I have spent my whole life traveling, and I love it. However, no matter how many trips you've been on, there's always things to learn. This go round I have decided to sum up my life lessons in Mean Girls' quotes, because I'm jet legged and procrastinating.
1. "Don't let the haters stop you from doing your thang."
Fundamental to any trip is that you do what you want, the end. We traveled with another couple, Princess Consuela and her husband, Not Crap Bag (on the chance you don't watch Friends, I decided against calling him Crap Bag since people would misconstrue that). PC just wanted to see native wild animals. Now, the puffins did allude us, aholes, but we had a chance to pet Highland cows. And she did it with gusto. It was one of the highlights of her trip, and if she had been trying to be cool or something ridiculous like that, she would have missed out. Instead, it was adorable.
PC and Hilda (yes, I know, using a pseudonym is dumb when you put the person's picture on your blog, but they're so fun. Stop hating, I'm going to do my thang)
PC and Augustus. Perfection.
Travelling is not the time to be too cool for school, you'll regret it.
2. "Is butter a carb?"
Any foreign country you go to, no matter how much in common it has with your home country, is going to have food that you do not have in any shape at home. For example, Scotland makes sausage out of oats and cow blood. Fun fact, this blood is taken from a cow while it's still alive, they're tapped like kegs. And who hasn't heard of haggis? Lamb intestines, chopped up and stuffed in to the stomach. I'll admit, it sounds horrifying, but we tried it. And I thought it wasn't bad!
Granted, my face here is not a resounding endorsement, but that's just my face.
Also just my face.
You don't go to a foreign country to continue your normal life. It is for adventure and disruption of the tedious norm, eating cray cray food is part of that.
3. "She doesn't even go here."
You're a tourist. You will not fool anyone to the contrary, so stop trying. Embrace it.
If you want to pretend to be Nessie at Loch Ness, awesome.
Fake duels at Tom Riddle's grave, fantastic.
Have fun, sometimes at the cost of your dignity. I dare you.
4. "I can't help it that I'm so popular."
This goes along with the last point, and possibly contrary to the first one. I don't really care, it's my list. Often times you will read blogs or reviews that poo poo famous sites; "it's so over done," "you are so typical if you do this," "you only experience the country if you hike to the top of this mountain and brew your own coffee." Getting off the beaten path, that's great and leads to fun experiences. That said, famous places are famous for a reason. They are often the things that leave the deepest impression. Go to them if you want, don't avoid them just because everyone does it.
Cliffs of Moher, millions of visitors a year. Best part of our trip to Ireland.
Titanic Belfast. Fairly cheesy, but I can say I stood where the Titanic was built, which is mind boggling.
Get off the beaten path, but don't be afraid to go to landmarks. They didn't become landmarks by being boring.
5. "You can't sit with us!"
On our final flight yesterday, 3 of 3, we were sitting in the first row of economy with a birds eye view of first class. Also, right by the economy bathrooms. Three times people from first class came back to economy to use our bathroom.
"You have everything, free booze, comfy seats, weirdly obliging flight attendants, and your own dang bathrooms. There's 20 of you, and hundreds of us. Leave our bathroom alone. You con't come back here. YOU CAN'T SIT WITH US!"
This was my thought process every time. I was tired and possibly delusional, because the return trip is always hard and tiring. You've used all your energy adventuring and are not looking forward to returning to reality. The return trip stinks. Always. Accept it, this to shall pass.
If you're lucky, you'll have a friend who documents everything.