Written & Submitted by: Rebecca Brown
Straying off the beaten path when visiting somewhere new comes with many advantages; you’ll likely develop your confidence and people skills, you’ll experience more of what a place has to offer, and you’ll likely meet many interesting people along the way.
Take a look at this guide to find out more reasons why you should stray off the beaten path for a greater experience.
You’ll Become More Confident
One of the greatest things about straying off the beaten path is that you’ll likely become a much more confident and well-rounded person.
This is because you’ll have to learn to trust your instincts and your gut when it comes to finding your way around a place. Your confidence will also grow as you meet more people and develop relationships with people you meet on the road.
Straying off the beaten path can do wonders for your confidence and your overall life skills as you’ll visit unfamiliar territories; once you’re familiar with them, you’ll feel proud of yourself, thus improving your confidence. Building your confidence is an excellent life skill to have, as it means that you’ll be able to face anything that life throws at you!
You’ll Discover Hidden Gems
Another great thing about allowing yourself to stray off the beaten path is discovering more hidden gems.
If you keep visiting the same place and looking for things to do on TripAdvisor and Google, you’ll only visit the touristy places that everyone goes to. Whereas if you stray off the beaten path when visiting somewhere new, you’re much more likely to discover hidden gems and places that aren’t mentioned in any guidebooks!
Hidden gems can be anything from an ancient church or ruins, to a quiet little park just outside the city. If you stumble upon something that’s not widely advertised or shouted about when you think of a particular city, you’ll likely be onto discovering a hidden gem!
You’ll See More of a Country
As well as discovering hidden gems and unique places of a country, you’ll also see much more of the place you’re travelling to if you go off the beaten path a bit.
One great place to experience this is the Camino de Santiago in Spain and Portugal; here you’ll see much more of these beatific countries as you won’t be following the conventional tourist traps that many places are renowned for.
This pilgrimage allows you to experience it in your own time and at your own pace, giving you plenty of opportunities to see more of the countries and learn about the cultures in your own way.
Not only will you see more of the country itself, but you’ll also meet more people than if you were to stick to the main tourist spots; you’ll find people are friendlier in the countryside and away from big cities.
You’ll Face New Challenges
One of the greatest experiences you’ll gain when straying off the beaten path is facing new challenges.
While it may seem strenuous and arduous at times, you’ll be incredibly grateful for these life experiences and challenges that you’ve faced as they’ll teach you much more about the world and yourself.
This point also ties in with helping you to develop your confidence and become a more rounded person as you’ll likely face challenges that will throw you out of your comfort zone. How well you deal with these occurrences will be a true test of character and will ensure that you develop as a person.
You’ll Have an Entirely Unique Experience
Arguably one of the best reasons to stray off the beaten path for a greater adventure is that you’ll have a truly unique and individual experience, no matter where you are in the world.
Whether you’re in New York and decide to avoid tourist hotspots and go off on your own adventure and discovery of the city, or you’re hiking the Camino de Santiago alone and are allowing yourself to be fully immersed in nature and the surrounding environment, you’ll most definitely live a unique escapade.
Your own experience also means that you’ll arrive home with plenty of incredible stories to tell; something that many people don’t have the privilege of doing.
Conclusion – Stray Off The Beaten Path For Greater Experience
There are many reasons to stray off the beaten path for a greater experience. You’ll gain a better and deeper understanding of not only the place you’re travelling to, but of yourself as well.
It will also teach you many valuable life lessons and you’ll get the chance to see an entirely unique and individual perspective of a country; meaning that you’ll be equipped with fascinating stories when you arrive home!
Rebecca is a translator by day, and a traveler mostly at night. She is an expert on living with jet lag – and packing in tiny suitcases. You can read more of her exploits at RoughDraft.