“I’m thinking of going to *insert-country-here* in September/Winter/next year. Any good advice?”
Here are some I received from well-meaning friends as I packed my bags for the trip in May:
“London?! Why? It’s so… dull! Skip London, go Paris instead”
“I didn’t like Paris. Highly overrated! Rude people. Go to Prague, you’ll enjoy it better!”
“No! Don’t. go. anywhere. There this Swine Flu thing going around!”
(Well, okay, the last advice was from my Ma)
London for me was vibrant and full of life; I encountered many helpful and friendly French people (et non, in my eyes, Paris is not overrated at all!) and although I find Prague a beautiful city, I can’t say if I enjoyed it “better” than Paris.
Travel is such a personal thing. Whether or not your experience is a good or not-so-good one depends on so many factors — the weather, the people you happen to meet (or who you’re travelling with), your interests, age and expectations. If I were to take any of the advice seriously, I would end up avoiding most of places I had planned to visit. So my advice is this: if you are keen on a place, do your own research and just go. Don’t let others dictate what your personal experience will be for you.