Things To Do In Langkawi Malaysia On A Budget

Things To Do In Langkawi Malaysia On A Budget

Things To Do In Langkawi Malaysia On A Budget
September 29, 2018
Travel
When I decided to visit the island of Langkawi Malaysia, I started doing my research trying to figure out if there were actually things there that I wanted to do and see. I was surprised to find that most of the things listed to do on the island were extremely touristy, not to mention way out of my budget. The activities I found included jet skiing, parasailing the cable car and other obscenely overpriced activities that weren’t worth it to me since they weren’t much different than the activities offered in my home town.
If you have the money to splurge on things like this than by all means go for it, but these activities don’t work if your trying to experience Langkawi on a budget. Luckily when I arrived, I met a local that was staying in my hostel. He took to being our tour guide as he led some friends and I to some amazingly beautiful places that did not break the budget! In fact most of it was completely free!

Over the few days of my stay we went to 3 waterfalls and 3 beaches, all with unique characteristics and totally worth the trip. If your looking for fun and beautiful ways to spend your time while in Langkawi, be sure to check out these spots!

Waterfall Demurun

This was the biggest of the three waterfalls we visited and definitely one of the most spectacular. We rented scooters and drove ourselves to each location but you can also pay a taxi to take you. If you have a group of people the taxi would probably be more cost effective, but as a solo traveler, (if you’re able to drive a scooter) it’s the way to go! Once we arrived at the entrance, it was just a short hike up some makeshift stairs to get to the main pool.

The hike takes you along the river offering beautiful scenery with multiple layers of the waterfall, which makes for some really cool photo opportunities! Once you’re at the top you can swim in the pool, jump from the rocks and stick your head under the thundering pressure of the falls. It can be refreshing on a hot day but is also beautiful to look at.

Skull beach

After the waterfall we went to a beach with the sole purpose of swimming in some saltwater. The water was a beautiful Blue green and there were some cool rocks with some sea life lurking about off to the side. It was a quiet beach with just a few people scattered about which made it feel like our own private paradise.

Beringin Waterfall

 The second waterfall we visited was slightly less impressive as a major fall than the first one but it still had its qualities. This one involved another short hike up along the river that offered some great views, as well as some stopping off points that would be great for a picnic. Once at the top, we had to hike down the rocks to get to the actual pool, which was mostly a sandy bottom. The fall is a massive amount of water pouring over the rock, which made a fun challenge to swim up under it. My favorite part however, was the little side stream feeding into the main pool. It made for a great photo spot and was also very relaxing to just sit in and watch the others.

7 Wells Waterfall

 This was by far the most famous of the three falls we visited, apparent by the infrastructure around it, such as public restrooms and well built stairs. You do have to pay for parking, but it was only one or two MYR which is petty change and totally worth it. The hike up for this one is slightly more challenging, as it is a lot more stairs. To get to the very top it takes about 15 minutes to walk up all the steps, but you can also stop off to the other areas that are marked along the trail. I opted to go strait to the top in order to try and beat the rain, which, unfortunately I failed at and ended up having to wait it out anyway.

Once the rain stopped, I ventured out to the different pools. The top is just that, the very top of the waterfall where it pools up in different spots as it slides towards its inevitable fall from the cliff. There is also a part where you can slide down from one pool to another. However, use caution with this as it tosses you at the bottom from the pressure and could be easy to hit your head on the rocks. The best pool is the one overlooking the valley below as well as the rest of the falls. It truly is nature’s infinity pool. Be aware of the danger of this pool however, and do not go in when it is raining, because you never know when a wall of water could come from above and knock you from the cliff!

Tanjung rhu (Sunset Beach)

 After visiting one of the falls during the day, be sure to check out this beach for the best sunset. The cliffs on the horizon line make for a great addition to the colors and the sea. If your here during low tide, there is a sandbar that becomes exposed from the shore and seemingly runs all the way to the cliff. It gives the illusion of walking on water or a bridge from the shore to the cliff. I’ve never seen anything quite like it and I live by the sea, so it was quite a sight!

Kok Beach

If you want some picture perfect palm trees head over to this beach. It is also a pretty calm beach and if you cross a little sand river to the right you’ll come across a picturesque palm tree forest. We didn’t get to spend too much time at this beach, as it was more of just a stop off. I meant to come back, but unfortunately, I never got the chance.

 

Whether you prefer jet skiing and parasailing or exploring natural wonders, you should check out Langkawi, Malaysia. It is a little known treasure when it comes to the popular travel destinations in SE Asia, but is worth the visit!

When I decided to visit the island of Langkawi Malaysia, I started doing my research trying to figure out if there were actually things there that I wanted to do and see. I was surprised to find that most of the things listed to do on the island were extremely touristy, not to mention way out of my budget. The activities I found included jet skiing, parasailing the cable car and other obscenely overpriced activities that weren’t worth it.
Don’t get me wrong, if that’s your style then by all means, go for it. But since a lot of these activities are the things tourists do back in my hometown, I wasn’t interested. Luckily when I arrived, I met a local that was staying in my hostel. He took to being our tour guide as he led some friends and I to some amazingly beautiful places that did not break the budget! In fact most of it was completely free!

Over the few days of my stay we went to 3 waterfalls and 3 beaches, all with unique characteristics and totally worth the trip. If your looking for fun and beautiful ways to spend your time while in Langkawi, be sure to check out these spots!

Waterfall Demurun

This was the biggest of the three waterfalls we visited and definitely one of the most spectacular. We rented scooters and drove ourselves to each location but you can also pay a taxi to take you. If you have a group of people the taxi would probably be more cost effective, but as a solo traveler, (if you’re able to drive a scooter) it’s the way to go! Once we arrived at the entrance, it was just a short hike up some makeshift stairs to get to the main pool.

The hike takes you along the river offering beautiful scenery with multiple layers of the waterfall, which makes for some really cool photo opportunities! Once you’re at the top you can swim in the pool, jump from the rocks and stick your head under the thundering pressure of the falls. It can be refreshing on a hot day but is also beautiful to look at.

Skull beach

After the waterfall we went to a beach with the sole purpose of swimming in some saltwater. The water was a beautiful Blue green and there were some cool rocks with some sea life lurking about off to the side. It was a quiet beach with just a few people scattered about which made it feel like our own private paradise.

Beringin Waterfall

 The second waterfall we visited was slightly less impressive as a major fall than the first one but it still had its qualities. This one involved another short hike up along the river that offered some great views, as well as some stopping off points that would be great for a picnic. Once at the top, we had to hike down the rocks to get to the actual pool, which was mostly a sandy bottom. The fall is a massive amount of water pouring over the rock, which made a fun challenge to swim up under it. My favorite part however, was the little side stream feeding into the main pool. It made for a great photo spot and was also very relaxing to just sit in and watch the others.

7 Wells Waterfall

 This was by far the most famous of the three falls we visited, apparent by the infrastructure around it, such as public restrooms and well built stairs. You do have to pay for parking, but it was only one or two MYR which is petty change and totally worth it. The hike up for this one is slightly more challenging, as it is a lot more stairs. To get to the very top it takes about 15 minutes to walk up all the steps, but you can also stop off to the other areas that are marked along the trail. I opted to go strait to the top in order to try and beat the rain, which, unfortunately I failed at and ended up having to wait it out anyway.

Once the rain stopped, I ventured out to the different pools. The top is just that, the very top of the waterfall where it pools up in different spots as it slides towards its inevitable fall from the cliff. There is also a part where you can slide down from one pool to another. However, use caution with this as it tosses you at the bottom from the pressure and could be easy to hit your head on the rocks. The best pool is the one overlooking the valley below as well as the rest of the falls. It truly is nature’s infinity pool. Be aware of the danger of this pool however, and do not go in when it is raining, because you never know when a wall of water could come from above and knock you from the cliff!

Tanjung rhu (Sunset Beach)

 After visiting one of the falls during the day, be sure to check out this beach for the best sunset. The cliffs on the horizon line make for a great addition to the colors and the sea. If your here during low tide, there is a sandbar that becomes exposed from the shore and seemingly runs all the way to the cliff. It gives the illusion of walking on water or a bridge from the shore to the cliff. I’ve never seen anything quite like it and I live by the sea, so it was quite a sight!

Kok Beach

If you want some picture perfect palm trees head over to this beach. It is also a pretty calm beach and if you cross a little sand river to the right you’ll come across a picturesque palm tree forest. We didn’t get to spend too much time at this beach, as it was more of just a stop off. I meant to come back, but unfortunately, I never got the chance.

Whether you prefer jet skiing and parasailing or exploring natural wonders, you should check out Langkawi, Malaysia. It is a little known treasure when it comes to the popular travel destinations in SE Asia, but is worth the visit!

My First Workaway Experience in Kuala Lumpur

My First Workaway Experience in Kuala Lumpur

My First Workaway Experience in Kuala Lumpur
September 20, 2018
Lifestyle | Travel
As a budget traveler I am always looking for ways to save money. One of the ways I have decided to do so is by volunteering. Using platforms such as Workaway, Worldpackers and Helpx, I can work in exchange for a place to stay and sometimes some food. I am happy to say I have just completed my first Workaway experience in Kuala Lumpur, and it was definitely worth it.

Let me just say one thing first, I never planned on going to Malaysia, I am also not the biggest city girl. So the decision to spend 2 weeks in Kuala Lumpur made me a little apprehensive at first. However, I’m glad I did it. I searched for a while to find right place to volunteer using all three of the platforms above, finally settling on a guesthouse called “Birdnest Collective” in Kuala Lumpur. It wasn’t my first choice, but decided it was best in order to have a new debit card shipped to me, since my ditzy self left both of them in the ATMs in Bali… but that’s besides the point. Fate brought me to The Birdnest, but I quickly fell in love with the entire experience and was happy to stay.

When I first arrived I met Willie, the owner of the guesthouse. He is from Malaysia and was very welcoming, making me feel right at home. He explained the type of work I would be doing, and the ways the place was operated while giving me a tour. He showed me to my room, which was a shared dorm with 4 other girls who were also volunteering. The room was small with bunk beds crammed in but this didn’t bother me, as I was mostly working or on the beautiful rooftop. This is by far the best part about the place. It is a rooftop garden complete with iguanas named Bella and Silly. There are plenty of places to lounge and read a book, hang out with friends or get some work done.    
The next day was my first day working. We had a schedule that was broken into three shifts. We each worked one of the three shifts, 5 days a week with two days off to do whatever we pleased. During every shift I was responsible for check-ins and checkouts. The morning shift entailed making breakfast for the guests and afterwards cleaning the rooms of the people who had checked out. This was the busiest shift, as I would be working the entire time, but it went by fast.  
The mid shift was usually the slowest as I would do the laundry and sometimes be tasked with cleaning while I waited in between loads. My favorite and most worked shift however, was the night shift because I got to socialize. My main task was making sure I took care of the guests if they wanted a beer or a soft drink. While I was there, I picked up the skill of playing the ukulele, so most of my nights were spent playing for the guests and Willie, who loved to hear me play.

The shifts were 5 hours each, sometimes getting done a little early on the morning shift if all the work was done. In my free time I was allowed to do whatever I wanted. 

Some of the other volunteers would go out and explore, but I enjoyed working on my laptop in local coffee shops or on the rooftop. Sometimes I’d go to this fancy rooftop pool with other volunteers, once I even went to the lap pool to swim laps. However, being the only girl made me a subject of attention and in return made me feel slightly uncomfortable, so I didn’t end up going back. There were also HUGE malls in KL that we’re fun to go browse mainly just for books, which was something else I rediscovered. My love of books, I read about 5 in my short time there.  
Everything I did was more just for day-to-day pleasure and productivity. I acted more like someone that lived in KL than someone there to travel it, and this was exactly what I had wanted to experience. I came to travel to see places through the eyes of someone who lived there not those of someone passing through. Doing a work exchange definitely allowed me to do that, without me even realizing it.
 

As always, what made the experience the most worthwhile, were the people I met. Not just Willie and the guests but also the other volunteers. They became my day-to-day life. It was like having live in co-workers. They were my roommates and my colleagues and my friends, all in one! We’d go get cheese naan together, work and drink coffee at a local coffee shop, or peruse the isles of books. I also got slightly attached to Jack the fat cat, or Jackie for short. I don’t even like cats, but I was slightly sentimental when it came time to leave the little cropped tailed, fatty behind.  

Overall, my Workaway experience was an extremely positive one and I will definitely do it again. I also recommend it to anyone that is looking to experience a city or place in a slower more authentic way, while also saving some money! And if you ever find yourself in Kuala Lumpur, have yourself a good stay at Birdnest Collective and tell Willie I say hi!
As a budget traveler I am always looking for ways to save money. One of the ways I have decided to do so is by volunteering. Using platforms such as Workaway, Worldpackers and Helpx, I can work in exchange for a place to stay and sometimes some food. I am happy to say I have just completed my first Workaway experience in Kuala Lumpur, and it was definitely worth it.

Let me just say one thing first, I never planned on going to Malaysia, I am also not the biggest city girl. So the decision to spend 2 weeks in Kuala Lumpur made me a little apprehensive at first. However, I’m glad I did it. I searched for a while to find right place to volunteer using all three of the platforms above, finally settling on a guesthouse called “Birdnest Collective” in Kuala Lumpur. It wasn’t my first choice, but decided it was best in order to have a new debit card shipped to me, since my ditzy self left both of them in the ATMs in Bali… but that’s besides the point. Fate brought me to The Birdnest, but I quickly fell in love with the entire experience and was happy to stay.

When I first arrived I met Willie, the owner of the guesthouse. He is from Malaysia and was very welcoming, making me feel right at home. He explained the type of work I would be doing, and the ways the place was operated while giving me a tour. He showed me to my room, which was a shared dorm with 4 other girls who were also volunteering. The room was small with bunk beds crammed in but this didn’t bother me, as I was mostly working or on the beautiful rooftop. This is by far the best part about the place. It is a rooftop garden complete with iguanas named Bella and Silly. There are plenty of places to lounge and read a book, hang out with friends or get some work done.    
The next day was my first day working. We had a schedule that was broken into three shifts. We each worked one of the three shifts, 5 days a week with two days off to do whatever we pleased. During every shift I was responsible for check-ins and checkouts. The morning shift entailed making breakfast for the guests and afterwards cleaning the rooms of the people who had checked out. This was the busiest shift, as I would be working the entire time, but it went by fast.  
The mid shift was usually the slowest as I would do the laundry and sometimes be tasked with cleaning while I waited in between loads. My favorite and most worked shift however, was the night shift because I got to socialize. My main task was making sure I took care of the guests if they wanted a beer or a soft drink. While I was there, I picked up the skill of playing the ukulele, so most of my nights were spent playing for the guests and Willie, who loved to hear me play.
The shifts were 5 hours each, sometimes getting done a little early on the morning shift if all the work was done. In my free time I was allowed to do whatever I wanted. 
Some of the other volunteers would go out and explore, but I enjoyed working on my laptop in local coffee shops or on the rooftop. Sometimes I’d go to this fancy rooftop pool with other volunteers, once I even went to the lap pool to swim laps. However, being the only girl made me a subject of attention and in return made me feel slightly uncomfortable, so I didn’t end up going back. There were also HUGE malls in KL that we’re fun to go browse mainly just for books, which was something else I rediscovered. My love of books, I read about 5 in my short time there.  
Everything I did was more just for day-to-day pleasure and productivity. I acted more like someone that lived in KL than someone there to travel it, and this was exactly what I had wanted to experience. I came to travel to see places through the eyes of someone who lived there not those of someone passing through. Doing a work exchange definitely allowed me to do that, without me even realizing it.
 

As always, what made the experience the most worthwhile, were the people I met. Not just Willie and the guests but also the other volunteers. They became my day-to-day life. It was like having live in co-workers. They were my roommates and my colleagues and my friends, all in one! We’d go get cheese naan together, work and drink coffee at a local coffee shop, or peruse the isles of books. I also got slightly attached to Jack the fat cat, or Jackie for short. I don’t even like cats, but I was slightly sentimental when it came time to leave the little cropped tailed, fatty behind.  

Overall, my Workaway experience was an extremely positive one and I will definitely do it again. I also recommend it to anyone that is looking to experience a city or place in a slower more authentic way, while also saving some money! And if you ever find yourself in Kuala Lumpur, have yourself a good stay at Birdnest Collective and tell Willie I say hi!

5 Things That Surprised Me When I Visited Singapore

5 Things That Surprised Me When I Visited Singapore

5 Things That Surprised Me When I Visited Singapore
September 11, 2018
Travel
1) The Subway is super easy and takes you pretty much everywhere you need to go.

When I used to think of subways, my mind always went to NYC. I had never been, and had always dreamed of riding the subway in NYC. It’s funny then, how I ended up riding my first subway in Washington DC and then went on to ride many other subway systems before actually boarding an NYC subway. By then I had learned that NYC is actually one of the worst metro systems based on cleanliness and it’s actual facilities. Still, it takes you all over the city at an affordable rate.

I had just finally experienced my first time on an NYC subway before coming to Singapore. So it was quite a shock to see the difference. It was by far the cleanest subway I have ever been in. It felt like a shopping mall. There were glass doors that closed when the subway wasn’t there so you couldn’t fall or drop something onto the tracks below, and it was all air-conditioned. Not to mention it smelled clean, nothing like the grimy metro stations of NYC.

It was extremely easy to buy a pass to wherever you wanted in the city. You could do by a trip-by-trip basis just based on where you were going. They even provide a map if you’re unsure exactly the station. You just pic your end destination, and whether you want one way or round trip then insert your cash and you were good to go! 

If you already have a card you place your card on the little platform provided and it refills it with the amount needed for your trip. It was perfect for just traveling to a few destinations in one day instead of buying a big pass. It was pretty cheap as well, only costing S$1.50-S$3 per trip.

In contribution to the cleanliness to the subways, there is absolutely no food or drink aloud on the subway itself, and if you’re caught with anything you can be fined up to S$500! Along with this the trains are extremely quiet. No yelling or excessive conversation or even screaming kids, just commuters going from one place to the next quietly, cleanly and efficiently. Singapore by far has the best metro system I have experienced so far.

2) If you want to go up to the top of the Marina Sands Resort you can get a “Free Drink”

The only thing I really knew about Singapore before visiting was that it was the location of the Marina Bay Sands Resort and The Super Tree forest. A few years back, I had seen a video when the resort opened showing off its top floor that was shaped like a boat with its giant infinity pool overlooking the bay and the city. When I saw this video I didn’t even know where Singapore was located, nor did I ever imagine I’d visit. So when I realized I was going to be in the city I knew I had to take a trip up to the top of this building.

I had looked online at the prices to enter the top floor prior to my arrival, and found that I could go to the observation deck for S$23, about $16USD. I was disappointed to learn that the pool was for hotel guests only but I still decided it was worth it for some cool city shots. What surprised me when I got there was that I could pay the S$23 to go to the observation deck, or I could pay S$20 to go to the bars and get a S$20 voucher for a drink while I was there. I asked the lady if the views were different and she said they were pretty much the same, so I decided a drink was definitely the way to go.

Sure enough at the top if you go to the left side bar the view is exactly the same as the observation deck and you get to see the pool! The drinks averaged S$25 after tax. So over all you spend S$2 more than you would to go to the observation deck and you get a free drink! Definitely the way to go in my opinion! Enjoy the sunset while drinking a top-notch cocktail at a fancy resort in a fancy city; it really doesn’t get much better than that!

3) Everything is in English

Singapore is quite the melting pot, with people from all over the world coming to work and live there, so it makes sense that everything would be in English.  

 

Even still, it surprised me that even the streets were named as if they were streets in the states, with names such as Wild Oak St, etc. It makes it much easier to get around and almost feels like home. (If home is an English speaking country)
4) There is a lightshow by the Marina Sands Resort every night.

Once the sun had set, I headed downstairs to the bay to take pictures of the skyline on the water. I noticed all of the people sitting looking out towards the water and asked someone what was going on. They explained that they were waiting for the lightshow. This excited me, talk about the right place at the right time! It happens every night at 8pm, 9pm and I think 10pm and it is totally worth it, since it’s free!

5) Directly after the lightshow you can catch the Super tree light show across the street.

I had one last mission on my mind once the lightshow had concluded, and that was to photograph the super trees at night when they are all lit up. As I was heading over I noticed that apparently everyone had the same Idea as me, because the entire crowd from the light show wandered back across the street to the gardens. I found a perfect spot and set up my camera, right when I started shooting the lights changed and an announcement sounded, welcoming me to the super tree light show. I seriously couldn’t believe that I had just happened to walk into this twice in a row! The show was spectacular and made the pictures even more incredible than I could have imagined. I could not believe my luck. Sometimes it’s fun not doing your research when going to a new place because the exhilaration of simply stumbling upon amazing things is totally worth it!

1) The Subway is super easy and takes you pretty much everywhere you need to go.

When I used to think of subways, my mind always went to NYC. I had never been, and had always dreamed of riding the subway in NYC. It’s funny then, how I ended up riding my first subway in Washington DC and then went on to ride many other subway systems before actually boarding an NYC subway. By then I had learned that NYC is actually one of the worst metro systems based on cleanliness and it’s actual facilities. Still, it takes you all over the city at an affordable rate.

I had just finally experienced my first time on an NYC subway before coming to Singapore. So it was quite a shock to see the difference. It was by far the cleanest subway I have ever been in. It felt like a shopping mall. There were glass doors that closed when the subway wasn’t there so you couldn’t fall or drop something onto the tracks below, and it was all air-conditioned. Not to mention it smelled clean, nothing like the grimy metro stations of NYC.

It was extremely easy to buy a pass to wherever you wanted in the city. You could do by a trip-by-trip basis just based on where you were going. They even provide a map if you’re unsure exactly the station. You just pic your end destination, and whether you want one way or round trip then insert your cash and you were good to go! 

If you already have a card you place your card on the little platform provided and it refills it with the amount needed for your trip. It was perfect for just traveling to a few destinations in one day instead of buying a big pass. It was pretty cheap as well, only costing S$1.50-S$3 per trip.

In contribution to the cleanliness to the subways, there is absolutely no food or drink aloud on the subway itself, and if you’re caught with anything you can be fined up to S$500! Along with this the trains are extremely quiet. No yelling or excessive conversation or even screaming kids, just commuters going from one place to the next quietly, cleanly and efficiently. Singapore by far has the best metro system I have experienced so far.

2) If you want to go up to the top of the Marina Sands Resort you can get a “Free Drink”

The only thing I really knew about Singapore before visiting was that it was the location of the Marina Bay Sands Resort and The Super Tree forest. A few years back, I had seen a video when the resort opened showing off its top floor that was shaped like a boat with its giant infinity pool overlooking the bay and the city. When I saw this video I didn’t even know where Singapore was located, nor did I ever imagine I’d visit. So when I realized I was going to be in the city I knew I had to take a trip up to the top of this building.

I had looked online at the prices to enter the top floor prior to my arrival, and found that I could go to the observation deck for S$23, about $16USD. I was disappointed to learn that the pool was for hotel guests only but I still decided it was worth it for some cool city shots. What surprised me when I got there was that I could pay the S$23 to go to the observation deck, or I could pay S$20 to go to the bars and get a S$20 voucher for a drink while I was there. I asked the lady if the views were different and she said they were pretty much the same, so I decided a drink was definitely the way to go.

Sure enough at the top if you go to the left side bar the view is exactly the same as the observation deck and you get to see the pool! The drinks averaged S$25 after tax. So over all you spend S$2 more than you would to go to the observation deck and you get a free drink! Definitely the way to go in my opinion! Enjoy the sunset while drinking a top-notch cocktail at a fancy resort in a fancy city; it really doesn’t get much better than that!

3) Everything is in English

Singapore is quite the melting pot, with people from all over the world coming to work and live there, so it makes sense that everything would be in English.  Even still, it surprised me that even the streets were named as if they were streets in the states, with names such as Wild Oak St, etc. It makes it much easier to get around and almost feels like home. (If home is an English speaking country)

 

4) There is a lightshow by the Marina Sands Resort every night.

Once the sun had set, I headed downstairs to the bay to take pictures of the skyline on the water. I noticed all of the people sitting looking out towards the water and asked someone what was going on. They explained that they were waiting for the lightshow. This excited me, talk about the right place at the right time! It happens every night at 8pm, 9pm and I think 10pm and it is totally worth it, since it’s free!

5) Directly after the lightshow you can catch the Super tree light show across the street.

I had one last mission on my mind once the lightshow had concluded, and that was to photograph the super trees at night when they are all lit up. As I was heading over I noticed that apparently everyone had the same Idea as me, because the entire crowd from the light show wandered back across the street to the gardens. I found a perfect spot and set up my camera, right when I started shooting the lights changed and an announcement sounded, welcoming me to the super tree light show. I seriously couldn’t believe that I had just happened to walk into this twice in a row! The show was spectacular and made the pictures even more incredible than I could have imagined. I could not believe my luck. Sometimes it’s fun not doing your research when going to a new place because the exhilaration of simply stumbling upon amazing things is totally worth it!