Re-establishing our Travel Harmony

Re-establishing Our Travel Harmony

Weekend Travel Inspiration – Anatole France

Harmony, health, balance, zen. These are all things we are constantly trying to achieve. As teachers, Jim and I are on a strict schedule which thankfully allows us to indulge in our loves of getting out into this world and experiencing it in every way that we can. However, especially as a travel blogger, it’s easy to default to just jetting into a new city, pounding the pavement for a long weekend, and jetting home to go to work. Even though I enjoy this as well, it certainly lacks something that I think is integral in getting to know a place, and quite frankly, more personally for me, to really like a place.

Large cities, and especially capital cities like Skopje or Oslo, are a must when traveling to a new country. That’s where you are going to find the country’s collections of important art and artifacts, government offices (if you need a visa), cultural events, and other services. You can certainly go to any city and stay for a few days soaking in the history, the night life, the bustling daily life. What you can’t get is fresh air, a look at their agriculture or landscapes. You can ‘t get a feel for how life may have been lived in that area for hundreds of years. Cities typically are more modern, and even if they are not completely modernized, they are definitely going to be more so than in the tiny villages and countryside.

For my own personal balance, I really want to expose myself to all of what the country has to offer. I feel better when I’ve gotten off the pavement, walked on a dirt path, shook hands with a local, and eating some hearty local dish. So this year, as we make plans, I’m hoping to limit my stays in larger cities to just a couple of days, vowing to get out of the streets and shopping arcades to see and feel and be part of the landscape. Jim and I do this already as we often go by car versus plane, but it’s still not as much as I want to or maybe even need to. If you saw our post on the places we’d like to get to this year, then you’ll know that this secondary goal of re-establishing our travel harmony should be relatively easy to achieve.

How about you?  What are some of your travel goals this year?

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Re-establishing Our Travel Harmony


  1. Yes! I’ve been feeling the same way, and have made a point to explore closer to home when we don’t have a lot of time. Stress always puts a damper on our experience anyway, so it’s nice to be able to really explore.

  2. Happy New Year Corinne! I think 2016 should include a visit to Lou Messugo, which is conveniently located out of a big city, in an authentic small town with the most amazing host ready to show you the “real” Côte d’Azur!!!! I can’t believe you’ll be just down the road for the fête du citron while I’m away! You haven’t changed your dates for that by any chance have you? When are we going to meet? My travel plans so far for this year only take me as far as April but I’ve got Naples, London, Marseille and Brittany lined up. I need to plan something big for the summer but haven’t decided where yet. I’ll take a look at the posts linked up here for inspiration! I haven’t got anything to link up this week as I’ve been writing more cultural than travel posts recently.

    1. Phoebe, No problem. Yes, I agree. It’s time we met in person. I wish you were going to be there when we head down next month. Why do we always seem to just miss each other. Well, if you come by my way this summer or whenever, let me know!

  3. Great points. I haven’t had as many opportunities to visit more rural areas on all of my travels, but certainly so in Brazil. It was because I went to tiny towns no one I know has ever heard of and spent weekends in the country with no cell reception that I truly fell in love with the country. I may not have the chance to travel so far this year, so my travel goals are to enjoy traveling in my own backyard as often as possible, which luckily is one of my favorite places in the world 🙂 Happy New Year!

  4. Neither my husband nor I are much into cities when we travel. But, as you mentioned, if you want to see larger museums and cultural events then that’s the place to be. I prefer to start a trip in a larger city – especially if we fly- and then head out into the countryside. We can relax for the latter part of the trip after the noise of the city.

    1. Jill, If I have the time, that’s exactly how I like to do it as well. It’s great to see the history/archaeology museum when you first get to the country, then go find the sites that the artifacts came from.

  5. I do agree that our most memorable experiences have come from getting away from the main touristy areas and meeting and talking with local people. Don’t get me wrong, I do understand why so many travellers come to see what makes the cities special, but it is that chance meeting, chance meal or chance conversation that brings the richness and depth to our experiences. Not a bad 2016 resolution I think

  6. It’s funny you should ask about travel goals for this year. That’s exactly what the post we linked up talks about! Just a few plans, but trying to work out more. I think we’ve managed a balance between big and small cities, but are heavy on history. On the other hand, that suits us – it’s our zen. Looking forward to read about your travels as the year progresses. Hope they’re all safe travels!

  7. I totally agree with this. Most people who travel rarely get off the beaten track and really discover the country they are visiting. They rush around only seeing the main tourist attractions, take a few snapshots and then call that a holiday. Sometimes they return home exhausted trying to keep up the hectic pace of visiting too many cities in the one trip. My husband and I have learnt from experience that this is not the type of travel experience we desire. We like to immerse ourselves into the country’s culture, cuisine and countryside. It is a much more pleasant way to travel.

  8. I totally agree Corinne. Even when we travelled to Bali late last year we ensured we found a tour that took us up into the mountains and rice fields so we could get a glimpse of the real Balinese culture, not just the tourist restaurants, and shops.

  9. i have a mental bucket list of places I want to go but I haven’t gotten to because other travel opportunities keep popping up. I would love to be the person who says, “In 3 years we will go to Australia,” but I wonder about all the other interesting trips I might pass up saving and planning around that. I guess it makes me the grasshopper instead of the ant. But there is also serendipity in discovering places it never occurred to you to visit until a friend moved there or you were invited on a press trip. Over the holidays I visited my 5th continent and that really made me think with only 2 left I really ought to make a point of getting to them.

  10. I like to strike a balance on trips that are a week or longer between the exploring big cities and getting out into nature. I didn’t realize this until a few years ago when I had the epiphany that I enjoyed Versailles’ “backyard” so much because it was our sole escape from the big city of Paris. I think Marie Antoinette supposedly felt the same way. I have high hopes that you will somehow get to stay at Lou Messugo and meet Phoebe.

  11. We always seem to default to cities because we never have enough time to devote to thoroughly exploring a country. I wish we had the option of just taking a few weeks and slowly making our way around a destination. We are heading to Ireland in March and will get to see some of the countryside but we only have 8 days so it will still be fast and furious instead of leisurely exploration!

  12. I’m an old soul, I don’t like cities very much. I prefer the countryside, the beach, the mountains and most specially the old towns. I always avoid the cities whenever I can unless it’s in Europe because most of the cities there are pretty! :p

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