Travel Tales

Last month I spent 10 days travelling to Cancun, Mexico and New York City. Two very different cities in terms of the culture, food, people and the weather of course. Though, this post is not about comparing the two cities, because each city is splendid in its own way and comparing them would be unfair. However, what I would like to point out is that after visiting a certain number of cities in my life so far, exploring a new city is an absolute adventure. To make this adventure interesting, it should combine a bit of impulsiveness and purposefulness, in short an organized spontaneity. By all means buy a good map of the city, lonely planet guides and research on the sights and sounds you would like to see. But, I believe the following 3 tips would help you to maximize your trip.
1. Explore the city as much as you can by foot and local transport to ‘enjoy’ what the city has to offer. Apart from being easy on the pockets and a damn good exercise, it allows you to traverse through the socio-economic and demographic layers of the city. In short you will understand how people live and a lot of history. I traveled through New York City on the local subway and walking- it allowed me to observe the people, conversations, billboards, small as well as fancy shops/eateries and importantly the pulse of the people.
2. Ask the locals for recommendations- I think this is a very essential knack to have, wherein how do you engage the locals for a friendly conversation and derive as many recommendations as possible. For e.g. in Cancun, we specifically asked the cab driver as to where would he go and have an authentic Mexican meal if he had to rather than recommending a touristy place. I am sure not all the locals would be rude and this is a fantastic way of discovering some quaint places which no guide book would ever tell you.
3. Do nothing- Sometimes simply sitting back and stretching your feet just helps you soak in the air with all your senses. You do not have to visit every museum on the list or the place recommended by your friend. Just wandering aimlessly on the streets or sitting by a roadside café helps you explore the city deeply. We walked aimlessly around Central Park trying to look for the exit but we also sat down on the grass with a cup of frozen yogurt just to soak in the warm spring and the peppy music rolled out by the talented street musicians.
In a new city apart from the ‘must see’ the ordinary becomes very intriguing and beautiful. That is the adventure travel brings about combined with multiple flavors of the unknown, curiosity and excitement. Similar to what every phase in life should look like. Eleanor Roosevelt once said “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

One thought on “Travel Tales

  1. Liked the “Do nothing” part the most…enjoying “now”. “Now” is so precious probably that is why its called “present” 🙂

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