KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid
Keep It Simple Stupid. Keeping your trip simple is the most important thing in having a good trip. Simple plans, simple itinerary, simple items to pack, simple expectations, simple lifestyles. These make your time on the road flexible, fun, real, and excellent.
Trying to do too much, seeing too much, eating too much, carrying too much, preparing too much, and expecting too much ruins trips. Trying to see five countries in two weeks is stupid. You just see the insides of trains and train stations instead of meeting people and having a great time.
As the saying goes: "Take half the clothes and twice the money."
Slow down and smell the roses. Realize that you will be returning another time. Realize that every neighborhood has its own story and its own glory. It's up to you to stop and embrace it. Keep It Simple Stupid.
Arthur Frommer, the great traveler and travel writer, once noted: the less money and more time spent, always seemed to create a better trip. And you should do the same.
Yes, you should visit the sites, the museums, the café, the restaurants, the parades, the vistas, the sunsets, the boat rides, and the festivals. Take pictures, laugh laughs, enjoy surprises, and feel great.
But also open your eyes, listen with your ears, ask questions, consider changes. But great trips find the hidden festivals, meet the excited locals, find the cozy corners, and enjoy what the locals enjoy.
The first secret is to realize that you can't do everything. So enjoy the now. Read the guides and do the research. NOT to plan a trip as much as to recognize a good thing, when you see it. Keep It Simple Stupid.
For instance, I'm driving in Italian Switzerland, determined to see as much of the famous Lake District with its magical mountains and forests, as I can. I suddenly run into a road block in one tiny village. I don't understand much Italian, so I have a hard time figuring out the sign posted there. There's not much choice, so I go around the village on poor roads.
I stop and ask myself, why is this so? I am determined to find out. Keep It Simple Stupid.
I park the car and get out. It's a perfect excuse to meet the locals, I never knew existed. I never planned to visit here. It's not on any map or guide.
Is it construction? Is it an accident? I won't find out without stopping. It's a wine festival, and it was in full swing. Wow!
There's a line to get a glass of wine. I join it. Everyone is laughing and talking all at once. It's so Italian. I understand nothing. I laugh along with everyone else, looking up to enjoy the sight of mountain crags and forest trees above me.
I'm giddy. It was so much fun.
Locals noticed my pleasure and joined in, pointing at small mountain peaks, saying their names, which I don't understand and can't guess.
I hear the stories associated with them, but don't fathom what I'm hearing. At the end of the line I'm handed a huge glass. It's immediately filled with local red wine. I get out my wallet to pay for it...
"Gratis" is the reply I get. I can't pay.
I try and Keep It Simple Stupid.
Puzzled, I remember vaguely hearing that word before.
I dawns on me. It means "free" as in free wine. I'm stunned.
I had lived and visited in Europe for 20 some years and I never got anything free at any festival. In the past the European always made sure you paid...
And I almost missed this spot. Keep It Simple Stupid.
Well, eventually I stay the rest of the day there, finding someone who spoke English. She explains that it's a simple shepherd's festival, held once a year. They are quite proud of it.
She translates the names of the peaks and rock formations above the village and helps me find a room at a local inn for the night.
Why do I want to complicate things and look for something "better" elsewhere or try to do more traveling? That's stupid.
Here, I found the place I really wanted to visit in the first place. It made my whole trip.
KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid.
Slow down, listen and stop.
Or you'll miss out on the best of travels.
Here is a quick list of Travel Secrets I found out about on my trips. I hope it helps you in your search for better travel:
Go to the Page on My Way to Travel
Nervous about travel?
Travel is Scary
Learn to Like Yourself as You Are
Time Slows Down when Traveling
KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid
The Power of the Open Question
Ask the Unbusy Police Officer
Ask the Locals - They know
Listening - An Important Skill in Travel
Contrast the Old and the New
Some Unusual Travel Insights
Be a Good Guest
Take a Walk - Relax - Enjoy Good Travel
Get Lost on a Bus - I Dare You
Change Course - Follow Someone Else's Idea of a Good Trip
Good Exercise is a Travel Bonus
Interacting with Children in a Foreign Land
Treatment of Americans Abroad
After All - It's Your Vacation