Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

September in Peru: My fam-tastic four-week itinerary

During the month of September, I’ll be enjoying the big perk of life as a travel professional on a fam trip to Peru. I wrote about the anatomy of a fam trip  after Ecuador in 2012. To summarize: “fam trip” is tradespeak for familiarization trip. I’ll be getting familiar with elements of our upscale itineraries at Southwind Adventures.

postcard from machu picchu

To my delight, I’ll be offline and unplugged for two portions of the trip – during a river cruise in the Amazon rainforest and while hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. My American cellphone will be disconnected for the month, and I may be a little belated on email responses. But I’ll have a notebook, a pen, and a stack of postcards ready.

When I was in high school, I had to answer three questions for my parents before leaving the house. Where are you going? Who are you going with? When will you be back? Since said parents represent about 20% of my readership, I’ll outline my itinerary below. It takes me all over Peru, and I’ll be traveling solo. Hopefully I’ll be back in time for peak foliage in Colorado.

three toed sloth

High hopes for seeing one of these

September 1-3: Lima
Stay in the Miraflores district, visit Pachacamac, Barranco, Huaca Pucllana, colonial Lima, Larco Museum

September 3-7: Puerto Maldonado (Amazon rainforest)
Stay at Hacienda Concepcion, Reserva Amazonica, and Sandoval Lake Lodge, day excursions around the ecolodges

September 7-8: Lima
Hotel and restaurant site visits

September 8-12: Iquitos (Amazon rainforest)
5-day cruise aboard the M/V Aria

September 12-16: Cusco
Airbnb homestay at Casa de Carlos, hotel and restaurant site visits, free time, aimless cobbled street wandering and market browsing

September 17-20: Inca Trail
Trekking the classic four-day route, three nights camping, covering 26 miles and several high mountain passes to arrive to Machu Picchu on foot

September 20-21: Machu Picchu
Stay at Inkaterra Pueblo, tour citadel ruins, hike Huayna Picchu, Intimachay, hotel and restaurant site visits

incatrail_elevation_map

September 21-24: Sacred Valley
Train to Ollantaytambo, Stay at Aranwa Sacred Valley, hotel and restaurant site visits, Inca Trail alternative hike to Cochayoq

September 25-27: Lake Titicaca
Andahuaylillas, Racchi and Pucara en route to Puno, Taquile Island, Uros Islands, hotel site visits

September 27-28: Lima, USA
Flight to Lima and onward connection home

This post is August’s addition to my Ambassador series for VacationRoost.com

23

08 2014

Never Too Late For a Junior Ranger Badge

Call it a phase, but I’ve been a little obsessed with national parks lately. It started last summer on a four-day backpacking trip through the backcountry of Colorado’s own Rocky Mountain National Park. One of my most vivid memories is watching the alpenglow on the peaks reflecting in a remote alpine lake, stunned by the beauty. I heard the mating call of elk for the first time. I understood what it meant to have a national parks moment.

Elk antlered and awestruck in Rocky Mountain National Park

Elk antlered and awestruck in Rocky Mountain National Park

Then, in March, my friend Alex (who was also in on the majestic RMNP backpacking trip) invited me on a national parks hiking trip to Utah for spring break. Main destinations: Bryce Canyon, Zion, and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. This time, along with great hikes, we had another mission: earn Junior Ranger badges.

Alex and our other adventure companion Samira have been collecting Junior Ranger badges at a feverish pace for the past year. Alex now has 13, and Samira has 10. I quickly caught their badge fever and earned two badges on the trip. Lately, all my trip planning involves adding to my collection.

Here are some answers to questions I’ve been asked as I boast about my new badges:

Bryce Canyon's Junior Rangers booklet is mots challenging for the 18+ crowd

Most challenging for the 18+ crowd

Q. Aren’t you a little old for Junior Ranger badges? Sounds like it’s for kids.
A. Yes, the program is designed for kids visiting the parks with their families, but anyone can earn one. The rangers may give you strange looks, and the requirements are higher for the age 18+ category.

Q. What are the requirements for earning a badge?
A. First you go to the visitor center and ask for the Junior Ranger booklet. These booklets are awesome — definitely worth keeping, along with the badge. They’re hands-on learning guides that teach so much about the parks, from their geology and natural history to wildlife poop identification. You’re also required to attend a ranger-guided activity or watch the film at the visitor center. Once you’ve completed the booklet, you take an oath with a ranger, who checks your work. Finally you’re awarded a badge.

My favorite activity from the Bryce Canyon activity booklet: calculate your carbon footprint

My favorite activity from the Bryce Canyon activity booklet: calculate your carbon footprint

Q. What are the next badges you’re shooting for?
A. I’m planning a trip to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison here in Colorado for next weekend, and there’s also a big five-day hiking trip to Capitol Reef National Park in Utah planned for Memorial Day. Then I’ll go back to Rocky Mountain National Park for a badge at some point this summer. So that will bring my collection up to five.

Q. Does the Junior Ranger program make you want to be a real park ranger someday?
A. YES! Between the badges and the PBS documentary series  I’ve been binge watching on Netflix, I think I’m becoming pretty qualified.

Booklets completed and badges earned at Bryce Canyon National Park

Booklets completed and badges earned at Bryce Canyon National Park

For my friend Alex, love of the national parks is clearly more than just a phase. His favorites are Canyonlands, Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Zion. As he puts it, “I love the parks because they permanently protect our most scenic and beloved natural spaces and the biodiversity within.”

On the question of whether the Junior Rangers program is for park-goers of all ages, Alex emphatically answers “Yes! All people should pursue them so they may have a better understanding of the heritage and required care of the parks.”

Court of the Patriarchs, Zion National Park

Court of the Patriarchs, Zion National Park

“You’re never too old to learn,” adds Samira. “The program ensures that you learn about your environment, and for that reason you appreciate it and enjoy it so much more. Maybe you notice something you normally wouldn’t, or you can name a bird you that otherwise you wouldn’t know about. Afterward, you can impress your friends with your great knowledge of the park.”

This post is April’s addition to my Ambassador series for VacationRoost.com

03

05 2014

Spring Break 2014: Hiking the National Parks of Southern Utah

Zion. Bryce. Canyonlands. These places have been a whisper in my ear since I moved back to the United States two years ago and realized how much of my own country I have yet to see. In one week, I’ll be visiting these bucket-list destinations in Southern Utah on an epic camping and hiking trip with my good friends Samira and Alex.

Every trip is actually three: the one we anticipate, the one we take, and the one we remember. Today I’m on that first trip. I’m all abuzz with excitement as I Google pieces of the itinerary (carefully hand-crafted by the amazing Alex) and find out a little more about the places we’ll be exploring.

Bryce Canyon. Photo by Luca Galuzzi

Bryce Canyon. By Luca Galuzzi

The itinerary

Sat March 23: Leave Denver extra early to get to Zion National Park. Spend that day sightseeing and warm-up hiking in Zion Canyon.

Sun March 24: Hike the remote and spectacular Kolob Canyons portion of Zion.

Mon March 25: Hike to the Northgate Peaks and Wildcat Canyon Trail in Zion.

Tue March 26: Explore Bryce Canyon National Park.

Wed March 27: Explore the Kodachrome Basin area of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Thu March 28: Explore the Hole-in-the-Rock region of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Fri March 29: Drive to Eagle and, on the way, hike to Hanging Lake

Sat March 30: Drive back to Denver, leaving early, 2 hour drive

Angels Landing, Zion. Photo by Tobias Alt

Angels Landing, Zion. By Tobias Alt

Most looking forward to:

~ slot canyons

~ being remote, off the grid and offline for days on end

~ challenging hikes

~ the company of the two biggest National Parks fanatics I know

~ time in the desert

This post is February’s addition to my Ambassador series for VacationRoost.com

17

03 2014

My Top 3 Shorts from the Banff Mountain Film Festival

At the Paramount Theater in Denver, 1,900 people fill every seat to see the annual Banff Mountain Film Festival. For many, catching the film tour is a yearly tradition. The event stems from an outdoor/adventure film contest held each November in Banff, Alberta. Winning films are selected to go on tour over the next few months, attracting big audiences of active adventure-seeking types in cities and towns all over the U.S., Canada and internationally.

Banff Mountain Film Festival ticket

These sell out every year

I am a newcomer this year. Like an amateur, I only bought a ticket for one of the two nights. Now I know that these collections of films are worth the full two-night binge viewing. Over three hours, I was transported to Mexico, New Zealand, the American Southwest, China, Antarctica, Bolivia, California, and a funky ski town in Canada. It was the perfect vicarious travel and adrenaline fix. My favorites:

The Last Ice Merchant

Taking place near the great Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador, The Last Ice Merchant shines. It was different in that it wasn’t about white westerners doing extreme sports in far-flung places. Rather, it looked at the life of a local hielero (ice merchant), who still practices a dying trade. He ascends the mountain to collect pieces of glacier, then transports and sells it in town. Modern refrigeration has made his livelihood obsolete, but this endearing old man in his sixties still carries on for a few loyal customers, preserving the trade as the last of his kind.

I AM RED

This short won me over because it hit closest to home. It was expertly shot all along the Colorado River, with sweeping footage from throughout the southwestern U.S. and Mexico. Male and female voiceovers take on the perspective of the endangered river. Of all nine films from the evening,  I AM RED was the only one to cover a conservation issue. Surprising, given the nature-mindedness of the filmmakers and fans. Although a bit overdramatic, the environmentalist message rang clear.

The Last Great Climb

This film makes my list for its incredulity factor. I just couldn’t believe it. Even though I saw it documented on film, I couldn’t believe the climbers took on this surreal summit in the depths of Antarctica, or how cold it was (reaching -30 degrees celsius), or how they scaled so much sheer vertical rock face, or that they actually summited. I couldn’t wrap my mind around how they were capturing the whole thing on film. The Last Great Climb stretched my imagination about 21st century frontiers, pioneers, and the edges of what’s possible.

This post is February’s addition to my Ambassador series for VacationRoost.com

28

02 2014

5 Signs It’s Time to Go Traveling

March 20th will mark my second anniversary of living in Denver. Two years in one place is a personal record for me since I graduated college eight years ago. The rootedness has been great, but now I’m seeing signs that it’s time to pack up and do some more longer-term travel.

Time to renew

Expired! Time to renew

Dusty Passport

I didn’t have a passport until age 20, when I studied abroad in college. Once the Pandora’s box of world travel opened, I filled all the pages of that passport and eventually needed an insert of additional pages. Lately, though, it’s been almost a year since I used it last, and it’s getting dusty. It’s about to expire! Unacceptable. Time to get it renewed and break it in.

tucumanas in Bolivia

Tucumanas in Bolivia

Food Rut

I’ve never been much of a cook or a foodie, and being home makes me even less fired up about food. My eating habits have become a predictable routine. I’ll go to the grocery store and buy the same things every time. I’ll eat out at the same spots. My taste buds have given up. Appetite has left the building. I’m hungry for local discoveries in distant places like pupusas in Guatemala, pinchos in Spain, and tucumanas in Bolivia.

Not getting any younger

High Car Mileage

This winter in Denver has been snowier than last, and I’ve become more reliant on my car. Meanwhile, my sister just returned from the Peace Corps in Zambia, where she didn’t drive for over two years. I miss not needing a car. I miss my daily subte ride in Buenos Aires, my bicycle commute to the university in Mallorca, and wandering around Mendoza on foot. I miss overnight buses to new foreign cities. My aging Subaru agrees that I should give it a rest and and go travel.

Rusty Language Skills

My to-do list for practicing Spanish here at home:
1) Haunt La Rumba salsa club
2) Hang out with friends from Spain and Latin America
3) Look up my favorite Calle 13 and Jarabe de Palo songs on YouTube, con letra
4) Read aloud from the pages of Isabel Allende, Vargas Llosa, and Garcia Marquez
5) Watch Motorcycle Diaries or anything else starring Gael Garcia Bernal
But these items don’t always get done, and it’s just not quite the same as traveling to where Spanish is needed.

bubble bath

My comfort zone

Bubble Baths

In the winter, I have a ritual where I’ll take long, elaborate bubble baths after a day of adventuring outdoors. I fill the tub with almost-too-hot water and a squeeze of aroma-therapeutic gel. I sink in. Submerged up to my nose, I just float and think about my nice friends and family and job and hobbies and life here in Denver. Ahhhh. So comfortable. I could stay here forever. Then the water starts cooling down. Add more hot? Keep soaking? No. Time to drain the water, have a cold rinse, and get back out there.

This post is January’s addition to my Ambassador series for VacationRoost.com

26

01 2014

What I’m Thankful For: Colorado’s Alpine Hut System

This Thanksgiving, I’m going on an adventure in Colorado’s alpine backcountry. While most of America will be gorging on food and football in their family’s homes, I’ll be beginning a four-day hut-to-hut trip in the Elk Range of the Rocky Mountains (near Aspen). I’m joining three hiking friends and ten strangers for an outdoor Turkey Day complete with a traditional feast that we’ll be packing in.

Targert Hut

Targert Hut

I’ve written before about Colorado’s amazing hut system, which I experienced for the first time this fall with an unforgettable trip to the 10th Mountain Division Hut. When the opportunity arose for a longer four-day trip, I had to seize it. Here is the itinerary:

Wednesday:
Optional: Spend the night in Glenwood, Carbondale or Aspen and meet at the trailhead at 9:30am

Thursday *Thanksgiving Day*:
Meet at the Wooly Mammoth car pool lot across from the Conoco at 5am, transfer gear and leave by 5:20. Arrive at the Ashcroft Trailhead by 9:30am. Hike to the Green Wilson and Tagert huts; +1,800’ and 5.3 miles. This should be fairly easy so we can take our time in order to arrive at the hut by 3:30pm.

Castle Peak summit, view of Conundrum Peak

Castle Peak summit, view of Conundrum Peak (our plan for Friday)

Friday:
On this day the day the group will be divided. Some people will be planning to hike up Castle and Conundrum peaks, weather/conditions dependent. Others can hang out, go hiking, sledding, igloo-building, etc. Make sure someone else knows where you’re going if you wander off. Everyone can party it up on this night as we can all sleep in a bit.

Saturday:
Get up, have breakfast, pack up and leave the hut by 10am and hike to the Lindley hut. If we stick to the roads, it will be approximately -1700’; +800’; 5.0 miles. If we cut off the corner by bushwhacking through the woods, we can cut that down to approximately -1400’; +800’; 3.0 miles. Keep in mind bushwhacking is significantly more difficult and time-consuming than the roads but it’s also more adventurous. Party again!

Sunday:
Get up and hike back to the cars. We can stop for lunch on the way home.

Colorado sunrise

Just another Colorado sunrise

In addition to the traditional objects of my gratitude (a big loving family, amazing groups of friends new and old, fulfilling work, good health, an education, a place to call home, all the material trappings I need, etc.) I’m adding a few less-traditional items to my thanks-list this year:

  • Colorado
  • the Internet
  • the wilderness
  • small travels
  • adventures of all kinds

This post is November’s addition to my Ambassador series for VacationRoost.com

22

11 2013

5 Ways I Save Money for Travel

For travel-minded people like me, money and savings are only as good as the adventures that they afford. Maybe this orientation will change over time as full-on adulthood sets in with all its obligations and unforseens. But no matter what stage of life I’m in, I think I’ll always tend toward the values of minimalism, frugal living and new experiences over nice things.

I don’t make piles of money in the field of travel media and communications. In fact, I’m relatively low-income by American standards. Yet I do manage to avoid debt, break even every month, live abundantly and even save up for future trips. Here are a few of the ways I save money at home so that I can get ahead and go abroad:

Use the public library

A library is a beautiful thing

1) Use the Library

In my home city of Denver, I benefit from an awesome public library system. It’s impressively complete in its catalog of books, music and DVDs. Lots of my friends pay monthly for things like Netflix, Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Prime, cable TV, TiVo, etc. I don’t subscribe to any of those. I just log on to the library website, search for the item I want and request it to be sent to the branch near me. Yes, sometimes I have to wait a few weeks for especially popular new releases, but it’s worth it. Added bonus: the borrow-not-buy system is perfect for commitment-phobes like me.

 

Eat in

Staying stocked up

2) Eat In

In the 1.5 years that I’ve been working from an office, I’ve probably gone out to lunch 10 times or less. Regular meals out (even the ones under $10) have a way of multiplying monthly food expenses. By choosing the grocery store over bars and restaurants, I’ve gotten my average meal cost down to about $2. Added bonus: by eating in almost all the time, the occasional meal out feels like more of a treat!

 

Secondhand first

Poppin’ tags

3) Secondhand First

I was popping tags from Goodwill way before it was cool. One of my favorite pastimes while living in Guatemala was to scavenge the world’s clothing discards (yes, that’s where a lot of it ends up) for hidden treasures. At this point, at least 90% of my clothing is secondhand. Beyond clothes, I’ll look for a gently-used version of anything on my wish list before searching for it new. Thrift stores, garages sales and Craigslist have saved me a pretty penny on outdoor gear, furniture and housewares. Added bonus: I’ve had fun adopting thrift as my “look” — it’s called shabby chic.

 

Fire the Car

My low-budget steed

4) Fire the Car

When I realized that I would have a 24-mile commute to work and back each day, I knew I’d have to find an alternative to driving. That kind of mileage in heavy traffic would drive me, my aging Subaru and my gas budget insane. So I got serious about bicycle commuting and public transportation. With my year-round bicycle and light rail combination, I usually manage to keep my gasoline bill down to one tank a month. Added bonus: regular bike riding keeps me active and fit, precluding the need for a gym membership.

 

30 day challenges

Anything is possible … for 30 days

5) Give Things Up for 30 Days

In January, I began a yearlong series of 30-day challenges. I’ve done several kinds of them for numerous reasons, but some of the challenges have proven to be quite thrifty. I gave up alcohol for a month, which probably saved at least $50. In March, I gave up my daily coffee. I gave up driving completely for the month of June. Added bonus: once a habit like coffee is broken (or at least curbed), the savings are ongoing.

Bottom Line: To Lower Costs, Cut Yourself Free

There are quite a few other actions I could add to this list, but it really comes down to adopting a new mentality. Detach yourself from the constant acquiring and upgrading of things. Get more connected with the people and resources around you. Embrace pooling, borrowing, exchanging, upcycling, repurposing and DIY. Eliminate clutter and frivolousness. Simplify your material wants and needs. Added bonus: not only will you save money for travel, you’ll also be less beholden to your belongings and therefore more free to go!

This post is September’s addition to my Ambassador series for VacationRoost.com

23

09 2013

How to Write the Perfect Postcard

When was the last time you wrote a postcard? Received one? For me, it hasn’t been lately or frequently enough. In today’s online world, the postcard is losing ground to cheaper, more instantaneous and farther-reaching units of communication. It now competes with text messages, tweets and status updates. It can’t keep up.

Yet, the personal postcard will never lose its appeal. There’s nothing quite like receiving a small piece of paperboard art with a handwritten note on the other side. I’ve found that imagining the recipient’s reaction to a postcard I’ve sent is just as fun as receiving one.

Postcards in the mail. Photo from flickr/austinevan

Postcards are a genre, and some turn out better than others. Here are my tips for writing a more picture-perfect postcard while traveling (or even from home).

Collect physical addresses

Before traveling, make a Facebook post asking your friends to give you their home addresses if they want to receive a fun piece of mail. Ask people individually too. As responses roll in, copy/paste them into a Google document so you have access to them wherever you are.

If you want to keep the postcards a surprise, find an indirect way to get the addresses you’re targeting. Say you’re looking up directions, ask a family member, or check a wedding invite list.

postcard stand in London. Photo by flickr/wenzday01

Pick your postcards wisely

Postcard-browsing is one of my favorite activities while traveling. I love perusing the stacks of icons, attractions and natural landscapes. Dazzling photography. Cheesy typeface. Lots of sunsets. Look for local artists and photographers to support, and try to choose truthful images that resonate with a sense of place.

Practice your handwriting

Before you start writing on postcards, warm up your penmanship on a piece of scratch paper. Make sure you know every letter of cursive if you plan to use it. Write “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” Twice. Use a nice fine-point pen — it may enhance your handwriting.

Beautiful handwriting. Photo by flickr/Dr John2005

Say only one or two things

Postcards are the tweets of old: they’re exposed to the public, and message length is limited. Do not try to write more than a couple sentences on a postcard. If you feel a letter coming on, find a full page of paper and an envelope. A postcard is not the place for it.

Got a case of postcard writers’ block? Here are a few ideas:

  • Write the most surprising thing you’ve learned about the place
  • Write what the place’s tourism slogan is, then write what you think it should be
  • List the best and worst part of the trip so far
  • Use multiple postcards for a several-part message
  • Make a really bad pun

keep postcards around

 Photograph your postcard before you send it

Postcards don’t leave a copy of themselves in a ‘sent’ folder. They’re ephemera. But if you’re really happy with your postcard, take a picture of it — both sides. Down the line, you’ll be glad you did. If you’re on the receiving end, keep it around awhile. Postcards make great bookmarks and mirror decor.

This post is August’s addition to my Ambassador series for VacationRoost.com

28

08 2013

Why I’m Not a Country Counter

Last weekend, I was asked in two separate conversations: “So, what’s your country count? How many countries have you visited?”

country counter tattoo

A new color for every country visited. Note: this is not my back

This was not the first time I’ve heard this question, and it won’t be the last. In travel banter, number of countries is considered to be a good proxy for well-traveled-ness. World travelers tend to keep a running tally.

Not me.

On the spot, I added up my countries visited. The total came to 23. Compared to the general population, that’s probably above average. But within travel culture and for someone who has dedicated her adult life to travel, it’s pretty low. For me, it’s just right. Here’s why I’m okay with my modest number.

I’m a country monogamist

On every trip abroad that I’ve taken, both long-term and short-term, the trip has been focused on one country. I trace that trend all the way back to my first world travel experience – a semester abroad in Mexico. I was based in Puebla and traveled around every weekend. By the end of semester, I had seen more of the country than most Mexicans have.

Ever since, that has been my style. I’m a one-country-per-trip kind of gal. My trip to Guatemala was about Guatemala, both times (although I did swing down into Nicaragua and El Salvador the second time). Uzbekistan, Ecuador and Iceland: when it was you, it was only you.

Maybe I’ve missed out on covering entire continents using the hit-it-and-quit-it approach to countries. But if I were a country, is that how I’d want to be treated? No. I’d want travelers to stay long enough to remember my full name and maybe even my currency and capital city for years to come.

You can’t “do” a country

I once retweeted a Bootsnall tweet that said, “Anyone who ‘does’ a country didn’t really do anything at all…”

I thought about the way people recap their multi-country trips through Europe, Southeast Asia or Latin America. “First we did Costa Rica, and then we worked our way down to Panama and Colombia, and kept moving south because we were flying home from Buenos Aires and we really wanted to do Ecuador, Peru and Chile along the way.” Can’t we think of a better verb here? How does one actually “do” a place? In the same way that Debbie Does Dallas? I’m confused.

Travel is not a contest

The same Bootsnall tweet linked to a tenet of an indie travel manifesto. “Private transformation over social status and bragging rights.” Well said.

I like going back to places

Country counters, bent on their mission to score more points, have trouble justifying a return to past places visited. I like finding reasons to go back. In the same way you can’t really “do” a country, I think you can never really be “done” with one either.

After that semester abroad in Mexico – the trip that awakened the traveler in me – the next trip I took was to Mexico. I was back within a year to visit. One of my dream trips is to return to Puebla in 10 or 15 years with my study abroad friends, retrace our steps, re-create photos, and wax nostalgic about what we remember and what has changed.

Domestic travel is unaccounted for

I’m from the United States, a country that is very big, beautiful in its diversity, and worthy of a whole lifetime of travel. Exploring my own home state of Colorado has kept my wanderlust in check for an entire year and counting. Outside of Colorado, the year I spent in Vermont and my six-week jaunt in the Pacific Northwest are among my all-time favorite travel experiences.

traveling in my own home state

Traveling in my own home state of Colorado

The time I’ve spent seeing the States hasn’t done anything to increase my country count, but it has still shaped me, challenged me and gratified me as a traveler.

Next big trip: 8-day brewery tour by bicycle from Fort Collins to Durango, Colorado.

Number of countries I hope to visit in my life: who’s counting?

 

This post is May’s addition to my Ambassador series for VacationRoost.com

05

06 2013

Does Travel Make Us Happier than Houses, Cars and Babies?

You know what makes me happy? I mean, besides travel? Learning about the psychology of travel and its relationship to happiness. All “science of happiness” literature really fascinates me — I love any attempt to quantify something as subjective and capricious as human happiness.

Happiness is a way of travel not a destination

I’ve written about measuring life satisfaction by country and the Happy Planet Index as a Travel Guide, and I’ve also noted how looking forward to travel boosts your mood. Most recently, I’ve come across a survey by G Adventures about how important travel is when it comes to happiness. Of the 2,321 people surveyed, an impressive 71% agree that traveling is more vital to their happiness than retirement, having a baby, buying a car, getting married, being promoted, and purchasing a home. Here’s the infographic:

 

Happiness-Infographic

 Of course, it’s important to note here that this study isn’t scientific research. It’s a survey done by the marketing department of an adventure travel company. Still, I think it does a good job revealing how powerful travel really is as a source of motivation and fulfillment in life.

Other interesting findings from the study: traveling is more important to women than men. While men prefer to travel with their other half, women ranked “friends” as their ideal globetrotting companion. Family members are the least popular people to travel with and a surprising eight per cent of people in a relationship prefer to travel solo.

When asked what aspect of travel makes respondents most happy, “new experiences” topped the list, followed by “culture” and “meeting new people”. Australia and New Zealand are the most desired destinations and nearly half (46%) of those surveyed enjoy engaging in active experiences when travelling.

More on the subject:

CNN: Travel makes us happy: Here’s why

HowStuffWorks: Will traveling make you happy?

02

05 2013