Travel: Is it the Journey or the Destination?
By Scott Gese

That Depends

If asked this question about travel, “Is it the journey or the destination that's important?” you'll get conflicting answers and many reasons why each one is important. Everyone has an opinion and mine is that “It depends”. Here's why I think so.

rv imageHanson Lu/Unsplash

If you work your time is limited.

While you're still working for a living, a yearly vacation of a week or two (maybe three if you've put in the time) is a well earned opportunity to rest and relax away from the constant routine and stress of your job. It's a time to get away, unwind and hopefully get yourself rejuvenated.

If you plan to travel, you don't want to waste a precious minute of your limited vacation time. You must spend each one of them wisely.

If you plan a trip in the continental United States and it's a significant distance from your home base, you need to consider how you will travel.

Will you drive or will you fly? No matter which one you choose, your frame of mind will need to match up with your decision.

Driving within a limited time frame doesn't afford you much choice. It will need to be all about the journey.

Choosing to drive takes time and can be stressful. If you're focused on where you're going, every minute you spend on the road is one less minute you'll get to spend at your destination. It will be constantly on your mind.

Every time you stop to eat or rest, every traffic jam, detour or side trip you take uses up your limited time.

This is why if your vacation includes driving, your frame of mind must be focused on the journey because a large percentage of your time will be spent on the road. When you're driving, the destination should almost be an afterthought.

Flying within a limited time frame is all about the destination.

Alternatively you could fly. Flying to your destination may be less stressful and it will get you there much quicker. When you eliminate the on-the-road journey, the majority of your time will be spent enjoying your destination without the hassle of driving and all the issues that go along with it.

As long as you're working, these two choices will always be an issue.

Once you retire the rules change

Vacationing in retirement is all about the journey and the destination.

Retirement eliminates limited vacation time restraints. You can leave whenever you choose, travel the way you want and stay for as long as you want. A time frame of limited vacation days is no longer a factor in your decision process.

If you decide to travel by car or RV, there's no hurry and no stress because you're not pressed for time.

Driving is now more relaxed, and you don't feel rushed even if you want to make stops or side trips along the way. As far as your destination goes, (if you even have one in mind) you'll get there when you get there. There is no time table. This makes the journey and the destination much more enjoyable.

If the journey isn't important to you and flying is your thing, you now have the ability to go off-continent and stay for months and even extend your vacation time beyond that if you so choose.

Not being tied to a clock gives you plenty of time to relax and unwind without the pressure of having to get back to work. Until you have the opportunity to experience this you'll never know how good it feels.

With no time restraints involved, retirement allows you more choices between your mode of transportation, your itinerary, the length of your travel time and how long you choose to stay at your destination.

Your decisions are now based on a different set of factors.

By removing the working grind from your life and the limiting factor of your vacation days, you open the doors to new and exciting opportunities that will allow you to enjoy a stress free open-ended vacation no matter how you decide to travel.


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