Not all places in the world are created equal. There are places you visit, and then there are places that visit you. The places that visit me are my favorites - they don't just visit, they haunt me, they stay with me and they remind me of a happier time spent in the midst of pure air and mother nature.

So I wanted to dig deeper into the places and moments that stay with me. How is it that they're different from the rest, and why? How can I have more of them, everywhere I go?

Travel itself is a curious thing, because it means different things to different people. It's a fantasy, a luxury, a social activity, a lifestyle, a state of mind, an experience and everything in between. There is no formula for successful traveling, it can't be hacked. Travel blogs or guide books provide a reference to what one might like, see and do in a particular place; but it is in no way all-inclusive. Travel is deeply personal in that way, because what you may like is not necessarily what the author of the blog or guide book will like.

My most wonderful moments in Norway were not mentioned in any guide book or travel blog I read or videos I saw. It was the little moments, like sleeping in our tent and listening to the sound of the waterfall outside; or watching the crystal clear water reflections next to a little known town; or buying and eating a ton of 1$ fish cakes at a local fish market. These are experiences we didn't plan, we stumbled upon them during the course of our trip and loved them. Some times there are no pictures for these events, but they exist in my head and my heart, and become a part of my travel story.

Related: Check out our day-to-day itinerary for two weeks in Norway

Traveling to a place is also a combination of several factors -

  • Who are you traveling with?
  • What's your personal, professional and social life like when you're traveling?
  • What's your state of mind?
  • What are you eating?
  • How healthy, fit, and active are you?
  • What are your travel choices?
  • What excites you and what bores you?
  • What are the kind of people you're meeting when traveling?
  • What's your attitude like?
  • How badly do you want your travel to be successful?

The more the input variables, the more varied the outcome, and I've not even listed all the variables that exist.

Although there are thousands of variables that may influence your travel, at the end it comes down to the basics. At it's core, travel represents the inherent human need to explore. Exploring keeps our curious mind active and makes us feel alive. Our earliest ancestors explored all the places on earth, and one's that survived the exploration successfully managed to pass their DNA down to us. So it's in our DNA to explore and step outside our comfort zone. If early humans didn't do any exploration, we as the homo sapiens species wouldn't be where we are today :)

So, do all your research and plan all you want, but leave some time out in your itinerary for the unpredictable and unplanned. For all the things, places and experiences you will discover. For some of them may just be the most memorable moments of your entire trip.

Related: How to stay fit while traveling?

What are your favorite travel memories? Why do you like them?