YouTube vloggers are on the rise, but this pair is bringing a unique edge to their channel (and travel blog) “Shut Up and Go” with candid personalities and adventurous attitudes towards being nomads.
Damon & Jo met at college and describe themselves as “two broke 20-somethings who are changing the face of the travel industry.” Here are eight tips from the duo on what to know while you travel, whether you’re globetrotting around the world or simply taking a road trip for the weekend.
1. Ditch the iPhone, bring a disposable camera
Okay, so don’t literally throw your phone away, but when it comes to capturing the moment, pull out the disposable instead of the digital. Since there will be a limited amount of pictures per camera, you’ll really think about the picture you’re about to take and learn to appreciate living in the moment.
2. Pick up a new language
There’s no better way to immerse yourself in a new culture than by picking up the native language. Damon & Jo came up with a stellar equation to get you started: grammar + slang + culture + films + helpful Websites/apps + their videos = success. Bonus: their videos are hilarious, relatable, and easy to follow along to.
3. Think outside the box
If you’re traveling on a tight budget, this tip is basically your new mantra. Instead of wasting money on a hostel for one night in Barcelona, the duo opted to sleep on a bench instead. In other words: be resourceful, and don’t throw your money away if you don’t have to. Maybe you won’t get the best night’s sleep of all time, but you’ll have a killer story to tell your grandkids.
4. Geocaching. Enough said.
Remember when you were a kid and went on scavenger hunts? Well there’s an adult version for that and it’s freaking awesome. Geocaching, AKA looking for treasures that someone else hid, has an app and a website that allows you to find hidden objects wherever you are.
Take out the GPS and get caching. People may be like, “Why the heck is that person digging in the dirt in this random parking lot?” but again, it makes for a cool story and you’ll meet new people while exploring random places along the way.
5. Collect experiences, not things
When you’re on the go, especially with a tight budget, the last thing you want to be spending money on are pointless souvenirs that will just collect dust on a bookshelf. Invest in experiences: a gondola ride through Venice, the best macarons in Paris, and a concert in London.
As Damon & Jo put it, “What will matter most is the not the latest iPhone you bought, rather it will be the $100 you spent on a trip to Montréal as a youngin’ and became best friends with the twerking hobo on the train.” Need I say more?
6. Eat like a local
If you’re one of those people that goes to McDonald’s in foreign countries, know there’s still time to change your ways. Same goes for tourist traps in the main square. A lot of times, the best food is off the beaten path. It may take some time, but when you bite into that authentic dish, the search will have been so worth it.
7. Do your own thing
It can be daunting to do things on your own when you’re in a new place where you don’t know what’s around the corner. But you’ll thank yourself later. Exploring on your own can spark a certain kind of independence you didn’t know you had.
If none of your friends feel like doing what you want to do, then do it by yourself. The best kind of dates are “me dates,” where you have the freedom to do whatever the heck you want.
8. Go with the flow
It goes without saying that the best part of traveling is being spontaneous. If you miss a train, turn down the wrong street, or hike the wrong trail, take it as a sign. Take advantage of the road bumps along the way and you may find out they weren’t road bumps at all. Some of the best memories are the ones you didn’t plan out.
Whether you need a push to go, or are already going but need the initiative to do something different, take a page out of Damon and Jo’s book. These eight tips are from the dynamic duo that is putting the authenticity back into travel documenting.
After all, when you’re a millennial with big dreams, sometimes all you need is someone telling you what you need to hear: shut up and go.