Talk about heading off to another country and the first thing that comes to mind is sightseeing apart from the coveted Instagram shots on the most scenic spots paired with either the most contrast-y OOTDs or perhaps the most appropriate – depending on mood and the overall look you’re going for.
This is all way after planning for the trip whether with family, alone, or as a group of friends, checking off itineraries of must go to places for the most impact on likes and hearts, and the budget cuts on your daily life to be able to spend well enough on your next trip.
While all of that is well and good to supplement your social media posts and being the envy of those that have yet to travel abroad, there has been quite a lack of things to have considered by tourists. Simply put, we have all but forgotten what it’s like to experience a country, its flavors, and its senses.
Personally, my point and purpose of heading off to lands unknown is to sample their way of living, their way of life, what they eat on the streets, what they see on a daily basis and the hidden little gems the small alleyways have to offer.
It’s not that I wouldn’t want to experience the view and the sights of parts unknown but it has mattered more that I get to taste their daily lives. All of which includes the grit, the dilapidated restaurant that serves a 100 year-old dish mastered by generations of families, the open-air haphazard tricycle, the creaking bus, and, of course, the varying degrees of pedestrian friendliness the culture puts importance on.
It’s been a personal mandate to not make plans on which top 10 spots I have to go to in another country except when I chance upon it.
In more technologically advanced cities I would usually hop on the train and let the next most interesting stop based on how the place sounds like be my next destination and walk from there. It’s easy and fun to get lost in a foreign city with signs and names that are hard to pronounce supplemented by an effective train system. Just get on and get off at whichever stop you want. Take it from there and walk around.
If the trains aren’t an option, walk, take the bus, take the local transport system, you might just be surprised on what you might chance on like a quaint little cafe or a store selling hand-crafted goods made unique by those who spent time and effort into making them. Perhaps, you might just stumble upon something no one has talked about.
What has been your latest personal discovery?