No pictures ! just live the moment
Pictures every now and then are great. It’s wonderful to have and share travel photos with friends and family. But with the advent of social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, travel has become all about that! Are you traveling for your own enjoyment, or are you traveling to show off photos to make your friends jealous? Don’t experience your travels behind the camera. Its okay to take pictures, but put away the technology to live in the moment.
Experiment with new locations
Your favorite memory will always be a complete accident. spent the next 4 hours chanting, cheering, and drinking with some of the best people you had ever met. That I can assure you will never be on the itinerary! Most travelers arrive at a destination, spend a few measly days, and they are off to their next stop. After all the travel logistics are factored in, you get only a few hours total of actual sightseeing. Take it from me- embrace the unexpected experiences!
Explore and run!
Take a jog through the city streets. You can experience your travel destination from a whole new perspective, all while burning off all the wine, cheese, and desserts you indulged in the night before. Leave your Fitbit behind and get lost in the city. Run across bridges, through side streets, and past the outdoor markets smelling of fresh produce. During my times abroad, nothing brought me closer to the heart of a city quite like a morning or evening jog.
Street food and locals
One of the best ways to absorb the essence of a culture is through their traditional cuisine. You visit their historical sites, engage with their people, why leave out their food? Eating great doesn’t have to be expensive. Some of the best places you had ever eaten in your life were not fancy by any means, and unfortunately, the meal was FANTASTIC. Don’t eat food that you’re familiar with. You didn’t fly across the world to indulge in burgers and fries. It’s also important that you find the REAL traditional restaurants, places where the locals eat. Rule of thumb: restaurants with large menus written in multiple languages are generally going to be the most touristy, so try to avoid those.
You were probably taught through your adolescence never to do this! Sorry, but you’re going to have to break this rule if you want to integrate into another culture. Your guide book is great, but it can really only reveal so much. The best guide book you can use while abroad is the locals. You don’t need to interrogate them, but politely asking for advice such as places to see or eat can hugely affect your travel experience. Occasionally, you may encounter a bad apple who wants no business with a tourist. But for the most part, if you are polite, they will point you to some hidden gems. It’s always worth a try.