I always say it! Be a doer when you travel! Don’t just be a looker! Whenever you get the chance, don’t be a bystander, be a participant! When you are out and about, one of the best ways to travel is to choose your own adventure. I was recently reminded of this as I was teaching a lesson about Ireland. My first graders were interested in why Ireland was called the Emerald Isle. So, we started reading a few books, doing a little writing, and exploring what to do if you visited Erin’s green shores.
The Charlie Brown Voice
Now, just to remind you, first graders are the greatest litmus of boredom that exists. They will let you know in no uncertain terms when something is a yawn. Kilkenny Castle? Nope. Trinity College? nah. Waterford Crystal Factory? Yawn. I needed to change tactics. These kids are not going to stand by and just watch even on a digital trip. Instead, we went and KISSED the Blarney stone and Blarney Castle. We RAN and JUMPED all over Giant’s Causeway. We HELPED a sheep dog corral his charges. We RODE horses on the beaches of Donegal. Oh! What a difference a verb makes! My kids were so excited and started talking about which things they would want to do if they ever got to go there. Secretly, I smiled. Another flock of wandering gypsies has been hatched.
If you are stumped trying to come up with experiences for your next trip, there’s a new source to help you out. Air B and B now offers a menu of experiences in lots of cities across the world. You can take a food tour in Athens or go to a pottery class in Kyoto. You can set up horse back riding in Central Park or a tour of the spice bazaar in Istanbul. While I’m not affiliated with Air B and B in any way, I am a big fan and I’m glad to see then expanding to help true travelers and not just tourists.
Another great site to find experiences is Pinterest. They constantly are updating their pins and can sometimes connect you with websites that offer a host of experiences. In the past, I’ve been able to find whitewater rafting in Scotland, hang gliding over Victoria Falls in Africa and a private tour guide for the beaches of Normandy. I don’t have to necessarily book through a big site like Trip Advisor but I can use pins to get to local websites. Again, I’m not an endorser just a fan.
The final way I choose my own adventure is through google searches. I simply put in one of the following search phrases:
Top coolest things to do in ___.
Alternative things to do in ___.
Best experiences when visiting ___.
I can usually find plenty of great ideas by clicking on the first few links provided.
Participating in anything whether it’s painting in Giverny or volunteering at an elephant sanctuary in Thailand will always be more memorable, educational, and engaging. In short, there’s no better way to distinguish yourself between being a tourist and being a traveler. Participants are indeed global citizens.
So let me say it loud and proud one more time fellow travelers! Be a doer not a looker! There’s plenty out there is this great big world to enjoy so go enjoy it!