13 Signs That You Were Born To Travel

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Originally published on TraveltheWholeWorld.org
Most of us love to visit new places and try new things from time to time, but some of us were born to travel. Are you one of them? Here, thirteen signs you were born a traveler!
1. You can make friends anywhere, but are just as happy to sit in silence by yourself.

2. You like planning as much as going. Traveling to a new destination isn’t enough; you take planning to a whole new level. You search for the best deals on flights, read hotel reviews, and rearrange your itinerary. And, when you get back from one trip, you delve immediately into the planning stages of the next one.

3. Your dream job has always been a position that allows you to explore the world. Being a writer for a travel magazine, going on treks with National Geographic, or working as an anthropologist are all things you would seriously LOVE to do.

4. You’ve always been good at Tetris, and understand how to translate those skills into a real life packing scenario.

5. You know the word for “Cheers” in seventeen languages.

6. There isn’t a country that isn’t on your bucket list. Who doesn’t want to go to Italy, France, and Ireland? As a born traveler, you dream bigger. Places like Tetepare, the largest uninhabited island in the South Pacific, and croc-infested Cape York Peninsula in Australia make your list.

7. You’ve always loved studying other cultures and landscapes greatly different than your own. Social studies and/or Geography was your favorite subject in school and you can still get totally lost reading travel blogs or in travel memoirs.

8. You would rather spend money on experiences. You drive a 2002 gold Ford Taurus and got your couch from your mother-in-law. So what? That means you’ve got a budget to make the trek to Machu Picchu, learn to tango in Buenos Aires, and participate in a paleontological excavation in Wyoming. Experiences are always better than material things, in your opinion.

9. You consider your medical history full of exotic diseases to be more like a trophy case.

10. While other people seem to hate airports you actually love the experience of flying. You seriously love just sitting in an airport and people watching. Everything from observing the different types of people flying to thinking about why they’re traveling and where they’re going – it’s one of your favorite parts of traveling.

11. You’ve never actually finished a checklist because you can’t stop adding things to it.

12. You’re pretty easy going and don’t let negative experiences get you down. When something bad or weird happens to you on a trip you’re able to shrug it off relatively quickly because you know it will make for a great story to tell your friends and family later on.

13. There’s always another trip. You don’t have a dream trip, you dream of a lifetime of trips. For you, coming back home is just a detour on the way to your next adventure.

6 Valuable Life Lessons You’ll Learn From Traveling

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They say life is like a book and those who don’t travel read only one page. It’s true, there’s much we can learn through traveling around our chaotic world.

 

1. You learn to enjoy different people.

Nothing gets rid of prejudice quite as quickly as travel. It’s actually amazing to travel to different places and see just how much our culture misinforms us about other people.

2. You learn to go with the flow.

In our day to day lives, we can be total control freaks. But when you travel, you’re at the mercy of pretty much everyone else. It really teaches you to let go and go with the flow.

3. You learn to relax.

In the same way that you learn to go with the flow, you also learn to relax. Without feeling like you have to control everything, you go immediately into relaxation mode, which is exactly where you should be when traveling

 

4. You learn respect.

It’s hard to be a jerk to other cultures when you’re hanging out in theirs. People look different, speak different languages, and seem really unfamiliar. It makes you realize how scary it can be to be around radically different people. Gives you a new appreciation for immigrants.

5. You learn to find beauty everywhere.

Day to day life gets dull. You see the same shit everywhere. When you travel, there are so many new things to take in and enjoy. Once you’ve returned home, it’s hard not to see the beauty in so many little things.

6. You learn to love your life.

Because there’s nothing quite better than getting back home to your comfy bed at the end of a long trip.

9 Reasons Why You Should Travel Alone At Least Once in Your Life

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Traveling alone may be the single best catalyst for personal growth.

My solo traveling experiences have created quantum leaps in various areas of my life. And every person I’ve met who has traveled alone has been among the most interesting and awesome people I’ve encountered.

It may sound paradoxical, but the more you explore the world outside, the more you explore the world within. Solo travel gives you free rein for the exploration of both the external and internal world.

Sure, it can be lonely at times, but you meet a lot of people and get to know yourself when there aren’t familiar faces always around. And yes, it’s hard leaving your friends and family behind for any period of time. But it’s completely worth it and you will come back a better person.

9 Reasons Why You Should Travel Alone At Least Once in Your Life

1. Self-sufficiency – You learn to be independent, do things on your own, problem solve for yourself, navigate on your own and become your own best friend. Self-sufficiency is an invaluable byproduct of solo travel.

2. You meet more people – When traveling alone, you’re forced to talk to more people (unless you just want to be by yourself 24/7, which would drive anyone insane). I’ve gone out alone plenty of times and I always end up meeting more people than if I went out with a group of friends. Why? If you go to a bar alone, for example, you’re not just going to stand in the corner by yourself. It forces you to leave your comfort zone and talk to anyone near you (which leads to the next reason).

3. You become a better conversationalist
– Because you meet so many people when traveling alone, you naturally enhance your conversation skills. There is no one else who you can depend on to carry a conversation; it’s all on you. So naturally, you get better at starting conversations and less hesitant about approaching people.

4. You get comfortable being uncomfortable – During solo travel, you’re almost never in your comfort zone. You get used to the excitement, the adventure and the bold decisions. Though you’ll undoubtedly face inner resistance, push through it. This is where the magic happens. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Growth only happens when you push your boundaries. This is a big reason why traveling alone spurs so much personal growth.

5. Flexibility, freedom and spontaneity – You are in complete control of everything you do during solo travel. If you want to do something, there’s no one else to consult with and no consensus to be made. You just do it. Traveling alone gives you ultimate flexibility, a high degree of freedom and the opportunity to be as spontaneous as you wish.

6. You’re able to put yourself first – This is most applicable to highly empathetic individuals, but still applies to everyone. When you travel alone, you have the rare opportunity to do whatever you want, whenever you want and spontaneously follow your own intuitive desires on a whim. It also allows you to work on any personal projects or develop specific skills you desire while traveling. To use myself as an example, I get much more writing and blog work done when traveling alone compared to when I’m with other people.

Traveling solo creates a situation in which you can put yourself first, without worrying about hurting other people’s feelings and having to come to a mutually beneficial consensus about everything. If you’re at all empathetic, you always make sure that people around you are happy. This is good of course, but sometimes you have to put yourself first in order to really know yourself (which is the next point) and evolve. And don’t view it as selfish; when you do the inner work, you actually expand your capacity to give to others.

7. You get to know yourself – When you have to do things on your own and spend time alone, getting to know yourself better is an inevitable side effect. You become more self-aware (in a good way). You become more in tune with your emotions, tendencies, habits, patterns and the deepest aspects of yourself. “Know thyself” was inscribed on The Temple of Apollo at Delphi for a reason. It’s that important.

8. The lone wolf aura – There’s something beautifully enigmatic about someone who’s confident when they’re alone in a new place. I call this “the lone wolf aura.” People are curious and intrigued by someone who is genuinely self-assured. Solo travel cultivates your own unique lone wolf aura.

Read my poem “The Lone Wolf Aura” for a deeper look at this.

9. It’s a pilgrimage – You’re the hero, the star of your own movie. A key component of any hero’s journey is some form of pilgrimage. And it’s always been a crucial step on the path of life for humans.

Jesus apparently went to Asia for many years to hone his spiritual practices. Buddha supposedly ventured into the woods alone and meditated under a tree for a while. Ash Ketchum traversed Canto and Joto to catch ‘em all (I had to drop a Pokemon reference). The hero archetype is brought to fruition by some form of a pilgrimage.

What’s unfortunate about our society today is that there is no real guidance regarding this stuff anymore. There are no rites of passage in the modern world.

But that missing ingredient is why pilgrimages have been making a resurgence in the form of things like backpacking and world travel. People are exploring the world more now than ever before. So this phenomenon is becoming something like a nondenominational pilgrimage. Not subject to any rigid rules of what you should or shouldn’t do. It’s a personal journey. And the details of it are up to you.

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I hope this post inspired you to embark on an adventure of your own. It may take time and effort to line everything up, but it’s totally worth it.

I’m not condemning traveling with others either (I’m doing it right now for this part of my trip). However, I believe that everyone can benefit immensely from solo travel, even if it’s only once in your life. If you feel that inner calling, take heed and make it happen.

It’s all about the journey.

Live each moment to the fullest.

5 Reasons Traveling Will Make You More Successful

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1. People who travel are able to thrive outside of their comfort zone.

This is a basic theme for people who travel a lot. When you leave your home, you leave your entire comfort zone. Once you’ve left that comfort zone, you learn to thrive in situations that you’d otherwise never be exposed to.

In your career, and really in your entire life, being open to big changes can transform your life and help lead you to much bigger things, but you have to know how to accept big changes and learn to thrive in them. Besides, your comfort zone expands and contracts with your bravery. Believe me, it might be scary at first, but your comfort zone will catch up.

2. People who travel learn to manage their emotions.

I’m no stranger to the occasional meltdown in the airport at 2:00AM, but learning to control your emotions, particularly negative ones, is crucial to being a successful traveler. Not only will you meld better with people you aren’t accustomed to, but you have a better time!

That kind of skill can be transferred to your place of work. You’re going to face down some major bumps and hurdles along the path to success, and knowing how to control your emotions will help improve your performance down that path.

3. People who travel manage their fear and get past it.

This ties in a lot to number one. There are scary things that can happen while you’re traveling, especially if you’re very far from home. You could lose your visa, get your wallet stolen, become lost in an unfamiliar city where no one speaks your language, and other scary trials may present themselves.

People who travel learn to face down those fears, get past them, and continue along whatever path they happen to be traveling. This attitude is useful along your path to success too. Changes can be scary, but face it and get past it. You’ll thank yourself later.

4. People who travel can see opportunities where others don’t.

So far we’ve talked about getting out of your comfort zone, controlling your emotions and getting past your fears. We’re starting to see a theme here, aren’t we? In addition to those excellent personality traits, people who travel learn to see opportunity and beauty where other people may not.

People who travel are able to spread their wings as wide as they can and take plunges, caution be damned. And that’s great for your path toward success. The more you see the opportunities around you, the further you can get.

5. Lastly, people who travel can understand the differences between people.

Mark Twain sums it up well: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

When you travel, you experience other people and other cultures. In every sense, it broadens your horizons and makes you more capable of accepting others for who they are. Bigotry and narrow-mindedness in the workplace can be a career-wrecker that prevents you from moving up and may eventually even cost you your job. Losing your job doesn’t do a thing to improve upon your successes, but rather, erases many of them.

Originally published on Travel The Whole World

9 Reasons Why Travelling Makes You Smarter

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Travel is something most all of us want to do, but only a few of us actually do. Resources, time and responsibility keep us from it, but if you learned the multiple benefits of taking a vacation, you might acquire the motivation to find a way to take a trip!

I am positive this list could be longer, but these are the few that I find significant.

1. Activates the Mind
The first time you travel to a new country is when you realize that most of your day to day life is lived on autopilot. The routine of your day you normally do not acknowledge like how you communicate, travel from home to work, get ready for work, cook your food, eat your food and go to the bathroom. I can imagine the shock of using a bidet for the first time and not knowing anything about it. The habits you have become used to that no longer require conscious effort to accomplish are gone. In a new place, your mind must be active and ready to learn much like a kid attending his first day in school.

2. Perspective
Traveling to a new country expands our awareness and introduces us to greater diversity. It’s likely you might help a person pick up their home after a monsoon or help a child fight starvation. There are things happening in the world we can only imagine on our TV screens.

3. Connect to New People
If you are lucky you will meet a few people from different countries who will teach you about their culture. If possible, maybe a few pen pals as well! They can continue to share with you their culture and you can further practice a new language instead of embarrassing yourself at the local Chinese restaurant where you end up talking in a fake Chinese accent thinking they understand you better that way.

4. Slows Us Down
One of the more obvious reasons to travel is to take a break from your life. Working, caring for a family, caring for a home, socializing, and responsibilities – they all contribute to our fast-paced lifestyle. Traveling offers the opportunity to live slowly and in the present. Enjoy yourself! Here you can see the habits in your life for what they are with a priceless clarity. It’s possible you might discover that 4 hours of gaming a day is not really a priority!

5. Learn to Love Life Again

Life can be such a drag sometimes! So many of us are stuck in the work to live lifestyle. Visiting a new country can regain your enthusiasm for life. Enthusiasm, motivation and inspiration is all you need to begin change.

6. Skill Development
Who knew you could climb a mountain – literally and metaphorically. You might have some hidden talents up your sleeve!

7. Curiosity
Traveling is about having adventures and experiencing things for the first time. It awakens you inner child. The part of you that wants to follow the rabbit down the hole and see where you end up.

8. Promotes Understanding
Visiting a new country releases the heavy expectations of the “One Right Way” mentality. When you are the minority in your thinking, it really helps to see that life revolves around patience and understanding. The sister words of love and brother words of wisdom. From here, you can move with the flow of life – organically.

9. Rediscover Yourself
This is the gold! Living away from your routine life and experiencing more can help you to feel your true self. For those of you who believe in karma, the awakening of your conscious mind by discarding habits, negative cycles and lower thought processes, can help us to get on the positive karma accumulation train! Living mindfully creates good karma. That being said, traveling is not necessary to achieve this, but it helps!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Originally published on Travel The Whole World

Ten Ways to Live a Less Complacent Life

 

 

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Written by Tyler Cowen and published on LinkedIn

Americans often point with pride to our role as the world’s leading innovator. And yet despite this leadership and innovation, if you compare America today to forty years ago, the country seems to have lost its mojo.

The passion and perseverance that fueled progress in America has been falling since the 1960s, back when we dreamed of seeing flying cars and colonies on other planets by the turn of the century. Instead, recent innovation tends to be on the margin rather than fully transformational—like more ways to socialize online, play games, and get services without leaving the house. While seemingly small, Americans’ complacent, safe decisions end up meaning a great deal for the wider economy.

Today, only 7-8% of US companies are startups—down from 12-13% in the 1980s. More new businesses are failing while established giants consume the industry landscape. Job relocation rates have fallen more than a quarter since 1990. And year after year, we’re seeing sluggish productivity growth from the economy as a whole. I describe these trends in detail in The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream. I argue that Americans have become more fearful of risk and more comfortable with the status quo. And these qualities are passing on to our children, who are becoming more sheltered both literally and psychologically.

However, complacency cannot last forever. The dissent and unrest leading to the election of President Trump and the subsequent fallout signal that we may be approaching a great reset. From all perspectives, people are starting to feel empowered to act against ideas they disagree with. But will that be enough to move people to create change, take calculated risks, and break the mold?

Below are ten steps individuals can take to lead less complacent lives that will in time translate to broader social change. Before beginning, take the “How Complacent Are You?” quiz to see whether you can use a little less complacency in your own life.

1.    Get Out of Your Bubble

It’s easy to get cozy and watch Netflix on a weekend instead of going outside and exploring new things. With apps that deliver food, groceries, laundry, entertainment, and everything in between, why go through the trouble of leaving the house?

By doing so, we miss new experiences, opinions, and interactions that help shape our worldview. Many people attribute Trump’s surprise win to a lack of awareness of other opinions that can happen as people wall themselves off—in the real world and online—from the new and different.

Instead of doing the same old same old, take the opportunity to leave your neighborhood and explore the great unknown. Talk to someone you don’t normally interact with in your social circles. Go to a specialty grocery store and pick up new ingredients you haven’t tried before to cook a new dish. Learn more about getting involved in your community. If you have the resources, book a ticket somewhere new rather than your summer condo in Florida.

2.    Don’t Use Convenience Technology for Everything

It’s easier than ever to get exactly what you want through the use of “sorting” technology. This applies to everything from small, everyday decisions like where to eat (Yelp), what music to listen to (Spotify), and what books to read (Amazon), to lifelong decisions like who to marry (Match.com). While these tools are helpful in cutting through the noise, they also weed out options that we may enjoy but will not appear because they don’t meet our “matching” standards. If you met your spouse in real life 20 years ago, but he or she didn’t fit every standard you set for a mate on paper, would they even show up online as an option for you today?

Instead of depending on this technology, use it as a starting point and don’t disregard the thrill of natural discovery. Next time you are in a new city, go outside and explore to find dinner rather than going to the highest rated place on TripAdvisor. Meet new people in the real world and open yourself to the possibility of dating someone who doesn’t come from the same background as you. Go to a bookstore or record store to browse. While this may seem old-fashioned, you never know what hidden treasures you may find.

3.    Keep Learning

Just because you finished school doesn’t mean you should stop learning. Even in the working world, you need to keep learning to be effective at your job and improve your value as a worker. Even better, your new talents could lead to greater compensation in the future or the creation of something new. You also shouldn’t feel wedded to the career you started out with for the rest of your life, but rather you should constantly evaluate whether it’s the right career for you.

With the Internet, there are more opportunities than time allows to learn new skills. Everything from building a website and remodeling your home to learning statistics and mastering a foreign language is readily accessible at your fingertips, often for free. Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge available and put it to use.

4.    Ask for What You Want

As the cliché goes, you miss 100% of the opportunities you never take. All too often people don’t ask for what they want out of fear of rejection or because they undervalue their own worth: Maybe I don’t deserve what I want?

Knowing what you want is the first step in changing outcomes—whether it’s getting out of a dead-end job, pursuing a relationship, or making a major change in your life by moving or chasing a new passion. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need to improve your life and add greater value to the world. Often, the worst that can happen is a “no” which is better than regret of the unknown.

5.    Have Difficult Conversations

As social media becomes the dominant form of communication, more of us find ourselves building communities of people who reinforce our positions or only engage with us in a positive way. By self-segregating online, we only reinforce segregation in the real world, as seen by the growing segregation of America by socioeconomic status and in some ways by politics (the liberal coasts versus conservative flyovers). We are also seeing this aversion to opposing viewpoints at universities as riots increase over controversial speakers and issues of free speech. The popularity of “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces” teaches the next generation that it is okay to silence people who don’t share your views of the world rather than trying to understand them—or better yet, challenge them constructively.

Instead of shielding yourself from ideas you oppose, take the time to engage them and who knows, you may change some minds along the way.

6.    Take Risks

Risk-taking is a key American trait. Our ambition has led to great achievements over the last century, and we need that drive again to conquer today’s greatest challenges.

Every new venture requires a little risk. While you shouldn’t be foolish with the risks you take, allow for some calculated risk and be prepared for failure. Most great inventors have several failures before they land their golden ticket.

In your everyday life, this could mean applying for that job you’ve always wanted but didn’t think you stood a chance at getting. It could mean pursuing a relationship with someone who you thought was out of your league. It could mean going back to school to finish that degree you’ve always regretted not finishing. It could mean breaking out and starting your own side gig. It could also mean losing something, but learning along the way to inform a future success.

7.    Move Around

Americans traditionally have thought of themselves as great movers, and indeed that was true through most of the twentieth century. But since the 1980s, Americans have become much less restless and less likely to move across the country. Here is this change in a single number: The interstate migration rate has fallen 51% below its 1948–1971 average, and that number has been falling steadily since the mid-1980s.

The decision to move reflects something very fundamental about one’s life. People move for better jobs, for marriages, for a different climate, for new and different social networks, or sometimes just to shake things up. But now, people are not moving because they stay at the same job longer, geographic differences are fewer than they used to be, or they are not willing to uproot their lives to change their circumstances—whether it’s poverty or unemployment.

If you are able to do so, move at least once in your life. Experience what it is like starting over in a new place where you need to establish your professional career and social circle virtually from scratch. Choose a place that is unfamiliar but of interest, where you can discover new things, talk to new people, and learn something about yourself.

8.    Plan for the Future, and Make It Happen

It might make sense to sit on the couch and keep doing what you are doing today. But what does that mean for tomorrow?

It is easy to get caught up in the busyness of day-to-day life and suddenly, the years have gone by and too many opportunities have passed. Why did I never spend that year traveling the world? Why have I never read the most influential books of all time? Why did I not pursue my passion project? Why did I not keep more relationships?

Instead, make a plan today to achieve what you want in the future and create specific steps to make it happen. Work hard, save money, and build toward the future you want. Life will get in the way, as it always does, but setting your intention can go a long way in achieving your goals.

9.    If You Don’t Like What You See, Do Something

Some people would argue that there are institutional barriers that make it difficult for people today to make radical change. Things like business regulations, an aggressive litigation environment, and social conventions can all create hurdles to innovation. However, more often than not, you don’t see people taking to the streets to remove those barriers. You also don’t see people taking to voting booths—the United States still has one of the lowest voter turnouts of any developed country. They may complain on social media, but to actually take steps to solve the problem requires another level of effort.

To get out of complacency, you have to be motivated into action. I’m not suggesting anything as radical as the riots we saw in the 60s and 70s, but a more deliberate response to injustice in the world: Responses like voting, getting involved on the local level, reaching out to politicians or private-sector influencers, the media, or starting a movement on your own. Already, we are seeing this brew through current political protests.

10. Don’t Give Up

More important than intelligence and status, people need grit—passion and perseverance toward long-term goals—to overcome obstacles to achieving their greatest potential. If everyone had more grit and fewer excuses, we could see greater levels of job growth, new discoveries, and improvements in our culture. Psychologist Angela Duckworth said in a Freakonomics interview that a person’s level of “stick-to-itiveness” is directly related to their level of success. For a long time, Americans have held this value, but in some cases, they have been using it to dig their heels in and stay where they are. Instead, we should be channeling our grit toward improving our lives and the lives of others.

Quote for 5-9-17

“Read, read, read. Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.”

William Faulkner