Monday, September 17, 2012

[Tips] 5 Ways to Generate Traveling Ideas

When I was growing up, travel meant two things for me; balik kampung (go back hometown) and pindah (moving). Without fail, each school holiday for me begun when I am either on a train or car - to be sent back to see my grandparents. My kampung was not all rural or nature, so it was not all that bad for an urban child like me. But moving to a new place gave all different meanings to travel for me. It was like a routine every few years. I could not hate it entirely because I have learned that after a certain period, I did enjoy the whole experience of knowing new environment, culture and people.

Now, I am more than 100% sure of the originating reason for being so fond of new traveling experiences. I was born and raised to become an explorer. I could never articulate in exact words nor portray the true visual emotions of how much a traveller I am at heart. Every single minute I spend not discovering something new is making my heart and mind gone wild (inside). Sometimes I envy seeing cheerful faces on pictures and videos of people traveling around or discovering adventures. I wish I could force myself to do the same, so others could also see and feel how a journey meant for traveler like me.

While finding traveling ideas, many of those times I found it very difficult (surely many of you can relate this experience, right?). Where to go? What to do? How to go about it? bla, bla, bla...

Certain places are highly publicized, so it is very easy to plan a travel or tour. However, there are places that are famous but you know there is more to it for you (includes the fact that we always want the experience to be exclusively unique). In this kind of cases, what kind of planning should a person do?

In my years of traveling experience, these are my top five (5) ways at generating traveling ideas:

  • Movies, drama series, MVs (video clips) - my favourite way to gain inspiration of travel planning. Many interesting places and great scenes are usually featured on movies, TV dramas and MVs. Usually when a nice place is spotted on TV, I would go to great extend to finding more information about this place. For example, it was from a Japanese drama that transpired me to dream about visiting Tokyo Tower, and when I finally made it to the destination, I was sure that at least Tokyo Tower was on my travel list.
  • Read and watch travel programs - there are various TV program, magazines and online travel websites that provide information on destinations and tours. NatGeo, CNNGo, Travel International, TravelGuides, etc. can give you good insights and reviews of what is available for one to explore. Aside from these travel websites and channels, you can also browse for independent travel blogs for more personalized reviews.
  • Explore local places - whenever I go out to visit local or common places, I always use some imagination and ask myself the "What-if" question a lot. So, whenever I am traveling to a new place I will prepare myself to do my usual stuffs at a new place. The easiest would be having a nice cup of coffee - having it at Starbucks in Malaysia is surely different than a Starbucks in states ^^
  • Join travel groups - be it online or a real club, joining a discussion about tours and travel activities will give me ideas and help me to decide what kind of activities that can be done while I am on the road. Listen to those who has been to places you have never been are definitely going to help set your expectation. 
  • Set NO limit - the world is created so big for us, people, to explore. At the point of generating ideas, never set any kind of limit so you can have more options. Sometimes expensive travel plan can be affordable, because all you need to do first is to discover the potential; rather than crossing a destination out from the list.
Of course there can be more ways for you to generate travel ideas, but the above are my top five methods when I am doing my gig. I have recently done someone very new in one of my future travel adventure. If I somehow managed to pull this gig, it will definitely be a great experience for this travel adventure.

At the end of the day, there is a famous saying that is very dear to me; "It is not the destination that matters, everything is in the journey."

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