Here are a few things that I have learnt whilst traveling in Australia. Hope you find them useful and please let me know if you have any top tips that I should know about.
Take a kilo less in your suitcase
I wish I could follow my own advice, but it is yet to happen! If you are like me, when you go away you will wear your favourites and result in only wearing half the clothes that you actually brought with you. Also if you are like me you will always want to buy momentos of your trip, gifts and generally gather brochures, tickets and things that seem sentimental at the time. I beg of you to avoid the stress at the airport of having to rearrange your suitcase and having to wear four jumpers into the Nevada desert (speaking from personal experience!). Pick one out of those five pairs of heels, ten pairs of pants max and buy shampoo when you get there…….
Avoid CBDs & main streets
Let’s face it globalisation has hit every continent, and you can bet most major cities will have a Pwc, Microsoft and the headquarters of all major corporations. Avoid the Hard Rock Cafes, leave the Starbucks and that H&M for another day. I would put the CBD last on my list for places to see, getting to the see the land marks that make a city unique is what seeing a new place all is about.
See a comedian
Going to a local comedy club gives you a great insight into the local humour and a real feel for the place. Local comedians are usually brutally honest about their home so you get to see the highlights and lowlights of the city you are seeing. If you are the foreigner in the crowd be prepared to be picked on – but hey it’s all in the fun!
Support a local sports team
There is no better way to feel patriotic about the city you are visiting than going to see a local sports team whether it is the baseball team, ice hockey or football. Getting to talk with the local fans, even if the team is a bit of an underdog the atmosphere will be electric and it will be even better if they actually win!
Enjoy simple things
I am definitely guilty of having a checklist of places to see when I am on my travels. Ticking them off one by one and I always get a terrible disappointed feeling if I don’t have enough time to see something on my list. But after talking to people in multiple hostels and fellow travellers, they all told me meeting someone or a spontaneous trip was their highlight. It got me thinking, that I should stop the rushing around to get everything seen, I should sit back grab a coffee, absorb my surroundings and not feel guilt for sitting in the same place for more than half an hour. I always make a point now of having a coffee in a new location and see how each one varies.
Leaving a place undone
Following on from my previous point, leaving a place undone gives you an excuse to visit the place again. Having this expectation that something will be undone relieves the pressure of the checklist, and when you return to your “undone” place , who knows what you will discover next time around.
Journal about your experiences
I am a great believer of documenting my life whether it be videos, photographs, my journal and now my online blog! Think how much you have already forgotten from yesterday? Think how much you would forget if you were traveling around the world for a year. I love reading over my old journal and remembering how I viewed the world at that certain stage in my life. The amount of times I have thought to myself, “oohhhh yeaaa!” when I have been reading my journal is ridiculous and I invite you to get that same feeling. Journaling has been proven to reduce stress and make you feel grateful for your day to day living, so definitely worth a go.
Home will always be waiting for you
If you are planning to travel for long periods at a time you will get those home sick days, it’s natural to miss home. I always remembered when I had one of those down days that home will always be there waiting for me and I never let homesickness take away from my experience. Take every day as it comes and be thankful for wherever you are in the world and what little victories you can achieve in a day. Talk to someone who is having a good day and I can assure you that happiness and positivity is contagious!