I ran across this great quote from Alexander Solzhenitsyn. “Own only what you can carry with you, know language, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.”
What a great quote. And it really is true. Most of us do not come back from a trip regretting the clothes we did not pack.
Many of us regret we packed too much. My motto is always pack a good pair of walking shoes because if your feet hurt the day will be a long one. Travel has become more casual. Most cruise lines are getting away from the strictly formal nights.
Elegant casual is now the dinner requirements for many ships. But even Europe who use to laugh at Americans with their white athletic shoes and shorts, tends to be more causal. Even though you may not see as many shorts as you do in America, you do see athletic shoes, tee shirts, and jeans everywhere!
I always come back from a trip wishing I had learned other languages. I do try – I buy the foreign language CD’s and I learn key phrases, but it would be such a joy to really know another language. It is a gift to be able to really speak to another person in their own language.
Know as much about the country as you can before you go. Again, Alexander Solzhenitsyn gave good advice. You don’t have to carry the tour books in your bag anymore – download them to your Kindle or I-Pad. But know the geography, know the history, it is so easily accessible with the internet today. Each country has wonderful web-sites that cover current and historic matters. Germany does a great job – look at this link http://www.germanytourism.com. Scandinavia also does a wonderful web-site http://www.goscandinavia.com/scandinavia/go-scandinavia.
And the last thing that Alexander reminded us was to come back with the memories.