Am I a free spirit when travelling? I think that someone once asked me that (kind of like an preliminary question for a potential travel partner). So, my honest answer … hmm, perhaps if the meaning of 'Free Spirit" is to be adaptable and easy going, then I am naturally this type of personality (a two time sky-diver ... I feel whether travel, life or other; I am a free-fall lover, it's who I am). In truth, I'm not one for creating a completely scripted vacation itinerary. Instead, I tend to jot down ideas or places of interest (in pencil of course, this allows me to alter or substitute the plan later if need be). However, if there is a plan, I'm happy to go with the flow and excited to 'go, see and do'.
I don't spend a lot of time tracking down the history of the destinations prior to departure; which can be a pro and a con. Sometimes it's nice to know what, and that, your camera lens is focused on some incredible piece of history before you snap 60 pictures of the unknown (thank goodness for Google search upon return lol). However, I fear studying a place for too long before departure may provide preconceived notions or expectations and I don't want to ruin the experience for myself.
Photos: Igazu Falls Brazil & Argentina; Manuel Antonio Nation Park, Costa Rica; Grand Canyon, USA; Devinish Island, Northern Ireland; Mayan Riveria, Mexico; Stockholm, Sweden
There's something fun and intriguing about arriving with an objective, open mind to a place where everything is new, different, exciting and like nothing I've seen (or read about) before. I tend to have more interest in what the weather will be like, what I'll need so I can get in and out of the country (visas, departure tax, etc.) and what I need to pack for the duration, although I may read the odd review or search out a few of the local attractions beforehand.
My ideal holiday would be one where every day is filled with: sight-seeing, trying out new food, some relaxation, exploring the history and heritage, experiencing the culture and way of life. Then ideally to end the day with an evening full 0f celebration where talking, laughing, singing and especially dancing become the highlights.
I'm keen to make 1000 new friends during every trip but I have learned that I love reuniting with friends made during a previous one. It just adds so much more anticipation and excitement (whether it's here, there or some other location). And if I can continue to encompass all that into my travels, then I'd have to say that's my goal.
Photos: Playa del Carmen, Mexico; New York City, USA; Qatar, Doha; Rochester, USA; Bermuda; Barcelona, Spain, Palintine, USA
A number of my holidays have started with me trolling for seat sales, luckily finding one and arriving on the doorsteps of some wonderful friends I had met while travelling, or those from my past who have moved to great exotic places.
The gratitude I have for them taking the time to show me around, offering me a place to stay (or instructing me of where I should stay), introducing me to their life and landscape is immeasurable. I can think of no better way to get off the beaten trail, take off the tourist rose-coloured glasses and see what a place is really about, absolutely amazing. It's because of these adventures I was encouraged to create my blog, a place to share and take anyone interested on the excursions with me.
Where to next? Cuba. I visited once before in 2008, so it’s been 10 years now. I always promised myself I’d return someday when I was in a couple. I am (both in a couple and returning) and ironically, this beau of mine is not joining me. I found Cuba to be one of the most romantic places to ever visit (ever). There’s a solitude, comfort and energy there; I’d even be so bold to say there’s a sex appeal in this Country to not only the landscape but the vibe and the atmosphere in Cuba (defintely more of a feeling than a verb).
No one ever goes to Cuba for the food (and for 7 days, no one will starve) remember that; yet it’s the beaches, the people, the history, the charm …oh my, the people in Cuba are so lovely, all of them. Their country is safe. They don’t deserve mean, disrespectful visitors (‘assholes’ is the profanity of which we term such folks). The ONLY company Cuba needs are those grateful, solidly-kind, genuine vacationers. Cubans work hard to ensure guests are safe and loved; I feel as a guest, you need to match their minimum standard.
So it does appear to be so, I have a travelling soul …it sure does keep my free spirit alive and happy. If you're interested in reading of my travels 10 years past to Varadero, Cuba (2008)... then please follow Your Adventure Map (this link). Please leave your comments, your stories, your travel advice etc. in the section below (comments or reaction section) and feel free to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and even Twitter (follow @holiday_heidi). A little shy?! Why not send me an email instead: EMAIL ME.
~ Holiday Heidi