You all know the story- While studying abroad in Paris, Gram took me on an eight-day tour of Italy, stopping in Milan, Florence, Venice, and Rome. We saw the Uffizi, we saw David, we toured the ruins and Vatican City, and thanks to Gram’s meticulous planning, we successfully packed weeks worth of tourist sites in eight short days.
On our last night, Gram scheduled in free time for me to visit with friends studying in Rome. Six “vodka ananas” later, I was falling down in the cobbled streets of Trastavere. Flash to the next day, when Gram’s last day of site-seeing was interrupted by the worst hangover in the history of all hangovers. Gram’s dreams of snapping that last picture of us together on the Spanish Steps were shattered.
But looking back, aren’t those the stories we like to tell? The worst times can be the best times. Which got the Romantic and I thinking. Our lazy ways have, more often than not, led to experiences that ended up much more memorable and unique than the normal traveler.
Completely Valid Reasons to Miss the Sites You Planned to See:
Fireworks over Sacré-Cœur – Paris, France: Hubs and I really DID plan to stay for the second act of Gisele at the Opera National, we swear it, but wine + fireworks + a late night stroll through Montmartre just sounded soo much more our style. (And it totally was).
Running out of money – London, England: My friends and I had big plans to see the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London, but four days into our trip we were all over-drafting our bank accounts. So, we scrounged together cash, bought the world’s BEST SANDWICHES from a vendor outside the Tower and took a walk along the Thames. Strolling through London with two of your best friends beats a stuffy tour any day.
Too busy at the pub – Dublin, Ireland: On my last day in Dublin visiting the wino, while once again re-cooping from another world’s worst hangover (do you sense a theme?), she suddenly shot straight up and said “OMG! YOU NEVER SAW OSCAR WILDE!” Somewhere in our 7-day bender, we had forgotten to see (most of) the sites Dublin has to offer, and you know what? I wouldn’t trade any other moment of that trip for a photo op with jaunty Oscar Wilde. Ok, except for maybe the night of the colossal meltdown from our third traveler, but that’s a different story for a different day.
Too busy at the biergartens – Munich, Germany: In Munich, I was dragged against my free will to a set of museums that I cared nothing about. Looking back, the only thing I remember about my trip was the time spent in biergartens around the city. Skip all the tourist attractions, hunker down at any of the fabulous beer halls, and eat all the spaetzle and pretzels you can handle.
So the takeaway here, travelers: don’t try to pack too much into one trip. Just like facebooking while traveling, the most this will result in is a few photos no one else will want to look at and another dime-a-dozen story about your time at the Blarney Stone. Instead, get drunk, run out of money, and always opt for fireworks.
the romantic & the wino