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Posted by on Feb 7, 2014 in Change, Culture, Feature, Most Popular |

Travel Every Day: A Joie de Vivre Approach to Life

Travel Every Day: A Joie de Vivre Approach to Life

  What most people really desire is something quite different from industrial gimmickry- liberty, spontaneity, nakedness, mystery, wildness, wilderness.  Edward Abbey When we were kids, life was an adventure. We examined bugs, fought off ‘evil’ with made-up super powers, and thought little of consequences. Gradually, society taught us how to cope with boredom rather than cultivate curiosity. We internalized that the ‘real world’ would be a duty rather than a delight– and then we perpetuated this narrative. Eventually, we bought into the idea that success means comfort and stability rather than a raucous ride into the unknown. When we realized we lost our way, some of us burrowed deeper into a job or career, got married, had kids, or traveled the world. We constructed our identities as ‘expert’, ‘spouse’, ‘parent’ or ‘traveler’ and fortified them with online social masks. We forgot that the world is a wild kingdom to be explored. It is nearly close at an empty Mexican restaurant on Colfax Avenue on a cold Thursday night.  Stories on...

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Posted by on Feb 19, 2013 in Culture, Feature, International Education, Most Popular, technology and travel, Travel, Travel Planning |

6 Tips for Using Twitter for Travel

6 Tips for Using Twitter for Travel

In some ways, Twitter is the most customized, updated crowdsourced travel resource on the planet. You can create your own travel guide via Twitter with the steady supply of travel tips, photos, articles, and industry updates. The question is, how can you organize this constant barrage of information to make it an effective travel planning and travel conversation tool? Like any social media platform, it is easy to waste time on Twitter by getting sidetracked and overwhelmed with the volume and frequent delivery of content. While it is possible to view information on Twitter without having an account, users have access to the full functionality of the site and are able to participate in Twitter chats, create lists and favorite Tweets. 1. Use Travel Hashtags to Search or Post Specific Information Placing the almighty hashtag (#) in front of a search term, word, or category means that only tweets that contain that keyword will come up. If you are using Twitter for trip planning, search the region, country and...

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Posted by on Jan 6, 2013 in Feature, Most Popular, Scholarships, Study Abroad, Teach Abroad, Travel, Travel Planning, Work Abroad |

Nine Ways to Fund Travel

Nine Ways to Fund Travel

I hear so many people say, “Oh I wish I could travel” without realizing that most people actually can. Travel requires an investment of time, money and energy, but so does buying a new car or throwing a party. Most of the nine topics below will be covered in-depth in the coming weeks, but what better time to start thinking about funding travel than the new year? Crowdfund (Fundraise) Crowdfunding travel puts a new spin on an old concept (fundraising) and gives anyone who wants to travel with a purpose a new tool to garner support (financial and otherwise) from their community and social networks. Travel crowdfunding websites like Project Travel, Fund My Travel, and Volunteer Forever are available to anyone who wants to travel to study, intern, volunteer, or teach. More general crowdfunding sites like IndieGoGo allow you to crowdfund even a vacation or personal journey. Check out these travel crowdfunding websites, read the FAQs, and set up a travel campaign page to get started. Tip! Most of...

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Posted by on Dec 5, 2012 in Culture, International Education, Most Popular, Travel, Volunteer Abroad |

5 Reasons to Volunteer Abroad (And 5 Reasons Not To)

5 Reasons to Volunteer Abroad (And 5 Reasons Not To)

If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together. ~Aboriginal activists group, Queensland, 1970s Today is International Volunteer Day (IVD). Every volunteer interaction means impact on  volunteers and communities and with “hundreds of millions” of people volunteering every year (United Nations), the potential impacts are significant. Volunteering can be a vehicle for good but also harm. For this reason, it is important to approach the time-honored practice of offering skills and services gratis with an open heart and a critical mind. Most volunteer organizations cite reasons to volunteer such as “make a difference”, “enhance your resume”, “learn about new cultures” and  so on and so forth. All of these may indeed be reasons to volunteer but what I would like to offer today is something quite different. It is an attempt at an  uncomfortably candid perspective on the issue of volunteering for those who have never volunteered but...

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Posted by on Dec 2, 2012 in Culture, Most Popular, Road Trip USA, Travel, Travel Planning |

Staying with Strangers: Hostels, CouchSurfing, AirBnB, StartUpStay, and More

Staying with Strangers: Hostels, CouchSurfing, AirBnB, StartUpStay, and More

Would you stay with a stranger instead of at a hotel? Would you host a stranger from another part of the country or world? I have many times with varying results. I’ve hosted German au pairs in Northern Ireland and camped out in Venice, Italy with two travelers from California. A friend and I stayed with an Austrian woman and shared stories about life while passing around a ram’s horn filled with Drachenblut (a specialty wine called Dragon’s Blood…and yes, there is more to that story). By coincidence, I recently stayed with ordained ministers in Pennsylvania and Nebraska discussing politics, religion, education, human rights, and volunteer work. Comfort vs. Connection I stay with strangers because sometimes I need a place to stay. I also enjoy interesting encounters and am open to nontraditional housing as a part of my travel experience. Here are just three examples of what I would have missed if I stayed in a hotel: dancing a tango in the gardens of the Art Institute of Chicago,...

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