Determine and stay true to your own travel style.
There’s no right way to travel. It should be a personal experience based on how you specifically are entertained, educated, and energized. While travel is as an opportunity to get outside your comfort zone and have new experiences, don’t force yourself into being someone you’re not when on the road. And don’t feel pressure to do something simply because your friend or guidebook says it is a “must do”.
Do things you enjoy within the context of another culture. If you are an athlete, find a local pick-up game in a park to join. If you’re a reader, read a book about the country or one of its influential persons in a café, or spend the day in museums. If you are a foodie, try all the cuisines, learn the influences, and take a cooking class. If you are a partier, make friends with locals at pubs and clubs. Try new things that are specifically local based on your interests, but don’t do something you won’t enjoy and determine your own travel style. I like museums, but if they bore you to tears, you won’t learn anything and you’ll end up bored and frustrated.
Keep to your lifestyle and budget. The luxury crowd may judge you for being cheap and missing out, or the backpackers in the hostel may judge you for being extravagant and too touristy. People on both sides of the spectrum can get pretentious about their way of travel. But it’s your trip and it should be based on your lifestyle and budget. I’ve lived off a few dollars a day in the grungiest of hostels and I’ve stayed in luxurious over water bungalows in the Maldives. I eat meals at local street carts for less than a dollar and at expensive Michelin star restaurants. Both extremes can provide a rewarding travel experience and is simply up to your personal travel style.
Go at your pace. If you don’t like sitting still, hit multiple cities and countries in a short time. Get your rest on the train or plane. If you like to immerse yourself, stay in a city for an extended period and get to know it deeply. I have spent 3 months visiting 1 country, as well as 6 weeks visiting 10. There is no right answer. Both trips were great, albeit a very different travel style.
Don’t let anyone judge you for not going (or going) to that famous tourist site, not trying a certain restaurant, spending too much or too little money, or not allocating enough time. All travel has its benefits and you will have a richer and more enjoyable experience following your own path. In return, make sure that you don’t judge or place your personal biases on other travelers. Respect the travel style of others and be unapologetic about yours.
I hope this helps you stay true to your travel style. If you enjoyed this post, you can follow me on Instagram or sign up for my free weekly digest about ways to travel the world, build a successful business or career, and make a difference at the same time:
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What’s your travel style?