If you’ve seen memes showing 'Expectations versus Reality', you’ll know that there are gaps in how we expect things to turn out versus how they actually turn out. Our perceptions of a city and how we see ourselves on our travels can alter the way we accept the challenges that come our way during our time abroad.

The best way to get the most out of our trips is to remain open to new experiences. But first, we’ll need to acknowledge our fears of the unknown and learn to be receptive to everything that comes. Yes, that includes the good, the bad, and the ugly.

In some ways, the uncertainty we feel when exploring an unfamiliar city not only makes us more confident, it can also make us feel alive.

Get familiarised with the basics

There’s nothing like the satisfaction of figuring out the transport system of a new city all on your own. The moment I’m able to hop on and off the train without checking the railway map every few minutes, I feel like a local (almost).

 Source: Unsplash

Source: Unsplash

Getting familiarised with the basics of a city, from how much its currency is worth to how you can get WiFi, is essential. Understanding the local transport system of buses, trains, ferries and taxis can help you feel confident in getting around the city.

If you’re on an Anywhr trip, everything’s sorted out for you. The Anywhr Travelogue (that little red booklet you receive before your trip) gives you transport information and tips and tricks in navigating the city; you’ll quickly forget that you found out about your travel destination only on the day of your departure!

*Related post: 5 Ways Every Anxious Solo Traveller Can Spend Your Time Abroad

Allow yourself flexibility to discover

More often than not we are creatures of habit. We wake up around the same time each day, we take the same routes, we have our favourite kinds of foods. Embarking on a trip abroad turns our routines on its head. It challenges our natural rhythm and habits.

 Source: Unsplash

Source: Unsplash

To gain confidence in exploring a new city, sometimes we have to go out and do just that—explore! Without the reliance on plans, transportation times or other people. Take our own two feet out for a walk and roam the streets.

Already made plans? Ditch them for half a day, and slowly take on one street and then the next. If there’s anything that gives you strength when feeling uncertain, it’s using your acute decision-making skills and trusting your gut to lead the way.

*Related post: Exploring Not Following: An Anecdote With Pictures!

Don't be afraid to ask

Unless you’re a complete people person, striking up a conversation with strangers might not come naturally. But a big part of traveling is the opportunity to connect with people from all over the world.

 Source: Unsplash

Source: Unsplash

By putting yourself out there, even if it’s to ask for help with directions or to seek recommendations for the best restaurant, you gain confidence and set yourself up for the possibility of forging new relationships.

Remember: Be genuine, be curious, and go in with a smile.

*Related post: Destination X: Sarah's Reflection In-Between Sunsets and Chill

Don't worry, nobody knows you there anyway

There’s something liberating about being in a place where nobody knows you. You can relax into yourself. Maybe even do some things you’ve always wanted to but have put off for a long time. Always wanted to hike? Go for it. Been wanting to take up dance lessons? Find a local centre and sign up for an hour or two.

 Source: Unsplash

Source: Unsplash

You don’t have to feel self-conscious; there’s no right or wrong way to explore a city. Just be yourself and put your best foot forward. If things don’t go as planned, remember that everything is temporary and having fun while staying safe is the most important thing.

Your trip will end but the memories you’ve created will definitely last for a long time.
 

Got an exceptional travel memory? We'd love to hear it, tell us here!


AUTHOR: HUDA

  A Singapore-based writer and photographer, often found getting lost in new cities. A lover of mountains, she is drawn to mindfulness and solitude—themes often reflected in her work. The perfect trip for her involves autumn leaves, green tea latte and long walks (not on the beach).

A Singapore-based writer and photographer, often found getting lost in new cities. A lover of mountains, she is drawn to mindfulness and solitude—themes often reflected in her work. The perfect trip for her involves autumn leaves, green tea latte and long walks (not on the beach).