When you travel…

-Write about it in a journal.. a blog.. over email

-Take pictures – Not just selfies but of nature, other people interacting with each other in the culture

-Eat the food – Don’t just stop by McDonald’s but try the food (but be careful when you eat to make sure it is safe)

-Make friends – Talk to people (or try too). Don’t be holed up in you room

-Shop – But not always for a cheap pair of headphones but something of that culture that will bring back memories of your travels

-Peel your eyes off the screen and be in the moment

Why Travel?

 

IMG_0040-1Why travel over buying stuff?

 

Now, pay your bills and try not be in debt, BUT if you have an option for another iPad versus seeing a waterfall, take the waterfall!

 

You should because:

 

-You are able to learn about different culture

– You are able to try new food

-You are able to make new friends

-You will see the world differently

-You are able to do things you never imagined you would

-You will be scared

-You will feel accomplished

-You will never be the same

Tips to Pack Light

 

I personally always pack more than I ever need. I start out with one luggage on the way, but on the way back I will have 2 (at least). Here’s some tips I always try to apply when I go seeking new adventures.

 

  • Outfits for 3 days – Chances are, you will be able to wash clothes or wear the same clothes multiple day
  • Put an outfit together in a ziplock bag and roll it out to make it thinner – You are less tempted to overpack – PLUS you can put your dirty cothes in them
  • Carry an extra outfit in a backpack or carry-on bag that can be a spare or handy in case of loss luggage
  • Coordinate two pairs of shoes for all your outfits
  • Always leave a cavity in your suitcase or carry-on that can be filled with souvenirs on your way back home
  • A light Jacket is must almost anywhere you go
  • Chances are when you are there, you can buy what you didn’t pack –  BUT you can buy traveling size items for shorter trips that are light

Tina – A Mother’s Love from Someone Who is not Their Mother

Tina

Tina, a woman that no one personally met until four girls boarded an airplane, flew into a place they’ve never been with everything they think they need for two months in their suitcase. What challenges would they face in the desert outside their comfort zones and familiar ways?

 

A lot.

 

However, it was never faced alone.

 

Tina, a woman who helped the girls with their ministry work in Washington, started out as an extra arm and became someone who grew into their heart. Whether it is singing in the car, standing in line at Wendy’s or drinking Dutch Bros. coffee, Tina heard stories of their lives, their weeks and everything in between.

 

Tina heard of every ailment they had during the summer, every frustration and every time they were hungry when they were around her. She wasn’t from the same state or even from the same part of the nation as them, but she felt like home. Someone who gave hugs and snacks, sometime who encouraged and someone who believed in them.

 

She was a mom. She was theirs for 2 months. She will forever be loved in the hearts of four girls.

Bite-Size Tips for Cheap Flights

Flights

I have heard multiple times of people who are booking tickets for multiple people and as they are watching the screen waiting, the prices are jumping. One ticket internationally was around $700 but the fifth ticket was almost $800. Everyone wants the same thing – Cheap Flights! But how?

Cheap Flights? Here’s some tips!

 

According to US News and Thrifty Nomads, here are a few bite-size helpful hints!

 

Book AT LEAST 6 weeks in advance

 

Best time to look for reduced steats – Night/Early Morning

 

Best Time to buy: Tuesday, 3pm, Eastern Time

 

Cheapest Day: Wednesday
Best Time to Fly out: Early!

 

Don’t always rely on comparison sites
Sign up for free alerts like on AirfareWatchdog.com

 

More involced you are with an airline, the cheaper the ticket – include credit cards and frequent-flyer programs

 

Search for flights on private browsing mode to see the lowest prices – cookies in this case are not a good thing for you

 

Check out skyscanner for the best flight search engines

 

Do not book layovers that are far apart

 

Check out the cheapest countries to fly into with Kayak Explore

 

Use an agent
See if you can pay in a cheaper currency

“Who Wants Potluck?!?”

Maura

Maura and her friends, to combat how “clicky” her college can be with Christian people only hanging out with other Christian people instead of reaching out to others, her friends all banded together to make a simple idea turn into lots of laughter, memories and shared cultures. It all started with Potluck….

 

“We wanted our apartment to be a place where anyone and everyone felt welcome and we could build relationships and share Christ through that time.”

 

Maura’s college, a small Christian college in North Mississippi, doesn’t have a lot of places to hang out, so Maura and her friends banded together to make their house just that.

 

“Everyone loves food and it’s easy to have real conversation over a meal so it’s easier to get people to open up and stuff. Most of the time it’s just regular Mississippi food (green beans, potatoes, some kinda meat) just because that’s easy for most people to make.”

 

However, southern cooking isn’t always on the menu. If someone has something special to their culture or family, they’ll share in that as well. Not just friends are invited.

 

 

“We invited everyone. Anyone we ran into on campus or people we see a lot in town like a cashier we would try to be intentional with.”

 

They make the main meal, more than likely meat, and invite everyone to bring their favorite dish.

 

Their best potlucks include lots of laughter.

 

“Our thanksgiving was the biggest one we had and it was all legit thanksgiving food. We had a turkey and everything and it was just a huge party and it was awesome, but Christmas was REALLY fun!

 

We had dirty Santa and somehow almost everyone ended up getting a menorah because we all have the same sense of humor apparently and thought it would be ironic. So everyone got menorahs and later we turned on this super old Christmas record on our player and one of our friends who is SUPER COUNTRY apparently knows how to swing dance and started trying to teach us. So we ended up having a dance party too!”

 

Imagine the possibilities you can have if you just invite people over for potluck!

 

All About That Barter

In some countries when you go to buy souvenirs, they will give you a price, a ridiculous price. They hope being tourists you will pay for it. However, bartering is like a hobby, and to get a semi decent price – you have to play the game.

The price they give you – let’s say it is 100 – some website will say go 80% of the price given. Let’s do a typical exchange.

 

Seller: 100

You: 20

Seller: No, No, No (some comment about how this product is wonderful, nice, real whatever – don’t believe it. I even had someone set their product on fire to prove their point)

You: Nod your head, agree it is nice (of course because you have great taste)! How about 25

Seller: No, No, No.. For you, I will sell for 80

You: Thank you, but it is okay… Start walking off because I can almost gurarentee you that what they are selling – so will 20 other vendors in that area

Typically a seller will call you back once you walk away. They will lower the price

Seller: Wait, for you, for you 60

You: No, I can’t do more than 40

Now, most of the time, the seller will agree to what you are saying or say a slightly higher price

 

Some tips to remember:

  • Most of the time, you are not really buying quality products so you are not robbing them of money.
  • They will not sell you anything at price or at a loss. If you go too low, they will stop bartering. That is a sign – maybe you want to go higher.
  • Don’t be mean. Don’t pretend like what you have is junk (even if it is). Be respectful but know they will try to get the most out of you just because you are a tourist.