SUCCESSFUL TRAVEL IS A BALANCING ACT!
You can’t do it all! If you try you’ll exhaust and frustrate yourself. Plus, you won’t get the most out of the things that you do decide to do.
First: Pick a few major touristic things you must do/see. Those are the things you really dream about. You know what they are without even thinking about them. The first 2 0r 3 things that pop into your head, and resonate with you….Is your dream to climb the Eiffel Tower? To spend a day scouring a Provencal market? To sit in a cafe watching the world go by? To visit the Louvre? Narrow it down.
Second: Follow someone’s advice and see/do a few things that an expert recommends. Find a source you trust –a book or a person, it doesn’t matter, as long as they “know their stuff” and you get a good gut feel when you talk to them or read their work. And then take their advice and see or do a thing or two that you wouldn’t have thought to see or do. Why? Because, it adds a new dimension of interest and excitement to your trip!
Third: Leave time in your schedule. Do not overbook yourself. You need to be able to relax and you need to be able to have an unscripted adventure. How else will you make that fabulous discovery that leads to your new, favorite thing? How else will you experience the rhythm of daily French life?
(We experience this in Provence from time to time with clients who are still “go, go, go” and want to leave the Inn at 8am to begin their sightseeing, and want to grab a quick sandwich so that they don’t waste any time in the afternoon. The problem with this is that Provencal life doesn’t move at that pace. Things don’t open at 8am. People close for lunch for 2 hours in most places..So, what happens is — they “see more ‘things’, but have fewer experiences”.
Fourth. Be Open. Don’t miss out on the authenticity of where you are! If it’s Provence, have the pleasure of enjoying Provence as a Provencal! What does that mean? It might mean taking time out to watch locals be inducted into the Royal Order of the Melon! Or it might mean stopping to smell the flowers or pick fruit with someone at a local farm!