I’ve lived in Estonia for over 3 years now, and within that time hadn’t traveled in this country at all. This year I decided to correct the situation, and have traveled locally quite a lot. And what wonders I’ve found! It’s not just me, though: Local travel is trending everywhere.
To be honest, I can’t take too much credit for opting for this ‘next big thing’ in travel. Instead, I gotta give that credit to my brother and my friends who came up with all these brilliant trips I embarked on this past Summer.
Estonia is a flat country, with nothing more to see nature-wise than my home country. Or so I thought. Estonia is surrounded by the Baltic Sea and there are amazing beaches and spa cities along the coast. In addition, due to this country’s dark history, there are amazing places that you literally can’t find anywhere else.
Just to mention a few, there’s the fortress by the sea, which later served as a Soviet prison and a torture chamber. Or the labor camp/quarry that, after being emptied, was swallowed by a lake. Literally. You won’t find this shiz anywhere else!
But Estonia is small, and its history rather short. So, just imagine how much amazing heritage, stories, architecture and sights you can find in your country. Don’t be like me and ignore the country you live in. Instead embrace the fact that local travel is trending.
6 Reasons Why Local Travel Is The Next Big Trend?
(and before you ask, no, we don’t have snow yet🙏 photos are from last year)
1. It’s Cheaper
Of course, traveling within your own country’s borders means that a lot of money is saved (unless you live in Norway or Finland). There’s no need for flights or long stretches of hotel bookings to be made, let alone visas or international travel insurances to pay for.
Money is always the first thing we think about when considering booking a trip, and I (at least) often find myself staring at the balance on my bank account and finding it to be much less than I had expected.
There’s no need to fret, though, because instead of booking a weekend getaway in Amsterdam, you could just as well take the train to Brighton or Cornwall. Or even better, ask around and locate a place that holds any extraordinary qualities about it that you don’t yet know about. More on this a bit further on…
2. It’s More Ecological
Flying is a very unecological way to travel, and we all know it. But it’s also the only option if we’re to reach destinations thousands, maybe tens of thousands of kilometers away.
But do we need to reach destinations thousands of kilometers away more than once a year? Unless you travel for business, I guess the answer would be ‘no’.
Many of us are very worried for the state of the world and the climate right now, and we look for ways to do our little bit for the planet. Local travel is trending and growing momentum due to this. Has been for couple years now: many are refusing to enter a plane for ecological reason.
And it’s quite alright. You can get across the border on a ship, train or car in many places anyway.
3. It Takes Less Time
For me planning a trip is half of the fun of the whole thing. But it is quite time-consuming. Checking that one has all the travel documents, planning what to pack, packing, the traveling itself. Getting somewhere that’s just a 2-hour flight away always takes altogether over 4 hours to complete. That’s a lot of ’empty’ time.
But when you travel within your own country a lot of the things, that many of us are afraid of forgetting about (PASSPORT!), are not an issue. You know the climate, so packing takes less time and planning. You know the route and there’s no need to show up at the train station 2 hours before departure.
When at the destination, planning how to spend your time is immediately made easier due to not having language barriers. You know how the traffic in the country works and what would be a good time to go for a lunch because there’s no fear of restaurants being closed for siesta. Everything’s easy.
4. It Is Familiar
When traveling abroad there are always things you’re not familiar with: new smells, tastes, sights, and sounds. Things are done differently than what you’re used to, and sometimes it can cause inconvenient surprises.
But when traveling within your own country’s borders, you don’t need to worry about whether you like the local cuisine, or how to get around when you already know how public transport in the country works.
Many of us don’t like surprises when traveling, it gives us peace of mind to know that everything will go according to plan. Local travel is trending because it’s a much less stressful travel option.
5. It is Surprising
Despite your home country being a familiar and easy travel destination, it can also provide you with enormous surprise moments. There’s so much about your country that you don’t know about, but that you should definitely see and experience!
Ever since I moved to Estonia I thought there’s probably nothing to see. The country is very small, completely flat, and the culture quite uneventful. But I was wrong! And I mean, really wrong. The places I’ve visited here this year are places that you literally can’t find anywhere else.
And your country, with a more interesting geography and a more active culture, will have plenty more to see and explore: caves, waterfalls, castles, mountains, famous towns, etc. Every country holds its own ‘secrets’, we just need to find them.
6. Interest For Local Heritage
While the world is becoming smaller and smaller, cultures are mixing and people don’t consider their own country the only place to study and work in anymore. With more travel and knowledge of different countries and cultures, we’ve started to become more interested in our own heritage too.
Where do we come from, why and how? Our personal histories, just as well as the local history, has started to peak our interest like never before. With so much information and technology available, we’re able to learn and understand our own culture better, which then perhaps makes navigating this crazy life a bit easier for many of us.
Every single one of us has an interesting story. And so did the people before us. Here’s a random fact: my ancestors came to Finland from either Austria or Germany sometime in the 1800. So, there’s A LOT of interesting history down there somewhere that I’d love to uncover.
Are we of noble descent or related to merchants? How did we end up in Finland of all places and why? Hopefully one day I will find answers to these questions.
Have you done a lot of local traveling? I’d love to hear what you’ve found, or what you’d like to see in your country!♥
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