I recently returned from an amazing trip to San Francisco for an awesome conference hosted by the Experts Industry Association. What’s more, I had the chance to travel around the city and explore!
I realized that what some travellers forget is that there’s more to a new city than visiting all of the important spots that they scheduled into their itineraries months before. A new city means a new culture, new people, and amazing new experiences that can happen when you live in the present moment and fully appreciate your surroundings.
Next time you take a trip, remember that travelling is more than just sight-seeing: it’s an opportunity for personal development. Here’s my advice on how you can make the best of your next travelling opportunity!
Be curious. Entering a new environment can be scary, but that’s okay! Embrace your fears and dance with them. Explore the sights and, if you have the time, stray from the beaten path. There’s more to Paris than the Eiffel Tower – there’s an entire way of life that you’ve never experienced before. Be curious, ask questions, and don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. Even if you get lost, you may find that you’ll meet new people, develop new relationships, find new inspiration, and discover all that your destination has to offer!
Ask for help. Strange cities can be difficult to navigate. You may not be used to their methods of transportation, and you certainly won’t be familiar with where everything is located. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help! People are always willing to give help and advice to someone in need, especially someone who asks with a positive attitude and genuine curiosity.
Maintain an open mind. When you have an open mind, you have an open heart. You’re able to form authentic connections with other people and create meaningful relationships that you may have never expected. When I was at the conference, a group of us would regularly go out for dinner together. Every time we went, someone paid for the cab and for the meal. Even though we had only known each other for a few days, it was always taken care of. This is because everyone felt that they belonged with the group, that they could trust and respect all of us even though we were basically strangers. When you’re closed up, you miss out on the opportunity to be the authentic, amazing you, and that can really get in the way of creating an incredible travelling experience!
Show up with positive energy. When I was in San Francisco, I was about to get on a cable car but I didn’t know that I needed a ticket. The bus driver stopped me and asked to see it. Since I didn’t have one, I asked outright where I could get one and explained that I was a tourist from Canada and it was my first time in the city. I was honest and I said it with a smile and high energy. In the end, the bus driver was kind enough to give me a free ride. He wouldn’t have done this if I had appeared grumpy or unenthusiastic. You never know when positivity will get you noticed or help you find new opportunities!
If you’re travelling and you want to go to a specific location, you can take a number of different routes. You can walk, taxi, bus, or train – whatever route you choose, you’ll get to the same place. So, why not try something new? Take a route that you normally wouldn’t just to have an adventure. Getting lost isn’t the end of the world, in fact, it will probably help you see things you never would have otherwise. Make the most of your future travels by taking chances and opening up the doors to new possibilities!