Traveling is meant to be enjoyable, but sometimes we put restraints on ourselves that stop our journeys from living up to their full potential. Stop holding yourself back and allow true adventure to sink its teeth into your next trip by stopping these 9 common behaviors.
1. Stop Trying To Check Things Off Of A Bucket List
Despite whether that list is made up of sights you are actually interested in or ones that you think will look impressive in your pictures, there is no need to see them all. Stop turning your destinations into a mission to collect ticket stubs and start seeing what you see and learning to be happy with that.
2. Stop With The Pictures
Taking photos is a great way to remember your travels and share your experiences with people you love-but, it’s important to know when to give it a rest. Stop lugging around the camera, frantically trying to capture the best shot and looking at the scenery through a lens. Appreciate it while you’re there and in it.
3. Stop Trying To Experience The Culture
You can dress in the local garb bought from tourist shops and go see as many traditional dances as you want, but nothing is going to teach you more about the culture than interacting with the actual people. Instead of paying for these cultural tours and activities, just go to a local bar and try to chat up the people who actually live in the destination you are visiting. Don’t speak the language? Body gestures work great too!
4. Stop Wanting Your Travels To Live Up To Expectations
It’s only natural to have SOME expectations of a place before traveling there. With expectation comes disappointment and the best way to avoid it is by letting go of everything you thought would happen. Take travel as it comes, not as what you expected it would be.
5. Stop Partying So Much
Treating your travels like a constant spring break can suck the enjoyment right out of any adventure. Partying in exotic places with like-minded people and cheap booze is definitely a highlight of any trip but stopping when you’re ahead is important. Being too tired or hung-over to appreciate what you actually traveled to see is sure to leave you with guilt and regret both during and after your journey.
6. Stop Forcing Yourself To Enjoy Something That You Aren’t Really Into
Ok, so you came all the way to France and you feel like you have to see the Louvre. You feel the rush of being there but halfway through the museum, you find yourself longing to rest your feet in a small café and dive into a good book. If you just aren’t feeling into something, and you find yourself doing or seeing it because you feel like you have to…..bail. Your travels are only so long, don’t waste your time with things that you really aren’t getting much out of, no matter how famous they are.
7. Stop Worrying About Getting Lost
The thought of getting absolutely lost in a new country or city can be terrifying. Maybe you are worried about ending up in a bad neighborhood or being stranded without any way to make it back to your hotel. Keeping these worries in mind will keep you locked in to a very small portion of the places you visit and you will never get to experience the twists, turns and local spots that really make a place what it is. Charge your phone, bring a phrase book, take photos of landmarks near your hotel and bring a business card of where you are staying. Arm yourself with resources to get back to home base and wander the hell out of your new destination.
8. Stop Making Sacrifices For Your Travel Partner
Whether it’s your boyfriend of ten years, your best friend or someone you just met in your hostel, stop sacrificing what you want to do for them. The trip is just as much yours as it is theirs so be OK with splitting up every now and then. There doesn’t have to be any hard feelings if you want to visit a museum while your travel bud hangs out at the water park. Have a way to keep in contact, make plans to meet up later and make sure that you all get what you want out of the trip despite your differences.
9. Stop Trying To Avoid Looking Stupid
You’re in a new place, you may not speak the language and you are definitely going to look stupid at least once. It doesn’t matter. Don’t let a little embarrassment stop you from trying out some essential phrases in a new language, going into an interesting bar even though you are alone or breaking some sort of cultural etiquette. If your comfy traveling sandals make you look dorky or you feel awkward pulling out your huge tourist map on the street, embrace that you may look a little silly because it doesn’t really matter to anyone else and you will thank yourself for it later.