Normally, I’m not a huge fan of online travel communities. I think they get taken over too easily by businesses that want to promote themselves. So far, Trippy.com seems to be an exception. I’ve had some fun asking and answering questions from other travelers. A few businesses seem to have sneaked in, but it’s the exception rather than the norm.
Recently, I asked Trippy.com members what activities they build their trips around. For example, my trips center around 1) a 10K race, 2) a long day/overnight hike and 3) eating some sort of weird food native to the area. We’ll sometimes add activities, like we did in Finland for the Ruisrock music festival. But these are the three minimums.
Trippy members had some outstanding answers, and I’d like to share a few of them here. I’m just giving short excerpts and the person’s name and location. Visit the Trippy.com thread to read the full text and join the conversation. I’ll also add some of my own thoughts to their answers in italics.
Within the first day or two, find a bookstore and find something that takes place in the locale and read it during the trip. (Phillip K. – Ontario, Canada) You can’t go wrong with a bookstore. It’s a great place to meet people, no matter where you are. And you just might dig up some books that you won’t find in bookstores back home or even online. If you’re a bookstore sort of person, by the way, put Iceland on your travel list.
Flea markets! There’s nothing like a local flea market for full cultural immersion. Lest you think they’re all the same, trust me: every flea market has a personality that is unique to its location. (If you’re interested, check out the posts about flea markets around the world on my blog.) (Pamela P. – New Canaan, Connecticut, US) Super idea, and I really hadn’t thought of this. Seems like a great way to get away from the tourism brochure experiences.
One of the very first things I do, on the very first night I get somewhere new, is look up at the stars. I like seeing what constellations are visible in each new place. It started when I went to Mexico for the first time; one of my first trips. Looking up at the stars that first night was when I fell properly and madly in love with travel. (Jamie P. – India) Jamie has a great idea. I remember feeling the same thing when I was in Australia camping in the Outback. It’s really interesting to see the differences in the night sky from place to place. Just don’t try this in Norway int he summer!
I have been practicing yoga in EVERY state I visit. I make sure to take a picture, put it on my blog and update my Yoga Travel map 🙂
http://coffeechalk.wordpress.com (Diana J. – Cinnaminson, New Jersey, US) I started taking yoga classes in 1999, so I’m a huge believer in its benefits. But I’ve never taken a yoga class in a different country. Sounds like another great way to meet people.
Most of my vacations involve attending at least one sporting event. Being able to do that was actually a childhood dream that I have been able to fulfill. (Jeremy R. – Lafayette, Louisiana, US) Jeremy has a great idea. I even have a blog post about sports events I’d like to see during my travels. I always love “accidentally” tripping onto a sports event, like watching cricket in Australia or just stumbling onto an Icelandic Premier League soccer match. One of the Stjarnan fans is now one of my Facebook friends.
I try and do some bicycle touring in every place.
This is both a great way to see a place and it’s also very good meditation for me to be on my bike a few hours per day. (Claus A. – From Parts Unknown!) I’m also a longtime bicyclist. I’m incredibly picky about my bike shorts, helmets and shoes … which take up a lot of room in the pack. So far, the only place I’ve cycled was in Whistler, BC, Canada, during the Crankworx festival.
I am an addicted geocacher and I try to do it pretty much everywhere around the world. And that is the amazing fact about this hobby. You really can do it everywhere around the world and even in outer space aboard the ISS. (Peter R. – Munich, Germany) Another incredible idea! I’ll bet this gets Peter into some cool areas that people who stick to the travel brochures never get to see.
I try to do something new or adventurous on every trip I make. It started in Cape Town where I went skydiving at Skydive Cape Cod and I went kloofing in Hottentots-Holland Nature Reserve which was pretty awesome to do! Look it up on YouTube, Skeleton Gorge! (Jan Jaap Ensing, Nederland) Yes! This is my kind of answer. This traveler obviously has a hobby that can help him find some adventure anywhere. In other cases, travelers just have to look for opportunities. Of course, in New Zealand, the opportunities are numerous. But skydiving in South Africa sounds amazing.