To me, travel is all about exploring. It’s new sights and sounds. New foods, new people and having to count your cash out really carefully because you don’t have a clue what the foreign currency in your wallet is worth.
Travelling often requires me to learn critical words in foreign languages. Words like “please” and “thank you” and “bathroom” and “water.” Travelling generally involves some kind of effort from me. Navigating a foreign subway system, or getting to the train station on time without resorting to the ungodly expense of a taxi. Or deciphering the oral history of a hand-woven Berber carpet told to you in French (when you’re rather far from bilingual). Better yet, keeping your sense of humour when you’ve just spent the first day of a three-day hike walking uphill, in the pouring rain, with a 30-pound pack on your back.
It’s hard work. Sometimes arduous. Always interesting. And it’s how you get the best after-the-fact stories to tell.
“Vacations,” on the other hand, I equate with beaches. Relaxation. Turning my brain off. I’ve done a couple of those, but I’m just not a sit-on-the-beach kind of gal.
Not that I don’t like beaches. ‘Course I do. The photos above prove just how much I like to wander along beaches and shorelines. I like how they look, how they smell, and how they sound. I especially like them when they’re all moody and atmospheric. But I can’t sit on a beach for a week, or even a weekend. I either get sunburned or bored.