I have never posted in response to a Daily prompt before, but todays prompt tied in neatly to something I have been giving a bit of thought to of late, so it seemed as good a time as any to give it a go…so here goes!
I love social media and blogosphere. I love a glimpse into how other people live and create. Particularly, I enjoy travel themed posts. Be it a new destination, or a new take on an old favourite, it’s all endlessly interesting to me. Often, these posts celebrate the high-end of things. Do I enjoy seeing a You Tuber off to Paris on a Private jet? Or a blogger hanging out in a rustic mountain resort that costs thousands of euros per night? or yet another Instagram post of someone enjoying a city break in killer heels with matching designer bag? Well, yes, I do. Part of the draw of social media is seeing how people who don’t live like me do things. It’s a cliché, but it wold indeed be a boring world if we were all the same. (If this post had a soundtrack, we’d now all be singing about how if everybody looked the same, we’d get tired of looking at each other. Thank you, Groove Armada.) As much as I love all of this super glamorous, high end travel business, I think we should also celebrate the other side of the coin. Let us celebrate the practice of casual travel.
I am a casual traveller in every sense. I like to visit casual, laid back destinations. Anywhere with a dress code or any expectation of the visitor above basic manners and common decency turns me off. I used to quite fancy a trip on the Orient Express but upon investigation, the idea of dressing for dinner and a no jeans rule had me crossing that off the bucket list. I have a pair of uber-casual, slightly distressed Levi 501s that I have worn all over Europe. The idea of taking a trip without them leaves me feeling a bit blue. When you travel without formality, it’s a lot easier to travel light. No worrying about the right shoes to the right dress, no need to separate day attire from evening. Some denim, a bit of ath-leisure and the trusty (if now slightly battered) Havaianas do the trick pretty much everywhere we go.
When it comes to where to stay, I love browsing luxury hotels and lodges. accommodation porn. On a recent trip to Berlin we ventured into the Ritz Carlton for a look. Beautiful place, but it just felt a bit hushed, and a bit stiff. There was a beautiful young lady stood at the door, who seemed to have the job of greeting all who entered and all who left. It didn’t feel like the kind of place you could crack open a beer, sprawl across the seat and have a chat about the day. It did have the friendliest doorman I have ever encountered though…but his warmth just didn’t fit the feel of the place. In reality, I like a hotel or a campsite where I feel at home, comfortable. A place you can trudge in ,travel weary ,in flip-flops and jeans, where you can relax and laugh loudly, where you can turn up to breakfast even if you aren’t quite turned out yet, where I am not worried if the kids are excited or giggly or even being a tad obnoxious, Yeah, they get that way sometimes. Husband too, come to that.
And where ever we end up, I’m all for a bit of laid back meandering. Being seen at the latest must see doesn’t interest me. I almost feel like it’s all been seen before via social media anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I like to see the sights but I also like to stroll the suburbs and side streets. Find the Stolpersteine. . Explore the parks. I love a good grave yard, the older and more gothic the better. I like driving out to places I’ve never heard of, there and back to see how far it is. A picnic on a lake shore, a bit of wild swimming. It isn’t high-end and it isn’t luxe but it makes me feel genuinely happy and content with my lot in life.
So lets take a moment to celebrate the laid back loveliness of casual travel. It’s not a lesser option and not something that I do until I can afford the more expensive options. It’s just what makes me happy. My approach to travelling and life in general is all out casual. Even this blog is ridiculously laid back, all images taken on my trusty phone and most posts written by me whilst perched on my bed, usually in pyjama bottoms and with mug of tea in hand. Although I will always enjoy seeing how other people do things, I’ve no desire to change or upgrade. This is me, casual and content.
However you like to travel, may you travel well and travel often.