Hidden Gems or Iconic Travel Spots?
Start writing a post

Hidden Gems or Iconic Travel Spots?

When traveling, we may ask ourselves if it's worth it to do the typical touristy things in a new destination, or if we should go off the beaten path and find some hidden treasures. Which one is better? Here's some insight from my most recent travels.

Hidden Gems or Iconic Travel Spots?

This is a response to7 Tips For Traveling.

Sometimes They're Iconic For A Reason

As we can all assume, sometimes certain spots or things to do are iconic because so many people have enjoyed them, time after time, and it meets their expectations. In Ireland, for example, the iconic Cliffs of Moher are known as being one of the highest, if not the highest, ranked thing to see in all of Ireland. When I went this past month, it was mesmerizing and beautiful in all the ways I thought it would be. The weather was rainy and windy, but I felt that it was the perfect weather for the Cliffs. Rugged and powerful, it felt only fitting that the wind was whipping us in every direction. To me, this spot is iconic for a reason. Every person that I have talked to who has been to the Cliffs is extremely happy that they've seen them. Talking to people is a good place to gain an understanding of whether an iconic spot is worth the visit. Sometimes, things are too iconic that you might regret not having seen or done them.

If a Local Recommends It, Do It

Going to spots that a local recommends almost always ends in a fantastic experience. Locals know the area best, so it makes sense that something they recommend would also be something that a stranger to the area might like. I visited a friend in Edinburgh during my most recent travels, and we went on a couple hikes, as well as a little trip to the nearby beach called Portobello. The typical touristy things to do in Edinburgh involve castles and lots of history. While these experiences might appeal to some, I wanted to do what my friend thought would be the most fun for us. We had so much fun and I was so happy we spent the couple days there the way we did. We both love nature, so seeing the nature of Edinburgh really appealed to me. Also, there weren't a ton of people at Portobello Beach, so it was a good change of pace from the busy city. We got a nice dinner and gelato, and it was a calmer and more peaceful side of Edinburgh. I've had similar experiences when seeing cities that my friends live in, or taking the advice of a waiter at a local restaurant in an area. They seem to know the good spots that won't be crammed with other tourists that still offer an enjoyable and unique experience.

Know What Kind of Experience You're Looking For

Each person likes different things. So if you're a city person who is looking to do the city stuff, do the city stuff. Conversely, if you're not a city person, and prefer more natural landscapes, find the things to do in an area that involve nature and greenery. I ended my travels in Copenhagen, Denmark and Malmo, Sweden and found plenty of natural landscapes in these cities. Both of them are becoming known for their green efforts, including being very bike-able cities, and have plenty of parks within their city borders. My favorite parts of these spots were exploring an amusement and garden park in Copenhagen, hiking to a nearby beach in Malmo, and going in the sea in Malmo. Not to say that I didn't enjoy the cities themselves, but I found that seeing the parts of them that were a bit more stripped to the bare landscape was much more enjoyable to me. (It checks out.) So just know yourself and what types of experiences you enjoy!

Always Try the Food

Iconic or not, food is good. My favorite thing to remember whenever I'm traveling in a new place is that I won't be able to try real Irish fish and chips back home in Ohio, or tea like they have in the UK, or Swedish meatballs like they have in Sweden. So just try it! Some of the food I tried was 'iconic,' and other times, it was simply what I wanted for dinner. And it was usually really good. Even when the iconic food isn't good, it just seems right that you at least try it. Kind of as a nod of respect to the culture, the people there, and yourself, for pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and exploring a new place. So, eat the food. And don't worry too much about if the cost was worth it, because food is love and you should treat yourself right with a good meal when traveling.

No matter what you decide when traveling, you can't really go wrong with too many decisions. You're still exploring a new place and learning new things along the way. I would recommend doing the iconic spots if they feel right to you and the type of experience you typically enjoy. Always eat a good meal, iconic or not (but especially if it's iconic), and don't be afraid to try the more hidden parts of a place that your friend or a friendly (local) stranger mentions. Memories and growth await in each person's unique, individual travel experience!

Report this Content
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less
a man and a woman sitting on the beach in front of the sunset

Whether you met your new love interest online, through mutual friends, or another way entirely, you'll definitely want to know what you're getting into. I mean, really, what's the point in entering a relationship with someone if you don't know whether or not you're compatible on a very basic level?

Consider these 21 questions to ask in the talking stage when getting to know that new guy or girl you just started talking to:

Keep Reading...Show less

Challah vs. Easter Bread: A Delicious Dilemma

Is there really such a difference in Challah bread or Easter Bread?

loaves of challah and easter bread stacked up aside each other, an abundance of food in baskets

Ever since I could remember, it was a treat to receive Easter Bread made by my grandmother. We would only have it once a year and the wait was excruciating. Now that my grandmother has gotten older, she has stopped baking a lot of her recipes that require a lot of hand usage--her traditional Italian baking means no machines. So for the past few years, I have missed enjoying my Easter Bread.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments