Seeing and observing

The desire to travel to some faraway countries is growing in me faster than my body fat ratio. The route I have in mind is Prague – Vienna – Salzburg & Hallstatt – Munich.

Hallstatt. Image from Wikipedia

I still have fond memories of my week in London last June, but in retrospect I feel I might have rushed a bit. Before the trip I told myself to slow down but once there, I found myself dashing from one attraction to another as the “this museum, check; that monument, check” mentality took over (but then, there was so much to see and do in London). It was my first solo trip so I might have overplanned, even down to the number of hours to spend at each attraction.

In short, I forgot to relax. I saw, but I didn’t really observe.

That’s why for the next trip, if it materialises, I’m going to leave a few blank days on the itinerary to allow some room for serendipity. I can also foresee my itinerary to be less museum-heavy because I want to spend more time out there on the streets, to observe the everyday life of the places I visit. This can be as simple as wandering aimless for a couple of hours, punctuated by brief stops at cafes where I can watch the people come and go, while jotting down my observations when they are still fresh. The point is to really pay attention to little things so that, when I come back, I’ll have more stories to tell beyond what people can already learn from guidebooks.

3 thoughts on “Seeing and observing

  1. Good idea to leave a few ‘blank’ days to soak in the city (or cities) you are visiting. If possible, we often do that and for just a few days, or just a day, we can deceptively think that we can experience what it likes to be LIVING in a place…..

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