The 7 Best Things to Try in Any New Location

things to try when you travel

If you’re a frequent traveler (or if you ever plan to be one), you should have a checklist for things to try at every new location you visit. This checklist will have various categories of items and experiences for you to try, but the specific instances will vary based on the traditions and environment of each new area. For example, you might list something generic like “restaurants,” but in one city, that could mean a world-renown establishment, and in another, it could mean a hole-in-the-wall only known to the locals.

This approach helps you compare and contrast the different locations you visit, and gives you a direction for what to seek out in each new area.

What to Try in Every New Location

Your list might vary, but these items and experiences are a good start to try in every new location you visit:

  1. First and foremost, you need to try the foods and beverages. In your own country, new cities may have special dishes that sound peculiar or gross where you’re from; for example, the city of Cincinnati, Ohio originated a type of chili frequently used to top spaghetti and hot dogs, which is largely unheard of in other areas of the United States. In other countries, you may find delicacies you never would have considered eating, such as native fish, unique fermented beverages, or methods of food preparation wildly different than what you’re used to.Bars and restaurants
  2. Bars and restaurants.While restaurants may help you expand your food horizons, you should know they represent an experience all their own. Restaurants give you a chance to sample not just local foods, but also local methods of food preparation, and the etiquette of dining out. Pre-meal or post-meal rituals may be present, and you may receive your food in an interesting order or presentation style. Bars may offer a similarly unique experience.
  3. Legal substances.If you’re traveling to another country, you may find that there are legal substances available that are illegal in your home country. For example, Canada recently legalized marijuana, and if you’re traveling or living there, you can use a service like Bud Buddy to partake in the habit. Just make sure to do your research so you can be confident you’re abiding by the local laws (as well as those of your home country).Interesting Public Transport
  4. Public transportation.In addition to being beneficial for practical purposes, taking public transportation and learning the public transport system is a good way to familiarize yourself with the habits and nature of another culture. If people typically take the subway from place to place, you should take the subway as well. If everyone rides bikes on surface streets, try to follow suit.
  5. Public interactions.While you’re at it, try to engage with people in public, or at least observe to see how they engage with one another. You may find that some cultures are much more open and friendly, with people going out of their way to talk to you, while other cultures are much more closed, with people giving you dirty looks if you try to talk to them. Either way, it’s a unique experience. Learn the language of the area you’re visiting (or at least the basics) to improve your experience even further.Museum
  6. Museums can tell you a lot about a given area, and a given culture. Typically, these cultural institutions are designed in a particular architectural style, which can immediately tell you about the values and aesthetics of the culture (or its past). Once you enter, you’ll likely see art, artifacts, and other displays that reflect the history of the area. You’ll probably learn a lot about the region, and enjoy yourself at the same time—plus, most museums are inexpensive, or even free.
  7. The natural scenery.Even if you’re in an urban area, go out of your way to find a natural landscape that you can enjoy. Different regions offer drastically different types of plant and wildlife, and a remarkably different backdrop for your experience. Forests, deserts, mountains, valleys, and beaches are just the beginning of the diversity available in this category.

Diversifying Your Experiences

You’ll get more out of your travel experiences when you deliberately seek out the things that make each new area unique. It might require you to push past the limits of your comfort zone, and might pose some logistical hurdles, but you’ll feel far more rewarded for your efforts. While you’re at it, make sure you keep a journal and/or keep a photo or video log; you’ll improve your memory of your experiences, and have a record you can use to compare your experiences to each other in the future.

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