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Can The Modern World Limit Our Sense Of Adventure?

Can the modern world limit your sense of adventure? Sure, you might not join an expedition finding new lands with a pioneering crew, or you might not have been born late enough to explore space, but that certainly doesn’t mean adventure has been lost from us. Despite our technological awareness and the fact that the internet seems to make the world smaller and come right to us, there are still plenty of places to visit and much history to learn. Technological evolution doesn’t wipe away the thousands of years of history, culture, and wonder to experience on this planet after all. You just need to start looking in the right places.

We’d suggest those places are as follows:

Ancient Civilizations

You might have seen the Indiana Jones movies. You might have played the Tomb Raider games or those of the Uncharted variety. This might seem like a form of adventure that you will never be able to take advantage of, but don’t be too certain. While you might not experience the extreme supernatural silliness that those tales provide, you can still learn deeply of those cultures and why they are so valued today.

You might visit the Taj Mahal, and experience from there some of the most incredible history from one of the oldest civilizations on Earth. You might decide to visit a place with deep European histories such as Norway or the historical archives of Germany. You might head to the cradle of civilization in Africa, finding out about our long lost anthropological cousins. With this effort, you will often find yourself experiencing something worthwhile and tremendous in its scope, and that can humble you. It certainly makes for a sense of adventure and makes you richer as a result.

Cruise

If you’re not sure where to travel (adventures are usually spontaneous and not completely pre-arranged,) you might consider travelling on the great luxury cruise ships near you. These vacations often offer you some absolutely wonderful experiences, as they begin a highlight tour of the best countries along a certain stretch of Ocean. You might visit eight countries in the span of two weeks with these travels, and that sounds like an adventure all by itself. Not only that, but the ability to sail yourself on international waters is pretty much impossible in the modern day. Not only will you either come across those with bad intentions, but navigating the seven seas on an old pirate galleon is likely not either in your pay grade or desires. A cruise can bring you that nautical sense of adventure in its own comfortable manner, and for a vacation that also doubles up as a luxurious adventure, this is absolutely the most superior option!

With these tips, you are sure to experience a wonderful adventure. Remember that an adventure is always what you make of it. Consider your highest priorities and push forward with those, be they eating food, finding out about history, or finding out the origins of your family tree and trying to explore those destinations. You will come out of the effort with some beautiful memories to share.

Taking A Gap Year? 3 Essential Tasks Before You Travel

Taking a gap year or going on an extended holiday in order to travel the world is exciting! Your trip will be full of adventure and you will experience different cultures, foods, activities and meet lots of new people – in fact the list of benefits is endless. It’s important to take time to prepare your trip before you go, so as to avoid any potential disasters.

Gap years are no longer just for young adults who are taking a break from education, it’s open to and popular with all age groups. Of course as you get older more responsibilities require more preparation before you embark on your travels. You may have your own property with a mortgage, work commitments or people depending on you. A little preparation will still allow you to follow your dreams, even though you may need to be a little more creative.

Funds

Travelling costs money and although you can travel cheaply by staying in budget accomodation, the costs of flights and food will still mount up. It’s essential to save up before you go, even if you’re considering working whilst travelling. You should always keep a certain amount of money in reserve so you can get home in an emergency.

You could fund part of your travels by working on a temporary basis in bars or fruit picking. If you have skills that lend themselves to working remotely you could earn money from anywhere in the world, as long as it has an internet connection. Jobs that are possible to work remotely include freelance writing, blogging, web design, tuition and photography to name a few.

If you own your own home you could consider renting out your property to the holiday or rental market. You will need to put your furniture and personal possessions into storage. mybekins.com  offers storage options for long and short term durations. Renting out your property will mean your mortgage is paid for and any money left over will help fund your trip.

Shop around to find the best flight deals available and consider flying during the night, avoiding weekends as these flights tend to be cheaper.

Documents

Before you travel anywhere you will need to ensure that you have all essential documents in your possession. These include your passport – which needs a long expiry date, travel insurance, policies, health cards and your driving license.

When booking holiday insurance, ensure that you stipulate exactly where you’re travelling as some countries may incur higher premiums. If anything happens, you need to be safe in the knowledge that you’re covered for any medical expenses, theft and personal damage.  

Innoculations

Many countries in the world have diseases which we are not normally exposed to. Such diseases include cholera, typhoid. Malaria and yellow fever. Different countries require different innoculations, it is therefore essential to speak to your medical practitioner to find out what is currently recommended.

It is also important to make sure your are up to date with your routine vaccinations. Check that you have had a Tetanus injection recently.

Now that you have the essential things in place for your gap year you can begin the enjoyable part – planning where you will visit. Enjoy your trip!

Everyone Should Visit The USA At Least Once – Here’s Why

Even though the United States is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the world, there are still a lot of people out there who have never stepped foot in the country. Are you one of them?

Sure, there are lots of more exotic places to travel to, such as Thailand and Mexico, but not going to the USA means you will really be missing out. It may not be an exotic island paradise, but there sure are some thrilling cultures and exciting landscapes to check out.

Still not really convinced by a trip to the US of A? Here are some compelling reasons that will definitely persuade you to book your next vacation!

The National Parks

When it comes to natural beauty, the United States certainly has a lot going for it. The country is so vast that it covers a lot of different and very varied terrains, which means that each of its national parks stand out from all the rest. There are the ones out in the desert, such as the Grand Canyon National Park and the Acadia National Park, as well as many coastal ones, like Olympic Park. So, whether you’d prefer to hike across sandy dunes or over coastal cliff edges, I’m sure you’ll find your perfect park somewhere!

The Food

You won’t find a cuisine that is more diverse anywhere else! America’s people have emigrated from all over the world so, as a result, the country’s cuisine has been inspired by food and ingredients that come from the four corners of the world. Not only is the food on offer so good, though, but there are also a range of venues to get it from. If you travel to Portland, OR, you will find that street-food trucks are a big deal, while large cities like NYC are big into their diners

The Theme Parks

The United States is a great destination for families, and one of the main reasons for that is all because of the country’s many theme parks. In Florida alone, you will find the likes of Universal Studios, Walt Disney World, and Adventure Island. And Florida isn’t the only state that has built up an incredible reputation for its theme parks – there are also many others in California, Texas, and Colorado also have their own internationally renowned parks.

The Museums And Art Galleries

As well as great food and theme parks, the United States has a fantastic culture, and this is very much evident in its museums and art galleries. Cities like NYC and Boston have some fantastic museums and galleries that the whole family will enjoy, including the Boston Museum of Science and New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. If you don’t have enough in your vacation budget to pay for the entrance fees, there are also lots of free museums, such as the American Folk Art Museum.

Hopefully, you are now starting to think about planning your big trip to the United States. I can guarantee that you won’t be disappointed!

The Worst Bits About Visiting New York

Of all the cities we have been lucky enough to explore, there is absolutely no denying that New York City is up there with the best of them. Wait. that doesn’t quite do it justice, so let me rephrase it: there’s no denying New York City is the greatest city in the universe. There. That’s more like it.

But that doesn’t mean it’s flawless.

A visit to the Big Apple – whether for a summer, winter, a couple of weeks or just a weekend – means packing a whole bunch of survival skills into your hold-all or else this concrete jungle with chew you up, spit you out and then decide it wants seconds.

So, without further ado, here are some of the not-so-great things about stopping by NYC; the kind everyone needs to be aware before being taken by surprise in the same way attending a zoo with no safety glass would.

  1. Food costs about four times as much here as it does in the next most expensive city on earth and about a ten-times more than it does in Europe. That means even the most delicious hot dog can be hard to stomach.
  2. Taking a train of any kind means you have to become a method actor and play the role of tinned sardine. It doesn’t matter whether you are taking a mainline train or leaping onto the subway; every carriage is overcrowded.
  3. Walking isn’t much better, and not just because the streets are overrun with a) New Yorkers in a hurry or b) tourists look up at the skyscrapers. The other issue is the number of cars speeding about and tooting their horns, so much so you might want to open www.GetLegal.nyc/new-york-city-car-accident-lawyers/ on your phone before you leave your hotel. The other thing is: in the summer is super-hot and in the winter is freeeeezing.
  4. Central Park is not the relaxing place you would hope to go for a stroll and that’s because the cyclists here look like they are practicing for the next Tour De France the way they speed around the paths, some of them even getting angry at the ambling walkers trying to escape the fast-paced nature of NYC.
  5. Cabs are a pretty safe bet when it comes to traveling the city. But it’s by no means perfect. In fact, there is about a 50% chance you’ll land yourself with a careless driver, a rude driver or a driver that refuses to go to certain neighborhoods because it doesn’t suit them. That can get tedious.
  6. Pigeons. Now we like pigeons simply because they have managed to adapt to rise of humans and make our habitats their habitats too. But the pigeons in New York are crazy. They dive-bomb. That’s crazy.
  7. Phone calls are pointless unless you have sound-cancelling headphones. There is just too much noise.
  8. There is all this not-so-great-stuff to concern yourself with and yet – somehow – this city is a million times greater than the one you grew up in. That’s annoying.

Visit Chicago (and All That Jazz)

Chicago has long been a bucket list favorite with stories of jazz, booze and gossip to go around. The Windy City, as it is fondly known, remains a top destination for everyone on the music scene with jazz bars and blue melodies pouring into the night air. This is a city that thrives on entertainment and opens its door to anyone with soul.

So, if you are planning a summer vacation, Chicago should be added to the list! Here are a few things you should add to your holiday bucket list.

Following the Blues Brothers

The Blues Brothers of Chicago, Illinois might have started as a band performing on Saturday Night Live, but they are best remembered for the chaos they caused on the big screen. Ploughing their way around Chicago in a knock-off police car, the brothers did their best to show off some of Chicago’s main attractions including Wrigley Field and The Daley Centre.

To follow in their footsteps, you can easily hire a car or a motorbike and drive around the city yourself. However, do be careful as Illinois and Chicago in particular have a high rate of motoring accidents, often made much worse by motorcyclists not wearing a helmet (learn about it here). So no drawbridge jumps for you!

Finding the Music Scene

Chicago is all about the music and there are plenty of summer festivals as well as restaurants and bars with live music to keep you going throughout the rest of the year. Lollapalooza is held in Grant Park every year, celebrating all kinds of rock music as well as comedy. There are also lots of street festivals that take over throughout the summer. In fact, throughout the summer months, all you need to do is pack your bag and head towards a park or beach and you are guaranteed to find something going on!

If you are looking for Blues, Buddy Guy’s Legends plays host to local talent as well as well-known names and has hosted David Bowie, Eric Clapton and everyone in between in the past. But it’s not just jazz and blues here, there is also a big hip hop scene and the Beauty Bar is the place to be for Timbuck2uesdays when artists from around the world are celebrated with local talent.

What Else is There?

There is so much to do in Chicago that you will most likely have to make multiple trips to pack everything in. However, it is possible to do a whistle-stop tour that takes in a fair bit. Try the Chicago Riverwalk to take in as much of the fabulous architecture here as possible from the water’s edge. Here, you can enjoy lazing around in restaurants before ambling along again or hit the water via a water taxi or boat cruise to take you to the next stop.

But of course, this is not the end you could also visit any of the museums in town like the Field Museum or Museum of Contemporary Art or pop into the Lincoln Park Zoo to say hi to the polar bears (for free!).

Packing Tips For The Solo Traveler

Whether you’re traveling abroad to a tropical locale or hiking up mountains in some forgotten wilderness, it is always advisable to pack wisely. You don’t want to lug heavy amounts of luggage around with you – it’s bad for your back, and it raises the airport fees – so it’s necessary to have a few tips and tricks to help you on your travels. Have a look at the following, and consider them when you’re packing your bags for your summer holidays.

Don’t overpack your clothes. Your wardrobe may be fabulous, but you won’t need to take everything. Focus on the essentials, and store them in a rolling suitcase, especially one with plenty of compartments. The same applies for your shoes. They take up a lot of space, so only pack those that are going to complement your holiday, such as a pair of flip-flops for the beach, and a pair of sneakers if you’re hiking.

Carry a spare set of clothes with you. Airports have a habit of losing luggage – why, we don’t know – so always carry something with you in your hand luggage for you to change into later. You don’t need to overpack as we said, so focus on the necessities, such as a spare pair of underwear and an outfit suitable for your destination.

Don’t pack your hairdryer. Yes, you want to care for your hair when traveling, but a hairdryer (and straightener, curling iron, etc.) will take up too much room in your luggage. Focus on smaller, lighter items, such as a brush or a comb, and don’t put anything into your bags that are easily obtainable while you’re away. The hotel is probably going to have a hairdryer you can use, for example.

Bring something for the journey. Again, focussing on traveling light, don’t pack too many things to entertain you on your journey. You can download books through a Kindle app on your smartphone, and if there is no chance of wifi, you can watch or listen to your favourite YouTube videos with a youtube to mp3 converter.

Wear a money belt. Not only will you be able to carry your cash around with you safely (away from pickpockets), but some money belts have enough space for your other travel essentials, such as your passport and credit cards. They aren’t all bulky either (a giveaway for pesky thieves), as Amazon sells a range of money belts that are lightweight and comfortable.

Don’t forget a first-aid kit. An absolute essential, you need a first-aid kit stocked with something for every foreseeable circumstance. Use this handy checklist as a guide, or buy a pre-packaged first-aid kit which should normally contain everything you are likely to need. Unlike that extra pair of shoes, this is one item of luggage that is a guaranteed life-saver while you’re away.

Remember a USB charger. There is an app for everything these days, especially useful when you’re travelling. From navigation apps to downloadable info on what to see and do, your smartphone will be your dedicated traveling companion. Well, it will be provided it is charged up, so don’t forget to pack a portable USB charger that can be used anywhere on your travels.

Finally

We hope these packing tips have been useful, but let us know if you have any further advice for our readers. Thanks for reading, and happy traveling!