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Why spend on international travel?

August 17, 2010

This is my favorite part of travel planning (besides the part where it all comes to fruition).   We are in the final research stage and I AM LOVING IT.  I’m so excited!

Here is something that I’ve thought a lot about.  Why are we spending the money to go abroad and spend time in nature when hiking in the mountains of California is so beautiful?  Why spend money on plane tickets when [my kind of] bliss is a mere 4-5 hours by car?

This is a question I’ve asked myself more than once as we took this vacation from inception to reality.  For many people, camping vacations are a clear second choice and chosen in the spirit of frugality and budgets.  For us, it’s not second fiddle.  It’s an equally good choice, albeit different.  And much cheaper.  So why?

The first reason I have is to see the stuff we are hoping to see.  The few attractions in Venice, it’s atmosphere, it’s uniqueness, the Cicchetti, seafood, and wine.  Then there is Mont Blanc, and the neat little mountain huts we will get to stay in.  There are things I am excited to do and see, the tasting of local food and the listening to local languages (without understanding), local wines and beers.  There are the things I know I want to experience, and I just can’t get that same experience in California.  So there’s that.

More than that, with international travel, it is often the things that you don’t expect that really make a trip.  The things that surprise you.  Getting lost.    The things I’m not yet expecting or hoping to see.  The excitement of not knowing what might happen.  The thrill of the unknown, and the adventure of having to navigate a new world.   I think it is mostly about that — seeing the world and expanding my world.  It’s the best kind of high I’ve ever experienced.

All that being said, I think 2011 is going to be focused on domestic trips, many in driving range.  There is so much in California that I’d love to see, and there are no promises I’ll be here forever to see it.  Mt. Whitney, here I come!  That, and….  I’m starting to get some really really big daydreams for 2012, and I need to start building the travel fun to chase them!

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