Who doesn’t love vacation? I don’t always relish the entire process of planning a vacation, but I can’t deny the feelings of excitement it brings. This could include a quick day of exploration, a leisurely weekend escape, or an extended period of blissful fun.
Unfortunately, I spent a lot of my life believing that a vacation had to be this big ordeal. That I had to take an entire week off of work and other responsibilities. In order for my trip to qualify as a “vacation,” I had to travel a certain distance to a luxurious resort type lodging.
But, let’s be honest. Most people can’t afford things like that, especially with their family in tow. I am so thankful I saw through that lie and shifted my mindset. Now, I am open to new thoughts and ideas and it has been an amazing journey!
I recently shared some highlights from our nine-day family adventure on social media, complete with pictures. Imagine my surprise when the most extended vacation we ever experienced as a family also turned out to be the most frugal!
This journey was more than just a quick drive to the next state. I’m talking 5,495.3 miles that we drove, through 11 different states, though we spent most of our time in only 4 of those states. I’m pretty sure I took a photo for every one of those miles we drove.
When I shared some of my photos from the Pacific Northwest, I used the hashtag #TravelCulture. If you follow me on the regular, you may have noticed I’m not one who uses hashtags often. If you noticed that, you probably also noticed an increase of hashtag usage during and following this trip. It is largely because of this trip—they are growing on me because of this experience!
It didn’t take long for a lot of questions to pop up from friends and family:
- What is travel culture?
- How is it different from vacationing or conventional travel?
- What all does it encompass?
- Do you have to go to another country for cultural travel?
- How can you afford that with inflation and with kids?
I’ll admit, the answers to some of those questions still eluded me just a few short years ago. After hearing people’s interest in what we did and how we did it, I knew I had to share more about our journey, our experiences, and why I dubbed it travel culture. There are just so many things to dive into. I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts and tips with you in the coming weeks. I just want to start by saying:
The experience of cultivating a culture of travel is a treasure beyond measure.
Read that again. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
I’m 100% serious about this. Travel culture is a great way to learn about other people and places, but perhaps more importantly, it is also a great way to learn more about yourself. Experiencing life within a foreign culture is the essence of cultural travel, rather than just a temporary visit. Actually immersing yourself in the culture you are trying to experience is the key difference between simply vacationing in a new place and truly experiencing the culture of the place and its people.
The “foreign” culture doesn’t have to be outside the geographical area that you spend most of your time, either. That’s another misconception that I hope to address in the coming weeks. Local adventures are highly under-rated, in my opinion.
Culture is all around us. Yes, even in the United States of America. Traveling abroad is amazing, don’t get me wrong, but so is local travel. It is a mind opening experience, and it can expand your social circle. You will find kindred spirits as well as people from many walks of life. And this is just the tiniest tip of the iceberg, when it comes to all that you can gain from the experience, if you are intentional about it. It doesn’t have to break the bank or stress you out either.
Travel culture, just like most things, can vary across and within different families, folk groups, demographics, personal preferences, and travel styles. The World Trade Organization lists 6 categories of cultural tourism. The breakdown they have listed is very similar to the genres of folklore commonly accepted by professionals. You can check out my previous post on folklore genres as well.
Don’t be afraid to pick-n-choose how to apply the concept of travel culture to fit you and your family. It’s not a one size fits all deal. If you haven’t seen my pictures yet, pop on over to my social media accounts to browse them. I’d love to know your favorites. Or what you would have done differently. After all, you have to—Live Your Lore—not someone else’s.
In September 2021, #travelculture gained traction on social media outlets. Since then, it has been commonly used to refer to two popular themes: culture and travel. The content often contains photographs, videos and stories, along with cultural landmarks, festivals, food, clothing, or dance.
I chose the hashtag because I experienced diverse traditions while traveling. I also used it because I wanted to create my own traditions and instill those traditions into the next generation. Creating a diverse view on what is culturally significant to our tribe, our folk group. 🙂
Start today. How can you be intentional about travel? About culture? What kind of culture do you want to cultivate for yourself? For your children? Don’t be afraid to share it with the world. You never know who you might meet, or how your culture could be adapted as someone’s own, with their own twist. Comment with pictures, and don’t forget to use the hashtags #TravelCulture and #LiveYourLore
Until next time, friends!