I remember my first trip to Guatemala over 16 years ago. The streets were empty, there was barely any traffic, and let’s not even talk about tourism. Sure, you’d cross path with the occasional backpacker, but when I told my family I was headed there, at first, they were concerned. There were safety warnings issued by the government, and the first night I spent in the streets of Flores, in the Northern region of Petén, my travel buddy and I were looking behind out backs every few seconds and rushing to get a bite and go to bed.
How things have changed! Now Flores has a Mc Donald’s and I’d walk around at 3am without too much worry. But one thing that has changed drastically is the amount of visitors the country receives each year. Now, it’s almost main stream to go to Guatemala. So what happens for the thrill seeker? Is it always about finding new, more exciting destinations?
Look at how Saudi Arabia for example. It’s not like it’s just a short flight away on الخطوط السعودية. Just this year, the country has opened a tourist visa program that allows European citizens to visit and tour the country. But before that, it was mostly limited to pilgrims and business travelers. So that is definitely one of the most exciting destinations for 2019.
You could go stay in a فنادق المدينة المنورة and then go visit Mecca, the Muslim capital of the world, or the city of Jeddah and the construction site of the impressive 3280ft high tower known as Kingdom Tower, that will be the tallest building in the world eventually.
But being always on the lookout for more excitement also begs the question: when is enough enough? When people will have discovered and toured every inch of the planet, will they be anxious to go to the moon?
I remember when I started traveling, and was super excited about “checking countries off my list”. I would make a detour just to spend a half day in Monaco or Andorra, some of the smallest countries in the world, just to call it good and say I had been there. Is that traveling? What is the point?
If you are going to go to a new country, or visit one you loved again and again, it usually boils down to life experiences. And sitting down with a local friend for dinner will leave you a much longer lasting memory than visiting church number 512. Or that art museum which name you won’t remember three months from now.
Enjoy the journey, even if the destination is exciting, this is not the most important part. There will always be a place, anywhere, that is off the beaten paths. Follow a smell, a good feeling, they may lead you to unexpected places, even in your own backyard.