It’s a rare thing, but if you ever have the time to take a month-long vacation, you should jump at the chance. While short-term vacations are wonderful, when you leave for a long time, it can be a real refresher in many ways. Life can honestly change from stepping out of your everyday world for an extended period of time. These vacations are not just about unwinding, but about gaining a new perspective.
A Different Kind of Trip
The biggest advantage to traveling for a month is that you can engage in more than one style of vacation, or do one adventure and really go in depth. For example, if you want to bike through Vietnam for a couple weeks, then hop over to Hong Kong for a cosmopolitan experience, that’s totally feasible. Which means you can experience all kinds of new things. That adds perspective, true, but also balance. We all have many sides, so giving yourself a month allows you to nourish every part of yourself. Some people really need a little bit of luxury and roughing it on vacation, and with a month-long trip, you get both. And, if you’d like to do one thing for a whole month, like hike up Mount Kilimanjaro, that’s available to you, and you can have a day or two of rest before you battle the long flight home.
More Flexibility to Experience More
Maybe you really wanted to see a particular city, only to find it’s not all that great. Or, there’s a place you thought you’d only like for a day or two, but really, you’d like to hang around for a week! With more time, you have more flexibility. This allows for better self exploration. Who knew you liked yoga so much? Or maybe metropolitan cities are your jam after all? Discoveries like these are great gifts and you should really settle in and gain some understanding as to what you enjoy, and why. Also, it’s fun, so why not indulge yourself for a while, you’re on vacation. This also lets those who are a little more rigid to relax a little more. There’s time for everything.
A New Way to Live
If you plan to vacation in one place for the whole month, you become entirely integrated within a new culture. Even if you’re traveling within the United States, planting your feet in one new city is going to change the way you look at the world. Think about it. In this place, you get groceries and often cook at home, you might stay in and watch TV, or go to a movie, or take a leisurely dinner, or, even more, you start to do the things everyone else living in your new place does. If you’re in France, you might eat a baguette every single day, or in Spain you might take a nap in the afternoons. The way you plan your day starts to fall into the rhythms of a new place, which means you understand it in a way that a sightseer just won’t. And when you come home, maybe you continue taking those afternoon naps – just don’t let your boss in on your new habit.
You Meet the Locals
When you start to adapt in a new city, you begin to see the same people over and over again. Maybe they become your friends, or maybe you just establish a dialogue. What you talk about is a new fabric in your travels. Locals are enlightening, no matter where you are or what you’re doing, and they tend to like people who become familiar. It’s human nature, you like the same things, after all. When you’re friendly with a local, you get insight to your new city in a frank, and real manner. That’s a real learning experience, and it’s one to treasure.
As touched on above,when you take a month to travel, it means you can spend a bit of time in several places. So often our trips feel like whirlwinds, and we don’t get to do or see everything we hoped. If you can take some time, say a week in four different places, you can really dig in and fully understand four cities, inside and out.
On the other hand, giving yourself a month allows you to see many more places, which can also be enlightening. If you go to eight cities, for example, you’re likely to notice patterns among your destinations. The differences become more obvious, and intriguing, and you can digest it all better because you’ve been in so many new places, that new becomes regular. When you come home, you may find some of these same qualities exist, though you never noticed them before.
Your Perspective Changes
This is the big thing – your world view is different. You may take something with you as far as habit, or appreciation, but what really sinks in is an ability to understand that some people don’t live like you do, or have your ideas. Not only can you now consider their ideas, but you become capable of listening to something new. You become empathetic and curious, which not only makes you an intriguing person to talk to, not a bad trait, but also, you continue to grow, even at home.
What’s the best thing that’s ever happened from your long vacation? What did you learn? What would you do next time?