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I adore travel. The chance to see things in a new way, from a new point of view: we travel, I think, to not only see the world in a new way, but to see ourselves in a new way. We hope the setting evokes some change in us: sometimes this works, often it doesn't. Fascinating. :)

What I' wondering here, however, is how you somewhat like-minded folks like to travel. I don't mean to where, when, what kind of climate, etc. I mean how. This includes mode of transport, way of seeing things, do you collect souvenirs, take photos, write a diary, or prefer to let it all wash over you?

For myself, I enjoy the liminal aspects of travel: that is, the 'in-between' parts of travel the best. This includes the actual act of travelling between places. I take photos, but I find that doing so warps my ability to recall events as I actually saw them: I only recall the photograph. How messed up is that? I guess it's all part of how media is warping our minds. But try and seperate a tourist from their camera. :p

I find writing a diary to be a more authentic experience... especially if you attach tickets, leaves, etc. I suppose it's a simular thing, but I like to think it employs more creativity.

In addition, I find travel by land to be altogether more satisfying. You feel you have 'earned' the distance. Your head is in the same place as your body when you arrive. Air travel tends to leave me feeling spaced and out-of-it, as if my brain is still catching up with the severe time-lapse I've just accomplished. I don't know. Anyone else understand this?

So I guess my ultimate question is this: how do you like to travel? Why? And do you record your travels in any way? If so, why?
 

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A must for me & I'll use Hawaii as an example (been there 5 times, plans to *retire* there) I MUST research the destination (history, roads, hazards, documents needed to get in the country). Guide books, good guide books are my friend. I must check-out the hotel online, what the rooms look like, what is offered for the free breakfast in the hotel, what restaurants are nearby. Once there, I pick up brochures in the lobby, present to husband "how about this for today?"... see what he thinks. Location of the local, in town bookstore is a must. There is no rushing, every plan has an alternative route. Nothing set in stone as far as activities. Finally, I usually get to airports 2-3 hours early, locate gate, hang around, shop at airport.

No diary for me, I'll usually keep all information in my head, but I'll take a ton o'pictures.
 

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I like to travel to experience the world. I can watch a 10 min clip on Youtube, but it's not the same. For me, the sights and smells must be experienced first hand, to get the feel of the place. Walking through a Middle Eastern souk is not the same as walking through your local Walmart. Photos are more than mementos, they are part of my story, my journey. When I look at them, I feel their humanity.

One of my favorite souvenirs is an olive branch/leaf that I plucked from the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. I kept it in an airtight bag for many years and it's still in good condition. Maybe I'll post some pictures of my trips in the pictures thread someday.

I like what you said about the in-between parts. Sitting down at a park, feeding the birds, eating a muffin while contemplating the beauty/mystery of life...that's what I do on almost every trip. More than the landmarks/museums, those moments are what makes the trip truly satisfying.
 

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My favorite way to travel long distance is by train in a sleeper car. Very relaxing, and time stretches out. Nothing to worry about. Read, talk, watch the scenery go by. Only problem is it's expensive. I've brought a camera on some trips, but I prefer to leave it at home and just experience everything rather than document it.
 

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Ideally, I like to travel with someone who lives or lived there as my guide. Not a paid group tour with a "local" who works for a tour company, just a casual day/night out with someone who's spent a long time living in that place and knows the ups and downs of the city. First of all it helps me out because my navigational skills are non-existent, but more importantly residents always know the good secrets and the traps for tourists. Best of all, they always show me what life is like inside the houses that line the streets on the way to the museums and monuments. And for me, that is the real spirit of any city.

So usually when I visit a city I muster up my courage, do something completely un-INFP and approach a stranger basically saying "Hi friend, I'm new here, what's good?" It seems terrifying (and it is) but I am continuously shocked by the hospitality of everyone that I meet. I've almost never been turned down. More often than not I get invited out for drinks, taken to a club or a fun place to hang out, and sometimes even treated to local cuisine at someone's house! Yummm...

Of course, I also go and look at the sights and do the more stereotypical tourism--I wait in the lines and snap photos of the really famous buildings or artifacts or collections. But the most exciting part for me is trying to get a feel for the pulse of life in that particular city. Like you said, the "in-between" parts are some of my favorites: sitting somewhere, sipping a coffee/tea/cocktail, watching the world go by around me and taking it all in. :happy: I love learning about the different attitudes, backgrounds, philosophies, and energies interacting inside every new city I come across. Pretty nerdy I know, but that's what makes me energized...and that's what has kept me traveling pretty consistently for the last few years...
 
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