20 Best Parts of a Vacation
By Devin Hartmann | Published on May 24, 2016
20 Best Parts of a Vacation

People love to travel and for ages man has journeyed the world be it for fame, for adventure, for a simple change. Whatever the reason there is this obsession with travel that is ingrained into our very being, an almost primal need to venture out into the unknown and go somewhere we have never been. While these places may be populated, or at the very least have already been explored there is a very different felling when you experience a new place for yourself instead of just reading about it in a book or hearing it from a friend. Today, we’ll cover the 20 best parts of a vacation, the best reasons to take that leap into the unknown and see life from a different view.

1. New Places
My personal favorite part of traveling is seeing the beauty of a new, at least new to me, location. We live on an amazing planet, where nature, both flora and fauna, has changed over millions of years and has created landscapes that can take your breath away. It is just incredible how vastly different the world can be when you take the time to look. In most cases you don’t even need to leave the country to travel to places that contain a variety of biomes where you could be lounging on a beach at the start of the day and by nightfall could be sitting by the fire in a snow covered cottage. My point is appreciate nature while it is around you, take the time on your vacation to get away from the tourist attractions and genuinely see the beauty of a country, away from the people, away from the city.

20 Best Parts of a VacationPhoto courtesy | Matt Zimmerman

2. People
While this in a way contradicts my first point of getting away from people, it is also good to envelope yourself in the locals. Countries where people have found a way to make a living in the face of danger from living where they are prone natural disasters, even here in New Jersey we have hurricanes every few years or flooding by the shore yet people still choose to stay, or to living on a continent where mostly everything can kill you, looking at you Australia, it is just impressive to see that people choose to stay in these locations. The different types of cultures that have developed throughout the centuries, seeing how different but also how common people in another land live and survive.

3. History
I’ve said already that different cultures developed over the centuries, and maybe seeing the people isn’t the best way for someone to really get a sense of how the people in an area came to be. That said visiting famous landmarks that have made it through the tests of time or walking down the streets that have survived the rise and fall of kings and nations almost every major city in the world has tours of these famous historical locations.

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4. Wonders of the World
We all have heard of the seven wonders, though who you ask it may change. You see there are many lists of the seven wonders of the world, some feature the Pyramid of Giza, the oldest and most well preserved one, to the Great Wall of China, to even the Grand Canyon. Whatever the list there are many great wonders of the world, these are remnants of the past that people see as crowning achievements in a society. To visit these locations not only pay respect to the dedication and effort it took to erect these marvels, but to honor those that have died in its construction, be it the actual construction or the reason as to why these marvels were created in the first place.

5. Something New
Taking a trip is not just to see new places or meet new people, but to clearly try new things. Have you ever been kayaking? How about snowboarding? Did you zip-line through a jungle or hike up a mountain to ruins of a deserted town? Going away gives us these opportunities to do something abnormal. You could go to a beach or see a historical landmark, and while that is good they are tourist traps, these are the locations that overcharge admittance that everyone expects you to see or go to. Take the road less traveled and find something to do that you have never done before, while you may not like it and may never do it again at least you gave it a shot.

6. Appreciate the Little Things
For someone that has lived in the middle of a continent their whole life something that’s easily taken for granted is seeing the ocean for the first time. It is a moment that can bring people to tears, yes we are taught from an early age what the ocean is, but to someone who has never seen it before, someone that has never felt the sand beneath their feet and the water rush over their legs it could be a very defining moment. So, next time you are on vacation take breath, look around and enjoy the moment, you don’t always need to be in a rush to your next destination.

7. Street Performers
This seems strange and totally out of place but here me out, there are people around the world that find they are good at something so random, so unexpected but are able to make a living off of this niche talent of theirs. Not everything will be good or an attractive option, however we can still appreciate the dedication street performers have to make a living off of something they are good at and love.

READ MORE: Travel Profile: I Am Thalente — Thalente Biyela

8. Work Pays Off
So this isn’t all about different things you can do on your vacation but rather the best parts of a vacation. One of the best parts is realizing your hard work throughout the year has meaning. Weather it is a job that you love going to, or a boring desk job you can’t wait to get out of having that work pay off giving you the chance to travel and use your money on something worth while really gives a person a sense of accomplishment, a well deserved break from their daily job.

9. Relaxation
Which happens to lead us to our next point: relaxation. As much as being active on vacation, it’s good to balance your activities with breaks and moments that don’t have you constantly on the move. Too many events in one day and you end up constantly tired, that said too much relaxation and you miss out on the new things you could be experiencing. Just be mindful that you took a vacation for a reason and you want to enjoy all of the different parts to their fullest.

20 Best Parts of a VacationPhoto courtesy | Merlin Phuket

10. Local Stores
Mom and Pop shops are the best. There’s nothing like finding a gem in the rough, about traveling to a far off land and not going to another Starbucks, or McDonald’s, or Barnes n’ Nobles but finding a local food stand, a trinket shop, or a bookstore that isn’t a part of a bigger corporation. The prices never seem to matter when visiting these places because more likely than not you will find something you didn’t even know you were looking for.

11. Diners
This is definitely more deserving of a spot than any other food related item. Maybe we’re biased, because we live in America’s top diner state, New Jersey, where Diners are littered throughout the state. That all said there are a few staples to a diner: breakfast, milkshakes, burgers, and pie. Nothing beats any of these in a diner deserving of the name. Diners are the choice of locals, they’re where you can find a friendly face, and a welcoming smile. Food isn’t expensive portions are more than worth the money, and the food itself feels like a home cooked meal. A good diner has heart.

12. Getting Away
A vacation is about getting away. Away from work, from problems with family or friends, away from the monotony of daily life. In a sense it is a get away from yourself, you can be someone else or do things you normally never would. It could be the mental break from life that you need to recharge and return with a new outlook on an old problem.

20 Best Parts of a VacationPhoto courtesy | Roderick Eime

13. Adventure
or you may just want excitement, the chance to feel alive, to channel the spirits of your ancestors and to see new lands, surround yourself in a strange place where a language you don’t speak is the common tongue. Adventure is not for every body, it is not something to take lightly, it can be dangerous and you may be prey to a pickpockets or liars, but whatever may happen you for certain will come out changed, with new insight in the world around you.

14. Living It Up
Everyone wants to be rich and famous, while that wish can’t come true for most of us, we can however have a taste of what it is like to not worry about money. A vacation is a perfect reason to take the money you’ve been saving and splurge a little. A vacation is where you take hold of opportunities and not wait for next time or be frugal.

15. Family
Nothing says family like a good vacation. It is a time to reconnect to those that are closest to you. As kids we loved going on family vacations, we would stay up late and the amount of activities seemed endless. As we grow older into our teenage years, more often than not, family vacations died down and we don’t go as much. Once you become an adult, going away with family happens more often again and we started to spend a lot more time together. The appreciation for our loved ones is renewed and it’s often centered around travel.

20 Best Parts of a VacationPhoto courtesy | Isaac Bowen

16. Customization/Personal Decisions
We are constantly told what we should be doing, what we should eat, how we should spend our money and a vacation lets us get away from that. A vacation to some is sitting on a beach for five days, to others it is a mountain climb that tests the limits of the human body, to many it is a family event to bring the kids somewhere magical, or just a getaway for two. Whatever your vacation destination is it is something that you decided to do, no one can tell you if you had a good or bad vacation, that is completely up to you, so wherever you may go make sure it is something you absolutely want to do.

READ MORE: Travel Profile: Max Bemis of Say Anything

17. Souvenirs
This is a lot more of a materialistic thing, but souvenirs can be great. Now we’re not talking about the common gift shop last minuet items at the airport. We’re talking about the item you cant find anywhere else, something that will stay with you as a reminder of what the trip meant to you. Maybe its something simple like sand from the beach, but maybe its a pair of chopsticks that were found in a small street shop while you were waiting for a bus. Souvenirs act as a memento of the time spent away from home.

18. Bragging Rights
Everyone loves a good trip, and coming home with a new appreciation for a culture, or even just a tale of this outrageous waterfall you jumped off of, everyone likes to brag a little when they return. Sharing your adventures with others can help convince a friend to take their own personal journey. Be warned however bragging too much can easily get on peoples nerves and just because you have a better understanding of a new culture doesn’t mean everyone wants to hear about it all the time.

20 Best Parts of a VacationPhoto courtesy | Grand Velas Riviera Maya

19. Coming Home
As much as we love vacations, like Dorthy said “There’s no place like home”. Returning from an exhausting trip is one of the best feelings. You’re back home safe and sound, sleeping in your own bed, driving your own car, returning to your life. It’s easy to want to get away forever and never have to deal with your problems but overcoming challenges is a part of life a trip can be a nice break but it shouldn’t last forever and there’s something special in those fleeting moments. Sure you value your time away but you also get to understand that what makes a trip so special is that it isn’t constant but you get to enjoy it while it lasts.

20. Planning the Next Trip
Finally: planning the next trip. Now that you have crossed a destination off of your bucket list it’s time to decide where to go next. Returning to the same place every year could have a special meaning to you and a loved one, or you want to travel across the world and see as much of it as it has to offer. Regardless of why you want to travel there really are very few destinations that could be wrong and it is a completely personal decision you need to make. That said after returning from a trip while it is nice to be home we’re constantly looking froward to my next adventure.

About The Writer
Devin Hartmann

By: Devin Hartmann | Published on May 24, 2016

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