My Top Travel Mistakes Part 2
Recently, I talked a bit about some travel mistakes that I made. Namely, letting guide books and blogs dictate where you spend your time in any given location. Doing so is what kept me from enjoying what might have been a lovely city.
My second biggest mistake was allowing fear and preconceived notions to dictate me. The best way to illustrate this is with the fact that I was terrified to stay in hostels when I first started traveling. Sharing rooms with strangers, and bathrooms nonetheless?! No way, not for me, I thought.
So I booked only private rooms for my sister and I. And boy, did we get real sick of each other, real quick. There were several days filled with silent anger and loneliness, the longing to talk to someone besides the person you grew up with.
It wasn’t until we checked into Paddy’s Palace in Killarney, Ireland (due to the fact that every private room in the city was booked) that I realized how stupid I’d been. I made so many friends during that week that I can’t even count them, and we are all still friends on Facebook to this day.
Unfortunately, by that time, the trip was almost over. I’d missed my opportunity, and I couldn’t get it back. Because of fear, my travel experience wasn’t what it could have been.
This isn’t to say that you absolutely have to stay in a hostel, because obviously they aren’t for everyone. This is to say that it’s okay to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. Seriously, guys, I’m giving you permission: Go. Do. Something. New.
Do I want to share a room with strangers at home? No. But did I love it while traveling? Absolutely!
The point is, when we travel, we change. Not permanently, and not drastically, but things that would be unacceptable at home suddenly don’t seem like big deals. Things that might have been annoying or bothersome are suddenly fun and adventurous in a new place.
So you’re not a hiker, but you’re interested in walking a mountain? Do it.
So you don’t study art but you’re interested in seeing the Mona Lisa? See it.
So you live in the city but wonder what the country’s like? Go to it.
This isn’t to say that you have to do things you hate. Because you don’t, and you shouldn’t. This is to say that if there is something that piques your curiosity, but you decide not to do it because it’s “not what you usually do,” then do it anyways.
For me, it was a hostel. But for others, it could be fear of a certain country, fear of a type of activity, or even fear of a type of food. But in the end, we’re all headed for the ground no matter what. So, you may as well take an interesting story with you.
Until next time, stay on the road.