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Adventure Travel: Push the Limits of your Vacation

  A new year and a new you, time to push your limits like never before. I’m not suggesting that you put yourself in immediate danger but I am saying you should test your boundaries. Let yourself live and maybe you will improve your regular self. Exploration and self discovery rarely are found in a […]

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A new year and a new you, time to push your limits like never before. I’m not suggesting that you put yourself in immediate danger but I am saying you should test your boundaries. Let yourself live and maybe you will improve your regular self. Exploration and self discovery rarely are found in a pool or a bar stool, you’ll need to walk a few steps outside your norm to find what you didn’t know you were looking for.  Go on an epic adventure and see what life is really about.

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Exotic Transportation

Instead of renting a car, try a motorcycle or scooter on for size. This small adjustment to your normal itinerary can completely change your vacation. Let the wind rush through your hair and grab onto those handlebars tight as you vroom through the streets. Can you feel the power between your legs? Have you lived like this in a long while?

A small adjustment to the standard vacation can really turn things upside down. Side note: don’t rent a motorcycle if you have never ridden one before, maybe start with the smaller engine on the scooter. You can still feel the rush without seeing the inside of the local hospital.

Why walk when you can get pulled in a tuk-tuk, a rickshaw or by some local bovine. When I’m in NYC I always take a hansom cab ride around Central Park, this may not be too exotic for most but to me it’s fantastic. A hansom cab is a horse drawn carriage that tours you around Central Park. I’ll always remember the time my wife and I first visited New York and we took our first hansom cab ride. A cold February night had us in a romantic mood, so we hailed a hansom cab and got all cozy under the blankets. Our driver gave us a wonderful tour and we still talk today about that night.

Step Outside your Resort Walls

How about instead of sitting around by the pool, you venture outside the all-inclusive resort. Take a stroll through the town, or maybe a jungle hike. Get the blood flowing and your heart beating. Take in the clean air and beautiful surroundings. When I travel, I usually bring my hiking boots because I look for adventure at every turn and couldn’t imagine just sitting around a pool all day. Although, I have had some of my best vacations just sitting round a pool, but that’s another article altogether.

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Look for Adventure

Every vacation destination has brochures and pamphlets advertising their local attractions, these are great places to start. I usually tend to ask locals for advice or do some previous research on fun activities. But, you would be surprised at some of the awesome adventures that await just around the corner. Zip lines, waterfalls, ancient ruins and guided tours are just the start. Some of these tourist attractions are just traps and ways to suck money from the weary traveler. That’s why I do the added legwork and some light planning to find my true adventure.

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Travel for Adventure

Ditch the all-inclusive resorts and head out for adventure completely. Instead of sitting by the pool, try snorkeling in the ocean or white water rafting down a rushing river. Adventure awaits you at any experience level so don’t let your greenness deter you from an adventure. If you search hard enough, you can find a journey for every expertise level. My kayaking skills are lacking but that won’t stop me from trying. All I know for sure is I won’t get better at kayaking by not kayaking. Grab life by the proverbial balls and live it.

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Extreme Dream

This is not for everyone, but can be for some. Skydive, cliff jump or bungee jump, to start your vacation. Obviously do it with caution and only after you have done some proper research, but hell man, live it up. There is nothing like a little adrenaline rush to get that blood pumping through your veins. I’ve done it all and haven’t regretted an instance. Sure, skydiving may not be for everyone, but the same adrenaline rush I get from jumping out of a plane, you might get from eating exotic fruits. Each his own and you make your own adventure, as long as you are living it up; I’m cool with it.  White water raft down a river or cliff dive into the ocean, life awaits. 

Now I’m not saying that chilling by a pool at a resort can’t and isn’t fun, what I’m trying to say is maybe spice it up a bit. Sitting by the pool all day is perfect after you hiked 10 miles and bungee jumped off a bridge. We only get one ride on this planet so you should enjoy every step you take.

Travel on my friends; enjoy your ride, wherever it may take you.

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3 Ways to Help Prevent Travel Rage

Travel can be stressful, exasperating, and yes, downright enraging. Just in a one week period last year, three planes have been diverted thanks to passenger scuffles—one caused by a woman who demanded her Delta flight land after a passengers reclining seat struck her head, and another the result of the Knee Defender, a plastic bracket one man used to prevent the seat in front of him from reclining. Yes, “recliner rage” is now a thing.

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Travel can be stressful, exasperating, and yes, downright enraging. Just in a one week period last year, three planes have been diverted thanks to passenger scuffles—one caused by a woman who demanded her Delta flight land after a passengers reclining seat struck her head, and another the result of the Knee Defender, a plastic bracket one man used to prevent the seat in front of him from reclining. Yes, “recliner rage” is now a thing.

The Knee Defender is an actual product that I just had to research.  Its hilariously advertised as a way to stop “aggressive recliners.”  I’ve never heard them called that before but as a frequent traveler I’ve been a victim of these bad people before.  These little pieces of plastic has caused quite a few mix-ups in the sky.  Let’s all remember that on airplanes the consequences of your stupidity are always elevated, so let’s all try and not be so dumb.  Avoid travel rage all together and just remember to Namaste.

 

A conflict with a fellow passenger doesn’t have to lead to a total travel meltdown. To keep your calm while getting out of town for work or play, try these top tips from Gail Saltz, MD, Health‘s contributing psychology editor and author of Anatomy of a Secret Life.

Control the Rage – Don’t be a control freak

Don’t let your rage boil over and let things lay where they fall.  When you’re on the road, you’re often at the mercy of external factors—the weather, that guy who stole the last parking space. “When something goes wrong, people tend to look for solutions, thinking if they do X, they will solve Y. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case during vacations, when much less is under your control,” says Saltz. Her suggestion? Acknowledge that you can’t control everything. “You can’t do anything about the airline losing your luggage or you missing your plane, but you can channel your thoughts into the enjoyable aspects of your trip,” she says. Yes, snafus suck, but accepting that you’ve done all you can do (and thinking about your planned kayak adventure) can be a therapeutic fix.

 

 

Be a mindful traveler 

Traveling sucks, we all know it, but it doesn’t have to send you into a rage, just be prepared for the madness.  Even the most meticulously planned trip can cause some apprehension, discomfort, and stress. “The more stress you feel, the more your adrenal glands produce cortisol, and once you’re down the cascade of fight-or-flight reactions, it’s hard to turn back,” says Saltz, who recently led a Health Twitter chat on stress. If you feel flushed, angry, and irritated—some of the common signs of anxiety—stop what you’re doing, take a moment to acknowledge the stressful trigger, and focus on something calm in the present, like your child’s green eyes or a passing cloud. Being mindful of the here-and-now will help slow your spiraling anxiety about “what ifs?”.

 

 

Let it go

When things don’t go our way, we often cope with the stress by playing the blame game. “People tend to direct their anger at the pilot, the driver, the guy reclining in his seat and smashing your knees, but pointing to one person won’t fix your problems,” notes Saltz. Instead, she says, acknowledge that the system isn’t working and accept that things go wrong. Your luggage got lost? Pick up a t-shirt and focus on the vacation you’re having, rather than the dress you could have been wearing. In other words, don’t let one incident ruin the great memories you’ll have for years to come.

 

 

Photos Courtesy of Getty Images and NBC Chicago 

 

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Why It’s Never the Perfect Time to Travel

With the year just beginning, many will be thinking of vacations and trips around the world. They’ll be pondering exotic locations and amazing adventures. And then abandoning those dreams as rapidly as they were thought up. Something will come up and plans will be put…

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No more excuses, stop telling yourself that you will wait until next year, or when the money’s right.  Traveling is just like having a kid, you are never ready, so just do it already.  The time is never right and that’s what this blog is about, just pulling the trigger.   Book your travel at the end of this blog or it will self destruct in 5…4…3.. just kidding, or am I? 

With the year just beginning, many will be thinking of vacations and trips around the world. They’ll be pondering exotic locations and amazing adventures.  I don’t know about you but I love anything exotic… cars, animals, adventures or even foreplay.  Make your vacation kinky, who cares, just do it. 

And then abandoning those dreams as rapidly as they were thought up.  Stop giving up on your dreams people!  We are inly on this planet for one ride and some people’s rides are shorter than others, so you better get the most out of it.  I live my life like Vin Diesel’s character in Fast and the Furious… “one quarter mile at a time.”  Just kidding, I wish i lived like that, but alas I don’t but I do take any opportunity I can to make my life better.  Travel is just an excuse to live your life and actually enjoy it for a brief moment.

Something will come up and plans will be put off until tomorrow as you wait for “the right time.” But, here is a secret: it will never be the right time to travel. You will always have some reason to stay at home. You always be able to find an excuse as to why today just isn’t the right day. But the idea that the stars will align and you’ll find the perfect day to step out of your door and into the world is a fantasy.

Today might not be the perfect day — but neither is tomorrow.

Tomorrow, there will still be bills to pay.

Tomorrow, there still won’t be enough money.

Tomorrow, there will still be someone’s wedding to attend or a birthday party to go to.

Tomorrow, there will still be planning to do.

Tomorrow, you still won’t know if you are making the right decision.

Tomorrow, you will still second-guess yourself.

Tomorrow, you’ll still find yourself putting off the preparation for one more day.

Tomorrow, you’ll find another excuse why you can’t go.

Tomorrow, people you know will still sow the seeds of doubt in your head.

Tomorrow, you’ll still worry about all the bad stuff that might happen to you.

Tomorrow, something else will come up.

Tomorrow will never be perfect.

When tomorrow does come, you’ll say to yourself, “Today isn’t the right day. Let’s try again tomorrow.”

But tomorrow will never come. Tomorrow will always be some vague day in the future.

And then one day you’ll find you’ve run out of tomorrows.

And you’ll be filled with nothing but sadness and regret.

So stop waiting.

Stop making excuses. Today is your day.

It’s never the right time to travel.

Forget about tomorrow.

Just go.

It’s a new year.

And it’s full of possibility.

 

Take my advise or not, at least I know that I did take every opportunity and just went with it.  Life your life like a Vin Diesel character and “I am Groot!” Wait, I think I got the quote wrong.

 

Check out the full article on NomadicMatt.com

Photo Courtesy of 10best.com

 

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Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast

  Many people think that the Pacific side of Costa Rica is the better coast to visit. The remote Osa peninsula, the monkey-filled area of Manuel Antonio, and the touristy Nicoya coast all beat the Caribbean, which has more rain, less wildlife, fewer “modern” conveniences,…

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Many people think that the Pacific side of Costa Rica is the better coast to visit. The remote Osa peninsula, the monkey-filled area of Manuel Antonio, and the touristy Nicoya coast all beat the Caribbean, which has more rain, less wildlife, fewer “modern” conveniences, and uglier beaches. No matter where you go, the Caribbean side just won’t be as nice. Having now been to both coasts, I’m not sure what these people are talking about. Traveling down the Caribbean side, I did find it to be rainier, but it was no less beautiful and had many wonderful places to explore.

 

 

Tortuguero, the Costa Rican version of the Amazon rainforest, dominates the northern coast. This massive area is a series of rivers and canals that crisscross the jungle. It rains all the time, and although the beaches are beautiful, a full day of sunny beach weather is rare. To top it off, the currents are strong, and toothy barracudas and sharks roam the waters. Despite all that, there are many reasons to come here. The biggest draw is the large numbers of turtles that come to nest along the shoreline. The best time to see them nesting is in April and May. But even during the off-season, Tortuguero offers a few places to go hiking, lots of canal cruises, and an abundance of wildlife, this area is known for its birds. Tortuguero is not easy to get to nor is it cheap. It takes five hours to get there from San José and supplies are brought in by boat. It’s not a budget destination. But if it’s something remote and off the typical backpacker trail you’re looking for in Central America, Tortuguero is the place to go.

 

 

You’ll find great surf sites, deep sea diving, lots of people, and parties galore down the coast toward Panama. This part of the coast is a lot easier to get to and much cheaper than Tortuguero. Most travelers head for Puerto Viejo, the region’s main hub. This is backpacker central, and it’s easy to get sucked into the surfer/party life here. Puerto Viejo is a rocking seaside town with a strong Caribbean feel. The town is small, it’s easy to get around, there are beaches everywhere, and there are a ton of good restaurants, ranging from local “sodas” where you can buy cheap food, to amazing Western places with delicious baked bread or good sushi. You’ll be rocking to reggae as you wander along streets, as there are more Caribbeans than Spaniards in Puerto Viejo.

Near Puerto Viejo are two other towns worth seeing: Cahuita and Manzanillo. Cahuita, a tiny town situated right next to a stunning national park with the same name, is about an hour north of Puerto Viejo. Like Tortuguero, this is a place to relax. There’s one bar that gets lively on some nights, but for the most part, after a day of hiking, swimming, or surfing, most people just sit and read.

Manzanillo is only 12 kilometers from Puerto Viejo, which makes for an easy day trip. In fact, you can walk here from Puerto Viejo in about two hours, just follow the beach. The town is even smaller than Cahuita, and no one ever really visits. The reef system there is close to the shore, and this is the area’s main diving spot. Most of the people who come here are older couples, families, or retirees. Come here to dive and relax after all the partying and noise of Puerto Viejo.

 

 

After visiting Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, I can say that it’s just as beautiful, interesting, and majestic as the Pacific coastline. And since it rains more on the Caribbean coast, you’ll find far fewer people on this side. The huge resorts, overpriced meals and tours, and thousands of expats that flood all parts of the Pacific, especially the Nicoya Peninsula, are hardly anywhere to be found. So let them do what they want while you enjoy fairly empty beaches, cheap seafood, and lots of wildlife.

 

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