In this post I want to remind you to make your trip YOUR OWN trip. You can listen to what others say, but don’t be afraid to visit somewhere based off of the warnings of a fellow backpacker!
How many times before (or during) your trip have you come across the same answer “Don’t go there, bro”? Usually, that answer goes hand in hand with an expression like this:
You’ve probably heard it from someone you know. And it gets progressively worse when you actually begin your trip. Hell, I’ve probably said it to people I know as well. Regardless, I’m here to remind you that whenever someone says “don’t go there” to a place you are interested in, ignore them. Throw their comment out like yesterdays garbage. Or, challenge them to give realistic examples as to why you shouldn’t go there. Both can be entertaining. Either way, ignore their comments like so:
Here are some examples of how often people were wrong:
1. “Cinque Terre is too expensive and the weather probably won’t cooperate”: It’s not a secret that the Cinque Terre was the most anticipated part of my trip. I knew that I would be travelling there during the start of rainy season, but I wasn’t going to let that deter me from visiting. Before I left, I had co workers telling me it was a bad idea for that reason. Even when I arrived at my first hostel, someone told me to save my money and stay in Pisa, instead. Well:
Oh, and the Cinque Terre can be quite affordable if you do a little more than 5 minutes research. That being said, I intentionally spent more here.
2. “Portugal is a dump”/”Portugal is a full of crime and drug addicts”/”Portugal is run down”/”People force drugs on you in Portugal”. There are all comments that I heard from people at my first hostel, in Milan. Their ages ranges from 18-60, but they all seemed to have similar views. Most of these people has never been there. Well:
In no way was Portugal run down. Yes, it’s technically a country in crisis. Yes, there are individuals that frequently do drugs, just like every other country in Europe. Was it a dump? Absolutely not. Not only was I safe at all times (including 4 in the morning), but I enjoyed every corner I turned. Did I get offered drugs all the time? Yes. But that was the funniest part of my trip, especially when you consider these people are offering fake stuff. Say no to the fake drugs. It’s fun! People are harmless. In fact, most people were more helpful to me than in many other destinations.
3. “Don’t spend too much time in Dublin”:
Okay, that one was a fair statement. In fact, I think 2 nights there was enough to see a good chunk of the city. But if someone tells you “DON’T STOP IN DUBLIN, BECAUSE IT AIN’T SAFE”, just laugh it off. I’m sure there are some darker streets, but you are totally fine as a tourist. Even alone.
As poorly written an jumbled as this may seem, I hope that proves my point. There’s no right or wrong way to travel. Pick the places that jump out to you. If you only travel based on what others are telling you, I’m sorry to say you will never be satisfied.
Pick your own destinations. It’s your damn trip. And some of us don’t get multiple chances to get it right.