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Experiencing versus Visiting: What is the Difference?

19 March 2016 at 05:32

Experiencing vs visiting

What is the difference?

We have a fabulous time wandering the streets of Barcelona, absorbing the sights and smells and colours. Our hotel concierge is a local encyclopaedia when it comes to the
best restaurants and we have stories that our friends love to hear from every cab driver.

We even have that song that transports us back to Las Ramblas when we hear the first few chords – the memories are endless and fun.

What about the trip to Foix? Everyone can laugh at the stories now, months later, when the disappointment has worn off, and it doesn’t seem quite so bad. Did you really order the wrong thing in every restaurant? Did you get the timing so wrong that you couldn’t get into any of the museums that you were so excited about seeing…and did no cab driver want to chat?

And when that “Foix” song comes on the radio your channel hopping speed would put Superman in the shade.

What was the difference?

Timing?

Luck?

Attitude?

Probably a bit of all three. We know what our passions are and we want to indulge them.

Motor racing or stately homes, fine dining or adrenaline rushes – they are all there for the taking in most locations, so why do we sometimes leave it to chance?

Some of us are just natural optimists: we are going to a stunning location, and therefore we know we will find the absolute best bits in our short visit, meet truly incredible people with life stories that one only reads about and return home with our hearts and minds overflowing with all that we have seen.

Some of us, excited but still in work mode, go online, order all of the guide books with the best reviews, plan to read them all on the relatively short plane journey and emerge at our destination with an itinerary that would put Michael Palin to shame.

Time is the usual culprit. We do a bit of online research, we ask friends for recommendations, we even buy a book or two and then we pack our bags and we’re off.

For many of us leading our mad and busy lives, we have “no time to stand and stare” (as William Henry Davies so eloquently wrote) and no time to plan our very valuable breaks away.

Our holidays are as important as that huge sales presentation that you spent weeks preparing, or the search for the ideal candidate that you planned down to the last detail. We don’t function at full capacity without breaks, without “sharpening the saw” as Stephen Covey would describe it.

So let’s make the most of the array of options open to us to plan our precious breaks: books, the internet, recommendations, travel blogs and concierge services.

Choose what works for you, book that planning time in your diary and make all your memories bring a smile to your face.

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