I’m fascinated by how people travel and vacation in different ways.
Picture your ideal vacation. Say you get a week off work and have a $1,500 budget. Where do you go? What do you do?
Here’s what I’d do: I’d fly to a foreign land, find a remote town and settle in for the week at a cozy inn. I’d read and write and get drunk with the locals. I’d eat good food–lots of good food. I’d flirt with girls with cute accents. I’d take walks and sleep in. And if there’s something famous in the area, I’d check it out but not obsess over it.
How do I know this? A few years ago I went to Wales because I was working on a novel about Frank Lloyd Wright. We drove all across Wales for three days and then spent three days walking all across London. It was a great trip.
However, two days into the trip, we stopped at a town called Hay-on-Wye. It has the highest number of bookstores per capita of anywhere in the world–it’s a tiny town, and I think they have about 30 bookstores.
We spent the night there, perused the bookstores (I bought a 150-year-old hollow book. Yes, be jealous), and then jetted off to see more of Wales.
I wish we had stayed. I would have been perfectly happy if we had stayed.
I understand that many people have very different ideal vacations. Some people want to run around and see everything. Their trip isn’t complete without 100 photos of them standing in front of churches and monuments and sculptures. Others want to sleep in hostels and meet tons of other travelers. And others want to party–they want to dance in Prague until the sunrise puts them to bed.
These are all good things to know about someone you’re going to travel with. So…how do you travel? Does it match how your significant other likes to travel?