In case you are expecting an extremely detailed article that chronicles an extravagant and fiat driven excursion alongside a laundry list of Instagrammable activities, you're in for disappointment.
Although curating an extravagant trip and capturing every minute detail can be riveting, it can also be very draining. Sometimes you just want to go off script and be in the moment without feeling guilty for not including the outside world. In case you forgot, people of the inter-webs don't have to be privy to every waking second of your voyage. You have nothing to prove. You have full permission from your creator to have the exact experience your heart desires.
I consistently reminded myself of this when I was planning my trip to Niagara Falls. It was necessary to be led by my instincts, because I granted myself the space to keep the intricate details to myself. The result was amazing, I enjoyed the natural flow of events. It's also worth mentioning that it relieved a lot of pressure by not stressing about documenting every morsel of information. There was so much pleasure in keeping things really simple. Most of my time was spent reflecting and dodging the crowds. It was lovely to focus primarily on recalibrating myself the way I intended.
My intentions behind this trip to Niagara Falls was very specific:
1. To detox the emotional weight accrued over the course of the lockdowns.
2. Utilize rewards points and travel perks before 2021 ended.
3. To visit someplace I've never been.
4. To challenge myself to find the beauty tucked away in the U.S.
That being said, this NF excursion consisted of everything I wanted to do and nothing I wanted to avoid. There wasn't a tight schedule of jam packed activities, and that made me happiest. Nature is enough for me. I already knew whatever footage I obtained during this trip would be apart of my #traveljournal series, so overemphasizing content would distort the montages I like to capture. The trip was complete without all the extraneous things. All I needed was decent eats, great company, and spectacular views. Of course I took some video and photo, but the most beautiful things shall be kept in my photographic memory.
Opt For The Scenic Route
Because I rented a small sedan from Payless Car Rental, I ended up saving a heap of money on transportation. My rental cost me about $400, and I spent about $60 on gas for the whole trip. Taking the scenic route took a little longer, but enabled me to avoid tolls which meant more money for the tank and me pockets! On the way there, I only stopped three hours into the trek to fill up, and 3 hours into my trip on the way back. That was it. (*PRO TIP* Many car rental companies will encourage you to take out insurance policies w a third party when reserving your vehicle. But be sure to check with your credit card company to find out what perks you have available, OR if you're currently an insurance policy holder for your primary vehicle, there may be coverage accessible for your rental as well.)
Keep in mind that convenience can come at a pretty penny. While there are extreme advantages to taking the toll roads, there are also advantages of taking the roads less traveled. Open road can be the catalyst for creativity, and allows one to clear their head from all the miscellaneous things that normally cloud judgement and sway the moral compass. Giving yourself permission to let go of it all and just focus on beautiful scenery might be what the doctor ordered. All it takes is a mindset shift: instead of thinking about the trip starting upon arrival to your destination, allow your journey/commute to be apart of the trip, instead of seeing the trip as beginning when you reach your destination.
Stay Low Key
Of course, I always encourage stepping outside of the comfort zone and pursuing the unconventional, but let's face it, you should always go where you feel safe. If the hustle and bustle completes your travel experience, by all means, do engage. But I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the beauty of going off the beaten path.
For this trip to Niagara Falls, my lodging requirements were the obvious: clean, quiet, stellar reviews, and must be low key. We had a balcony overlooking the Niagara River, which was absolutely gorgeous. I was only at risk for being disturbed by aquatic fowl and speedboats; not the buzz of traffic, not sirens, not loud music from tourist attractions. In fact, my hotel was at least 3 miles from the falls, and pretty far from the touristy things, which was probably my favorite part about the whole experience.
Here's an abbreviated #POV of my Niagara Falls trip.