The ultimate reading list for newbie travelers Comments Off on The ultimate reading list for newbie travelers 92,663

Before you go traveling for the first time, you’re going to get a lot of crap advice from people who don’t know what they are talking about.

They mean well, of course, but they have never been traveling themselves so they aren’t imparting wisdom – just vague warnings based on what they have heard. These are the people who will tell you that it is more dangerous than it is, or that you are damaging your future career prospects, or that travel is unaffordable and unsustainable, or that you should stay only in five-star resorts and wear your backpack on your front.

However, when you start reading and listening to the messages from people who have actual travel experience, you’ll hear a different story. You’ll learn that the world is not as dangerous and scary as people think, that travel can be much more affordable than you know and that it’s possible to have truly amazing experiences if you are willing to go outside your comfort zone.

So, before you travel I highly recommend reading and listening to the messages from people who have actually been on the road and know travel first hand. They will be able to give you realistic advice so that you begin your first journey with the right expectations.

Fortunately, there are a TON of great travel resources available out there, developed by actual travelers who have real-world experience navigating the globe. These are the blogs, books, podcasts, etc. that I would recommend you read and listen to if you are preparing to go traveling for the first time.

Blogs

Legal Nomads

Jodi is one of my favorite travel writers on the internet. She shares the perfect balance of personal narrative and practical advice. Even though she publishes huge, long, in-depth posts, they are so well written that you can read through a 10,000-word post without even noticing.

Every newbie traveler should read her incredibly comprehensive page of Travel Resources where she shares a ton of helpful information and advice. Then, visit this page to find more links to her other tips and information on traveling the world. Also, take the time to read some of her beautiful personal travel essays, such as Silence and Spiders: 10 Days at a Vipassana Meditation Course.

Nomadic Matt

Matt is one of the biggest travel bloggers out there – and for good reason. He offers really solid, valuable, useful travel tips that are helpful for any newbie traveler. For example, here are 61 Travel Tips to Make You the World’s Savviest Traveler, 12 Things I’d Tell a New Traveler and 14 Major Travel Scams to Avoid.

(That last one is particularly important to read. You’ll have a much safer journey if you know what scams to watch out for.)

Expert Vagabond

Matt Karsten is a travel photographer and professional blogger with a ton of experience – he’s been traveling the world for 7 years. His site is filled with an incredible amount of useful information for a newbie traveler and he explains in-depth how travel doesn’t have to be expensive and the world isn’t as dangerous as you think. Plus, his photos are gorgeous.

You can get a lot of entertainment and vicarious thrills by reading Matt’s crazy travel adventure stories, such as squatting with gypsies in caves in Spain or getting tattooed by a monk in Thailand. However, he also offers a lot of valuable travel tips and advice, such as a huge regularly updated page of budget travel resources and advice that will help you with finding cheap flights, planning, saving money, safety, and much more.

Wandering Earl

Earl is another blogger I love who has serious travel experience – he’s been to 101 countries so far and has been traveling since 1999. His blog is packed with great info, so spend some time exploring it. One of my favorite posts of his is The Currency of Pad Thai, which explains eloquently just how affordable travel can actually be.

TravelFish

If you are going anywhere in Southeast Asia, I highly recommend you bookmark Travelfish. It’s an independent travel guide covering Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Myanmar.

No matter what tiny island or small town you find yourself in, Travelfish probably has a guide to the hotels, weather information, things to do, transport, and more. Plus, they have a travel forum where you can ask questions when planning your trip.

Roads & Kingdoms

Okay, so now you’ve read plenty of practical advice from wise, experienced travelers. It’s time to read some intriguing stories from the road that will inspire you for your trip. Roads & Kingdoms is a fascinating collection of travelogues from odd and interesting corners of the world. It often features off the beaten travel locales, food adventures, and insights into different cultures and makes for a great read.

Books

Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

You know that feeling when you read a book and it completely changes your way of seeing the world and the way you live your life? Well, that’s what Vagabonding did for me.

I read it while I was backpacking around New Zealand in 2009 and it taught me that I didn’t have to live a conventional life and that travel didn’t have to be something that you did once when you were young. I learned it was completely possible to travel the world for long periods of time in a sustainable way.

So, that’s exactly what I did and I’ve been to 50 countries since, traveling the world as a digital nomad and working from my laptop. Seriously, this book is inspiring and if you have the travel bug it just may change your life too.

Back in 6 Years: A Journey Around the Planet Without Leaving the Surface

I read this book before I went traveling for the first time and it certainly was one of the factors that inspired me to go. It’s the true story of a man who travels around the world for six years, circumnavigating the globe without leaving its surface.

He gets across the Amazon by boat, across Canada by bike, and sails across the South Atlantic. It’s funny and gripping and of course, he gets into a lot of mishaps along the way. This book left me breathless with excitement and wanting to circumnavigate the globe too.

The Four Hour Workweek

This is another one of the books that I read in my early travel days which helped to change my mindset. Now, full warning here: Tim Ferriss is a bit of an extreme dude and some people find him a bit off-putting.  A reviewer described this book as being locked “in a room with a manic-depressive person during the manic part of his cycle” and I can understand that. He’s obsessed with trying to hack and optimise every aspect of his life and that leads him into overzealous, crazy experiments with diet, sleep, etc. – most of which isn’t helpful for the average person.

However, if you can get past the manic ramblings and disregard the stuff that doesn’t work for you, there is some golden wisdom in here for newbie travelers. Basically, Tim is a bit of an egomaniac but the important thing I got out of it is that you don’t have to experience the world the way you were told you should.

Tim explains that you don’t have to be rich to travel often and he encourages taking “mini-retirements” throughout your life rather than planning to retire when you are older. He encourages you to rethink the status quo and imagine your life as you would really like to live it, which can be very inspiring. You don’t have to work nonstop for 45 years then retire – there are other options for satisfying your travel urges.

Podcasts

Extra Pack of Peanuts

This podcast is run by Travis and Heather and they offer a lot of helpful travel tips, including how to use airline points, what travel gear to bring, how to use your phone while traveling, and more. As well as the podcast, their website also has a ton of helpful resources.

Zero to Travel Podcast

This is another helpful and practical podcast that offers tips for traveling on a budget, dealing with life on the road and other questions that newbie travelers may have. It promises to offer “new and different ways to travel the world no matter what your situation or experience.”

These are just a few of the blogs, books, and podcasts that I would recommend you start reading and listening to if you are planning to travel for the first time. There’s so much wisdom out there being shared by those who have made the journey themselves.

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3 Podcasts We Can’t Get Over Comments Off on 3 Podcasts We Can’t Get Over 201,275

Podcasts are the way of the future. Think radio shows but being able to listen whenever and wherever you want. The best part about podcasts is that there’s a niche for everyone. Whether you’re into finance or the Bachelor, we’ve got you covered on the 3 podcasts we can’t get over. 

Finance is Fun!: The Financial Diet

The Financial Diet is the perfect mix of learning more about finances, different career paths and having fun. Each week Chelsea Fagan interviews a guest with an interesting job position. From Youtubers to publicists, you’re sure to feel like an insider after the episode. Chelsea pressures guests to reveal big financial numbers in their life. For some, it’s how much student debt their in while others discuss how much money they made off one Youtube video. If you’re interested in learning the finances behind different professions, check out this podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts! 

True Crime Crazed: Crime Junkie

If your ideal documentary is on serial killers, then Crime Junkie is the podcast for you. Crime Junkie features two true crime enthusiasts telling stories about the missing, captured, and murdered. Each episode captivates its listeners with a thrilling narration of true-crime from around the world. There are over one hundred episodes to binge, so start listening today! Another true-crime themed podcast that you have to hear is Serial. Serial started the genre of the crime podcasts and is still a true-crime favorite. The hit podcast has three seasons. Each season the hosts investigate a murder case in real-time. With new evidence pilling up each episode, it’ll be hard to pull away from this intense series. 

The Bachelor Nation’s Favorites: The Viall Files

The Bachelor is the show that keeps on giving. Between The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise, ABC produces a season full of love and drama – but mostly drama. Nick Viall, the bachelor in season 21, recaps each episode on his podcast The Viall Files. Bachelor Happy Hour is another amazing podcast where co-hosts and past Bachelor contestants Rachel Lindsay and Becca Kufrindives dive into each juicy episode. 

Podcasts are great for long car rides, getting ready in the morning, or winding down at night. There are thousands of podcasts to choose from, so you’re sure to find one you like. We hope you’ll love these podcasts just as much as us! 

How a simple detox can boost brainpower Comments Off on How a simple detox can boost brainpower 193,490

Girl drinking berry smoothie

 

You know that one person who’s always talking about the latest cleanse or trendy detox and how “life-changing” it is. It’s almost guaranteed that within a few days, they’ll be on to the next one. Who doesn’t want to lose weight, improve endurance, and purge toxins? It’s not surprising to see short term physical benefits from detox, but often not mentioned are the mental health and cognitive performance benefits also gained from a proper detox. Mental health and brainpower benefits are significant.

Anxiety. Insomnia. Depression. Dementia. Eating disorders. Even Alzheimer’s is on the rise. While going on a short term cleanse or detox to help treat any disorder might seem counterintuitive, restoring your body to health both mentally and physically can drastically boost your mood and overall disposition. The glow of positivity from improved self-image helps interpersonal relationships as well.

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Is a detox right for me?

Grow new brain cells

  • Most detox diets are significantly low in calories which may help boost Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). This chemical signal in the brain promotes new cellular growth.
  • As a result, it may lead to a number of mental health benefits including improved brain health and functioning, as well as to help stave off mental illnesses. There are some great BDNF studies available online.

Enhance focus and concentration

  • Another benefit one can attain from slightly restricting calories during a detox is the increase in focus. This is thought to come from a mechanism known as “food-seeking behavior.”
  • The mechanism involved has to do with a rise in hormone production. Dopamine, adrenaline, and cortisol boost focus and reduce distractions. Along with helping to block out distractions, a detox can also help keep your mind focused on tasks. This can help boost productivity in an academic setting or in the workplace, as well as helping to accomplish tasks at home that require efficiency and critical thinking. Additionally, it also may help improve focus and intensity during sports and other physical activities.
  • Certain supplements called nootropics help boost brain function even further by promoting increased blood circulation, stimulation of the central nervous system, and stimulating new brain pathways.

Increase blood flow to the brain

  • Detox diets can boost brainpower through PGC-1-Alpha. This multi-faceted signal assists in a wide range of bodily functions including increased blood flow to the brain improved blood circulation and supplied nutrients and oxygen.
  • This effect is quite beneficial to cognitive health.

Boost mood and good vibes

  • High levels of vitamins and minerals consumed in certain detox treatments boost mood and good vibes by producing serotonin and dopamine.
  • Processed foods, refined sugar, and other food-like products may cause mood swings, feelings of lethargy, energy crashes, and other unpleasant symptoms that may lead to malnutrition.
  • Nutrient deficiencies should be addressed in order to promote overall healthy body function.
Girl hiking outside jumping
No more brain fog!

Improve brainpower, cognitive function, and problem-solving skills

  • This should come as no surprise. High-nutrient, low-calorie foods can greatly improve cognitive functioning.
  • Eliminating nutrient-deficient foods will lift “brain fog” caused by poor diets.
  • Clearer thought processes and faster decision-making skills may be felt almost immediately after commencing a detox.

Improve brain-signaling

  • Hydration is always important. And increasing water intake is usually an aspect of many detox plans. Proper hydration enhances overall health, and greater hydration levels can lead to improved brain-signaling.
  • It goes without saying that water is important for all living things, and it’s especially true for living organisms that are made up of mostly water. In the human body, 73% of the heart and brain is water. This is why dehydration has a direct effect on cognitive performance.

Prevent mental illness

  • Aside from boosting mood and good vibes, assisting in the growth of new brain cells, and improving cognitive performance, a detox can also help prevent mental illness.
  • Brain matter growth can help prevent illnesses like depression or bipolar disorder from developing.
  • An increase in nutrients can help reduce anger and may help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. With the rise of mental illnesses, it’s worth trying different methods every now and then to see what works best for you.

Prevent cellular breakdown

  • A detox diet can help reduce inflammation in the body. This helps prevent cellular breakdown and promote healthy cells (which, obviously, helps overall health). This is true for all the body’s cells, including those in the brain.
  • Implementing a regular detox may not only help promote the growth of new brain cells but also help protect the cells you have, which can preserve and further boost brain function.

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