What is the fun in visiting exact same places as everyone else? I get it, they are visited by so many people for some reason. It’s highly possible that they are amazing, worth seeing etc. But are they always? Or even usually? Or is it just us taking the easy way, choosing paths recommended by the “best” travel guides we could find. I know it may sound very critical, but for me travelling only by the travel guide is simply a lack of creativity and pure laziness. Why do I have the right to say so? Because that was what I used to do too. And I know the only effort I’ve made by then was to follow the road I was told to. Or even better – to follow the crowd. Follow and crowd in one sentence, could it be any worse? It’s not that visiting the World’s best known landmarks is a bad thing. They usually have their story to tell, they usually make you understand the country and its people better. But those crowded museums, monuments, plazas will not show you the real beauty of the place you’re visiting. This time instead of listed tips I will give you some case studies, because I think that will give you a better picture of the benefits of taking the road less travelled.
A couple of days ago I was visiting London. Unfortunately, I did not have too much time to wander so I went for a quick walk on Oxford Street (yes I know, nothing that special but still tourists go there) I forgot to mention that it was the weekend of The Rolling Stones concert in Hyde Park and also the Wimbledon finals. It was total madness. Oh, the weather decided to get crazy, too. 25 ‘C to be honest was not making it any easier. I did not hesitate for a second to get off the main street because I simply needed some AIR …and food And that was when the magic started to happen. My eyes saw an adorable french restaurant with almost no people inside. Just what I needed. I would write to you about the lovely food they had there but it makes me too hungry and it’s the middle of the night so …you understand That was just the beginning of my FromThatMoment lovely walk. The noise stopped, no one was pushing me anymore (even with their super nice “I’m sorry” it’s still annoying). I finally had a chance to enjoy London, to watch people, to have a look a proper look at the buildings. On one of those small streets I even got into some music street festival which was absolutely amazing. Taking the road less travelled saved my day
There are times in our life when you make that half-baked decision to go to one of the most touristic places on Earth like Ko Phi Phi in Thailand. Now when I think about it I actually felt a bit like that in London. Or maybe no. I think there were more British people on Ko Phi Phi. What you do when you find yourself on an island stuffed with tourist? My first thought was to panic and run! But the thing is every place has it’s hidden treasure. And so did that island. We just had to relax, catch a breath and think where to find it or how to find it. The Oscar went to … the kayak Instead of walking on an island we decided that sightseeing from a kayak would take us to places where normally people would not get access to. Bullseye. We found a lovely small beach with NO tourists and what was more awesome a cave where we could swim into with our kayaks.
Just by those two example you can see how much we miss if we stick to the crowded places and commonly taken routes. You don’t have to go to fancy faraway places to try this. Everywhere we go there are always roads less traveled.
- There is always hidden street art on walls in recesses of streets.
- There are always old, forgotten townhouses that will tell you more about the history than the citizens.
- Food is unimaginably better, because it’s not made for tourists, but for the locals. Which means you will have a chance to eat what locals really eat. Not mentioning that prices will drop down immediately.
- There are no crowds! I don’t know how about you but I don’t know any person that likes to walk in a crowd. It’s not just more comfortable but it also takes off the pressure of being in a rush.
This is true, walking on the crowded routes gives a fake feeling of safety, but you should give yourself permission to get lost and just wander. You will see that beauty awaits in every corner.