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Million Mile Secrets team member Joseph is re-reading one of his favorite books: Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel, by Rolf Potts. Most of our readers are NOT long-term travelers, but I asked him to write down any useful ideas our readers might appreciate.
Joseph: Here’s a simple travel truism: the thing that first draws you to a destination is usually NOT the thing that makes you want to return.
I’ve visited South Africa to drive through Kruger National Park. I’ve been to Jordan to see the ancient city of Petra. But the things I traveled to experience aren’t what make me miss those places! It’s the little everyday adventures that stick with me.
A great travel tip for folks who are unfamiliar with your destination is to just start walking! You’ll be sure to have lots of mini-adventures.
Make Amazing Memories Simply by Taking a Walk
If I’m staying in a less-traveled area and I’m not sure how to entertain myself, I like to just walk! Walk until I have a story to tell. It helps me to get to know the local culture, and it’s always a good time.
Don’t let a lack of TripAdvisor reviews deter you from staying in a quaint town in the Swiss Alps, or a rugged island in Scotland. You’ll find plenty to do if you just start walking.
This is true even for cities with lots of touristy areas. You might visit Paris for the Eiffel Tower, or Xi’an for the Terracotta Army. But you’ll find the memories you’re still talking about years later will be the ones you made while just walking.
Remember, you do NOT need to cram your travel schedule full of activities while you travel. That leaves very little time to let your impulses take you another direction! You have less opportunity to be spontaneous and inquisitive.
It’s definitely a good thing to be a planner. But it’s possible to plan so extensively that you never leave your comfort zone!
Even if there are plenty of activities to keep you busy, one of the most fun things to do in a new place is just walk! And don’t stop until your day becomes worthwhile.