Is Site Seeing Overrated?

Sometimes I am against suggested site seeing. There, I said it. Travel guides always tell us what we need to see and how much I must shell out in order to really experience a destination. It really annoys me and is a huge reason reason why I have (for the most part) avoided organized travel since my European Topdeck tour in 2009. Forcing me to wake up at 5am to start my day? Telling me I am required to go on the provided walking tour, even if it’s raining? It’s just not me. Maybe it’s just that I hate being told what to do. Well, I’m an adult and I do what I want! (in my best bratty voice)

Tour in Budapest where the people didn’t even get off the bus to take pictures.
No but seriously, folks. I feel like site seeing is personal and should be more meaningful.  I also think some of the suggested tourist attractions are just overrated. Overrated, crowded, and expensive. Now, I don’t want to be too negative or hypocritical because I have definitely done the whole gondola thing in Italy, paid a crap ton of money to skydive in Switzerland, and took 500 photos of the Eiffel Tower. 

Hi Paris! I love you!

The ridiculous price I paid for these memories was beyond worth it. In my opinion, the amount of money I spent to see Stonehenge, Mona Lisa at the Louvre, the monkey forest in Bali, or the Romeo & Juliet balcony in Verona was not. My point is that I don’t think visiting attractions just to check them off a list is a good idea. Go to the places that you want to tell about later.

Yeah, that happened.
I certainly understand wanting to do everything you can on a trip because you really just never know when you will be back. Life is short and all that, but I personally want the things I see and do to be memorable. 

Best experience ever.

I’ve made the mistake in the past of traveling to a city and sticking to someone else’s itinerary, against my better judgement. I wanted to go down some of the off beaten tracks and had places in mind to see, but was with a group and in the end wanted to make other people happy. I still had a great time, but left with a bit of regret. I was lucky enough to visit the city 2 years later and decided to do it how I wanted to. After that experience, I vowed to make a priority of the things I really want to do, even if it’s against the consensus of a group. 

To be honest, one of my all time favorite places I have been to was the Lennon Wall in Prague and it was free
Amauri had to drag me away after I stood in a zombie-like state staring at all the comments and artwork on the wall, symbolizing ideals of love and peace. It was one of those moments that I sat back in utter awe of its beauty and significance and was just grateful to be experiencing it, fascinated by it’s history. It strangely reaffirmed my confidence in the leap of faith Amauri and I were taking by quitting our jobs and traveling the world.
Those are the moments we travel for in the first place, right?
In the end it’s your experience (and money) and you never want to regret seeing and doing the things that intrigue you. You could miss having that life changing moment. So go do what you want, not what someone else says is a must see

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