1. The creative traveler is prepared, but not overplanned.
She has a pretty good idea of what she wants to see and do on her trip, but she’s left some room for spontaneity and exploration. She has plenty of possible activities in her head, but she’s not going to stress about getting to them all.
2. The creative traveler focuses on depth, not breadth.
She has come to terms with the fact that there is no possible way she can see, do, or experience everything any one place has to offer on a single trip. She’s okay with that. She decides to fully experience what she does choose to do instead of skimming through just to get to the next stop on the itinerary. She’s cool with having an excuse to go back for a “next time.”
3. The creative traveler steps outside of her comfort zone.
She wanders beyond the guidebook. She eats in cafés where no one speaks English. She climbs countless flights of stairs to the city’s best vantage point, even though she hates climbing stairs and will need to stop to reapply deodorant several times before she reaches the top. She’s determined to live her travel experience to the fullest: wrong turns, language barriers, dripping sweat, and all.
4. The creative traveler doesn’t see setbacks, she sees adventure.
Flights get delayed, must-see sites unexpectedly close for random reasons, and tourists find themselves hopelessly lost in slightly shady neighborhoods. The creative traveler doesn’t let these things ruin her day or her trip. Instead, she chalks it up to adventure and sees an opportunity for unexpected experiences.
5. The creative traveler soaks up the little things.
She notices the color of the street signs, the way the locals greet one another, and the patterns in the cobblestones. She saves these things in her heart as authentic little glimpses of the place she has visited.
all photos are from my July 2012 trip to Rome, a true paradise for the creative traveler