’ll wish you had the version from home. Either way, eating local foods is a great way to connect.
Talk. A great way to connect with a place is to connect with the people. Strike up a conversation wherever you are. If you’re on a cruise ship, get to know your waiter or room steward. Talking to people who are of service to you, either in restaurants, or hotels, or driving you places, is such a fun way to find out about local culture and feel a connection.
Experience. Excursions are a perfect way to feel more connected with your destination. Whether you’re doing something for the first time or doing something you love in a new place, it’s so fun to get involved with your destination in an up-close and personal way.
Connect with those you travel with
Connecting with the destination is part of why we go, and like Dale said, one of the most important aspects of travel is being able to connect with the people you’re with. You would think that just being together would cause automatic connection, and to a certain extent it does. Shared experiences definitely help bring you together. Here are a couple of other ways to connect that I’ve found:
Unplug. How many times have you been out to eat with someone, and that person across from you just can’t put their phone down long enough to carry on an extended conversation? Or have you ever been sitting around in your family room with those you love, and nobody’s talking because everyone is on their devices? It’s so easy to forget that when we’re paying attention to the digital world, we’re not really having the full experience we could be, with those around us.
Be present. When I think about vacations that my husband and I have been on together, or vacations with my family, the ones that I have the best connection memories of are the ones I really felt present for. The times I wasn’t worrying about what was going on at home, with work, or kids, or anything else. The best times to be present are when we can let everything else go.
When you travel, give yourself the gift of unplugging and being present. You’ll love the connections you make with the people you’re with.
The best way to make connections while you travel is to travel with the intention to connect. Think about how you’ll connect with the place you’re going, and the locals and people you meet. Think about how you’ll make connections with the people you’re traveling with, those who mean the most to you.
Making connections: it’s one of the top reasons we travel. We can all do better at deepening those connections, with the location, with the experiences, and with the people around us. Let me know if you’re ready to plan your next vacation, and I’ll help you get ready to improve the connections in your life.