Results for tag "travel"

My “I’m Too Old for this Sh*t” List (The Travel Edition)

bar from How I Met Your Mother

I was watching “How I Met Your Mother”  today when something caught my attention. One of the characters, Ted, had created what he referred to as a “Murtaugh List”; a list of activities he felt that now in his late 20s, he’d grown too old for. The list was named for Roger Murtaugh, a fictional character in the Lethal Weapons franchise who is fond of saying “I’m getting too old for this sh*t”. Here’s what was on Ted’s list.

Ted’s Murtaugh List

Pulling an all-nighter
Getting an ear pierced
Hanging posters without frames
Crashing on a friend’s futon instead of getting a hotel room
Eating an entire pizza in one sitting
Doing laundry at mom’s house
Putting off going to the doctor
Doing shots with strangers
Leaving an annoying two-person message on your answering machine
Helping someone move out of a sixth floor walkup in exchange for pizza and beer
Doing a Beer Bong
Going to a rave

Although I’m a strong believer in the philosophy that “you’re only as old as you think are”, I’ve recently turned 30, and so I figured I’m the ideal age to create my own list.

My Murtaugh List (the travel edition)

* Staying in youth hostels

Bunkbeds, communal bathrooms and waking up to people having sex and/or puking is not something I feel I need to experience again. Though I’m not against staying in a hostel (I stayed in one a few months ago in Argentina), I doubt I’ll ever (willingly) stay in one of those party hostels again. Ugh. Do I sound old or what? I’m not as lame that last sentence may have made me sound…I promise.

* Partying til the wee hours in the morning

Though there was a time in my life when I rarely saw a new city/country during daylight hours and most of the sight-seeing I did was confined to the inside of a disco or a bar, I now rarely go out when I travel. Sure, I might check out the local happy hour or visit the bar to enjoy some live music, but you won’t find me stumbling back to the hotel at eight in the morning. Nope, those days are over. And you know what? I’m not the least bit sad about it. Been there, done that.

* Tequila shots

Do you really need an explanation?

* Going on vacation when I can’t afford it

When I was 21, I spent a few days in Vienna, Austria and ate nothing but peanut butter sandwiches because I was too broke to eat out or even buy groceries. These days I put off vacations for a few months and save money so that I can do it right (I.e., afford to eat out when I feel like it).

* Posting 92457982084 photos of myself on Facebook

Okay, so I love taking photos and I definitely post a crap ton of travel photos whenever I return home from a trip, but I’m not in most of them. I think my travel bragging stage is over. Maybe. Hopefully? You can be the judge…

* Buying a plane ticket that has multiple, out-of-the-way layovers because it’s cheaper

Oh, Ryan Air…This one is for you! It amazes me to think about how many times I flew in the opposite direction and spent the night on the airport floor in order to take advantage of your 1 Euro flights. Now? Not so much…

* Taking the bus/hitch-hiking instead of coughing up the money for a cab

I’m all about taking the bus when you’re doing it for the cultural experience. I totally embrace the “slow travel” philosophy and definitely agree that you can see a lot more of a city when traveling by bus than by rental car or taxi. But taking a bus when it’s not convenient and you’re doing so purely to save a few bucks? Naw. I’m over the “let’s see how little money I can spend while on vacation, even if it means I’m miserable and hungry the entire time” stage of life. Now I gladly fork over the 10 or 15 extra bucks for a taxi if it’s raining or if I need a ride to the airport.

So…that’s my Murtaugh List…What’s yours?

Why Travel is (Psychologically) Good for You: Part One

backpacker ocean at sunset

 Photo by Paxon Woelber.

It’s a pity that we spend so much of our time actively trying to avoid feeling uncomfortable, because sometimes the most uncomfortable experiences are the most rewarding.

Travel Teaches You to Be Comfortable with Discomfort

If you want to know what makes you feel uncomfortable, you needn’t look further than the dozens of chores that have sat unfinished on your to do list. For me, that would include losing 10 pounds (exercise is uncomfortable), developing a daily meditation routine, (meditating is uncomfortable) and finishing my memoir (while writing in itself is pleasurable, writing my life story is hard work and involves sifting through painful memories. Again, uncomfortable).

But can you imagine how fulfilling my life would be if I faced what made me uncomfortable? I’d be fit, healthy and less stressed for one. And if I finally finished writing my book (which has been an ongoing project for over six years now), I imagine I’d feel more accomplished and self confident as well.

It’s a pity that we spend so much of our time actively trying to avoid feeling uncomfortable, because sometimes the most uncomfortable experiences are the most rewarding.

 

Travel quote

Take travel, for instance. While travel may be exciting in the planning stages or in the days afterwards when you’re clicking through your vacation photos on Facebook, when you’re in the middle of it, travel can seem like anything but.

Riding on a crowded bus on a dusty, unpaved road through the sweltering heat for example, walking through the rain with a 50-pound backpack when you can’t find a taxi, stumbling your way through a conversation with a waiter in a foreign language…these common travel situations are far from fun. In fact, they’re stressful and tiresome and yes, frequently uncomfortable. But they’re also useful as well.

Because if you can survive them, you’ll have gotten used to living outside your comfort zone, and this can help you when you return home. You’ll find you don’t have to fight yourself to face difficult tasks (like asking your boss for a raise, for example), because you’ll have already become an expert at awkward. You’ll have tackled far more disagreeable activities while on the road, which will make the normal uncomfortable situations you encounter in your everyday life seem easy.

Or that’s the theory anyway.

travel quote

I’ve certainly experienced my fair share of uncomfortable travel situations and yet my closet remains a mess, my taxes remain unfiled and though I joined the gym two months ago, I have yet to work out there.

Hmph.

What do you think? Has travel made you a better person? What has travel taught you?

 

Travelogged: This Week’s Top Pics and Posts for Travel Addicts

travel tattoo

This tattoo says “Freedom” in German

Photo by Laura Leh
 

Happy early 4th of July everybody! Any of you Americans have anything fun planned for the holiday? If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m not a huge fan of the holiday.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet, but it’ll likely involve a cold drink, a pool and some reggae (if I’m lucky).

travel photos

Photo by Uwe Mayer

Photo by Uwe Mayer.
 

25 Photos You Won’t Believe Weren’t Photoshopped - Bunnies the size of ponys? Sea monsters?  Awesome!

I’m adding this to my bucket list! The title says it all…Is this the world’s weirdest beach? Crystal-clear saltwater, golden sand and even waves… yet it’s in the middle of a meadow. From The Daily Mail.

23 Super Creative Repurposed Items from Matador. I love the piano water fountain.

Luke Skywalker’s Home, Fans Do Fix from NPR. Apparently much of Star Wars was filmed in Tunisia, where parts of the film’s sets still stand, including Luke Skywalker’s home.

Don’t listen to this podcast if you’re afraid to fly…Why Flying is No Fun (and may be more dangerous) from NPR.

As some of you know, two months ago I landed a full-time blogging job at a SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Internet marketing company. Though I won’t post everything I write, (because I’m sure most of you have little interest in say, dental hygiene or LED lights), I’ll occasionally post some of the more interesting, travel-themed content.  Here are a few of them:

Though I liked Matt’s first dancing travel video best,  I think most people will be hard-pressed not to go “Awww” as they watch this. It carries the message that we humans are basically all the same and what’s not to love about that?

Okay, enough from me. Read (or write) anything interesting this week?

I adopted a dog! Are my expat days officially over?

Introducing...Frankie Von Hot Dog!

I adopted a dog! His name is Frankfurter von Hot Dog (Frankie for short) and he’s a Dachshund. I got him at the animal shelter and so far he’s been one anxious little terror. In the five days since I bought him, he’s pooped on the floor five times, escaped from his kennel twice, scratched the door, scratched my car and tore up the carpet.

But.

He’s one sweet lovable dog. I love him already.

Before I adopted him, I was told something along the lines of : “Adopt a dog and you’ll never live abroad again”.  Or at least not for a good long while.  Because as people were quick to point out, with the possible exception of adopting a baby, there’s no quicker way to  ensure you’ll be location-dependent than buying a pet with a 10-year shelf-life.

But then I read this article on Matador, 7 Tips for Moving Overseas with a Pet.

According to the article, my friends were wrong. Although it’s difficult to move abroad with a pet and it involves a six-month process of paperwork and medical exams, it is possible. And so long as I plan in advance, I can even avoid having to quarantine Frankie beforehand.

This made me feel a million times better about my decision.  Because although I was definitely ready to adopt a dog (I love dogs!) I didn’t know whether or not I was ready to put my life as a sereal expat on hold in order to do so.  And while I have no immediate plans to live abroad again, at least I now know that I have the option.

Ain't he cute?

Plus, he weighs just 14 pounds, which is under the 20 pound weight limit most airlines require for carrying a pet in the cabin. This means that so long as I’m traveling in the States, I can take him with me.

Which do You Prefer: Traveling or Living Abroad?

Photo by Helminadia Ranford

I never thought of my ability to live abroad as a skill, but according to Miss Move Abroad and Miss Elizabeth Gilbert, it’s something that some people are better suited for than others.

The following is an exert from Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Committed, (shout-out to Miss Move Abroad for being the first to post this).  Committed is the follow-up book to her memoir Eat Pray Love (which Miss Move Abroad cleverly describes as “self-realization and travel porn for the thinking woman”).  In the exert, Elizabeth suggests that foreigners overseas fall into two distinct categories:  those who were born to travel and those who were born to live abroad.

Which one are you?

From the book, Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert (pages 216-221):

“Like a fussy baby who can fall asleep in a moving car, I have always been comforted with the tempo of travel. I’d always assumed that Felipe operated on the same principle; since he was the most widely traveled person I’ve ever met. But he didn’t seem to enjoy any of this drifting.

…The reality about Felipe, as I was beginning to realize, is that he’s both the best traveler I’ve ever met and by far the worst. He hates strange bathrooms and dirty restaurants and uncomfortable trains and foreign beds—all of which pretty much define the act of traveling. Given a choice, he will always select a lifestyle of routine, familiarity, and reassuringly boring everyday practices. All of which might make you assume that the man is not fit to be a traveler at all.

But you would be wrong to assume that, for here is Felipe’s traveling gift, his superpower, the secret weapon that renders him peerless: He can create a familiar habitat of reassuringly boring everyday practices for himself anyplace, if you just let him stay in one spot. He can assimilate absolutely anywhere on the planet in the space of about three days, and then he’s capable of staying put in that place for the next decade or so without complaint.

This is why Felipe has been able to live all over the world. Not merely travel, but live. Over the years, he has folded himself into societies from South American to Europe, from the Middle East to the South Pacific. He arrives somewhere utterly new, decides he likes the place, moves right in, learns the language, and instantly becomes a local.”