Tourists visit, travelers explore they say. How about just being at and feeling the place you visit. That's the kind of traveler I am. I don't feel the urgent need to see anything and I don't really have to explore all the time. But I do need to find my inner peace, to not stress around, to see the place with a relaxed mind.
Because, let's face it, traveling isn't always a romantic and enlightening meeting with a new place, it's very often combined with stress. Delayed flights, missed luggage, mosquito bites, to hot, to busy, getting lost (not in the good way), jetlag etc. etc. When you think back, most of your travels have some kind of feeling like that. Mine to. But most of the time you still you look back at it with happy thoughts, it was your time off, it was a meeting with new people, and another culture, happy times with friends or family.
That's because you probably got over it, you found your peace, you managed away from the stress. My way of traveling is to do my best to not feel those not so good things. I have found a way to love airports and I can really feel a place when I arrive, like when I came to Berlin. I can easily go to a new place and not think that I missed out even though I didn't see any of the tourist sights. Because I still felt the vibrant city, I observed people on my way just sitting at a cafe or walking the streets. I try to get to know the place from it's inside, not just observing it.
To be able to do that I have to understand how I find that peace. It helps to think about a good moment. Like today (I'm in Bali), the day started out with breakfast at sunrise accompanied by the sound of waves. Followed by a great yoga class. The plan for the day was to go to Ubud, about 45 minutes to drive from where I stay. Those stressful moments kept coming. The driver didn't understand English that well and tried to drop me off at typical tourist traps. Arriving in Ubud I was angry and hungry and it was very hot. But I reminded my self about the peace I felt that same morning, I regained that feeling, slowed down with a nice long lunch and a visit to the amazing Monkey Forest. And on my way back I managed to see all the beauty we drove by, to see the life behind, to imagine the life of the people I saw.
Tomorrow I will try to find back to those moments, I will not stress to see or explore. I will start the day drinking my coffee while watching the waves and from that work out what a good day will be and do my best to find peace no matter what I do.
Peace, love and travel!