My passport is on its last leg and about to expire. As I look through the pages, I realize how fast ten years flew by and each destination’s stamp of approval is a memorable experience. Many of the trips I’m reminiscing about haven’t been shared as often on this blog as I had originally thought. Since the rise in short videos, I’ve taken the time to create different types of short-form filmography and hone my skills in that particular content niche with lifestyle, travel, and wellness in mind. The joy of getting out of my comfort zone over the past couple of years was a trying experience. While searching for my own aesthetic I know I’ve neglected Live Wandering from the love it deserves.
As I ponder these thoughts, I push the espresso button and froth milk for a latte. Mixing the two liquids I create a golden beverage and top it off with a drizzle of something sweet. For a fleeting moment, my nose fills with the aroma of caramel. Where have I smelled this before? The thick scent of caramel brought me back to many memories of the Karamell-Küche: a cozy German bakery I’ve visited countless times in the past. I fondly dote on the memories of the mouth-watering caramel smells wafting through the air of the bakery and out to the street. Taking a sip of my latte, I am back to the present and it dawns on me that I haven’t shared sensual experiences from my trips on Live Wandering yet. It’s ludicrous to me that I haven’t talked about any of the five senses on my own blog because the senses define specific moments while traveling.
Applying the knowledge from my hospitality degree it is very simple to understand how using the five human senses can create loyal tourists. The more visitors have experiences with their senses, the more memorable the trip becomes for them. Whether it be good or bad. It’s the intangible experiences that people bring home with them and leave them wanting to visit again. When I say intangible experience, I mean that it isn’t something physical you can touch or grasp. For example, if you have a favorite vacation spot, you may be reminded of it when you hear the ocean waves, smell the salt from the sea, or hear a similar joke a bartender told you while on vacation. It’s those small sensual details that lock in an important experience that turns into a memory. That’s why you see hotels with their own collection of scented toiletries, exclusive towels, or signature bath robes. They are trying to engage your senses to make you remember them and want to come back. It’s pretty sneaky, right?
My thoughts this morning about senses made me wonder what it was that made my recent trip so special–which I promise I will write about and share soon. Together with my soul sister, we stepped off the plane in Mexico to engage in the ultimate bachelorette weekend. It was at that point the excitement hit me in full force and it wasn’t because of the jungle surrounding us. The smell of the air made me want to continually take deep breaths. I can’t describe the smell other than it was fresh, dewy, and earthy except everything felt light on the nose. The scent is similar to the Polynesian Resort and Costa Rica but neither the exact same as the air in Puerto Vallarta. I deeply desired to bottle the air and take it home with me to diffuse my apartment but sadly reality set in. My senses adjusted and the scent disappeared.
Even though I lost the aroma of the air, I did have another great scent that accompanied me throughout the trip. A favorite travel staple of mine is the EOS Vanilla Cashmere hand lotion. The scent is a warm hug to my nose and whenever I pull it out I think of all of the places I’ve visited. Some of you may consider this scent as cheating the article as it is a product and not a place. My thoughts as to why I included this is that I associate the smell of this lotion with traveling as I don’t use it for my daily routine use. Therefore, it’s one of my favorite scents from around the world.
So we have the smells of caramel, hand lotion, and oxygen. What’s next on my favorite scents from around the world? The heavenly roasted scent of coffee and I’m not talking about those American chain “coffee shops.” My favorite aroma and taste of roasts that my senses were fortunate enough to have experienced is the coffee in Costa Rica. I have tried a lot of coffee places but the coffee beans in Costa Rica are in their own league. I fell in love with the coffee there the first morning after my arrival in San José. As a matter of fact, I bought several bags of coffee at a market before I left just so I could take the experience home with me. Unfortunately, I ran out quickly and I haven’t been back since to restock.
These notable scents are memories I hold dear but sometimes forget. Like my other favorite scents from around the world, I have failed to mention. It isn’t until I smell something similar or am brought back to a memory that my wanderlust kicks in and I desire to revisit a place from long ago.
I’m sure there are more scents and memories I can talk about but that would make this post too long. My closing thoughts as I drink the last of my latte are that I try to be mindful when am visiting somewhere new. I want to enjoy the small details and see what makes a destination a true experience for the locals and tourists. The taste of an iconic dish, the feeling of sand between your toes, a beautiful sunrise, or a conversation with a local artisan can elevate a trip to being one of the best experiences in your life. Those kinds of trips are the ones that are based on one or multiple of the five senses and turn into memories that I cherish the most.
Let me know in the comments if you have a favorite scent from a trip you’ve taken or is it close to home? If you liked this article subscribe to Live Wandering below to be notified when I post new articles about travel, lifestyle, and wellness.