Tag Archives: around the world

Adventure planning


the open road - thegiftoftravel.wordpress.com

We’re full steam ahead in the planning stages for our next adventure. No name for the trip or anything yet, but accommodations are booked, national parks have been chosen and the route has officially taken shape. We’re open to suggestions and hoping you’ll come along with us for the ride. Read the rest of this entry

Joy in Simplicity


Pure Bliss - the gift of travel

Almost a decade ago, my cousin got married in North Carolina. I flew in for her wedding and stayed with a summer camp counselor and her family for the night. They picked me up at the airport with their two little girls in tow and we chatted the entire drive home. Along the way, her husband (who was also a camp director of mine) pointed out whimsical trees, purple flowers on the center median and even a deer on the side of the road. The visit was great, the wedding was beautiful and the time with family and friends precious, but Chris pointing out wildflowers to his young daughters has stuck with me. Read the rest of this entry

Traveler Interview: Always Twirling


I ‘met’ Peter and Susana of Always Twirling online. In the growing world of travelers and bloggers, they are doing their best to make a go of long term travel and to figure out what works for them. Spurred on by Rolf Pott’s beliefs in Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel, they’re on a search for how to build the best life for themselves, traditional or otherwise. Here they share their story.

peter and susana always twirling

1.When did you get started traveling? We started traveling in 2011 but have recently returned back to our hometown of Toronto for a while as we decide on our future plans and build up some more customers/contacts for my consulting business.

2.What made you decide make the jump to a location independent/travel-based existence? Rolf Pott’s book Vagabonding was the spark that lit the fire of imagining life outside of the confines of “traditional” boundaries. Read the rest of this entry

Traveler Interview: Candice Walsh


Ever since my first trip to Israel, I’ve loved to travel. Every school/teacher break I had you’d find me on an adventure somewhere. I talked about travel, researched travel, dreamt of travel and relished the excursions I was lucky to take. Colleagues often asked ‘where are you off to next’ when they knew a school break was on the horizon. It wasn’t until Mathew and I took our ’round the world honeymoon that I even thought a travel-based existence or a lifestyle of constant travel possible. After we returned, I took a Matador U travel writing course to get more details about the possibility of writing becoming more than a hobby and that’s where I met Candice. Holding the position of lead writing faculty, she read some of my work and we edited articles together. Nomadic for about half the year, she travels and writes her way around the world. To me, Candice’s story is a bridge between those who are able to travel when holidays allow and others who are nomadic full time without a home-base. Whether you dream of travel, save for that weekend trip with friends, take a once a year holiday with family or think it might be possible to one day leap full time-her story just might inspire you to book that much thought about adventure.


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Traveler Interview #10: Tim Leffel


Tim Leffel is one of the interesting members of the travel community. A travel value and destinations expert often quoted by major media outlets, he is president of a diversified web publishing company, as well as an accomplished author, editor and publisher. As a traveling on a budget guru, Tim has authored and updated The World’s Cheapest Destinations and is editor of Perceptive Travel Webzine as well as Practical Travel Gear. Working with countless bloggers, dozens of freelance contributors as well as publishing from various continents, he is a force in the world of travel, living life on his own terms and writing about it. Read his story – see what he has to say. Perhaps he will inspire you to bring the gift of travel more to the forefront of your life in a way that works for you.

1.When did you get started traveling? Kind of late actually, after being in the working world for nine years first after college. But I made up for lost time after that when my now-wife and I spent three out of the next four years backpacking around the world and teaching English abroad. Read the rest of this entry

Traveler Interview #8: Retire Early Lifestyle (Billy and Akaisha Kaderli)


Billy & Akaisha Kaderli have been location-independent long before it was a recognized travel term. These two are dreamers and doers who found their own way to include travel as the focal point in their lives. They left the traditional workforce before turning forty and have been traveling and wandering the globe ever since.  Before face time conversations and amidst naysayers-they ‘left’ and haven’t looked back. Having four home-bases (where they set up housekeeping and travel out of) in Arizona (United States), Chiang Mai (Thailand), Chapala (Mexico) and  Panajachel (Guatemala), they travel with the ease found after twenty years on the road. Considering themselves ‘retired’, here they offer travelers a glimpse at life their way.

An Interview with Billy & Akaisha Kaderli of Retire Early Lifestyle


1.When did you get started traveling? Billy and I were both travelers before we met each other in the mid 1970’s, and it was an important ingredient to our relationship that we held in common. One of the first things we did together was to go to Europe in 1979 and spent about 6 months traveling around. Billy was a trained French Chef at the time, so we ate and drank our way through our travels. When we returned to California, we purchased a restaurant which required a lot of time and work to run. Our travel time was relegated to long weekends and two week vacations. It was because we wanted to continue to travel without limits that brought us to this lifestyle when we left the conventional working world at age 38 in 1991. We wanted to see the world and have been traveling together ever since. Read the rest of this entry

24 Hours on an Egyptian Felucca

Our Felucca

Our Felucca

“I’ll sleep on the outside, closest to the land so you don’t get too many mossie bites”, said my kind husband. Fast-forward to the next morning after being covered by bug spray inside and out of my sleeping bag and the Aussie has no bites and I have twenty-two including seven on my face. Argh, the joys of traveling!

The banks of the Nile River

The banks of the Nile River

During a nine-day gAdventures tour in Egypt in 2009, we spent one memorable full day and overnight on a felucca. Our vessel was a traditional Egyptian wooden sailboat piloted by one wrinkly man who spent much time enjoying the smoke of his personal shisha pipe. We left from the dock of our hotel on the Nile River and traveled for hours just checking out our surroundings. We saw scrawny cows on the river banks guided by their keepers, heard endless sounds of wildlife in the air and on land and relished in the clear sunshine-filled blue sky overhead above our canopy that kept our mattress covered boat shaded and cool. Mayer (our guide) gave us a goal for the day. Our job is to ‘lay like starfish’ and just exist…and so we did.

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A Night at the Market


The infectious aromas hit you a block away and pull you towards the Queen Victoria market. By 5pm on any summer Wednesday night in Melbourne, magical scents fill the air and music dances through the evening sky. Sizzle. Pop. Whoosh. Sounds of chefs flipping, searing & cooking their delicious gifts flood the food section of the Vic Market.

Closed during the day, the Wednesday Night Market explodes with crowds waiting to feast on various cuisines. Hundreds of white plastic tables and chairs line the wide aisles. People eat sitting, standing or perched on whatever they can find devouring colorful & decadent plates. Variety is afoot every which way you turn.

Just one of the hundreds of yummy choices

Just one of the hundreds of yummy choices

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Ten Things I Love About Travel

Ten Things I Love About Travel

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

–Mark Twain

Fish River Canyon, Namibia

1. PERSPECTIVE:  Gaining perspective is one of the greatest gifts of travel. Seeing the world through the eyes of others while not dealing with the constraints of day-to-day life is perspective’s gift. “Don’t sweat the small stuff” couldn’t be more of a true statement. Realizing the situations, troubles, atrocities and difficulties that have happened to so many reminds you of where your everyday (first-world) problems rank in the scheme of the world. Sometimes perspective hits you during your travels and other times it waits till you arrive back home. Either way-with it, you gain this wonderful gift that changes the way you see yourself and the world around you.

Russell Falls, Tasmania

2. OPENING MINDS: New places, new people, new cultures, and new ideas. Travel shares truth and shows human nature and true character in the midst of real life. You see the reality directly in front of you. No books, no internet, no television, no movies-the learning is through interacting with people including their language, customs and culture. Thankfully, there is no place for narrow-mindedness.

New friends in Warsaw, Poland

3. MEETING NEW PEOPLE: True character. Meeting new people while traveling is a joyous part of the journey. Sometimes other travelers who fully understand your mindset and love travel just as much. These are the folks who can answer “where was the last place you’ve been and where do you want to go next”. These are the people who will share stories of their adventures and invite you to meet up with them on future journeys. And then there are the locals! People you might not meet in your own neighborhood fuel your travel with some of the most crucial bits of information. Locals will tell you their favourite places to eat, where the non-touristy locations are and share their life experiences and knowledge with you to make your travel that much more genuine. A local may invite you into their home, into their life. He/she will show you their city/their country in a way that no book/computer could ever capture and you will be the better for it.

Not surprising…I married an Aussie! VEGEMITE!!!

4. NEW FOODS: Branston Pickle, Lizano sauce, South African rusks…all of these live in my cuboard because they were too good to leave behind. Travel opens up taste buds you never knew you had. In a home, on the side of the road, at a restaurant, or in beachside cafes some of the world’s delicacies are available if only you venture out of your comfort zone. Eating the local fare, prepared by those who know it best while being enveloped by the culture that came up with it-your palate will never be the same. (I did decide to give the Cambodian deep fried spiders a miss; but it’s an image I won’t soon forget)

Bharatpur, India…the world through the eyes of a child-innocent and pure

5. DEFYING STEREOTYPES: It might be you, it might be someone else…as a traveler, you are an ambassador for your own state or country. You may be the first/only person someone else has ever met who is from a certain place, practices a certain religion, looks a certain way or so many other things that sadly the world stereotypes. It could be you who fits in this tiny box or it could be the people you meet. Either way, trying to be the best person you can possibly be while traveling (or always for that matter) may be just the thing to defy certain beliefs. Then you will no longer be that ‘category’, you will be a person with a name and one more stereotype will have been defied that day. Perhaps that’s a traveler’s way to make the world a little safer, a bit more peaceful and far less ignorant. With each journey, we can help rid the world of these stereotypes.

Blyde River Canyon, South Africa

6. FREEING: No expectations. No need to act a certain way. The idea that it’s just you and your environment and the ability to make new choices, new decisions and new leaps is incredibly freeing. Less fear. That ease that comes over you when you can truly be yourself is palpable on every journey. The more you feel it, the less you ever want to let it go.

Livingstone, Zambia

7. BEING OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE: Zorbing in New Zealand, sleeping on the edge of the Serengetti without fences, eating street food in Southeast Asis or whatever your version of something you wouldn’t do at home-getting out of your comfort zone is where life truly begins. Travel can certainly add stress to some, but it’s how you handle that stress that shows who you are. Lost luggage, rain on your big sight-seeing day, no toilets you recognize-being out of your comfort zone cheers for flexibility, forces you to make choices and empowers you to find the silver-lining. A magnet on my refrigerator says “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” and I couldn’t agree more.

Masai Warriors-Kenya/Tanzania

8. KNOWLEDGE THAT YOU’RE PART OF A MUCH BIGGER WORLD: Growing up in New York it’s not hard to find people who will tell you that ‘the city’ is the center of the universe. Having traveled-I have a different opinion. Leave the city, leave the state, leave the country and there’s proof of the much bigger world out there and that you’re just one very small part of a much bigger picture. It’s a feeling worth savoring and again provides that much needed perspective.

Frangipani Flower-Moorea, French Polynesia

9. GROWTH: With each trip, with each stamp in that passport, with each journey, each one of us grows as a person. Finding time to analyze that growth, or to recognize the change that has happened is an incredible gift. What we know now after traveling is far more than we knew before we started. Travel changes a person, gives you a broader perspective, opens your mind and shares with you the wisdom of those you meet. Each time you set out on an adventure you know it will change you and you will never be the same again. Finding a way to harness that growth and figure out where you now ‘fit’ is part of the great experience of travel.

Atlantic Ocean-Long Beach, New York

10. THE JOURNEY: The incredible gift of travel provides more than a spiritual, emotional or even physical journey. Destinations are beautiful to reach, but the journey is the part that changes you. The leap, the decisions made, the flexibility needed, the chances taken, the people met, the food eaten, the sites seen and the life-changes made are all courtesy of that journey. That journey stays with you forever and is easily relived throughout the photos, memories and stories that last a lifetime.