Now that you've read about what to do, where to go, what to bring and more for your next trip, here are five things you can’t forget to do to make your adventure a rewarding experience:
Make friends with locals
Whether you're traveling with a group or solo, meeting new friends can bring out the best in your adventure. Despite all the research you did and passion you have for your chosen destination, nothing says legit experience quite better than with fellow travelers and, of course, locals! It's not always easy to make friends specially if you're the shy type. You could start and break the ice with being the typical curious tourist (don't hesitate to ask questions), or offer to take photos, and also share things you are interested about (you'd be surprised that locals are as interested as you are too). When you've finally gotten comfortable in being around people, consider staying at places with local hosts who are interested in having a cultural experience. There's a reason social media is a powerful tool in this generation, it lets you connect basically to everything and everyone within your interest making it easy to further expand your horizons. Given all these resources (plus you being a people-person), meeting people while traveling does can definitely give you the best adventure, however it is still wise to keep yourself safe and always trust your instincts.
Taste their food culture
You've loved burritos all your life, always craved for gelato, or just can't get enough of dumplings. In a place where you grew up, there's this go-to for all your food cravings. But where else do you get a taste of the real deal? No other than from the land it originated from! There can be instances when you'll hesitate because some food might not settle well with your stomach and any health/digestive problems that could arise while on a trip is a no-no. To avoid this, do research, check out reviews and recommendations online or from friends, and check out your options. And of course, getting a taste of your destination can also be best experienced when you're in the good hands of your newly-found local friends.
Try their way of life
It could be taking the local transportation, learning about their arts and crafts, experiencing their religious worship or simply understanding their language. Immersing yourself in the day to day activities is one of the best ways to understand the locals and discover the culture of your chosen destination. Whether it's exploring the town's market, strolling in the village, harvesting crops with farmers, casually sharing a short talk while waiting for a ride, or even helping your local host cook dinner, these simple acts offer enriching experiences that no money can ever afford.
Take the road less traveled
While tourists often take the mainstream travel approach - booking the common city tours, taking part in group tours, and staying in a place where the other tourists are, there's something exciting and wonderful about going off the beaten path. There's more to Taiwan than the vibrant Taipei city, home to the grand Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. A good thirty-minute ride to Yangmingshan, in the outskirts of Taipei, is one of the well-known national parks in the country that's definitely worth a visit. While there are places everyone is wishes to see, don't forget there's even more out there to see. Expand your horizons, because there's no stopping where your soles will take you.
Give back to your host destination
All the awe-inspiring experiences change you to a new person. While you meet new people along the journey, never forget to return the wonders you have experienced in the simplest ways. You have finally become an ambassador of another reality. To travel, you are given the privilege to stand up against discrimination, hear-says, stereotyping, and all other barriers that separate us from one another. Learning a local's basic language and sharing yours in return is a simple way of giving back. It doesn't because the most cherished and priceless thing you can share is something money cannot buy. It could be a simple token - like a bracelet from the local art shop, their local delicacy (which you learned to cook), or your time alone, is already more than enough act of appreciation to them.
Before anything else, always remember to keep an open mind because some of the most wonderful things in life come unexpected.