Yesterday I wrote a thoughtful (well, thoughtful for me) piece on how I realized my opinions are my opinions, I know I'm not an expert, and... well actually, I am not going to paraphrase it. You can just go read it.
I said I would make a post on the "Top Times I Was Wrong While Traveling," and here we go! For one reason or another, I was dead set on doing the following things, and maybe even convinced other people to go along with me.... and it ended up being the wrong *bleepin* call. Either learn from these mistakes, or learn that everyone makes mistakes...
Without further ado, and in no particular oder...
THE TOP TIMES I GOT IT WRONG WHILE TRAVELING:
1. Getting "Museums Passes" in Amsterdam
Somehow, someone told me the best way to do the museum circuit in Amsterdam was to buy a a "museum card"... aka the same annual membership that locals get. This. was. not. the. move. It was a huge waste of money. Yes, we got to cut the line Van Gogh Museum, but that was about it. I don't remember how much it cost, but I literally think I am repressing that fact for my own sanity.
2. Forcing my family to go to Hearst Castle in California
This is less about me thinking it was a waste of a day, and more about my family giving me endless crap the trip. Four years later, they still can't let it go. Basically, I really wanted to see Hearst Castle when we were in California a few summers ago, and I made my family drive there... it was a really long and windy trip, the castle wasn't worth it, blah blah blah. Again, I didn't think it was THAT bad, but apparently they vehemently disagree.
3. Going to See the Mekong Delta (/"Needing" a month in Vietnam)
Basically, I just regret going to Vietnam. I didn't like it, and I spent so much time there. The entire country could be on this list, but (once again) for my own sanity, I am going to pick the part I enjoyed the least: my 3 day long Mekong River cruise.
Note: Getyourguide.com totally ripped me off for that tour. I paid 3x more than everyone else. I told them I was going to talk about that on my blog, so here it is. Getyourguide.com SUCKS.
4. Going to "Buca Mario" for bistecca in Florence
This is another one my family gives me crap about. Basically, they really wanted to go back to a restaurant we had eaten in a few days previously to try a menu item we watched someone else get: bistecca, a Florentine delicacy. I insisted we go somewhere else, as it was a famous food of the city, and surely there would be a new place to get it.
The place we ended up going to was a huge tourist trap... enough said.
5. Spending €80 on "Mozart Balls" in Salzburg
Once again, someone told me I had to "try" Mozart Balls (technically called Mozartkugel) when I was in Salzburg... they did not tell me to spend €80 buying them as holiday gifts for everyone I've ever met - without trying them first. Mozart Balls are a marzipan candy made and sold in Salzburg, Austria, where Mozart was born. They are okay. Really didn't need to buy €80 worth. Also, I can get them at a store 15 mins from my house, which just adds insult to injury.
Note: Just read the wikipedia page on Mozartkugel, actually a very interesting and worth a read.
6. Going to "the Breakfast Club" restaurant in Vienna
I am starting to sense a pattern.... someone recommended this restaurant to me in Vienna, so Jane and I checked it out while backpacking through Europe. It was way too expensive for our backpacking budget, but it was that type of awkward place where as soon as you walk in, there is no way to just casually leave. By the time we saw the prices on the menu, we were stuck. It just really sucked because the food was expensive and mediocre.
The pattern I am sensing is that a lot of these bad ideas came from other people's suggestions... so maybe I am perfect.
7. .....going? to Copenhagen
Okay, I don't regret going to Copenhagen because it was a great taste of Scandinavia, and I had friends there that I really wanted to see. That being said, it was not something I could afford, and I think staying in Prague for Thanksgiving with my friends would have been cool.
8. Skipping exploring to tan by the pool (in multiple locations, but most notably Costa Brava, Spain)
Like, is there anyone who wouldn't regret this? TAKE A NOTE 19 year old Maddie. Jeez!
9. Booking a lot of our Europe trip before we left
On one hand, we arrived in Europe at the tail end of tourist season, and some places needed to be booked in advance. On the other hand... we would have stayed longer in Lake Como. We would have left Ghent. We wouldn't have hopped around as much.
The flexibility of booking as you go (/feel) is the best part of long-term travel, so I would suggest (if possible) only booking the first few days for any trip.
10. Going to Amsterdam a second time
Sometimes when you revisit a place, it just can't live up to the epic memories you have of the place... and it taints both trips if you try. Know that going in, and try to not compare the experiences.
11. Missing the Nefertiti Bust in Berlin
Because being hungover in our Airbnb from strong beer was soo000ooo much better than seeing a piece of 3000 year old art.
Notably absent from the list:
Here are some things I don't regret:
- Take 1.5 years to travel after college graduation
- Dying my hair purple
- Solo backpacking in SE Asia
- Spending a lot of my money on these trips