How To Travel Like A Pro

I spend a lot of time traveling, often to far flung destinations which can offer beautiful cities, picturesque beaches, exotic food and foreign cultures. But sometimes it feels as if I’m being wheeled from one drab hotel room to the next, with the briefest of colorful blurs in between.

Ryan Murdock, has written a wonderful article for ETR, on “How to Travel Like a Pro”. He’s got great tips, for both the hardened road warrior and the casual tourist, on how to maximize your time and most importantly your experience.

If you want to understand a place, travel alone.

When you go with others, the trip is about the dynamics of the group. You seldom interact with the world you’re passing through. And the effect is magnified for couples. A couple travels in a self-contained bubble that others are reluctant to breach.

All of that changes when you travel alone. Your attention is focused on your surroundings. If you’re an introvert, you’ll have to speak up and engage the world around you. You’ll fall into random conversations with strangers, in cafes and on buses. And you’ll be completely drawn into the rhythm of that place.

One of the best parts of solo travel is the memories and associations each new place calls up. When I look back at my notebooks, those are the real gems. As I go deeply into a place, that place in turn causes me to look deeply within myself.

If you truly want those walls to fall down, it’s important to practice non-judgement. Don’t hold that place up against the standards of your home country or city, or you’ll never see beyond your own preconceived opinions. The world’s a big place, and cultures subscribe to many different standards of behavior, cleanliness, morality and personal space. Embrace this and enjoy it. And while you’re there, try to immerse yourself in your host culture’s way of life, even if only for a couple weeks.

Click here to read the full article.

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The Best Cities to Visit: Travel & Leisure versus Me

Criteria: Sites, culture/arts, restaurants/food, people, shopping, value

Best Cities in the World

 Travel and  Leisure                 

  1. Bangkok
  2. Florence
  3. Istanbul
  4. Cape Town
  5. Sidney
  6. Rome
  7. New York
  8. Hong Kong
  9. Kyoto
  10. Paris

My Picks  

  1. Rome
  2. New York
  3. Paris
  4. Barcelona
  5. Madrid
  6. Hong Kong
  7. Istanbul
  8. Buenos Aires
  9. Chicago
  10. Cape Town

Best Cities in Europe

Travel and Leisure                      

  1. Florence
  2. Istanbul
  3. Rome
  4. Paris
  5. Barcelona
  6. Venice
  7. Madrid
  8. Vienna
  9. Seville
  10. Siena

My Picks

  1. Rome
  2. Paris
  3. Barcelona
  4. Madrid
  5. Istanbul
  6. Aix en Provence
  7. Florence
  8. Prague
  9. Milan
  10. Siena

Best Cities in North America

Travel and Leisure              

  1. New York
  2. Chicago
  3. San Francisco
  4. Charleston
  5. New Orleans
  6. Santa Fe
  7. Vancouver
  8. Savannah
  9. Quebec City
  10. Honolulu

My Picks

  1. New York
  2. Chicago
  3. San Francisco
  4. Washington, D.C.
  5. New Orleans
  6. Santa Fe
  7. Savannah
  8. Vancouver
  9. Honolulu
  10. Charleston
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When Will We Solve the Global Warming Problem?

Technology changes not when it might but when it must.

Sensitive people note problems and talk about them. Writers and other influential people talk it up. Crusades are launched. And these crusades create counter-crusades. The argument soars in the media. And for a while it seems as if nothing will ever be done. But gradually, as the threat becomes more tangible, the counter-arguments subside. Laws are written. Treaties are signed. But still no great progress is made. Finally, the general population begins to make changes. But these changes don’t happen until the threat becomes tangible to the affected population.

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