Escape the Ordinary: 5 Unique Ways to See the World

Traveling is always a good idea. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or just want to avoid visiting the same places everyone else is, here are five new ways to see the world.

1. Follow European Pilgrimage Routes

One traveler said that while the Camino trail in Spain is great, there are so many more routes and old Roman roads spread throughout Europe.

They recently used this method to travel through Italy. “Finding towns that were on the old paths,” they explained, “and towns that exist because of the old paths, lead me to some truly incredible experiences.”

The path they used, Via Francigena, connects northern Europe to Rome. Originally, the route was created in the 7th century and was part of a network of trading routes. Later, the road became a main artery that connected religious pilgrims with their final destinations.

While parts of the original route have been lost over the years, travelers have been able to follow along a close approximation since many of the original mansions along the route are still standing.

2. Ireland by Horseback

Riding a horse on the beach in Ireland is every horseback rider’s dream. But what about castle-hopping around the coast of Ireland by horseback?

That’s what one traveler did, taking two months to go over 1000 miles, stopping to see castles and towns along the way. If you’re looking for a shorter horseback vacation, places like Ireland Equestrian Tours have week-long excursions.

Another traveler had a similar traveling experience but saw Scotland on horseback. They recommended Equitours for horseback riding excursions in either country, adding that the tours they went on in Ireland and Scotland with the company were so great, it’s the only horseback riding vacation company they use.

Spain and Italy are other popular places people will explore via horseback.

3. Hike The Silk Road

Many travelers say they’d like to see the world by following the old Silk Road. If you’ll recall from history class, the Silk Road is an ancient trading route that spanned 1800 miles across Asia.

The route is a hard hike through deserts and mountains, however. Paul Salopek, a National Geographic reporter, had to “bury geotagged caches of water” as he walked.

One man traveled the Silk Road from China to Damascus, either hiking by foot or hitchhiking to follow the route.

Another picked up the Silk Road in Turkey and, as she traveled through Turkey, Iran, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan, she not only walked but also traveled by minibus, hot air balloon, motorbike, horseback, and boat.

4. Travel by Cargo Ship

If you’re looking for a lot of alone time, add traveling by cargo ship to your bucket list.

“Did France to Guatemala a few years ago,” said one traveler. For $1900, they spent 17 at sea and had three meals a day. Breakfast was okay, they said, but “lunch and dinner were tasty three-course meals, with wine (red and white) and the occasional cheese platter.”

They cautioned this mode of travel took a long time to set up and included at least two doctor’s appointments pre-COVID. “Started the process in January,” they explained, “and got on the boat in mid-September.”

According to Cargo Holidays, traveling to Europe from the US by cargo ship takes “10 to 22 days” and costs about $2000. The type of amenities varies between ships, the website cautions, and the journey can get very lonely and “deadly boring.”

A stack of good books to read should be on your packing list if you’re choosing this method of travel.

5. Try Pet Sitting

If you have the time to travel slowly, taking up part-time work as a pet sitter can help you couch-surf across different countries.

One traveler shared that she and her boyfriend used Nomador to dog-sit across Europe. She added that, for safety, the couple always has a Zoom meeting with potential clients before booking.

For pet-sitting opportunities in the United States, travelers should check Rover.

For someone who loves slow traveling, finding seasonal work somewhere new may be the best way to see the world.

According to one traveler, taking seasonal work and using other “Slow Travel” methods allowed them to get to know a place beyond the main tourist attractions. By spending weeks or months somewhere, you’re able to get to know a neighborhood and experience local culture.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Nicole Tommasulo is Boston-based and Buffalo-born writer and editor. Typically covering all things lifestyle, her beat spans from food, to breaking news, to travel, mental health, and everything in between. She has an MFA in Writing from Savannah College of Art and Design and has been previously published by The List, Heels Down Magazine, Hello Giggles, and several now-dead but not forgotten websites like xoJane and Femsplain. When she's not writing or editing, she's nerding out over books, prestige TV, plants, food, and frisbee golf.