A few months ago I found myself traveling to Asia for the first time with my boyfriend and best friend. I can easily tell you it was the trip of a lifetime and probably one of the most fulfilling trips I have ever taken. This can easily be attributed to the places I visited, the people that joined me and most importantly the lessons I learned.
I found myself in Asia because I wanted to participate in the Nevada Global Business program in Singapore. I ended up extending my trip to visit Thailand and Hong Kong as well. I figured if I was going to Singapore I might as well take advantage and hit up a few more cities along the way. In total, I visited four countries and five cities in about two weeks. I spent the second week in Singapore for school and spent the first week traveling throughout Thailand. I’ve been back about 2 months and already cannot wait to go back.
In Make the Choice I talk about taking the leap when opportunities come your way and being willing to say yes to travel (sometimes even doing things that are a bit out of your way). Often times, when we say yes to opportunities they lead us to places we may not have ended up in otherwise. In my particular case, that is how I ended up spending a day in Hong Kong. While we had planned to visit Thailand since we were going to be in Asia, we spent the day in Hong Kong because it was cheaper to fly to Hong Kong from Singapore and then home than it was to fly home from Singapore directly. Not to mention we got to spend 24 hours in a city where you can literally explore for 24 hours. The city never seems to sleep.
Had I not had a specific reason to go to Asia, I don’t know if I would have gone; at least not anytime soon. Prior to going, I had absolutely no interest in visiting. It simply never captured my attention. As someone who loves going to places without a preconceived notion, I find it mind-boggling that this never jumped out as a red flag in my mind. I never considered going to other places than the ones I had already idealized in my head and this train of thought never seemed to be a problem. The most important lesson I learned on this trip is that you can never count a place out. Chances are it’s the place you’ve never considered that you should probably visit. If you’re not sure where to go, consider going to one of the 18 most underrated international vacation destinations. While Paris and Rome are a must, these cities will provide you with an experience very different to the touristy spots we’re used to. Not to mention, they are usually a lot easier on your budget.
So the next time you are planning a trip, consider skipping the big cities on your list and go somewhere out of your comfort zone.
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