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Why You Should Get Lost When You Travel To a New City

Traveling to a new city requires some careful planning, at least to some extent. However, a very strict plan might ruin your holiday, and at least sometimes it’s better to go with the flow. Of course, you want to visit the most prominent sights, but you also want to have enough free time to let all that new info sink in. And there’s no better way of doing that than getting lost in a new city because you’ll be:

Meeting the locals

There’s nothing like getting in touch with the local people to get a better grasp of how a city or a country works. Understanding different mentalities is a good start to enrich your own, but it also gives you important info regarding a new lifestyle and culture.

For instance, a very independent, belligerent, domineering and single-minded civilization will value freedom and proficiency, and that shows in how the people behave. On the other hand, the debonair inhabitants of a bucolic Mediterranean city will reveal a calmer historical past and a more relaxed mentality.

Exploring the hidden streets

The hidden streets will bring you to a new understanding of how people live in a certain place, but you’ll need the best compass for backpacking so you don’t get lost. Of course, the city center may be filled with imposing buildings, luxurious condos, and stylish offices, but how do people live on the outskirts?

Is there a big difference in terms of luxury between the city center and the marginal neighborhoods? Is the public transport crowded? Do people seem friendlier, though they obviously have a worse financial background? These are all defining traits of how a city is doing from an economic standpoint.

Discovering new architectural gems

Most big cities have a few architectural landmarks from different times. A medieval cathedral, a Renaissance museum or a modern looking City Hall are all impressive and worth visiting. But there can be different architectural gems hidden of the ebb and flow of tourists.

Take a very old wooden church with discolored paintings: this can be just as inspiring as a very sumptuous cathedral. A quaint neighborhood with tiny streets and decorated backyards can be a delight, as well as a valuable insight into a culture.

Eating a traditional meal

Even if most center hotels and restaurants offer traditional foods, these are somewhat changed so they can accommodate the tastes of a more international array of tourists. On the other hand, the more isolated taverns and local diners will provide a complete experience with authentic aromas and ingredients. You now have the perfect chance to inquire about the history of certain dishes and flavors, so don’t be shy with the personnel.

You’ll also see how the locals behave, and how they have fun. For example, when the local band starts playing, do people get up from their chairs and start dancing, or do they continue eating? Are the waiters very friendly, asking you personal questions, or do they rather show a professional distance?

Enjoying awe-inspiring sceneries

The most impressive sceneries are sometimes screened from the high influx of people. Hiking in a nearby forest can lead you to a secluded meadow where you can enjoy some quiet time. You can learn how to make the best knot for hammock, and stretch one out between two trees.

That will give you time to rest and admire the surroundings, maybe think about how the landscape has impacted the course of a specific civilization. A plentiful area that benefits from a mellow climate is sure to render a richer, multi-cultural civilization, though it can also be the reason for many wars. Conversely, a harsh environment with a colder climate renders a more independent nation, though it can be oriented towards excellence and an appreciation for traditions.

Having a relaxing experience

If you have limited time and you’ve planned your trip very thoroughly so you can make the most out of it, don’t forget to leave at least an afternoon off for wandering around. This will give you time to think about all the things you’ve learned or discuss them with your group.

It will also provide a welcome opportunity to rearrange your plans or simply rest up a bit. You can take the chance and go on an impromptu shopping spree, or simply take a relaxing walk without having the pressure of sticking to a schedule.

Spending less money

The hidden city streets offer you plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the local culture without having to spend exorbitant amounts of money for tickets. Apart from that, if you’ll follow our previous advice and try the local food, you’ll find this comes in larger quantities, though it’s considerably less expensive.

Or you can go in search of bargains and keepsakes to bring back to your family. These are more affordable at the city outskirts, with a higher chance to find something unique instead of a mass-produced souvenir for tourists.

Trying new activities

There can be plenty of activities to try out when you’re in a new place that you haven’t thought of until you got there. You can discover the weather is great for exploring the city on a rented bike or that the local pool is set outdoors in a beautiful park.

You can even try things like star gazing, a dance class at a suburban parlor, or a night out in the local pub. Basically, you’re opening up to new opportunities of experiencing the local life, while doing something you like.

What is your reason?

Basically, it’s all about building new perspectives about life in a certain place, as well as enjoying your trip more. After reading our reasons for getting lost in a new city, we’re curious which one speaks to you the most. Have you ever done that before? Would you simply loll about your whole trip, or would you combine this with planned activities? Tell us in the comments!


Author Bio

Rebecca lives in USA, but loves hiking all over the world. Her favorite is Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal. It usually takes 16 days, but she likes to slow down, enjoy mountains, company of other adventurers and take more pictures, so it took her 28 days last time. Another of her passion is the ocean, so all short and long hikes along the ocean shore bring a lot of joy. She also writes for


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