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I have had the amazing opportunity to travel and have seen thirteen countries including the U.S, which means I have picked up on a lot of things and have learned a lot from those endeavors. Today I am going to share them with you so you can keep them in mind wherever you end up traveling next.
Always keep an open mind, no matter where you are. Every place you go has a different way of life, rituals, culture, etc. Remember that you are traveling to a new place to see what it has to offer and to connect with the people and their environment. Every place you go is not like what you are used to at home, which means you need to be open to learning, experiencing, and trying new things. Don’t be ethnocentric, it makes you look bad and it restricts you from fully diving into what the location has to offer.
Have a plan ahead of time. This is KEY to a smooth trip. Use travel books, travel bloggers, literally any travel resource to lay out an itinerary. Researching and setting a plan will allow you to learn museum hours, the best time to go see certain things, and sometimes they even tell you when you get discounts on certain tickets or passes. If you are traveling to Europe, I recommend looking for Rick Steves books. My family swears by him. He helps give you ideas on places to see, stay, eat, and so much more. He even teaches you a thing or two about certain customs there which is always helpful. Having a plan means that you won’t be worried about not showing up to something that is closed, or biting off more than you can chew in terms of what you want to do each day.
You are spending a lot of money to see a place, actually see it. This is something that my parents have instilled in me since I started traveling when I was two. While we travel relatively frugally, we still spend a decent amount of money, which means we will see everything we possibly can. We always keep in mind that we may not come here again, so we are going to pack as much as we can into our trip. We commonly say “We will sleep when we are dead” when we travel, which sounds a little crazy but we see so much and make so many memories that I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Take advantage of every opportunity to learn about the place, before and during your trip. Learning about the place gives you the ability to learn about the history of the place, and why they have the customs they do. I love learning, especially history and in school, we aren’t taught a lot of history from certain places so it is always cool to learn about how they established their government, or wars they fought, or what their monuments and statues mean. Learning makes the entire experience that much better.
Try the “signature dishes” of the place you are visiting. I’m a foodie and I love exposing myself to new flavors and trying the local food gives me the opportunity to try new things and bring that inspiration home whenever I cook. Food is an important part of culture and something you should most definitely take with you on your adventures.
Try to live like the locals. This is one of my favorite lessons I have taken from travel and something I will take with me in future travels. Of course, you should do the touristy things, but it’s also fun to just branch out and try to find the hidden gems of the location, or eat at restaurants not catered towards tourists (Rick Steves does a really good job at recommending these types of restaurants). My family has a habit of just walking around and getting lost, which has led to finding wonderful restaurants, local shops, small churches, and so much more!
You shape your experience. No trip is perfect and there is always a slip up here and there but you cannot let that shape how you feel about the place. A lot of the time it’s out of your hands so stress over what you can control, take a step back, regroup, and continue out on your adventures. It really is okay and there is so much to see so don’t let one mishap and a bad attitude affect your adventures.
I hope you take these lessons with you when you go on your next adventure! Stay tuned for more traveling posts because I have so much to share and talk about. Don’t forget to stay vibin.
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