Adventure and Travel

THE MOST POWERFUL FEELING

I love the feeling of going somewhere new for the first time. It’s a special kind of exhilaration, a sense of being alive and experiencing the world.   I’m always anxious and scared as I prepare for a new journey. The comfort zone feels so…comfortable. It’s so safe and so easy to stay there; sometimes I wonder why I would ever leave.   But then I force myself to take the leap. Suddenly, I’m on a plane and a new place is coming into focus below me. My eyes are glued to the window, my heart quickens, and I am so in awe of this world. So big, so beautiful and so different, yet similar everywhere. It’s a powerful feeling to know you can show up in a new city, country, wherever and be able to figure it out. It’s not always graceful or glamorous (in fact, in my experience, the first few days in ...

RILEY-J’S

I went out to meet up with my cousin and her husband at the local watering hole downtown. I had just put in a double in exchange for the next day off, which meant I would finally have time to go out, and I snag those chances whenever I get them with the amount of time I work, plus school full-time.  It was a great night. I count my drinks, and I was trying to obtain number three at this point.  I had left my cousin and her family to hang out with my boyfriend, so we hit up a different bar around the corner.   This bar is a great bar—my parents know the owner and bartenders. It’s got that dim, dungeon feel where you could successfully hide your side-bitch in a corner and never get caught.   I have three one dollar bills left because, when left to my own devices, I’ll have zero in my bank ac...

A LITTLE GHOST STORY FOR MODERN TIMES

Over the summer, I ventured to Canada for the first time. Two friends and I decided to explore Montreal and Quebec City, hoping for slightly cooler weather, French-style pastries, and Canada Day celebrations. We succeeded in two of the three experiences (we happened to visit during a record-breaking heat that sapped our energy and resulted in the over-consumption of gelato and iced coffee—not necessarily a horrible way to cool down).  Once we arrived, we had intended to stay in a quaint little hostel in the middle of Vieux-Montréal. After checking in and lugging our bags up multiple flights of tiny, winding stairs, we arrived in a small room on a top floor with an adorable view of the city and no air conditioning. The air sat still in the room and the three of us toppled onto the bed, our ...

HOW TO TRAVEL WITH A DISABILITY

Traveling with a disability caused by chronic illness can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. In my experience of traveling with Muscular Dystrophy (MD), doing the right type of research and proactive planning in advance can help create a comfortable, enjoyable and memorable trip. Some of the simplest outings–a date, night on the town or happy hour–can pose major problems when it comes to moving about freely with a disability. I’ve had too many experiences to not learn how to make sure the venue and overall trip will be as comfortable as possible. There are a few suggestions I want to share with those who may be unsure of how to prepare for going out for a night or overnight while living with a disability of any type or cause. Here’s my best advice: Do your research! The f...

AREN’T YOU AFRAID TO TRAVEL ALONE?

“How does your husband feel about you traveling alone?” “Why doesn’t he go with you?” “Why don’t you bring a friend?” “Aren’t you scared?” “Don’t you get lonely?” “Do you watch the news?” “But… you’re a woman. Isn’t that dangerous?” I am a wanderer. To me this means that my brain craves more than the small space I occupy can provide for me. I am not fearless, nor am I stupid. To tell you the truth, the idea of being able to stand on a glacier, see a camel in it’s natural habitat and walk through the lands of ancient history is one of the very few things that keeps me alive. To answer some of the questions that I usually like to roll my eyes at, of course my friends and family don’t love the idea of me trotting the globe solo; however, if I waited around to find someone else who shared the ...

GETTING TO CUBA

My obsession with getting to Cuba starts with my Aunt Suzanne, who unexpectedly died in the summer of 2015, which was very hard for everyone in the family. But of course, it was the hardest for her husband, Mike; they had been married for 40 plus years. We all saw how a part of him died the day Suzanne died. After Suzanne passed, Mike became more obsessed with traveling. I think the depression of losing his one true love drove him to want to do some very ambitious travel. He wasn’t well – he was sick for well over a decade, a heart transplant led to lung cancer for the 63-year-old nonsmoker. He probably should not have traveled internationally at all, so it took us all for a surprise when he told everyone we would be doing a family trip to Cuba the Christmas after Suzanne died. He wa...

THE OLIVE TREE WITHIN

With 12 weeks of vacation time to use and a bargain rental on a Spanish villa, I dug out my passport from my catch-all drawer filled with safety pins, pens and old makeup, and I dusted off the Nars Perfect Peach blush. Both of my parents had died when I was very young. My grandmother raised me, and she passed away a year ago, which left me feeling homeless.  I was an adult now at the ripe age of 32. I had a nice apartment in Tampa, Florida and a good paying job. I didn’t have a spouse or family of my own, so holidays felt particularly lonely as my family consisted of a black mini schnauzer and the occasional stray cat that I took in because we seemed to be kindred spirits. I had the vacation time saved up and it seemed to be a great time to take that European vacation that I had always dre...

SOLO TRAVEL SOUTH KOREA LIKE A PRO

You’ve dance the Gangnam Style, you’ve watched the food docos and now you are itching to visit Seoul to experience Korean culture. You want the unedited, raw octopus galore kind of holiday where you can chat to the locals and after, dazzle your friends with your stories! I’m sharing my experiences from my solo travel in the hope that it pushes your comfort boundaries a little so you can declare that you went on a genuine escapade. After all, we only live once. Memorise 1330 Before we rush off, this is something you must know. 1330 is your lifeline to everything a traveler needs during their stay in South Korea. The Korean government acknowledges the importance of their tourism industry therefore is prepared to help visitors extensively. When you are on the ground, nothing beats having a nu...

DID MY RELATIONSHIP ABROAD MAKE ME MISS OUT ON OTHER THINGS?

I always hated the trope when someone enters into a relationship, they completely forget about his or her friends and focus on the relationship. I never wanted to be that girl, and yet I fear I may have been her. I had been studying in London for a month when I reactivated my Tinder. I felt comfortable enough with the city and my life there that I was willing to try and meet people. Before this, my Tinder life had been pretty lackluster; I rarely kept up conversations and had definitely never met up with anyone. But it only takes one thing to change your mind. British Boy made me laugh in our texting conversations, so I gave him my number and agreed to meet him for drinks. Something completely unprecedented for me, and I was terrified. It didn’t help that I had friends convinced that...

TRAVEL GUIDE TO ZAGREB, CROATIA

What is it When it comes to city breaks, there are the usual suspects which crop up time and time again – Paris, Amsterdam, Prague… but sometimes you want somewhere a bit different. Something new and something still culturally connected to its roots – somewhere that doesn’t have tacky tourism shops on every corner and that plays host to more holidaymakers than it does locals. And this such place is Zagreb. Zagreb is the capital of Croatia and a real city gem. Often overlooked in favour of Croatia’s coastal destinations such as a Split or Dubrovnik, Zagreb is a destination in its own right and one more than worth of a visit. Why not head for a long weekend, or even for a couple of days as a stopover on your way to the coast? It feels like a real secret and real hidden gem just waiting to be...

PEACEFUL WATERS

Sometimes I just want to sit by the sea. Not because I am depressed or unhappy, but because the sea has healing powers, With its waves and hushes, It fills up your mind with wonder and beauty at the vastness of the ocean. It puts life into perspective. It creates a quietness and stillness in your soul. An aquarian belongs to the waters and the air. Once or twice a year or more I have to go where I belong. On top of a hill or by mother sea and father wind. Even if it is by a little pond. Sitting by the sea is not for melancholy. But it is for contemplation. For balance. For harmony. A kind of Yin ⚏ and a kind of Yang     Author: Gassy Traore Email: gassyt@hotmail.co.uk Author Bio: A sea princess and a sea-lover forever. “When air met water, it made me who I am.” #aquar...

THE LITTLE THINGS

I do believe in “the little things.” The little things are what makes the journey after all. You might take a specific trip somewhere with a certain purpose, but the ride there and back and everything that led to this point or to the end of a journey are worth remembering. Sometimes they’re not as easy to remember after the big adventure but in the end they are part of the adventure as well. I keep a traveling journal with me on the road, not really to spread emotions and thoughts, but more for the little things. I like to have it around and write my day before going to bed every day. It helps me remember things for later or sometime let go of things. The little things are sometime good and sometime bad but we should learn from all of them. Whether they are personal or shared adventures. A...

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