Whenever I travel, I try to include a few things in each trip:
1. A 10k race
2. A long day/overnight hike
3. Eating something weird
What are the activities you base your trips around? How'd they become part of your travels?
Within the first day or two, find a bookstore and find something that takes place in the locale and read it during the trip.
I may not be able to finish it by the end of the journey, but it’s cool when you spot parallels between ink and reality.
Flea markets! There's nothing like a local flea market for full cultural immersion. Lest you think they're all the same, trust me: every flea market has a personality that is unique to its location.
(If you're interested, check out the posts about flea markets around the world on my blog.)
This one's in Budapest:
One of the very first things I do, on the very first night I get somewhere new, is look up at the stars. I like seeing what constellations are visible in each new place. It started when I went to Mexico for the first time; one of my first trips. Looking up at the stars that first night was when I fell properly and madly in love with travel.
Also, eating. I love food. I make a point of trying as much of the local food as I can. For example, when I came to India, I made a project out of trying all the different kinds of paneer. Best experiment ever.
I have been practicing yoga in EVERY state I visit. I make sure to take a picture, put it on my blog and update my Yoga Travel map :)
Most of my vacations involve attending at least one sporting event. Being able to do that was actually a childhood dream that I have been able to fulfill.
In the U.S., I always check soak.net before I go somewhere new to me. It lists every hot springs in the country by state, water temp, and GPS location, developed or otherwise. Then I check Google maps to see if I will need to print out a topo map or buy one from the USGS to find the spot. Caching provided by nature.
I am an addicted geocacher and I try to do it pretty much everywhere around the world. And that is the amazing fact about this hobby. You really can do it everywhere around the world and even in outer space aboard the ISS.
It also helps me discover cities, places and countries. Some of the caches are placed in beautiful spots, which are in no tourist guide or anything similar. You just have to search for the right cache or ask for recommendations.
I even discovered wonderful places right around the corner from where I live, which I didn't even knew about...
We haven't been able to do it in every country, but we like to take cooking classes. It's a lot of fun because we can learn about the culture and food and of course, it makes for a delicious afternoon. ^_^ If that's not possible, we'll explore the local markets to get a taste of the produce and street foods.
I try to do something new or adventurous on every trip I make. It started in Cape Town where I went skydiving at Skydive Cape Town and I went kloofing in Hottentots-Holland Nature Reserve which was pretty awesome to do! Look it up on YouTube, Skeleton Gorge!
On my last trip I went mountain climbing on Railey Beach. One of the best experiences in terms of an activity so far.
Another thing I try to do often, but also often fail at, is scuba diving.
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I try and do some bicycle touring in every place.
This is both a great way to see a place and it's also very good meditation for me to be on my bike a few hours per day.
As a vegan I like to try to find the best vegan food/restaurant a city or place has to offer.
To everyone who answered in this thread ... you had so many good ideas that I turned several of them into a blog post linking to this thread. I also included links to the blogs of anyone who mentioned having one. If you have a blog that I didn't link to, let me know and I'll update.
Thanks for the great answers!
I like culinary tours. I think my first one was in Charlottetown, but since then I've done them in as many cities as possible--San Francisco, New Orleans, Portland (Maine) (that one rocked) even Williamsburg (Virginia, not Brooklyn) (that one was not great). I'm usually not in town long enough anymore, but when I am, I'm all about the culinary tours. I branched out a bit in Portland and did a beer tour. Definitely a good plan.
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For the last year or so, everywhere I go, I bring my yoga mat, roll it out and do my practice at some point. Daily if I can. It has really added an interesting dimension to traveling in a very unexpected way.
I'm a competitive ultimate frisbee player and many of my trips have been to ultimate frisbee tournaments.
Most of the trips are domestic, but I have been to several international tournaments.
I've been to:
I plan on going to:
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While no trip every seems to be too similar to another, we find ourselves researching prior to leaving some higher end restaurants to splurge on and treat ourselves, then searching out more "everyday" places to stop-whether for food or just a people watching afternoon cocktail. We have several nieces and nephews and we always grab them a little gift (the girls all get snow globes) so we tend to pop into a few shops to see what we can find. Lastly, we always try to bring something back from our travels from our trip-something that we could only find there or something made locally that reflects the place. It's like a bit of a hunt and usually brings us to some fun places!
I try to find locals to hangout with... actually as I am doing research from weeks before, I try to get to know locals and bog them with questions, haha....and it is amazing to finally meet them or stay with them in their city!
Absolutely agree with bike touring! Two wheels, slow or fast, is at least the funnest way to get around a new place!
Check out the cycling experiences we offer in France, Spain, Italy, Belgium & The Netherlands - www.everthoughtoftrying.com/sporting