4 Powerful Tips To Help You Overcome Culture Shock

Anger. Of all the emotions associated with culture shock, anger was the one I expected the least. I had never experienced culture shock in any real way before, and I had traveled enough to think that I was somehow uniquely immune. Maybe I was just peculiarly cosmopolitan, open-minded, or adaptable to new experiences. Two weeks into a trip to Myanmar, it seemed like I had been correct. Of course I felt the occasional pang of loneliness or problems with communication, but overall I felt comfortable and at ease. Continue reading “4 Powerful Tips To Help You Overcome Culture Shock”

Unusual Places to Stay While Traveling

The appeal for many that enjoy traveling is the idea of getting out of ones comfort zone – and that includes where you lay your head each night. Hotels are convenient if you’re a new traveler and want to have a guarantee of the comfort of where you’re staying. They can also be a necessity if you’re going on a trip that is high impact in terms of baggage, where you need a shuttle service, or with many schedules to accommodate, or if you’re trying to coordinate with a large number of people. But for a smaller and more flexible trip, there are a number of unique and sometime exciting places to stay that are a bit more off the wall. Here are just a few ideas for travelers looking for novel travel accommodations. Continue reading “Unusual Places to Stay While Traveling”

5 Preparation Tips for Traveling Outside the U.S. and Europe

As an American, I’ve always considered traveling to Europe to be “Travel-Lite.” That statement is in no way meant to imply some kind of elitist condescension about what denotes “real” travel or not. On the contrary, European countries, such as Italy, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom (which is a part of Europe whether it likes it or not), are some of the most fascinating sites in the world to explore for history, culture, and general atmosphere. Go on a study abroad trip there and I might be your instructor! Continue reading “5 Preparation Tips for Traveling Outside the U.S. and Europe”

Stained Glass, Art, and Murals in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

I’ve heard Chernobyl, Ukraine is best described as a living museum. It’s perhaps the best way to explain what is now referred to as the exclusion zone because it truly feels like even the cities decomposition is a way of preserving what happened there. The exclusion zone – the region now off limits due to residual radioactivity from the 1986 power plant accident – is largely deserted, apart from the military and scientific staff that are rotated in shifts to maintain its borders and keep a close eye out for fires or illegal settlers. Continue reading “Stained Glass, Art, and Murals in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone”

4 Reasons to Visit Sagres, Portugal

If you’re looking for an adventurous and relaxing trip look no further than Sagres, Portugal. Sagres is in the very southwestern part of Portugal. From a bird’s eye view, the shape of Portugal looks like the profile of a face, and Sagres is at the chin. Since it is the most southwestern tip of Europe, Europeans once believed Sagres was the “end of the world.” This small town has a laid-back atmosphere and offers some of the most breathtaking natural scenery. The cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean are stunning, and the physical landscape offers quite an array of adventure activities. If you’re planning a trip to Portugal, you must make a stop to Sagres. Here are four memorable activities to do in this small and beautiful “end of the world.” Continue reading “4 Reasons to Visit Sagres, Portugal”

A Case for Living with a Host-Family, and Switching Families if Need Be

During college, I studied abroad in Spain during my junior spring semester. I knew this was a once in a lifetime experience, and therefore I should take advantage of every opportunity given to me, including living with a host family. While this was a daunting and almost scary idea—living with people I never met who didn’t speak English—I knew that I probably would never have this opportunity again. And so I checked the box in my application requesting a family homestay. Continue reading “A Case for Living with a Host-Family, and Switching Families if Need Be”

On the Lookout for Kafka in Prague

A man wakes up horrified to discover that he’s been transformed into an enormous insect – a burden to his family, a freak to the civilized world. Sound familiar? Whether you’ve read “The Metamorphosis” or not, you’ve probably been touch by material that’s
referenced this famous work by Franz Kafka. A Czech author whose work tends to lean towards the darkly surrealist, many know of his novels, but not all recognize how omnipresent he is in the nation’s capital where he was born.  Continue reading “On the Lookout for Kafka in Prague”

Language Brain

Studying a new language can be tiring, and if you’re studying abroad and immersing yourself in a new language and culture, your days can be exhausting. I studied in Spain. I remember my first day listening to and speaking in Spanish, with no English breaks. I walked home that evening and my brain felt like a bowl of mashed potatoes. While learning a new language can be exhausting, it is one of the best things we can do for the health of our brains, not matter the age. Learning new things strengthens our brains, and the more you learn, the stronger and more connected the parts of your brain will become. Continue reading “Language Brain”

The Travel Panhandling Pandemic

Last year, I had the opportunity to go to Southeast Asia. 30 exciting days in Thailand. This country is a true gem of cultural brilliance. The people are friendly, the food is amazing and the weather is fantastic. I remember flipping through the channels on the television and came upon a program talking about travelers. I was completely invested, as I am a traveler that loves everything about the traveling culture. Continue reading “The Travel Panhandling Pandemic”