We all imagine our first big travel experience to be perfect. All flights on time, beautiful weather, etc. Of course, that’s not always the case. Things happen. We have to work around the mishaps and reorganize our schedules. We might even think we’ll do certain things there, but then we end up forgetting that one picture, that one place we wanted to eat at, etc. Here are three things I wish I thought about more during my trip to England:

1. Stopping to take photos

Most of the time, we were on the go a lot, and I have a DSLR camera, that takes fast shutter speed photos, so I didn’t always physically stop to pause and take photos. I assumed most of my photos would turn out good because of the shutter speed. However, I didn’t manually set my shutter speed, and I just let the camera decide to do its own thing. I did take a lot of great photos, but next time, I’m going to be sure to stop, take more time, and take better photos.

2. Trying new foods

I’m usually not one to try too many new foods, let alone in another country where I’m not familiar with some of the food. I didn’t try too many new and different foods in England, and I regret it now. I’ve heard a story from someone who travels, who asks the locals or restaurant staff for their recommendations and to just bring them that dish. I think this a great way to try the various meals of the culture. I’d like to try something like this next time.

3. Learning more about the country and culture

We went to quite a few museums, which are pretty much all free, and I’m not into history much, so I didn’t take much time to read the panels and learn things about the culture and history. I regret this because I know I could have learned a lot, and I’m sure I would have found some of it interesting. Really, what’s the point of going to a museum if you don’t want to learn something? I also would have liked to learn more about how their culture and history has differed from my own.

Pondering the things I’d do differently on my next trip has really opened my eyes. I was in another country, and I could have experienced a lot more even if it was simply trying new foods or learning more from those museums or even the buildings and architecture themselves. We all learn things when we travel, and we learn from our mistakes. At least I had the chance to experience a lot, and I can’t wait to do even more the next time I go back.