There are all kinds of travelers out there, from the raw and rugged crew who love sliding down waterfalls, all the way to those who spend their holidays basking on yet another balmy beach. But no matter who you are or how you like to set up your travel itinerary, there are certain must-dos all of us wanderlust-driven folk should have a taste of at least once in our traveling career.
Get lost on purpose
Among so many of your favorite travel accessories, your map is probably the one thing you never ever leave your home without. Whether it’s digital or printed, it’s considered the holy grail of safe travel. However, most modern travelers don’t allow themselves the luxury of abandoning the map every once in a while. Yet, this is precisely how the best memories are made!
Of course, no one should deliberately forego their navigation in the middle of a blizzard in the Canadian wilderness. Some spontaneity can do wonders to spice up your plans when you’re exploring a new city or a country. You’ll likely come across locals who can point you in the most interesting direction. You’ll experience the tourist-free nooks and corners you’d otherwise miss.
No, we’re not talking glamping here, although it’s a step towards the real deal. There is a time and a place for this type of “accommodation”. You should consider the weather forecast, the local laws, and your own health. Still, getting a few nights of sleep under the sky instead of aiming for a traditional hotel room is a life-changing experience you shouldn’t miss.
Do your homework to find places in the wild that are safe for camping, and what type of equipment is recommended for your preferred location. Sometimes all you need is your tent, a sleeping bag, and essential provisions. Other spots require some serious mosquito repellants and similar additions to your travel kit.
Greet the wildlife
The next time you plan a trip to an exquisitely exotic destination such as an Australian island in the Pacific, or an African region, dig a little deeper to find out if you’ll have access to an extraordinary experience such as seeing the Great Barrier Reef up-close and personal. This goes both for those rugged travelers and those luxury-loving divas, as creating a deeper connection with Mother Nature makes for a crucial aspect of globetrotting.
You can easily test your courage with style! For example, you can easily put on your luxury swimwear and swim with whale sharks, nurse sharks, dolphins, sea turtles, and a slew of other exotic underwater creatures in their natural habitat. Or you can bring your best shades and join a Serengeti safari tour and see some of the world’s most stunning cats in action.
Be a local
It’s one thing to research by talking to locals online before you take your trip or to read the many “stay here like a local” guides that are now available. But when it comes to exploring and tasting a place like a true local, nothing beats the effort to spend time with them and get to know them while you’re there.
Don’t limit your communication to the online realm, but ask around and see who among them are happy to give you a tour of the less-known spots where you can actually see and take part in local customs or see some of their traditions. Socialize with them, and they will uncover the true nature of your destination, which is something no touristy guide can achieve.
Find the route less traveled
There are so many ways to experience a single spot, and yet so many people stick to the traditional bus rides and sightseeing walks through a city. How about trying an entirely new way that will give you a truly different point of view?
Some cities have river cruises, while those areas with incredible wilderness have rafting, skydiving, and canyoning tours. These are unlike anything you could imagine. Then there are helicopter rides, and even something as simple as canoeing in a bay can give you an experience of a lifetime.
There is nothing wrong with the good old-fashioned ways of traveling where you stick to the comfort zone of light walks and camera at the ready. However, if you let yourself reshape your travel adventures, you’ll be able to finally see and experience the true and authentic spirit of the destinations you decide to visit – and isn’t that the main inspiration behind most of our travels?