It doesn’t matter what anyone says, the hardest thing about traveling to a new place on your tod is making the most out of your time; the most valuable commodity we have. Unfortunately, truly getting to see a new place and appreciate the cultures can take months if not years, which is something most first-time travelers can’t give.
Of course, your first instinct probably tells you to research all the museums and tourist hotspots before your arrival so that you can cover as many of them as possible, but this is how to make the most out of your time because this only gives you a surface level look. You want to connect with a place, have an adventure, make lifelong memories and have stories to tell.
Here is our list of how to make the most out of your time, and make that time count:
Learn The Language
We don’t expect you to become fluent in the local language, not least because you don’t need to in order to reap the benefits of breaking down the barrier. Just learning little phrases here and there is a great way to make the most out of your time, while also encouraging a laugh that leads onto an adventure. Things like “good morning”, “where is the loo?”, “what’s your best beer?” “thank you” and, of course, “Cheers!” are all you need to know in any language.
Be In The Know
Traveling solo is utterly liberating but it can be so daunting knowing where to go, where to start, how to get there and understanding what will be most likely to steal the breath from your lungs. That is where getting help can come in, having someone like a tour guide or a JustYou manager to ensure you blend culture, fun, freedom, and adventure, in with amazing company you’ll get to know in some of the most amazing places.
Read Up On The Place
One of the most amazing ways to immerse yourself in a place is to read novels set in these places, which you can do easily with a quick Google search. The great thing is, some of the most beautiful and breathtaking local books will have been translated or you to enjoy and experience, and it will make you appreciate a city and feel part of it, and not just like an outsider. If you are in Columbia then read Love In The Time Of Cholera. If you are in South Africa go with Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee. As for France, especially Paris, A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway.
Head To The Square
Every single town and city have a central square that is brimming with locals, with culture and history, conversations, street musicians, birds, laughter and everything else you could ever want to feel in a new place. It is the ideal place to take photographs, try the local street food and strike up a conversation with someone new, whether a local or another traveler. What this does is let you fall in love with a place in the same way you fall asleep; slowly and then all at once. You are at the heart of a culture and it is worth soaking that in for a couple of hours.