Places that were different than I expected

Netanya Trimboli

For better or worse, these destinations were totally different than what I was expecting.

Austin, Island of Hawai'i, Portland, Amsterdam, Washington D.C., Germany, Panama

  • Austin, United States

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    • netanyas

      I had heard so much hype about what a cool town Austin is, but I just didn't get it. It wasn't bad, but nothing really stood out as extra special or anything you couldn't find in any other city in America. There's a couple streets that are good for nightlife, but overall I found it underwhelming.

  • Island of Hawai'i, United States

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    • netanyas

      I had always heard how expensive Hawaii was, but after spending 3 months on the Big Island I discovered how cheap it could actually be. There so many free things to do, from natural hot springs to waterfall hikes to watching lava flow to enjoying black sand beaches. The most expensive part about Hawaii is the food (since everything is imported), but if you cook your own meals and are smart, you don't have to spend a fortune.

  • Portland, United States

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    • netanyas

      This is such an underrated city! Not only is it clean and beautiful, it is fun! There's so many great places to walk around, it has a deliciously healthy food scene, fun nightlife, and trendier shops than you might imagine. It has very chill vibe without pretense and is not just for hippies!

  • Amsterdam in Amsterdam, Netherlands

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    • netanyas

      I thought Amsterdam was just a party scene, and when I went there at 22 for the first time I was totally cool with that. But there is so much more than that, from the Van Gough museum to Anne Frank's house to so much other history and beauty. You definitely don't need to be a partier to put Amsterdam on your bucket list.

  • Washington D.C. in Washington, United States

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    • netanyas

      Growing up in California, I always expected DC to be stuffy and boring. Wow, was I wrong! It's a party town for 20-somethings, a foodie's paradise, and full of outdoor activities and natural beauty. I never guessed in a million years that someday I'd raise my family out here.

  • Germany

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    • netanyas

      I was convinced Germany would be unfriendly. But it was just a bad stereotype and I found most of the people to be exceptionally friendly with better English that I had expected.

  • Panama

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    • netanyas

      In 2013, Panama was *the* it destination of the year, having been written up in tons of magazines and guides, including Travel and Leisure. But that ranking was based off of all-inclusive resorts, not for people like me who like to walk around aimlessly and eat street food. If you're like me, you'll be just as disappointed. The streets weren't safe or pretty and you have to pay top dollar for a good meal. And if you don't have a paid activity planned, there's nowhere to just hang out.