Cultural exploration. Limitless adventure. Joyful discovery. Those of you who love to travel, to go beyond your borders (yet, at the same time, go deeper into your own backyard), you are a true traveller and these words are a part of your language. And for true travellers, the need to feed your wanderlust is a part of who you are. Taking in the sights, then going further–the history, the locals, the traditions, immersing yourself in the who, what, why and how of where you are, in the moment. A moment that will last a lifetime in your memories. The tastes, the smells, the sounds of where you are fuel the passion for discovery of a new destination, or a more meaningful rediscovery of a timeless favourite place, somewhere you’ll return again and again. We have a name for these travellers– we call them Avioners®
One of these Avioners® is Stephanie Sterjovski, digital influencer and founder of the SS Life + Style blog, where she shares her stylish take on fashion, design, travel and more with her followers–and her husband. “Travel is a large part of what we feel our calling is,” says Stephanie. Being an Avioner, she adds, has made it easy for the couple to explore places they have on their where-to-next list, since an RBC Avion card allows cardholders to travel where they want, when they want without flight restrictions or blackout periods. “Seeing the world inspires us, gives us energy and teaches us a lot about perspective.”
We asked Stephanie to share with us how she feeds her need for travel through, as she puts it, “seeking out beauty in all aspects” of a new destination, through authentic experiences, culinary pursuits and simple moments for both you and your travelling companion– and how you can, too.
Some travellers prefer to explore and experience cultural and culinary traditions. But sometimes time is of the essence. Where does one start when visiting somewhere totally new?
Stephanie Sterjovski: “I love immersing myself in the daily life to take in a cultural environment– roaming around to discover food, shops, art, and where locals would typically spend their time. I also love sightseeing and going to big, historical places.” When in Rome, Stephanie wanted to see the Vatican and the Colosseum. With a travel plan and Avion, including redeeming your points for flights and hotels, you can feel stress-free when you arrive, and free to visit some of the world’s greatest wonders–making memories and the most of precious time. “Food, too, is a great way to experience a culture, you can learn so much about their way of life and their traditions just by how they prepare their meals.” During her Mediterranean cruise, Stephanie strolled through the village of Sorrento, “buying cherries off a local street vendor and walking around letting my eyes feast on the culture. Sometimes simple moments like that help me understand the culture a lot more than the typical tourist stops.”
Many people travel with their partner, or friends and family. But, everyone has different interests, from shopping to museums. Any tips on how to keep everyone engaged?
Stephanie Sterjovski: “Travelling with a partner who has other interests is all about compromise. My husband likes helicopter rides, while I love walking for hours exploring the daily life, cafes, shops, restaurants, beaches….” With all the travel tools available to Avioners®., such as the ability to redeem points for vacation packages, and car rentals, it’s easy to strike the right balance. Look for a guided tour in an area of your destination that combines both history and shopping, suggests Stephanie. “We usually do the more adventurous stuff the first few days, something he wants to do, and then wind down with more relaxing things (my specialty).”
Authentic experiences are an important element of travel now. How can travellers take some of that authenticity home as a memento of their travels?
Stephanie Sterjovski: “I love buying things for our home that remind me of places we have visited. Local, street artisan souvenirs (supporting them always feels great, too!) and I collect rosaries (I have one from almost every place I’ve been to). I’ve collected some really pretty hats, jewellery, straw bags and shoes.” While in Italy, for example, Stephanie found quality leather sandals in the local bazaars. Buying local, looking for things like wood, beads, straw, leather or other natural textiles that are native to the place can make beautiful reminders of where you’ve been.