When we plan a trip to a well-known place, we of course plan to see all of its tourist hotspots, as we should.
No one would want to take a trip to New York City without seeing the Statue of Liberty, or a trip to Paris without seeing the Eiffel tower. The trip would simply not be complete without the “tourist essentials,” but I believe that the best way to get the most out of a trip is to save some time to experience destinations as the locals do.
Every destination has a history, culture, and personality that cannot be fully experienced if we do not venture away from the crowds of tourists and into the “nooks and crannies” that hide hidden gems.
The “resort culture” of travel is bringing us further and further away from discovering what a destination is really like, and although staying in hotels and resorts can be relaxing and comforting for most travelers it limits the adventure of being in a new place.
In my opinion, it is always more exciting to see things that not many have seen.
A few times I have gone to a new place without ever having heard of it before, simply because I know some locals there and I know that they will show me a good time.
This is also something to be learned, do not be afraid to ask the locals for advice. This is why I always call old friends that live far away and set aside one full day to explore “non-tourist” attractions.
Next time you feel the travel itch, try to scratch it with a destination that is rich with local culture, and look beyond of your tourist lenses.