“’No regrets’ does not mean living with courage, it means living without reflection. To live without regret is to believe you have nothing to learn, no amends to make and no opportunity to be braver with your life.” –Brene Brown (Rising Strong)
Travel regrets are very real.
While it is hard to fathom why one might regret traveling (considering the exhilaration one experiences from immersing one’s self in another country’s history, culture and places) it actually happens. Whether it is from spontaneous short trips that turned into extended long vacations to last minute cancelled itinerary plans, everyone has their own fair share of traveling woes and regrets. After all, no travel excursion, no matter how meticulously planned and executed, is perfect. In this regard, you can expect to hit a few bumps along the road in one of your many travel adventures. After all, it is highly likely that you would regret spending so much when you could have just booked an Airbnb accommodation and situated yourself in a local’s house or elsewhere for rent. Other times, it might have been that you could not just see eye to eye with a travel companion as regards your itinerary for the day, experienced cancelled flights, delays at airports and train stations and of course, an expectation versus reality kind of shady situation. However, for individuals who have already encountered these travel snags, there seems to be a common theme among their regrets. More often than not, they find themselves disappointed that they have not done enough.
Oftentimes, they will come back home with that buoyant feeling initially. But after the momentary bliss is gone, they will soon begin to think back and regret the things that they could have done but had not. Some of these would include eating at a certain restaurant or doing a certain activity that they had missed out on. Unfortunately, sometimes this is beyond our control as most of us only have a limited number of days to travel. In this regard, making the most out of it is paramount and would often overshadow everything else. While everyone has their own unique experience, there is a sense of commonality as regards travel regrets–no matter where the destination might have been. If you wish to avoid encountering the same feelings of disappointment, it might be best if you oriented what these are. With this in mind, you would be able to determine what the things you should do are and what you should not miss out on:
Not being in the moment
Ideally, when you are travelling it is best to completely immerse yourself in your surroundings and experience it as it is. After all, it is very unlikely that you will ever get that first impression of a place ever again so it is best to just let loose and experience it in the moment. Unfortunately, considering that travel days are rather limited, most of us get caught up in the minutia of planning and getting from one place to another. One common regret most travelers have is never being the moment which means they were hardly there at all. They are physically present but their minds are busy drafting out the travel plans. As a result, it will be much harder for them to recall things after a trip. Sure, taking photos can help you remember but it can never replicate the feeling or experience you get once you are in a place. So many things are overlooked, the smell, the sound and the ambiance. Take it from us, enjoy it as it is and be in the moment.
Packing too much
Sure, you want to come prepared so you pack as many of your clothes as you can stuff into your luggage. After all, what is a minor annoyance anyhow? However, a single bag can make all the difference in comfort when you are on the road for a while. Moreover, this can be rather cumbersome if you intend to walk on some parts of your trip. Not only would it weigh you down, it would slow you down as well. Learn how to pack light and travel light.
Not enough down time
More often than not, you will never have all the time to see everything when you are traveling. There is so much to see, but there is never enough time to do it. Some people would try but it would only cause them to burn out right after and not leaving enough down time for them to rest. Prioritize and plan but allow yourself to be spontaneous. You do not have to follow your itinerary down to every minute or else, you would not enjoy yourself.
Not buying souvenir
While souvenirs can be easily overlooked, not buying them is actually a common regret among travelers. Some travelers skip on buying souvenirs for fear that it might eat into their budget or they may lack space in their luggage. Remember, you might never have another chance to buy it. So, if it is unique, buy it than regret about it once you go home. Besides, they make excellent conversation pieces about your travels. So, go on ahead and indulge yourself with a trinket or two.
While traveling might seem like an invigorating prospect, do know that much like everything in life, it comes with its own fair share of regrets. However, having already been made aware of what they are should help you counteract them. So go ahead, book that Airbnb accommodation and look for a condo near Makati instead of five-star hotel instead. Buy souvenirs not only for your family and friends back home, but also for yourself and most importantly, enjoy it for what it is. Be in the moment, soak yourself in the foreign surroundings, relax and enjoy. After all, who knows when you would ever see that place again?