Experiential travel…

That is a buzzword tossed around in the travel industry right now. It feels natural for Heather and me to immerse ourselves in the culture of a place. We want to experience the language, the art, and the way of life. Experiential travel is what we do. Heather and I don’t want to just look at the views through the window of a tour bus, we want to drive ourselves and stop along the way for a picture or to buy a regional craft from a local artist.

Real travel involves people

The people that we meet on our journeys are a big part of what inspires us to travel again and again. We say it at the end of almost every episode of Two Moms and a Car… our favorite part of visiting somewhere new is connecting with the people. We totally believe that it is impossible to truly experience a new place without interacting with the local people. Driving a half hour out of our way to the Welsh town with the longest name in the world was completely worth it because of the people who graciously pronounced the name of the town for us. We will never forget that experience and we actually learned how to pronounce the name of the town in Welsh. (Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch.)This brings me to my next point on experiential travel.

Real travel changes you

It is completely possible to “see” a place without experiencing it in a genuine way that changes your life. Many people go to another country and “see” the sights. That is not experiential travel. That is sight-seeing and it has very little lasting impact on your life. I will never look at someone playing the bagpipes the same way. Why? Because I experienced a lesson in playing the bagpipes and I know it is WAY harder than it looks. Now,when I hear someone playing the bagpipes I not only have a greater appreciation of the time and talent it takes to master this instrument, but it also reminds me of my fantastic trip to the gorgeous West Coast of Scotland. In this small way, my global perspective has changed… and I that changed me. Real travel does that. It gives a deeper understanding and appreciation of the world and people around us.

The next time you are visiting a new location, whether it is for business or vacation, take the time to talk with the local people. Find out where the locals go to eat, take a walk through a town museum or sign up for a regional cooking class. I guarantee you will meet new interesting people and your life we be changed.

Enjoy the journey,