LandLopers http://landlopers.com Tue, 03 Mar 2015 07:21:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 A Few Things About Travel Everyone Should Knowhttp://landlopers.com/2015/03/02/travel-should-know http://landlopers.com/2015/03/02/travel-should-know#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 04:55:45 +0000 http://landlopers.com/?p=29477 The other day I was watching Jeopardy! When what I thought a very easy question about UNESCO came up. I watched dumbfounded as the three contestants each missed the question, … Read More

The post A Few Things About Travel Everyone Should Know appeared first on LandLopers.

]]>
Dinosaur Provincial Park Alberta Canada

The other day I was watching Jeopardy! When what I thought a very easy question about UNESCO came up. I watched dumbfounded as the three contestants each missed the question, showing they hadn’t heard of UNESCO before – something I probably talk about on a daily basis. I sat there confused, but I also started thinking that perhaps most people who don’t work in the travel industry have a need to know about UNESCO and that there are probably scores of other facts and tips that I consider basic information that the average person doesn’t need to know on a daily basis. So I decided to put together this post with travel information that may or may not be new to you, but which I think is important for all travelers to learn more about.

UNESCO

Since this inspired the post, I thought it best with a short explanation of UNESCO and why it’s important. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has been around for a while, but it wasn’t until the near destruction of priceless Egyptian temples and artifacts that it truly came into its own. Rallying nations from around the world, they successfully moved temples out of the way of the New Aswan Dam, preserving priceless cultural treasures. Their goal is to protect important sites around the world that they consider vital in order to maintain the cultural and natural heritage we have all inherited. Adding to the list every year, there are now more than 1,000 around the world from the famous (Colosseum, Budapest, Great Wall of China) to the obscure (Rhaetian Railway, Brimstone and Albi). For some visiting them is an obsession and for others like me, it’s just a nice complement to a trip. I love exploring new UNESCO sites and you should try to visit as many as you can wherever you go; I guarantee you’ll discover something new and probably unexpected in the process.

Travel really is, in all honesty, healthy

This gets bandied around all the time by travel companies who want you to buy whatever it is they’re selling, but it’s actually true. Honest to goodness, real science has been used to determine that travel isn’t just nice for a tan or to buy cheap trinkets, it helps us in a physiological way. Travel does the following:

  • After 1 or 2 days, stress drops dramatically
  • Aids those suffering from depression
  • Improves cognitive and problem solving abilities
  • Makes us happy, which lowers blood pressure and increases our life span

You can realize these benefits from any trip, be it 3 hours away or oceans away, the distance doesn’t matter but what does is your ability to disconnect and relax.

Where you are on a map

I could write an entire post ranting about the lack of basic geographic knowledge in the world today, but I won’t. Instead, I will simply implore you to try to learn a little more about geography. A good traveler is a knowledgeable one, and a basic understanding of the geography and history of the places you visit will only make your trip more enjoyable. It’s also helpful from a practical point of view. Oftentimes airfares or rewards flights are too pricey flying through the major airports, and smaller ones nearby may have better deals. Look around your target destination and see if smaller, but easy to reach cities are better to travel through.

Sunset Elephant Procession in Zimbabwe

Elephant rides

Animal rights issues are very important to me and sadly some of the worst offenders I see are fellow tourists. Around the world there are unfortunately hundreds if not thousands of activities that actually harm the animals they are meant to showcase. Riding dolphins in Mexico, going to tiger temples in Asia – these are bad, but the worst may be riding elephants. Contrary to popular opinion, riding elephants is harmful to them not just in the physicality of it, but what goes into ‘breaking’ them so that they’ll be docile for tourists. It’s especially bad in Thailand, but happens in many other countries around the world. Whatever you do, never take advantage of animals for your own vacation photos and never, ever ride an elephant. Spread the word.

If you’re slow, stay on the right

I live in Washington, DC and am proud to say that my city has one of the best metro systems in the world. Like any system though, there are certain unofficial rules that we all obey in order to keep order and maintain a little bit of sanity. Chief among them is that if you’re using the escalator, you stand on the right and walk on the left. This isn’t particular to Washington, from my experience it’s the rule of the road for any metro system in the world. By violating this rule you annoy people, lots of them. Metro systems are not amusement parks, they are how the citizens of a city get around town, usually to work and back. By standing on the left, you slow them down, making them late and usually very angry in the process. This extends well past the metro to most conveyances, especially driving. If you’re in a country where you drive on the right, then be sure to pass on the left and not stay in the lane, annoying the drivers behind you. Simple to follow be it in the metro or on the road, and yet so many people ignore the rule.

Airline terms and web sites

Even if you’re a casual traveler, it’s important to take a few minutes to learn more about airline terms. Open-jaw, nonstop, direct – these are all terms that will impact your trip so you should be able to speak at least basic airline parlance. You should also know that the prices you find on most airline booking sites are the same. Not only do the same companies mostly now own them, but the raw data from which they pull fares comes from the same place. So there’s no need to compare Expedia to Orbitz to Travelocity, you won’t find a deal. Airlines though are trying to woo customers away from these sites and aggregators and you might be able to sometimes find better fares by booking directly with them.

The U.S. is the only developed country in the world without a single legally required paid vacation day or holiday

I include this on the list for two reasons. First, it’s to help explain to the rest of the world why we Americans have slightly odd vacation habits. All the time I hear criticisms about how few Americans travel overseas, and frankly I’m a little tired of hearing about it. Unlike every other developed nation, we are not entitled to any time off whatsoever. Do nearly all employed people get vacation time? Yes, of course, but even then the majority don’t use all of the days allotted. I could go into our psyche as a nation, work ethic but I won’t. Suffice it to say though, working is indoctrinated into our soul and even our laws. Second, I want my fellow Americans to realize where we stand in terms of the rest of the world. No, we aren’t guaranteed any time off, but instead of letting this annoy you, use it as a motivator to get out there and see more of the world. Sure, the rest of the world is harder for us to visit than for most other countries, but don’t let an 8-hour flight deter you. Use that week or two of paid time off you have and do something different, something you never thought you’d experience. Believe me, you’ll be all the better for it in every way imaginable.

What are some other things you would add to this list?

The post A Few Things About Travel Everyone Should Know appeared first on LandLopers.

]]>
http://landlopers.com/2015/03/02/travel-should-know/feed 0
Oslo’s Stunning Modern Opera Househttp://landlopers.com/2015/03/02/photo-oslo-opera-house http://landlopers.com/2015/03/02/photo-oslo-opera-house#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 04:50:31 +0000 http://landlopers.com/?p=29483 The post Oslo’s Stunning Modern Opera House appeared first on LandLopers.

]]>
Oslo Opera House Norway

The post Oslo’s Stunning Modern Opera House appeared first on LandLopers.

]]>
http://landlopers.com/2015/03/02/photo-oslo-opera-house/feed 0
Thoughts About My Second Trip To Icelandhttp://landlopers.com/2015/03/01/trip-iceland http://landlopers.com/2015/03/01/trip-iceland#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2015 14:07:42 +0000 http://landlopers.com/?p=29471 A couple of years ago my partner surprised me with a birthday trip to Iceland. We’d both wanted to go for a long time and it was the perfect chance … Read More

The post Thoughts About My Second Trip To Iceland appeared first on LandLopers.

]]>
REYKJAVIK ICELAND

A couple of years ago my partner surprised me with a birthday trip to Iceland. We’d both wanted to go for a long time and it was the perfect chance to explore this beautiful country. I fell in love. There’s just something about Iceland that drew me in right away, from the capital city Reykjavik to the stunning countryside, I loved it all. I wanted to visit again far sooner, but I only just recently returned from my second of what I am sure will be many trips to Iceland. My initial feelings held true – I still love this small island. But I also learned a lot more about traveling around Iceland, including a few things I wanted to share that will help any traveler, no matter their level of expertise with the country.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Best part of Reykjavik is just being there

The capital of Iceland, Reykjavik, isn’t a large city but there’s just something about the downtown core that I love. The colorful Scandinavian buildings, the dark winter mornings and plenty of fresh coffee found all around town have all endeared it to me. It’s homey, cozy and for me is a great place to explore and just do nothing. That’s pretty much what I did on my second visit to the city. On my first trip I saw all the sites, visited museums and did what every first time tourist to Reykjavik should do. That frankly doesn’t leave a whole lot for a second visit, and guessing this I planned just one day and night in the city, which was more than enough. Instead of trying to find new things to do, my partner and I instead revisited parts of the city we enjoyed most. We walked through the main commercial area, grabbed a Nutella crepe at a café we like, went to the top of Hallgrímskirkja Church, strolled along the harbor front and ate at an Italian restaurant we found on our first sojourn to the city. The weather didn’t always cooperate, but it was a fun way to spend the day. Instead of killing myself trying to find quirky little tourist sites, I decided to just enjoy myself and go with the flow. The more I think about it, that may be the best thing for any tourist to the city to do, no matter how many times they’ve been.

Iceland farm

Staying in the countryside was key

More than anything, I wanted to see much more of Iceland than I did on my first visit, which was primarily relegated to places along the Golden Circle. Thanks to social media, I discovered a company a friend used and reached out to them. Icelandic Farm Holidays offers a number of packages combining car rental with stays in some amazing rural locations. Bed and breakfasts, country hotels, self-catering cottages, apartments and traditional farm stays are all part of their repertoire and for me, offered the best way to see more of the ‘real’ Iceland and to get to know the countryside a little better. I will devote a separate post about them, but it was one of the best travel decisions I’ve ever made and not only will I recommend them to anyone who will listen, but I fully intend on only using them in the future. They made our experience easy, from picking up the rental car, to providing maps for our self-drive journey and of course the rural farm hotel deep in the Icelandic wilderness. It provided us a home base from which we probed even deeper into the countryside, nearly overwhelmed by the beauty of the place. I think this combination of time in Reykjavik along with several nights out in the countryside is key for anyone who visits Iceland. The day trips from the capital are fine and fairly comprehensive, but you’re going to lose something by not staying out in the rural areas.

Iceland farm

Road trip made the difference

The first time I visited our trip was part of a larger package, which was fine since we were short on time. It included transfers, hotel and activities every day. A robust set of day trips is actually a very normal way for many tourists to visit Iceland and while it was fine that first trip, my second visit to Iceland was made all the better by renting a car. Coordinated along with our hotel through Icelandic Farm Holidays, we had maps and a GPS and a general idea of which direction to go. It was perfect though, and allowed us total freedom to go and see whatever we wanted to. Random waterfall 30 kilometers away? No problem. Tiny bakery in a small fishing village? Perfectly manageable. I’ve said this before, but road trips are probably my favorite way of seeing any new place, there really is nothing like having that freedom to do whatever your heart desires. For Iceland though it becomes a necessity if you really want to see and experience the rural landscapes. The day tours are ok, but it’s not until you drive through frosty snow-covered mountain ranges as the sun rises, basking everything in a light pink hue that you really start to appreciate and love the beauty that Iceland enjoys in such abundance.

Iceland

Changing plans is ok

I’ve written about my own need to overplan trips, recently I even devoted a post to the over thinking traveler. Iceland was a perfect example of my overplanning an otherwise good trip, but one thing I did do successfully was to ignore my plans. Our trip wasn’t very lengthy, but we were confronted with new options and choices almost every day, ideas that went against my all so precious spreadsheets and guidebooks. By going with our gut feelings and turning left instead of right we had a better experience than I think we would have had otherwise. Instead of spending two days exploring a certain peninsula, we compressed it to one and spent the other day snowmobiling around a glacier. I never thought I’d do it, but it quickly became a great memory from the trip. Of course this holds true for any trip, but is especially the case in Iceland. There are so many hidden wonders found around the island that you need to give yourself more than enough time to explore it and to frankly be surprised by it. The most beautiful places you’ll find there won’t be included in that trusty guidebook.

I have a lot more to say about my recent experiences in Iceland, but I thought I’d offer up my first thoughts about visiting multiple times and why, more than many other places around the world, it calls for more and more return visits.

The post Thoughts About My Second Trip To Iceland appeared first on LandLopers.

]]>
http://landlopers.com/2015/03/01/trip-iceland/feed 2
On The Banks Of A Remote Lake In Western Australiahttp://landlopers.com/2015/03/01/photo-lake-western-australia http://landlopers.com/2015/03/01/photo-lake-western-australia#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2015 14:06:54 +0000 http://landlopers.com/?p=29430 The post On The Banks Of A Remote Lake In Western Australia appeared first on LandLopers.

]]>
Western Australia

The post On The Banks Of A Remote Lake In Western Australia appeared first on LandLopers.

]]>
http://landlopers.com/2015/03/01/photo-lake-western-australia/feed 0
Wishing For Warm Weather Photo Serieshttp://landlopers.com/2015/02/26/warm-weather-photo http://landlopers.com/2015/02/26/warm-weather-photo#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 04:55:37 +0000 http://landlopers.com/?p=29455 It’s cold, very cold which is normal for winter, but it just seems so much worse this year for some reason. Around the United States and even the Northern Hemisphere, … Read More

The post Wishing For Warm Weather Photo Series appeared first on LandLopers.

]]>
It’s cold, very cold which is normal for winter, but it just seems so much worse this year for some reason. Around the United States and even the Northern Hemisphere, 2015 has had a frigid start. That’s why so many of us, myself included, find ourselves daydreaming of warm weather – places where we can wear shorts instead of parkas and flip-flops instead of snow boots. I went through my albums and found several warmer places I’d love to be relaxing right now – anything for some relief from this winter weather!

Dock Cancun Mexico

Mexico

Stingray City Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman

Rottnest Island Australia

Rottnest Island, Australia

Trogir Croatia

Croatia

misty cliffs cape town

South Africa

Aruba sunset

Aruba

Eleuthera Bahamas

Eleuthera, Bahamas

Koh Samui

Koh Samui, Thailand

paradise

Bermuda

Dead Sea Jordan

Jordan

Wailea Beach Villas

Maui

Gozo Malta

Malta

Curacao sunset

Curacao

 

The post Wishing For Warm Weather Photo Series appeared first on LandLopers.

]]>
http://landlopers.com/2015/02/26/warm-weather-photo/feed 4
Flying Up Front In Icelandair Saga Classhttp://landlopers.com/2015/02/26/icelandair-saga-class http://landlopers.com/2015/02/26/icelandair-saga-class#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 04:50:20 +0000 http://landlopers.com/?p=29456 I’ve flown Icelandair a couple of times now, but on my last trip I was surprised with a seat on the return home in Saga Class, Icelandair’s Business Class. While … Read More

The post Flying Up Front In Icelandair Saga Class appeared first on LandLopers.

]]>
Icelandair airplane window

I’ve flown Icelandair a couple of times now, but on my last trip I was surprised with a seat on the return home in Saga Class, Icelandair’s Business Class. While Iceland may be a small country and Icelandair a smaller airline, that doesn’t mean they don’t have a great Business Class product. Here’s my look at what flying Icelandair Saga Class is really like.

Lounge

I’m not going to lie, I love a great airport lounge. When I have access to them, I always plan on arriving to the airport early just to enjoy some extra time in the lounge before I take off. Not all are made the same though and believe it or not, I have been in some bad lounges. I had high hopes for the Icelandair Saga Lounge though and those hopes were completely validated.

Like most of Iceland, the lounge is modern and decorated in a refined Scandinavian design. It was calming and a great introduction to the overall experience. With ample numbers of loungers and sofas, there was plenty of room to relax and a diversity of style meant those who wanted to get some work done could easily do so and those like me who just wanted to kick back and relax could do that too. The scene was set and the food and beverage offerings completed the overall experience. Plenty of hot food in a variety of styles and a separate dessert bar made me a fan instantly. I have a sweet tooth and the macarons and truffles were the ideal treat. It was also the perfect introduction to the luxury side of Icelandair and I liked what I saw.

The Seat and Entertainment

Icelandair only operates 757s, which aren’t as large as A380s or the Boeing 777 or 787. Because of that the Saga Class product may not be the business class fliers are used to on ultra-long haul flights, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a comfortable and luxurious ride. The Saga section is comprised of 14 seats in what many frequent fliers may recognize as a common design in domestic US flights. The seats are wide and comfortable, although they lack a shell design and don’t lie flat. Luckily, many of the Icelandair flights, including the one I was on, are short so it’s really not an issue. At least it wasn’t for me. What I did enjoy was extra space and comfort, which is always appreciated for someone tall like me.

The entertainment options were a different story. I know no one really chooses an airline for what is on the inflight-entertainment system, but it does make a difference in the quality of the flight and what Icelandair offered on my flights wasn’t great. They had about 50 movies on offer, but many were old, very old and the ones that were approaching current just weren’t good. Of course this is a matter of personal taste, but I wasn’t thrilled. I also found it a little odd that there was no amenity kit offered to Saga Class passengers. Again, most likely a function of the shorter flights but it was an oddity I haven’t experienced before on an international flight.

The Food

National airlines have a certain proclivity towards representing their national cuisine, which is fine – sometimes. Icelandair is no different and the meal was a classic array of Icelandic inspired food: lobster, lamb, fish and skyr, a yogurty dessert. It was fine, but as someone who doesn’t eat fish/seafood and didn’t relish the idea of lamb, the options were limiting. The dessert however was a bright point and I hope to enjoy it again and soon. There were added surprises, like candies and snacks, making the overall experience a positive one. Also, if you like fish and seafood then you’ll have a great experience, but for someone who is a picky eater enjoying business class meals is sadly a rarity and not the norm on any airline.

Overall

For an international flight on the shorter side, I had an excellent flying experience. Service starts at the airport, and Icelandair recognizes that by creating a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere before taking off. That level of service and care extends well into the flight itself and by the time I landed, I had little to complain about, other than a lack of decent movies which, if that’s the worst thing I have happen to me, then I think I’m doing well.

When you book your trip to Iceland, you’ll probably use Icelandair and if you do, then booking Saga Class is definitely worth the investment for a restful and relaxing flight.

Have you flown Icelandair Saga Class before? What did you think?

The post Flying Up Front In Icelandair Saga Class appeared first on LandLopers.

]]>
http://landlopers.com/2015/02/26/icelandair-saga-class/feed 0
Trouble On The High Seas: My Regal Princess Experiencehttp://landlopers.com/2015/02/25/regal-princess http://landlopers.com/2015/02/25/regal-princess#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 04:55:36 +0000 http://landlopers.com/?p=29433 Last fall I was invited by Princess Cruises to attend the christening of their newest ship, the Regal Princess. To sweeten the deal, they invited the entire cast of The … Read More

The post Trouble On The High Seas: My Regal Princess Experience appeared first on LandLopers.

]]>
Regal Princess Princess Cruise

Last fall I was invited by Princess Cruises to attend the christening of their newest ship, the Regal Princess. To sweeten the deal, they invited the entire cast of The Love Boat to participate in the event, along with more than 20 former guest starts of the iconic show of the 70s and 80s. Captain Stubing, Florence Henderson and Charo? There was absolutely no way I could say no. I was also honestly eager to experience Princess Cruises for the first time. I’ve been on several cruises, but never with Princess and looked forward to seeing what sailing with them is like. Sadly, the experience wasn’t everything I hoped it would be and so I feel compelled to offer an honest review of the Regal Princess and Princess Cruises in general.

The Ship

If I hadn’t been at the christening, I would be shocked to find out that the Regal Princess was brand new. I don’t mean it doesn’t look nice and shiny – it certainly does. But the layout of the ship is so antiquated and confusing, it’s hard to believe it was designed and built in the 21st century. The ship is split between decks so that when I wanted to eat dinner at the restaurant on the 5th deck, I would have to go up to 7 and then walk down to 5. When it comes to recreation areas, they are pitiful. None of the lounge chairs have any kind of shade or umbrellas, so if you are fair skinned you will bake. Wait, I stand corrected. They do have a beautiful and relaxing area with plenty of shade and umbrellas, but you have to pay extra to access it. That nickel and diming was rampant and I was shocked to see that little was free and instead Princess associates a fee with everything. Even when we anchored in the Bahamas, the beach umbrellas were $29 for the day. It’s outrageous and I’ve never experienced that insane level of nickel and diming on a cruise before.

There was also little to do onboard the ship. There were a few pools, a rec center and a casino, but nothing fun, innovative or exciting. No sky diving or bumper cars on this ship no, instead your choices are trivia night with the crew or bingo. I imagine retirement homes have better options.

Service

This is where Princess really lost me and I’m still reeling from the spectacularly bad service I experienced onboard the Regal Princess. At first when I noticed small moments of poor service, I chalked it up to new staff just getting used to things. Then I learned that the Regal Princess had been servicing guests for six months and I instantly lost a lot of respect for the people who worked onboard the ship.

Rather than one glaring example of bad service, my experience was instead a death by a thousand cuts. When I sat down to get a soft drink, the waiter promptly began telling me how much he hated his job. I listened as I went on to tell everyone else the same thing while pouring their drinks. I saw multiple servers get really rude and sarcastic with guests, one senior staff member actually yelling at a passenger. In the gym I made an appointment with the staff and they never showed up. It goes on and on. Like I said, there was no one horrible encounter, instead nothing went the way it should have. In hospitality the guest is ALWAYS right. Even if it means gritting your teeth and saying “Yes ma’am” or “Sir,” but open conflict should never happen. Of course this doesn’t occur in a vacuum and ultimately points towards what is the larger corporate culture.

I saw this lack of respect on display while waiting to board the tender (small boat) to take us back to the cruise ship after spending the day in the Bahamas, our port of call. There was a 45-minute line for the tenders and it was not a fast moving line. As I got closer, I saw one of the cruise ship staff members ask the folks in line not to board the empty tender and instead, his coworkers spent 20 minutes loading beer and wine onto the boat. Meanwhile, guests waited in the intense heat watching as they were shown by the actions of the crew just how unimportant they were. It was shocking and I thought a riot was going to break out amongst the guests around me. But it goes to show how little the crew thinks about customer service.

Food and everything else

Wow, it really seems that I hated my experience onboard the Regal Princess, but that’s far from the truth. We had a decent time, but there are significant problems that need to be addressed. Food is another one. All guests are entitled to eat in the general buffet restaurant as well as at a few other dining rooms without reservations. Here’s the kicker. I selected anytime dining, which means there was no set time and theoretically I could go and eat whenever I wanted to. Except that’s not technically possible. My partner and I showed up at the anytime dining restaurant and were promptly asked if we had reservations. Dumbfounded I said no, this was anytime seating. Turns out anytime seating requires reservations in advance! While yes, theoretically you can show up and eat apparently demand was too high so they switched to an impromptu reservations system. It’s absurd and was just one more disconnect on a ship full of them. I might not have minded as much had the food actually been good, but it wasn’t. It was as unimpressive, unimaginative as anything I’ve ever seen and I doubt the menu has changed much in the past couple of decades.

Having cruised many times in the past, I was shocked at my experience onboard the Regal Princess. The problems were many and by the end of the short three-day trip, my partner and I were more than ready to leave. We weren’t alone either. I chatted with a lot of guests who paid for the cruise, who were there to enjoy a few days away from home and to a person no one was happy with their experience. One gentlemen I met told me that he’s sailed 20 times with Norwegian and dozens more times with other cruise lines and that three-day cruise onboard the Regal Princess was one of the worst he’s ever experienced. That says something.

But it also wasn’t the worst experience I’ve ever had and if it’s your first cruise then you’ll probably like it. But if you have anything at all with which to compare it to, prepare for some serious disappointment.

Have you sailed with Princess Cruises before? What did you think?

The post Trouble On The High Seas: My Regal Princess Experience appeared first on LandLopers.

]]>
http://landlopers.com/2015/02/25/regal-princess/feed 22
Icy Pond Near Kirkjufell, Icelandhttp://landlopers.com/2015/02/25/pond-kirkjufell-iceland http://landlopers.com/2015/02/25/pond-kirkjufell-iceland#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 04:50:27 +0000 http://landlopers.com/?p=29461 The post Icy Pond Near Kirkjufell, Iceland appeared first on LandLopers.

]]>
Pond Iceland

The post Icy Pond Near Kirkjufell, Iceland appeared first on LandLopers.

]]>
http://landlopers.com/2015/02/25/pond-kirkjufell-iceland/feed 0
Travel Problems Only Over-Thinkers Will Understandhttp://landlopers.com/2015/02/24/over-thinker http://landlopers.com/2015/02/24/over-thinker#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 04:55:43 +0000 http://landlopers.com/?p=29432 I was playing around on Facebook recently, procrastinating doing something or other, when I chanced upon one of those buzzy articles about over-thinkers. I clicked on it and within a … Read More

The post Travel Problems Only Over-Thinkers Will Understand appeared first on LandLopers.

]]>
Reykjavik Iceland

I was playing around on Facebook recently, procrastinating doing something or other, when I chanced upon one of those buzzy articles about over-thinkers. I clicked on it and within a couple of minutes found myself nodding in complete agreement. I’m an over-thinker, which isn’t meant in the intellectual sense per se, but rather in how people like me see the world. It’s a mindset and while not an entirely healthy one, it does have some advantages. There are certain times though when it’s a hindrance, especially when it comes to travel and I’m sure that my fellow over-thinkers will commiserate with me when it comes to these situations that drive over-thinkers crazy.

We worry about every detail

It’s our nature to think, think about again and then reconsider a few more times every possible detail of a trip. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed my recent tour experience in Egypt, I didn’t have to agonize over every detail. This of course leads to over-planning, which typically takes away all fun and spontaneity from a trip. I’ve tried to improve, but a recent trip to Iceland really showed me how much I haven’t actually changed. Before leaving home, I made a spreadsheet divided by day and then activity. I then came up with a fairly detailed list of things to do and see for each day and proceeded to worry that I was missing some once in a lifetime experience I hadn’t heard about yet. There were multiple options and contingency plans all built into the spreadsheet. That’s insane. That is what crazy people do when they vacation and I was right there with the rest of the loonies. Normal people do not need spreadsheets to relax. It’s a common issue for over-thinkers though and it takes a lot to break this cycle of maniacal over-planning.

Ample Man Berlin Germany

We imagine every worst-case scenario

Let’s take the same trip to Iceland. For about a week before we left home I agonized, AGONIZED over the weather. The forecast wasn’t good and I was worried that it would be really hard to get around. Then I worried I had selected the wrong part of the country to spend my time in, sort of wishing I had gone with Option A instead of B. Then I worried about worrying; yes, this is actually true. It’s another lovely personality trait of the over-thinker, we like to imagine everything that could go wrong so we can prepare and worry about it. I look at those young backpackers who just drift through life without a care in world and simultaneously envy them and also worry about the details of their adventure they aren’t spending time agonizing over. If I don’t have a worst-case scenario to think about, I think about other people’s problems as a sort of public service I suppose.

Tres Rios Beach Bed

We can’t sleep anywhere

This is true of us no matter where we are, but suddenly becomes more pronounced while traveling. It’s bad enough when we’re at home and have a thousand thoughts running through our heads instead of blissful and calming sheep, but these thoughts seem to only multiple when traveling. Is the trip going well? Will I make my train connection tomorrow? Will I wake up in time to make my flight home? Have I done and seen enough? Am I in the right hotel? Will someone break in overnight and steal my passport? What’s that sound? Welcome to the thoughts of the average traveling over-thinker as they attempt to catch a few hours of shuteye before starting the next day. I’m also incredibly jealous of people who can sleep wherever they are, whether it’s in a train station, on the back of a camel or on a plane. Over-thinkers lust for this ability, but we’re lucky if we can fall asleep at all much less in extreme circumstances.

We don’t believe the people we travel with

We love traveling with other people, so much so that we worry constantly about whether or not they’re having a good time. Did they really like that museum or are they just saying that to be polite? They agreed a little too quickly to that dinner suggestion, they probably want something else. We over-thinkers care SO much about our traveling companions that we analyze and re-analyze everything they do and say just to make sure they’re having a nice time. Needless to say this has resulted in more than one argument between my partner and I as we’ve traveled the world, I usually refuse to accept anything he says and instead imagine his thoughts and feelings for him. So if you find yourself traveling with an over-thinker, have some patience and be sure to constantly say how much fun you’re having.

Great White Shark South Africa

We WANT to live in the moment

Believe me, it’s not that we don’t want to enjoy travel experiences as they happen, it’s just hard to shut off our brains sometimes and just absorb the situation. That’s why when I do find that special place or activity that gives me the chance to not get lost in my own thoughts, but rather get lost in the experience it suddenly becomes THE BEST THING EVER. We’re also somewhat prone to overstatement and make attachments quickly, so those nice places become life-changing, forever endearing destinations. I think that’s one reason why I seek out amazing experiences more than anything else. Walking around old buildings is fine, but I need to DO something, I need to concentrate on something other than my own inner-monologue in order to truly have a great time.

Reading back through these, I realize that I make myself and other over-thinkers seem to be somewhat insane; perhaps candidates for medication or admittance into the nearest sanatorium. But we’re not nuts, many people are over-thinkers to some level and most of us will exhibit these traits throughout the course of our travels. I exaggerated a lot to make my points, but hopefully this post will help all over-thinkers re-think (ironically enough) how they travel and enjoy a more relaxing, and less thought provoking experience in the future.

What are some other traits of the traveling over-thinker?

The post Travel Problems Only Over-Thinkers Will Understand appeared first on LandLopers.

]]>
http://landlopers.com/2015/02/24/over-thinker/feed 24
Quiet Fishing Cottage On Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Icelandhttp://landlopers.com/2015/02/24/photo-cottage-snaefellsnes-iceland http://landlopers.com/2015/02/24/photo-cottage-snaefellsnes-iceland#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 04:50:42 +0000 http://landlopers.com/?p=29458 The post Quiet Fishing Cottage On Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland appeared first on LandLopers.

]]>
Iceland

The post Quiet Fishing Cottage On Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland appeared first on LandLopers.

]]>
http://landlopers.com/2015/02/24/photo-cottage-snaefellsnes-iceland/feed 2