Hopefully every trip you take leaves you feeling exhilarated, accomplished, and longing for more experiences just like it! But sometimes the world we live in can seem discouraging, rude, and downright mean in the age of Internet “anonymity” and out-of-control newsmedia. The negativity really gets to me sometimes, and travel is certainly a way of escape for me. Some trips leave me feeling thankful for my ability to travel, but some special places have left me truly uplifted, encouraged, and positive about the world around me! Here are 5 places that will undoubtedly leave you with positive vibes and “all the feels!”
1. Waco, TX
Why Waco? For the Magnolia dynasty, and particularly the Silos! Fixer Upper launched Chip and Joanna Gaines into the world spotlight (we just saw an episode on our recent trip to New Zealand!), along with their fun spirits, can-do attitudes, family values, and their faith. They have held firmly to their beliefs and values in a world that doesn’t hold those values in high regard, and for me, that’s very encouraging!
My trip there with my mom and our friend Debbie was one of the most encouraging trips I’ve ever taken. Everyone was happy to be there, they were happy we were there, everyone in the Silos Bakery even sang happy birthday to my mom! The positive music, friendly faces, smiles, and helpfulness all make for a positive, encouraging atmosphere. If you want to feel good about yourself (and have an incredible cupcake!), go to Waco and visit the Silos!
My sweet husband and I have been going to Hawaii for our anniversary every year since our first! And it’s because the Hawaiian people are so friendly. But it doesn’t stop with Hawaii. We have found the same at all three corners of the Polynesian Triangle—Hawaii, Easter Island, and New Zealand!
Not only are the Polynesian islands beautiful, we’ve found them to be kind, helpful, and friendly on every single trip! They’re easy going, quick to smile, and the first to offer help when we looked a little lost. If you’re looking for a place with positive vibes and a paradise setting, make your way to Polynesia.
Those Canadians are just so friendly! It’s a stereotype for a reason, folks… because it’s true. Canadians really are the nicest people in the world, and who doesn’t love to hear their accent, right? And for Americans, at least, French Canada is a fabulous way to get a taste of Europe with an excellent exchange rate and without the overnight flight and jet lag! If you’re looking for the friendliest people in the world, they are certainly in Canada.
4. The American South
I’ve lived in the D.C. area for over 10 years now, and every time I go “home” to Tennessee (or anywhere in the South), I’m dumb-struck with the friendliness. People look you in the eye and nod in acknowledgement! They hold the door! Strangers strike up conversations like old friends! When you get “the finger” on the road, it’s the first finger, and its purpose is a greeting, not an insult. Try Nashville, TN; Savannah, GA; or Huntsville, AL, and any small towns in between for some friendly folks, charming accents, and some real Southern comfort food!
I also love that there’s a whole cornmeal section in the local grocery store. You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find the kind of cornmeal you need in D.C.!
5. Spiritual Places
This one is a bit general, but spirituality means a great many things to a great many people. For me, visiting Tarsus and Ephesus in Turkey was incredibly special to me—I always knew they were real places, but going there made them real to me.
I am not Hindu or Buddhist, but visiting the Angkor Wat temples in Siem Reap, Cambodia, made such an impression on me. Living in Japan, I found some moments of peace while visiting the Shinto shrines in and around Ise City. Religious sites or spiritual places are excellent locations for encouraging, positive travels, no matter what your current spiritual state may be.
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