Posts tagged travel
10 Tools from Walmart to Hack Backpacking

Backpacking is considered to be a rough way to travel with high costs for good gear and many inconveniences. While true in some regards, there are ways to hack your travels to make life a bit easier on you. Here are ten items that you can use to make life on the road a bit easier. No high costs - you can find them all at Walmart. No added weight - they each weigh only a few ounces.

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A Few Thoughts on Putting Down Roots

I was recently talking with one of my friends about the concept of putting down roots. Calling a place home and settling in. For a long time, I thought that idea was boring, un-adventurous and a bit too traditional for me. I had plans to see the world, move often and maybe live overseas for a year. To me, anything other than that life was giving up on the lifestyle of adventure and non-conformity that I wanted for myself.

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How Planning Empowers Spontaneity

I'm a planner. Have been since college. And while I enjoyed spontaneity, it wasn't something that I purposefully embraced. In fact, it wasn't until I backpacked across 11 countries the summer after graduation that I realized how planning and spontaneity actually work together! It's an unusual concept, I know, but hear me out.

I believe that planning, in the sense that you have a good grasp on your own life, can actually empower you to embrace spontaneity without screwing up your life in the process.

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I hate Paris. [a journal entry from my travels]

Author's Note: This is a journal entry written on June 26, 2014 from the Luxembourg Gardens, Paris, France. Embarrassed though I am to post this, I think many of you might be able to relate and hopefully find it humorous. The entry chronicles a day in Paris where, though I was blessed to visit one of the most beautiful cities in the world with my best friend, I had such a sour puss attitude thanks to an unfortunate series of events.


I hate Paris.

It all began this morning at 7:45am...

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The average American wastes 43 days every year.

History is being made right now. What are you doing to make your mark? We read stories of great men and women throughout the last 100 years braving the frigid cold of the Arctic or modern day adventurers climbing snow summits in Iceland. These are compelling, engaging stories and guess what! You could be those people. After reading about the exotic adventures and meaningful discoveries that people are making, I have to wonder, "what am I doing?" We live in such an incredible world with adventure waiting on every side of us. I caught the bug over this past summer as I backpacked for two months across eleven countries. After returning home from that trip I couldn't help but see TV for what it is - a waste of a beautiful life. My friend, Micah, and I climbed to the peak of the tallest mountain in Ireland, jumped into the fairy pools in Scotland, saw Phantom of the Opera in London, hammocked in a coastal village in Italy, drank tea from a pier overlooking a crystal lake in Switzerland, got pick-pocketed in Rome, slept in a tent during a thunderstorm in Venice, soaked in the mineral pools of Budapest and drank wine under the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Television... lol

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Camping 101

I woke up and groggily stepped outside of my room. As I opened the door I was immediately welcomed by a cool, fall breeze. My heart skipped a beat as the fresh air awakened my senses.

"YES!" I thought. "Fall is here."

And when fall is here, it means camping season is here. Warm fires, wool socks, black coffee (or not) and flap jacks - it's all a part of the magic of camping in Autumn. If you have never been camping, don't worry! I got your back.

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The Art of Getting Lost

During my backpacking trip in Europe, we spent time in 24 different cities. In each new city we visited we had a ritual.

We put away any maps, brochures, or travel guides - all of it.

And we got lost.

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128 Things Travel Taught Me About Life

This is a list of anecdotes, split about 50/50 between Jacob and Micah, compiled from their travels over the last two months through Ireland, Scotland, England, France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.

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The Untold Gift of Travel

I blink twice. Black silhouettes of trees blur in and out of focus; the bill of my cap gently taps the glass preventing me from smushing my nose up against the window pane. The bus continues along at a brisk pace, yet the objects outside of my window seem to be moving slowly as though part of another world. As we pass by a wind farm, I can barely make out the faint outline of hundreds of windmills dotting the landscape as they spin moonlight into gold. A strong sense of nostalgia washes over me as dozens of memories from the past two months begin to flick through my mind like those moving frames of a guy in a bowler hat riding a bicycle with an oversized front wheel. Certain frames elicit memories of home; summer-evening barbeque's, Church potlucks and movie nights with my family and one thought begins to shout above the others: it will be nice to be home.

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The Keyhole of Rome -- the enchantment of "just enough"

It was no larger than my thumb nail.
ut to look through the keyhole was looking through a portal into another world.

Trees lined the gravel pathway. Straight... proud...
Acting as blinders on a horse, they concealed everything from view except that which was directly ahead. At the end of the evergreen window, I could see a dome in the distance, towering above the rooftops of the sea of stucco buildings it sat among. The sun glinted off the spire, sending a blinding beam of light through the keyhole.

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Pack Light.

The enjoyment of travel is inversely proportionate to the amount of baggage you carry with you.
The same is true for life.

Don't let the weight of baggage ruin such a fabulous adventure. Pack light.

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...and God Bless the USA

"It was wonderful to find America, but it would have been more wonderful to miss it." -Mark Twain

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