It's all about the experiences

Posted on November 17, 2013

Why do we travel? Here are some of the most common reasons:

To take a break from the daily grind
To take a break from the familiar
To explore new streets
To see how other people on this planet live and how different/similar are we
To visit monuments and sites that we have long admired through pictures of other people's travels
To show off our glossy photos next to the Eiffel tower and leaning tower of Pisa :)

And while all the above reasons are valid and serve the purpose, there are experiences that help us indulge even further into the culture we're in, that enrich our very souls and fine-tune our perspectives.

During my last trip to Europe, I decided that I wanted to be involved in more "experiences" rather than just walk around and take pictures of monuments and pretty streets. Here are some of the things I managed to do :)

In Barcelona, I decided to rent a bicycle with my mates and explore the city streets. And even though it was a very tough ride for me as I'm not used to riding bikes in busy streets with cars to avoid, other cyclists and pedestrians to outmaneuver, let alone that I haven't been on a bike in years and the one I took hardly allowed me to touch the ground with my feet,  it has indeed taught me something new! For starters, I'm gonna be riding bikes more often!! :)

Folk music and traditional dances can be one of the most rewarding experiences when you travel to a new place. It actually gives you a better and deeper insight into that culture and the people who live there. I attended Flamenco shows 3 times, once in Sevilla, the birth place of Flamenco, at Casa dela Memoria and twice in Barcelona in two different venues the better of which was Tablao de Carmen. I was mesmerized by the passion that the dancers and singers exhibit through their art, unable to take away my eyes from the show! An intense experience for anyone who enjoys music and dance!
Some places will only offer the show and others will offer it with dinner and drinks or Tapas and drinks.

While in Prague, I made an impulsive decision to go to a Jazz club on the day we arrived in the city. I was way too tired to do any walking or sight seeing and all I could think of was going to a place where I could enjoy good music, and relax. I give credits to my friend for looking up nearby jazz places and spotting one that rated high on tripadvisor and was luckily very close to our hotel too. We instantly bought tickets to the night's gig, not aware that the International Jazz Festival was actually taking place during this time of the year (talk about pleasant surprises!) and for that reason they had a special show on the night. We were thrilled!
The music was beautiful, the place was very very inviting and cozy, audience and band members were quite diverse many of whom came from different parts of Europe to perform. Check out Reduta Jazz Club next time you're in Prague if you're into quality jazz music or you just wish to have to sip on drinks with friends in a very relaxed and pleasant atmosphere.

If you can find out about events taking place in the city you're visiting, this can add a lot to your experience! We booked a Swan Lake ballet show in the Prague opera house, a month before flying. And boy did that turn out to be awesome! It was my first opera house outside Egypt. We had a good seats, the show was an absolute stunner and for the first time in my life I saw a live classic orchestra playing. For me, this was the highlight of my visit to Prague! I was truly blown away by all the beauty I was surrounded with.

Among the other things that I believe can be added to the experiences list is visiting spas, maybe trying cutting your hair in a local salon, renting a vespa to tour the city, going to theme parks, going to a zoo, visiting flea markets, having picnics in the park, joining a cooking class to learn some local specialty, going on a food tour to sample the different local dishes with an expert guide, and the list can go on and on. Get creative!

  1. Bravo basbooosaaaaa... Some courage u have..
    And why are we here in this life? Aren't we here to explore and enjoy the new experiences life has to offer?
    Enjoy and explore as long as you live.. From a seasaw & a swing to climbing the highest mountain... And during this journey and experiences one discovers him/herself.

  2. Thanks Hodzii :)
    Strongly agree with everything you said! Let's take every opportunity to live life to the fullest :)