The Orient Express Is Back In Style?!

Trains were the first mayor way of quick distant transportation. Back in the day, creating the railway all across America was a really big deal. It was very similar in Europe and in the rest of the world. Cars came later and although they were more flexible, it was when the planes became our reality that the trains seemingly exited the stage.

However, the new and upcoming adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on Orient Express, reminded me of them. I asked myself – is Orient Express still as special and mysterious as it ones was? (Minus the murder, of course).

So I started digging.

Turned out I’m not the only old soul out there. Modern day people still like riding trains for the same reason all around the world. They offer a unique way of traveling with a specific charm to it. There is something very old school about them, with the conductors and food carts, sharing wagons with all kind of different people (maybe a chance to meet a soulmate or a new friend?).

Riding trains offers a real life show of rich scenery that you can witness looking through those big, bright windows. Enough to steer your imagination, give you an idea or two. I mean, Agatha Christie traveled by train almost all around the world. And look what she did! This especially goes if you are planning the travel Europe. The best experience is by riding the train.

They are improving as well

Today’s train is not the same as it used to be a hundred years ago. The hallways and cabins are wide, there are fancy dining cars, bathrooms and, of course, sleeping compartments. And all of this travel luxury is actually cheaper than a first-class plane ticket. If you want to treat yourself, then choose the train.

Riding trains is more reliable, safer and a better option for the environment. Although it may seem contradictory, train travel can actually be quicker than a flight. Just think about it. All the time lost on the airport and all the check ins and outs, security searches… How much time does it really take us to travel by plane? Naturally, there are extremely long distances and some of them are only reachable by planes. But otherwise, trains can be a lot faster.

Not So Fun Fact: My close friend that owns a water repair company in Michigan used to install the plumbing for passenger trains and he told me that until recently, the trains would just drop the packages from the toilet straight onto the tracks!  These types of systems are still operating in a lot of the world. Can you believe that?!

 

 

train car

It’s cheaper

All in all, it’s a cheaper option. Researching, comparing the time of travel and your destination with smart planning can almost end up being a free vacation! (Trust me, it happened before). Plan ahead your dream train adventure and you will end up with the best memories ever!

P.S. Check the app stores, there are some very handy apps there involving bookings and organizing that will make your experience even better!

See you at Orient Express!

On The Road- Living Life

Traveling by itself is an amazing way to experience life at its fullest. And today we have crazy cool options to do it. Luxury, speed, comfort… It’s a good time to be alive.

However, it seems that less comfortable and safe ways of traveling are also becoming more and more attractive. They are the simplest ways to travel. Like in the olden days, you can stop by the road, backpack or cycle. Destination? The world?

It sounds almost impossible

My first thought is always connected to the basic of needs. Like, the toilet. Hygiene. Food. What do you do if you get sick? You are never certain where you’ll sleep and will you find a place to sleep. Sleeping under the starts sounds romantic, but are these the best of times for that?

There is an increasing number of crazy brave people that leave everything, sell everything and go on a spiritual journey of this sort. There is no specific goal, there is no a final destination. Just the road and you.

I’ll be honest, it scares the hell out of me. But it also got me interested and curious. What scares us, attract us.

It’s all about challenging yourself

And all you believe in and that you’ve been taught to. You conquer your fears; you get yourself in the place to question the world around you. Experiences like this one will surely change you as a person, as an individual. With great responsibility for self, comes great freedom. Being on your own, carrying everything you need with yourself allows you to be detached from anything that may limit you.

Naturally, you don’t need to do it alone. You can always venture in this great adventure with a person close to you. Or you can meet somebody along the way who will join you. No need to mention all the people that you will meet along the way. You’ll have a chance to get more personal with people from different backgrounds. More importantly, you will experience kindness from complete strangers who will prove that we don’t always do good expecting something in return.

Personal stories

There is so much more that make these ways of traveling a truly unique experience. You can easily find random blogs of people who already did it. Besides sharing their stories, they will also give you some good and practical advice.

I enjoyed reading all those amazing stories. Personally, I’m still not ready to go on such a pilgrimage of soul searching. But just knowing that it frightens me is a good enough sign that one day I might.

Com-batting Jet Lag One Trip At A Time

When planes became reality, the world changed forever. Even the farthest of destinations became just a little closer. It seems as a best traveling option, but it does come with a new age problem called jet lag.

We’ve all been there. Somebody may handle it better, but nobody really likes it. Here are a few tips on how to face it and – win.

The best approach is to prevent it

Take into consideration where you’re heading/traveling. Up to a week before your journey, you should start slowly changing your sleep and eating routines. The point here is to gently prepare your body for a new time zone. Just like at home when we have a plumber out for a drain cleaning to prevent backups we should also use the right tools to prevent jet lag.

Sleeping while on the plane may not be a good plan. Again, take into consideration the time of the day of the place where you’re going. If it’s daytime where you’re going, avoid sleeping on the plane. If it’s night, sleep on the plane. Also, if you happened to arrive at night, try a hot bath. The difference in body temperature once you get out of the tub/shower is going to help signal the body that it’s time for sleep.

Before and during the flight

Make sure that, following the schedule of course, you had a few nights of good sleep. Before the flight and during the flight avoid alcohol and coffee. If it’s night time and you do want to sleep on the plane, turn of all of the electric gadgets and don’t watch any movies. Just try to relax. Ear plugs may be a good option to bring with you, also a pillow, and eye mask.

During long flights make sure to stretch and move your body so that it will stay warm and get that circulation going. It may seem too simple, but keeping the blood flow at your normal rate will aid you in your battle against jet lag. And make sure to drink enough water – what’s normal amount to you.

plane flying over hawaii

Make sure to expose yourself to the natural sun light to avoid sleep deprivation and depression. Our bodies and eyes (eyes are important, don’t wear sunglasses during the day) register the sun and signal our brain that is time to be awake. As soon as the night comes, turn off all the gadgets, at least for the first night at the destination and avoid bright light, so that the brain will get the signal that it is time to sleep.

The trick with sunlight is a trick to follow even the next day (make yourself wake up with the rising of the sun). The point here is in the vitamin D that we get from the sun that will give you enough energy. Eat light food, nothing too hard for digestion and stay hydrated. This is the way to battle it if it does occur. Still avoid coffee – it won’t necessarily keep you awake, it will just make your heart pump blood faster.

Good luck! And fear not!

Self Improvement Through Travel

gear for hiking trip

 

Traveling to the city ‘’next door’’ sounds fun. Traveling around the globe sounds awesome. The world is such a beautiful and diverse place. Living a thousand lives wouldn’t be enough to explore it completely. Investing in traveling means investing in yourself.

Seriously. Traveling changes you. And here are few examples how.

Dealing with life

The challenges that we meet in life can sometimes be overwhelming. Knowing how to deal with whatever life may throw at you is actually a skill. Which is good, because skills can be learnt and mastered. And traveling is an instant course.

Due to a ray of uncertainties that follow it, traveling will help us be more tolerant for all things unpredictable. Life tends to be very unpredictable. There is a funny saying that goes something like this – when a man plans, god dies laughing.

Being exposed to all different cultures and people will broaden the way you approach everyday things in life. Traveling helps us realize how even the smallest of things are just as valuable and amazing as any other. Feeling of gratitude is what attracts more people and situations to be grateful for.

It changes our brain

Traveling offers an ocean of experiences and memories. Whatever happens in our lives affects the way we think, create and act. Being in one place for too long will simply narrow the way we see life and what we expect of it. The diversity and constant amazement that follows traveling adventures will widen our perspectives on both personal and social levels.

Traveling will make you want to learn and experience more and more. Your inner world can only become richer. It will steer your imagination. Einstein claimed it’s more important than knowledge. Imagine the impact that will have on your creativity. Being creative offers you a completely different approach to every situation you may face in life.

Connections

Today, more than ever, we have the chance to connect to the whole world. There is no touch as a human touch. The impact that other people have on us is the most powerful influence there is. All the schools and books cannot move us, teach us, changes us, as personal human interaction can.

Sometimes meeting new people can be intimidating. It’s in our nature to fear what we don’t know. Traveling helps us see that different doesn’t mean dangerous or bad. We will grow with each friend we make. We can all agree that having a little eye-to-eye chat with a random stranger can be way more satisfying than an empty online Facebook conversation. Imagine the stories you can hear!

Bon voyage

The truth is, we all have a limited time on this Earth. Immerse yourself in as much as possible. Take on every opportunity to witness amazing things with your own eyes. Most importantly – feel it. With each new experience something opens in our hearts and minds. Even if that feeling is all there is to it – it’s worth it.

At your service

No matter how much we all like to travel, plan and daydream about our (dream) vacations, actually doing it can be rather challenging. Not all of us are organization gurus. And sometimes, the number of information that we must keep on our minds can be overwhelming.

Luckily, there were some really nice people who thought about human’s planning struggles. They came up with some helpful little programs that can boost our vacation organization. Don’t let your phones use you, but rather use them instead.

First Steps

Naturally, your first course of action would be to book your vacation. You’ve chosen your destination and now you need to book the date, way of transportation (at the best price, of course) and book a place to stay. So much booking!

Apps like Skyscanner and Kayak will help you browse through lists of most affordable hotels, rent-a-cars and flights. Hoper will aid you in your search for the cheapest plane ticket. Dealray is a newer app and it’s basically an airline ticket tracker. It will inform you of any significant offers and best prices in advance so that you can close the best deal.

If you’re still thinking about where to go, try Google Trips for some ideas. Or maybe read all the awesome reviews on TripAdvisor. When you finally decide, let Packpoint help you organize whatever else is left with the use of practical checklists. You don’t want to forget something!

Matter of Orientation

The last thing that anybody would want while traveling is to get lost. Besides Google Maps, there are some other helpers you can turn to. If you need to utilize the new city’s public transportation, try Citymapper. You just can’t go without Uber when you’re in a need of a car.

Sometimes, unpredictable things can happen while you’re away on a new adventure. There are apps such as Hotel Tonight or Dayuse that will allow you to book a room near you in the last minute. And at an affordable price, too.

Local Cuisine and Culture

One of the best ways to experience another city or country is through its cuisine. You would want only the best restaurants with the best menus. Almost everybody knows the charm of Yelp. You can also try Velocity or Grab – the app that lets you get familiar with the airport’s restaurant options if you feel a little hungry while waiting for your flight. For all you vegans out there, turn to HappyCow.

Some of the most famous cultural institutions have their own apps (such as Louvre). You can also give a chance to Google Arts and Culture App. Artsy and Museums of the World will connect you to a variety of international galleries.

And So Much More

Duolingo, Google Translate, Memrise are excellent language barrier breakers. Less fancy apps like XE Currency are extremely practical for handling your finances. So many choices are there! Find the combination that best suits you and make your life easier. Bon voyage!