What does it mean to be ‘Traveling Tranquilo’? To me, it’s a feeling or state of mind that I experience while traveling, but it’s hard to exactly describe. Trying to put this feeling into words all started when Christie and I were brainstorming pictures to post on Instagram. She had the idea of positing a picture of what Tranquilo meant to me, and asking what it meant to others. I pulled out our computer and started going through our photos, searching for the perfect one that sums up this concept of what Tranquilo means while traveling. I couldn’t do it. I mean, its literal translation from Spanish is; calm, peaceful, relaxed. But, in going through those photos I realized it meant more to me than it’s literal definition. There were so many pictures that captured various aspects and feelings of what Tranquilo meant to me, each one unique and important. It was impossible for a feeling so big, to be summed up in a few words and one picture. So, I thought it would be cool to do a mini-series of posts in an attempt to capture the many aspects of this feeling, why it’s important, and why our mission to help you prepare and pack leads to Traveling Tranquilo. And maybe after, you will have your own, personal way of describing and connecting to this very same feeling.
When first scrolling through our photos, I was drawn to those which showed us wandering through the streets in various cities. Empty streets waiting to be explored, chaotic streets brimming with culture, streets with beautifully painted and manicured buildings. When visualizing myself back in these photos, I felt a sense of freedom. A feeling that contained within the maze of these streets lay an infinite amount of new experiences, just within my reach. All I needed to do was wander. That feeling is the first part of how I would describe my personal Tranquilo; ‘The Freedom To Wander’.
Freedom: it’s one of the first things I feel when I close my eyes and imagine myself traveling. And that freedom can be expressed and manifested in many ways when you are on a trip. I think for me, it’s is best experienced by wandering. Wandering without an agenda, without a goal in mind. You have the ability in that very moment to decide, do I go left or right? And from that decision, your exploring takes you turn by turn, down side streets, through open air markets, into plazas; leading you everywhere yet nowhere at the same time.
Wander: it’s a feeling that kicks in the moment I put my bags down at our new destination. The first thing Christie and I do upon arriving is leave our hotel with one goal in mind, explore. We leave with no idea of where we will end up (well, most times it’s a bar), and grab on to every ounce of adventure that is awaiting around each unknown corner. There’s something invigorating to me about being in a brand-new place, and slowly meandering through the streets. Absorbing the feeling of an area, becoming more immersed in the experience of the present moment with each step in new, uncharted territory. And it’s this feeling, the freedom to wander, which is part of my personal Tranquilo.
Side streets in Bratislava, Slovakia
Beautiful streets of Guatape, Colombia
Busy streets of Prague, Czech Republic
Hilly streets of Bogota, Colombia
Streets of the market in Latacunga, Ecuador
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