The last couple of weekends I went to places that had never been on my radar. In fact, in life I’ve gone a lot of places that weren’t on my radar for various reasons…but my favorite reason is to visit people. Some of the best adventures I have are visiting friends and family. Some of the best weekends/vacations have occurred the same way.
Here are 5 reasons you should reconsider your big trip to that fancy touristy place and think about visiting someone you care about:
- Save some money. You have a free place to stay…and a free tour guide! Visiting a close friend can mean you have a place to stay, someone to feed you, and someone to take you around to all of the well-known, or hidden sights! If your friend is working, you still have someone who can give you suggestions as well as keep you company after a long day of touristing.
- Spending time with “locals” is a great way to experience local culture. Who knows the best coffee place in town? What about the best place to watch the sunset? Your people will! I spent two Mardi Gras in a row visiting friends in Louisiana, yet never made it to New Orleans. The Mardi Gras magic with my friends in the small Louisiana town outside of Baton Rouge was better than any large anonymous party. I had the chance to experience a Mardi Gras ball, a parade, a Catholic mass in the Bayou, and eat some delicious Po’boys and fried pickles…also drive thru daquiris.
- You get to visit places not featured in the guide books. In addition to all of the tourist attractions and major destinations, you get to go somewhere unique. Be it a college town in Brasil (Viçosa), a unique neighborhood in the bustling metropolis of Bangkok, a little known street dance cultural event (I promise this to any guests in the next two months), a tropical fruit plantation, or a cabin tucked away in the woods. All of these unique experiences will be solely yours and they will make your traveling experience more rich.
- Sometimes you can mix them both. Living on the same continent as a friend, but in different countries, we’ve had the chance to each visit each other and also to meet in a different country (because it was half way/half price). When we were visiting each other, we got the perks of a travel buddy, the excitement of seeing long lost friends, and exploring a new place.
- All the love. Most of all, the best part of traveling to people and not places is all of the great memories and moments of love you’ll share. You’ll get a chance to make home-cooked meals, play board games, share funny stories, catch up, and get the best hugs! That has been the biggest blessings of having resources to visit my loved ones. Spending my time and money on them means that we both get to live our lives where and how we want, while knowing that it is always “until next” and never “goodbye”.
For all my dear friends and families…I’m always accepting visitors. Open invitation stands. Come and visit me (& wherever I happen to be). A free place to stay, good conversation, and the best hug await you!