13 expressions of travel love and nostalgia
We were deeply moved and inspired by the stories shared in our previous collection on What I Miss Most About Traveling, but every travel lover knows there is no end to the love letter that our world deserves. Every experience means something different to each traveler, and each trip can deliver something completely unexpected, revealing new things about the world, cultures, wildlife, nature, and ourselves. There are infinite things to love and miss about traveling, and that’s what keeps us craving more!
As COVID keeps our globetrotting at bay, we have plenty of time to reminisce and dream of the marvels of travel that we miss so dearly. This is why we decided to share another collection of stories from our community on what they love most about traveling, which is sure to evoke feelings of nostalgia, and inspiration, and wanderlust.
Please take a moment to allow your mind to wander along on the journeys shared below.
“My favorite thing about travel is the opportunity to experience life as a local. I love to take the subway or the little electric trams that get you around the city. I like to do morning jogs around the neighborhood. I love to take my afternoon coffee at various small, local cafes. I miss viewing life through a different lens and imaging how I would be living my life if I were born and raised somewhere else.
I think it’s also the best way to relate to locals and make friends — they may be surprised that you are so interested in their daily life, that they would be willing to share the part that is always hidden to tourists! After all, the best part about learning so much about a new culture, is realizing there is so much that you still need to learn.”
Phillip Weiss, Founder of a travel blog focused on digital nomad lifestyle and culture, PhilipWeiss.org
“I love seeing somewhere new and going somewhere I’ve not been before. It doesn’t have to be that far from home to feel “undiscovered”. Beautiful landscapes, an amazing view, these all help to really make the experience. I love spending plenty of time outdoors and having different experiences. Wherever I go, I try the local food (even haggis in Scotland!), try to speak to as many local people as I can and just explore off the beaten track. I love how these amazing memories and stories stay with you so you can relive them, even when you aren’t travelling.”
Samantha Wragg, CoCo Travels
“The restrictions on traveling have made it clearer than ever how much we value the break it gives our minds. This may be something which has been acutely felt since our homes have also become our workplaces in large part. We can no longer come home from work and switch off, or even blow off some steam at a restaurant. Therefore, the prospect of sitting on a beach somewhere and listening to the waves crash is almost therapeutic in itself.
That time away from our phones, work emails and daily responsibilities is sorely needed to live a balanced life, so without it, we’ve all felt even more strained. Add in the health risks and lockdown life and it becomes even more challenging!”
Kyri, Mindful Wonderer
“The thing I love the most about travel is visiting the little-known places and experiencing life as a local. Watching my children appreciate local cultures, trying the local cuisine and learning about the wonderful things each place can offer, is what our family misses the most.”
Mrs. D. of family travel blog I can show you the world 5
“What I love most about my normal travel plans — which is spending time in the mountains and lochs of Scotland — is, of course, the natural wildness of the place, but also the way that the local economy (in places heavily reliant on tourism) and environment interact with each other. As an economist by profession, this is something I pay particular attention to, and I have missed this cultural fix as much as the scenery and wilderness. Everything in the city seems so mechanical and colourless by comparison.
What I’ve missed the most is the freedom of being outside in the wilderness, the clean, sharp air, and the ever-changing scenery of the landscapes, far away from the crowded and frenetic but repetitive activity of urban life.”
James Black, Founder and Editor at Wilderness Redefined
“In a world filled with technological marvels and a fast-paced lifestyle, traveling is something akin to relaxation and self-discovery. To love traveling is to love exploration and even yourself. Lately, social media has increased this attraction of wanderlust lifestyle and people are increasingly looking forward to exploring more than what they have experienced before. They are looking forward to traveling to other countries, which many Americans are not comfortable with.
Personally, my love for traveling has been inherited from my parents as they have been wanderlusts their whole lives. Witnessing different cultures and various languages have been one of the most appealing things for me. The fact that you learn from these experiences more than you can ever learn from classrooms or movie theatre is fascinating. For nature lovers, discovering rare regional animals and their natural habitats and other similar knowledge is breathtaking.”
Jennifer Willy, Editor at Etia
“One thing I love most about traveling is the feeling when you arrive at your destination and realize you know nothing about it. There are so many things to explore and experience and you can do whatever you want during the trip. I simply love the freedom because I get to choose how I’m going to spend my time without any obligations or constraints.
Sometimes I simply sit all day at local cafes and restaurants to really feel the vibe of a city. Other times I like to take local buses around the place and enter some of the more secluded neighborhoods. I usually have a crazy tempo when I travel, which is why each time I come back from a trip, I feel so full of impressions and I usually need a few days to process everything.”
Torben Lonne, Founder of DiveIn
“I love everything about traveling except the packing to go and the packing of all my purchases when it is time to return!
I love to travel by airplane because you get to see some of the most beautiful aerial views that you cannot appreciate or see from the road. I love the idea of going somewhere different and having space to feel free. I love to drive across states and stop at interesting rest stops to pick up brochures and learn something about that state. I love being able to eat at a variety of different places even if it is McDonald’s (we only have KFC). I love exploring museums, aquariums, zoos and cultural events.
I think traveling also opens your mind and broadens your horizons with the people that you meet. You have to learn how to communicate and get along with others, even if it is just to ask for directions!”
Uneaka Daniels, Teacher (Bermuda)
“There are too many things I love/miss about travel!
- The excitement of choosing a new destination and making the booking that makes it official
- The rush I get while packing and barely sleeping the night before catching the flight
- The happy feeling of landing in an unknown country that will soon no longer be unknown
- The music I listen to while people watching and walking the streets that become the soundtrack of that trip, and whenever I hear the songs again, I get to travel in time
- The people I meet, from locals to other travelers, that shape my travels into a unique experience, and many develop into longterm friendships
- The real tips about relevant attractions to must eat food that I always like to get from locals, which no article could ever provide
- The many photos I take to ensure my trip is well recorded visually, as well as in my journal”
Lisa Tejeda, The Traveling Journals
“I am big on solo travel. The anticipation of discovering a foreign country of the unknown gives me an adrenaline rush. I love that feeling; I’m a bit of an adventure seeker. I love excursions that involve water, an excuse to wear a bikini and get out of my comfort zone. I love snorkeling and have a fascination with marine life. When on land, I always appreciate a good historical tour, immersing in the culture, architecture, and people and delving into many culinary delights. The best part of traveling solo is meeting new and different people from all walks along my journey. Those are some of the things I love about travel.”
Melissa Waterman, Blogger
“What I love most about traveling is the feeling of freedom it gives you. It fuels your energy and drains your energy at the same time, but in a good way. It makes you forget about all the stress in your life for at least a while. It gives you the chance to be a child again. I prefer nature over cities and being surrounded by mountains without anyone else is just so special. You can recharge all your batteries. Even a stunning sunset can give me tears of joy and gratitude.
I think back to all the incredible experiences I was able to make in the past years and I feel pure excitement. It makes me appreciate the earth so much more and gives me a better understanding of why we HAVE to take care of it. I miss all of it so much and can’t wait to travel again, even if it’s only a short trip.”
Michelle von Kalben, MichellevonKalben.com
“What I love most about travel is trying the food and drinks that are typical in each country in the best restaurants in each location. I love getting a feel for the best parts of cuisine in each country since it tends to be so much better in its origin than when you try it in other countries.”
Stacy Caprio, Deals Scoop
“I enjoy so many aspects of traveling, it’s hard to choose what I love the most. I guess I’d have to say the food! I always join a local cooking class in the areas I travel to and I have a great time preparing, cooking, and eating awesome dishes.
I love trying different cuisines and new flavors and I always come back home with a whole load of spices and local ingredients with the aim of re-creating the dishes myself. Sadly, they never taste quite the same.
One of the best trips of my life was to the Banda Islands in Indonesia. Banda was the original source of nutmeg and mace and to this day, the islanders continue to cultivate nutmeg trees. The local cuisine is something really special!”
Brandon Wachs, SHARK EYES
We hope these stories can serve as a small sliver of the blissful escape that travel allows us to have. And as we stay home and dream of exploring the world like we once did, let’s aspire to appreciate the gift of travel that much more when it is possible again.
World Footprints Editor Kellie Paxian is living the digital nomad lifestyle as she explores six continents (and counting — looking at you, Antarctica). Her office locations are determined by a mix of wanderlust and Wi-Fi. From the top of mountains to the bottom of the ocean, there is no bucket list item that Kellie won’t chase. She is passionate about wildlife, adventure, and making the most out of every experience on her travels, whether it’s good or bad. Follow her footprints across the world on Instagram at @kelliepaxian