If I had to classify myself as either a morning person or a night owl, I would definitely say I’m the former. I can count on one hand the number of times my alarm has gone off and I’ve had to hit snooze. In fact, I feel like I often wake up before my alarm goes off (frustratingly). And I rarely need to wake up and caffeinate; I don’t drink coffee, so I often just get up and go. It’s annoying, I know.
Despite my grumblings about waking up before my alarm, I actually love being a morning person, especially when I travel.
When I think back to some of the moments I’ve enjoyed the most, they’ve happened in the morning when the city or town I’m in is quiet and just barely starting to come to life. Or when it’s just those people out for an early morning workout who want to take advantage of the cooler weather. I suspect part of my love of this time of day is the fact that I’m an introvert, so quiet mornings when it feels like I have a place to myself are my jam.
But, I don’t think you have to be a morning person to appreciate early mornings, and by early mornings I mean 7 or maybe 8am. I’m not one of those people who does 5am workouts, bless them. The sun needs to at least be starting to make an appearance. Anyway, here are a few reasons why I think early mornings are the best when traveling.
Way Less Crowds - Last month, I was in Paris for a few days and decided to go for an early morning walk with my mom. We passed the Arc de Triomphe, which had maybe five or six people near it, and took a picture before continuing on to the Seine. About an hour later we returned to the Arc de Triomphe and we were shocked by how many people had descended on the monument in the hour we’d been away. That’s just a small example of why early mornings are great; you don’t have to deal with nearly as many people!
You Get to Better Absorb a City’s Beauty - As I mentioned earlier, some of my fondest memories are walking around places in the morning and seeing them slowly awaken. In the past few months alone, I’ve done this in Los Angeles, Napa, Paris, Lima, Barcelona, Nice and San Pedro de Atacama, Chile (which was literally a dusty ghost town in the morning and I loved it). But in the past few years, the number of foreign cities I’ve wandered around in the morning with a cup of chai tea latte in my hand and curiosity in my heart is endless. And I find that it makes each place shine even brighter before the crowds descend.
Longer Days - Who doesn’t want to maximize their time in a place when traveling? I know I always do. It’s why I like getting up early (also I can’t help it). It doesn’t mean I’m on this regimented schedule where I’m sightseeing at 7 in the morning because that’s just crazy, but it does mean I’m up and ready to go do something, even if that’s just taking a walk. It also means I have longer days, though one could probably argue that someone who gets up at 10am and goes to sleep at 3am also has longer days as well. It’s whatever floats your boat; I just know I’d rather be up during the 7-10am timeframe instead of from 12-3am.
More Productive Mindset - This could just be me, but I always just feel more productive when I get an early start to the day. In the rare times that I’ve dragged my feet and gotten a late start while traveling, I end up feeling frustrated because I don’t feel like there’s enough time to do all the things I want to do. On the other hand, when I get an early start, I feel like I’m accomplishing so much more, and to be frank, I’ve always been the person who likes to check things off the list. I feel productive and l feel as though I didn’t waste the opportunity to see and do all the things I wanted to actually see and do.
So, those are my reasons I love early mornings when I travel. And as I get older, that love grows, just like my love of fine wine and a comfortable couch. I think it’s called aging.
Are you an early morning or late night person when traveling?