There are so many fabulous places to explore in this world, and it’s easy to only focus on the ‘name’ spots you hear about, so that inspires this week’s article…
Peeling back the layers
There’s more to a country than just the big name city with all the big name sights. Get beyond that first level of travel and go a bit deeper into the culture and history and people by going to the smaller towns and never-heard of attractions. Peel back the layers and see what you can discover.
When I first started traveling to Ireland, there would be items on the itinerary that I just wasn’t interested in based on their name and location in a little town, yet they became favorites, like The Dunbrody Famine Ship in Wexford or Foynes Flying Boat Museum in Foynes.
Or the times of traveling between small towns or in a remote area where we found fun and authentic Ireland, like a stop at a convenience store in Carnlough where Irish cheese shared among friends at a picnic table overlooking the sea became a special memory.
One of my very favorite trips was to Italy visiting the northwest area, staying in Biella, Bra and Turin. We visited incredible churches in tiny towns, and enjoyed a number of risotto sampling and wine tasting experiences in areas we’d never heard of, yet they offered amazing experiences.
We saw so many incredible sights of Italy that we never knew about, away from the crowds and in the heart of small towns with real Italians.
There are two points to this.
First, when planning your travel experiences, there will be always be those key sights that you have to see, like the Vatican in Rome, or Big Ben in London, or Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. But make sure you plan some time for lessor-known sights and get off the regular tourist path to explore some smaller towns.
Second, just because you’ve been some place, doesn’t mean you are done. If you’ve been to Italy and you’ve seen Rome, Florence and Venice, have you thought about going to northwest Italy or maybe Sicily? If you’ve visited England but really only London, maybe it’s time to go back to England and spend time in Devon and Cornwall.
Take the time to expand beyond the basic travel path and explore a little beyond – peeling back the layers.