This post is part of the TravelBelles´ Across the Cafe Table feature! Visit the TravelBelles site to see more.
For me, a new place means a chance to do things I wouldn´t normally do. When I´m travelling, I feel free. Nobody knows me, I´m thousands of miles from home, and I want to make every travel experience incredible.
So I do things I wouldn´t normally do, I eat things I deny myself at home, I go with my instincts, I´m spontaneous. After all, what´s stopping me? OK, so that dessert may be more calories than is really necessary, but I know that tomorrow I´ll be outside, walking the streets of a city, hiking in the mountains, maybe even paragliding or kayaking, so I´m sure to burn them off.
I allow myself the time to really explore a place, to really look, to appreciate what is beautiful and wonderful, rather than just rushing around to get all the sites in the guidebook ticked off. I take a lot of photos and go at my own pace. Ok, so I may not see everything, but I bet I see more than those people who try to.
I don´t mind roughing it when travelling; the budget constraints mean that I don´t always have a choice. But on a long trip of several months, there will be times where I treat myself and book into a nice hotel where I can have some peace and quiet, my own bathroom, an undisturbed sleep. Sometimes you need your own space and a bit of comfort, even a bit of luxury.
Of course I travel to explore different cultures and experience different ways of life. This has to be one of the richest, most interesting parts of travel, but there are times when I feel a bit tired, I get tongue-tied with the language and I feel out of my depth. At this point, I head for the nearest tourist café where I´m sure to find other people feeling the same way. OK, it might be more expensive than the locals´bar next door and hardy globetrotter-types may turn their noses up, but someimes there is just a need to meet other travellers, share stories with them and be reminded why it is we travel.
And sometimes, just sometimes, when it all gets too much, I head to the nearest internet café and skype my mum.