For me, destinations are those moments in life much like weddings, anniversaries, baptisms, graduations, etc., that punctuate our lives and many times mark crucial transitions.
Destinations in travel are the same as these big moments. They are moments of culmination and arrival. I can remember my first time destinations: the first time I saw Paris, my first ride on the ferris wheel at the Prater in Vienna, crossing the Golden Gate, and landing at tiny Staniel Cay.
Then there were destinations that I had to work towards: Prague, Berlin, Tokyo, Hong-Kong. And the destinations still to come: St. Petersburg, Dubrovnik, New Zealand, Scotland, Korea…
Again, I believe these destinations are goals that have been worked towards. Destinations are goals that make us ambitious to achieve.
As I reflect on destinations, I always arrive at the same conclusion… thinking about them, planning them, researching them, packing for them, and getting there is half the fun. This reflection points back to the idea that the journey is as valuable, if not more valuable than the destination.
Enjoying little moments of planning, being slightly nervous about the thrill of seeing something new, of becoming vulnerable in environments that are not familiar to us, and the expectation of discovery is what makes the destination truly enjoyable and unique.
We have often heard people say: “I was in Acapulco, and I had the BEST margarita ever.” Well, it might be so. Chances are that the margarita was pretty good, but more importantly all of our senses were present. From our taste, to our vision, to our hearing, to our touch, everything was focused on that one enjoyable moment.
If only we could be so present in everything we do. Yes, destinations are important, but keep in mind the journey… always the journey.