There is so much to do when traveling abroad. So much that it’s impossible to do it all. You’ll try. And you will be able to do so many amazing things. But you may forget to just be. It can sound a little silly. But you are in a new city for a semester trying to immerse yourself like a local and one of the best ways I’ve found to do this is by just walking around. You can discover so much from a leisurely stroll, but many students (and just other travelers/ tourists in general) go for the big things in the area. But you are there for a whole semester. You have the time to take things at your own pace.
I can’t even count the number of unexpected things I have stumbled upon when I just walk around. In a new city, especially a big one, there is so much going on all the time. There is always something to explore or discover. Some of the best things I have been able to experience were things I had no idea that I wanted to do.
Take a day, half a day, or at least a couple of hours and just take a stroll. Pick an area and take random turns. Play some music and take it slow. Get a little lost. (But make sure your phone is charged because you will want to get home eventually.) Observe the streets, the buildings and the people you walk past. I have come across some cool flea markets, cool street performances, and art. I would even recommend to do something a little artsy yourself, even if not an artist. If you are taking a whole day to walk around and you get tired, I find that relaxing in a cute cafe with either a book, journal, or sketchbook is a wonderful way to rest up. It is really nice to unplug a little. Taking the moment for what it is and appreciating the environment.
If you really want, look up a few places that look interesting in the area you intend to walk around. This helps you have a direction to head towards if you feel stuck. But I would definitely take a few extra turns, or at least the longer route. If you do this, I would suggest only having a few places in mind/ marked, and spacing them out a bit. Don’t look up three places all a five minute walk from each other and call it good. Expand your radius a bit. Push yourself to explore more of the area. Go a little outside the main streets or touristy areas.
Also, it is amazing the things you can find by walking around your neighborhood. The local grocery store, cute shops, and depending on where you live, some interesting places to spend time with friends. Even cool landmarks are all over the place.
Just walk around. This is some of the best advice I have been given, and that I can give to you.
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I am a silly, go with the flow kind of person. I love adventure and family. Travel and home, the simple and the extravagant. I am Kaitlyn Morales. From a small town in California, I have taken every chance I can to travel.