As 2017 comes to a close and another exciting year of travel is in the books, I’m teaming up with Uber to share my favorite ways to travel like a local. I live nomadically and work as a full time freelance photographer so I’m always on the road. I've learned that the more you can immerse yourself in the local community, the better off your well-being and overall happiness. Here are a few of my favorite ways to live and travel like a local:
Be a traveler not a tourist -- A traveler is someone who is truly interested in experiencing and respecting the local culture. This may involve taking a few risks. Getting outside your comfort zone. But that's usually where all the good stuff happens.
Avoid traveling during peak season -- I highly recommend traveling to places outside of their peak season. Not only will things be cheaper, you'll also get a more authentic, less crowded experience. The only reason I would say not to travel in the offseason is if the weather is guaranteed to be terrible. But if it's just a chance of an extra afternoon of rain, I say go for it and dance in the rain.
Get off the beaten path -- leave time to wander unfamiliar streets -- With so many travel blogs and resources online, it's almost impossible not to chart your whole trip before you even get to where you're going. However, you should always leave a few days to just wander. Get a little lost. Wander into a busy cafe that you haven't read any reviews for. You just might find a hidden gem that no one else knows about. Serendipity at its finest.
Meet the locals! -- There are no strangers in life, just friends we haven't met yet. Don't shy away from chatting up the waiter at a local restaurant. Or striking up a conversation with your Uber driver. I can’t count how many great recommendations I’ve received from Uber drivers while traveling. From riding on the back of a motorbike in Bali to buzzing through the streets of Bangkok in an uberX - they have always gotten me where I need to go and offered a few places to visit off the beaten path.
Rent a house instead of staying in a hotel -- Airbnb and many other home sharing services are a great way to fully immerse yourself into a culture. I've stayed on an organic farm in Hawaii, a loft in Champagne country France, an apartment in Thailand, and each gives you a closer look at the place you are visiting. Don't get me wrong, I love staying in luxurious hotels as well, but I think it's best to split it up on your travels.
I have an exciting year of travel, love, and life planned for 2018. It's going to come fast, so my New Years resolution is to slow down. Take it all in. We are always working for a better tomorrow. But the secret sauce lies in cherishing today.
Thanks to Uber for getting me around in 2017. If you're looking for reliable transportation over the holidays or in the New Year, Uber has always been one of my go-tos. I'm also a big fan of their scheduled ride service - super convenient when you need to book transportation to and from the airport. And with drivers available in 80+ countries and 600 cities around the world, you're almost always guaranteed to find an Uber anywhere you're going!
This post was published in partnership with Uber.