TRAVEL: What do you do when the sun goes down?
I realise that the title of this post may be a bit misleading. If you are reading this expecting tales of naked debauchery on some sun soaked island then you might be disappointed….sorry.
BUT! If you are reading this because, like me, you find the ‘Nightlife’ section of your favourite travel guidebooks baffling then grab a cup of Horlicks and come sit by me.
In my travels over the past couple of years I have had various guidebooks but I only ever relied on them for daytime activities. I know that they play a part in making sure that you don’t miss out on all the best tourist attractions that a city or country has to offer but the ‘Nightlife’ section always has me groaning in frustration.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy throwing some shapes as much as the next person (even if that person thinks that the phrase ‘throwing some shapes’ is something that their Dad might say). The problem I have is that I never have the time!
When in a new city I try to see as much of it as possible. Up first thing in the morning with my backpack slung over my shoulder, the best thing to do is find the place that the locals head to for brunch (if it’s not included in your hotel package). You know that it’s going to be cheaper than the usual tourist traps and usually the plate is full enough to keep you going until late afternoon.
After that, all bets are off. I’m going to try and cram in as much as possible. It might be just walking from one side of the city centre to the other to enjoy the buzz and get a feel for the place. Or it might be scoping out local bus routes or planning road trips to the places of interest I want to find. Either way, I want to be on my feet and exploring as much as possible.
When night time rolls around, the priority is finding somewhere that looks good enough to dawdle for a while. If we are with local friends then they usually know the best haunts. The places you can kick back, relax, enjoy the food and the company. It gives you time to look back over the day and plan for what tomorrow might bring.
After that, I’m done! Come 11pm all I want it my bed and laptop. An hour of writing, internet pottering or watching something on Netflix helps me decompress before it’s time for a sleep.
Where are the people writing these guidebooks getting the energy? After ten or twelve hours on my feet I just want to chill out and get some sleep so I can do it all over again tomorrow. My worst nightmare is having to get dressed up and head out to a club. Maybe this is a sign of getting old but I guess it’s also a fear of ending up in the wrong place.
My musical tastes run to some classic rock with a few heavier tunes thrown in for good measure. Back home in Glasgow I know which clubs to go to that will cater to my musical tastes and in which ones like-minded people will surround me. What if I take a wrong turn and end up in a rave club? Or a high-end club where the women totter around in high heels while I’m dressed in my jeans and an Iron Maiden t-shirt? I don’t know but when I’m travelling or on holiday I want to relax and not have to worry about getting dressed up to the nines.
So next time I am on holiday, I will take as much advice as the guidebooks can throw at me but will leave the night time escapades to the young whippersnappers.