” The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes”. Marcel Proust

In a world where the logistics of travel are just a screen and a few clicks away, and where the most unique travel tips can be found online in travel websites, blogs and forums, not much excuse is left if you choose to simply stick to the typical travel destinations in Europe and elsewhere.

Not that typical destinations are not good! They are classic destinations for a reason, and no seasoned traveler would want his “travelling career” going by without experiencing one or two places like Paris or New York and visiting their greatest landmarks.  Cities such as these are not less authentic than a small village or mystical beach tucked away in a less known Greek island or the rugged wilderness of Iceland or the Swedish archipelagos. And even these world class places possess their own hideaways where one can blend in with the local crowd, or mostly stick out being the only tourist around!

But to travel out of the ordinary is to experience the unknown, the uncommon. It is to receive the beautiful gift of looking at the world through the eyes of a child, seeing places and objects for the first time. Remember how that feels? Have you experienced it recently, this feeling of absolute “foreignness,” this freshness taking over your senses and your thoughts as you step into a place that your subconsciousness had not already processed a hundred or a thousand times?

Just as important, if not even more important, is the beauty of “going local”… enjoying a setting in which time might be slower, and in which your “hosts,” might just be as curious about you as you are about them… finding a unique home to stay on AirBNB instead of a hotel that might be well too often quite impersonal, enjoying the real flavors of the country rather than toned down versions of local dishes offered to tourists.

Whatever your thing is, be it romance, adventure, creepy houses with a story to tell, exquisite food, you can find it in places that, despite their charm and beauty, have managed to keep themselves a hidden secret… for now, that is.

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