Plaza de Mayor, Madrid
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Stupid Tip of the Day: Get Out There — Even When You Do Not Feel Like It

D uring almost every trip on which I am traveling, there is usually one day where I feel like I would rather just stay in the hotel room, relax, work, nap and eat…

Stupid Tip of the Day: Get Out There — Even When You Do Not Feel Like It

…but I rarely ever succumb to that urge to not step out. The main reason is that I went through a lot of time, effort and expense to travel to where I am at the moment in the first place — and to miss out on any time is time I will never get back.

There is also no guarantee that I will return to catch up on what I might have missed last time.

For me, the main mode of transportation — when feasible, of course — is the use of my legs. I find that walking is the best way to mingle amongst the people and find hidden surprises to a place which a taxi cab, bus, train or car may otherwise miss…

…and walking amongst people going about their everyday lives reinvigorates me — despite me having the tendencies of an introvert and typically not wanting to socialize. I feel like I am an actual part of where I am visiting when I am walking; and my curiosity becomes piqued, dissolving any hesitation or weariness on my part and allowing me to be distracted by the sights and sounds of where I am walking.


I then think about what my day would have been like in a hotel room — and it almost always would have been a complete waste of a precious day and on what I would have missed out.

Even worse is when someone asks if you have been to a certain place or did a certain activity — and then says “I cannot believe you were right there and did not do this.” Fortunately, that has not happened to me; but I have witnessed the disappointed looks on the faces of people who chose to stay in the hotel room while traveling.

Obviously rest and relax in your hotel room if you are not feeling well. That is not the same as having an urge to simply remain in your hotel room…

…but what you do when you leave your hotel room is up to you. If you resist the urge to stay in and go out, know that you can always return to your hotel room when you have had enough exploring and discovering the area to which you have traveled.

To avoid getting that urge to stay in your hotel room in the first place, ensure that you get your rest at night. Nap in places where you are otherwise biding your time — such as in a train on a trip lasting for a couple of hours as one of many examples. Eat well so that your body is nourished to take on whatever activities you may want to encounter.

Exercise can be another important factor — although I never use an exercise room or fitness center. On my recent trip in eastern Europe, I easily walked at least 100 kilometers over the course of two weeks. For me, walking reenergizes me — and despite my legs experiencing dull aches from lots of walking, more walking only seems to make them stronger…

…and if I felt tired at the beginning of the day, walking wakes me up and has me forget that I am tired — meaning that I collapse into bed that evening to recharge myself for the next day of my travels.

Remember that travel is a significant disruption to your body and schedule — so becoming worn out is normal and happens to the best of us at one time or another — and that balance is the key to ensuring that you get the most out of your travels.

Plaza de Mayor in Madrid is an ideal place around which to wander. Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

  1. I *try* (not always succeeding) to follow a simple rule whereever I am staying – I must walk 1,000 steps north, south, east, and west of my hotel. This doesn’t mean that at 1,000 steps I turn around, it’s just that I have to go at least that far, in every direction. Once I reach 1,000 steps, I decide if I want to keep exploring, or turn around and head in another direction.
    This 1,000 steps rule has worked great for exploring — walk 1,000 steps north of a hotel, and then I’m at the top of a hill, and I can see some interesting woods even farther north, so I make a commitment to walk another 1,000 steps into the woods. After that, maybe I turn back, maybe I keep going. I’ve found some great treasures using this exploratory technique – cute restaurants, great bars, coming face to face with a guy riding a horse on a scenic but remote trail, etc. It’s a great deal with myself because it’s a relatively small commitment with fantastic payoffs.

    1. That is an interesting rule, Gizmosdad. I never thought of looking at it that way.

      To me, I just do a cursory search of where I would like to go or what I would like to see at the destination where I am visiting; and I go there — usually by walking from the hotel at where I am staying — and then decide whether I want to continue walking around to discover other potential surprises.

    1. Thank you for pointing out that typographical error, rmh.

      I am surprised there were not many more of them, frankly. Writing articles using iOS on a portable electronic device while traveling was a challenge, to say the least…

  2. i’m a grammatical guru. if there’s a job offer, i’m your man. i work for zero money. but a dl sky club day pass or some such similar something would suffice!


    1. I would give you one if I had one — seriously, rmh. I appreciate when you find them in the articles which I write and then call them out to me.

      Unfortunately, I am the type of person who can proofread something I write several times — but only when I casually read an article written by me or anyone else, only then do I catch the errors effortlessly.

      That makes no sense to me…

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