What’s Your Travel Style? Are you a Tortoise or Hare?

travel judgement


I just booked tickets to the United Kingdom with stops all around it. As usual, in my trip planning,  I posted a question in a couple of forums. I was very unprepared for the negativity that came my way from two forum members. They were apparently offended at the way I planned to travel and that I would not be spending enough time enjoying their country. At first, it upset me. Then I started thinking: Is the way I travel wrong?

One of the big reasons that I started this travel blog is because I experience so much of the world. I am frequently asked by friends and acquaintances how best to plan a trip because I experience a lot when I travel. In my non-travel life, I don’t sit still very often. I am energized by being out in the world. I don’t often get tired. When I look back at regrets in my life, they fall more along the line of what I haven’t done– not what I did. I regret that I was too afraid of vaccinations to make a missionary trip to Haiti in high school. I don’t at all regret spending my twenties working very hard to be a dentist, but wished I would have taken a semester to study abroad. I am not limited in energy now, but I am limited in time off and finances for traveling. I don’t regret seeing so much of Iceland in only four days, which involved a lot of driving and changing hotel rooms — or seeing Northern Italy, Austria, Slovenia, and Germany in ten days with my dad. Or my road trip around New York state with my family last summer. I loved these trips, and this is precisely how I like to travel.

Being part of this world of travel writers, I am surrounded by a lot of opinions. There are strong advocates of traveling full-time or part-time and why or how people travel. I would assume travelers would be the most understanding of others’ choices. I believe one of the biggest reasons to travel is to broaden our understanding of the world and its people.

Part of the beauty of this world is that people are all so different, and therefore their stories are too. I hope for all of us that we can realize that others make their decisions based on their needs, want, and limitations.

There is no right or wrong way to travel. Whether you like to take as much in as you can as fast as you can, or you stop to smell the roses, we are all writing chapters in our own books in our own way.  I hope yours is fabulous!

You can read about My Hare (Raising) Experience Traveling to Belize.

What is your style of travel? Do you have any travel regrets?



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18 thoughts on “What’s Your Travel Style? Are you a Tortoise or Hare?”

  1. I am a slow traveler, a Tortoise. You can see a lot, but I think you miss out on the finer details of the experience. I understand certain people being offended. When someone says they plan to see everything in my hometown, in 2 days, I just shake my head. That is their choice, but they miss out.

    • That is great that you have the time to really dive into a place. I can’t say that I understand offended though. The guys I was referring to were really being quite mean. Why take something like another person’s opinion personally? How long do you think it takes to really dive into a place? I have lived in Rhode Island (the smallest US state- I can drive across it in about half an hour)for 12 years, do a lot of exploring and still constantly find new places and things to do here. Thank you for the comment.

  2. I love when you can turn negativity around to a great post!:) I have to go fast with limited time off too. I also can’t sit still and love active trips where I am tired when I get home. I want to see it all and experience as much as possible. One day I hope to slow down and get to know the area I’m in more in depth.
    Great roar worthy quote too!

    • I was just part of a collaborative story that will be published soon about one of my favorite trips I ever had with you! We travel so similarly.

  3. I try to find the balance. Usually our itineraries alternate between tightly scheduled days and planned exploration time to just walk around neighborhoods or markets or sit in cafes. I don’t think either way is right or wrong. I’ve lived in Seoul for 18 months and sometimes I don’t feel like I really know the city still but I was just in Taipei for for four days and feel like I learned and explored so much! Between the tourist vs traveler and the digital nomad vs part time traveler posts I feel like the travel blogging community can get a little extreme. Most of us exist somewhere in the middle.

  4. I’m so tired of this whole discussion and people always thinking THEIR way is the best. Why would other people have to change their way of traveling into something that’s not their way of doing it, just because other think it’s a better way? Why do people think they have the right to judge if you’re a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ traveler. I’ve read so many stories of people claiming to be ‘real’ travelers (definitely not tourists, that would be the end of the world) just because they sleep in a bunk bed with 5 other people, 1 of them probably vomiting on the other bed, 2 of them snoring and the other 2 having sex in the bed right next to them. I mean please can we get over ourselves and just let everyone travel the way they want to?!? Rant over, thanks for your attention :p

  5. I like the topic of this post! I think traveling is a personal experience and there isn’t really a how-to. It’s like art, very subjective and depending on your own preferences of what you like and don’t. I prefer slow travel, but when my partner and I traveled through Europe, we visited a lot of places in a short amount of time because we felt like it 🙂 Now we’re taking it slow again. I think the most important thing is to travel and live in the way that feels the best for one self, whether it is fast or slow, luxury or budget, adventure or beach holiday,…

    • Cynthia, I totally agree. I’m sure one day when circumstances are different I may slow down and travel slower. Whatever works best for me then.

  6. We are currently tortoise travelers, but there have been times when we have only had 4 or 5 days to visit a city. So you do rush around to get all the hot tourist places in. Both types of travel have their advantages and disadvantages, like you said we are all writing chapters in our own books so do what feels right for you.

  7. It would be a blend of different types of travel, again depends on various factors like the time, budget etc.
    There are times when we are tortoises and sometimes we transform into hares 🙂

  8. Really good question! My initial response is that I am a toroise. I got a year working holiday visa for New Zealand which I loved and I am commuting to a year long TEFL contract in China. And I do enjoy taking my time and actually living abroad as a way to immerse myself in the culture.

    However, I have had my hare monents. For example flying home from New Zealand I travelled Australia’s East Coast, Melbourne to Cairns in 6 weeks packing loads in along the way.. I’ve also done Edinburgh in 3 days, Brussels in 2 days and Hong Kong in 2 days.

    I think it’s good to have the mix. It keeps it interesting and sometimes you want/need a longer trip and other times you don’t. I totally agree that it up to the traveller and others shouldn’t judge.


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