The more I travel the fewer places seem boring or disappointing, although you might think it should be the other way round. Coming to this point in my attitude to travelling took some time and wasn’t easy.
Do not compare.
Learn not to compare between places. Only a few places can be THE BEST, so all the other ones will have to be ‘worse’. So, do not compare, and you won’t talk about bad or worse places.
Angor Wat in Cambodia or Bagan in Myanmar? Which is better? – this is the argument that I hear more and more often among travellers to South-East Asia.
Do not expect too much.
The higher your expectations, the more difficult you’ll find it to meet them. You might have seen stunning photos, but when you get there the weather is different and the light not good enough. Or, you might’ve read colourful descriptions and you expect to see the place the way the writer saw it a few years before. No, it won’t happen – it’s going to be different. Always.
Do not assume that touristy places will be bad.
Many independent travellers claim that you should avoid touristy places as they are too commercialized, too crowded, too messy. Still, the very same tourists go to those touristy places to check out themselves and they come back (well, of course) disappointed, complaing what a waste of time it was.
Sometimes it’s worth visiting a place in a different season, or even at a different time of day, or even better, from a different side – then, you might actually find out the place is worth seeing.
The famous places are famous for a reason, right?
Chitzen Itza (Mexico) at 8 in the morning and at noon – get up at the crack of dawn to arrive at the gates when they are opened and you’ll have the place for yourself!
Take your time.
Lack of time, and rushing around are your biggest enemies. You need time to fully appreciate a place. I stopped counting how many times I’ve heard compaints that place X or Y was a waste of time – all those opinions voiced after a short visit to a city centre or a neighbourhood of a railway station. No, this is not how you find out if a place is worth visiting or not! Take your time to wander the streets, drink a coffee in a cosy place, look at the people, observe. Give yourself time to get to know the place.
Think about the day of the week.
There are days and there are days.
Travelling is the only time when I’m not really fond of weekeds. Cities become empty and it’s hard to learn about their true character, and everybody goes away to admire nature (which makes admiring nature difficult because of all the people around you). If you don’t like the place at the weekend, give it a chance on a weekday (or vice versa).
The town of Popayan in Colombia was pleasant enough at the weekedn, but empty. On a weekeday it was bustling with life and seemed a totally different place!
Many people think that travelling in your neighbourhood is boring, no exotic sights, no fascinating stories, nothing unusual about people. It’s surprising how many people cannot appreciate what they have around – you need to keep your eyes and ears open – there are superb people and stories everywhere!
The further you go, the more interesting, isn’t it? Well, not always. It might be more interesting the first time you go there, or the second, or even third. But then… everything becomes familiar and you miss this first-timer’s excitation. You need to learn how to be happy with things you know. Or the things you seem to know, because although some places might look similar they are not. And you are absolutely wrong when you say that all South America is the same or all small European towns look alike.
I’m not too keen on preparations, I’d rather experience unexpected. However, I often observe that many disappointments could have been avoided if one’d prepared better for the trip. If you read, you’ll know how much it rains in the rainy season, or that not all beaches are white and sandy.
Not all the beaches are as white and sandy as this one…
Leave your bad mood at home!
It is only your fault! Noone can help you if you’re grumpy or moody!. If your attitude towards world is bad, if you are hurting (for whatever reason) or pissed off with what’s around, the whole world seems to be awful. To you. Only. So do not judge the world depending on your mood.
Let us be different!
Everybody is different as are our preferences. Define your goals, plan, avoid places you know you won’t like (do go sunbathing for a week, if you prefer hiking in the mountains), take a bit more money, lots of good mood, be positive towards people and curious of the world.
No travels will ever be boring with the right attitude!
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