I’ve been travelling as much as humanly possible since I was a fresh high school grad at age 17. My first big exciting trip when I started my big bucket list of places to see was to Paris and Rome. Now, I’d done a few family vacays before this, but I feel that this trip kind of marked the start of it all (aka my insane desire to go anywhere and everywhere at the drop of a hat). But, when I went on this big exciting trip, I went to all of the usual places and neglected to look outside of the top five things on every girls Paris to do list. What I’ve released since is, that even just taking a small side-step away from the flashy Eiffel Tower or the Colosseum can be very, very cool.
One of my biggest realizations I’ve made since doing this is that sometimes unexpected places can end up being the highlight of your trip. Let me set the stage – it’s November in NYC and you’re wearing cloth shoes and your travel buddy left the umbrella at the hotel. Now, on sunny days this wouldn’t be an issue except today on a really, really rainy day the only activities on your itinerary are walking around central park, and other things that require you to be outside from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (yup, this actually happened). So, as you are soaking wet around 6 p.m. from being outside in the rain all day, you sit at the café near the Bryant Park ice rink shivering and contemplating whether or not you should call it a night and go to bed early or whether or not you should try and find more indoor activities so that you can continue enjoying this beautiful city.
Now, I’m well aware that everyone and their mother has heard of the New York Public Library, but it wasn’t on my list of things to see. New York has so many world-class attractions that you really have to pick and choose what you want to see (especially when you’re only there for five days). So, as we were sitting there in Bryant Park, determined to make the most of every magical moment in this city, we decided to see what free indoor places were close by. And so, we walked over to the New York Public Library and my eyes grew wide. Never have I ever seen such a beautiful mansion for books and learning.
After spending at least two hours warming up, walking around and soaking up the stunning architecture, I felt stupid that this wasn’t on my must-see list to begin with. And since then, whenever I’m researching for a new trip I always look up the local library and add it to my list. So, although the New York Library will probably always remain my resident favourite, here are a few other contenders that you should definitely check out if you’re in the area.
The Seattle Public Library is so cool, and intricate. I definitely got lost and ended up on a floor completely lit up in red.
Before heading to Prague, I knew it was a city I wanted to visit, but I had no idea what I really wanted to see or do while I was there.
During my research, I randomly saw a photo of this cool book sculpture at the Municipal Library of Prague on Instagram and I was sold. I remember sending photos of this to my best friend who was going on the trip with me and being really excited about going to see this when we finally made is to the Czech Republic.
So, I put this library on my trip itinerary and it was officially added to the queue of really cool
attractions that we saw it Prague. I will say, if you don’t speak Czech it was a little tricky to find but I would say it was worth the effort!
As a local Calgarian I really wanted to include this one on the list. This is the new Central Library here in Calgary, AB. This building is super cool, and I love being a tourist in my own city!