Spontaneous travel - go on adventures without planning is written by Stefan Slothuus.
The art of taking on a spontaneous journey
If you are striving for unforgettable experiences on your travels - and who does not - you will need to visit more than just the top 5 sights in your Lonely Planet book. Of course, you can look for inspiration in advance, but it's like with sweet things - all in moderation.
Are you most comfortable by always traveling with a guide, visiting the restaurants with the most reviews or booking the entire trip several months before take-off, of course, is what you need to do. However, it is my experience that my friend's stories from the time he unknowingly thumbed across Europe, is a know more exciting to tell about and pay attention to.
Unlike then, my other friend took a selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower - like so many others. Incidentally, not a bad word about the Eiffel Tower, for it is certainly worth a visit too, but there is still an important difference.
Here are some tips on how to make your trip more unpredictable - and thus more unique and memorable.
Find new friends who are also taken on a spontaneous journey
If you are traveling in pairs or groups, it can quickly become convenient to keep to yourself in a relatively safe environment. Contact with other travelers can often create unpredictability and excitement.
Pick them up at the airport and ask if they want to splice a taxi into town. Maybe you can meet again at another time. There is always plenty of fellowship between travelers and since everyone is looking for adventure, most are open and welcoming.
Perhaps the easiest way to find other like-minded travelers is to stay overnight in hostels. Whether you prefer a shared dormitory or a private room, hostels abound with whimsical acquaintances in the common areas. Most people have good stories to tell, and most of the time they do not say no to a chat over a beer.
Otherwise, you can ask the locals at the cozy café on the corner for advice on what to spend your precious time on. Or book your accommodation with the locals through Airbnb. Common to most locals is that they want to show their city or country from the best side, so there are plenty of good tips to pick up - especially when traveling spontaneously.
Take the yes-hat with
In line with searching for new friends, you must of course also wear the yes hat when others visit you. So if you fall into conversation with friendly souls at a bar that invites you to a concert the next day, drop the otherwise planned Louvre visit and come along - be spontaneous.
Maybe you can experience the Louvre another day or on a different tour - but you may not get the chance to take local Parisians to a jazz / hip hop concert somewhere you would never have heard of.
If you are going out and see the area must-see attraction, you do not necessarily have to hop on the expensive tourist bus out there. Instead, you can hike out to the main road that leads there.
Throw your thumb in the air with a welcoming smile and you may be lucky enough to be picked up by a group that is on road trip. Then you may have also secured a lift home. It rarely takes long before a curious motorist is interested in company.
The point is to be open and outreach to alternative experiences. Of course, the gut feeling should be good. If it feels unsafe or scary, then nicely say no thank you.
A purpose, with reservations
It is always nice to have a purpose and small goals on its journey. Maybe you are interested in football and would like to see the local football stadium. It may also be that you are interested in local gastronomy and looking for a good culinary experience.
It is easy to find these sights with a guidebook or with his smartphone. Sometimes, however, it pays to find out for yourself and leave the book and phone in your bag. Therefore, ask the coffee salesman on the other side of the street in which direction the stadium is or where you can get a good portion gullasch. Then the planned trips become a little more unpredictable and possibly more exciting.
You can also go for the corners of the world where the direction becomes the target and see what pops up along the way. Maybe a new one for every day. Or take a dice with you on the hike so it can help you make some choices.
Rule of thumb
If you, like me, are crazy about vantage points, a good tip is to look for the highest point in the area and then just go in that direction - if of course it is within reason. No matter where you are, you are almost always guaranteed a photogenic view and an exciting ride up there.
If you then come across a local showdown in petanque or a worthwhile fun show on the way there, you can just make a stop. Or if you are drowning past a nice area with the city bus or train, get off at the next stop and see what is moving.
I basically have a rule of thumb when I'm going on a spontaneous trip: I plan half the days and leave the rest up to fate.
Then you get to experience what is absolutely necessary, and at the same time the trip becomes unpredictable. It may turn out that the day becomes relatively uneventful, where you end up just enjoying a cup of coffee by the canal. But it can also offer unforgettable moments that you would not want to miss.
Have a fantastic spontaneous journey - however it degenerates.
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