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August 26, 2013

The best travel involves abstract goals and concrete steps

“First, goals for travel should be both generally related to abstract life goals — like becoming a better person, not accumulating stamps in a passport — but those abstract goals need to be broken into concrete steps to make them easier to accomplish. …Similarly, vacations are more effective if you use them to seek “desired states” rather than avoiding “undesired states.” In other words, hitting the Caribbean to get away from stress at work is less likely to improve your quality of life than going there to improve your scuba skills and your relationship with your partner. …Professor Sirgy’s theory also suggests that vacations are more effective if they provide things you are deprived of in your everyday life. Someone living in a bustling city like New York, for instance, might consider trading a trip to equally bustling London for a relaxing jaunt in the Cotswolds. And for the traveler who is stressed by budget issues at home, this might mean signing up for a (reasonably priced) all-inclusive resort to relieve those daily financial concerns. …And then there’s my favorite principle: that ‘goals chosen freely and autonomously are more intrinsically satisfying than goals set by others.’”
–Seth Kugel, “Travel Lessons From the World of Academia,” New York Times, 12/6/11, alluding to Joseph Sirgy’s “Toward a Quality-of-Life Theory of Leisure Travel Satisfaction”

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Category: Travel Quote of the Day


One Response to “The best travel involves abstract goals and concrete steps”

  1. John M. Edwards Says:

    Hi Rolf:

    For me, the essence of vacation travel can be summed up by an aphorism:

    “I dared to dream with my eyes wide open. . . .”

    –T. E. Lawrence

    Best, John M. Edwards

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