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Do you know you are having a good time while you are having it?

Do you know you are having a good time while you are having it?

Oct 31st, 2002, 01:32 PM
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Do you know you are having a good time while you are having it?

I usually get so busy on my trips that I forget to realize that I am having a good time. Then when I get home I look back at all of the wonderful moments and realize how great the trip was!
I am going to spend the next trip reflecting on how happy I am at the moment, not when the trip is over.
Any ideas?
Oct 31st, 2002, 02:09 PM
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You have finally gotten the point of leisure travel (as opposed to the business sort)- it's supposed to be enjoyable. Too many make such a project of it, cram so many "must sees" in, try to visit too many places too far apart, that the trip becomes too much like very day life--hurry up and get going.

Vacation should be slow down, savor, and stroll. You see what you see and no time table must be adhered to. I see and do a lot on my trips, but I've learned to limit the things to do and see and make the times between them as important as the "to do and see" are. When you get home,you are more likely to remember with more longing that special glass of wine on a sun dappled terrace than the pictures you rushed to see at the "must do" museum for which you cut the lunch short for !!!

Just my 2 euro-cents worth,

Judy, no longer in Germany

Oct 31st, 2002, 02:14 PM
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Wow, ladies, I couldn't have said it better. Words for thought, thank you.
Oct 31st, 2002, 02:29 PM
J'adore Paris
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I try to always be aware that I am having a good time, but I reflect on it a little more when we stop for a drink late afternoon, or a nightcap. At those moments, I look around and I think “Here I am, at sunset on the Ile St. Louis, looking at the back of Notre Dame, snacking on frites and a great glass of Bordeaux at La Flor en L’Ile. Is life great or what?!”

I also keep a sort of mini- journal. When we stop for lunch or whatever, I write down the name of the restaurant, and maybe some of the things we did earlier in the day. I don’t write a lot, just snippets to remind me of the day when I’m back home: “walked the Marais, new shoes from Jonak, Place des Vosges-saw string quartet” things like that. As the trip goes along, I have fun reading all the things I’ve already done, and I realize that I’m right in the middle of a fantastic trip.

Try to savor it all – experiencing the moment to the fullest is the best way to create vivid memories for later on!

Oct 31st, 2002, 02:57 PM
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Not always, but I am getting better about savoring the moment. This past time i traveled with a friend and we both would sort of stop and say... hey this is a "moment"... It was kind of funny at the time, but we were able to slow down enough to really enjoy our time, even though it was a hectic trip.
Oct 31st, 2002, 03:45 PM
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Over the years, I have toned down my travels, too. I don't want to see so many places that they all become a blur in my memory, better to have one to three cities or places in one trip than rushing all over and getting uptight.
I agree with you Celine and hope you have many happy travel memories while you are making them!
Oct 31st, 2002, 04:38 PM
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We have found that the longer we stay someplace, the more relaxed we are and the more enjoyment we get out of the trip. We had a remarkable three-week trip in Italy, staying 2 or 3 nights in each location, but that was a whirl-wind to our usual 1-week in 1 spot trips. This year, we had a delightful one week in London one week in Paris trip. We plan to see the South of France next Spring, and will probably stay 4-5 nights in two different locations and end with another stay in Paris. And now, I'm starting to think how nice it would be to have someplace we return to annually...but where exactly? ha ha ha. I'm not ready to choose yet! Besides, we've not seen Germany or Spain or Greece or....
Oct 31st, 2002, 05:12 PM
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Celine, our first trip together to Europe 3 years ago, we did pretty well at being in the moment. This last trip's pictures show a couple beaming! We knew we could figure out how to get anywhere and everywhere, cheap. We had fun on the journey and the destination. I love those pics, I've labeled them as "Very Happy People." I now keep that photo album out so I can see our shining faces again, whenever I need a boost. Looking forward to September 2004!
Oct 31st, 2002, 05:35 PM
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I think as I have traveled more and more, I have appreciated more and more the little things. Now, whenever I wake up in the morning on a trip, I am grateful from the first rays of light to be where I am and am ready to appreciate whatever may happen during the day, whether it involves seeing some grand new site or simply going out to buy a baguette. I have always loved, and recorded, the details of my trips, but it is only in the past decade or so that I have come to appreciate those details as they come to pass, and not upon reflection. Maybe that's just a function of getting older, though.
I also don't do anywhere near as much planning as I used to. I like to "roam" now. I do a lot of reading and poring over maps and checking out hotels and restaurants, but I don't do what I used to do, which was basically plan every minute of every day, then improvise changes as the trip itself played out. I am much happier these days with a plan that allows me to make more on-the-spot decisions. I've learned that some of my absolutely greatest experiences came from deciding on the spur of the moment "let's take this little road to Finfa."
Basically, I used to try to plan the memories. Now, I just let them happen.
Oct 31st, 2002, 05:47 PM
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As I get older I too reflect on the moment. This trip to Paris I made a promise to myself to give my Honey a big kiss and a hug at every important must see;ie Eiffel tower,Arch,Champs etc. I also made sure there were lots of people around when I did this.
Romantic? yeah!! After all it is PARIS!!!!

PS Nights were not bad either
Oct 31st, 2002, 06:03 PM
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John... your message made me smile, yep romantic fools are the best ones! It's good to have fun and create romance.
Oct 31st, 2002, 06:13 PM
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I always make a concerted effort to stop all the time and say "give me a minute, I'm storing this memory." I've also been known to say too often to my hubby "do you believe we're in Paris?" Or wherever.

I love the feeling I get now and then when a certain smell will waft over me or an image pop into my mind and I can instantly relate it to a time and place on vacation.
Oct 31st, 2002, 07:55 PM
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Well, I guess that is why we are all on a travel site, we just love to savor the moments of travel bliss. Even when something goes wrong on a trip, it can't blot out the good stuff, I won't let it!
Reading this thread has gotten me in the traveling mood again, I want to be kissed in Paris!
Nov 1st, 2002, 04:19 AM
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What a great thread! When I am planning trips, I always seem to create lists of "must sees", and plan out what to do each day, at least approximately, and want to race around to see everything.

Then, I go to Venice, sit with some friends in San Marco Piazza, outdoors at a restaurant, with a bottle of wine (or two) and some snacks, and just sit there and people watch, with a band playing in the background, and you just have to think: Does it get any better than this?

I am getting better at savoring the moments the more I travel and the older I get (still a young 33!).

Happy travels,
Nov 1st, 2002, 06:31 AM
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My experience is that the memories of trips becomes better as time passes. The bad moments seem to fade.

It may be a matter of "accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative," if anyone is old enough to remember the song.
Nov 1st, 2002, 07:16 AM
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Probably the best idea is, as you said, to stop and enjoy the moment. I haven't gleened many extraordinary memories from photos, since they never REALLY reflect or reproduce what I was experiencing at that moment; only the experience of being there was truly it.

So I've made a point to zero in on times and incidents and experiences that I kind of know THEN, RIGHT THERE, are going to be special - like a complete bout of silence in the mountains, no wind or birds or anything. Or the chap sitting next to our dinner party in one hotel, who told us stories and said at one point, "you don't really know what's good until you have that moment of disappointment" - like going to a supposedly great restaurant and finding out the reputation meets the food but not the service...

Sure we collect mementos as well - like stones or leaves from paths, beer mats from restaurants - but our minds are the most fertile memory grounds around.
Nov 1st, 2002, 07:27 AM
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Wow, this is a great thread, and expresses some of what I've been thinking myself lately.

Sometimes I'm fully aware of how great a time I'm having, and sometimes I have definitely been "guilty" of having a great time but not fully appreciating it until I was home. I do think keeping a travel journal helps, as does pausing to write a few postcards (it forces you to stop and think about everything you've done, and how much you enjoyed it).
Nov 1st, 2002, 10:24 PM
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I think I am going to print this thread and keep it with me when I travel, I travel with a friend who wants to be on a schedule all of the time, and I find I have my best moments when doing something on the spur of the moment.

This is why I love Fodors, to read ideas like you have written above. Thank you.
Nov 2nd, 2002, 03:51 PM
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I try to stop every so often and just think of where I AM. So many times I just stop in my tracks, and think I AM IN.....
When I was a child no one in my family traveled overseas, except to go in WWI and WWII, so I am the first in my family to travel to Europe for pleasure.
The only other time my ancestors traveled overseas was to immigrate to the US in the first place in the 1700's.
When I think of my travels on the larger scale of things, I can get pretty elated.
Nov 3rd, 2002, 09:55 AM
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I know this may sound corny, but at the end of the day we sit after dinner and talk about the day and what we saw and small or large incidents.
We can say, I loved the lady at the market this morning, or that man was so rude, etc. It brings everything into perspective, after, all of the locals are not there as characters in our play, but they are going about their daily lives and we are visiting them.
This way, too, it brings the experience of traveling to our minds and lets us appreciate it.

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