13 Things To Enrich Your Journey

You can find cultural insights and adventure almost anywhere. How you decide to travel and what you decide to do is far more important than where you decide to go and what you intend to see. Thinking in terms of doing rather than seeing will enhance that most vital often elusive dimension of your travels: depth.

1: Relax on a desolate beach

Look at the sea and just relax and unwind, away from the crowded beaches. And this deserted beaches are everywhere, you just have to open your eyes.

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2: Spend the night somewhere unusual

When was the last time you spend a night outside? Guess my choice: a luxury bed in a 5-star hotel or a place under millions of stars?

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3: Try an “unordinary” transport

To fly is practical, a taxi is convinient and with a speedboat you can save a lot of time. But try a train in the third class, a sailboat or a wrecked bus. It will not be comfortable, but you will meet great people and you’ll have great stories to tell.

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4: Taste the streetfood

If you like you can like home when you’re on the road. But why should you want this? Go on the streets and in the food courts. Try things you’ve never eaten!

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5: Make friends with other travelers

Go out to a few bars or to a club in the evening together, have fun. Share your adventures and experiences and learn from eachother.

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6: Head under water

…and discover a different world.

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7: Go underground

Not only underwater another world is waiting for you, underground you can discover exciting things as well.

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8: Meet a local

There is hardly a better guide than a local. He not only shows you the city or the place, but also the life there and corners tourists normally do not go.

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9: Navigate without your guidebook

Talking about getting lost. Why not do it on purpose. Go out without map, without smartphone app and look where you’re going. Just walk and follow your intuition.

10: Explore the backstreets of a city

With or without map, if you don’t follow the main roads and tourist flows, you’ll discover the real essence of a city.

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11: Bargain at the local market

For me as a German it’s a little bit weird to bargain. But when I am traveling, I make it a game. Do not be cheeky, ask kindly and respectful. And never pay the first-mentioned price.

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12: Taste the local “firewater”

Almost every country has a local “specialty” – just closed your eyes and down with it! Cheers!

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13: Climb a mountain

and enjoy the view.

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Over to you: This list is not complete, so what are the things that enrich your journey?

How to: Find your perfect hostel

For solo-travelers it is almost a must! But even when you are traveling with friends – a hostel can be an inexpensive alternative to sterile or same looking hotel room. Hostels are great! They are cheap and nowhere else you can get in touch with other travelers so quickly and easily. But: It takes all sorts. Some can keep up with any design hotel, others offer you a cozy, familiar atmosphere, others are just descent. Therefore, you need to think well before you pick your choice. Especially if you have never been to a hostel, the vast selection can be a little bit overwhelming in the beginning. That is why I show you today,

How I find the perfect hostel for me:

I start by visiting the website: www.hostelworld.com. Thousands of hostels all over the world are listed here. I am pretty sure that there is the right one for you. Just fill in the city you want to travel to and when you are going to stay there. Now you are getting a huge list with many hostels and b&bs.

How to: Choise the right hostel

The following criterias are important:

  • price
  • rating
  • impression/facilities/ambience
  • location

It is entirely up to you how you priorize these points. For me, the price is really important, but on the other hand the ambience as well. Therefore, I decide usually for a hostel in the middle price segment.

Click by click to your travel home:

  1. First, sort by the price. So I can get an overview of the local price range.
  2. Next, I sort by the reviews. A high value is a good indicator for the quality of the hostels. Guests evaluate and rate the service, security, location, staff, atmosphere, facilities and cleanliness.
  3. And then I start clicking like a maniac – I open the cheap and highranked hostels in tabs. I look at the pics and decide within seconds flying by the seat of my pants. If I like, the tab stays open, if I don’t I close it. Most times there are about 4 or 5 hostels, which appeal to me in the terms of price and visual impression.
  4. Now it’s time for the details. I compare facilities and services. Is breakfast included (really important)? Aircon or Fan? Bikerental (just in case)? Parking lot? Laundryservice? and so on. I take a closer look where the hostel is located – how can I get there, is there a bus stop or a subway station?
  5. If available I now visit the hostels homepage. Here I get to know if they offer activities. In Singapore, for instance, I was in a hostel which offered citytours with the kickboard and in Lisboa we went out for a Fado-Evening.
  6. Finally I read some of the reviews. But again at hostelworld.com. In the direct comparison I usually find my favorite.

And voilà: I have found my hostel!

You can directly make your booking over hostelworld.com. A deposit of 16% is due – the rest I then pay when I am there. For a surcharge of 1 € I remain flexible and can use the deposit for another booking in case of cancellation.

Over to you: How do you find your hostel? What was the best hostel you have been to?

Find your own way to travel

A couple of weeks ago I had a, let me call it strange, conversation with one of my collegues. We talked about traveling and our next destination. You have to know that my collegue is a total square. Take a look in the lexicon and you will find a picture of him.

That’s what our talk was like:

-And? What is you next destination?
-Probably to America. Again California and Las Vegas?
-Why? You have been there before?
-Yeah, I know what I got, it is kind of civilized there – almost like in Germany.
-And what will you do all day?
-A little bit of sightseeing. Lying at the beach.
*my thoughts: all the boring stuff*
-And the coffee you buy at Starbucks and the burgers at McDonalds?
-Mmmhh. Sometime Burger King, but yeah.
-Oh, man. Why are you traveling then?
– *look of inquiry*

Why traveling?

And at this point I sometimes miss the necessary understanding. I really don’t get it! Why are people go on vacations to have exactly the same that they have at home aswell? What motivates people to check in all-inclusive hotels almost never leave the facility?

This is why I am traveling!

My way of traveling is not for everybody, I realized though, but it is the perfect way for me actually. And because I am so happy about that is why I try to crusade other people. But the most important thing is: You have to find your own way to travel! But let me tell you why I travel…because:

To get an idea about the country and the people

At a pinch I can see the sights on the Internet. I want to feel how it is to live there. Therefore, I am not atrracted to the tourist hotspots or any museums, but the streets, neighborhoods and parks. There I sit down on a bench and watch the people living their daily lifes – very realistic.

New experiences

I do not want to feel like home when I am traveling. It draws me in little cafes, Street Kitchens, to the local market place instead of global chains. Before I lived vegan I really tried everything – now go with everything fits into my diet.

My plan: Don’t have any

In my everyday life and job I have to plan constantly. Therefore on holidays I avoid it to make plans at all and give myself the luxury of getting up in the morning and just doing that what I am really in the mood for. For me there is almost nothing worse than trudge along a meticulously timed plan going to all points of interest. I let myself drift. If I like a place I’ll stay there and let it affect me. When I go somewhere along and something in me says, now right, then I turn to the right and discover usually the greatest of all things. If someone is sympathetic I talk with him, if it smells good I stop and watch what it is.

Meeting friends

You have friends allover the world. You just have to meet them.

You are traveling alone??? For many, it is absolutely unintelligible and incomprehensible to travel alone on the road. But the fact is that there is almost any other situation you have the possibility to get to know other people as quickly and easily as on the road and sometimes also meet friends for life. It is the people that I encounter on my way to make traveling for me so special – not the sights.

Getting to know myself, learn, discover and grow

It’s true! You have to get lost to find yourself! Nowhere else can you learn so much about life and about yourself while traveling alone. You come to a foreign place, with foreign cultures and foreign people … You’re alone and you need some time. Everything is exciting, everything is new. 1000 impressions – all at once. First, you learn to deal with such a situation and at some point you realize that you can do it. You gain self-confidence, you open yourself and your mind, you will broaden your horizon, with each impression with every talk. And you realize, the more you’re open in these situations, the more heartily you will receive. And then you want more! The explorer comes out! You just want more, more people, more impressions, learn more, live more.

Over to you: How are you traveling? Why are you travling? What is your intention to travel?