Think of what people do when they are going to travel anywhere – even if it’s around the corner. Look up flight prices, hotel prices, restaurant reviews, “top-ten things to do in X” lists. People may even ask their friends on their social media accounts to give recommendations. If looking for a familiar travel experience, this may be adequate. However, is there something lost when taking away the flexibility from a travel journey? Perhaps people have different tastes; maybe they don’t. Following what everyone has done before may not be the best way to go about doing things.
Asking people what to do when in Rome, they are not necessarily going to advise you to do what the Romans are doing. They will be sharing what the tourists who go to Rome are doing, and if you know Rome, the city can be a bit of a mess with the number of tourists roaming around. Cramped spaces and restaurants everyone knows, and museums that everyone seems to be visiting at the same time. It may steal both time and relaxation from you, and it is likely they did the same thing you were doing at the time and took this advice from a random internet article. Why not do your own thing?
The internet is a wonderful place, but just like the internet in general where originality has died, and now everyone congregates on the same 20 websites, the same has started to happen on all the popular travel sites. Instagram hashtags and top reviews may give you the basic details, prices, and photos that you expect, but what about the romanticism surrounding traveling instead of having such a pre-planned experience?
How to combat this drudgery of modern travel, where there seem to be no secrets anymore? How about asking for one quirky thing. How about going in blind and asking a local. How about heading to a youth hostel where all the adventurers stay and ask for tips. Now you have something a bit different to experience whereas before you’d have stuck to the safer, more ordinary way of doing things. The itinerary will have gotten that much more interesting, and you will be able to realize that you have done something that isn’t so similar to all the rest, and in that way consumed the spirit of your destination.