BE A TRAVELER, NOT A TOURIST

Girl walking up ruins

 

As the new year is right around the corner and you plan those far away travel adventures, our ambassador Shay, aka @howiwishiwasafish, shares some of her insights for being a true traveler and venturing out!

Whether or not you are an experienced world adventurer, it’s surprisingly easy to travel like one. It isn’›t about finding the secret spots passed on by word of mouth, but rather simple everyday actions that will transform you into much more than a vacationist dipping their feet into new areas.

So, what should you be doing on every single trip you take? Follow along and take a few notes.

Wander Off the Beaten Path

While remaining in the confines of your resort or only visiting the top tourist sites may be tempting, it doesn’t typically lead to any exciting memories! Dig a little deeper. Always keeping safety in mind, challenge yourself to do something that requires venturing away from the hot spots or crowded scenes.

Talking to the locals, asking your concierge for recommendations or even stopping by visitors centers are perfect ways to change things up and explore locations that will lead you to become a true storyteller.

Make New Friends

Make the effort to get to know the people around you! Whether you’›re traveling abroad or simply road tripping a few states over, taking the time to talk with a few locals is a sure fire way of getting some insider intel!

Even if you are traveling with a crew, make it a point to talk with people sitting next to you on the bus, pouring you a drink at the bar, or cross paths with you on a hike. Not all will give up their favorite destinations, but you would be surprised how many wonderful people are eager to share their unique experiences.

Erase Yelp From Your Phone

It’›s an amazing app. It can be a real hero when wandering in a new place. But you won’t find the real gems if you only dine by way of the 5-star rating. While you’›re chatting up with the locals we just talked about, ask them where their most beloved restaurant is. And if you’re brave enough, stroll right in and enjoy without even doing a quick Google search first!

Use Public Transportation

There’s no better way to get a feel for a town or landscape than by taking public transportation. Plus, you get to relax a bit and enjoy the ride. Just be sure to pay attention, always have a map on you and hold onto your personal items at all times.

Learn the Language

Before your trip, study up on a few fundamental phrases so you won’t be completely lost upon arrival. Let’s refrain from fueling the ugly American stereotype and grab a pocket dictionary! Most folks will appreciate the effort and respect, and that’s all that matters.

Spend a Night in Town

You may not be much of a night owl, but a different energy courses through a city after the sun sets and it’›s worth immersing yourself into. Some towns specialize in live music bars, some in raging clubs and others enchant you with cafes lit by candlelight. Get cleaned up and let the good times roll.

Get Lost

Stumbling off the map is an incredible way to come across unexpected adventures. With Google Maps as our constant sidekick, the threat of getting lost is history. Sure, it will probably spare you some frustrating moments, but as long as you don’›t need to be anywhere in a timely manner (and you aren’›t putting yourself in any danger) getting lost is never a waste of time. Ditch the maps and dive into whatever fun awaits.

Dare Yourself

Eat something different. Try something new that makes your heart rush. Veer away from the urge to plan, plan, plan. Whatever your comfort zone may be, push past it! ‘žTravel isn’t always pretty. It isn’›t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’›s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind. – Anthony Bourdain

Get out there!

Up Next: FIELD NOTES FROM BAJA