Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a user’s manual for optimizing your experiences whenever you travel? Just to take the worry out of the planning part of the trip so you’d know that you were going to have an amazing time no matter what? During my travels, there have been times I wish I had that manual and other times, fresh off a once in a lifetime adventure, when I felt like I could write it.
Based on my experience, here are a few things that will help you get the most out of any travel or visit to a new place:
Soak it all in
One of my favorite things to do is arrive. When you travel for hours or even days, you have your mind set on the moment of arrival. Make it a moment to remember by soaking it all in when it is brand new. Once a place becomes “familiar” you lose a bit of the sparkle that was there when you first arrived.
Go off the grid
Isn’t it slightly annoying when people travel to some wonderful or exotic place and they are on social media, email and text so much that you feel like they never left? While it might be tempting, don’t be one of those people. You go AWAY for a reason. Drop the “media” and just be social! Do your best to stay in the moment, within your chosen journey or place of adventure.
Live like a local
This is one of my top priorities when I visit a new place. As a tourist, the best you can do is plan to see all the places in the guidebook. However, if you want to see the real beauty of any place with all the layers of culture, history, food and hidden attractions, you have to meet some locals, build a bond and blaze your own trail.
Capture an epic selfie
The selfie is here to stay and a wonderful way to create memories. You plan for months, spend your hard-earned money, travel thousands of miles and now you’ve reached the moment you have been dreaming about for a lifetime. What do you do? Capture the moment for all eternity. You deserve it!
Pursue the unexpected
Like anything else in life, your travel shouldn’t be planned out in too much detail. Structure is good, but you need to leave entire days open for roaming and discovery. Here’s the thing, there are some places you will only find out about once you arrive. Pursue these unknown or hidden treasures and you will be rewarded many times over.
Make a new friend
It’s simple, but one of the things I do in a new place is try to leave with a new friend. The type of friend whose company you will miss when you return home and that you’ll look forward to seeing again should you ever return. You have to trust your instincts, be careful and choose wisely. The upside is you’ll have friends all over the world.
Do something completely out of character
Do you get stuck in your boring routines and look to travel to bail you out? I think we all do. IMPORTANT: Don’t take your boring routine on the road. Use my cure and do something completely outside your comfort zone. Something that makes you feel alive, but you won’t end up as a top story on CNN. Do as many as your heart can handle.
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