There’s so much to say about traveling. So much to experience – the food, the lifestyle, the cultures, and the people. Just to name a few. Now, when you finally get yourself to leave home, here’s a few things we suggest you keep in mind.
If you’ve never been here before, where are these expectations coming from anyway? The internet? Just because you read about someone’s experience, doesn’t mean yours will be the same. Not in a bad way, we’re just pushing you to pave your own path. Make your own mistakes and your own memories.
Keep an Open Mind
You’ll likely be going into a culture much different than your own. Maybe they greet with a kiss to the cheek. Maybe they think it’s rude to finish all of your food. It doesn’t matter what you think is the right way of doing something, it’s not your home. Be open to new traditions and ideas. Better yet, try them. Immerse yourself in the culture. If it’s not for you, don’t complain. Just don’t do it again. Be respectful.
Engage with Locals
Even though you’re sure you got a decent idea of where you’re going and what to do from TripAdvisor, sure, the tips are great, but no one is going to know an area (all of its cool spots) better than the locals. We once had an awesome night with some locals at a dive bar in Shanghai without even speaking each other’s languages! If you really want it, you’ll do it. Ask them what they find interesting in their city, or what they do for fun. It’ll be worth it.
Enjoy the Journey
Your adventure isn’t simply going to be the destination. Mind how you got there, and what you went through. The journey got you there, so appreciate it. Appreciate the good times. Appreciate the bad. Bask in the good times, and learn from the bad.
Have No Plans for at Least One Day
Seriously. Don’t plan anything except maybe where you’re going. Get by using the aforementioned points. Start by engaging with the locals, and see where it takes you. The best part about not planning? It’s really hard to be disappointed. You didn’t plan 10 things and only get to 5 of them. Instead, assuming you actually tried, keep going until you’re not having any more fun.
It’s okay to do so. C’mon, were you expecting to recognize the whole damn place? Getting “lost” has such a negative connotation. It shouldn’t. Instead, we like to think of it as discovering new places. So go forth and discover.
Souvenirs with a Story
To us, souvenirs are very much, “hey, look where I went that you didn’t”. Most of the time, at least. The point of a souvenir is to share an experience. What we’re saying is, don’t just pick up some random souvenir from that over-priced airport shop. Pick something up that will remind you of your time there, something you picked up along the way. Do the same if you’re getting something for someone back home. Share the gift, and share a story that’ll make them feel like they’re right there with you.
Get Up Early
Unless you intended for this vacation to be nothing but relaxing, get up early and go to sleep late. You can sleep when you’re home. You spent a lot of money to get wherever you are, and took time off of work. The last thing you want to do is spend it in bed. You’re out there to have fun. Enjoy both the day, and the nightlife.
Go on, gents. Save some money. Get out of the house. Explore. Get lost in the moment. And, while you’re at, get us a souvenir 😉