How to REALLY experience a city: Make 3 stops.

You can travel the world, you can go on long flights and check out places off your list but not every time you visit a city you truly experience it. There is always a level of the involvement you lack if you just decide to see the layer and explore what is meant to be shown to tourists. But in order to truly see a city closer, there are a few spots you might need to stop by.

  1. A Park

Whether it is the main park or a small on in the city side a park is usually a good choice of place to see natives in their daily routines. Some going out for a jog, a group yoga exercise or even a stroll. It is a place where you could meet different age groups carrying out different activities that would definitely give you a feel of the culture and the day to day lives of the citizens in this destination.

  1. A Pub

NO, you do not have to be a drinker, but passing by a local pub during Happy hour and watching how locals take a break from their daily routines to enjoy a drink definitely gives you a true insight on what the citizens of the country do in their day to day lives.

  1. The Underground 

This is as true as it can get, this is literally the place where you get to see students, friends, colleagues, employees, and businessmen. You literally see the city in a 10-15-minute underground ride and the farther you go away from the city center the more you actually get to know more. In many countries, especially European public transportation is the means of commuting regardless of social class. Thus, you truly grasp what a place is all like when you watch its people commute during different times of the day.

 

There are so many places you could go to know more about a place and the longer you stay the more insightful your experience gets but if it is a short trip, I promise those 3 spots could definitely show you some beef.

 

 

5 Hacks for smart winter packing

 

Packing is a nightmare, let us just say this for a fact and take it from there!

But winter packing is even worse. Going on a trip to enjoy the winter magic is awesome but having to pack for it isn’t. You need to keep warm, to travel light and have some space for shopping. A combination that might seem impossible but here are some tips to make your winter packing as efficient as possible.

 

  1. Neutral, neutral!

Make sure you pack items that could be used for several outfits. A pair of black pants or a basic black or white top. Make sure you create different outfits with repeated items! The best way to do that is to limit your color palette, this way you would not need to have completely different pants, tops or jackets you get to change just an item or two and you have a completely different outfit.

  1. Eliminate different sweaters!

Do not pack 3 different sweaters!! Travel wearing one sweater rather than stuffing it in your bag and make sure to depend on underwear for warmth! Pack thermal leggings and tops to wear under each and every outfit; they are lighter and smaller in packing and they do the trick!

  1. Don’t pack boots!

If you really want to have boots with you make sure you wear them rather than pack them. Boots are very bulky and stuffing them in a suitcase is a disaster. Also make sure you take neutral ones to avoid needing another pair.

  1. Roll don’t fold!

 Rolling your clothes is actually more efficient than folding them in terms of space the space your clothes take when they are rolled is much smaller because they minimize gaps, they reduce creasing and it is easier to unpack.

  1. Bulk up as you go!

Make sure you wear your bulkiest tops, sweaters, and shoes on the plane because it means they do not need to take up from your luggage space!

As much as being fashionable on a trip is satisfying but suffering from huge and heavy luggage is a nightmare we all try to avoid. And the key to avoid that is to do not pack last minute take the time to think smartly about the items you pack and get creative with mixing and matching outfits.

 

 

 

4 reasons why travel should be on your 2019 resolutions.

It is the time where we make plans, write long to-do lists, dreams and resolutions without really knowing if we will achieve any of them during the course of this year. But we do them anyway, although our wishes for every year differ there are certain constant plans people always tend to add to their resolutions like getting in shape or travel.

And I tell you…travel plans should always make it to your New Year resolution, always!

 

  • It inspires you!

 When you go on the right trip, at the right time with the right people you will often find yourself inspired. You go back feeling refreshed, ready to take on new challenges and achieve more goals. I believe if you do it right travel could be a great source of inspiration because it allows you to gain a fresh perception of the world. It is like a little new start every time.

  • It keeps you excited!

Planning a trip is often as exciting as the trip itself! The time and effort you put in choosing the right company and then working together on picking the cities that best fit your interests, budget and the season you’re planning to travel it is exciting. Making plans and writing down lists of places to visit it keeps you looking forward to that trip! So, it doesn’t really matter if you are stuck in an office or a class you have something coming up!

  • It teaches you!

We often live with stereotypical ideas and perceptions of the people around us, let alone the world! And I don’t think there is any way for us to actually get out of the imprisonment of these thoughts other than actually packing and going around the world to see for ourselves. To find our own truth about what the world is really like and how people actually are. Traveling could be among the best learning experiences in one’s life because you see things for what they truly are, you experience them first hand and you meet all these different people you’ve lived with a false image of!

  • It is always a needed break!

I don’t think there is any kind of pressure or hard phase in anyone’s life that a good trip can’t make better. Every time you need a break of fresh air, time to think, something to change your mood or even just time off of everything grabbing a suitcase and booking a flight can always help with that. You could always go somewhere alone or with the closest people to your heart. You could always go on an adventure or relax on some beach. The options are limitless, you’ll always find exactly what you need.

 

Make time for yourself. Travel could be leisure but it is also therapy for your soul and you owe that to yourself

 

Here is why you should go to London. NOW!

This post is extremely biased, so if you don’t think you like London or if you think you’re not going to buy what I am about to say…continue reading anyway because you need to change your mind!

When people choose a city to call their “favorite” the reasons vary. Some enjoy cities with history and a monumental feel all around. Others feel like they wouldn’t bother being in a city that doesn’t have numerous options for activities. And the list goes on and on, but when thinking about a favorite city I think it ought to be live, comfortable in different ways and intrigues you in ways you didn’t know existed.

So, this is why I think taking a flight to London can never be a bad idea!

It is pretty!

I think the way London looks gives it an edge over other cities, don’t get me wrong there are much more artistic cities all over the world. But in London, something is different you walk in any street, anywhere and at any time and you will find something that is good for you eye. Even if you do not have a very specific plan for a day, walking around is enough for you to call it an “awesome day.”

Especially in the winter, everything is decorated and lit feels like you’re walking in a huge Christmas carnival. And there is nothing prettier than walking around winter wonderland to enjoy a day of adrenaline, color, and lights!

London is not only pretty because it is clean, organized and decorated with amazing architecture, it is pretty because it is structured but not monotonous. It is beautiful but not static. I think every time you visit London you see something new, something intriguing and something pretty. Very very pretty.

 

 

It is Inspiring!

If you don’t think London is inspiring, you haven’t taken a stroll in Hyde park around the serpentine or sat at Pret near a window watching the rain or even walked through Carnaby street. I haven’t been as inspired to write as I was when I saw on a bench in Hyde Park with a notebook and a pen the cold breeze, the sounds of birds and just the scenery is all you need for your mind and soul to be intrigued to produce the best you have.

 

It is great for your taste buds!

Whether you’re into healthy food, fast food, comforting breakfast or fine dining experience you’re covered! London has the best spots for any meal at any time of day! I promise you your tummy is going to be over the moon!

You’re never getting lost!

I don’t think getting lost in London is even possible, it doesn’t matter where you’re going or how far your destination is. A bus, a tube or a cab you literally are bombarded with signs and maps that ease your commuting every single day.

 

You have access to art, history, fashion and more!

I don’t think there is  anything you could be interested in that you do not find in London. I mean whether a day full of museum visits or a stroll down the history lane or even a walk through the latest fashion trends it is all there!

I warned you this was going to be biased and I even didn’t say everything! London is a cliché touristic place (which is one of the best things about it) that could never die out, EVER!

Traveling during Christmas is good for you!

 

A lot of people plan trips during the months of December and January because of the holiday season and it is usually easy for them to take a vacation from their schools, universities or work. But there is a perspective that I think a lot of people are missing, one that makes traveling during Christmas a different experience.

So, here’s why I think traveling during Christmas is very good for you!

You’re constantly surrounded by endlessly positive vibes! Especially in Europe and the states, during the festive season the streets, the shops, the restaurants, and monuments are all beautifully decorated with lights and ornaments and even though you believe these are just things that you pass by and it doesn’t affect you, I think you’re wrong.

Being around beautified places full of colors and light and positivity definitely affects your mood!

You get to see how different cultures and countries celebrate Christmas, you get to explore the local holiday traditions of the country you’re visiting and eat traditional food made for these festivities.

There are also usually various shows, concerts, markets, fairs, and theme parks made just for the season and you could experience this the way a local would!

There is more! You could explore the different items that show up on menus and collect different coffee paper cups designed just for Christmas and listen to every single Christmas song ever made played everywhere

Everyone is super happy during the holidays, people walk around wearing Christmas hats and 3D reindeers on their sweaters. And if you don’t want to be around so many celebrations I really don’t know what you’d rather do!

If you feel a little down, maybe a trip to an all-day Christmas carol is what you need!

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As humans, we are so good at making plans, resolutions, and dreams. Most of us are on a constant –sometimes eternal- voyage to find purpose, to excel and to set our priorities straight. But have you ever wondered why travel is always listed among those bucket, resolutions and dream lists? Have you ever wondered why are we all overwhelmed with an urge to travel?

Personally, I do not think it is just about the exploration. I believe we were inherently created to search and to find out what is beyond our surrounding. No one has ever developed capabilities, skills, and inspirations without movement whether physical or mental.

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The effect of traveling is a bit more than just experiencing something new or different. I believe through traveling you develop into a better and more compassionate human being. Through traveling you get to see the world from different perspectives and understand that different people have their priorities in an order and in ways you have never imagined. When you go out of what you know, what you are comfortable with and what is extremely relevant you get to appreciate what you have and grow an understanding to what others do, think and live.

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You learn so much about the world, but you also learn so much about yourself and the person you would like

 

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Three most embarrassing situations on an airplane.

Commuting, in general, is the worst part of every trip, for me at least. But the worst of all is being stuck in the air for a period of time. Don’t get me wrong, being on an airplane excites me. The smell of it, the feeling of getting closer to the desired destination and the anticipation of traveling, in general, it is all extremely fulfilling. But being on an airplane could be a bit stressful especially if you go through any of these situations.

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Stuck in a window seat and nature calls.  

Window seats are a favorite!! But then you need to use the bathroom and you have to ask one or two people to let you pass. But what if they are sleeping? This is among one of my biggest fear when I am not traveling with family or friends! Getting stuck in a window seat with an urging need to use the restroom could be one of the most embarrassing situations you could be in on a flight.

You’ll have one of two options either invade the passenger’s personal space and start poking them to wake up, act like you do not notice their scornful looks. Or you call upon the flight attendant and ask him/her to do that for you, like you are calling on your teacher to catch a classmate misbehaving in kindergarten. Remember, you will be coming back in! Be quick before they fall back asleep.

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Sitting next to a crying baby and need to act all nice.

Seeing a toddler or an infant getting on board is like seeing a monster under your bed. The moment we see those cute creatures getting settled in theirs we know they have an evil plan, one they will perfectly execute. We will cry and never ever stop. Apart from feeling like you will never get out of this plane ever, it becomes more and more awkward when the mom keeps apologizing and you keep nodding, smiling and assuring her like this is the best thing that has happened today!

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Emotional tantrum!

There is no better way to kill time on a flight than watch a good movie. But sometimes these movies are just too emotional for you to handle. And once you start crying everyone starts watching…awkward! The problem with watching movies on an airplane is that you kind of forget you are surrounded by people who are going to WATCH you cry and start peeking on your screen to check the cause of all this fuss!

1958480_10152210203846648_216239467_nThree reasons why you should never miss your senior trip.

Senior year, I do not think that there is anything as exciting in the first 20 years of one’s life. Getting to wear a different T-shirt, moving all the way to the top of the priority list and getting to be excited for one of the best trips you could ever go on. SENIOR TRIP. When you’re in high school being excited about your senior trip does not make any room for thinking about how important it is but you always come back a little different and this is why:

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1- Independence:

Whether it is the first time for you to travel abroad with your school or not, senior year is always different. You all have this eagerness to explore a new city with one another. Your parents are setting you free and sometimes your teachers are bit more understanding of this excitement. On your senior trip, you would start to see how independence really feels, you get to go around and make decisions. You make plans and stick to it, you stay past curfew and manage not to get caught (We all know you do). But the best thing about that is that you go back with this boost of confidence that traveling with your friends is not too hard after all, you no longer see supervision as a punishment and you get to feel independent without -for a minute-  feeling unsafe.

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2- Bonding like never before:

Anyone who has been to their senior trip knows that it is more than just a trip where you have fun and explore. You bond with people from your class you’ve never bonded with before, sometimes you get to know some of them and realize that you’ve been in the same school for years but you don’t know anything about one another. Senior trips build very strong relationships between classmates like nothing else. You feel like you go back as different people, your relationship with one another has completely changed. And you may think this is not really important but you will get to appreciate it when you are overwhelmed with sadness that you’re graduating, you will get to appreciate every second of it. I promise.

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3- You will never forget this:

High school is an emotional roller coaster and senior year is the highest point. So believe me when I tell you do not miss your senior trip. And I do not mean it as a cliche piece of advice but a few years from now when you realize that you would probably never be in the same place with all these people again, you would understand. The minute you walk out of school you probably might not all be in the same place again. Live the whole experience, live it to the end and enjoy one of its highlights: Senior trip!

 

From someone who had an amazing high school experience I tell you that four years later when you graduate college and start taking steps towards the path you choose for yourself, you will look back and realize how much you’ve enjoyed this.

Senior year is big and you should never bail on any part of it!

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Get your girls and hit any of those cities!

 

Sometimes life gets too tough and you just need to soften it up a bit. And we all know what this means: GIRL’S TRIP! Whether you’re too tired of school, college, you’ve been going through a rough time or one of the girls is getting hitched soon:  sometimes spending time with your closest girlfriends is a great chance to take a break and recharge with the girls.

 

When was the last time you all packed your most beautiful outfits and went on a getaway to take a break? In order to help you do that, we are giving you a list of destinations that would be perfect for your next girl’s trip!

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  • Dubai!

We all know the city gets more beautiful every day but for a girl’s trip there are so much you could do with your best friends. SHOPPING, SHOPPING & SHOPPING! If there is anything that girls would never stop doing, it is shopping. Whether it is the Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates or any other humongous shopping Center in Dubai it is perfect for an all shop till you drop kind of day. You could also enjoy luxurious spas and beaches even when it is freezing cold everywhere else! And you definitely shouldn’t miss Dubai’s epic nightlife.

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  • Barcelona!

When in Barcelona there is always a chance to chill and we bet there is no better company for a chill trip than your girls. You could tour the city on bike, bus or even walk around. The streets are beautiful and the city is vibrant. In addition to great touristic spots that are surrounded by astonishing architecture that makes every stroll around the city extremely enjoyable. Whether you choose the beach or the city Barcelona would take your breath away even before you spend a night!

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  • Beirut!

YES! Among the best destinations for any trip let alone a girl’s getaway! There is so much to do that is not only fun but also allows you and the girls to bond every single day of the trip! Along with seeing the main attractions and trying every restaurant you could possibly come across (I mean it), make sure you go on as many day trips as possible, there are so many spots around Beirut that are breathtaking.

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  • Bali!

We know you think this is all about honeymoons, but think again! Because Bali is a breathtaking destination that is perfect for group trips. There are so many activities you could do together and it is also amazing when you decide to stay together rather in a Balinese villa! Picture perfect beaches and instagrammable spots everywhere you go!

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This is how travel can teach you a bit more about yourself.

 

Disclaimer! This is NOT an overestimation. Exaggeration, by nature, is not something I am into especially when it comes to discovering one’s self and enlightenment. So believe me when I tell you that travel can make you know so much about yourself even if you don’t realize it.

 

There is always a side of us we tend not to be aware of. If we are tough there is a soft one hidden and if we are fearful there is a fierce face somewhere. The opposite of what we define ourselves to be is usually present somewhere but needs to be triggered and, in many cases, a flight ticket and a few bookings work magic as a trigger.

 

Some of us think they are super independent and for them traveling doesn’t emotionally affect them in any way. But then they travel and get homesick even before they have been gone for so long. They start realizing that maybe they have defined their independence a bit wrong. In this sense they have seen a side of their character they weren’t aware of.

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Other people think they are too anxious, dependent, fearful or inexperienced to face another city – I was one of those – but then they give themselves a chance and they see a completely different character.

 

I remember the first time I went shopping and had lunch all alone in London or the first time I took the tube all by myself . And believe me when I tell you I couldn’t believe I did it it felt like a huge achievement even though I know the whole world would disagree.

 

I remember the first time I held a printed map and led the way through Rome with my friends and no one had an idea what I was doing but turned out to be right, and I was so proud of myself.

 

Those moments by definition are not achievements, for many people they are just daily events but for someone who is not comfortable outside of their homes, their cities or whatever is familiar this is big and it was for me!

 

Whether it was believing you were not soft enough for homesickness or thought you were not tough enough to be on your own in another city or any other realization, think about your past trips and make a list of moments you realized or learned something new about yourself. Something about your character, the way you deal with circumstances or maybe something you handled so well even if you were doubtful.

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Make a list!

Because these moment are worth acknowledgment, they were little victories and revelations about yourself that you should speak of.  Open up your eyes d your next trips and take note of what you know next!