After-office: Hit the Road or Love the Nightlife?
It's a common dilemma for many guys who want to unwind come payday: do you splurge or do you save it until you have enough to travel somewhere far away from the city?
We all look forward to getting away from our daily routine and just have fun by going out. For most guys, it's a night out filled with laughter, fun, and a few drinks. For others, it's going away to explore a new place, meet new faces, and experience a whole new environment or culture.
As with lots of other things, your choice of activity says a lot about you. There's nothing wrong if you prefer one over the other. What you choose is simply a matter of what makes you happy the most.
Here, we take a look at some of your options, whether you're the type of guy who frequents bars and clubs or one who prefers to wander about and try new things. More importantly, we let you in on a few secrets on how to make the most of these activities, so you can enjoy them to the fullest.
The Night Owl
For the social drinker in you, there are several choices for a midweek night out with friends.
- The Irish Pub
Fun fact: pub, in this case, is short for "public house". Just like in the old times, this is where the men sat around, shared stories, and drank lots of beer.
This place is great if you like to unwind without the need to dress to the nines. Even as the times change, this type of bar is still a great place to sit around and have a few drinks after a long day's work. You never feel under or overdressed, and you don't need to pay a cover to get into one.
- The College Bar
For a little more excitement and rowdiness, go to a college bar, which is essentially a bar that's not a night club or sports bar and one that's overcrowded with college kids desperate to have a good time or just be on the scene.
The beauty in these clubs, apart from the pretty 21-year-old girls, is that food and drinks are generally cheaper compared to night clubs and sports bars. You come here to drink, play, and party as if you were back in the good old days of college.
- The Night Club
For a classier night out, try a night club. Here, you can dance, drink, and have a good time-just don't expect to see or hear many people, though. Except for a few neon lights and the ones near the DJ, this place is usually about as loud as it is dark.
Be sure to dress up and load up your wallet or credit card. The drinks are a little on the steep side and you will likely have to pay some sort of cover fee at the entrance. More importantly, however, be sure to have fun. Get out there, dance, mingle, and have a good time.
Here are a few other tips for success:
- Planning is Everything
It's easy to just invite friends and go to wherever the road takes you. Bahala na, as we say. But not having a plan almost often leads to a flop. Chances are, the great big night you're imagining won't simply land on your lap.
Touch base with your bros and see what everybody is in the mood for. Then, pull deep from your network of contacts and see where the party is. Don't forget small but important details such as traffic situation in the area of the club you're going to, parking, and getting home (talk about designated drivers, who's planning to crash your couch or whose couch you are planning to camp on-the works). These and other details are things you want to iron out before the night starts.
- Mind Your Manners
While Hollywood movies might tempt you to just grind on or dance with a random girl who's caught your eye, know that it's rude to do so. Clubs might be your element, but don't forget to act like a gentleman.
If you want to get to know a stranger, strike up a conversation in a polite way. While waiting for a drink at the bar, ask the person what their name is and offer a hand. This simple gesture is always the better icebreaker than simply staring at them the whole night or moving in too close for their comfort.
Also, be open to conversation. Having a chat with a random stranger can be rather exciting and thrilling, or it can be a nightmare. The point is, you won't know until you try. The best way to succeed is to always be a gentleman.
The Wide-Eyed Wanderer
If you're the type who loves to grab your backpack, hit the road, and travel to new places, here are a few trips worth taking over and over.
- The Crazy Road Trip with Friends
Oh, to be young and crazy with friends. There's nothing quite like hitting the road and driving for kilometers with your wolf pack in tow.
It could be a trip to the neighboring province or to the other side of the archipelago-it really doesn't matter. The important thing here is you're out and about with friends, exploring an unfamiliar place, and enjoying each other's company and craziness.
- Overseas and Alone
Take that feeling of independence and adventure to the next level by taking an overseas trip without the help of friends and family. And it doesn't have to be halfway around the world.
There are a lot of airline promos that let you fly to nearby countries without breaking the bank. Setting foot on new land lets you enjoy a sensory overload-both good and not-so-good ones. All the crazy sights, sounds, smells, and people will make you realize that there's a whole world out there just waiting to be explored.
- A Date with Food
Being surrounded with the non-fat this and the no-carb that, we deserve a break from time to time. And the best way to deal with this is to go on a journey of great places and good food.
Our country, like our neighbors, is a melting pot of flavors just waiting to be savored. Here, you may want to travel light and pack your elastic waistband trousers. You may gain a few kilos after the trip, but you would have also gained memories and experience you can't put a weight or value on.
Here's how to get travel right:
- See the Light
That is, when it comes to luggage. The whole point of going out of town is to get away from as much stress as possible, and that includes baggage. Make sure you have interchangeable clothes-that is, items you can easily mix and match for a whole new look. Less clothing, less things to pack, more outfits.
- Go for Experience
There's no use going to new places if you're just going to stick with the familiar things. Skip the popular fast food chains and choose the local restaurants, the holes in the wall. Don't be afraid to try something new every time you travel.
Go and meet new people, challenge yourself, think on your feet, achieve a big goal, and see the world from a different point of view. These and more are what's in store in each journey.
Whatever floats your boat, the important thing is for you (and your friends) to do what you set out to do: have fun and enjoy.