Travelling the world has been a “bucket list “ and passion of mine since I can remember and I have been lucky to have had the privilege of combining my passion for travel with my career as a travel professional for over two decades. My travels have taken me to exotic countries and hidden secrets close to home. Along the way, I have met and formed lifelong friendships with industry colleagues, fellow travelers, as well as learn life lessons. These lessons are not only learned from my experiences but from those of my colleagues, friends and the tour directors I have travelled with and I would like to share my top three.
My favorite three take no room in my suitcase but make an incredible difference in my holiday if I leave any of them behind.
When packing I think not only of what I am putting into my suitcase, but also of the mindset I will take with me. The three things I encourage you to ‘bring along’ on tour are patience, a sense of adventure, and a positive attitude. These will help to make any tour into a great tour and will also help when things don’t go exactly to plan, which can, and often does, happen when travelling.
Patience in Travel is Key:
Patience heads my list because it is so often needed, starting with unexpected airline delays, lost or delayed luggage or fellow travellers that I do not connect with. Everybody has different needs, expectations and personalities, and patience helps me deal with these differences. It also comes in handy if hotel rooms are not ready on time, or when arriving early – just to wait – for a flight or a performance. I use these opportunities to ‘practice’ patience or turn these moments into a positive by engaging with fellow passengers, exploring the environment or simply pulling out a book to pass the time.
Take along a Sense of Adventure on your next tour:
A sense of adventure belongs on every tour, be it to a familiar destination or to an exotic country. There is always the opportunity to try a type of food I have never eaten before or involve myself in a new activity. I have seen people on tours go zip-lining for the first time! Sometimes something changes in the original itinerary and the near future becomes a bit uncertain. I let my sense of adventure welcome the change and help me rise to the occasion. Experiencing something different is why I travel and my sense of adventure helps me experience it to the fullest.
A Positive Attitude can change the travel experience:
Lastly, but very important, I bring along a positive attitude. There may be something on the itinerary that I do not think I will enjoy or I feel apprehensive about. A positive attitude helps to find something in that activity that appeals to me, and I am always surprised at how much I really do enjoy it. On long travel days, a positive attitude helps to make the most of the day, appreciating the scenery, getting to know fellow travellers, or taking part in any activities the tour director may have organized. Most of all, a positive attitude comes in handy when a day does not go according to plan. When travelling there can be unpleasant, unplanned incidents, but a positive attitude helps me to see the best in the situation. Instead of complaining about the loss of time when the bus has a flat tire, a positive attitude helps me focus on the fact that no one got hurt. Then patience kicks in to wait until the problem is resolved. A dream come true would be to travel with a group of people who all remember to bring a positive attitude.
There are many unknowns when travelling, including but not limited to, your fellow travellers, the weather, and varying travel conditions. If you ‘pack’ patience, a sense of adventure and a positive attitude, issues that come up don’t tend to make your holiday any less enjoyable. Not only that, but if no issues come up, they make every tour the best tour ever!
Written by: Joan Niemeier