I stumbled across a great photo essay today that that starts out with this poignant thought,

Finding out the Great Pyramids weren’t in the middle of the desert and that there is a KFC across the street was a huge disappointment.

THE TOURIST "BAIT AND SWITCH"? WE'VE ALL BEEN THERE.

Maybe not in Egypt, but if you've been to Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the Taj Mahal in India or anything by Gaudí in Spain, you know what I'm talking about. 

 On the left, what you  think  it'll be like to visit the Pyramids. On the right, the disappointment that sits in when you realize they aren't  quite  as remote as you thought they are. Photos Via  Elephant Journal .

On the left, what you think it'll be like to visit the Pyramids. On the right, the disappointment that sits in when you realize they aren't quite as remote as you thought they are. Photos Via Elephant Journal.

Whether it's that moment when you realize just how teeny the Mona Lisa really is or the shocker that there's an actual queue to take a selfie with the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, the photos highlight a huge truth of "bucket list" travel. 

The wonders of the world might be beautiful, but to travel deeper we can't ignore the context and the present history of a given destination -- even if it would be easier to just ignore it and share a creatively edited Instagram photo. 

 What you think you're going to see at the Louvre, Paris.

What you think you're going to see at the Louvre, Paris.

 The actual view in the Mona Lisa room.

The actual view in the Mona Lisa room.

I'm not advocating trucking all the way to India and then skipping your Taj Mahal moment, the shift in perspective highlighted by the article did give me pause. But don't let us burst your bubble just yet...

There is hope out there for the independent traveler.

When I'm exploring a new place I generally try to do, see, eat and experience just about everything -- packing as much as possible into even the tiniest of trips and only coming up for air when I'm back on American soil. 

  Me  and  Mcgee  on a cactus crawl in sunny Sayulita, Mexico.

Me and Mcgee on a cactus crawl in sunny Sayulita, Mexico.

My friend and fellow editor Laura McGeeQuite the opposite. She's taught me so much about the difference between seeing the sites in a given country... and looking beyond them to see that country for who and what it really is.

We're talking less landmarks and museums and more elbow rubbing with locals, spontaneous wonderings and cultural connections that change your perspective for the better. 

That's why Think Less. Travel More. encourages you to step off the tourist track in search of an experience that's more meaningful to you, rather than relying on your guidebook to tell you what you "should" see on your trip. 

Read the Full Article.

Ever dreamed of visiting a famous landmark and then be thrown off by what it's really like when you see it for yourself? Share your story in the comments below and don't forget to #ThinkLessTravelMore.


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