What is my reason for writing about traveling? It is because I missed out on so much. For years and many holidays, my main goal was to rest. I simply lounged on a beach or in a hotel room and thought I was getting back to my old self. But I was so wrong.
What Travel Is Really About
Luckily, I have a very energetic friend who decided to come with me once. I barely saw the inside of our room for two weeks straight during that trip! Do you know what miracle happened? I was more rejuvenated after being so busy than I was after resting the way I used to. Thus, this is now what I ascribe to:
- Getting my mind off my worries. We tried so many new things, that there was not any time to think about work.
- Being engaged by new thoughts. My mind did not need to rest. It simply needed stimulation of a different kind.
- Seeing what I was capable of doing. I regained some trust in myself by doing daring, adventurous things and surviving them.
I am not telling you to put your life at risk while on holiday. Each place I visit does not have a large number of activities to try. However, I found a way of rejuvenating myself that seems to work: do as the locals do!
You can try their food, smoke their favorite cigars (my favorite pastime), or ask about their hobbies. This is much more stimulating than visiting museums that all look the same.
But I know it is daunting to simply try out a new idea. Since you do not have an energetic friend to lead the way, I will give you some guidelines. I hope they get you going!
What To Do In These Four Countries
You are probably imagining a hamburger, but I challenge you to not succumb to the craving. The U.S. is much more diverse than you think. Why do we forget about these favorites:
- Apple pie
- Waldorf salad from the famous hotel
- Eggs Benedict that was created and made famous in New York’s Delmonico’s restaurant
This is the country to try something different than Cuban cigars. Because of years of trade embargos you’re more likely to find South American ones such as Arturo Fuente. It’s an international favorite so you know you’ll be smoking quality.
Americans love sport. Instead of going to a museum, why not experience culture at a local football or baseball game? If baseball is rated as America’s favorite pastime there must be something you’ll love about it too.
No trip to the U.K. is complete without tasting fish and chips. If you can, eat it in a seaside town where you are assured of freshness and you can enjoy the view too.
- Try pure British cooking with a portion of Beef Wellington or an English breakfast
- For a taste of Scotland you cannot go wrong with Haggis
- In Wales, you will fall in love with Welsh Crawl
Get ready for the ultimate cigar experience when visiting the U.K. These citizens — even their early 1900’s King — helped make cigars popular. For added effect, you can try to find a smoking jacket and experience the romantic side of this hobby.
If you are smoking with the locals, you are bound to come across Montecristos. Try these even if you are not a cigar smoker, yet. They are well balanced cigars that suit beginner and experienced palates.
While most people flock to the classic buildings of old, I head to modern attractions. Fans of all ages can visit the Harry Potter Museum. View the ultimate in modern architecture at the Shard in London. Music lovers can join festivals such as the famous one in Glastonbury. It is the ultimate U.K. experience you can enjoy with 135 000 other people.
This is where you need a mature palate. The dishes will not be things you prepare in your own kitchen. But French chefs are known for their knowledge and skill. You have to taste haute cuisine. And it is not only about the food:
- All your senses are stimulated by the beautiful aromas and presentation
- Do not forget those French wines
- Visit a winery instead of eating in a stuffy restaurant
For cigars, you will have to visit Paris itself to get a good selection. Most stores only stock what the locals want. This is usually Cuban brands.
It is a classic country, but you can do everything from lying on the beach to surfing to visiting local markets. It is where you will find locals and they will tell you about the hidden treasures of each city.
Aim to partake in four major types of Chinese cooking:
- Chuan (West)
- Lu (North)
- Yue (South)
- Huaiyang (East)
They should keep you busy throughout your stay and you will love the different tastes, looks, and aromas.
Join the locals in their ever continuing search of the ultimate cigar. This smoking community still cannot settle on a favorite, because they are quite new at the hobby. This means yo wi’ll come across more brands, flavors, and types than in most countries.
Since the women love smoking too — and they love more feminine options — you are bound to find many little cigars. Alternatively, you can puff on a premium Davidoff.
This country is one of my favorites, because of its original tourist options. Instead of a museum, guides take you to circuses and dragon boat races. That is original and it stimulates all my senses.
Do yourself a favor and give the normal tourist attractions a skip. This is how you will really have fun and relax. Most of all you will create unique memories. Reading this list makes me long to go back to some of these countries. I hope you enjoy it all as much as I did.
And if you are afraid of new experiences, why not start preparing yourself? Order something different at your local restaurant or purchase an alternative smoking option from online stores such as Gotham Cigars. You do not know what you are missing!