The Traveler Dilemma: Seeing Everything Versus Taking It Slow

by Jason -- June 14, 2010

Greetings from Busan, South Korea — our new home for the next 2 months. We’ve found ourselves a cozy (read: very small) studio apartment and will be settling down here for the next couple of months. Today’s post is focused around a constant battle Sharon and I experience: trying to see all of the sights versus taking it slow and not tiring ourselves out.

You’re never going to hear me truly complain about our current lifestyle. Essentially, traveling for a living has been a dream come true. However, one aspect we consistently struggle with is how much to do and how much to see in a given city. It’s easy to get carried away and try to pack each day full of activities and sightseeing. A couple examples:

Example A – Vancouver Island

During our first week of traveling, in Vancouver, we were immediately faced with this issue. We had to decide whether or not to see Vancouver Island. It sounded like an interesting place. However, it was going to require getting up very early and getting back to our hotel very late. With our days being pretty packed as it was, we decided to pass.

Example B – Tokyo

In Japan we recently had an ever tougher choice to make. We had a rail pass which allowed us unlimited travel in the country for 7 days. We planned on seeing Hiroshima, Kyoto and Osaka during those 7 days, but leading up to the trip I began questioning if we should add Tokyo to our list of destinations. How could we go to Japan and not see Tokyo? We ended up not seeing Tokyo and instead left it for a future trip.

Our Travel Style

The more we travel the more we realize it’s mostly about the people we meet that make the destination; not seeing as many sights as possible. It’s more important to us to not tire ourselves out and ensure we’re enjoying our time.

As an added bonus, when you miss something, it’s the perfect excuse to go back there. While I had an awesome time in Japan and I feel like I got a good feel for the country, I know I need to go back and see Tokyo.

Image Credit: Funkyfootage

Be awesome and help us share:

3 Responses to “The Traveler Dilemma: Seeing Everything Versus Taking It Slow”

  1. Yes, it is all about the people. People you will remember and forge relationships with that may last a life time. And, while it is really cool to be in some places and see them for yourself, all you have left afterward is a photo and your memory. Not bad either, but with people you learn so much more.

  2. I prefer not to rush or force the traveling and make the plans as the come. So much is about the people you meet and the unexpected locations you find.

    On another note, what will you be doing in South Korea? I’m considering a stint teaching English there in the next year.

  3. Carmen — I completely agree. When Sharon and I reminicise about places it’s typically about the people we’ve met. The pictures are a nice reminder of those same people as well.

    Matt — Agree on not rushing. This time around, Sharon and I are focusing on learning Korean. I’m also taking Taekwondo, Sharon is taking dance, and that’s about it. Let us know if you have any questions on teaching. While we haven’t done it, essentially every other foreigner we’ve met here teaches, so we’ve learned quite a bit. We’re also thinking about coming back here to teach next year. The pay is great and we like it here.

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