How to Expand Your Travel Experience
For a majority of the population, travel is a long-awaited trip away from the everyday routine. Many people even choose to forgo their vacation days because responsibilities at home or at work just won’t afford them the time to wind down and explore an exotic destination. Therefore, when the chance for travel does present itself, we want to make it the most amazing, unforgettable experience possible. Here are 7 ways to expand your travel experience.
Forget the Itinerary
..but not completely! When you only have 7 days to cram in an entirely new world, it may be hard to abandon your itinerary. But, trust me, the best things happen when they are unplanned. Don’t turn down an invite because it doesn’t fit into your schedule. Leave schedules at school and the office, and try to go with the flow while visiting this new destination. However, I did say not completely because those sites you have on that list should very well be sought! My advice? Use your mornings to cross those items off your bucket list and free up your afternoons and evenings for some spontaneous adventures.
Try New Foods
If it looks weird, smells weird, and is unidentifiable on your plate, go for it! It might be a once in a lifetime opportunity for you to indulge your tastebuds in this new way, and if food is what brings people together, better yet! You might find yourself trying a completely new cuisine right alongside the locals. Take this opportunity to ask about ingredients, preparation, delicacies, desserts, and everything else the new foodie in you comes up with. And if you’re really not feeling that new flavor, you’re almost guaranteed a simple, American fast-food chain in the area…gross.
Learn the Language
Being able to interact with locals will guarantee a travel experience like never before. Even attempting to greet a local in their native tongue will get you a smile of appreciation and more genuine rapport. Locals have all the insight on secret hikes, off the beaten track adventures, places to eat, and cheap markets. So, before you travel, let youtube help you with your language skills. Or, even better, find a language immersion program in the location you’re traveling to! You’ll no doubt meet lots of locals and have a travel experience like never before.
If you haven’t had the experience of traveling solo before, do it! No need to compromise with someone else’s itinerary, picky food habits, or complaining. Traveling solo allows you all the freedom to have the travel experience you’re seeking. And if you’re worried about being alone throughout your entire adventure, don’t be. Human beings are social creatures. Traveling solo can help you realize when you do and don’t want company. And when you do want the company, you’ll learn to open your mouth to extend an invite. Hostels are a great way to meet other travelers who you can invite on your adventures or join in on theirs! And don’t feel bad when you want to split–you didn’t come with them! #Winning
Do Something New
Sometimes, vacation goers get into their vacation habits and tend to have the same vacation every year in a new destination. I know someone who travels to a new island every year just to lay on the beach, drink pina Coladas, do some jet skiing, and eat fancy meals. It’s definitely a relaxing vacation, but if you’re trying to expand your travel experience, make sure you do something new every time you travel. Whether it’s camping, cave diving, scuba, snorkel, ziplining, ATV’s, or even Couchsurfing. Trying something for the first time will make it an unforgettable experience.
Traveling can be a bit of an illusion when we book ourselves into these luxurious, all-inclusive resorts. We’re tricked into thinking that all of the locals make a decent living working in tourism and that fresh fruit show up in baskets in front of everyone’s door. Make an effort to get to know the real people living in the local communities by volunteering your time. Whether it’s helping to build a new healthcare facility, gardening, working with kids, or assisting in agriculture, there’s a volunteer opportunity that awaits.
With all the doing you’ll be doing, try doing nothing. Take one day just to relax, reflect, and give thanks. Not many people get the opportunity to travel, and when they do they pack the itinerary so hard they often need a few days of vacation after their vacation! Take a day to just stroll through the park, sit on a bench, read a book, or admire the beauty around you. Being present throughout your travels is what’s most important. Know when to slow down, and give yourself time to just be.