29 ways: Make your travel experience the best time of your life
Pictured: Blagaj Tekke, Bosnia and Herzegovina. I visited one of the least popular tourist countries in Europe and it remains to this day to be one of my favourite places in the world.
Pictured: Connemara, Ireland. I arrived in Dublin feeling rundown and in need of a new source of inspiration. So I hired a car and drove for 8 hours until I reached somewhere that just felt right.
Pictured: Lisbon, Portugal. Sometimes I’ll find myself walking through a street or alleyway feeling such bliss that I can’t help but to bust out a move. Whatever you feel, go for it. Who do you know here anyway!?
Pictured: Vienna, Austria. When I first started travelling the world full time I would think about maintaining a healthy diet and limit my treats. It wasn’t long before I gave into the universe and went with the ‘no-diet diet’ philosophy.
Pictured: Budapest, Hungary. One of my early mistakes when I started travelling was to do so much during the day time that I was always exhausted by around dinner time. After dinner I would crash into the couch and retire early…. but my how this has changed! Sometimes the best experiences start in the evenings – and it is often when the city you are visiting really comes to life.
Pictured: Lake Bled, Slovenia. Another early mistake I was guilty of was to plan each day like I was on a strict military schedule. I soon learned that the best way to experience each place was to just go with the flow and embrace the feeling of being lost.
Pictured: Prague, Czech Republic. Sometimes the best way to feel inspired by a place you are visiting is to scan the horizon or panorama for the colours. When you start seeing the colours, you let yourself embrace the lighter side of life.
Pictured: Fisherman’s Bastion, Budapest. While it is easy to visit a historic site or attraction and view it in the present day, it’s another thing to learn the history and story behind a place you are visiting and envisage it the way it was decades or hundreds of years ago.
Pictured: Big Ben from Trafalgar Square, London. When you look into the distance to ‘see’ something, consider looking at everything in a more three dimensional manner. Look at what’s immediately infront of you (traffic), beyond you in the distance (Big Ben), and everything in between (architecture).
Pictured: Isle of Skye, Scotland. When you let yourself become a kid again, you enjoy the experience in a more child-like manner and see things in a different way. Climbing rocks to get a better view instead of looking at the scenery from the far away road led me to really enjoy the picturesque view and be a part of it, instead of being just another onlooker.
Pictured: A chateau for wine-tasting in Beaune, France. While I’m not typically a big alcohol enthusiast, I took it upon myself to indulge in a full day of wine tasting in the French countryside. The results were: crashing my bicycle for lack of co-ordination, learning more about the wine-making process, and visiting impressive chateaus.
Pictured: Amsterdam, the Netherlands. When I took this photo in Amsterdam I was being watched by countless passers-by who were laughing at me set up a tripod, put my camera onto self-timer, and run into frame (12 times) before I had a photo I liked. Who’s the one laughing at the end of the day when you have an amazing memory to look back on that would have otherwise been confined to my eyes and never shared with the world.
Pictured: Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic. After visiting the likes of Paris, Rome and Kiev on my first visit to Europe, I vouched to never again confine my visit to big cities – which after some time begin to blend into the same sort of experiences. Be brave and venture beyond the beaten path so you can discover hidden gems.
Pictured: Florence, Italy. Sometimes we see something we think looks pretty, take a photo, and continue along on our day. Why not just stop for a moment to appreciate the view, think about where you are, and live in the moment.
Pictured: Ghent, Belgium. When I asked a few friends who had travelled a lot around Europe whether I should visit Belgium and they all told me it was a boring country, I decided not to go. The next visit to Europe I decided that I still wanted to see the country so I went and saw for myself — the results should speak for themselves.
Pictured: London, England. When I first visited London, I didn’t fall in love with the city. After telling people that I wasn’t fond of the city and seeing their stunned reactions, I decided to give it another chance. On my 2nd and 3rd visit to the city I stayed in different areas and found that it wasn’t London, it was the place I was staying initially. I’m now head over heels for the place!
Pictured: Amsterdam, the Netherlands. If you visit a place you like to take photos, try re-visiting said place at a different time of day to see how this changes your photo. Here I re-visited the same bridge at sunset and achieved a much better photo later in the day.
Pictured: Nyhaven, Copenhagen. I had always wanted to visit Denmark but had never put it on my agenda because I knew it was the most expensive city to visit in Europe. But when I finally decided to go anyway, I couldn’t have been more happy to be there. And yes, it was incredibly expensive!
Pictured: Venice, Italy. Wonder how I manage to capture many of my images without people in them? The early bird gets the worm!
Pictured: Zagreb, Croatia. Particularly when you are a long term traveller, it is easy to get into the habit of dressing down. While this is undeniably the best way to travel (the less time you spend getting ready the more time you have to explore), sometimes it is nice to dress up and feel like a local!
Pictured: Peles Castle, Romania. For a long time Romania was a country I wanted to visit but after researching transportation to and from the country when in Europe, it always felt like it would be too much hassle to include into my itineraries. When I finally did decide to make room for it in my itinerary, I was blown away.
Pictured: Lisbon, Portugal. When I heard that Lisbon was fast becoming a new European favourite, I knew I had to go in an effort to beat the rush. After visiting, I’m convinced this will soon become one of the most visited cities in Europe – it’s a must see!
Pictured: Countryside in Ireland. While solo travel isn’t for everyone, it is certainly something you should aim to experience once in your life. Solo travel has helped me to grow as a person, learn to stand on my own two feet, and learn to love myself and my life.
Pictured: Bern, Switzerland. When I visited Switzerland earlier this year I had an invite from two readers for them to show me around the capital, Bern. Although I hadn’t originally planned on visiting, as I was only a couple hours away by train I chose to do so. They turned out to be two of the most lovely girls I had met on my travels – and they even shouted me an ice cream!
Pictured: Bosnia & Herzegovina. When I told people I was travelling to Bosnia & Herzegovina, their reactions were one of confusion and sometimes concern. After visiting myself, I can honestly say there’s no country I have remembered more this year…. and I’m in a hurry to go back!
Pictured: Juices in Barcelona, Spain. Everything from food to experiences should be tried if it is unique to a particular country or different to anything you have tried before. The weirder the better – you will remember it that way!
Pictured: Berlin, Germany. Learning the history behind a country or city you are visiting will undoubtedly enrich your experience there. My personal favourite cities to visit to engage my history geek (I can assure you I’m an huuuuuge history buff) have been Berlin, Krakow, Kiev, and St Petersburg.
Pictured: Venice, Italy. I gave up purchasing souvenirs a long time ago… it was a natural evolution given the collection of snowballs on my desk was overflowing. Now, if I like a city enough, I buy something I know I will keep. This photo shows my venetian hat purchased on a hot and sunny spring day in the city of canals!
Pictured: Venice, Italy. Travel opens our minds and hearts to some of the most incredible moments of our lives… make the most of it so you can go home with memories to last a lifetime.
Brooke is a 22 year old Australian who is travelling the world full time. Follow the journey on Instagram and Twitter.