Things I Regret Doing While Travelling in Europe
Ah, travel...it helps clear our minds, it inspires us, it makes us fall in love with the beauty and history around the world and it can sometimes make us believe that we are becoming a different, better version of ourselves. Yet with travel come regrets. It's always something we either didn't do or we wish we didn't do and in any case, we promise we would never make the same mistake again.
This one goes straight into my list. Overpacking is the reason my first memory of any city I visit is me dragging my luggage bag across the street, not caring about monuments and sights. It is great to bring a matching t-shirt or a blouse for every pair of bottoms, but life becomes way easier when you don't have to stress about your ever growing suitcase every time before going to another city.
I used to think that there is no such thing like staying too long anywhere, and that one can always things and activities to do...I was wrong. While it's true that there is always something to do, staying in one place for too long may result in it losing its initial charm or some sort of mystery in the eyes of traveller. This happened to me during my first and my second trip in Seville. I was so excited and eager to be back in Seville after my first two-day trip three years ago, that I have overstayed a little and next time I'll try to use my time more wisely.
Not doing enough research
Don't get me wrong, we always do our research on places to see, eat and stay. But you cannot know everything. One night we were lured into a pretty restaurant in Granada with a promising menu. We ended up hungry and with what looked like a 80 euros bill. Lucky, on our next stop in Lisbon we listened to a local and had a glorious lunch, which included a full-sized portion for five adults and cost only around 60 euros in total. Always listen to locals!
Travelling makes you creative and open-minded. It helps understand the differences between countries and get immersed into different cultural scenes. However we often go to another country with a preconceived notion that the daily routine there is not much different to the one at our home. And then the reality hits. The opening hours are strange, lines are longer and slower, the public transport system is chaotic and difficult to figure out. We became frustrated and say things like: "It took us ages to find a supermarket open on Sunday - everything was closed!" or "No one even spoke English". What we fail to realise as travellers is that a country is not a stage in a theatre and we cannot expect everything to work out smoothly. And this is completely fine. The best thing to do is relax, open our mind and allow ourselves fall in love with this new place with all its delayed trains, huge lines and crazy traffic.