My Travel Personality

Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
Trip End Mar 28, 2010

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Flag of China  , Beijing,
Monday, October 26, 2009

This past weekend I was at the Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace.  I hate to say it, but I feel that my desire to visit/see the historic places has already fallen.  And I find myself enjoying the daily life such as getting groceries and shopping more than going to the ancient buildings.  I suppose that in some ways, it has been too much to absorb at one... which got me thinking.  How does one become so easily desensitized (to such places)? 

For one, I think there is something flawed about my generation.  We have the attention span of fishes at times.  We lack the appreciation for detail.  Just see it and move on (i.e. change the channel).
Next, it has to do with the hype of a place. If it is in every guidebook, then we expect it to be more amazing than it is.  Which as we know, usually only sets one up for disappointment
Thirdly, it is because often one has to be ready to learn.  Certain places are only fascinating once you know the history behind it... in the same way that each person has many things which have sentimental value which others don't understand right away.  Much of artwork and iconic symbols are this way.  Just ask a graphic designer.  Or for example, do you know the significance of your country's flag?  The colors and shapes?

In other words, I believe this symptom of being desensitized is tied to one's personality. Perhaps we can measure each person's "travel personality" with the following criteria:
1. Pace – Do you like to focus on place or keep moving?
2. % visiting common attractions – Do you go to where everyone does or places no one has heard of?
3. Level of interest in learning about the place – Do you like to understand the history and significance of a place?
4. Flexibility – How detailed are your plans?  How do you react when the plans are upset?

On a scale from 1-100, here are my answers.
1. 30 to 70. It varies but I like to keep moving though (unless it's a resort/beach).
2. 80%.  I get to the less common places with recommendation.
3. 60.  Usually I browse the guidebook or handout of the place at least.
4. 85.  I make plans but they are really loose and give plenty of time to eat/rest.

From my results, it looks like I could slow down sometimes and make time for less common places (even running errands counts here).  These may help with avoiding becoming desensitized.  Although in my defense, I believe this is a normal occurence which happens (sooner or later) at different times for different people.
While we could discuss in detail about which are the optimal results, all the implications of the scores, etc. this evaluation seems most relevant when finding people to travel with.  What might your friends' answers be?  Who would you want to travel with?  Because in the end, it is not simply the place that we remember... but also who we were with.
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