One of my favorite ways to explore a city is to wander. When I come to a street corner, I let my intuition guide me. Right, left, straight? I have stumbled upon wonderful adventures using this method.
Some people, like my dad, memorize maps of the city to which they are traveling before they ever get on the plane. These people tend to research restaurants and sights to see. In short, they plan most of the trip before they get there. I tried this method early on in my travels; however, it left me feeling disappointed. Yes, I knew where I wanted to go at a certain time of day, but there was no spontaneity, no excitement.
I like to ask locals where they like to go in the area. They can always point out interesting places to go where the prices are not inflated for the tourists. With the help of a shop owner in Vancouver, I found a swanky little pub filled with warm and welcoming people that I would not have otherwise noticed from the street.
A large portion of the adventure is discovering the unknown. If you haven’t used your intuition when you travel, I suggest you try it at least once. (Disclaimer: if you’re going to do this, don’t be stupid. If you get the slightest negative feeling or if you begin to feel uncomfortable, do not proceed. Our instincts are primitive and programmed into us. They are an early warning system. If they say no, trust them.) This method has not only honed my intuition, it has solidified the trust I have in myself and in my decision making capabilities. If you can travel using your instincts as your guide, you can accomplish anything.