WELCOME TO COOLTRAVELLING
In our early years travelling was primarily what it took to get from one adventure to the next with the odd day or few to see a nearby historical site. Oddly some of the coolest things we would see came just driving down a road between point A and B, out the window of an airplane, walking from basecamp to get water or while making a side trip into a town for supplies. Would try to use rest days, days with bad weather, acclimatizing to altitude, etc to see interesting sites nearby our main objective. As time went by we found that "tourist" travel became as much of an adventure as the activity we were pursuing.
Learned quickly if locals recommended taking time to see something special to listen and knew we had made it when the owner of a hotel in Switzerland gave us T-shirts that said "Dont Tourist Me". He and his wife asked if we really were Americans because we had stopped in their little nowhere town between several major tourist areas and spent over a week skiing, ice climbing and also seeing even the out of the way locals only places of interest. They said the defininition of an American in Europe was someone trying to see five countries in three days, not just randomly stopping in an out of the way place and still being there a week later.
As years passed we began to add more and more non-adventure activities to every trip. From just finding the one food specialty a region prided itself on, meeting people in a crowd and going home with them for several days, leaving a famous city like Cannes for a small villiage on the French Rivera, celebrating Bastille Day in France, Inti Rami in Peru, Christmas at Temple Square in Salt Lake City (Till you have heard the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in person I cannot describe it), Christmas Eve service at a centuries old church in Zermat where service was in High German dialect and more. The majority of the coolest things we have seen were unplanned objectives and places had never heard of. Never go half way around the world without at least a month to wander and always be willing to abandon your planned itenerary for random wandering or you may miss the best.
One of the first big unplanned "side trips" will never regret was adding ten days to a mountaineering trip in Peru visting a place called Machu Pichu yeas before the internet and cable television channels turned it into a destination. timing it so were able to visit Cusco during the Inti Rami Festival. Sat in a crowd of 50,000ish Peruvians rather than the small area roped off for tourists then travelling on to Aguas Caliente to spend five days exploring Machu Pichu, Wanna Pichu, the Inca Trail and more. Added three days to end of trip visiting museums, and other sites around Lima altered my travel objectives for the rest of my life. Whather going skiing in Switzerland, following Tour de France, or whatever now always allocate extra time to every trip to see unplanned sites.
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