Cultural Experience | Resources

The Little Joys of Travel

Enjoy the little things in traveling and hold onto the things that will stay with you forever.

My friends always make fun of me saying that when I love something, I LOVE it.  They joke that I get so excited over the simplest things: like a perfectly formed ice cream cone topped with pretty rainbow sprinkles or a really adorable dog we pass that reminds me of my own puppy who’s probably sleeping on the couch at home. Often they compare me to a little kid and I’m not the slightest bit ashamed.

Sure, these things might seem small and simple, but I’ve always been a strong believer in finding joy in the little things. I’ve always been quite passionate and when I love something, I truly, whole-heartedly love something. This is just one of the things that makes me, well me.

And one thing that I whole-heartedly love and am passionate about? Travel.  Adventuring and exploring a new place just feels right. I love learning about someone else’s home and culture. I love the freedom, the experience, and the joy it brings me. I know it is what I’ll be doing for the rest of my life. And I think one thing that makes me unique as a traveler is that I find the joy in the little things.

There can be such a joy in just sitting in a pub in England eating fries and drinking a coke. Everything about that moment could be special, merely because you’re in a different place in the world and away from home. You do not have to be doing some huge, Instagram-worthy thing to make travel worthwhile. Be content with simply just taking in the moment while traveling.

In Brighton, England, going to the beach and just sitting there staring at the ocean is not much different than sitting on a beach in the US but because there is the freedom of being alone in Europe and the idea that you are so far from home and on a new adventure is exciting! The idea of doing typical, daily activities in a new place is when you truly get to know an area and you can truly say you’ve experienced being there. So don’t get caught up in planning grand outing or packed days all the time. Being spontaneous gives you the freedom of doing what you please in the moment. And without a schedule to follow, you won’t be so concerned with completing it and not taking time to actually enjoy what you’re doing.

It’s important for travelers to find joy in the small things while on a journey. Not everything about travel has to be grand and big. Every meal does not have to be fancy and expensive. In fact, don’t expect it to be; traveling isn’t picture-perfect. And if you lose that expectation, you’ll probably enjoy your travels even more.

It’s ok to slow down, just appreciate the place you’re in, and thinking about where you currently are in the world. In fact, it’s good that a traveler takes time to remember how grateful they are to be able to experience the journey they are on. Put away your phone for a bit. Set your camera down and stop worrying about getting a “flawless” picture. Be observant. Enjoy the beauty and the atmosphere of each place you visit. The way they make you feel will be what you remember in the long run. You might not remember all the paintings you saw in The Louvre from you daylong visit but you will definitely remember the freedom you felt and how alive Paris made you while you were there.

Enjoy the little things in traveling and hold onto the things that will stay with you even after you leave.

Liz Domeck

Elon University | 11 stories

Cleveland born and raised. Living in the south while attending school in North Carolina working toward Strategic Communications and Public Health degrees. Has a love for Jesus Christ, all flavors of ice cream, elephants, and exploring new places. In her free time, she reads lots of books, frolics in random places, and spends time playing soccer. She's determined to fill her passport with stamps and to never stop learning.

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