You are at the country you’ve always wanted to visit, now what? What should you do to explore? What all needs to be explored? Being halfway across the world with every intention to lay back and snooze in the sand just doesn’t cut it. You need to experience what is there to be experienced, and there are four must do’s to experience all that there is:
Experiencing the culture is more than just hitting the beach for some… “cultural” sunbathing; it’s about getting out there and doing what the locals are doing. Hit a club and go to the local hangouts. Depending on what country or town you find yourself in, the happenings may differ from soccer games to festivals. Try talking to locals to get the best tips, rather than a tourist info centre, which will only send you where every other tourist is.
Instead of picking up grub at close-by burger or hotdog stand, try some local food. It’s part of soaking up the culture without going out and finding it. If you’re in England, try fish and chips, or if you find yourself in Scotland try haggis (I know that questionable parts of a cow cooked in sheep’s stomach may sound gross and scary to put into your mouth… but I promise it’s not that bad [editor's note: it tastes a bit like shepherd's pie!] ).
I know what you’re thinking… “who wants to visit museum, after library, after museum, when you’re on vacation? Who wants to waste precious sun time all locked up in a place meant for education?” Well, the fact is that, right now, you are having a once in a lifetime experience and opportunity to see what all the world has to offer. That experience is something that should be soaked up to its fullest. If you don’t want to spend an hour in a museum, go to a historical church. They are free to visit and you can spend as little as five minutes visiting it, while still being entertained by music, paintings, and statues. If you don’t want to be stuck inside, make an adventure out of it at the local historical landmark, like hiking Mt. Vesuvius in Italy.
Jump for joy because I am going to insist you go shopping, pick up some souvenirs, and entertain yourself with the gadgets of a different world. Plus, Europe is any fashionista’s dream, where you can find amazing one-of-a-kind items that you could never pick up at Forever 21. This way you have something to do that is universal, and end up with a keepsake more than just a photograph.
What Do You Think?
What did you think of the backpacking series? Have you considered doing a backpacking excursion? Leave a comment and tell us all about it!