Looking back on the previous trips I always loved to explore random neighbourhoods. It’s always interesting to see how the other side of a city lives and works. For me, it is important to find a balance between exploring tourist attractions and local neighborhoods during my travels.
While it may be tempting for us to stay within the boundaries of tourist spots, I always recommend exploring random neighborhoods. Then comes the question. Why on the earth someone would always explore random neighborhoods? When you decide to travel outside the tourist zone, you can see life from the perspective of the local population rather than staying within the tourist spots.
In this blog post, we will explore the importance of exploring random new neighborhoods, the best way to do so, and the benefits you can expect to reap as a result. So, whether you are looking for a change of scenery or just want to shake things up a bit, read on to find out why exploring new neighborhoods is a good idea!
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How it all started?
From an early age, I have always been fascinated by travel. Curiosity is a part of me, I can’t deny that. Throughout my life, this curiosity hasn’t changed. From the first time I traveled in my life with our parents to Vir island when our Yugo broke in Zadar to the time I got fined in Berlin for not having the right U-Bahn ticket. I always enjoyed telling travel stories to my family, friends, and colleagues.
Now that I’m an adult, I usually travel with someone. Mostly with my friend Nikola. Whenever we’re exploring a new city, we almost never follow exactly where Google maps take us. Nikola would say: Hey Ivan, let’s go to this alley so we can see this and that, and I’d say, yes! Having this mentality has brought us to places we wouldn’t see if we stayed in the comfort of tourist attractions.
Like most people, you probably stick to your known neighborhoods, places you’ve always gone to, or places the media recommends. This is where we are most likely to differ from one another. I’ll always try to explore new neighborhoods safely. But what if there were a way to always explore random new neighborhoods and reap the benefits of doing so?
Short Story Long
Discovering new places, whether they’re known or unknown, has many benefits. For starters, it can help break up the monotony of daily life. Besides that, it can lead to new experiences, people, and opportunities. Additionally, venturing into unfamiliar territory can build confidence and make you more adventurous. Finally, exploring different neighborhoods can give you a better understanding of the world around you.
As much as I have traveled, this summer’s trip to Greece and Italy remains the most vivid in my memory. That’s why I’d love to tell you a short story about how curiosity impacted this trip.
I’m on my second day on the island. After our morning walk, Nikola was feeling the heat and exhausted. The two of us agreed that he would stay in the “So Young” hostel and we would do some activities later that evening. In the last three years, I’ve always brought my Burton backpack on my trips with my two film cameras and some water. One of the cameras was a Fuji GS454S and the other was a Canon Elan 30V.
On that day, the temperature was around 30C, which was still too hot for me, but it was manageable for me to walk about the city. Since our hostel was so close to the sea, I decided to head to Venetian Port first (A centuries-old port popular for sunset walks, sheltered by a Venetian-built coastal fort). As soon as I got to the Venetian port, I took out Fuji and started shooting.
Walking around the port leads to a long promenade that stretches for a few kilometers until it becomes a road. My eyes were glued to the gorgeous Sea of Crete as I walked along the promenade. On the beach, there was a sunken boat with a teddy bear and steps that led to the wild beach.
I was listening to Bog by Pips, Chips & Videoclips and enjoying the view while walking. After walking the promenade, I noticed there was an alley. I started wandering. You can just feel the local vibe there. While wandering around the random streets, I met some locals who told me where to stay, eat, and party. At the end of my wander, I sat on the bench, crack one can of beer, and enjoyed the sunset.
On our last night in Rome, Nikola and I headed to a Yellow bar. As soon as we finished our drinks, we headed home. On the way, we stopped at a pizza place called Pizzeria Del Secolo. As soon as we got done with the pizza place, we started walking towards our hostel. As we were drunk, we missed our turn for the hostel and continued straight, which was still on our way.
At this point, I can’t remember exactly what happened, but I think a guy in his late 20’s walked behind us and we started a conversation with him.
Nikola: “Sorry, do you have a lighter?”
Nikola: Where are you from?
Stranger: What kind of question is this? (replied in an Australian Accent while smiling at the same time)
Nikola: laughed and said; Do you know any pubs open at this time? (it was around 1 am)
Stranger: I know one pub follow-me
Out of nowhere, we met a stranger and we had no idea where he was taking us. Is he planning to use us or is he going to show us the pub that’s still open at 1 a.m.? You never know. There were a lot of questions in my head. After walking with the stranger for 5 minutes, he said:
Stranger: Okay, this is the pub, I mentioned, but we must go to the third floor (laughing). Actually, this is my apartment and I’m the owner of this hotel, not a pub (still laughing). Btw I have cameras all over the hotel and apartment in case you do something.
Me/Nikola: laughing out loud
– Italian dude bring us inside his apartment. In the living room, there were plenty of alcoholic drinks sitting at the table.
Stranger: You can drink whatever you want from the table, so make yourself comfortable.
Nikola and I talked to this random Italian dude for three hours. We learned how he was never accepted in the family, so he worked hard to get where he is now. He also told us about his travels to Africa and Australia, business projects, passion for carving wood, and life goals. We wouldn’t have had this experience if we hadn’t made a mistake when going to our hostel.
You might say, But Ivan, that might be dangerous. Yes! But also, you never know what adventure lies ahead. If you’re unsure, take precautions.
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How to explore random neighbourhoods
Planning ahead is the best way to explore random neighbourhoods. Personally, I like to wander and plan at the same time. Plan your route in advance, and do some research on the neighborhood you’re going to. You’ll be able to make the most out of your time and don’t get lost.
There are a number of ways in which you can explore random neighbourhoods. You can walk, drive, or take public transportation to get around. If you are unsure where to begin, you can ask a local for recommendations. If you decide to explore a neighborhood, take your time walking around and taking it all in. Visit any businesses that look interesting and strike up a conversation with people you meet.
What to do when exploring a new neighbourhood.
Whenever you’re in a new neighbourhood, take some time to walk around and get to know it. You should stop into local businesses, talk to the residents, and just explore your surroundings. Make sure you take plenty of photos to remember your trip!
Why it’s important to explore random neighbourhoods.
Exploring random neighbourhoods has many benefits. It can provide you with the opportunity to learn about new cultures, meet new people, and find new places to eat and drink. It’s also a great way to get exercise and fresh air.
Tips for getting the most out of exploring random neighbourhoods.
Speaking to the locals is a great way to learn about a new neighborhood. Here’s how to do it:
- Let them know why you’re in the neighborhood (e.g., “I’m just exploring the area and wanted to say hi!”).
- Get to know their favorite spots in the neighborhood (e.g., “Where do you like to eat/drink/shop/party?”).
- Ask them what they love most about living in this neighborhood (e.g., “What do you love most about it?”).
I’m always advocating to always explore random neighbourhoods. While people think exploring neighborhoods costs money, it’s only as expensive as you decide or as complicated as your level of ability allows. If you want to explore new places, you can pretty much do it right now, even if you live in a boring place right now.
Discovering new things and meeting new people is fun when you explore random neighborhoods. You should always be aware of your surroundings, but the best way to explore a new neighbourhood is to plan ahead or talk to people who live there. If you follow these tips above, you will be able to maximize the benefits of exploring random neighbourhoods and expand your horizons.
I’ve really enjoyed writing about “Always explore random neighbourhoods”. I hope you will enjoy and learn something as I did in writing this post. In the previous topic, we touched on the new topic of the blog called Whatcha Doin’?. If you have missed the post you can check it by clicking here.
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