The Philosophy of Travelling: Setting the Right Frame of Mind for Adventure

By now, we’ve probably seen, heard, and read more ideas about travelling than ever before. It’s also safe to say we live in a world where more and more people put a premium on this somewhat life-changing aspect. Whether short trips or month-long vacation tours, backpacking adventures or relocating in general, travelling invokes a one-of-a-kind sense of fulfilment and satisfaction. On the other hand, some folks are still on the fence and worry about the overall requirements, not to mention the costs, associated with this lifestyle.

There’s this common misconception that seeing the earth’s most beautiful places and eating its tastiest dishes are exclusive for billionaires, millionaires, and even lottery winners. Lottoland, a website that features up-to-the-minute results from different parts of the world, even has an article describing the top luxury destinations across the globe. Let’s quash this false belief once and for all and put it this way, travelling and this so-called moving-out-from-our-comfort-zone doesn’t necessarily entail spending our life savings altogether. Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of knowledge, the right mindset, and decent amount of courage.

First things first, this article is neither about the how to’s, the where to’s, nor the what to’s of travelling, but, rather, it’s about setting the right frame of mind. By dispelling all the notions involving funds, we’re already taking the first step toward our next exciting adventure. Yes, no matter which way we look at it, money, both making and spending, is important. However, if we just focus on these roadblocks, instead of making something positive happen, then we won’t go anywhere.

Small things and slight lifestyle changes – varying from giving up a Starbucks visits to understanding specific life skills to placing importance on savings – can make a huge difference to our end goal. In other words, altering our habits will lead to affirmative changes, which will eventually head on to greater, groundbreaking things in the future.

If you, however, plan to relocate and/or backpack for a couple of months, know that there are plenty of earning opportunities such as being a tour guide, an English teacher, as well as a bunch of part-time online jobs. Basically, regardless of the type of traveller, the world offers a lot of opportunities for financial sustainability and emotional growth. So now’s the perfect time, take the first step, set your mind right, and ultimately savour all the benefits of travelling.

Travelling with Kids: My Tale of Survival

Ah, travelling with kids—either you love it or you hate it.

Around 5 years ago, I’d consider myself belonging to the second group (the “haters”) because I saw kids as a wrecker to a supposedly fun-filled adventure. Being a long-time solo traveller, I had been used to exploring places on my own without having to mind young companions who suddenly throw tantrums and spoil the fun. Attending to unruly kids was just not my thing.

That’s why when my sister invited me to join her family’s summer vacation in Disney World, I wasn’t that excited. Her son, who was 5 years old that time, would be going with us. It was my first time to travel with him. I love my nephew; that’s for sure. What I wasn’t sure of, though, was if I could survive the trip without getting stressed with a kid who’s hyper at best and cranky at worst.

But then the opportunity to go back to Disney World after a long time was irresistible for a kid at heart like me. Also, all my travel expenses would be paid by my sister’s family. And so I tagged along and decided to just go with the flow and enjoy the trip.

When I got back to New York from Florida, I browsed through my cell phone’s gallery, and all I saw are selfies of me and my nephew having a blast in our Disney vacation. Little did I expect that I’d bring home happy memories from the trip. My perspective on travelling with kids had changed since then.

How did it happen? I helped him develop his interest in photography. I’m sharing some tips based on my experience travelling with an adorable, curious boy.

1. Let kids snap their own vacation pics

On our Disney trip, I was the family’s official photographer. While taking a break, I reviewed my shots on my DSLR. My nephew sat beside me and looked very interested in the pictures we’re viewing.

Then poof! A eureka moment came along: why not share with him my passion for taking photos? Why not turn his curiosity into love for photography?

While young children cannot handle professional DSLRs or mirrorless cameras, that doesn’t mean they can’t snap their own vacation pics. Good thing I brought along my compact point-and-shoot camera, which I let him use throughout our trip. The boy couldn’t take his hands off his new toy!

Just a tip: if your child is younger than 12, consider getting him a kid-friendly camera that comes with a protective case. The camera should be weatherproof, splashproof, and shockproof—for obvious reasons. You’d want the camera to outlast at least one of your travels.

You know what will make your kid really happy? Include your kid’s snapshots in your family vacation albums to add variety and a different point of view. You can turn this into a family project and have even more fun with your kids.

the little girl wants to travel

2. Letting kids edit their own vacation pics

Editing photos is a great way for a child to preserve his memories. While Adobe Photoshop might be a little too complicated for young children, there are photo editing software and online photo editing services that are either simple enough for children to use or are designed specifically for children.

My nephew, who’s now 10 years old, uses PicMonkey to edit vacation photos (his dad guided him when he started using it). He would email his edited pictures to me—and I couldn’t be prouder! Aside from having a simple user interface, PicMonkey also provides tutorials that will help parents teach their kids basic photo editing skills like cropping and resizing images, applying different light effects, and adding overlays and text.

If your kid is 13 years old or older, he can upload the finished pictures to his Facebook profile for his family and friends to see. Alternatively, you can help him print his edited vacation pictures to use on school projects, mail to his grandparents, or decorate his bedroom.

3. Letting kids tell a travel story with their favorite toys

To help your child develop his storytelling and photography skills, consider giving him a photography project to work on during the trip. If he has a favorite action figure, stuffed toy, Lego piece, or miniature aircraft/automobile, ask him to photograph his favorite toy in interesting locations throughout the trip.

He can photograph his favorite toy standing near a national monument, admiring the seashore, or admiring artwork inside a museum. After the trip, you can help your child select the best photos and write a fantasy travel story featuring his favorite toy. He can then use the finished project for his next Show and Tell.

My nephew is a Star Wars fan, so I gave him a Darth Vader action figure as a present three Christmases ago. He has recently finished his own comic strip titled “The Adventures of Darth Vader” that’s filled with pictures of his favorite travel buddy in various locations where his family had a vacation.

nigelvincent

4. Creating a vacation scrapbook with the kids

Teach your child how to curate his memories in a creative way by working on a vacation scrapbook with him.

Start by choosing and printing the vacation photos that will go into the scrapbook. Also include interesting mementoes from the trip like brochures, tickets, drawings, and postcards. Just as importantly, select the album and materials for the scrapbook (you can purchase albums and materials from physical or online craft stores).

Creating a vacation scrapbook is a great way for you to bond with your child during the holidays and weekends. Just be warned—scrapbooking requires lots of space and may lead to quite a mess, so it’s best to do it in a special craft room or on a large dining table when you’re not expecting company.

For more information on how to get started with your scrapbooking project, check out this helpful resource.

5. Creating a travel memory box with the kids

A travel memory box, where you can place all your favorite travel photos and mementoes, is an awesome way for you to preserve vacation memories with your child. It looks great on bookshelves and study tables. A single travel memory box can hold photos and mementoes from one vacation or can hold the accumulated photos and mementoes from different vacations.

Folders, plastic containers, shoe boxes, and decorative boxes from gift shops can all be turned into travel memory boxes. It’s best to go for a box that will not only fit all your memories but is also durable enough to stand the test of time.

Travelling with kids can be an enriching, life-changing experience. Make the most out of it! I’d encourage you to get your children interested in photography—aside from making your vacation a lot more fun for them, it can also help them develop their imagination and other skills.

Liz Pekler

About the Author:

Liz Pekler is a travel photographer with almost 10 years of experience in the field. When she is not out exploring the world, she likes to share her knowledge about photography and travel through writing for blogs.

The 6 Best Family Vacation Ideas in Palawan

LetsPalawanLogoGuest Post by Carmela Alvarez – Let’s Palawan

Family vacations are perfect occasions to connect with your children and explore the great outdoors together. Taking an exciting trip with the family does not only bring joy to the faces of the young ones but it’s also the best time to shrug off that heavy load you’ve been carrying on your shoulders.

However, as promising as the idea of family vacations might be, it’s not always smooth sailing. Sudden bursts of tantrums and weariness can shatter a perfectly pleasant get together it’s definitely not something we want to include in the itinerary.

So, how do you keep a relaxing family vacation from going down the drain?.. Pick the best destination. Select a travel spot that appeals to everybody in the group. My suggestion?.. Take your family on an island holiday in Palawan, Philippines!

Breathtaking sites, engaging activities, and an incomparable travel experience that you simply can’t get anywhere else is waiting for you here. So, if you’re planning a family vacation anytime soon, consider these 6 family vacation ideas in Palawan.

  1. The Thrill of Cable Rides
the thrill of cable rides
https://www.instagram.com/p/BJSLsOBBnrq/

There’s no better way to experience the thrill of Palawan than travelling across the open waters of the island a few meters above ground and overlooking the view of the tropical paradise. If you’re looking for that extreme adventure during your trip, this is it. However, before venturing the fun cable ride, a bit of hiking is first required to reach the starting point, but the result is totally worth it.

Enjoy the scenic views of Palawan in a very unique and exhilarating way.

  1. El Nido’s Canopy Walk
el nidos canopy walk
https://www.instagram.com/p/BJRseyVDVtu/

Another galvanizing adventure on the list that you should try is the Canopy Walk. These metal paths and bridges allow you to have a stroll at a high vantage point. The Canopy Walk is perfect for those who would love to take a glimpse of the aerial view of the island but are inexperienced climbers. On the trail, you can enjoy the lush shade of greenery and the setting is as relaxing as the adventure itself. This hanging bridge exploit is definitely an adventure you should not miss out on.

  1. Island Hopping
island hopping
https://www.instagram.com/p/BJRrtnNAp1M/

No Palawan vacation is complete without an island hopping escapade. Since the place is known for its remarkable tropical setting, you must not miss out on this fun adventure with your family.

This is a great opportunity for everyone to explore the beauty of nature in the most entertaining and interesting way. The boat rides to the different stunning islands and lagoons will allow the kids to peruse the beach and its spectacular views, not to mention the handful of activities you can do together.

  1. Beach Related Adventures
beach relatd adventures
https://www.instagram.com/p/BJRQ7JJDR3j/

Can a tropical vacation possibly be considered complete if you haven’t spent time on the beach? Nah…

With over 50 pristine beaches on the island of Palawan, you can go crazy over the multitude of activities that you can do on these long wide stretches of fine sand. Build sand castles with the kids! Engage in watersports! Settle in a spot under the shade for a delectable lunch by the coastline! Whatever you want to do, there will always be something here that you will enjoy.

  1. Underground River
Underground river
https://www.instagram.com/p/BJRNTfNhSDB/

The enchanting atmosphere of Palawan’s Underground River is beyond compare. Considered as one of the 7 wonders of the world, a journey to this enthralling island location with your family is something that you should not miss. The trip to the long navigable underground river of Palawan is a splendid avenue for everyone to explore the refinement of nature. Check out one of the world’s major tourist spot and be in awe of the fascinating natural wonder unfolding before your very eyes.

  1. En route to Nacpan Beach
en route to nacpan beach
https://www.instagram.com/p/BJRNTfNhSDB/

Take a ride over to one of Palawan’s best beaches  – Nacpan Beach. The coastline of Nacpan offers the solitude that is perfect for any family vacay. Take a long relaxing family stroll on its vast, powder-fine, sandy expanse. While you’re at it, don’t miss the chance to see the unique land formation of the famous Twin Beaches of Nacpan and Calitang. It only takes a few hikes, and you’ll get to see the amazing view of these two gorgeous beaches of Palawan.

Family vacations are one of the highlights in our year and something that we look forward to.  It’s something that we plan for months and we always hope for a faultless experience. It might not be an effortless undertaking, but with an admirable destination in hand, going through this family affair should not be difficult. Really, all it takes is an exceptional venue.

LetsPalawanLogoAbout the author: Carmela Alvarez is an editor/customer service representative of ‘Let’s Palawan’. 
She’s a 20-something bubbly and adventurous female who loves to take selfies. 
Her aim is to share her travel experience and inspire fellow travelers. 
Visit Let’s Palawan:

 

Trump: Evidence the Law of Attraction Doesn’t Discriminate?

What is the link between positive thinking and life circumstance? What is this mysterious connection between abstract thoughts, fleshy neurons and the physical world? It’s hard to define how your inner thoughts can influence the physical world, but it’s a phenomenon that, in my opinion, seems to stand true. At the very least, no one’s ever said that thinking positively and visualising is bad for you… So, what’s to lose? But… Like the bright, howling flame causes a hot air balloon to rise, the absence of such, causes it to fall, crashing back to the ground. So too our thoughts influence our drift in the physical world. So that’s easy, right? Think positive, believe in yourself and life will be kind. In my opinion, the notion of positive thinking is simple in theory, but in practice, it’s incredibly bloody difficult. It seems to be a struggle of Sisyphean proportion to stop the internal, judgemental, bias and negative entity that is our putrid thought.

To stop thinking the worst possible scenario becomes a conscious and arduous task for most people every day. It’s as if an ancient and redundant brain system still exists within us, not yet cut away by the knife of evolution. We’re still programmed to recognise danger to such an extent that our thought patterns follow the same mindset of worst case scenario. Brain structures from times long past drag us back to an ancient world where beady-eyed predators lurk in the darkness and vigilance was the most important survival mechanism.

So, we sit in our dank, musty, cluttered, fearful existence of “I hate myself”, “I’m useless “and “life sucks” and we start searching for something, anything to make us feel better or give us answers. We find inspirational quotes on Google and we post our ‘motivation porn’ on Facebook. We want to believe but, in reality, we’re fucking depressed.

A typical piece of 'Motivation Porn' that can be found on any Facebook newsfeed.
A typical piece of ‘Motivation Porn’ that can be found on any Facebook news feed.

We then look to others who seem successful and happy in life and we judge.

Why does this other person deserve to have everything and not me?

What have I done wrong to deserve this?

The freight train of self-fulfilling prophecy then continues to gain momentum as our internal negativity manifests in our external world as if appearing to ‘prove our point’ and we slowly descend into the sticky, addictive world of being ‘the victim’.

The fact of the matter is, if you believe in the ‘Law of Attraction’ or simply that thinking positively will manifest in your life then you need to realise one important fact. It’s a law of the universe. It’s like gravity. It does not discriminate nor does it reward dependent on who you are or what you’ve done. Believing that you deserve positivity and happiness in your life more than someone else is like throwing a criminal and a priest off a building and expecting the criminal to plummet to his death but the priest to be miraculously saved. It won’t happen because attracting things through positive thinking is simply leveraging a non-judgemental law of the universe that bubbles into action following a set of rules, the same a gravity.

I think that many of our problems in life stem from the fact that we look at things in the wrong way. We expect life to be fair, we expect retribution if we’re hard-done-by and we expect that assholes will get what’s coming for them. However, what if we were to look at life and the universe as a set of laws and see events as cause and effect rather than internalising a dialogue of pity, self-loathing and resentment. If we focused this energy on changing our own mindset, I think we would be amazed by the results. The problem is, it’s just so bloody hard!

This is why Donald Trump is where he is today. How else can a man of such superficiality, an orange, broad-faced imbecile who oozes putrid ego through every orifice… How can such a person be legitimately in the running for the most powerful job in the world?

Trump enjoying KFC in his private jet. Courtesy Twitter - @realDonalTrump
Trump enjoying KFC in his private jet. Courtesy Twitter – @realDonalTrump

My theory is that believing in yourself, whether in the form of arrogance or humility creates a shift in the physical world and manipulates this law of attraction. Sure, Trump didn’t build himself from nothing, he was given a ‘small’ loan of a million dollars by his father, but the fact is, even after losing his fortune more than once, he’s bounced back with a style of buoyancy that could only be rivalled by his ridiculous hair.

So, why most of us are swimming in a healthy and humble self-loathing, Trump’s out starting every day believing he’s God’s gift to America and, sadly, it’s working. Trump is not the only example of this… There are many other dictators and horrible humans who have risen to great power throughout history and perhaps it’s only for the simple fact that they believed so hard that, they were great leaders that they actually shifted the physical world, for a short time, and created a tide of followers to surge towards them beaten and battered.

I think the problem with modern society is that you’re no longer allowed to love yourself. To tell someone that they ‘love themselves’ is just a schoolyard taunt used to insult people who seem too ambitious. This is a very Western world concept, the idea that we must all be humble and respectful. Whilst I agree this is true, I feel that we’ve blurred the line between arrogance and self-confidence in fear of appearing to others that we might love ourselves… Even a little bit.

I met my wife in the Philippines. The Philippines is arguably the selfie capital of the world. When my wife first came to Australia, I used to get embarrassed when she would stop and take a selfie. She asked me why, and I replied

“because if you take selfies it means you love yourself”.

Her reply then threw me and left me without an answer;

“What’s wrong with loving yourself? You should love yourself”

I had never really thought about why I shouldn’t love myself and in that moment I stood there thinking, of course, people should love themselves… How can you love others if you don’t even love yourself? I had just been so brainwashed in trying to be humble at all costs and was so caught up in the global collective self-loathing that I’d never stood back to actually question it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m by NO means saying let’s all be like Trump, but well, at least the man loves himself. I just think it’s scary that the world is in such a dark landscape of self-hate that, if there is indeed a law of attraction spawn from believing in yourself, there’s probably not much competition for it! This is evidenced by the Trumps of the world who for right or wrong, break free of self-loathing . Then where is the line between arrogance and confidence? I’m not sure. What I’m even more not sure of is where the law of attraction stands on arrogance. It seems that if your mind is so blissfully unaware of your shortcomings and you have a genuine belief in yourself then, that it can reap massive rewards.

I’m not suggesting Trump’s a happy man… He certainly doesn’t seem it. I’m also not alluding to the notion that money and success equal happiness. All I’m suggesting is that life seems to work out for people who are able to think positively. The man’s a dickhead and he’s also got a lot of hate, but you can’t deny that he’s enjoyed his life and that his self-confidence seems to have had an enormous effect on his life.

Is this fair? Well, that’s not really the point. Maybe we should all learn to love ourselves a bit more and make the competition for yielding the powers of positive thinking a bit more of a fair race. If we all genuinely loved ourselves, then perhaps the universe would only wince at the superficial arrogance that Trump exudes. But, in a world where we’re not allowed to love ourselves and we perpetuate self-loathing… Then it seems maybe life’s for the Trumps, the Operas and the Robins’s of the world.

I think we need to stop complaining about what’s fair, right or just and instead focus on harnessing the power of our own minds. And, let’s all just hope that Trump’s power of self-love isn’t enough to win him the election!

Motivational speaker Tony Robbins with Oprah Winfery
Motivational speaker Tony Robbins with Oprah Winfrey. I’m not putting Oprah and Robbins in the same boat as Trump. I find these two inspiring. However, I feel that they have harnessed the power of their minds and turned it into a highly successful product.

Deepawali Festival, India

There are times when you experience something incredible. Something so unique, so overwhelming… Something that’s so different to your past experiences that it makes your body tingle and the hairs stand up on your neck as you watch on in awe. Your senses are so overwhelmed by what you’re experiencing that you become truly present in the moment. The experience you’re having is so intense that there’s no bandwidth left for mental commentary, judgment or contemplation… It’s just pure, raw experience.

These moments stay with you. They affect you in a deep and profound way, and even recalling them in memory brings back the wave of excitement, awe and emotion that you felt.

One such experience I had was the Hindu festival of Deepawali. This is a celebration of light over dark, good over evil. I walked the streets of Chennai, India during the festival as the city became a majestic fantasy land of light and sound.

All over the city, there were joyous flashes of bright white light that erupted with a sizzle and whir shooting up into the humid night sky. Around dark corners in shantytowns and villages, smiling faces glowed, wide-eyed around cascading fountains of sparks.

The sticky Chennai humidity mixed with gunpowder and smoke created a dense fog that draped the streets, giving the city a ghost-like feel. As I wandered with my camera in hand, the streets were empty of traffic and the fog only briefly pierced by the light of a passing rickshaw.  The city felt like an eerie, happy, peaceful, war zone of light, sound, and fog.

Travel – Photography – Philosophy – Psychology: Inspiring Words and Images from Around the World

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