Tips for a Memorable Journey

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”

Travel may be the best way to gain experience, knowledge and perspective on life. But before you embark on an epic journey, here are some tips to help you gain more stories and memories during your trip. Here we go:

1. Don’t Sweat the Small Things
Did you miss the train? No worries, there will be another one. That must-visit restaurant is full? Come back later or maybe the next day. Don’t let the small stuff ruin your mood. Life is much too short to be angry and annoyed all the time. Just relax and enjoy the ride.

2. Be an Early Riser
Related to above, that restaurant you just have to try? Be the first one there the next day and avoid the crowd. This applies to other touristy areas. Be an early riser to have the best attractions all to yourself. Remember, the early bird gets the worm.

3. Accept the Kindness of Strangers
Some local friend you met randomly invites you to meet her family, try a new activity or explore a place you didn’t know existed? Be impulsive and say yes. An open mind is a door to new experience and who knows, these experiences might be the best of your life. Trust you instinct and accept the kindness of strangers with a positive attitude.

4. Stay Still
You don’t have to be on the move all the time. Sometimes the best thing is to just spend a few hours sitting on a busy corner by yourself, slow down your thoughts and pay close attention to the details around you. You might find something you never experienced before, and the smells, the colours, the people and sounds will stay forever in your mind.

5. Best Souvenir Ever
A good photo is the best souvenir you can give yourself. Photos don’t cost anything, they don’t take space in your luggage and you can share them with others. I always take photos whenever I go somewhere new or meet new friends; who knows, you may only see these places and meet these people once in your lifetime.

6. Don’t Take Life So Seriously
I remember the time I got lost in Kyoto and no one around me spoke English. So I had to ask for directions using body language and the few Japanese words I know. Rather than be embarrassed and stressed, sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself and enjoy the moment.

7. Be Friendly
Understand that you are a guest in another country when travelling, and you can’t expect everyone to walk around all the time with big smiles on their faces to make you feel welcome. I always try to smile whenever I make unintentional eye contact with others, and if they smile back, I try to say hello in the local language. This is a fast way to make new friends, and who knows, you might get some useful local tips.

Text and photos by Dennis Latif