What Do You Want and Why Do you Want It?

When I was young, my parents would schlep my brother and me from Western North Dakota to Northern California to visit family. The fact that we made this 24 hour journey every 2 years or so is testament to my mom’s love of our relatives. This isn’t because the road was dangerous or the trip expensive, but more so that my brother and I spent the entire time fighting. I’m not sure how it is that any of us survived those hours together.

As children of the 80’s, we were some of the first to see the advent of car television systems. These were in no ways the media players of today. They were big boxy squares with VCRs. My brother and I coveted them every road trip we took, and we made our desires for one very well known. That TV, in our eyes, would have saved us all (never mind the fact that we probably would have fought over what to watch).

I had truly hope that this would be our savior.

My mom’s reaction was always, “No, you need to see the cacti!” She was probably right, but truth be told, I usually had my nose stuck in a Box Car Children book anyways, so it’s not like I really saw any. Plus…I’m not sure there’s a whole lot of cactus in the long stretches of Montana, Washington, Oregon, or Idaho that we traversed. But regardless, Mom always wins.

I don’t remember actually seeing any cacti on those trips, but I know now that my mom was trying to get us to understand the importance of seeing new places and experiencing travel. The television was always there, but the mountains and deserts of the Western US aren’t always available to enjoy when you live somewhere else.

Have you ever wondered why something is so meaningful to you? Those road trips didn’t actually make me love travel, but something did. My core being loves it and can’t understand why it’s not a priority for everybody. But even for those whom travel is a priority, what is it that draws us to certain places? I for one, find that the more exotic a place, the more interest I have. Others may love travelling here in the US, but I need international intrigue and cultural differences.

What is it that makes us want what we want? Does it matter? I suspect it does. The more we understand what we want, the more we’ll actually appreciate it once we get it.

Forget Myer’s Briggs

One of the most common personality assessments is the  Myers Brigg’s Type Indicator, though many of you may also be familiar with others such as the Enneagram. Forget personality types, what about travel types?

The Best Trip Choices” website has a very short quiz to help you determine your travel type. It wasn’t very thorough, but probably better than any buzzfeed quiz out there.
My type is the “Venturer,” and honestly I think it’s quite accurate for me. Here’s a small portion of the type description::

Leisure travel occupies a central place in your life. If you are a typical Venturer, you go to more places, more often and participate in more unique experiences than anyone else. That’s why I call you a Venturer — someone who ventures forth very eagerly and excitedly. You fit in a small group. Only about 4% of all travelers share your extreme love of going to out of the way places and constantly seeking out of the ordinary adventures.
 
You’d rather fly than drive on your vacations because driving takes too much of the time you could spend at the destination pursuing the things you like to do. And you typically want to explore areas almost without a plan — and without a tour guide to discover the unexpected sights, sounds and culinary delights that every new travel experience can bring. You definitely do not like to travel with a group or follow a rigid, pre-determined itinerary. If you ever joined an escorted tour, it probably was by accident. You will not willingly make that choice again. You want freedom, glorious freedom, to follow your interests of the moment. You are happiest when you feel unfettered and unrestricted by the dictates and commands of others.

Typically, you like to visit relatively unknown and uncommon destinations long before travel writers have discovered them and encouraged hordes of people to come. You will even put up with inadequate hotels and food if you can be there before commercial development — and the crowds of tourists — consume the place. You might have to bed down in a sleeping bag if an inn can’t be found. Above all, you want a sense of spontaneity in your trips, a feeling that something new and fresh will happen every day, and perhaps several times a day. That adds a sense of joie d’ vivre and a hearty carefree feeling of enjoying life at its fullest to your travel experiences.

Unique cultures especially attract you. The opportunity to meet people of different backgrounds, languages, and social standards holds a special allure. Even when you don’t speak the language, a frequent occurrence for someone with your venturesome spirit, you’ll get around just fine. Sign language, a handful of words you’ve picked up, a lot of pointing (to pictures of where you want to go or of food you want to order), and even some laughing moments will help you get comfortably through just about every situation you encounter.
 
Here are the top International Destinations for my type, according to the website:
Something to think about. Croatia has been on my list for a while now…