The 5 Joys Of Solo Travel

There is joy in solo travel. There is an unspoken pleasure in finding yourself again amidst a new culture. It teaches you something. You get back to your roots. To your essence. You don’t have your homely friends and family to rationalize it. You live it. You prepare for it, and you live each moment of it. Traveling with others certainly has its benefits. Solidifying family and friendship bonds for one, but there is also a case to be made for solo travel from time to time. Why you ask? I’ll give you 5 reasons why.

 

1) Painless Logistics

It’s just you on this journey. You only have to take what you require to survive and have fun on your journey. You can pack a tonne. You can also just pick up the essentials and go. You decide the time, place and nature of your travel. It’s pretty flexible. Whereas while traveling with others you have to keep their logistics and itineraries in mind and in your plans.

2) Flexible Itinerary

Ever wanted to take a detour to a place but couldn’t? Because you had it all planned out with family or your partner? Well, with solo travel you can take those plans and ignore them! Yes you can. You have the freedom to go wherever you want and follow what catches your imagination and fancy. Am not denying that it’s good to plan ahead of your trip, all am saying is that you can ignore those plans and still rock your travel time.

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3) Bucket List Item Crossed!

Take out your bucket list now and have a hard look at it. (If you don’t have one, it’s high time you made one 🙂 ) What do you see? A lot of places you want to travel to, right? What has been stopping you so far? Well, you will say you can’t go and leave your family behind, or your partner or your cute little dog. However, if you travel alone (from time to time), imagine all the places you’d cross off on that list. And let’s face it. Sometimes it’s difficult explaining to others why you need or have to go to a particular place. There is a good reason why that destination is on your bucket list. So take the time, travel alone.

4) The Maestro Global Citizen

Have you ever noticed how you stick together with your travel buddies on trips? Because they are known quantities. Because as humans we are tribal. Just look at the many pockets of “little nations” we have in America today. We just cocoon together! Solo travel changes all that! You don’t have anyone to cling to. You are forced to meet, greet and get to know folks in your host nation/destination. You make friends, you meet other interesting people on a similar journey. You learn about them, because you realize that your situation would be precarious without them. It’s a great way to meet new people, learn about different cultures and be a truly global citizen!

5) Get Lost

You are thinking, “Why in the world would I want to get lost in a strange place?” I’ll tell you why. So that you can find yourself. By “get lost” I mean two things:-

a) Get physically lost – which come to think of it, who ever gets lost these days with GPS enabled smart phones, right? Try it though, walk a day without your phone. Get lost. Meander into unknown places. I mean, what’s the joy in life if everything is known, right? Plus, while lost you get to ask for directions. Many a friendships have been started that way. (Yeah right, that argument is weak-ish, but try it anyway)

b) Get Spiritually lost. Am using the term “spiritually” very loose here. But I mean you get to pursue your passions while you solo travel. You can be anyone. You can re-invent yourself and your life on the road. It gives you a chance to nurture yourself, to “sharpen the saw” as Steve Covey puts it. To rediscover yourself and what stirs you.

Conclusion

It’s true. Happiness is real when shared. There is nothing stopping you from sharing that happiness with the people you meet on your travels. Solo travel affords you the opportunity to rediscover yourself, re-invent yourself, think deeply about stuff. And more often than not you come back re-energized, full of ideas and ready to tackle the world. So, don’t hesitate. Pack yourself a bag sometime soon and fly away or drive somewhere. You’ll be glad you did it!

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Weekly Roundup – Jobs That Allow You to Travel The World

You do want to explore this universe but you lacks the means and resources. Worry no more. There are plenty of employment opportunities that requires you to travel across the globe. I urge you to go out there and grab them. Here i share with you just a few of those jobs that allow you to travel the world and at the same time earning some good cash.

English Teacher

You are a native English speaker and probably you have a college degree. Then, this is your opportunity to travel the world. English being one of the world’s spoken language, almost everyone all over the world is in need to learn it. This is the best opportunity to go to a foreign country, teach, interact, explore and at the same time get paid. Why waste your time while you could be in Japan passing your skills to them and at the same time exploring her beautiful nature! Grab this opportunity.

Travel Writer

This another great opportunity for you to grab. There are several travel companies and magazines out there willing to pay as long as you can travel and write quality articles. The company may cater all travel expensive though you have to produce quality work. Travel writing needs dedication, hard work and of all being creative. So, are you a good writer, creative and ready to travel? Then, this is your opportunity

Travel Nurse

In the four corners of the world, we do need nurse services. That said , there is shortage of nurses thus high demand. The shortage can be the opportunity to travel the world while still pursuing your career. Nurses are now required to travel from point to the other, hospital to the other in caring for many people in different cities as well as different countries.

Tour Guide

If you love or you’d like to travel the world then Tour Guide is the career for you. Where else will you explore beautiful Paris or Athens and get paid for it?

To be a tour guide you need to relate well to people, have rich history of the place, its secrets and its amazing culture. If you’re a multilingual that’s an added advantage.

Pilot

Being a commercial airline pilot it’s another way to see and explore the world and you get a good salary on top of that. Here you get the chance to travel and see biggest cities of the world.

For you to become a commercial airline pilot you need to have the qualifications, that is, a degree in piloting and other requirements may be needed depending with Airline company.

Flight Attendant

You need to have a specialized degree to become a flight attendant while other airlines require customer service experience and certification.

Being a flight attendant you enjoy cruising across many and big cities of the globe.

Which other jobs you feel I’ve omitted and they should be included in this post? Feel free to add them in comment box below

Amazing Reads of The Week

Summer To-Do List – Travel Channel

The greatest retirement asset you’ll ever have – My Own Advisor

How passive investing is improving your mental toughness – Monevator

How to Fly on American Airlines for Free (or Close to it) – Your Personal Finance Pro

West Marin – Crisp Days, Cheese Trails & Wild Beauty – Woman Traveler

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How To Plan Your Vacation Thinking Modestly About Money

The following is a guest post . If interested in submitting a guest post please read my guest post policy and then contact me.

Vacation is something that just about all people dream about. After all, who wouldn’t want to escape the day to day stresses associated with work, family, friends, bills, and so much more? The only issue is that…well, traveling can be expensive. But, what if I told you that you could have an extravagant vacation on a fairly modest budget? Well, you can! Here are a few tips to help you plan your next vacation while thinking modestly about money!

Tip #1: Plan To Use Rewards – We talk about rewards credit cards quite a bit here at Modest Money, and we do for a reason. The reality is that tens of thousands of people take free flights, get free hotel stays, car rentals, and more every year; using rewards credit cards! So, if you don’t already have one, think about applying for one that will help you to achieve your vacation goals! You may be surprised at how much help they prove to be!

Tip #2: Buy Your Tickets At GoEuro – There are tons of places to buy your transportation, whether it would be bus, train or plane. You can use a search engines such as GoEuro to make your transportation arrangements. If you shop around, you’ll quickly realize how much markup is placed on flight. The reality is, by getting your tickets from trustworthy sources that don’t spend millions of dollars a year on TV ads often times leads you to the best deal.

Tip #3: Plan The Free – That’s right, I typed out the word Free in a vacation article. The truth is that you really don’t have to pay for everything you do on vacation. For instance, let’s say that you’re going to take a vacation to a mountainous region of the world. If that’s the case, I can almost guarantee that you can have a blast for 2 or 3 days at least absolutely free. The activities could include hiking, rafting (Although it’s not free, you can get a raft at Wal-Mart for $30 before you go!), picnics and more! All you need to do is think of amazing things you could do where you’re going that don’t cost you a penny!

Tip #4: Plan In Advance – I’ve got a few friends that like to do things very spontaneously. When they travel, they pack, buy tickets, and go. They never really plan where they’re going to stay or what they’re going to do. By planning where you’re going to stay before you go, you can save a killing on your hotel room. By planning what you’re going to do in advance, you can budget around your activities and make sure you don’t spend too much. So, always remember to take a few hours to plan activities, hotel stays, and car rentals before you go.

Tip #5: Consider Travel Insurance – Anything can happen at any time. Unfortunately, if you’re traveling, and you don’t have insurance, if something gets lost or stolen, you’ll have to cut it as a loss. Fortunately, travel insurance is fairly cheap and can cover you against the risk of losing items while you’re gone.

Final Thoughts

Vacations really don’t have to be expensive. By planning your vacation properly, you can fly for a low cost, often times free; find great things to do that are low cost or free; and make sure that you stay on target with regard to your budget. So, what are you waiting for, start planning your next trip!

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Travel Blogger Interview – MonkBoughtLunch

Stephen is the authors of Budget Travel and Photography blogs MonkBoughtLunch and Stephen Lioy. He quieted teaching job to travel the world. He have been all over Asia, North America, Europe, and the Middle East. You can follow Stephen on twitter, facebook or Google plus.

Tell our readers a little bit about who you are….

I’m a traveler, photographer, budget travel blogger, an several other –er’s who has been on the road for about six years exploring the world under various different titles. I graduated college in the US in 2008, moved to China for a one-year stint to teach English as a Second Language, and from there went down a path that hasn’t ended yet.

What led to quitting your job to travel full time?

I never really had a ‘proper job’ in the US before leaving. My first job out of school was as an ESL teacher in Shenzhen (China), and the schedule allowed for lots of opportunities to travel through China and Southeast Asia. At some point, intending to go to law school back in the US, I decided to opt out of the job and focus on travel for a while. Law school never quite happened, but the travel is an ongoing thing!

What is it about Asia that has kept it the primary focus of your travels?

The vastness, the diversity and the color. As a photographer, there is just so much beauty spread across Asia that I think I could travel here for the rest of my life and never see more than a few small corners of it. As a budget traveler, I love that it isn’t hard to travel fairly comfortably without spending a ton of money.

What is your favorite place that you’ve traveled to?

Kyrgyzstan keeps drawing me back in, to the point that I’ve actually started looking for a part-time job in the capital city (Bishkek) in order to sort out a residence permit and stick around for a while. The mountains are amazing for hiking and camping, the people are incredibly friendly, and the cultural is sufficiently ‘exotic’ to me that it never gets boring. Uzbekistan is also great for travelers, though I’m not certain I would want to settle there for any length of time.

Are there any places that you regret visiting?

I’m hesitant to say there are places I ‘regret’ but there are certainly places I’m not in a hurry to get back to. One of my least favorite experiences ever has been Azerbaijan, but then I’ve also talked to other travelers that passed through there and really loved it. The thing is, these things are very personal and very context dependent – so even if somebody tells you a place is horrible make sure to give it your own consideration!

What places are still on your bucket list?

So many! Bhutan, India, and Bangladesh are very appealing to me as well as perhaps North Korea. Russia interests me a lot, as does Iran. I’ve also never made it to South America at all and have only been to Egypt in Africa. So, there are a lot of roads left to walk down. If the situation remains calm there after the ISF leaves, I’d really like to check out the Afghan side of the Wakhan Corridor in the next year or two to compare it to life on the Tajikistan side of the border.

I noticed you mention budget travel on your about page. What are the most effective ways you limit costs when traveling?

More than any specific secret, I think the best strategy is just to be conscious of where your money goes. I’m pretty good about tracking my travel expenses while I’m on the road, which helps me keep an eye on how much I’m spending. It can be easy to spend $3 and $5 there, and all of a sudden you’re spending $200 a day in a place that could easily be enjoyed for $50. The other best tip is what you guys talk about a lot on Airline Miles Experts: learn how to get the most value out of Points and Miles programs, and then exploit those as much as possible.

Are there any budget travel strategies that you tried but decided weren’t for you?

You know, I really love Couchsurfing as an experiential thing but as a budget travel strategy I usually don’t enjoy it. If I try to surf because I don’t want to spend the money for accommodation, it seems to negatively impact me experience in a place and my interactions with my host.

What’s your experience with airline miles credit cards?

Quite a bit over the last few years. I’ve earned and burned quite a lot of Continential/United; as well as some small interactions with AA, Delta, and Alaska. I currently hold cards with Alaska and US Airways, as well as the gold standard Sapphire Preferred. I think that with responsible management of spending and a solid strategy on how to spend the points Airline and Hotel cards can be an amazing way to travel for cheap or free – these two things are normally your biggest set costs after all!

What’s the best travel advice you’ve ever received?

Slow down, pack less, listen more. Solid advice, whether for travel or life.

What led you to start your blog?

Originally I had a page that I would update occasionally to keep family up to date on life in China while I was teaching there. Once I decided to leave there and travel full time, it seemed worthwhile to create my own page (MonkBoughtLunch) to have more control over the layout and management. It sort of progressed from there to become what it is today, though I’m hoping to spend some time updating the design over the next few months to make it a bit more enjoyable to interact with. So, check back in over the next few weeks and see if you like the changes!

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Four Reasons to Purchase a Leather Bag for Your New Job

Did you just get a new job? Congratulations. This is an exciting time in your life. Although you are probably just focusing on showing up to work on time and getting the job done correcting, it is important to fine-tune your image before you show up. Presentation is half the battle in the workplace. When you show up looking presentable, you will make the transition to a new job that much easier. One accessory to invest in is a leather bag. You can choose a simple briefcase or consider something more fashionable like a leather attaché case for women. Regardless of the style, the bag will help you succeed for the following four reasons.

 1 – You Will Look Like You Care

When you show up to work with work related accessories, you look like you care. Sure you can bring a typical purse or nothing at all. However, a leather briefcase or a laptop case indicates that you are serious about performing well on the job. These accessories also enable you to have a more professional image when you are walking into the office. First impressions are everything. You will make a great one with the right bag in hand.

 2 – Easier Time Transporting Work to and From the Office

At most jobs, people have to work from home or on the road. When this happens, they need a functional bag that allows them to transport their work. A basic purse will not do the job, nor will a suitcase. Instead, women will need a suitable briefcase that looks feminine and appropriate. Men will need a bag that protects their laptop and other belongings. When they have this bag, life is easy on the go.

 3 – Protect Your Work Life

Another reason to use a leather bag at work is because it can help your protect your actual work life. For example, if you have documents that you need to transport to a client, a briefcase will protect them from damage. Laptop cases and tablet covers also protect portable devices as you transport them to and from the offices. These devices probably have important work documents on them. They are also needed to get your work done. With a cover, you can ensure that you can use them when you need to.

 4 – Longer Lifespan

Leather bags also have a longer lifespan than traditional bags. This way you will not need to invest in a new briefcase in a few months. Instead, you can have the bag for the duration of your job. You might simply decide to purchase a new briefcase because you need a change. However, as you use the bag, you will appreciate the durability of the bag. It will hold up to various weather conditions, heavy objects, and other abuse. The durability is probably one of the main reasons people prefer leather to other fabrics. Leather is also easier to clean, and it has been known to look better as it ages.

Before you head to your new job, consider investing in a great leather bag. These are just four reasons why it is worth the investment. You will be glad you invested in your new career.

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