Yes, you read the title right, and yes I’m letting you know that contrary to what most top travel blogs will say these days, it’s perfectly ok to visit whatever monument or museum you’ve had your heart set on, no matter how photographed and popular it may be.
“But everyone says to adventure off the beaten track and now you’re saying I should still make time to see the Eiffel Tower and the Colosseum?! What gives?!”
I’m not going to tell you what to see and what not to see because too many people are doing that these days. I am going to tell you that you should listen to your heart and see whatever it’s been set on for years and years. I’m going to tell you to recognize that some insta-famous idols will claim [or make it seem like] you can’t have a great time if you visit the renowned spots.
Do not let anyone discourage you from accomplishing your goals and dreams, in life or in your travels.
There is a looming issue of travel snobbery among the travel community composed of people who believe they are so far more traveled than others that they can dictate where and how others should travel. They believe they’ve traveled so far across the globe that they have the right to belittle certain cities and sites just because they’ve seen places that are considered more “rare”.
Well I’m here to tell you that they can go back to those hole-in-the-walls and stay there. You have every right to be excited about whatever plans you’ve made and whatever items you have on your bucket list. The world is there for you to discover and form your own personal relationship with. Your trip is what you want it to be.
You will not necessarily have a less authentic or memorable time just because you hung out by a major spot. After 65 countries, some of my fondest memories are in the center of cities with other travelers and locals alike.
Granted, I’ve found that more often than not the restaurants near the hot spots are overpriced and not as tasty. Some blogs do a great job of giving you tips like these to help you maximize your vacation, but it’s very important not to confuse travel tips with travel advice that aims to completely steer you away from an area that you’re set on exploring for yourself.
The beauty in travel is discovery and it doesn’t matter where anyone else is in their journey, where you are and want to be is the most important thing.
On my one of my most recent trips, I traveled with someone who had never been out of his home country, the US. Not only that, but he was very anxious and didn’t like to be out of control of situations and his surroundings. I had wanted to make sure everyone in the group had an authentic and exciting experience so I wanted to skip the main areas and wander to the secret spots. I’d forgotten that some things I now overlook are very new and exciting to those that’ve never seen them. Just walking down the street and being in a new place was exciting for him. Sitting at a busy central cafe by the river was what he dreamed the city to feel like, and I almost overlooked that.
I too get caught up in my job as a travel agent, travel blogging, and playing on social media that I forget what message I’m sending to my audience. My goal since day one was to motivate and inspire. All I’ve ever wanted was to see the world myself and help anyone who was willing to do the same. It’s a hobby, passion, and true obsession of mine, and I see that it’s easy to get caught up in that and seem like a travel know-it-all. Yes, I have certain travel preferences and my bucket list dreams have gotten pretty crazy, but it doesn’t make anyone else’s travel aspirations any less special.
So the next time someone tries to tell you your bucket list isn’t “authentic” enough, stay true to you and just go for it!
This is a guest post by Alyssa Edelen.
Alyssa is a professional travel designer for AlyssaAllDay Adventures, travel blogger, and permanent nomad. She lives for adventures, diving, food, photography, music, tattoos, and most of all… travel. She’s traveled to over 65 countries and has no intention of stopping. her passion (and obsession really) is to help others discover the beauty in travel and inspire those to explore out of their comfort zone and beyond the ordinary. Check her out on instagram at