Very soon, people's thoughts will start to turn towards their holidays in 2017.  The images in the link below have some great comparisons between travellers and tourists.  

Travellers tend to enjoy everything, embrace the moment, experience, wonder, not over prepare or over complicate, and focus on enjoying the here and now.  

Tourists however, tend to want to tick things off their lists, have to be over prepared, everything planned to perfection, collecting photos for Facebragging and deeply concerned with telling everyone else what a great time they are having - sometimes, to the detriment of their own real enjoyment.

"Cross that one off your list Margaret" is a phrase we use at home, coined from a good friend who amused us greatly by discounting a place because someone else didn't really enjoy it.

Life is very similar to the tourist/traveller analogy.  

Are we just wading through this life, collecting badges, medals, things, almost like living in Pokemon?  Or, do we embrace what comes our way, taking in the moment to enjoy everything around us, feeling grounded, experiencing something different?

As a challenge, and to move away from that comfort of familiarity, this weekend, when you are out and about, avoid ALL food outlets which are chains.  Now, I have nothing against these, but the coffee you get in Costa Leeds will be the same as you get in Costa Penzance - so whilst it may be familiar, it is nothing new (unless you go for the recently launched Christmas range topped with a can of cream).  Instead, look for local, one off, independent places, to spend your time, money, enjoy food, experience something new.

We recently spent a weekend in Bristol and did just this.  Ate in independent restaurants and street markets, had coffee in locally run cafes, and best of all, found a tea room which served gin and cheese in the evening.  Now, I can tell you, the experience, especially at Cox and Baloney is something which will stay for us for ever.  Memories are made of new experiences, and being a traveller in life.

It is only by exploring the why - why we want to go somewhere, that we then start to look for the real meanings and qualities of our journey, and that, is what Financial Life Planning is all about - finding the point and the purpose - not just being a tourist in life.

So go on, take the local only challenge this weekend and embrace the unknown.