How to leave the tourist in you behind and become a traveller instead 

Remember to always opt for the local transport when you travel. You will know it for yourself how much fun it can be

Travel and tourism today has held social media tighter than ever before after all who on earth odorant like trading the air of a foreign land?

Over the years how we perceived travelling has evolved dramatically. Stating my personal instance, I and my father happen to be huge travel enthusiasts. My father is the kind who draws itineraries for everyone else’s trips. However growing up I realised me and my father never make good travel partners. He’s the kind who goes by the travel guides and hunt for offbeat travel blogs of solo travellers. And I do not regret this evolution at all although, the mismatch isn’t a pleasant thing at all. So let’s talk about exploring places the “traveller” way.

 

Read read read! : Reading about the place you would be visiting well in advance will help you explore multiple dimensions of a city. It so happened with me when I was researching on Goa. And I stumbled across an amazing blog from The Shooting Star by Shivya Nath who happens to be the best Indian travel blogger and also a huge inspiration for all the aspiring solo travellers. Through her blog I learned that hyped for booze and beaches Goa, hid such beautiful hinterlands. Discovery of Ooty has a beautiful history and so do the toy trains there. Trust me! A little reading has done no harm to anyone.

 

Ditch the hotels: It’s amazing to walk into the smell of a freshly made room of a hotel and check out the view from the window. Have the bell boy at your service round the clock and the benefits list goes on. But trust me sitting with the host of your home-stay over a sumptuous breakfast personally made by them with love and listening to their stories is downright priceless. You make friends, know the place like the locals do, get a whole new perspective of the city you are touring.

 

Stop hunting for the comfort food: I believe the whole point of visiting a new land is to learn about their culture and what best explains a place’s culture than its food does. So go delve into the local cuisine who know you might find your food soulmate that way like I found the Chicken Stew from Gods very own country Kerala.

 

Grab thoughtful souvenirs: A souvenir doesn’t always have to be from the tourist markets. I picked pine cones from a park in Ooty, sea shells from Goa and Jewish letters from the Jew town in Kochi. These tiny things make the best souvenirs and charm you with their subtility.

My souvenir from a visit to Fort Kochi. I grabbed this booklet from the Jewish Synagogue at Mattancherry

Do not miss the local art: There is yet to be a place on earth that doesn’t flaunt a unique art form be it the graceful Odissi dance of Orissa or the Bandhej (Tie and Die) textile work of Gujrat. Make sure you find the speciality of the place you visit and carry a piece of it along may be in your backpack or just in your memories.

 

And last but not the least do remember to take the local mode of transport. That’s where the best stories are brewed.

Happy Travelling Folks!

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