Going abroad can be a complete dream; sitting in front of the pool with a cocktail and a good book, or spending the night watching entertainment at a resort. But my absolute favourite thing to do is undoubtedly experiencing the culture!
Here are some great locations and things to do other than getting your tan on…
I know right, ew, ‘tourist stuff’. No. Honestly. My favourite memories are all from trips out of the hotel, and into the rural and isolated parts of the country. For example, one fantastic thing to do if you ever find yourself in Cyprus is the ‘LoveCyprus’ tour. Throughout the day, it travels through the lost treasures of Cyprus, starting with taking a quick peek at Aphrodite’s Rock, and finishing with a tour of an ancient and beautiful village that happens to have a traditional Cypriot restaurant in the mountains next to it, with homemade red wine and gorgeous food, to perfectly round off the trip.
Some highlights of this tour for me were the visits to ancient ruins, the restorations of the incredibly detailed mosaics and learning all about the myths and legends of Cyprus. I think my favourite might be the legend that if you swim naked, three times around Aphrodite’s Rock, she’ll make your partner for life appear. I didn’t do it, but I witnessed many others having a paddle for the promise of true love. Probably the most amusing part of the tour if I’m honest. Anyway…
Also I went to the zoo and fed a giraffe, so I highly recommend doing the same, it was amazing. I also stroked a baby Siberian Tiger and that’s all you need really because they are so cute.
I’ve had the amazing luck of being able to travel to some amazing places. To make it worthwhile, I actively make sure I do research on where to go, where the little hidden places are and as a history nerd, where all the beautiful ruins are so I can spend my time taking pictures of rocks rather than swimming in a pool.
So, the next place I recommend you should go to delve into some amazing culture in Poland. For those that know their history, this is a location that I recommend to visit respectfully, especially when visiting Krakow, a historically beautiful place. I had the fortune of viewing some of the powerful art placed around the town representing its unfortunate history. The pieces were all amazing, and moving in displaying the important message behind them.
Obviously, this country is not for those who want a week of sun, but rather those who want to pay their respects and experience some of the locations that were influenced by the war, such as Schindler’s Factory, Auschwitz, and the Ghettos. This trip for me was a life-changing one and put into perspective just how grateful you must be for your life and everything you’re given. Therefore, although it’s not the kind of trip that one would do to take a break from life, I absolutely recommend that you must go at least once in your life. Trust me.
My favourite aspect of travelling is FOOD. Obviously, the best place to go for this is Rome. Italy. Yum. I went with my best friends, which didn’t exactly encourage a healthy lifestyle for the time we were there but hey, it’s a holiday…leave me alone. When visiting the famous Spanish Steps, how could we resist some ice cream whilst shopping for Italian clothes?
Let me tell you, there is no ice cream that will ever compare to the Ferrero Rocher Gelato I had that day. Ever. But when it comes to the savoury side of things, we went to a small basement restaurant on a bit of a whim, and I seriously regret never taking down the name of the restaurant because it was delicious and cheap. I am 100% not promoting going into random restaurants underneath a weird souvenir shop, because that was pretty stupid of us. What I am saying is, explore different places; please don’t just go to the nearest fancy restaurant and call it a day because there are some amazing, traditional and homemade food locations spread all around the town. You will not regret it.
There are so many outstanding places in this world to travel to, and I intend to discover all the hidden gems in them all! Please, when you’re travelling stay safe and always stick to your instinct – if the place looks dodgy, don’t eat there, don’t sleep there, don’t stay there. But always be respectful and open to new cultures and new places. That’s the best part about exploring, and I’m going to Paris in September so who knows, maybe there will be some more adventures on the way…