07 Oct What to do with your time while travelling
I never flew on a plane until I was 20 years old. And the first time I went away, I was so full of hope and expectation that I kind of blew things out of proportion. I was expecting non-stop fast fun, with choice and temptation around every corner. What actually came to light was a dusty path to a half filled hotel and not much in the way of entertainment for at least a 30 minute walk in any direction (and even then, we’re talking tame family restaurants and a few cosy outdoor bars with parasols and tall chairs). That’s why, years later, I’m going to share my plan for what to do with your time while travelling, so that you might not suffer the same bored fate as I did.
Before we begin, I’d just like to make a quick mention of how Coronavirus has affected travel. There’s not much you can do about different countries launching different initiatives regarding temporary travel bans, but you can look into your options regarding things like refunds – see this info on holiday cancellations, for example. Now, let’s find out how to make the most of your travel time…
Every single city, town, or village is only on the map because something put it on the map. In the American West, we have expansion based at one point on the gold rush. In the North of England, we have the industrial revolution. In France, we have the Champagne region, famous for, well, bubbly wine that people insist on imbibing during celebrations, despite the fact that most of us would find licking the outside of the bottle it came in to have a more enjoyable flavour.
The point is that places have history. Make sure you check out that history while you’re there. It’s an easy win for a day out that will give you lots of new information and lots to talk about – if you come away from your travels with nothing to talk about, you haven’t done it right.
Tourist destinations don’t sit still. They are dynamic places full of innovative ways to wrestle you from your money. But that’s a good thing. You get to see the thing everyone is talking about. Granted, you can’t always be there for the opening of the Sydney Opera House, and you’d have to be lucky to catch a glimpse of one of Elon Musk’s SpaceX launches (considering the company chose to launch from Florida due to the favourable weather, it’s weather that grounds almost every launch!), but you should always take the time to check out what’s happening locally before you arrive – you wouldn’t want to miss out on something culturally significant because you never bothered to check what was in the news.
There is always – repeat, always – something unexpected to be found. From the atom shaped building called the Atomium in Brussels, to the graveyard in Aurora, Texas, that claims to be the final resting place of a crashed space alien (nope, I’m not making that up), make time to research and explore the unexpected.