The whole ‘Things To Do Before You’re X Age’ thing is kind of arbitrary – what dictates that you can’t do them any time after that? It’s a limit to aim to and for, sure, but wouldn’t it be better if we spread out things throughout our life, rather than trying to cram them all into a few years? Here are some things that you definitely need to do at some point in your life while travelling around, regardless of how old you are…
It’s a bit of a boring one, but when travelling, try and save as much as you can. You never know what your next big adventure could be, or the next amazing thing that you could be doing. Most of these things require cash – think bungee jumping, sky-diving, white water rafting activities … depending on what country you’re in and the deal you can get, you’re looking at spending a fair whack to achieve a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If you are popping around spending your money on drinks, knick-knacks and food that you know you can get cheaper if you look around, try and cut back on your spending to ensure that you have enough to buy the things that will matter more to you. Will you look back and fondly think more about all the cans of coke you bought, or that time that you parachuted out of a plane?
There are so many different blogs out there from solo travellers which are promoting the independent lifestyle – including that of women who are going against taboo and social recommendation to live a travel life that they want to. It can be scary travelling solo – and not least because we are so expectant of constant conversation or backup due to never having done it before. Not very many of us choose to dine alone, go shopping alone or go to any social events without another person there, so why choose to travel to a foreign country with nobody there for guidance or support should anything go wrong? Because it’s exhilarating. There are of course companies out there like Just You Holidays which can arrange a lot of what you’re doing and where you need to be going (amongst other things) when you arrive at your destination, but there is also the option to organise it all by yourself without the need for an outsider hand. Do whatever you feel the most comfortable with; while this is an exercise in organisation and self-confidence, if it’s taking you too far out of your comfort zone and panicking you by trying to set up what you’re doing alone, then by all means look for a form of support. You don’t even have to travel solo for too long – you could always meet up with friends in different cities or only do a few days before tagging along with a group. You could even try a few days by yourself just so see how it is. It can be quite scary in a country that you don’t know, and you must have your common sense and wits about you wherever you are, but it’s definitely something to try at least once.
Use More Transport
There are so many sights in London, UK, that can be seen from a bus that you would otherwise miss if you were to take the conventional underground route, which leads you around tunnels in the dark. What this is meaning to say is that there is so much that you could be missing out on by choosing just one method of transport while you are travelling. Don’t just consider how you are getting there and wave the plane goodbye; maybe hire a bike, take a tram, or take a look at what the locals are using to get themselves around and try and hitch a ride with them.
Forget your fussy eating habits and embrace whatever delicacies you come across on your travels. There are national dishes for every country in the world, and there is no way that you won’t be quizzed about what food you ate out there when you come back – especially if the person asking the questions knows what they’re talking about and has been there before. Yeah, there are definitely some disgusting things out there to us who are conditioned to the Western World (google what balut is if you feel like you’ve got a strong stomach…), but the more you look around and avoid the commercial restaurants, the more you will find things which actually suit your appetite. You may surprise yourself with what you find out that you like, even if it was previously extremely unappealing to you. Don’t limit yourself just on local cuisine – this is a chance to try out the different drinks that they have on offer, too – even if it is just a different type of beer or wine to get you going!
Go Off the Beaten Track
There are hidden places in every country. Either the locals are keeping it their little secret, or they just haven’t been advertised as much as those that are bound to get the visitors in – like the Eiffel Tower and the Catacombs in Paris. Everybody knows that the big, looming tower is there in France and they make it a romantic pitstop – yet they’re less likely to know that they are walking on the remains of millions who have had to have been buried under the city (and there’s a handy tour to take you right round it, too!). The more you explore, the more you will find that probably isn’t recommended in the local tour guide. Ask around and see if any residents have any good recommendations of where to go; it could just be the first and the last time that you ever see anything quite like what is there to be discovered. The world is so big and there’s so much to explore; why limit or try and rush yourself with time?