What I didn’t realize about #vanlife – is that so much of my time is spent googling things: the best coffee shops, good hikes in the area, where to get ice cream, if I can rent a paddle board on Lake Winnipesaukee & if so – where?
Because of that, I do very much appreciate getting recommendations from others on both where to go & what to do once I’m “there”! However, I’ll have to asterisk that, because after getting a ton of recommendations – I’ve confirmed that not all recommendations are created equal…
How to give me recommendations: a guide:
And actually, basically everything I had to say boils down to being specific, but I’ll try to stretch this into a few more examples/points.
I’ve had a lot of people tell me that I should “check out” XYZ city, or that ABC city seems fun. But – I’m going to need you to clarify. What’s so fun about the city? What exactly should I “check out” …??
Before this trip I absolutely loved the research aspect of traveling – it’s so fun to read local blogs or search reviews to try to find the best coffee shop, or a really fun & rewarding trail. Researching is almost like a challenge in that regard. And I’ve also heard that truly half the fun of a trip comes from the planning & anticipation part – which I totally feel! These days though, when planning seems to be all I do – I would like a little more info, please!
^This is especially frustrating if such vague recommendations are given by a stranger. It’s one thing to have a good friend say that Santa Fe is cool – I know that our definitions of “cool” align & that I will most likely, in fact, enjoy Santa Fe. But if I don’t know you & you tell me that Charleston, WV is “cool” – I don’t know what that means to you! You’re a stranger – what if our definitions of cool are completely different…?
Ideally – give me a few specific spots to check out. The best brewery in town, a good coffee shop, a fun hike, the name of a street downtown to amble through. (Note: this is great because it also doubles as a checklist for me to check off (big lover of lists over here!)).
Additionally, if you’re recommending a hike to me – I’d love even more specific details: the difficulty, if crowds should be expected, the parking situation, etc. A screenshot of google maps with drawings overlaid would be received very well. And if you’ve ever asked me where to hike or run in SLC, I can just about guarantee that I’ve sent you some drawings… (see: picture above/the little icon to this blog post).
In summary – recommendations of any kind are MUCH APPRECIATED and at this point I’m probably just nitpicking…
All that being said – if YOU are looking for recommendations either in SLC or anywhere I’ve traveled – know that I’ve been keeping a spreadsheet of all the cool spots I’ve encountered (with links, if applicable) and am absolutely happy to pass those along 🙂