Friday, July 5, 2024

Weekend Travel Tips from Dynomight

Mezquita in Cordoba, Spain

Also in Cordoba, same day

View from the porch at our Cordoba Airbnb

Obvious travel advice, excerpts:

  1. Who you go with matters more than where you go.

  2. Cultures vary in lots of arbitrary ways—how loud to talk, how (or if) to wait in line [edit: in Spain, they don't give a darn about lines, boarding groups, entrance time, etc.], how close to stand to other people, how to [eat]... It’s good to be aware of these both as a producer of behavior (not offending others) and a consumer of behavior (not being offended when you’re not “supposed” to be).

  3. You can wash clothes in the sink. I think basically everyone does this but doesn’t talk about it? [We had laundry in or near our lodging on our last trip, allowing us to live out of carry-ons for weeks.]

  4. When looking at reviews, consider (1) sorting by new, (2) looking at the pictures (I told you this would obvious), (3) possibly—umm—possibly taking the ethnicity of reviewers into account, and (4) if one reviewer is really swaying you, checking out their history to calibrate for how effusive they tend to be.
    Despite being only 0.3% of the world’s population, Australians seem to make up 10% of overseas visitors everywhere on the planet. [This was definitely true of our latest trip, OMG!]

  5. If you like isolated beaches or hikes, get up early. [+1!] In touristy places there are often nature things (hikes, beaches, views) that make it into guidebooks and become insanely crowded while there are almost equivalent things nearby that are nearly empty.

  6. The human, after drinking liquids, must pee. So if you’re about to go somewhere where peeing is impossible, maybe don’t drink a lot of liquids. [Oh boy do I have a story about that from Spain....]

  7. Time seems to speed up as you get older. And you wonder—is it biological, or is it because life had more novelty when you were a child? Travel partly answers this question—with more novelty, time slows way down again. [This was my seventh European trip, and the time dilation was the most intense of all. After two days, it felt like we had been gone for weeks; after a week, it felt like over a month. We both experienced this and commented on it regularly on the trip.]

  8. My favorite part of travel is the perspective it gives on “regular” life.

  9. Don’t confuse scarcity with value. A really good afternoon in the park (a really good one) is maybe about as good as it gets. [Sometimes!]

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