While traveling, we HIGHLY encourage you to walk everywhere.
Stumble upon local spots
By walking, you will see many more local spots and have so many more unique experiences than if you take an Uber, bus, car, train, etc. We have stumbled upon some of the coolest local spots by walking most places while traveling.
For example, when we were in Portugal, we stumbled upon a restaurant right on the coast with some of the most delicious and fresh seafood we have ever had. We would have never come across this restaurant had we taken a tram to Belmont from the main city center in Lisbon (the main mode of transport recommended by most travel books and blogs). We also got to see tons of different very pretty cobblestone sidewalks while walking through Lisbon. See, coming soon, Lisbon, Portugal Quick Guide for more information.
Likewise, while we were in NYC, we stumbled upon a pop-up of Black Tap Shakes (a popular shake spot known for their massive and extravagant milkshakes) while walking from Ellis Island to the Brooklyn Bridge and we did not have to wait in line for hours at the main restaurant location like we were anticipating. See New York City Quick Guide ***
Similarly, in Essaouira, Morocco, while walking around the city, we stumbled upon a hole-in-the-wall restaurant with some of the best, least expensive food we have ever tasted. See Morocco Trip Reflection.
You get the idea, the more you walk, the more local spots you’ll stumble upon.
Unique experiences with locals and other travelers
Of similar accord, in Chongqing, China, we walked around the city and had numerous kids roll down the windows of the their cars to enthusiastically tell us “HELLO!” with an accompanying very energetic wave and smile. The excitement these kids exuded using their English while saying “HELLO” still makes us smile immediately four years later.
By similar accord, while walking into the city of Toledo, Spain from the train station, we met a man from California, who spoke fluent Spanish. We hit it off talking with him and enjoyed spending most of the day with him in Toledo. Since this friend spoke fluent Spanish, he was able to speak with locals and really made our experience of the city more quaint. Had we taken a Taxi into the city, our experience in Toledo would have been completely different. (See post Why You Should Talk to Strangers While Traveling *** and, coming soon, Madrid, Spain Quick Guide).
If you want to have unique, local experience while traveling, the simplest and least expensive thing you can do is to walk and to be friendly. It’s as simple as that!
We hope this post encourages you to walk more while traveling. We’d love to hear your feedback! Please leave us a comment.
And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned!