Lessons Learned While Traveling
2015 was epic.
I traveled to 15 countries, 4 continents, and had a few memories along the way. This is a quick, fun look, at some lessons learned while traveling – some tips and some observations. Vamanos.
- London has the most beautiful people in the world. No questions. It’s astonishing.
- Bacon (and breakfast in general) in the UK is ten thousand times better than bacon (and breakfast in general) in The States.
- Google Matrix + Adioso + Skyscanner + Versatile Travel Plans= You will find the cheapest flight possible
- Wear some sort of water-shoes when walking through the coral shores of the Philippine Islands. I saw too many people lacerate their feet and ruin their entire trips (ironic, I know, I’m not wearing shoes).
- Also, wear any kind of shoes when going to Perissa Black Sand Beach in Santorini, Greece. Those pebbles are hot as hell.
- Pretty sure there I saw dead bodies on the streets of Bogota, Columbia. (No picture)
- You can talk the hustlers selling bottles of wine in front of the Eiffel Tower from 12 euros a bottle, down to 3 euros a bottle.
- Don’t listen to your headphones too loudly on a Tokyo subway. You may be told to turn them down. Politely though.
- I ate better dumplings in London than in Hong Kong. And ate better ramen in Hong Kong than in Tokyo.
- Podcasts are freaking lifesavers, particularly during long flights and grueling layovers. Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History podcasts saved my life many of times. (In particular, I emphatically recommend ‘Blueprint for Armageddon’. It’s a 20+ hour, six part series that thoroughly dissects and analyzes World War One, in a unique and entertaining manner. It’s unreal.)
- While not perfect, T Mobile’s standard plan allowed me to text from anywhere in the world for free and worked incredibly well. It greatly contributed to less stress in my travel-life.
- Machu Picchu is spectacular, but it isn’t just about the sight itself, but rather the entire challenge that contributes to the memorable experience.
- While their services and amenities are awful, due to availability, United is still my preferred airline for redeeming and earning miles.
- But, I have an arsenal of credit cards, all of which contributed to me traveling around the world for next to nothing.
- The Florida Keys is a very special place. Or group of places I guess.
- Getting caught in the middle of a student riot in Cusco, Peru can be both scary and exhilarating.
- Denmark’s tourism marketing campaign should be “Beer, bikes and boobs”. If you’ve been to Denmark, you will understand this. (No boobs pictured)
- When in travel-doubt or travel-confusion, my favorite blogs and resources always got my back.
- I thought I would prefer Prague to Budapest, but loved Budapest a thousand times more.
- But having said that, Czech food was the most pleasant traveling surprise of the year. It’s f-ing amazing.
- Barcelona knows how to partyyyy
- The Manila Airport is the worst airport in the world.
- But the Guam airport is lovely, and if you’re lucky, you might be greeted by a local singing native songs and playing the ukulele.
- The flight from Lima to Cusco over the Andes Mountains is spectacular.
- I didn’t expect to like Paris. And then Paris made me it’s bitch.
- I sold my DSLR and tried a GoPro. I’ll never go back. The GoPro’s size + convenience + discretion + durability + versatility + quality = I’ll never travel with a DSLR again.
- Manchester, England is a severely underrated backpacking destination, and one of the cooler cities in the UK.
- Bogota Brewing Company is a great brewery, and should be visited if in Columbia’s capital city.
- Scotch is cheaper than beer in Scotland.
- Beer is cheaper than bottled water in Prague.
- Prague has the world’s best beer.
- Getting sick on the road happens. Sometimes it’s a dwelling cold (like the one that plagued me through the United Kingdom) and sometimes it’s vicious food poisoning (that nearly sent me to the hospital in The Philippines).
- This is what male hookers look like in Japan (notice how seductively the gentlemen in the bottom left is eating his chocolate bar).
- Thermal baths in Budapest have an aphrodisiac effect, and you may or may not be mere feet away from a young Asian couple banging as discretely as possible in the water (this is my ‘wtf, was I really just mere feet away from a young Asian couple banging as discretely as possible in the water‘ face.)
- La Sagrad Familia is worth the horrendous 20 euro entrance fee.
- But regardless of all of the new, amazing places I visited… Hong Kong is still my spot.
And out of all of the lessons learned while traveling, my number one is this – write down as much about your travels as you can. Write it, type it, journal it, sketch it, whatever. My moleskin goes everywhere with me, and I attempt to chronicle as much of my travels as possible. It will help you remember the smallest details, and the faintest of memories that naturally fade with time. You’ll be forever indebted to yourself.