One of the main reasons that I personally adore travel is the variety that it offers. No one trip is the same as the next, and the opportunities to make each and every trip completely unique are endless. So how can one do something different with regards to travel?
Accommodation is obviously an incredibly important aspect of travel, and it can be quite easy to get sucked into the same old options. Resorts, hotels and apartments are usually the go-to for many travellers, but why not try something completely outside the box? Couchsurfing and home-stays have become a popular alternative in recent years, and something that I personally would love to try. Not only does it usually come with a really small, if any, price, the opportunity to meet locals and immerse yourself in the way that your host lives are unique experiences that will you’ll be sure to remember.
To step completely out of your comfort zone, I would implore everyone to go on a long camping trip. The idea sounds disgusting to most, but the best way to experience the true natural beauty of a country is through getting off the beaten track. Before university, I spent five weeks camping and climbing in Iceland, and the experience will never leave me. The mountains, waterfalls and rolling greenery are all images I will never forget, and I am desperate to carry out a similar trip elsewhere.
Once you have worked out where to stay, what is next? Activities are the other main way to truly add variety to your travels, and it is very easy to do something different, due to the increased accessibility of unorthodox attractions. Trips can be taken with the sole purpose of doing something different, with a wide range of companies offering volunteer projects that cover almost every field of work. To name a few, conservation, teaching and medical care projects are popular choices for those looking to spend an extended amount of time abroad.
Those looking to pack as much as possible into a time period in a country, yet still wanting to try something out of their ordinary travel routine, should look towards locally taught classes in cookery and craft in order to diversify their travel. Learn how to cook the famous local delicacies or learn how to make that item that you see on every stall in the markets. One of my biggest regrets from my travels was not learning how to make tagine in Marrakech, and I endeavour to learn when I inevitably go back. Alternatively, depending on the destination, book yourself in to do the an extreme activity that scares you to death. Do a skydive over beautiful scenery, go bungee jumping in New Zealand, learn to surf on the Gold Coast.
The creation of memories that are attributed to a particular trip or destination are truly the best indicator that you have done something different. Be that person who casually drops their travel experiences into every conversation, and has an extensive enough repertoire of memories to be able to do that. As cliché as it is, memories last a lifetime, so why stick to normality and watch all your trips blend into a cache of trips you cannot differentiate? What is the point of going if it is not going to be remembered? Spice up your travel a little, it can’t hurt.