As we recalled past travels while planning for the coming travel season, it became clear to us that it’s not the list of things to see and do, but the stories we’d put together around them, that really matter. Stories are what you remember.
Indeed, without knowing it then, this must have been why we built StraitsJourneys…What if we could make it easier for others to create lasting travel experiences? We’re not just talking about booking a plane ticket and a room – all too simple to do these days – but a trip that gives you something more, something deeper.
In our experience, travel stories are enriched by immersive interactions that aren’t just enjoyable, but also offer opportunities to learn more about a specific area of interest. One way is to have a local with expert knowledge in a particular field guide you around. It exposes you to the magic of travel, that element of change – where you meet people you may otherwise never have met, or experience things you could never have planned for.
As we open our minds to the new encounters and environments, out of our familiar zones, we’re reminded of how small our own worlds are. We return with different perspectives, recharged and energised – almost different people.
And travel destinations don’t have to be across borders or somewhere lofty. You can gain just as much travelling to a neighbouring town or even a park you’ve never been. What matters is that you’ve opened yourself to change, to the magic.
We‘re also longing for the dialogues – brief encounters with people we meet along the way. The driver who would say we were “Five-ty kilomet” away, no matter where we went (we still don’t know if he meant 15 or 50). The generous florist round the corner who always gave us an extra stalk when we bought flowers for our apartment. The shopkeeper who wouldn’t let us go until he’s shown us all his antique pens. The friend-of-a-friend, a food critic who doesn’t enjoy eating off-duty…
We’ve come to learn that:
- when you embrace a new environment and learn to find beauty in what you see, that new world quickly becomes part of your own
- despite cultural and language differences, a genuine smile or greeting turns passers-by into eager helpers and strangers into friends
- even when you make a wrong turn navigating to your destination, the journey can be as enjoyable with surprising finds
- not everyone is glued to their phones obsessing about their next social media update or checking what the rest of the world is doing.
What’s your story?
We thought it’d be meaningful to share what we’ve learnt about our journeys with all of you – not just about how we travel but more importantly, how we want to live.
So, here’s to a travel season full of stories, and magic! If you’ve been touched by any of your travel experiences, we’d love to hear from you via Facebook or your comments here.
StraitsJourneys is a place for travelers to find and book deep travel experiences tailored to specific interests. The experiences are presented by carefully selected local experts. We expect to launch in early 2018. In the meantime, register your interest in StraitsJourneys and be the first to receive our stories, updates and offers.