What do you do when you visit popular places in order to have an indie travel experience?
This is the second part of BootsnAll’s week 9 Indie travel challenge. I didn’t answer it then because, well, my post was about Cottanera Nume cabernet…and adding this part into the post didn’t fit. So I’m going to write about it for you now.
An “Indie Experience” is a ‘unique’ one, something ‘off the beaten path’ and ‘unusual’. So really, its something probably a whole bunch of other people have already done, and we (travellers) are just pretending we’re different. Of course, there are always touristy places you SHOULD see, popular places are popular for a reason, but these popular places are still amazing spots for indie travel.
By meeting people outside of the hostel and not lugging around guidebooks!
I’m wicked horrible at seeing touristy things. They usually just bore me. I like to do crazy things, or sometimes really normal things that every other local does….I like to have picnics, I like to make Rice Krispie treats, I like to drive to the coast and play on escalators. I also like to dress up like a zombie, go to rock shows, go to the theater, and go on impromptu trips to the countryside. I’m basically doing what I do back home, but in South America.
I also purposely try not to stay in tourist areas.
I like to live where I don’t see many or any other gringos.
Because as much as you can learn by meeting fellow travelers, you can learn more by meeting locals. That is why I lived at The Wandering Paisa hostel for 4 months (because the events the hostel holds attracts as many locals as travelers), and why, I recently moved to a neighbourhood where; in my entire time in Medellin, I have never seen another non-Colombian person here.
So even when travelling to touristy or popular places, you can still have an indie experience just by getting away from the guidebook sights and local foreigner hangouts. Go meet locals. Make friends. Go to parties and events where, yes, no one speaks your language. Have fun. Laugh at yourself. Do what you like. Do something you have never done before.
Having an indie experience is just as easy to do in some secluded jungle trek as it is in a big tourist-filled city.
It just depends on how you look at it.
This is part of Boots n All 2012 Indie Travel Challenge. I’m doing this in hopes of becoming a more consistent and better travel-blogger. And having more crazy experiences abroad!