When you are on holiday, the very last thing you want to do is wake early. Many times I have found myself underneath the covers shivering [Austria], waiting for the optimal moment to jump out of bed and run straight for my comfy jacket. I have also slept many times in my jacket [New Zealand] to fight that settling chill. This post is to encourage you on travels to rise with the morning sun. You might roll your eyes and sigh at this, but I assure you, just a few times will lead to a fantastic experience.5 REASONS TO WAKE UP EARLY ON TRAVELS
The most memorable time I woke early was in Rome. In the beginning of July, this historic city was already super busy and hot, hot, hot. I was looking for anyway to break the crowds and heat. We ventured out at 7:00am, when the sun was just breaking over the stone buildings. Rome is a large city, so we rode the metro in the morning with the job goers, then exited near the Vatican to walk the rest of the way. The small streets were silent, the air crisp and silence golden. Does this sound perfect to you? Here are 5 reasons you should do the same.
1 // CONQUER THE CROWDS
If you find yourself visiting Europe during the ON season, you will quickly seek the benefit of conquering the crowds. Chinese tours, American families and more, places like Rome are overloaded with tourists wanting to grab the picture of the famous Chapels and statues. You will want to do the same, except you will be twisting around people and jumping up and down to find the perfect picture. I’ve discovered, the crowds do not start emerging until about 9:00am. Venture out into the morning and enjoy the major sites before this time. [Read Tips For Visiting Italy During High Season.]
2 // BEST TIME FOR PHOTOGRAPHY
The morning and the late afternoon are the two best times for picture taking. Your sun is low, and your colors will appear rich. The afternoon most likely will yield large crowds, so I suggest to capture your best shots in the morning before you have crowds filling half your picture frame. We ventured out in Florence around 7:00am to photograph the cathedral, not a soul was in sight. [Looking for the best photography equipment? I have it right HERE.]
3 // COOLER TEMPERATURES
Depending where you are traveling, the temperature will obviously be cooler in the morning than the afternoon. In Italy, it is very hot in the summer. Crazy hot. It was a perfect experience walking the streets in the early morning, photographing and visiting the major spots without sweating. When early afternoon came about, we sat in a cafe for a few hours to sip on a spritz.
4 // EXPERIENCE THE LOCALS
During the season, the locals know where to hide from the crowds. Because of this, you rarely see them or have the opportunity to speak with them. This is one of my favorite experiences on my travels, so by venturing in the morning, you can find a coffee shop where the locals are, sit for an hour, people watch and converse.
5 // NO RUSH
When you wake early, you discover how much time is actually in a day. You’ll quickly find yourself through all the major attractions in the morning, and then sipping a coffee or eating gelato in the afternoon. This ‘no rush’ travel style is golden when hopping from city to city. It is the worst to come home after a wonderful holiday, and feel like you need a holiday just for relaxing. Waking up early will provide you with a bit more time not to rush.
During my travels, I have tried to wake up early to enjoy a city. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. The city is truly magical at this time of day and offers beautiful colors and optimal moments. Try this exercise on your next trip, and tell me how it goes for you. Have you ever woken up early when traveling? What is your experience?