Novice Travel Advice

As fun and random my last blog might have been, I do want to try to write a little bit of everything, even if that means perhaps writing about something more educational based than fun nonsense about Kraken.

I don’t have very many areas of expertise, nor do I pretend to be an expert in the fields I happen to work in, what I can however relate are cool pieces of information I have been taught or experienced, that you may also enjoy.

This one will be on travelling.

Most people these days have travelled outside of North America, and so have plenty of experience being abroad, however I know that when I was preparing for my first and second Europe trip, that I was keenly interested in others experiences both good and bad, and any recommendations that they had.

My first piece of advice?

Plan ahead if you are there with limited time and or money!

The first time I went to Europe there was no planning whatsoever post flights, and that lead to a lot of mismanagement of funds, and I didn’t get to see even close to what I had hoped to see my first time there. I feel I have to return to England and Ireland because I did not get to do the basic tourist attractions, but I did get a fun feel of some of the non-touristic spots with my travel companion.

Second piece of advice actually brings me to travelling companions…

I understand it is hard to gage how you will travel with someone most of the time, but do your best to sort out your different methods BEFORE being stranded with them. That particular companion preferred to relax with a book and travel around less because of motion sickness. I do better jumping from town to town, or tour to tour until I have to sleep. Had I listened more closely to their past travel experiences, we could have talked ahead of time and had a better plan for the both of us laid out.

Third piece of advice: Prioritize what you want to see.

The second time I travelled I did everything in my power to do it right, especially after my previous curveball experience. However, as I planned far in advance where I wanted to go and how much everything would cost me, I soon had to ask the question: What would I be okay with not seeing? I had to figure out what was most important and go from there. I didn’t get to see maybe 2 towns that I had been excited for, but I was thrilled with my general experience the second time around.

Fourth piece of advice, is to check your expectations.

When I was in England, Scotland, and Ireland I was disappointed with how Westernized the areas had become and wasn’t a fan of all the modern shops and stores that I could find back home. When I thought about it though, I felt like a prize idiot. Of course it is a modern functioning society. I guess part of my history lover self expected men in tights with swords on their belts, which though would be fun, is not what you should be looking for.

When I went to Budapest, Vienna, and all over Italy, I had little to no expectations and was delighted at every turn. I didn’t expect Budapest to have their gorgeous trees, and I couldn’t have imagined the grandeur of the Schonbrunn Palace. Italy had so many differences to Canada, and ancient sites that I was blown away by on a daily basis!

Fifth; journal while on your trips.

I would pry my eyes open to journal in as much details as I could the things I saw, the people I met, and the food I tried. When I go back and read those entries, I find I’ve already forgotten so much, and it makes me incredibly happy to read them. I didn’t have money for a lot of souvenirs, but I had a good camera, and a handy journal that I hope to keep for as long as I live.

I love travelling, and I hope that I continue to experience new places in cultures in my life.

My 6th and last piece of advice: You can never be too safe.

I can only speak on behalf of myself a female, but everything from the nerdy money belt, to keeping a hand on your camera and belongings at all times, proved fruitful. Especially in Italy.
I was harassed by the  street vendors to an uncomfortable amount. One followed me, and got in my face until I shouted very loudly, and another was working in tandem with a local business owner whom tried to get us to part with our belongings. I know a lot of people will laugh and say they had no problem.
I did had a problem though, and so my personal opinion is to always be cautious. Especially in hostels if you are a lone female. There was a particular time in Dublin I recall a man staring all too intently without blinking from his bed for long minutes, and I was lucky that my travel companion at the time was male.

Ending on a more positive note, I have loved my travelling experiences, and will continue gaining wisdom as my passport is filled, and I’m excited for those opportunities of a great adventure.

In the next 5-7 years, I hope to travel to the following places:

Southern Ireland
Wales
Southern England
France
Spain
Germany
Iceland

After that, Japan, Thailand, maybe the Amazon, Africa, and so on and so forth.

I hope that you other travel lovers out there or travel newbies enjoyed this brief entry of advice, and that you all have your own great adventures!

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