Vacation days approved.
Excitement explosions fill the days leading up to a trip! My imagination runs wild with anticipation for the unknown that lies ahead, but I always get a little uneasy before I check the weather forecast. The ideal scenario? Torrential rain at home, while the sun shines upon my holiday destination. Unfortunately, temperatures are temperamental and most of us find ourselves travelling in the rain sooner or later. And when it happens? Don’t let the rain wash out your trip. Here are some tips on how to orchestrate a successful jaunt in the rain!
EAT LIGHT, DRINK OFTEN.
Rather than sitting down to a meal at a traditional restaurant, seek shelter from the rain in a selection of stylish cafes and funky coffee shops. Cafes and coffee shops are loaded with personality and their casual setting affords great opportunities to strike up conversations with locals, taste regional specialties and thumb through neighbourhood magazines (even if it’s just for the pictures!). And if it happens to start raining at 5 O’clock (and it’s always 5 O’clock somewhere), hightail it into a bar for a drink. There’s no better place to get restless with the natives than a bar. Ask the bartender if they have a signature drink or chat up the person next to you for that trip-altering, memory-making moment or restaurant recommendation that you never expected. Visiting multiple establishments simply gives you greater exposure to a community and a firsthand opportunity to partake in their culture.
I was once welcomed into New Orleans with alternating hits of humidity and some pretty forceful precipitation. Naturally, I posted up in a bar and asked the bartender for something bittersweet (to match the weather). That day, I drank my first Sazerac and learned all about the city’s trademark cocktail. My bartender was decent, but the dude sitting next to me was the real gem. A construction worker, he was one of the many continuing to rebuild the city 10 years after Hurricane Katrina. Is that coolness, or what?
Even in sunny places, people go inside sometimes. So let this rainy day be the push you need to discover a store dedicated to all things purple, an art gallery showcasing the work of prison inmates or perhaps a foreign film in a place where it isn’t even foreign. You never know, an ‘ordinary’ activity while you’re travelling can have extraordinary outcomes. I remember sulking into a cinema in Spain years ago, soaking wet from the rain. In no mood for translation, I bought a ticket to watch the only English film playing. At the time, I had never heard of director Atom Egoyan. Today, I almost always go to the cinema on opening weekend whenever he releases a new film. It’s a perfect example of how my travels have shaped who I am.
Don’t let a little rain derail your big beach day. Many of those tacky beach resorts clear out on dull days which gives you full ownership of the vast empty space. Brave the grey skies and take in the moody setting of a beach when it rains. It may not be the sunny scene you had in mind, but standing before unsettled water as it toils upon a gloomy shore is hauntingly beautiful. Don’t believe me? Just ask the chief Portjammer who discovered the photogenic side of rain on Playa Maderas in Nicaragua.