One of the greatest experiences a lot of us have in our lives involves some sort of travel. There are a lot of memories made while visiting a new place, whether it is by yourself, with family, or with friends. I have found through my travel experiences that when I get back and people ask me about my trip, I forget some of the small details of the trip that really played a huge part in something else. After realizing how quickly I forget certain events or even fabulous people I meet, I started making a conscience effort to make the most of every trip and not forget the little things. Here are a few things I have personally been doing that can help you as well.
Meet the Locals– Take advantage of meeting locals and learn their culture whether you are traveling to New York City or Uganda, every city, every state, every country has a different culture than the one you are from, embrace it! Also, local’s know more about the area than any research you could ever do. They know the best places to go, the places to avoid and they even know about the secret gems of their city that only local’s know about. Next time you are sitting at a bar or coffee shop, turn to the person next to you and meet someone new!
Take Lot’s of Photos– During your exploration, you will encounter a lot of things. Of course you want to take in everything with your own eyes and really appreciate the things you are experiencing, but you also want to remember what you did or even the people you meet. Meet a local that helped you out? Take a quick photo of them. Eat at a local restaurant that you happened to stumble upon? Take a quick photo. We often forget to photograph the small things because we are so focused on getting that perfect skyline photo or the perfect sunset over the ocean photo, keep in mind to snap a photo of your transportation, people you meet, or even a tree that you sat under to cool off. We live in a digital world, you can always delete something you don’t want when you get home, but you can’t go back and take a photo of something you wish you had.
Don’t be Afraid to Try New Things-Too many times I have traveled with family, friends and colleagues and there is always someone in the group that wants to go to a chain restaurant for dinner. What?! This concept blows my mind. I understand that going to a chain restaurant is “safe” and “comfortable,” but you can do that at home. Find a local place to have dinner or skip Starbucks and find a local coffee shop, the majority of the time you will not be disappointed. There are a few ways you can find great local places to check out while you are visiting:
1. Ask a local on the street or the front desk agent at your hotel
2. Social Media: There are an alarming amount of foodies anywhere you go. Most of them are local and some of them even have “Instagram” food blogs. Pull out your phone and do a quick search, you won’t regret it.
Journal- I understand, Journaling can be a hassle if you’re not the “writing type,” but it is a fantastic way to spike your memory of the experiences you have endured while traveling. Take a laptop, iPad, or old fashioned journal with you on your trip and write for a few minutes each night before bed about the things you saw, people you met and new things you tried that day. It will be worth it when you get home and reminisce on your trip.
Next time you travel, don’t forget to make it memorable.