BONUS POST: The worst advice I've ever heard about travel
I read amazing blog posts all the time about travel, I enjoy reading about something that I love but I think that I have become naive to the fact that not all travel advice is good advice.
Recently I came across an article which was discussing the issue of traveling alone..., especially as a woman. Usually, you hear this from concerned grandparents that are worried that you'll get kidnapped as soon as you set foot in another country alone and I couldn't stress enough how wrong I think this statement is. From my limited experience of traveling alone, I found that I stopped more, I took in my surroundings and I was more perceptive and aware of where I was. Being alone is hard for younger generations today but being alone in a beautiful place is easy. I loved the experience of navigating my way around new surroundings, feeling independent to do what I want, getting lost (but not too lost) and coming across cute little shops and cafes that are hidden away from bustling main streets and sitting down to take in your beautiful surroundings as the city passes by. In promoting traveling alone you should always be aware and stay as safe as you can, keeping your common sense intact and making sure if you don't feel comfortable to follow your instincts.
“hidden away from bustling main streets and sitting down to take in your beautiful surroundings, as the city passes by”
Never eat food from streets stalls, hmm isn't there a saying do as the locals do! I think this is again just another very skeptical relative trying to scare you. It is usually the tastiest and cheapest meal if you're on a budget, they also usually incorporate all of the foreign flavors of that country or region, you have a nice cheap meal with a side serve of cultural experience. While eating street food I have found that I have made some basic rules, it needs to be cooked in front of me, it should be served at the right temperature according to the dish either hot or cold and lastly, the chef should look healthy...no sneezing on my food. My motto is if the locals trust it so can you, so go ahead and try a street food stall. You may be very surprised!
Go on guided tours, sure if you're in an unfamiliar city this can be a great way to tick off the tourist attractions and see everything quickly but I find when you take part in organizing your own travels you are more engaged and get more out of the experience. You won't have to worry about being at a certain place by a certain time to meet up with a group of people that you may not even get along with. Doing it for yourself adds personal growth and satisfaction in what you can achieve. You could be great at navigating around the world but you won't know until you try!
Italy has the best pizza in the world, the earliest records of Pizza date back to 997 AD and was found in Greece and Italy and here we are in 2016 still enjoying a good slice of pizza every now and then. I must admit the pizza in Italy was disappointing, its due to the fact that so many commercial restaurants have taken over the main streets that you aren't getting freshly made pizzas in the traditional sense. To avoid this disappointment I would suggest venturing down some little alleyways and find local hubs that follow Italian traditions and I am sure there you will find a good Italian pizza.
Try to see as much as possible, this statement is quite ridiculous. You will never be able to squeeze the whole of Paris into one vacation there, I have been there enough times that I nearly consider myself a local and I still find new places and destinations every trip! This is a big traveling myth, yes, you need to get the most out of your vacation but cramming everything into a week will ruin that for you. When you travel I find immersing yourself in the culture and really just walking around and stumbling upon places is one of the best ways to experience somewhere. Of course, you can plan to see specific sites if that's important to you but you can't let yourself get so wrapped up in "seeing everything" that you forget as soon as the vacation ends.
As someone who has traveled a lot, I hope my advice has been somewhat helpful and you could benefit from it in some way. Travel and experiencing new things is something I am very passionate about and I would love to share more with you, which I will be doing in the near future! Let me know what you think or if you have any questions!