So we’re now in 2015, another year has gone by and we’re looking for new ways to enrich our lives. The ability to travel more is certainly at the top of most people’s lists, but actually getting around to doing this is easier said than done.
For many of us, financial worries and responsibilities are all that stand in the way, or at least that’s what we think. But in reality there could be several things stopping us from travel.
A common misconception about travel is that it’s always expensive. Some countries and continents may be cheaper for travel than others, however, with a little careful planning and research you’ll soon find that it can be easy to travel the world on a relatively small budget. Putting aside a ‘holiday fund’ each week will help you to save and keep you focused on travel.
To help keep costs down when travelling abroad, you should use free services such as Couchsurf or house swaps. This will also allow you to experience new cultures on a deeper level (which can be more difficult when staying in a hotel).
If you really want to inspire yourself to travel more, use outlets such as travel blogs, TV shows, books etc. to help motivate your desire to travel. I recently found this post about travel heroes on the Emerald Waterways blog which is a great source of encouragement, listing famous explorers as inspiration to discover new cultures. Discover what they did that was special and what made them tick.
Learn a language
Sometimes learning a new language can be an excellent motivator when considering travel to another country. In addition to the many things you’ll most likely learn about a country’s culture, learning a language will make you want to travel abroad to use your new skill. Check out Livemocha’s free community based software to get started.
Long term travel
If you’re looking to travel longer than a regular holiday, you may need to subsidise your trip by taking another job. Whether it’s teaching English abroad or starting your own travel blog, there are many ways to earn money on the go.
This post for example has some great tips on setting up a successful blog to help fund your travels. If you’re thinking of teaching, check out this site for information on courses and TEFL qualifications (which are usually required for paid work abroad).
Regardless of whether you’ve be put off by horror stories of other people’s travel experiences or are worried about travelling alone, you need to remember that with a little common sense, you can stay safe no matter where you are in the world. This doesn’t necessarily mean booking a flight to a war-torn country in the Middle East, but rather, stepping outside of your own comfort zone to experience new cultures.
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Best Places to Travel in December
Travel in December is a good idea for you if you want a vacation that is during the slow season. Here are the best places to travel in December, when everyone else is home celebrating the holidays.
Here are more places to travel in December. Enjoy!
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The Ultimate American Road Trip: Route 66
If you’re looking for the omega American road trip then you’ve got to hit the Mother Road, otherwise known as Route 66. From Chicago to LA, it’s a journey that’ll provide the experience of a lifetime, showing you the heart of a great nation.
Start in Chicago & Chase the Sun
In reality, the best always head west. Would you rather end the trip in the Windy City, or just in time to catch a gorgeous L.A. sunset on the beach? There’s just something deeply spiritual for folks when we head west. It becomes an adventure. It becomes a vehicular voyage to the sea. Here are some of the highlights you can expect in order:
• Illinois: It’s a pretty straight shot through the state from Chicago through Springfield (which has some stretches of restored Route 66) and southwest to St. Louis. There’s a bit of the bright lights of big cities, but also a good calm stretch of rural to cruise through as well; vast fields of corn and farmland for close to 300 miles.
• Missouri: Once you hit East St. Louis you’ll again be greeted by sky scrapers, industrial areas and the mark of modernity but then it’s another SE straight shot through the entire belly of the state.
• Kansas: You’re only going to spend a little time in the good’ol Kansas heartland. And by little we mean a whopping 14 miles far down in the bottom south east corner. You’ll go through two towns: Galena and Baxter Springs but rest assured there’s great classic restaurants and places that’ve been open as long as Route 66 has been around. In fact, it’s because of road tripper like you just passin’on through that keep’em goin.
• Oklahoma: You’re going to go through two huge metropolises that have “country” written all over’em: Tulsa first and then into Oklahoma City before heading directly west towards the Pan Handle. Of all 8 states, it’s here that they take Route 66 the most seriously. It’s got the most preserved still-drivable miles and you’ll be able to see the remnants of Kiowa, Apache and Comanche Native American land. And, you’ll get to take the same route as families long ago in the Dust Bowl took to escape.
• Texas: You’re going to go through the upper tip of the Texas Pan Handle that takes you through Amarillo. It looks short on a map but the 200-mile stretch of plains is a sight to behold like none other. If you can time it so you cut through here in the afternoon on a sunny day your spirit will be recharged. Just try not to pay any attention to all the truckers!
• New Mexico: Welcome to the Land of Enchantment where you’ll pass through Sun Belt city and Albuquerque. These days, it can be a bit challenging to stay strictly on the old road but with all the sandstone mesas and pine forests it’s definitely worth it.
• Arizona: In Arizona you’ll stay in the northern plains rather than heading down into the really hot areas around Phoenix. Instead, you’ll pass directly through Flagstaff which is a mountain town and where Northern Arizona University is located. The sights here are like a completely different world from everything you’ve seen so far, especially once you begin to head south right before passing into California. Oh, and because of the high speeds on the I-40, this will feel like one of those awesome car track days.
• California: Once you reach this point get ready to cruise through rolling hills, vineyards, orchards, stunning landscapes and then at Barstow you should begin smelling the sea. From San Bernardino and Pasadena to Santa Monica it’s simply breathtaking.
This is only a taste of the experience really. You’ve just got to get out and do it. There’s plenty of great resources online to keep you on track and if you have the time you don’t have to miss a thing. Enjoy!