Off the beaten path

Off the beaten path
Photo credit: Dave Iba/ UVU Review
Photo credit: Dave Iba/ UVU Review

World travel is cheap and easy. In fact, with a little practice and effort, you can travel the world for a lot cheaper than you might think. Summer is just around the corner, which is optimal for traveling students.

This semester I’m going to give you travel tips that I’ve picked up throughout my travels in 14 countries and show you ways that I’ve made traveling easier, cheaper and a reality rather than a dream.

The idea that travel is expensive and difficult is crap, peddled by tour companies and hotel chains. The tourism industry wants you to buy cruise packages and stay at all-inclusive resorts, telling you that it’s your cheapest option. They want you to choose a travel experience the same way you would choose a new jacket at the mall. They want your credit card number.

It can be scary to venture into the world with nothing more than optimism and goodwill, but personal freedom begins with a leap of faith. Don’t be afraid of new experiences and taking chances — it’s all a part of the adventure.

Embrace the simple delight of travel

The joy of new experiences is the most wonderful thing about traveling, and new experiences are free.

Travel liberates you from the grind of a daily routine. You will explore new places, meet new people, try new foods and learn things about yourself and the world that you never imagined possible.

Walk the streets of a city, stop and chat with a local, people-watch in a public park, climb to the top of a hill and watch the sun set over the ocean or discover ancient cities.

The simple joy of being in a new place is just a matter of … wait for it … going someplace new. No tour package required.

Keep Your Needs To A Minimum

The American economy is built on the false premise that people need to buy new goods and services all the time. I call it BS.

People need fresh air, healthy food, clean water, exercise, creative stimulations, companionship and a safe place to sleep.

All of these things are simple to obtain. Most of them are free. For fresh air, go outside. For exercise, take a walk though the city or village. Get to know people where you are. If you are in a location where English isn’t the first language, you’re in luck. You speak one of the most widely-spoken languages in the world. You’re bound to find someone with whom you can communicate. For creative stimulation, go somewhere new. For companionship, make a friend. Hostels are great for this. There are many young adults out on the same adventure you are and may have already been where you are going. They are great for answers to questions along the way. Also, things like food and shelter are much cheaper once you get outside the United States.

Next week, look forward for tips on ways to obtain flights, food and shelter for cheap or even free.

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