My husband likes to joke that he can always predict what I’ll order at restaurants: the most bizarre thing on the menu.
(And as such, it’s usually the most expensive one. Sorry, babe.)
The first time he told me that, I laughed as if he was kidding. Then I realized it’s true.
I have a few reasons why. One reason is pragmatism — we cook at home often, and I don’t like to waste a night out on something I can make myself. The other is that I’m a creature of curiosity. If a menu features a food or flavor combination I’ve never had, I want to try it.
That urge to be different, to find the unique, defines how I travel. It doesn’t mean I ignore the ordinary, because the everyday has its place, too. And what’s tourism without doing a few touristy things?
But travel is frequently the time I indulge my curiosity to the max. I seek out experiences I wouldn’t or couldn’t have at home. Sometimes these things happen by default: if you go to another country, or even another region, you’re already abandoning your routine by leaving home. Still, I could never be one of those people who goes on vacation to do all the same things I’d do at home. I’m always exploring, always interested in the culture, always looking for what the locals do, always ready to learn something when I’m traveling.
I’m not saying it’s the best way to travel. But there’s something to it. Traveling to open your mind elevates it to something more than a vacation, it becomes an opportunity to learn about yourself and others. It also opens the door to some unforgettable experiences and fabulous stories.
Yeah, it might mean you do some different things. Some bizarre things. (One time I ate guinea pig in Ecuador because it was the local delicacy.)
But that’s okay. I don’t mind being different if I walk away with a better understanding of myself and the world, and my place within it.
Cheers to traveling to discover!
This is day 4 in the 12 Days of Travel on The Globe Turner. Stop by tomorrow for day 5 of #12DaysofTravel, a series of travel memories from 2015. There will be a post every day ’til Christmas!