what do you love to discover most?

yunnan china ladiesWe put this question to our Intrepid Express readers, “What do you love to discover most when you travel?” It’s no surprise that culture, cuisine and meeting local characters came out on top…

“My most favourite thing to discover when traveling is to discover a country’s culture. To see what their favourite foods are, time they eat, what their daily rituals are and what time they go to bed. Most countries’ cultures are so diverse and it’s definitely the most exciting thing to be part of it and to try their culture first hand.” ‘Travel enthusiast’ Danielle Diedericks

“Travelling through South East Asia, I love discovering the different smells of spices, incense and fruit that each country has to offer. You just never forget it. I lie awake at night now dreaming about all the different cities that I went too and their smells just come drifting back to me.” Sophie Quarterman

“What do I love most when I travel? Just the thought itself puts a smile on my face. There’s so many things, from the different cultures, amazing food that I’ve never tasted before, beautiful, Interesting people, sights, smells, flavours. The list goes on and on. But what I love discovering MOST is always when I’m with my wife, my best friend. It’s when we go to a new country, city or village. There’s a magical moment when we put our Lonely Planet deep inside our packs and wander. Not with the crowds and other tourists but away from it all. Away from the tourist eating spots. Away from the major sights. Away from the mayhem. Out of the tourist ‘bubble’. It doesn’t normally take long, but there’s a moment when you look around and all you can see are locals, that’s what I love to discover. Where EVERYTHING is in another language. Where locals go about their business like they would every other day. Not putting on a show for the next sightseer with a camera. It’s those moments where you feel like you’ve discovered something that the thousands of other travellers have missed out on. This is when you get a feel for a country and its culture. This is the moment we stop and smile at each other. And it’s these discoveries we will always talk about with friends, family and each other. Unique and meaningful. Life lasting discoveries.” Jason Hill

“I love discovering the culture angle. Skip the churches and ancient sites, I enjoy meeting the true locals. For instance when in Vietnam on Intrepid – visiting a children’s orphanage was most memorable. Whilst in Italy, I loved having our morning latte with the locals (standing) and joining the pesto class in Levanto with the village mama was great. Intrepid provide clever itineraries where the visitor gets to mix with the natives. Go Intrepid….” Susan Burchell

“It is always amazing to visit a new country to learn about its people, food and culture, and unique attractions. I love to visit the wet markets and explore side streets and lane-ways, especially in some parts of the world, so that I can be up close to the people as they shop, haggle, cook and live. Truly an enriching experience when personal discoveries and friendships are made.” Tye Chan

“September 2009 saw us travelling to china with Intrepid and the food we ate with tour leader Merrick was sensational. Aubergines have never tasted so good, and the straw mushrooms were out of this world. I took a cooking class where we learned to chop very fine ingredients then get the pan to just the right temperature and cook for a short time. Perfect! I also had lessons on Mahjong and then taught the rest of the Intrepid travellers how to play while we were sailing the Yangtze. This was a great experience.” Loraine Blythe

To find out about travelling with Intrepid and for your chance to WIN a trip in every edition, subscribe to Intrepid Express, our free e-newsletter.

* photo by Jessica Toop – Intrepid Photography Competition

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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