the beaten track

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the beaten track

1. A course or route frequently or heavily traveled. I chose that island as a vacation spot because I knew it was off the beaten track and would give me some much-needed solitude. I know people say to be adventurous when traveling, but I like to stay along the beaten track in places I don't know very well.
2. A trend, development, method, etc., that is typical or unoriginal. I generally keep to the beaten track when it comes to books. I'm not fond of reading anything experimental or overly academic. None of us were surprised when James decided to study yoga in India instead of going to college. He has always gone off the beaten track in life.
See also: beaten, track
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

beaten track, (off) the

A well-worn path, (not) the usual route or method. The origin seems obvious, since a much-used route would indeed be flattened by the tramp of many feet. The phrase began to be used figuratively, in the sense of trite or unoriginal, in the seventeenth century or before, and off the beaten track, in the meaning of new or unusual, is just about as old. Samuel Johnson spelled it out in 1751 when he wrote, “The imitator treads a beaten walk.”
See also: beaten
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer