Make It Count – Casey Neistat

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What does it Cost: Backcountry Camping in the Grand Tetons

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A few months ago a friend of mine from college asked me if I wanted to go backcountry camping over Labor Day in the Grand Tetons.  Though I’d never gone backcountry camping, I said yes.  One of my many flaws is that I’m not very good at saying no to adventure.    

Now that the trip has come and passed I wanted to write my “What it cost” recap blog.  I started doing the financial rundown of my trips after I spent a month in Southeast Asia earlier in the year and received feedback about how helpful it was.  Below you’ll find a line by line list of what I spent to go backcountry camping in the Grand Tetons for five days.

A few quick notes:

  1. A lot of the gear I bought could have been borrowed from friends but I plan on hiking and camping more in the future so I decided to buy it.  I look at my tent, sleeping bag, backpack etc as investments that I’ll be able to reuse for years (plus REI 10% back for members is pretty neat).
  2. The prices below are what I paid.  For example the rental car was $197 total but there were 4 or us so I paid my share of $49.50.
  3. I didn’t love the price of my flight. Labor day is expensive time to travel and KC to SLC isn’t exactly a hot flight path.  In comparison my flight from KC to Costa Rica at the end of the month is about the same price.
  4. I did borrow some stuff from friends which means I didn’t have to buy.  Here is a list of things that if you can’t borrow you would have to purchase:
    1. Items Borrowed/already owned
      1. Inflatable sleeping pad
      2. Bear can
      3. Headlamp w/extra batteries
      4. Poop Trowel/shovel
      5. Bug Spray
      6. Hiking boots
      7. Sunhat

You can view my full packing list for backcountry camping in the Grand Tetons in a previous blog post.

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Pre-Departure Purchases:

Flight:
Kansas City to Salt Lake City (round trip)- $586
Airport Parking- $37.50
Subtotal- $623.5

Gear/Supplies

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Cotopaxi Tent (rainfly, footprint, and alcove)- $383
North Face Furnace Sleeping Bag– $180
Hydration Pack (2.5 L)- $34
Cooking Ware – $45
Stuff Sack (for tent, rainfly, footprint)- $6
65 L Backpack- $104
Compression Sack (for sleeping bag)- $25
Hood Pillow- $27
Food for the hike- $108
Bear Spray- $12.25
Adventure Mug- $10
Sawyer Water Filter System- $20
Fuel can- $5
Subtotal- $959.25

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Clothing:
3 pairs hiking socks- $26
3 pairs of sock liners- $12
Subtotal- $38

On the road…
Car Rental from SLC- $49.25
Gas total- $15 (filled up twice)
Teton Lodge Hostel- $36.5
Grand Tetons Hiking Permit/Map- $20
Tetons Taxi-$18 (most expensive 6 mile taxi ride of my life)
Leigh Lake Parking- $7.5
Lift Pass- $42
SLC Ramada Inn- $23.75
Subtotal- $212

Meals/Drinks
Subway dinner- $8.83
Post-camping gas station snack- $3
Me & Lous restaurant (Best restaurant in Malad City ID)- $25
Beers- $7.50
Beerhive Pub- $16.50
Subtotal- $60.83

Grand Total- $1,893.83

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If I had already owned the gear I needed for this trip the price would easily have been closer to $1,000.  But I didn’t and I didn’t want to borrow it all either.  Now that I own most of the gear I need to go backcountry camping I’m all set for the next trip (hopefully going to BANFF next year) and it will be a lot less expensive.  Whenever you pick up a new hobby there is always a bit of financial investment and looking back on this trip only has me more excited for the next one.

The best way to keep up with my adventures is to follow me on Instagram- Todds_Tales.

Stay Gold.

What to Pack: Backcountry Camping in the Grand Tetons

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I spent this past Labor Day weekend backcountry camping in the Grand Tetons with a three of my friends (Will, Emma, and Lisha).  For those who don’t know the Grand Tetons is a national park in Northwestern Wyoming and honestly one of the most beautiful places on earth.  It’s a great place to reconnect with nature and a place I highly recommend spending some time at some point in your life.

If I’m being fully honest, I was nervous before this adventure.  Sure, I backpacked Europe and yes, I’d gone hiking and camping before. However, I’d never gone backcountry hiking and camping. I’d never experienced hiking 9+ miles four days in a row while carrying everything I needed in on my back in the middle of the wilderness.   

When I backpacked Europe I was forced to carry most of my possessions in one single backpack, however I didn’t have to worry about food or water.  I didn’t have the stress of planning out my meals ahead of time or wondering where I was going to find water to drink.

The previous hikes I’d been on were all day hikes.  I’d set off with my cute little 20L day pack filled with snacks, a water bottle, GoPro, drone, Nebraska flag and be home before the sun went down.  I didn’t worry about what kind of shape I was in and if the weight of my pack would wear me down over the course of the trip.

My previous camping experience was car camping.  Which looking back seems like cheating. Fun fact, I can stuff a lot more shit in a car than I can a 65L backpack.   I didn’t worry about forgetting anything.  I was never conflicted about how much whiskey to bring because there was always more room in the trunk (I left the whiskey at home for this trip and yes that made me die a little on the inside).

Yes, backcountry camping was going to be a whole new type of challenge- which conveniently are my favorite kind.

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If you want to go backcountry camping in the Grand Tetons (or any national park in the United States) there are a few things to consider.  The first thing is getting a park permit that allows you to overnight camp in the designated camping zones (thanks Nicole).  

The second is what type of physical shape are you in?  It’s one thing to be able to walk around the block it’s quite another to walk 9 miles up and down peaks for multiple days in a row carrying 50 pounds of gear on your back.  

The third thing that caused me a the most anxiety was what the hell to pack.  Try as I might not to be, I’ve always been an overthinker.  Questions and ‘what if’ scenarios kept running through my mind in the days leading up to the trip.  Will I have room for everything I need? What if it rains?  What if I get hurt? On and on the questions flooded my mind.

When you’re in the middle of the Grand Tetons there isn’t a Trader Joe’s you can run to if you’re out of food.   There isn’t a hospital to go to if you walk through a glass door.  You really have to plan ahead with what you wear, what you’re going to eat, how you’ll take care of your feet, what you’ll drink, and how to pack your bag not only so it fits but so you can comfortably carry everything.

Lucky for me I have friends who’ve done this before and helped me understand what to pack, how much, and why.  Even with their help I overpacked (mostly food and clothes).  Before we left the hostel to begin the hike I had Lisha help me sort through what I needed to bring and what should be left behind in the car.

To save you the worry I’ve compiled a list of what actually made it out on the trail with me in the hopes it can help you the next time you go backcountry camping.

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Quick Disclaimer:

As a fairly in shape and big guy (6’ 4’ 200 pounds), I have the luxury of being able to carry more weight than other people.  This allows for me to bring a few extra items that may not be a necessity but more of a luxury (hammock, camping blanket, etc).  There were numerous times when Will, Emma, or Lisha would try to pick up my pack and comment that it was a lot heavier than theirs. Sometimes (not on public transport is SE Asia) it pays to be big. In the four days we were hiking I can honestly say I felt little discomfort from my bag being “too heavy.”

I broke everything that I brought in my bag into 4 categories:

Group Gear

  • Items that we brought and shared amongst the four of us. But are things you will want to consider bringing regardless of the size of your group.  For example, I carried the tent stuff and Will carried the Bear Can and most of our food.

Individual Gear

  • Items that each person brought and carried for themselves.

Clothing

  • Function > Fashion  Layers are key.

Food

  • I’m one of the least picky eaters in the world.  I eat to survive and try to do so in the most low cost and efficient manner possible. The food I brought on this trip reflects that lifestyle choice. Lisha and Emma would boil water and have delicious REI prepared meals while Will and I ate a lot of clif bars, tuna, and peanut butter wraps.

Group Gear (per group of 2)

  • 2-person Tent with rain-fly (and poles)
  • Footprint/Tarp for under tent
  • Stove and Pot
  • Measuring Cup
  • Lighter
  • Water Filter
  • Water treatment tablets (just in case)
  • Bear Canister w/Odor neutralizing bags
  • 1 220 Fuel Can
  • Topo Map
  • Compass

 Individual Gear

  • 65L Backpack
  • North Face Furnace Sleeping Bag (20ºF Rating)
  • REI inflatable Sleeping Pad
  • Inflatable Pillow
  • Mug (for tea)
  • Spoon/Fork
  • Knife
  • Bowl
  • Headlamp w/extra batteries
  • Trekking Poles
  • 2.5L Hydration Pack
  • 1 empty 1L Nalgene or collapsible Bottle
  • MedKit w/moleskin, bandages, painkillers, antiseptic
  • Notebook and pen
  • Travels with Charley- by John Steinbeck
  • Stuff Sack- for tent, footprint, and rainfly
  • Compression sack- for sleeping bag
  • Toiletries:  TP, Wet wipes, deodorant, Toothbrush/paste,
  • Poop Trowel/shovel
  • Bug Spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Hammock
  • Cotopaxi camping blanket
  • Playing Cards
  • Powerbank
  • GoPro 5 with extra batteries
  • GoPro 5 3 way stick
  • DJI Spark Drone with extra battery
  • Cellphone
  • Earbuds

Clothing List

  • 3 pair of compression shorts
  • 3 pairs hiking socks
  • 3 pairs of sock liners
  • 2 pair of Hiking shorts
  • 1 pair of hiking pants
  • 1 pair of neon tights as Baselayer Pants
  • 3 T-shirts (no cotton)
  • 1 Long sleeve Shirt (no cotton)
  • Midweight Quarter Zip fleece Layer
  • Cotopaxi Rain resist quarter zip  
  • Hiking boots
  • Sandals (camp shoes)
  • Sunhat
  • Baseball camp
  • Beanie
  • Sunglasses
  • Extra Clothes for Before and After

Food (on a typical day goal of 3000 Calories)

Breakfast

  • Cup of Green Tea
  • 2 Clif Bars

Snack 1

  • Jerky or Trail Mix

Lunch

  • Summer sausage, cheese, and crackers
  • Peanut Butter Wraps

Snack 2

  • Jerky or Trail Mix
  • Clif Bar

Dinner

  • 2-3 buffalo styled tuna wraps in tortillas
  • Jerky/Trail Mix
  • Cup of Green Tea

 

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Saying the trip was great would be an understatement.  Which is no surprise when you’re surrounded by amazing people and spectacular views.  Getting away for a few days really helped me hit the mental reset button.  Backcountry camping isn’t for the weak of heart or mind.  You have the be prepared to push through exhaustion, fight off mosquitoes, and rough it a bit.  However, if you can handle all of that it’s completely worth it and rewarding.  Now that I’ve gotten my feet wet you can be sure I’ll be doing more of it going forward.

The best way to keep up with my adventures is to follow me on Instagram- Todds_Tales.

Stay Gold.

Why the New American Dream Is Nomadic

The tired, huddled masses of the next generation are waking up to realize that flexibility and movement are the keys to unlock joy.

The American dream is dead. While still nestled in infancy, star-spangled hopes of anything resembling my parents’ life had pretty much vanished, and a strange subtext for what was to come silently gestated as I grew. The car, the house, and the child before age 30 were all near impossibilities for those of us who inherited the great recession. We were taught to dream small and assign great meaning to the tiny crevasses in which we were held, to play the game the way it’s always been played, though the rules have shifted greatly. Cultural milestones carved deep into society’s structure suddenly feel staggeringly out of reach for this generation of misfits, caught in the middle. So, what are we to do but erupt? To transform? To leap daringly into that which we can hold and experience with the limited resources we have been given? The new American dream will be forged not in matter, but in memory. A bleary-eyed tumble into the ephemeral nature of all things, seen through the lens of conscious nomadism.

We have taken to the road. The new mark of success will not be how young you made your first million or the square-footage of your house, but the stamps on your passport and the mileage on your odometer. The internet is a funny thing to unleash upon a generation, and I feel we are just beginning to use it well. Couch-surfing, ride shares, and freelance work are all within the click of a button, which has made the nomadic lifestyle within reach for anyone who puts their mind to it. Keep personal overhead down and maximize experience.

We have seen our planet suffer. It is no longer chic to accumulate goods and stuff plastic into landfills. The new hive-mind is keen on reversing climate change, recycling, and reusable materials. We can research anything within arms reach at a moments notice, and we are smart enough to know that buying something that lasts 10 years is better than buying ten things that last 1 year. We have had to lead big lives inside of small spaces, creating worlds within wee studios well into our 30s and downsizing to what is essential.

We have accepted a new definition of “home.” There’s a reason that the van life and tiny house movements have picked up so much steam in the last few years. The materialism that previous generations could afford via job security, lack of community, and a void of climate awareness are no longer sustainable or sexy to a tribe of youth raised on the net. Anything we want is right at our fingertips, and perhaps this certainty makes hoarding all the less desirable. The new zeitgeist is one that hoards information, media, and data. We can fit the whole of the world into a backpack, allowing for hyper-mobility and massive curiosity.

We have redefined that which is essential to include warmth, camaraderie, play, purpose, and flexibility. We are aware of our mortality and the world around us more than any generation prior, thanks to the 24-hour news cycle, and we are waking up to the notion that life’s meaning is best found in the deep wells of experience. We are hungry for experience and ready to start digging.

We are blurring the lines between friend/acquaintance/lover. In a world ruled by social media and meetups, finding like-minded friends or groups to try new things with has never been easier, and advancements like FaceTime and Skype give us the power to buzz through electrical currents and maintain friendships thousands of miles away. The new American dream demands inclusivity. Not out of disdain for society as it stands, but out of too many years of living like ill-fitted puzzle pieces in homes we were told to call our own. We have assembled a new definition of community, one that encompasses people we sat next to on a flight to Copenhagen who recommended a bar in Edinburgh. Playmates are everywhere, just look for the smiles.

The new American dream was birthed in the wake of globalization. Unlike ever before, our generation has the power to simultaneously recognize the immediacy with which we need to explore and defend our planet and the absurdity and transience of all things on earth. Between the two lies a web we feel called to traverse again and again, rather than adhere to a rigid, stairway-shaped career structure. The new narrative holds space for several careers within a lifetime and does not believe that traveling is something bestowed only upon the retired and the moneyed.

Technological advances have given us the tremendous gift of all the world’s information, photo-supplemented, at our fingertips. The breathtaking whoosh of Alice down the rabbit hole is just as near as a how-to course on calculus or a selection of vintage Ganesha statues. It seems only fitting that the first generation raised in such expansiveness would begin to carefully rip the seams of society’s cozy sweater and invite in the gale-force winds of the wild unknown. We are waking up to a new version of the future, a new narrative that welcomes the mess, the squish, and the inevitability of impermanence, knowing that goodbye is never a dirty word when the wind’s in your hair and the tiny device inside your pocket holds infinity. Maybe enlightenment isn’t found in the pursuit of solitude, meditating atop a mountain for years on end. Maybe it’s a swan dive into the messiness of life itself and a gentle recognition of the sublime, unwavering force of transience.

 

Originally written on by Emily Pennington on The Outbound and published on August 3, 2017

The Greatest Lesson I’ve Learned From Travel

The Greatest Lesson I've Learned

Written by Wandering Earl and originally published on WanderingEarl.com

I know nothing.

That’s the greatest lesson I’ve learned during all these years of travel.

Sure, I can tell you where to snorkel in Bali or give you a great route for a road trip around Romania or explain where to find a unique spa experience in Kyrgyzstan, but when I really think about all of the issues and situations that the world faces these days, I really know nothing at all.

I read. I meet people, all the time, all over the world. I talk and discuss at length with others about politics, about religion and conflicts and economies and why it’s so difficult to find a good pair of sunglasses that actually fit my head shape.

But the more I read, the more I converse with others and the more I travel this fine world of ours, the more I realize that not only do I know nothing, it’s almost impossible for me to know anything.

Travel has shown me that the very global topics that I am interested and eager to learn about, the very topics that we all read about, are even more complex and complicated than I ever imagined. It has also shown me that no matter how many countries I visit, I will always continue to discover that every aspect of life in every single nation is defined by an infinite amount of different thoughts, actions, deals, motivations, interests and beyond.

Every single person involved in anything has their own stake and as a result, has their own views, desired outcomes, reasons for taking sides and so on.

How can I know what every person involved is doing or thinking, both in the open and behind the scenes (where it gets even trickier)? How can I know the reasons why they are doing or thinking something?

I can’t.

And if I can’t know any of that, I’m just left with media reports and the conversations I have with the people I meet, which does provide some information and access to a handful of perspectives, but certainly not enough for me to claim that I actually know what’s really going on, that I actually know the complete story.

I can say I know what’s going on from one or two angles perhaps, but that’s about it.

Does it even matter? Maybe it doesn’t.

All I know is that over the years, I’ve learned time and time again that what’s bad for some people is good, or even wonderful, for others, that what at first seems to be one thing, so often seems like something else, something so completely different, soon after.

And that’s why it becomes so extraordinarily difficult to give sweeping statements about a government, about a conflict, about any situation whatsoever without taking into account every single person that is affected or that plays a role. But it’s impossible to take into account everyone’s position, which is why it’s impossible to possess complete knowledge about anything.

The more time I spend online, and the more time I spend talking about various issues, the more I realize that the internet has tricked us into thinking that we are ’experts’ simply because we have such access to so much information. We feel more comfortable making broad statements about the Middle East, yelling out our conclusions about poverty or claiming that we absolutely know what is going on with Greece right now because we’ve read 100 articles on the matter. But in reality, we still don’t know much at all because the internet can’t provide us with a completely unbiased view of what every person or every group involved is thinking and doing and why.

I’m Just Naive

When someone writes to me through the blog and tells me that my political views are naive or my thoughts on some global problem are overly simplistic, based on something I’ve written, my response is…

Okay.

To me, naivety is thinking that we, ordinary citizens, know enough about some situation to be able to claim, with such certainty, that we are right and others are completely wrong. None of us have been in the meeting rooms, none of us have seen the deals made, none of us were present at every conversation or heard the exact reasoning for every decision, none of us have spoken with the very people, on all sides, who are dealing with the issue first-hand.

And while relying on the media might give me an interesting story to read, it is important to recognize that whatever I do read is one small, and usually very biased, perspective. Thinking otherwise can be dangerous. Media is big business and with any big business, there’s always a hidden agenda behind everything. They work hard to try and hide this of course but what we read is exactly what they want us to read, not necessarily what is actually taking place, or at least not the complete story.

Danger

This is why you won’t see me talking in-depth about conflict, politics or many other global issues. I’ll gladly share my thoughts and general opinions based on what I’ve learned over the years but I’ll always add a note that I really have no idea what I’m talking about in the end, simply because there is no way for me to really know what I’m talking about.

Make sense? Maybe not. Maybe I really am just naive.

But, I still think it’s better to recognize that we only know a tiny fraction about everything. I still think it’s more useful to realize that each of us has been exposed to different information and therefore, each of us sees things in completely different ways, none of which can possibly be fully accurate.

Realizing these things has helped me try to seek out as many perspectives as possible with anything I want to learn about. It has helped me to hold off on making judgments and reaching conclusions without gathering as much information as I possibly can. It has helped me realize that every situation in the world is much more complex than it seems and that I should always remind myself of this fact.

Thank you, travel. Thank you for teaching me that I am indeed quite clueless. Funny enough, this lesson has actually helped me understand the world so much better in the end.

9 Tips for your next Trip

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Recently, I’ve been planning a few new adventures to close out the year (hiking in the Grand Tetons and a quick trip to Costa Rica) which got me thinking about my past trips and what they’ve taught me.  It didn’t take long for me to realize there were a few universal lessons I’d learned.  Below you’ll find a list of nine ideas that I learned from traveling but that have transcended my everyday life.

 

This must be the place

“Wherever you are, be all there.”

Most people think I’m crazy when I tell them I love travel days.  For most, those are the worst days of any trip.  For me, sitting on a train or waiting in front of my gate are times I truly feel at peace.  When I’m in those places it’s easy for me to relax because I look around and recognize that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I don’t feel guilty thinking I should be doing something else.  This way of thinking creates a type of presence and freedom allowing me to focus on the moment and enjoy it for what it is. Even when I’m not traveling I always try to be completely present and focused on whatever it is I’m doing.

 

Where not what

“No matter how many plans you make or how much in control you are, life is always winging it.”

I’m a go with the flow kind of guy, but when traveling it’s good to have an idea of where you’re going.  When I plan a trip and have to keep to a timeline I pick the different places I’m going to, but don’t decide what I’ll be doing in each place until I get there.  Yes, you can do some research for general ideas, but I’ve found it’s better to wait until you’re there to pick what activities you’re going to do.  For me, it helps keep some spontaneity in my trip and gives me flexibility once I’m there to learn what my options are.  Which brings me to my next tip…

 

Ask a local

“…because life is too exciting not to share.”

It doesn’t matter how much research you do you’re not going to know about everything ahead of time.  But you know who can help?  The person that lives there.  Whenever I’m traveling I try to ask a local for advice on places to eat and drink, things to do, or places to stay.  People are more than happy to point you in the direction of their favorite hole in the wall bar or the place they discovered with the best calamari.  More often than not, their recommendations aren’t on Yelp’s top places but turn out to be incredible.

 

Traveling is trust

“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”

I hadn’t really thought about this until I was riding on the back of a scooter, at night in Bali, and was completely separated from my friends.  As all my friends and their scooters went one way and me and mine went another  I realized in that moment that I had decided to completely trust this random Balinese guy.  I was trusting him to not only to get me from one one place to another, but to do so safely-in crazy traffic, reunite me with my friends, and for the agreed upon price.  There were so many things that could have gone wrong.   When you travel, you’re at a disadvantage in some ways, you have to be willing to trust other people to survive.  From my experiences, across the world, I can tell you that trusting is rarely a mistake and people are good.

 

Night Transportation is your best friend

“I will never lose the love for the arriving, but I’m born to leave.”

If you can handle sleeping on trains, buses, and flights traveling at night is as close to teleportation as you’re ever going to get.  Instead of wasting a day going from one place to another, you can go to sleep (something you’d be doing anyway) and wake up at your next destination.  It requires more planning, as you have to make sure you can get where you need to go in the early hours of the morning, but worth it if done right.  We caught three night trains in Vietnam which is what allowed us to see so much in the 8 days we were there.  Besides, you haven’t really experienced a place until you’ve seen it peaceful like it is while everyone else is still sleeping before the chaos of the day begins.

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Take the damn picture

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”

I used to worry that taking photos while I traveled made me look like a ‘tourist’ (which is the last thing a traveler wants to be).  I worried even more about how ridiculous my friends and I looked while taking our ridiculous group photos.  I worried the other people around were going to judge us.  Now a days I give zero fucks.  Odds are, I’m never going to see those people again.  What I do care about is having a lifelong reminder of that day and that moment with the people I care about.  On that subject…

 

Capture Moments not Things

“If you want to see what someone values take a look at what they photograph”

Over the past 4 years, I’ve seen lots of places and taken literally thousands of pictures.  Whether it was my time on the cruiseship, backpacking Europe, or traveling around out Southeast Asia one thing proved to be universally true: the photos and memories I cherish most are the ones of my friends and I goofing around.  My house is full of photos from my travels and not one of them is a building or landmark.  Yeah, I’m glad I’ve walked across the Charles Bridge, but my first Prague memories go back to Hostel Orange and the friends I made there. When you think about your trip in retrospect you’ll think of the people more than the places.  My advice, try and capture them the best you can.

 

Give Yourself Time

“To rush is to miss the experience”

You’ll be tempted to go to as many places as possible and fill each minute of every day with activities.  To see everything a place has to offer. Well, guess what, you can’t. Accept it. While it’s important to make sure you see what you want to see it’s equally important to not overdue it.  It’s better to see a few places in depth than to see a dozen barely at all.  Looking back on my trip to Asia I could have happily spent an entire month in any one of those countries.  There were times when I felt like I tried to do too much.  Always on the go to the next activity or city.  I didn’t leave the group as much time as I should have to let each place truly resonate.  Do yourself a favor and give yourself time.  I don’t think you’ll be too upset if that means you have to take a second trip.

 

Explore the Alleyway

“It is not down on any map; true places never are.”

When traveling, I love discovering new, unknown, obscure places.  While some people opt to stick with Tripadvisor or Yelp for research and to validate their choices I go the opposite.  I’m all about walking around a city and seeing where my feet take me.  It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for food, drinks, souvenirs, or a tailored suit in Bali the best places are always down the alleyway you almost didn’t see.  Do yourself a favor and get off the main streets and explore a city’s alleyways. Those alleyways are the places where you truly get to discover a city and all that it has to offer.  

 

The best way to keep up with my adventures is to follow me on Instagram- Todds_Tales.

Stay Gold.

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.