Female Travel Travel Tips

What I’ve Learned from Traveling to 25 Countries: A List of Millennial Travel Tips

What I've Learned From Traveling to 25 Countries - title

With 25 countries and nearly 25 years under my belt, I have a few loosely spun travel philosophies that undergird any trip I take. And since I learned how to find cheap flights like a pro using Skyscanner, it’s become so much more accessible! Of course, each person is different—everyone has different tastes, priorities, expectations, and personalities. Nonetheless, I truly believe this set of broad traveling rules can enhance anyone’s travel experience, be it a brief foray in a new city or an extended excursion across a fresh continent. Read about what I’ve learned from traveling, take it in stride and apply what works for you!


Note: These photographs were all taken with our Canon Rebel and iPhone 4s, but we have since upgraded to a Canon 80D, DJI Phantom, and iPhone 6s Plus and LOVE it! Read Best Budget Travel Cameras to Improve Your Travel Photography for more info. 


What I’ve learned from traveling to 25 countries:

Be flexible

Number 1 on the list of what I’ve learned from traveling? Travel is unpredictable. Trains get cancelled, flights get missed, things get stolen or lost—that’s just the nature of the beast. Go ahead and check out 9 disasters that can happen while traveling and how to prevent them. A successful traveler has to relinquish some power over their journey to fate, and go with the flow.

Here’s an example.

Our trip to Peru a few years ago was all plotted out—train and bus tickets purchased, hostels booked, etc. But after we had spent a day in Lima and were preparing for our next leg of travel, we learned that protests throughout the entire southern region had halted all bus travel.

We were stranded in Lima and had no foreseeable way of getting to Cusco, and thus to Machu Picchu. In a situation like this, you have to accept and adapt. We ultimately decided to drop an extra $120 on last minute plane tickets to Cusco so we could make it to Machu Picchu (spoiler alert: we ended up having Machu Picchu almost entirely to ourselves), but we also brainstormed alternatives like traveling to the desert and spending the week doing some badass Nazca desert sports.


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The last thing to do is panic, because a) that’s counter-productive and b) whatever we would’ve ended up doing, we would’ve been in freaking Peru and it would’ve been amazing.  I’ve lost an iPod, cash, what had been my one and only working debit card—and when these things happen, you just have to problem-solve and at a certain point, let it go, or decide to also lose your trip. Learn from it, and move on. Wanna know what I’ve learned from traveling? Nothing is the end of the world.


Want to learn from other travelers?

You’ll want to check out this ultimate list of the Top 200 Travel Books!


Traveling to Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru: totally worth the extra trouble it took to get there

 

Drop your expectations

Here’s a second point of what I’ve learned from traveling: expectations? Drop ’em.

Don’t go to Italy expecting to fall in love with some Roman hottie and get serenaded by the Coliseum (true story, I did once actually get serenaded by the Coliseum—but it wasn’t no Johnny Depp and I wouldn’t bank on it happening again).

What I mean is, don’t set your traveling expectations so narrow that any experience other than the plot of Chocolat will have you disappointed. G. K. Chesterton had a great traveling quote on the matter (though maybe not the most gender inclusive): “The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.” What I’ve learned from traveling is the point of travel isn’t to gloss over the flesh and spontaneity and realness of a place to a fit a certain mold made before your plane even landed. Do take your experience for what it is—beautiful in its uniqueness, liberating in its shapelessness, and rich in its reality.


Feeling that Fernweh? Learn about this and and more Unusual Travel Words!


Traveling to Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech, Morocco: sometimes the spontaneous moments are the best, like when I got pulled into this circle in the Jemaa el-Fna!

 

Indulge in photos but not at the expense of your experience

And how about what I’ve learned from traveling when it comes to taking pictures? 

Oh, selfies. I hate taking them, but always appreciate when, after coming back from a trip and the travel sickness sets in, I can pull up some goofy selfies from traveling to the Acropolis or the Eiffel Tower and relive the memories. Seriously, effing #YOLO. We live in the digital age, when you can literally take thousands of pictures on one little techie SD fleck that will help document and memorialize your trip for years to come, and you’d be silly to not take advantage of that. Check out my guide, Best Budget Travel Cameras to Improve Your Travel Photography, for my recommended affordable cameras to get you started.

BUT, here’s a huge caveat—recognize that standing behind (or in front of?) the camera can inhibit your ability to experience the present if you’re not careful, and even affect your ability to remember the moment in the future. Personally, I take a crap-ton of pictures so I have them to enjoy later and post them on Instagram, then stuff my camera away so I can also appreciate the moment without the lens. And don’t forget to back up your photos!

Traveling to the Eiffel Tower, France

Eiffel Tower, France: I had to stand there in the cold like a fool trying to get this selfie, but it was totally worth it

 

 

Try food you would never eat at home

What I’ve learned from traveling when it comes to food? Take the plunge.

When will you ever be in Thailand being offered water buffalo and water bugs again? Probably never. Take the plunge and eat those silk worms, those raw chicken livers, those curdled pig’s blood cubes. I’ve eaten all those listed above, plus scorpions in China, locusts in Austria, and some other squirmy tasties. Even now, as an English teacher in Korea, I’ll eat blood sausage or raw shrimp if it’s offered to me by my boss—and I’m a person who had been a happy vegetarian for ten years.

Food is so much a part of culture, and you’re missing a huge part of the country you’re traveling to by swearing off foods that make you uncomfortable—and no, this doesn’t only include the, shall we say, “exotic” creepy-crawly variety. Broaden your mind and your taste buds, dear comrade!

 


Craving some food posts?

Check out 11 Vietnamese Food Dishes to Fall in Love With,

(Shark?!) for the Soul, 

and 15 Dope Places to Eat in LA!


 

Fermented Crab in South Korea, shell and all!

Fermented Crab in Korea, shell and all!

 

Don’t break the bank for accommodation

What I’ve learned from traveling: there’s more to accommodation than hotels and hostels.

Hostels are the backpacker’s refuge, averaging at around $10/night for a bed in a dorm. But even that can add up during longer trips. Unless I’m on a tight schedule or have a specific hotel in mind, I always look to CouchSurfing to find accommodation. You can meet locals and get a taste of their POV of their region, and, as a plus, you get a free place to crash for the night.


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I’ve stayed on couches with Germans for Oktoberfest, dusty floors with art school Parisians, and on comfortable beds with Moroccans—and all have been amazing traveling experiences for different reasons.

The level of interaction you have with your host is something that should be communicated and established from the beginning, as some hosts might expect more or less amounts of time with you, and you’ll want to be matched with someone on the same page.

And for extra brownie points, try to bring a small gift for your host! I once hosted a German when I was living in LA who brought me these badass vintage Oktoberfest beer steins that I cherish to this day, but honestly even something as small as a bar of chocolate would be a thoughtful and appreciative gesture for your host.

Our CouchSurfing host, Federico, showing us absinthe rituals in the oldest bar in Barcelona, Spain

Our CouchSurfing host, Federico, showing us absinthe rituals in the oldest bar in Barcelona

And for long-term travel, CouchSurfing isn’t the only option available to you. Fantastic services like WWOOF and workaway sites provide hosting options for travelers with plenty of time but not a whole lotta money who are willing to volunteer at farms/hostels/ranches/etc. in exchange for food and a place to stay. A quick Google search will provide you with thousands of options in thousands of cities—from vineyard work in Tuscany to resort work in Egypt, the possible experiences are endless.

 

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES ABROAD

And of course, there are plenty of accessible opportunities for finding employment abroad that will allow you to experience new cultures and places for extended periods of time. We’ve chosen teaching English abroad ourselves, with teaching job opportunities available all over Europe, Asia, and South America. While the requirements vary widely from country to country and school to school, it’s very possible to find positions that require nothing more than a bachelor’s degree for native English speakers, with the perks of free rent, free airfare, and a bonus upon completion of a one-year contract. If teaching isn’t your thing, another fantastic job opportunity for living abroad is working as an Au Pair. Check out this guide to learn more about How to Travel the World as an Au Pair. If teaching English or being an Au Pair don’t sound like your cup of tea, there are tons more ways to earn money on the road, such as editing and proofreading or working at campgrounds.

 

Don’t do only touristy things

What I’ve learned from traveling: you’re not getting a full flavor of a new place if you’re only traveling to places jam-packed with other tourists.

Taking a cue from our fellow inhabitants of Korea, Ben and I refer to any foreigner as waygook, and we’re on full alert if we see far too many waygooks around without a local in sight. It’s this waygook-phobia that compelled us to find this incredible Hidden Beach on Jeju Island, South Korea as well as the Secret Beach in Mirissa, Sri Lanka, actually!

In Sri Lanka, for example, we regretted spending some of our limited time doing some of the more touristy things. While beautiful, our safari in Yala National Park (famous for having the highest concentration of leopards in the world) was chock full of tourists who were also on holiday for the New Year—so much so that many of the animals stayed in hiding. Had we known it would be so busy with waygooks, we would’ve chosen traveling to a less popular park! In fact, a few of our favorite experiences from our Sri Lanka trip were visiting a Hindu temple service in Colombo, and exploring the Dambulla Elephant Trash Dump with a local.


Want to learn more about what I learned from traveling in Sri Lanka? Check out our entire Sri Lanka itinerary!


 

What I’ve learned from traveling is that the promotion of tourism in a place has its pros and cons—while the maintenance and accessibility of a place makes it easier for everyone, you and me included, this ease and commodification of a place can negatively impact your experience (not to mention that of the people who live there). You certainly don’t want to marinate in a sea of waygooks your whole trip for that reason.

Monkeys in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Yala National Park, Sri Lanka: we may not have seen any leopards, but we definitely saw monkeys!

 

BUT, don’t dismiss all touristy things

When Ben and I were staying in a hostel in Cusco, Peru (one example in which a tight schedule didn’t permit for CouchSurfing), we overheard a girl saying Machu Picchu was over-rated and that she probably wasn’t going to go. To which, the well-organized mind can only say, “Betch, please.”

Here’s the thing: what I’ve learned from traveling is that these places tend to have hype for good reason. Don’t trek to Paris and not go to the Eiffel Tower. Don’t schlep to Beijing and not see the Great Wall. And under no circumstances are you going to knock on the door of Machu Picchu and not enter.

While we loved our local experiences in Sri Lanka, we also adored the more touristy Lion Rock of Sigiriya and Temple of Tooth in Kandy. And the same goes for Vietnam—I loved eating at the local Vietnamese food vendors, but I wouldn’t give up our Sapa Trekking experience in a heartbeat!

Check your snobbery at the door and strive for balance—mix some of those “touristy” things in with some more local “authentic” experiences. This is where CouchSurfing comes in! Your host can be a great source of information for the best local places to visit in their area, as well as the best traveling maneuvers (time to visit, locations to scope) to approach those touristy sites.

Having a rosary blessed by Pope Francis in the Vatican on Easter, Italy

Having a rosary blessed by Pope Francis in the Vatican on Easter: very touristy, and very VERY worth it.

 

Be uncomfortable

I’ve been lucky to have the chance to stay in some bougie digs (which I most certainly would never turn down), but it’s the bumming vagabondage I remember most. Staying out all winter night curling up next to a friend in Lyon or Picadilly Square waiting for the subways to open because we didn’t book a hostel after the Lyon Light Show or had a long layover in London, a string of hours-long bus and train rides down the spine of Morocco, or through the heart of Sri Lanka, hole-in-the-wall hostels and tick-friendly floor cots in Thai villages, walking in on five Chinese men in a row smoking, squatting, taking a dump, and perusing their phones with the doors open—these are the things I look back on fondly.

Sleepless, delirious, bone-breaking travel with a heavy backpack and cold feet—these are the things that distinguish a traveler from a tourist (as tenuous as these distinctions may always be). This is what I’ve learned from traveling. In the words of Paul Theroux, “Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.

Lyon Light Festival, France

Lyon Light Festival, France: totally worth staying out all night in the bitter winter cold for

 

Explore on your own

Exploring a new place on your own can be such an invigorating and confidence-building experience. Don’t believe me? Read this experience of the Accidental Solo Traveller. What I’ve learned from traveling is that familiar people are safety blankets, and can have the effect of insulating you from your unfamiliar environment.

At least once in your life, you should enjoy the companionless wander in a new destination. Take a note from Liberty Hyde Bailey, who wrote, “When the traveler goes alone he gets acquainted with himself.”

Traveling by yourself forces you to take responsibility over yourself and your awareness of your surroundings, as well as your place in it. It’s a wonderful lesson in travel, and in life itself.

One of my favorite stories that highlights this is not my own, but of a friend I studied abroad with in Thailand. It was her first time traveling outside of the states, and the initial culture shock kept her around our classmates. A few weeks in, she decided to explore a local market on her own. She found it to be a liberating experience, unique from her outings with classmates. It dramatically changed her view of Thailand and gave her a sense of confidence that deteriorated any initial hostility she had felt from this unfamiliar country, culture and language. There’s a token of anonymity in traveling to and exploring an entirely new place without any ties back to what you already know, and the self-reliance you have to employ as you feel your way around by yourself is exhilarating and confidence-boosting!


Check out how traveling alone makes you a badass!


Bubbles at the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris, France

Paris, France: Wandering around a new city on your own is easy in a magical place like Paris!

 

The journey is the destination

Yes, this might be one of the most overused phrases among travelers, but clichés can have honest roots. What I’ve learned from traveling is that whether you’re exploring a single city in a month, or venturing across 10 cities in a week—each step and each moment marks a fundamental stroke in the traveling experience as a whole. There’s perhaps no clearer examples of this philosophy than these most adventurous road trips of all time or this epic 2000 km rickshaw race in India covered by The Broke Backpacker.

 

And even if you’re not venturing across a subcontinent in a psychedelic rickshaw, this notion that the journey is the destination still rings true. I have fond memories from our non-stop itinerary in Sri Lanka, bouncing from Colombo to Anuradhapura to Dambulla and Sigiriya to Kandy, standing on the train from Kandy to Ella through the tea country for 8 hours, to a few of the wildest bus rides of my life traveling to Tissamaharama, to the longest tuktuk ride of my life to Mirissa, and finally back to the capital at Colombo—all in one week. While I would happily go back to any of these cities for weeks or months and explore every nook and cranny, when seeing such a broad spectrum of the country in such a condensed space of time, every bus ride, every train ride, every attempt to hail a taxi becomes a cultural experience in and of itself. There’s nothing like inhaling the breath and sweat of a sardine can bus of locals for a sense of the real. Even though it’s not something you would see on the cover of a travel brochure, I wouldn’t give up that memory for the world.

Another quintessential embodiment of this is hitchhiking! Though Americans tend to shy away from this tradition, many travelers continue to rely on hitchhiking as a form of transportation and engagement with locals, especially in Europe.  I haven’t ever partaken in hitchhiking myself but you can check out these Hitchhiking Tips if this is something that interests you. Just as with Couchsurfing and Airbnb, safety and following your intuition are key!

 


“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”

-Robert Louis Stevenson


Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka: Train from Kandy to Ella

Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka: Standing on the train through tea country was a cultural experience all on its own

This Is What I’ve Learned from Traveling

You know you’re a travel junkie when even thinking about traveling in the upcoming years gets you jittery. I took my first international trip to the Philippines when I was still attached at the nip, and now nearly 25 years later I can honestly say, there’s nothing else I’d rather have define my life.

Travel is both humbling and emboldening. It forces you to confront realities about yourself and the context you inhabit that you may not otherwise by privileged to realize—and that’s really the most important rule about travel that should guide you. If nothing else, this is what I’ve learned from traveling.

Take this note from Mark Twain’s lasting vitality, pulled from the pages of Innocents Abroad: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” Travel is not merely an escape, but an opportunity to learn. So journey on, rock ‘n’ roam, and get yourself out there!


Need some more wanderlust inspiration? Check out these helpful travel tips!


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Here's what I've learned from traveling to 25 countries with 25 years under my belt, and other millennial traveling tips and wisdom to help your journey! What I've Learned from Traveling to 25 Countries: Travel Tips from a Female Traveler What I've Learned from Traveling to 25 Countries: Travel Tips from a Female Traveler

 


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116 Comments

  • Reply
    Sri Lanka’s Hidden Gem: Mirissa’s Secret Beach – TLVSION ØF NOMADS
    March 27, 2016 at 12:07 am

    […] the teeniest bit hung-over, and had no desire to lie on a loud and crowded beach covered with waygooks. Instead, we feasted on a lovely traditional New Year’s breakfast arranged (free of charge!) by […]

  • Reply
    Awara Yunus
    April 12, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    25 Countries.. Simply WoW!

    • Reply
      Lauren West
      April 12, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      Yes, it’s been an incredible journey and I hope I can keep going for the rest of my life!

  • Reply
    Holiday Season
    April 19, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    Very detailed.

  • Reply
    The Eclecticity
    April 20, 2016 at 5:53 am

    I love this post. The first time I went travelling by myself I’d planned every hostel, every night’s accommodation and researched all the trains and buses to get me from Singapore to Bangkok in three weeks only for me to meet a group of people on the first day so all my plans (happily) went out the window and then I had my appendix out nine days into the trip in Phuket! I stayed out for three and a half months going to Australia and New Zealand too and had the best time ever. So many wonderful things will happen when you travel, I love it!
    Katie
    TheEclecticity.org

    • Reply
      televisionofnomads
      April 20, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      What a fabulous experience, Katie! Thanks for sharing your story, we love meeting like-minded people. By the way, let us know if you’d ever be interested in receiving a guest post for your blog! (or even vice versa, because even though we’re just getting started on wordpress, we have a pretty good following on tumblr!)

      • Reply
        The Eclecticity
        April 21, 2016 at 6:39 am

        It was amazing – the first three weeks completely changed the way I thought about travelling. I’m just getting started too so have only a small circulation at the moment but would love to feature a guest post and likewise if you’d like a guest post I’d be more than happy to oblige! I’ve been to over 30 countries now and just love to travel! You can see the travel posts I’ve done so far in the Travel section on TheEclecticity.org I’d love it if you’d check it out and it would be great to collaborate!

  • Reply
    mokitadreams
    April 20, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    So true. Loved the part about expectations. Always turns out better than what I’ve planned. And the relationships.. Nothing like making new friends

    • Reply
      televisionofnomads
      April 20, 2016 at 5:05 pm

      Yes, yes, a million times yes! Fluidity is so important to getting the most out of your adventures. Thanks for your feedback!

  • Reply
    The Gramercy Fox
    April 20, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    This is such a great post! As a frequent traveler, I will definitely be referring to this in the future! xo – http://www.thegramercyfox.com

    • Reply
      televisionofnomads
      April 20, 2016 at 11:27 pm

      From you, that means a lot! Thanks a bunch! 🙂

      • Reply
        Jodi
        June 25, 2016 at 3:12 pm

        We’ve arvried at the end of the line and I have what I need!

  • Reply
    wanderpaul
    April 30, 2016 at 1:19 am

    Nice!! I could relate myself to this! Nice post! 🙂

    • Reply
      televisionofnomads
      April 30, 2016 at 5:08 pm

      Awesome! Glad to hear from a fellow traveler!

      • Reply
        wanderpaul
        April 30, 2016 at 5:25 pm

        You’re welcome the television of nomads! 🙂 i had fun reading your blogs 🙂

  • Reply
    amoralegria
    April 30, 2016 at 1:53 am

    Reblogged this on Wanderlust and Wonderment and commented:
    These tips are great and worth remembering!

  • Reply
    adventuresoffiveblog
    May 3, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    Love this list! Still learning to master that balance of doing touristy/non-touristy things. So many great insights…can’t wait to read more!

  • Reply
    scar
    May 3, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    I love this! So true!

    • Reply
      televisionofnomads
      May 4, 2016 at 8:05 am

      Glad you liked it! Thanks so much for stopping by!

      • Reply
        Jodecy
        June 25, 2016 at 1:04 pm

        What a pleasure to find someone who ideiniftes the issues so clearly

  • Reply
    Scorpion Stings
    May 4, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    I’m not easily inspired, but dammit, you’ve inspired me. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Travel and Destinations
    May 5, 2016 at 3:31 am

    Really nice post and thoughts. I like your points on don’t only do touristy things, and about trying different food that you don’t get at home.

  • Reply
    nor4h
    May 5, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    Thanks for all this advice! Travelling has been on and off recently as my husband (2nd) also loved travelling, but got Alzheimers, which made it a nightmare, and then had to stop, so I’m back to travelling alone again, New York here I come, in 2 weeks time!!

    • Reply
      televisionofnomads
      May 5, 2016 at 8:00 pm

      Happy to help! Thank you for sharing your story, and it’s wonderful that you’re able to make travel work into your life! Enjoy your trip!

  • Reply
    Peri Dwyer Worrell
    May 6, 2016 at 8:16 am

    This is beautifully written and reflective. Great quotes you’ve chosen!

  • Reply
    Travel Nurse April
    May 10, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Keep on traveling!

  • Reply
    nickisalwaysonholidays
    May 10, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    A great amount of advice for travelling. Well thought of and put together, thanks!

  • Reply
    grant
    May 11, 2016 at 1:26 am

    Wonderful post!

  • Reply
    BART Station Bard
    May 11, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Well said! You understand the value of letting the adventure have you!

    • Reply
      televisionofnomads
      May 14, 2016 at 9:23 am

      Absolutely! That’s perhaps the most valuable aspect of travel for us!

  • Reply
    nyonyawhitfield
    May 13, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    This is so inspiring! I am going to Cambodia in summer, wondering if you’ve been there? If so.. any tips? Thanks! x

    • Reply
      Lauren West
      May 14, 2016 at 9:30 am

      Thank you so much, hun! I haven’t made it to Cambodia yet, but Ben has! He suggests that when you go to Angkor Wat (it’s safe to assume you’re going to Angkor Wat, right?), to make sure that you go around and see as many sites at Angkor as you can, not just Angkor Wat. The outlying areas will be less crowded and more peaceful, allowing you to explore the ruins without all the other tourists. You can even rent a bike and go around, or hire a driver to take you to a place further away from the hub of tourists. Also, if you get the chance, try to check out the sunrise at Angkor Wat! Stunning!

      • Reply
        nyonyawhitfield
        May 14, 2016 at 10:27 am

        Thanks a lot and yes Angkor Wat is on the list, I think it’ s more of what to do in Phnom Penh because we’re flying to the capital. I’ll check out other blogs too tho so thanks again for being so kind x

  • Reply
    nunumu
    May 14, 2016 at 10:01 am

    I LOVE this list. I agree with everything! Thanks for checking out my blog too. =)

  • Reply
    c_in_b
    May 17, 2016 at 12:48 am

    Thanks for your Like of Black Sea Pilgrim. Interesting to see your posts on Marrakech and Jeju where we have visited in the last year. To me, your recommendation, “Be Flexible” says it all. Cheers.

    • Reply
      televisionofnomads
      May 21, 2016 at 9:23 pm

      Thanks for scoping us out! So cool to hear you’ve visited Jeju. We’ve been living on the island for about 10 months now, and absolutely love it!

  • Reply
    Kitsy
    May 20, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    ” when these things happen, you just have to problem-solve and at a certain point, let it go ” i.e., life happens, thank you, God.

    ” Nothing is the end of the world. ” …a very profound statement, and yet…

    I adore GK Chesterton, btw. I am also gratified to find I am a traveler and not a tourist; when I took a cruise on a Norwegian cruise ship, I did not anticipate ending up with a delightful relationship with a Norwegian passenger…”rich in its reality.”

    Speaking of photos and selfies, have you ventured over to read my posts Device Protection and No Devices?
    https://theviewfrom5022.com/2016/02/20/device-protection/
    https://theviewfrom5022.com/2016/02/23/no-devices/

    I also love Paul Theroux.

    ” clichés can have honest roots ” that’s why they are cliché…like myth and allegory

    ” There’s nothing like inhaling the breath and sweat of a sardine can bus of locals for a sense of the real. ” wonderful imagery, dear.

    “Mark Twain’s lasting vitality, pulled from the pages of Innocents Abroad: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” I will argue with Mark only a bit; I am old, and with the exception of a few highly confining cruises, have not traveled much, and therefore have vegetated in my little corner of the earth (which is now in rural, backwards, upstate South Carolina) but have somehow gained enough wisdom to have put to death much of the prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness I was raised with. In fact, those are the issues I write most about. Blogs like yours (and I am delighted to have found you) lift me out of the ‘hollar’ and transport me. But, I digress…back to your wisdom.

    • Reply
      televisionofnomads
      May 21, 2016 at 9:24 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words and thoughtful comments! I really enjoyed reading your reactions!

  • Reply
    consciencesymphonie
    May 21, 2016 at 12:19 am

    Reblogged this on ConscienceSymphonie.

    • Reply
      televisionofnomads
      May 21, 2016 at 9:24 pm

      Thanks for the reblog!!!

      • Reply
        consciencesymphonie
        May 21, 2016 at 11:27 pm

        it’s amazing you know.. Esp about the food, I’ve always stay on the safe side, trying something new but not completely.. Also the travel alone.. I’ll definitely do it someday!

  • Reply
    Candy
    May 21, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    Thank you for so many great ideas in this post. I’m going to try them!

    • Reply
      televisionofnomads
      May 21, 2016 at 11:55 pm

      That’s fantastic, Candy! Let us know if you ever have any questions!

      • Reply
        Starly
        June 25, 2016 at 2:15 pm

        The ablitiy to think like that is always a joy to behold

  • Reply
    Beata
    May 22, 2016 at 8:29 am

    wonderful advice!

  • Reply
    A Girl with Geography
    May 23, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    great post, and did not seem too detailed to me (maybe because I love details myself)! 😀 I like your reflections: even though my approach to travelling it very different, I share your philosophy and your inspiration.

  • Reply
    Lesley
    May 24, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    Great stuff! I completely agree on the technology. Love it but hate it.
    Thank you so much for this post!

    http://www.offbeatpath.net

    • Reply
      televisionofnomads
      May 26, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      Thanks for dropping by, Lesley! Adore your blog!

      • Reply
        Donte
        June 25, 2016 at 1:50 pm

        That hits the target dead ceernt! Great answer!

  • Reply
    sudersansrini
    May 25, 2016 at 4:29 am

    i am completely in smitten by your post and your blog…!!!!
    the pictures and the words compliment one another so well, that they flow like ether, through to the readers head and soul….! oh, and the quotes you have used here, they are simply amazing..!
    kudos to the traveler in you..! hoping to read more of your posts, and maybe pick a pointer or two from it!!!
    have a good day! cheers!

    • Reply
      televisionofnomads
      May 26, 2016 at 12:19 pm

      Thank you for your lovely words! It’s readers like you that make it all worth it!

  • Reply
    ACK
    May 25, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    Wonderful post and exactly what I needed right now. Am standing here as I write these words with my backpack waiting in the hallway. Only few moments away from starting my trip. Leaving the place I called home for the past 3 months behind me. I will read it again and again. Very well written indeed 😄 Look forward to read more of your posts!

    • Reply
      televisionofnomads
      May 26, 2016 at 12:20 pm

      Hope you have the trip of a lifetime! Thanks so much for your kind words, and hit us up if you ever have any questions!

  • Reply
    Matea Pichet
    May 28, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    I’m so happy I ended up on this blog! Looking forward to reading more of these xx

  • Reply
    Spence's Girl
    May 29, 2016 at 8:19 am

    Well written and I so agree with you. Travel is the best experience we can give ourselves.

  • Reply
    nishasahonta
    May 29, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Reblogged this on nishasahonta and commented:
    I should have read this before I came to the US, I’m glad I’ve read it before my other adventures…

  • Reply
    The Smell Guide: Chiang Mai, Thailand | TLVSION ØF NOMADS
    May 31, 2016 at 7:22 am

    […] been around here and there, but there’s one place that, no matter where else I travel to, will always have a piece of […]

  • Reply
    Omobola Thomas
    June 6, 2016 at 6:14 am

    loved this! being flexible is a lesson i am continually learning

    • Reply
      Lauren West
      June 6, 2016 at 10:01 am

      Absolutely, glad you agree!

  • Reply
    muddyshoe
    June 6, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    very informative and well written. I truly appreciate your work.
    Thanks for visiting my page.

    • Reply
      televisionofnomads
      June 6, 2016 at 3:51 pm

      No problem, and thank you so much for visiting ours!

  • Reply
    mary
    June 6, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    Hi, thanks for stopping by my blog. Great tips in this post. I’m a huge instagram fan (I have two accounts) so I look forward to checking out your gallery
    cheers
    mary

    • Reply
      Lauren West
      June 6, 2016 at 8:26 pm

      Thanks so much, Mary!

  • Reply
    Television of Nomads
    June 6, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    […] been around here and there, but there’s one place that, no matter where else I travel to, will always have a piece of […]

  • Reply
    Television of Nomads
    June 6, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    […] the teeniest bit hung-over, and had no desire to lie on a loud and crowded beach covered with waygooks. Instead, we feasted on a lovely traditional New Year’s breakfast arranged (free of charge!) by […]

  • Reply
    Television of Nomads
    June 10, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    […] passageways, the fleshy smell of leather tanneries kept in by the rainclouds. The French man who hosted us said we were lucky to come when we did. The festival occurred a few days before our arrival, an […]

  • Reply
    KHANH HOA VO THI
    June 12, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Gorgeous couple, love u guys

    • Reply
      Lauren West
      June 12, 2016 at 1:39 pm

      Thank you, you wonderful woman!

  • Reply
    Bee
    June 13, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Love this post! As a fellow globetrotter I totes agree.

    • Reply
      Lauren West
      June 13, 2016 at 8:30 pm

      Fabulous, Bee! Thanks for dropping by!

  • Reply
    samir aragon
    June 15, 2016 at 7:59 am

    Excellent post. I think this is one post I’ll come back to every now and then whenever travel is on my mind.

    • Reply
      Lauren West
      June 15, 2016 at 8:24 am

      That’s the ultimate compliment! Thank you, Samir!

  • Reply
    Raquel
    June 20, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    I couldn’t be more agree with you on every point. I wish I could travel to 25 countries or more in the future!!

    • Reply
      Lauren West
      June 20, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      Glad to hear it, Raquel!

  • Reply
    Ana
    June 22, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    Wow loved the post!I love traveling and this post just made me that more excited for the next adventure.Thank you for the tips,i’ll be definitely trying them.Thank you for visiting my page and i can honestly say that i will be looking forward to your posts!

    • Reply
      Lauren West
      June 23, 2016 at 3:04 pm

      That makes me so happy to read, Ana! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Johanna Bradley
    June 24, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    All good advice! Happy travels 🙂

    • Reply
      Lauren West
      June 25, 2016 at 3:52 pm

      Wonderful, Johanna! You as well!

  • Reply
    Kimberley
    July 2, 2016 at 4:04 am

    Great tips worth keeping in mind always.

    • Reply
      televisionofnomads
      July 2, 2016 at 11:32 am

      Glad you think so, Kimberley! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Louise Creely
    July 10, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Love it! And so agree – the best memories are usually the ones you didn’t plan for!

    • Reply
      Lauren West
      July 10, 2016 at 9:13 pm

      Thanks a million, Louise!

  • Reply
    Dave Ply
    July 20, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Lots of good thoughts in this post even if skewed to the younger vagabond, but my favorite was the G. K. Chesterton quote – that sums it up nicely. And of course, the Twain quote is an old favorite too.

    • Reply
      Lauren West
      July 20, 2016 at 9:37 pm

      I certainly can’t deny that, as that is my perspective. However, I’m glad you still found some resonance in my post, Dave! Thanks for dropping by!

  • Reply
    Kimberley
    July 24, 2016 at 8:11 am

    Great tips.

  • Reply
    Sasha
    August 1, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    the photos are amazing as wella s the tips! thanks for sharing))))

    your blog is so inspiring! love it) let’s be friends online?)))

    • Reply
      Lauren West
      August 1, 2016 at 10:51 pm

      Can’t thank you enough for the lovely words, Sasha! And yeah I’ll be your online friend if you’ll be mine! 😀

  • Reply
    Terry Lewis
    September 12, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Great tips. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Lauren West
      September 12, 2016 at 9:56 pm

      Honored that you think so, Terry!

  • Reply
    Rose
    September 12, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Wise words!

  • Reply
    360honeymoon
    November 30, 2016 at 5:08 am

    Awesome post and beautifully written. We totally agree, fluidity is key to happy travels and a sane mind 😉 And yup yup accommodation doesn’t have to cost a bomb, or even cost a penny. We’ve just done a 3 month housesit in the Costa Rican rainforest, and all we’ve had to do is look after a dog and coo over the adorable sloths in the garden. If you’ve never heard if housesitting long term then you’ve got to look up trustedhousesitters.com, it’s amazing! Look forward to your next post, Love Candace and Spencer (www.360honeymoon.com)

    • Reply
      Lauren West
      December 7, 2016 at 8:19 am

      I’ve never tried housesitting before but I’ve only heard good things about it! We’ll definitely have to check it out!

  • Reply
    Television of Nomads
    December 17, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    […] What I’ve Learned from Traveling to 25 Countries […]

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