Friday, November 11, 2011

#19 Be a Traveler

I recently went to Colonia del Sacramento on a trip disguised as a hostel job hunt. The job hunt took all of half an hour and I had the rest of the day to explore the tiny Havana look-a-like city(They use it for scenes in Cuba in actual movies). When I first got there the city was relatively empty except for a couple of tourist here and there. A couple hours later I turned the corner and horde of American college students were staring me down.

I've never had such a reflexive action to get away from people before. I recently graduated college, so it's not like I hate college students. It was how this group acted that made me want to leave. They were loud and obnoxious(in English) and traveled in packs and were generally uninterested in anything around them. Admittedly I've done this before, but I prefer being a traveler rather than a tourist. A quick way to become one is:

A. If your going to talk in a language that isn't spoken where you are traveling, do it somewhat quietly.

B. If your going to be in said country over a month at least be conversational otherwise learn yes, no, please, and thank you.

C. Get out of the giant groups you'll see so much more.

The town was tiny so I saw everything they did at a leisurely pace in about 2 hours and then I left the main area. What?!? Why would you do something like that? If you go to the same places others did you will see what others saw, but in every destination even the most touristy(Rome) there are undiscovered gems. I ate at a food cart and had an awesome lunch that I guarantee was much cheaper than anything near the tourist area.

I decided to walk north along the Rambla(normally a seaside boulevard). However, it was just a highway...until I saw it. Stairs leading into a foresty area. Any of you who know me well know that I turn into a kid when there is stuff to climb or explore, so I tore down the steps and followed a trail. At the end this is what I saw

Win! Game, Set, Match! Game Over!
I will take this view over the security of a group any day and having the beach to myself...words don't exist.

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