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I have recently returned from a five week trip.  On this trip, I have heard about a variety of ways people enjoy their holidays.  Some people really know how to enjoy themselves.  However, I also heard some shocking scenarios.

The most shocking scenario was trips with organized, guided tours.  Why are they shocking?  I heard that some people want to travel through several major European countries in two weeks.  The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Switzerland and France in two weeks?  Really?  Imagine spending one or two days in every country, rushing from one museum to the next, from one castle to the next and one shopping centre to the next with a tour guide who is speed talking her way through Europe!  Does that sound enjoyable?  And, how much of the information do these people actually retain from the places they see?  Maybe, I am old fashioned, but more does not necessarily seem better.  How about slowing down, even if it means seeing less?!  After all, shouldn’t a vacation be about relaxation and fun?

Being a writer, I also have doubts about how inspiring this way of traveling can be.  To be inspired, a person needs to listen to the guide, watch the locals, smell the air and take in the spirit of the place.  The place has to tell its history, its failures and triumphs.  It needs to come alive.  And, all of this takes time!

My message to the potential future travelers is that you need to slow down and see less.  Take the time to really enjoy the moment.  Sometimes, less is better!

M. J. Mandoki

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