Travel Insights – 7-10-14

Posted: July 9th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Dateline Brussels – Didn’t get to post an update from Amsterdam or Paris due to wi-fi issues, but it’s 1am and our flat is located just above a club that does all night on Wednesdays it seems.

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17.) Not having AC is totally manageable when the over-night temps drop into the 50s.

18.) …except when mosquito net curtains are not 100% effective. I’m looking at you, Amsterdam. Probably the last city where I wanted a blood-sucking parasite to make it’s way into my room.

19.) Having a list of “must-sees” is helpful when adventuring in a new city, but be sure to give yourself time to really explore a place and live in it. When I travel, I like to know one thing that I want to do in a given area, and then be open to whatever else I might find nearby. In Copenhagen, I had friends nearly paralyzed when trying to figure out which place on their lengthy lists we should go to for after-dinner drinks. Meanwhile, there were plenty of local bars nearby where we could have certainly had a memorable time. Moral of the story, pick fewer things you need to do, and allow more time for the universe to surprise you.

20.) In Paris, hit Rue Montorgueil; you’ll find anything you could want on that street. We went here because a friend recommended Stohrer, but I wish we’d gotten that recommendation 12 hours earlier. We could have picked up all the supplies for our picnic that day on one block. Instead, we ended up wandering around the blocks near the Champ du Mars and sorta made-do. 

21.) Speaking of wandering, sometimes you’ll go into a shop and the workers/owners will have no desire to help you, and the very next time you’ll find someone who not only helps you pick out a product, but gives you recommendations on picnic sites and places to avoid the rain/grifters.

22.) I’m pretty sure someone needs to redraw Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to include wifi now. I managed to not use my international data until we got to Brussels, but there was plenty of screen-shotting maps and missed messages/connections along the way. Plus how am I supposed to correctly tag my instagram shots if I don’t get wifi until I’m in the next city? Dang!

23.) World Cup in Europe – This is the way I imagine sports should be experienced.  In Holland for the Quarter-Finals, folks were decked out on the streets, party boats going all day, and the plaza outside the hotel was packed for the full duration of the match, and then the place went nuts! In Brussels just now, after Argentina won, a random group of Argentinians just passed by, parading through the streets with drums, two hours after the game was over.

24.) By the way, Copenhagen must be the easiest place to see celebrities.  Normally I don’t go in for “who was spotted where” sort of thing, but walking pass Andre 3000 and Julianne Moore within 12 hours was a pretty cool day.

25.) Sometimes you come this close to eating at the world’s best restaurant. But even though I didn’t get on the booking, my friends treated me to a once-in-a-lifetime tour of the kitchens and test areas. Amazing stuff, such great work ethic and so much commitment to serving the customer and the food, without any place for ego. When you’re in the kitchen of Noma and the first thing Rene does is recommend breakfast places to you, you know it’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced.

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I’ll wrap up this one on a high note.  I’m down to two more days on this trip, then I get to spend one day at home before I’m off to Seattle for Mozcon.

Ryan (1167 Posts)

Inbound marketer and SEO by day. Podcaster, blogger, & gamer by night.