I love traveling because it can be extremely beneficial. It can make you see things in a new way, teach you in a way that a classroom cannot, help you learn who you are, and give you some pretty neat stories to tell later. As of right now, I have been to eight countries and way too many states to list, but I am nowhere near done with my journey. Here are five things I’ve learned for making the most out of every trip.
1—Pay attention in foreign language class. Being able to communicate with someone who does not speak English is not only cool but being able to read key words on buildings or signs can help you get around so that you don’t confuse a library with a movie theatre. Another benefit of being (somewhat) bilingual is talking to the locals. Spanish has helped me meet some truly amazing people in Europe, Honduras, and the Caribbean. Knowing just two languages can go a long way.
2—Try new things. I am always down for an adventure, whether it is ziplining, swimming with turtles, or exploring a city. This year, in the Caribbean, I tried quenepas. They are a little, round, green fruit. A local lady was selling them roadside, and I gave them a shot. I am glad I did, because they are sweet, tart, and delicious! Trying new things is important because if you don’t, you will miss out on great things that are just outside of your comfort zone.
3—Take time to learn about the culture. Something I love to do is find things that are different from my Pennsylvania hometown. One of the things I have found to be very different in every country I visit is shopping. Saint Martin, where I spent two weeks this summer, has a capital called Phillipsburg. There, many street vendors sell handmade jewelry, hats, trinkets, clothes, art, shoes, and pretty much anything else imaginable. It is a lot different from my local shopping mall.
4—Make new friends, but bring the old ones along. Traveling with a friend can be an experience that helps the two of you become closer. The girl in the picture above has been one of my good friends since first grade, but the two-week trip we took this summer took our friendship to a whole new level. Traveling together, however, didn’t stop us from meeting tons of new people and making some great friends.
5—Relax. Taking some time to relax, unwind, and spend time by yourself or with your travel partner can be the best part of your vacation. Your trip is supposed to be a break away from your regular life, so designate a day or two of your vacation to simply relaxing. Get a massage on the beach, lay out by the pool, or sleep in past noon. It’s your vacation; you make the rules!
What are your favorite travel tips? Let me know in the comments!