Travel

There are many things you can do on a road trip. I know you can think of a lot it on your own, but I thought I’d provide some inspiration.

1. Play Games

Dig up cards from your Trivial Pursuit game or something similar. Trivia is a way to keep everyone in the car involved. However, any game will do. There are even games on your cellphone that can be played by multiple people. It is fun and a great way to stay awake on the road.

2. Sleep

Road trips last a long time. Unless you’re behind the wheel, you do not have to be awake the whole time. Take a rest so you will be rested enough to do things when you get out of the car.

3. Listen To Music

A good playlist can make a road trip. Even if you just listen to the radio, you could find out what different people in your car like. You may even learn to like something new.

4. Snack

If you’re on the road for awhile, being able to snack every now and then just may keep everyone happy.

5. Talk

It is the simplest thing in the world but talking is a great pastime. People can talk for hours. You only need people to make it happen. If you talk long enough, you may get to know each other better than you thought you would.

6. Write

Travel journals allow you to remember the great times you had on your journeys. You can always look back at them and remember the times you had. You will also have stories to tell others.

7. Take Photos And Videos

If writing is not your thing, there is always visual media. It is something to look back on. We live on a beautiful planet. There are a lot of sights you do not see in your everyday life. Take advantage. Take photos of the fun people you are traveling with. You can capture a laugh, a smile, or some other stolen moment.

My most important advice would be to remember to look past the camera lens. Sightseeing is totally fun but documenting a moment is not as important as experiencing it. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to remind myself to look past the photograph I was taking and into the view before me. I never regretted it once.

Image: unsplash

CultureTravel

You’re standing at the foot of a church built in 1147 with colored glass windows like nothing you’ve ever seen before. The air smells like smoke and you can’t understand what anyone is saying. You bounce from restaurant to restaurant, indulging in the local faire, only to find out that “black pudding” isn’t really pudding after all. You never thought you could experience so much joy, terror and excitement all in the course of one day.

This is only one of the experiences I’ve had traveling; equal parts daunting and surreal. I’d had experience traveling in Europe before, just never on my own. But when I was invited to visit my stepbrother in Vienna, my friend and I packed our bags and never looked back.

Having been to eight European countries in the course of my life so far, I’ve embraced the concept of traveling. Not only do I long to see more of the world, but I’m starting to fully understand what travel can teach you. For all the hours we spend in the classroom, there is nothing quite as enlightening and growth promoting as leaving home for a few weeks.

In the time I spent abroad, I learned more about the countries I was in than I ever would have by reading a textbook. I got to witness a type of natural, idyllic beauty that I only could’ve pictured in a dream. In the same week, I took my first subway ride…with signs I couldn’t read, might I add.

Whether you’re journeying to Croatia or Cuba, you’re forced to experience a culture that is nothing like your own. You’ll struggle to communicate with the locals and learn to not fall into traditional tourist traps. You’ll meet people that’ll change you. And, most importantly, you’ll develop a patience and understanding for others that you may not have developed on your own.

As much as I love drinking from coffee cups the size of my head, I realize that not everyone has the opportunity to travel as much as I did. Luckily, there are plenty of opportunities to cut the cost of your trip. Eliminate hotel costs by using sites like airbnb or hostelworld. Staying at a hostel gives you the opportunity to meet other travelers, while staying at someone’s home gives you the chance to live like a local.

Another great way to travel is by volunteering or working abroad. What better way to experience another culture than by giving back to the community? Organizations like Volunteering Solutions provide inexpensive opportunities to lend a helping hand, while workaway has a list of hosts who need help with their businesses or routine tasks. Last but not least, check what kinds of study abroad programs your school offers. Many schools offer countless scholarship opportunities, making the trip more affordable than you think.

To this day, I think the most important aspect of traveling is the memories. The rolling hills of Wales, gothic architecture of Prague and wine country of Avignon are all still vivid pictures in my mind. It’s not about the photographs, but the feeling; the part of you that has changed and the part of you that yearns to go back.

Image: Unsplash