{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Mandy July 23, 2012 at 11:09 pm

I totally agree with all the points you brought up, but I do think that there is something to be said for seeing touristy sights, as long as it’s something you’re really interested in. For example, if you’re in London, don’t go to the National Portrait Gallery if it sounds boring, but if you’re super into Shakespeare, then go to the Globe! Tourist attractions are famous and popular for a reason (usually), and it’s not fair to deny yourself just because it’s touristy. I actually make a point to go out and do somewhat touristy things in my own city every once in a while, just to see what all the fuss is about. I’m actually usually pleasantly surprised with the experience.

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Marthe July 23, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Mandy, you have some great points here. Maybe I did let my fear of crowds get into my head a little bit! ;)

I don’t mean to be an advocate of ditching tourist attractions altogether, I just think that for example an evening event at the museum is a way better way of experiencing it than a crowded Saturday in July!

Also, I think it’s a great idea to do the opposite – living like a tourist in your local city. I’m all for shaking things up! :D

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Ellie Di July 23, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Love this! I’m planning a long trip to Scotland next September, and it’s the first time I’ve done that kind of thing on my own. I’m definitely looking into renting an apartment!

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Marthe July 23, 2012 at 11:29 pm

Thank you!

I’ve actually never been to Scotland but maybe I’ll come over when you’re there? ;)

Definitely check out Airbnb.com in addition to Gumtree (Craigslist is not that popular in Europe). Also, September is when all the students hit the town (especially if you’re considering Edinbourgh) so I think you should book something early! :)

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Ellie Di July 23, 2012 at 11:39 pm

September is absolute – we’re going for my BFF’s 30th birthday (it’s her dream country), but yeah, I know it might be difficult for the time period.

And I know someone who works for AirBnB, so I’ll definitely check them out!

Also – I WOULD LOVE IT IF YOU CAME OVER WHILE I’M THERE! *ahem* <3

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Luana July 23, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Yes! The best way to get the most out of a place, or at least a different view from the local touristy bubble tours provide is to hang out with locals and live a few days as they would. I do agree with Mandy that there are some must-see touristy bits everywhere, but I usually get those out of the way first and then wander off. Getting lost once or twice can even be a good idea!

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Marthe July 24, 2012 at 4:06 am

Getting lost is a really good idea! It’s the best way for control freaks like me to practice letting go.

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Heather Thorkelson July 24, 2012 at 12:01 am

Hey Marthe – great post! I’ve been traveling like this for about a decade and a half and I can definitely vouch for all the points you make. I just spent 5 days in Peru’s Sacred Valley on a workcation and it was AWESOME! I feel totally inspired and refreshed. And I got a TON of stuff done. Thanks for a great post!

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Marthe July 24, 2012 at 4:15 am

Thank you! I’m not surprised to hear this is the way you travel too, Heather. We’re soul mates, I can feel it!

Your workcation sounds and looks awesome. I’m so inspired by you!

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Lu July 24, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Really useful tips, a couple of times I even gasped and said out loud “That totally makes sense!”. And now the wanderlust is back *sigh*

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Marthe July 25, 2012 at 10:05 pm

YES, that was what I wanted! ;)

Where do you want to go?

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Lígia July 24, 2012 at 11:46 pm

I love reading your posts…I saw myself in every scene you’ve created! And I agree with you about everything. It’s really nice how we can connect more with people when we are are experiencing the city/country/neighborhood like a local.

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Marthe July 25, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Thank you, Lígia! :) Connecting with people is what makes traveling life-changing. <3

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Chrissa ~ a tad bit creative August 15, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Excellent advice, Marthe! I totally agree that travelling like the locals is by far a richer and more valuable experience. Thanks for the great ideas!

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Celine January 5, 2013 at 10:13 am

Hi Marthe,

I love this idea of alternative tourism. Few days ago during Xmas break, I saw in a newspaper a picture of thousands of people at the beach in Mombassa, here in Kenya. Thousands, all doing the same thing at the same moment and at the same place. It was horrible. It was not possible to even walk because the beach was so crowded, full of people. I would not like to be one of these people. And I was asking myself: how is this possible? Why is everyone doing the same thing at the same time and at the same place? There must be a way to do otherwise and still enjoy what we want to do. So the concept you are sharing here is very good. It is a new way of doing tourism and it is very rewarding. Thanks for sharing this.

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