I love traveling and I hope I will do it till the rest of my life. However my traveling habits change over the years - depending on my interested and stage in life.
I do decent amount of travel with friends. But I also love solo travel. As a single person in mid-30s I have a very specific travel routine. Because I love to spend time by myself too much I need to setup some structures in order to get social time.
When pandemic started I picked up running. Before pandemic I used to play football and bike and walk a lot. All the group sports were out in March 2020 in San Francisco. So I picked up running. It was very difficult the first week but then I started to enjoy it.
Now I appreciate it a lot. I incorporated running into my travel routine. Before I would try to find folks to play football (which worked quite good), I would need to pack my football boots for each trip - and that was an issue since I usually travel with only one travel bag.
Running is so much better for traveling. I can run anywhere and I just need regular shoes. When I come to the new city I immediately go for a run and try to keep it as part of my routine. In the past 2+ years I went on runs in Rome, Venice, Madrid, Mexico, Barcelona, Tallinn, Warsaw, San Diego, Lisbon, Kraków.
I run often when at home in New York. And doing exact same routine while traveling is priceless.
In addition to running I keep many of the same routines. I go to my local coffeeshop in New York almost every day. I talk to my baristas and then read some news and do my work for few hours.
I do exactly the same thing while traveling. I immediately find coffeeshop that suits me and go there first thing after my arrival. It establishes some familiarity.
I also have a great trick to make travels useful and find some people to talk to. I take classes. It can be language classes - Portuguese or Spanish in local school. It can be music lessons - guitar or some more exotic local instrument. It can be sport classes. My favorite so far is altinha classes in Copacabana beach in Rio. Surfing is a great option too when available.
Learning some local dance is another great option that I’am planning to try.
I don’t do many touristy things nowadays. I am at the stage of my life that I like my routines a bit more than hunting for some new museums. There are however exceptions. Eg in 2021 I went to Venice. I had low exceptions and thought that the city is overhyped. But I was wrong and loved it so much and I did many touristy things.
Another great travel idea is to attend specific events. Eg while in Venice I went to see Venice Architecture Biennale. And it was great. There are so many great events happening around the world all the time: film festivals, unique concerts, book fairs and so on.
When I feel like I’m out of the ideas and don’t know what to do I do use AirBnB experiences. They are usually nice deletions of good ideas that I can do in this new location.
I’m not into bars or night life, so it can be challenging to meet locals of my own age. I do use “online dating” apps to meet people. However, I use them as a way to meet locals and go for a walk to the park and get coffee and chat a bit. I do think that the category of those apps is a bit misleading. Different people have different needs. Some look for serious relationships, some for casual one and some people look for new friends or even a nice walk in the park.