Should you visit unusual destinations?
UAE influencers voice their opinions
The first time I travelled to an unusual destination, I didn't think everything would end up just fine. When you are travelling by yourself, especially in a destination that is not world-famous, you'll find unfamiliar streets and faces. The first time this happened to me, I didn't know the language in the destination I was in and, as a result, I was terrified and worried about my safety. But obviously, I wasn't the first person to have travelled to that particular destination, and so, I took comfort in that. All it took was the right planning and everything did work out fine! This made me realise that travelling to an unusual destination by yourself is incredibly liberating. Here are some things I've learned along the way:
1. No matter where you are, enjoy the company of yourself: Eating alone, watching people, and wandering alone is actually very therapeutic. When you travel by yourself to a lesser-known destination, you can observe the place better, interact with local people and make your own itinerary. Moreover, you get to know yourself better by being alone with your own thoughts in silence and contentment.
2. Believe in the intrinsic goodness of people. A lot of the time, we hear a lot of negative coverage about places, especially ones that are not known to be tourist hotspots. Don't be consumed with all the negativity in the world: learn to trust people. Be extra cautious when travelling in a new country (especially if you are a rookie traveller) but keep in mind that people will be willing to help you out, when you need it the most. All you have to do is ask.
3. Say thank you: Be grateful when offered help. Whenever you say thank you to strangers in their native language, you leave behind an impression. In this way, you also gain new connections.
4. Learn to say no politely: When you are travelling through a country that doesn't usually get a lot of tourists, you'll find that you have no one to trust but yourself sometimes. And that can be a good thing - it gives you confidence in your own abilities. Chances are you will come across like-minded people who want to discover a place just as you do. If not, know that it's okay to decline an offer from others.
Is the travel blogger behind www.thethrifttrip.com. Keep up with her adventures on Instagram @joycaasi
Be the creator of your own guidebook, rather than following one. Venturing into the unknown invigorates your senses because you do not know what to expect. In addition to this, you'll get to escape the usual crowds and see a place from a different perceptive. Imagine yourself dining at a restaurant where food is less commercial or not having to wait in a queue under the scorching sun. The best part of travelling to an unusual destination is, of course, you'll have bragging rights and crowd-free photographs to match.
Some unusual destinations that we've visited in the last few years are Montenegro, Brunei and Mexico (the latter being not very popular in this part of the world to say the least). Montenegro became well-known only recently. People were unaware that this tiny Balkan gem occupied a place on the map when we set foot into it nearly three years ago. Just so you know, fjords don't just exist in Norway. Visit Montenegro, and you'll be pleasantly surprised. Brunei, on the other hand, still remains largely unpopular. Did you know that Brunei happens to be one of the smallest nations in the world and one of the richest too? Brunei also has an extremely dense rainforest and is home to a variety of intriguing wildlife. We even got a chance to stay in that rainforest!
As Huxley Aldous said, "To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries". The moment we told people we would be heading to Mexico, they were scared! In reality, this happened to be one of the best trips of our lives! To top it all, we rented a car and drove around this so called "dangerous country" and even saw a pink lake. Whenever our friends show us pictures of themselves in turquoise waters, we show them ours in pink! Just so you know, there is no such thing as a dangerous country. You have to use your presence of mind wherever you go. When you take the road less travelled, you can be assured of hidden gems along the way. There's no telling of what you might discover. So, take out a map, point your finger and hop on that flight!
is one half of the travel blog www.oftravelsandtales.weebly.com. You can follow her on Twitter @Oftravelsntales or on Facebook @OfTravelsandTales