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Are you looking to buy a new travel backpack for your next trip? But you are too much confused about which one to pick as there are so many available in the market.

Before jumping into the part of ‘how to choose or what to choose’ I would like you first to read and understand ‘why should you spend on a decent travel backpack?’

Why Should You Spend Money on Buying a Travel Backpack?

Wouldn’t suitcase be easier while traveling?

The answer is no. Backpacks are the essential thing when you think of traveling. A person when travels always think of having a ‘comfortable journey‘ at the end of the day. Suitcase tends to get dirty and damage easily when you are traveling vigorously around the world whereas a backpack is like your companion in traveling.

A decent backpack not only gives you a feeling of being adventurous but also it is far easier carrying in flights and public transport

If you buy a good quality of backpack with enough space to stuff all the essentials, then it is value for money. You can skip paying baggage charges in airlines and end up saving a fair amount of money.

Backpacks are long-lasting. If you buy a good quality backpack, you can use it for at least five years.

There are a great variety of different shapes and sizes of backpack you will get to see in the market both online and offline. You can buy any of the ones as per your need and usage.

Carrying a backpack, you can hop, run and jump. You can do anything. You can also make it your temporary pillow in camp. It is a very flexible and useful thing to buy for travel fanatics.

Important Features in a Travel Backpack You Should Check Before Purchasing/ How to choose your best backpack

Now, there are tons of travel backpacks in the market by seeing them you will quickly get confused. Each is different and have different features. Before buying, you first need to know your requirement. Like, do you need a hiking backpack or daypack, a backpack for an expedition, overnight pack, laptop bag. Each is designed for a specific purpose.

For example, if you are out for a couple of hours just walking the streets of that destination or exploring restaurants or a city tour, then a ‘daypack’ is ideal.

Likewise, if you are going on for 2-3 days of hiking, what you need then is a backpack that can accommodate between 40-60L capacity.

So, what I intend to say is, ‘your purchase depends on your need.’


Here are the following features that can help you with choosing your best travel backpack:

Size and Capacity:  As I mentioned above the size of a backpack depends on its usage. You must always pick a backpack which is light and can be carried easily. You can understand the size of the backpack by (liters). Liters means how much weight the backpack can take.

When you are in the store checking out the backpacks, make sure to buy the one which you are assured of concerning comfort. It isn’t necessary that you have to buy a big 60L of a backpack for your next trip thinking you can stuff more of your things. If that backpack doesn’t fit you well, you might end up having issues carrying the backpack on your trip.
Think carefully about the size of the backpack before making a purchase.

Durability: Most of the excellent quality of backpacks cost above $50. Some of them are even above $200. Now, you should feel okay that you are spending on a good durable product which will not only guarantee to prevent damage but also last for several years.

Zippers: I love backpacks having at least 3-4 zippers or pockets. These are some of the best features a backpack can have. Not all brands of backpacks come with as many pockets. With many zippers/pockets, you can organize your things in a better way. You can keep small things in the separate zipper and others in the conventional one space.

Again, too many compartments or zippers aren’t useful even. Sometimes, it gives you a sad day when you see your backpack having a broken zipper on your way to traveling.

Straps: Having quality straps makes the best travel backpack. Comfortable and light straps are essential in making your trip calm and composed. If the straps of your pack aren’t good, then it is a serious issue. As bad straps can give your body trouble while carrying the weight of the pack.

The best travel backpack must have a comfortably padded hip belt, padded shoulder straps and strap across your chest (optional).

Weather Resistance: When you are traveling to places, you may face rain which is natural. If your backpack which consists of pretty much all of your valuable things isn’t water-resistant or waterproof, can you imagine?

Yes, it will ruin everything. So, it is essential you buy a water-resistant backpack, not just any pack. Look for the material before you buy. It might cost you higher, but it is value for money.

I bought my waterproof laptop backpack a few years ago that cost me around INR 7000 ($100).

These are the few basic features that you must consider before purchasing a travel backpack.

A List of Best Travel Backpacks

Let’s have a quick look at the best travel backpacks that I have shortlisted among a lot of many backpacks.

{Please note: The list that I have prepared is based on my personal experience and research}

  • Tortuga Travel Backpack
    The Tortuga Travel backpack is a perfect carry-on size backpack which is designed for the urban traveler.
    It is a 44L front-loading backpack with a padded shoulder strap and padded hip belt. The pack also has handles which are quite handy. One of the most amazing things is the Tortuga travel backpack consist of a laptop zipper too. It does consist of two-water bottle pocket along with an external zipper. You can easily keep your handy stuff there in the outer pocket.
    Another fantastic feature that this backpack has is ‘lockable zippers’ that keeps your bag and belongings safe from the thieves.
TORTUGA
  • Osprey Aether 70L
    The popular and most backpackers favorite Osprey’s Aether is a 70 L standard backpack with exceptional durability and comfort. Aether is perfect for a long trip. It has additional plenty of compartments to keep all your things compact. Osprey’s Aether is ideal for light mountaineering, and with heat moldable foam hip belt it will give you extra coziness and ease while walking.
    Almost all the backpacks of the Osprey brand are highly reliable due to its advanced features.
OSPREY AETHER
  • Osprey Aura 50L
    Osprey Aura 50L is designed specifically for women travelers across the world. The backpack has an anti-gravity suspension feature that makes it comfortable to carry, also it provides outstanding back fitting.
    The backpack also has a removable floating lid which you can easily replace with a flap jacket to protect your gear.
    The additional features of the Osprey Aura backpack are amazing.
    1. Anti-Gravity Suspension (already discussed above)
    2. Adjustable harness
    3. A zipper in the hip belt where you can keep small items
    4. Removable sleeping pad straps
    5. Integrated safety whistle
    6. Mesh pocket stores for rain gear
    I would say if you are a lady and soon will be going on a trip and you are in need of a backpack. There is no better travel backpack than Osprey Aura.
OSPREY AURA 50L
  • Osprey Atmos 65L
    Osprey Atmos 65L is like the big brother of Aura 50L. Majority of men backpack travelers prefer to travel carrying Atmos for plenty of reasons.
    1. It is lightweight and durable
    2. It has an Anti-Gravity back panel that covers the back and hip belt straps
    3. It is a beautifully designed pack
    4. It comes with a lot of compartments, not only this it has front and side pockets too
    A fantastic product for travelers to make their journey at ease.
OSPREY ATMOS AG 65
  • Deuter Aircontact 65L +10L
    Deuter is a well-known brand that makes extremely durable and urban looking backpacks. Some of the advanced feature that Aircontact has:
    1. The Aircontact is a compact and well-fitted backpack that comfortably holds the weight of the pack close to the body.
    2. The new ActiveFit shoulder straps are contentedly padded and flexible. There are side compression straps
    3. The backpack has a wet laundry compartment too which is a pretty amazing feature.
    4. It has revolving Vari Flex hip fins which allow you to move freely with great comfort.
    Deuter Aircontact is a fantastic backpack for those who love hiking and spend days outdoor. This pack is highly recommended. It is a bit pricy but worth your money.
DEUTER AIRCONTACT
  • REI Rucksack 40
    The REI Ruckpack 40 is a great carry-on backpack. The look, material, and features of the backpack is solid. It comes in both men and women version. So, you have a choice. If we talk about its features, these are the following:
    1. The straps have foam which keeps your shoulder comfortable — also, a padded hip belt at the bottom. Along with the hip belt, there is an elastic keeper for strap management; you can adjust the strap as per your comfort.
    2. There are compartments and side pockets which allows you to keep your belongings in a more organized way. There are two mesh pockets on the inside panel.
    3. There is a zip compartment on the bottom of the bag which can cover your backpack when it rains.

  • Overall, I can say REI offers you a great urban travel pack. You can stop at any REI store, and you can see your own before buying this product.
REI RUCKPACK 40
  • Osprey Porter
    Another backpack from the Osprey brand which is traveler’s favorite. It is ideal for urban traveling. Although it comes with different sizes 30L, 46L, and 65L.
    I especially like the Osprey Porter 30L because it’s small, comfortable and incredibly versatile. Nothing extraordinary from the other backpacks. It pretty much covers everything. It has a small laptop compartment. Also, it has an added security ‘lockable zippers.’
OSPREY PORTER

To the conclusion, I would say I hope you found what you are looking for in this article. If you have any view or opinion regarding the same or you want to ask anything. You can contact me directly at Paulomidutta89@gmail.com

Thank you all.

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Traveling is always fun and inspiring. But you will be surprised to know how much ‘solo traveling‘ are people opting for.

Planning a trip all by yourself, taking care of everything related to travel sounds itself so amazing and adventurous.

Why do you think people of all age choose to do solo travel at least once in his/her lifetime?

There must be something unique about it. Isn’t it?

Solo travel can be anything a road trip or trip to a country where your heart desires to go. There are absolutely no boundaries or if and but. You are free to make any travel related decision.

There are a bunch of wonderful reasons why solo traveling is trending so popular these days and why you should too give yourself a chance to plan a solo trip.

  • Freedom
    When you travel with your partner or anyone, you have to listen to his/her wishes and demands too. You can’t always be on the same page. One or the other sometimes have to compromise with some of the choices. But solo traveling gives you that freedom. You can plan as per your wish. You can go anywhere your soul want.
  • Focus on yourself
    Modern life is tiresome and dull. Traveling is a way to revive your mind and soul. Solo travel can give you what we all look for ‘re-connection with our inner thoughts/soul.’ It will provide you with the time to discover about yourself. Solo traveling will boost your confidence and growth.
  • An opportunity to learn about other culture/ meeting new people
    If you love meeting new people, then I would say ‘solo traveling‘ can be very helpful and inspirational. Making a connection with the locals, knowing their culture and tradition can feel refreshing. You can also meet like-minded travelers on the way. You can share with them your travel experiences and vice-versa.
  • Discover more about everything
    Going solo on a trip is more engaging as in you can explore the destination altogether. You will have more time, and you can utilize it even in learning something new about that place and its people.
  • Helps in cultivate confidence
    Solo traveling isn’t a thing that you can think of doing on each trip. It involves a lot of planning and mental preparation. The whole planning thing, taking care of everything all alone brings together a feeling of a boost in confidence. Your confidence and strong conscience will make your solo trip comfortable and enjoyable.

Now, over the past few years, the percentage of female solo travel enthusiast has increased dramatically. As per the travel industry association report, 70% of travel agent says solo female travelers are more in numbers than solo male travel buff.  The world around us is beautiful but never too safe for a woman or girl to travel alone. Here are some of the tips that could keep you safe while traveling. As safety always remain the priority.

SAFETY TIPS FOR SOLO FEMALE TRAVELERS
  • Keep all your essential documents always with you
    Always carry a bag with you and keep documents like passport, identity card, insurance card, important contact numbers with you. Before leaving for your trip make sure to make copies of all the documents. It is always better to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. You never know when things could go wrong.
    You can also take photos of each document on your phone. I do that often.
  • Stay connected with your family and close friends
    Always let your family and close friends know your details like where you are going, which hotel you are staying and things like that. If you have any change in plans, update your parents/spouse/friends accordingly, so that they won’t worry much. Get your phone internet access or local wi-fi so that even if you can’t call, you can at least contact them over VOIP.
  • Keep little bit cash with you always
    Having no money in your pocket? Only cards in your wallet?
    Its signal trouble is calling my friend.
    Mostly in small towns stores and restaurants don’t accept cards. So, imagine after eating or purchasing something, you offer them to pay by card, and you find no atm nearby for cash, what will happen?
    You don’t want to ask a stranger for help. You can avoid this kind of situations by keeping some cash with you.
  • Avoid taking walks at night
    In some countries, it’s not safe to walk alone at night. In other words, it is dangerous. Stay at your hotel room and do your planning only at day hours. If you want to go out make sure you go in groups.
  • Dress appropriately
    You can try to adapt to the culture of the destination, for example, you can dress like a local, try to blend in by making an effort to speak their language. Before going to the destination, do some research on what’s appropriate to wear. As a tourist, if you respect their customs and culture, they will admire you and also make you feel safe.
  • Keep a map with you
    You must keep a paper map with you of the desired destination. Also, you can update google map on your phone which could direct you with details.
  • Trust your instinct
    When you are traveling solo, you have to trust your gut feeling more than anything. If you aren’t feeling safe or if your gut is saying that something is wrong, take precautionary action immediately. Keep your phone always active with an emergency number like a local police station, hotel help desk number.
    Traveling sounds exciting, but some people don’t have the best intentions, so you need to be always beware of your surroundings.
  • Don’t drink alcohol
    I strictly recommend “DON’T CONSUME ALCOHOL’ when you are out alone. It is important always to be in the right conscience and conscious. Some people might want to take advantage of you.
    By saying this, I don’t mean to scare or discourage you, but there is no harm in staying aware and calm, by avoiding the alcohol part.

To the closing, I would say traveling solo is adventurous and irrespective of the gender, a person must at least try and experience the journey.

If you are too afraid then ignore going aboard, you can do ‘solo traveling’ within your country. You can choose any state where you have always wanted to go and explore its beauty on your own.

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Lost in thoughts about what to give on a Christmas party to someone who loves traveling?

Travelers aren’t that tough to shop for. There are tons of valuable things you can think of gifting to a travel fanatic. So, I have compiled a list of 26 budget-friendly Christmas gift ideas, especially for travel lovers.

As Christmas is coming, if you have to shop for a travel lover the list below can provide you with some ideas.

  • A Travel Journal

Every traveler loves to carry a travel journal. It is an integral part of a traveler’s life. It is exciting to write down all the experiences and adventures of a trip. It is one of the best things to gift a travel lover.

Price: $10-$15

  • Multi-Purpose Travel Wallet

Carrying a multi-purpose travel wallet is very helpful during a trip. You can keep the money, cards and other relevant documents in one place. It will make your traveling more comfortable.

Price: $12-$17

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  • Portable Power Bank

If you are gifting any traveler a portable power bank this could be the best gift, he/she can think of. Travelling is all about experience and journey; portable power bank can keep your phone fully charge. When you are traveling, you might not have access to a power point to charge your mobile at that point a portable power bank can solve your problem.

Price: Within $45

  • Insulated Water Bottle

Insulated water bottle keeps water hot and cold for long hours. So, travelers prefer to carry an insulated water bottle always whenever they are outdoor.

Price: $15-$30

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  • Universal Travel Adapter

A person who travels quite a lot to other nations a universal travel adapter is necessary for him/her because different country has different plugging system.

I have two international travel adapters. Both I bought from Amazon.

Price: within $20

  • Magnetic Mini Globe

A magnetic globe is something that your travel friend will love dearly. The globe comes with magnetic pins, and one can pin all the places they have been to. You can’t carry this while you are traveling, but for a wanderlust, a magnetic desk globe is pretty an amazing gift.

Price: You will get this on Amazon within $65

  • Smartphone Waterproof Case

Damaging your phone on your trip can be devastating. We all keep so much in our phones -contacts, photos, videos, apps that help us during our journey. Just like you protect your skin from the sun rays and don’t forget to apply sunscreen. Likewise, you should keep your phones protected too with a smartphone case.

I am sure if you gift your traveler friend a ‘Smartphone Waterproof Case’ he/she will be happy accepting that.

Price: It comes at around $7 – $15

  • Keychain with Travel Compass

A compass is a very helpful and an essential tool in traveling. It saves a traveler from getting lost.

You can definitely think of gifting a compass to your traveler friend and keeps her safe.

Price: Around $8 -$14

  • Custom Luggage Tag

A custom luggage tag is classy and a sophisticated thing to gift on a Christmas party to your travel friend. When your friend sees her name and address engraved on the luggage tag, she will for sure going to love and use it on her next trip.

Price: You will get a good custom luggage tag in between $10 – $28.

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  • Travel Themed Coffee Mug

A travel-themed coffee mug will always remind your friend of her travel experiences. Not only this, he/she could carry the mug to their travel destinations too, and while sipping hot tea or coffee, you will always be remembered.

Price: Mostly starts from $15 – $30

  • Noise Cancelling Headphone

Noise canceling headphone is a must to add an item when traveling especially when you are on a long flight journey. I have my two favorites when it comes to headphones – Sony and Bose. Currently, I am using Sony and needless to say it is a fantastic product.

So, noise-canceling headphones are one of the best gifts for travel fanatics.

Price: Bose Noise Canceling Headphone cost $299

Sony Noise Canceling Headphones cost around $200

  • Kindle Paperwhite

A Kindle Paperwhite is a perfect Christmas gift for an avid book reader. She/he can carry to any corner of the world and enjoy reading sitting in a restaurant or hotel.

I love Kindle Paperwhite because of its portability and access to more a thousand e-books.

Price: Cost around $130 online

  • Tilley Hat

Tilley hat is the most endurable, packable and comfortable bestselling travel hats in the world. It protects your face, and neck from the sun rays. You will always see hats like this in the beaches. There are a great variety of Tilley hats for men and women in the market.

I think if your friend is going on a beach vacation post-Christmas, a Tilley hat is all she needs.

Price: It ranges from $50 -$60

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Each year Christmas brings in our life so much positive energy and happiness. Christmas is coming, and families have started decorating their houses, Christmas tree, planning for Christmas party, get together, gifts for kids and adults. A holiday season which every family waits for, but why not use this time to experience traveling together instead of being at home?

This is the time of the year, when schools, colleges, and even offices remain close and planning a trip could be exciting. While most of the people prefer to spend a traditional Christmas at home but one can always try something different.

During the festive season, if you are planning for a vacation, booking flights and hotels 3-4 months ago would be the best thing to do. Hence, I have done thorough research and listed below 15 best destinations for this Christmas where you can travel with your family.

Some prefer to stay within the country whereas some like to explore beyond. Let’s have a look on the list.

You can also comment that I have missed or you know something of that are worth to mention in the list.

  • Quebec City

The city exactly looks like a winter fairytale wonderland. Walking through the town at Christmas will give you happy temperament with street Christmas lights, Christmas trees, twinkling snows around you. The city flurries with Christmas market, winter activities, events and tons of tourist from all parts of the world come here to experience the season’s beautiful festival. The city looks charming in winter, especially when it snows.

  • London, England

Unarguably, London will always remain the best place to spend your Christmas holidays. The city transforms itself into a beautiful fairytale place with twinkling lights, and decorations. Everywhere around you is a sense of happiness and joyful environment. There are tons of things to do in London during the Christmas festive time. You can start with exploring Christmas shopping, local British food, British tradition and winter activities like ice skating at the Somerset House, enjoy a whole day at the Winter Wonderland Hyde Park. They have live music, Giant Observation Wheel, Ice Sculpting and many more things to do and relish.

  • Brussels, Belgium

Spending Christmas holidays in Europe is perhaps the best vacation for anyone.  The festive atmosphere in Brussels goes impressively. The historic town center, Winter Wonders in Brussels is one of the best places to go for kids and adults. They have a wide array of Christmas attractions that take place every day. It is always the most beautiful place in the city to visit. If you have time and want to explore more, you can take a walking tour of the churches and Belgium’s oldest Christmas market in Liege. Get yourself involved in understanding the Christmas tradition of Belgium.

  • Salzburg, Austria

Austria will give you so many reasons to spend your Christmas holidays with families. There is a lot of the Christmas market, you will find in the cities of Austria. Salzburg is situated in central Austria, which is close to Germany. Think of spending the days in snow-capped mountains, a tour of baroque architecture, shopping in the traditional Christmas market, get lost in the music of Mozart.

Sounds lovely, isn’t it?

Not only this, if you are planning just to explore Austria, you can visit other cities too.

  • Budapest, Hungary

Christmas in Budapest is all about lights, ice rinks, wine, illuminated streets, Christmas market, and fairs. Budapest looks like a city of lights, and you can do a number of amazing things during this time. For kids, you can take your little ones for a decorative tram tour which is a treat for the children on the Christmas eve.

Who doesn’t love Christmas gifts?

You can purchase Christmas goodies from the Design Terminal; they represent the works of Hungarian designers. You will get to see an extensive collection of things including furniture, clothes, art, etc.

You can spend one evening with your family at City Park, which is Budapest second biggest park. They have built an outdoor ice rink, on a 12,000 square meters of space.

Do you want more?

Think of joining the Budapest Nutcracker Ballet, a fantastic winter show at the Hungarian State Opera House.

Exploring the culture of a place is the best thing about travel. Hungarian culture, folk dance and song is something you shouldn’t miss if you are planning to spend your winter vacation in Budapest. The city will entice you to discover more.

  • Germany

The Germans traditionally celebrate Christmas. The celebrations get started from the end of November by illuminating the cities and towns in Germany. You can see a tall Christmas tree beautifully decorated with balls, lights, and bells at each town square in the town.

The whole month of December is the busiest for the small business owners. Christmas markets sell traditional German stuff such as German sweets, Lebkuchen, decorative bells, and glass ornaments. The most famous Christmas market in Germany is Nuremberg.

You can spend the lovely Christmas Eve at the Berlin Cathedral. The cathedral remains open for the public during this time of the year.

  • Bethlehem, Israel

If you plan for a trip to Israel, you will experience a different Christmas celebration. It is considered as the sacred land. Bethlehem, the birthplace and home Jesus, Christmas is celebrated here in churches and cathedrals for many different Christian values. The Christmas here stretch for a long time, Christmas processions are passing through the Manger Square.

  • Malta

Malta transforms into a beautiful land of festive events during Christmas. The universal thing about Christmas season is the decorative street lights. The lights bring in us the presence of happiness and joyous mood. Spending Christmas holidays in Malta is indeed a great option to go for. The night the streets of Malta comes alive with sparkling light and festive music.

You can also try Maltese cuisine like ‘mince pie’ a typical cup-sized pastry.

  • Orlando, Florida

Florida is famous for Disney World and Universal Studios if you don’t want to vacation the typical Christmas then, what could be the best other than visiting Disney World with your family, especially kids. Every child dreams of Walt Disney World Christmas, ‘the happiest place in the planet.’ The memories of visiting Disney World will be what your kid remember when he grows up. The Magic Kingdom full of entertainment, colorful lights, Christmas decorations, festive parades are all worth a vacation.

They have numerous Christmas events that will only bring joy and happiness. Florida is one of the best destinations in the USA to spend Christmas holidays with family.

  • Naples, Italy

December is a month of Christmas celebrations. Italy will always remain everyone’s favorite holiday spot. The eccentric history of the city, its architecture, Italian delicacies, wine everything you can enjoy and experience at the same place. From north to the south, there is so much to see, learn and discover in Italy.

Visiting Naples in the festive time can be very exciting too. As we all know, the city depicts Italy’s tradition, and it is famous for pizzas. The Italian mountains offer great views and a perfect place for the ski lover to enjoy the snow-clad mountains.

Away from home, you can have fun with your family enjoying Christmas in Italy.

  • New York City, USA

If you are planning for a trip to the USA, choose New York to spend Christmas holidays. Christmas in New York City is lively yet straightforward. It feels magical.  There are plenty of things one can do in New York like ice skating at Central Park, take your kids to the Macy’s Santaland. You can do plenty of shopping from the Christmas market. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, New York remains too crowded, but the city looks fantastically beautiful during the winter. You can also visit Union Square Holiday Market and Brooklyn Flea Holiday Market.

  • Copenhagen, Denmark

Danish Christmas exemplifies the traditional local celebration with their loved ones, sharing delicious treats. It is a peaceful and beautiful city to spend your holidays with family. You can enjoy your day at the ice rink at Frederiksberg Runddel.

  • Finland

Escaping to the north head during the Christmas could be adventurous.

Take your kids to the Santa’s hometown of Rovaniemi, experience the Nordic Christmas tradition, participate in the Finnish feast like smoked-Salmon soup, cheese, blood sausage, etc. Traveling to Finland will give you the opportunity to learn about the Christmas tradition and importance of reindeers in this festival. During this time of the year, you can witness the incredible winter Northern Lights.

Indulge in the elegant dining at ‘Rakas’ Restaurant at the Arctic Treehouse hotel. They are famous for serving local delicacies and craft brewery.

  • Idaho, USA

If you are looking for snows, some winter activities and want to avoid the crowd, Idaho is such a place which you can choose for your vacation. Idaho is near to Seattle, Oregon, and California; you can also plan a road trip to Idaho. Since winter is the festive season and significant tourist destinations remain packed.

Spending your days in Idaho could be a little offbeat holiday destination at Christmas.

  • Prague

Prague’s gothic architecture, colorful baroque and history have made it a popular holiday destination for travelers and tourist. Christmas in Prague is beautiful, and by taking a walking tour, one can explore the city the most. You can stroll the Christmas market at Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square and indulge into the traditional Czech eatery. Not only this, but you can also enjoy live classical music.

For more similar travel-related article.

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When it comes to traveling, we look for sources which can ease off our traveling process starting from flight booking, hotel booking, destinations, etc.  With the growth of online travel booking sites, the travel industry is continuing to grow rapidly.

Online travel booking has positively changed the traditional travel industry. Travelers want the hassle-free and well-planned journey. The modern travel industry has now opened several options to their customers right at the fingertips. Through online booking sites, they can search for the best deal in hotels and flight booking. No longer you will have to look for a travel agent who will take care of all your reservations. The best part is you can make bookings all by yourself as per your choice.

Travel companies like Expedia, MakeMyTrip, Goibibo, TCS World Travel and several others through their travel websites offer accommodation options providing detail information like price, features, benefits, recommendation which eventually help you to choose the best.

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These travel companies also have made a secure payment method through online. You can pay from anywhere you want the only thing needed is your verified bank account.

For an apparent reason, each company is competing against the other. Hence, trying to provide maximum frequent discounts, last minute booking deals, special festival cash back. All these to attract more customers/travelers.

Through this article, I will provide a list of best travel companies that have brought a significant change in the travel industry.

  • Expedia

The American Travel Technology Company offers to book for flights, hotels, vacation rental, cruises, etc on best deals. They help to coordinate everything.

Expedia also owns Orbitz, Travelocity, Trivago, CarRentals.com, Expedia CruiseShipCentre, Hotwire.com, Cheap Tickets. Till now the company is at its peak continues to grow its revenue. Expedia has raised its revenue by 15% in 2017. As per the report, the dominant factor for the company’s revenue comes from the advertising and hotel bookings. Not only this, if you have a membership, you can earn reward points for discounts applicable to online reservations.

  • Priceline Group

Owns Booking.com, a website which is the leader of all online hotel booking. Priceline Group had paid around $135m to buy the famous Booking.com which is one of the reasons for Priceline’s success. The company is heavily dependent on Booking.com for its growth.

Priceline’s marketing strategy is focused on metasearch and affiliate marketing.  It is the world’s largest online marketing advertiser in the travel industry.  TripAdvisor and Expedia are the two biggest competitors of Priceline Group.

  • TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor features everything hotels, motels, restaurants, tours, things to see, other activities. It took 14 years, to succeed and now it has become the most popular referral point for travelers before they plan for a trip. It is also a review website, where travelers put their opinions on different aspects of their holiday experience or about food or hotel which eventually helps other travelers. In the travel industry, TripAdvisor is the leader who is aiming to provide a list on every hotel, restaurants, other travel related information in the world.

They have also launch TripAdvisor app for more accessibility.

  • MakeMyTrip

With more people started booking their travel themselves, the online travel industry began to boom. MyMakeTrip provides travelers with the opportunity of online booking at a cutting-edge cost. There are other companies too that have started the trend of online booking, but In India, MakeMyTrip is one of the first among others to achieve success in this platform.

  • Airbnb

Airbnb followed the same online accommodation booking system but with a twist. Here, people can rent out their properties or rooms to guests. The purpose of Airbnb is to provide the travelers with an option to stay with the locals to make their traveling meaningful. It also gives a fair opportunity to the people to earn a share.

You will have an option for one room or two rooms or even a bungalow if you want. Airbnb is a review based, so you need to see the review first before booking. In India, it is still growing, but in the USA and Europe, Airbnb is quite popular among travelers.

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  • Cox & King

Cox & King is one of the oldest established travel company. It has operations in 22 countries around the globe. In the travel and tourism industry, it carries a good reputation. They are expert in all forms of travel includes corporate travel, private travel, sponsored travel, educational travel and tours for senior citizens. They also have launched tours for disabled travelers which is hugely supportive and well-managed.

  • TCS World Travel

TCS World Travel is a private jet luxury journey which is focused on providing worry-free travel experiences to their high-end travelers. They are designed to intensify the luxury travel to a next level.

  • Walt Disney Travel Company

The Walt Disney Travel Company is a part of the Disney family, which focuses on to provide the first-class service to their customers. They also include the Disney Cruise Line, a Disney dreamland where everyone desires to go. They offer magical deals and entertainment. They also provide Disney Cruise package which covers the flight and hotel expenses.

They help the travelers to book tickets and reservations for the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts around the world.

  • Asia Transpacific Journey

Asia Transpacific Journey was awarded the world’s most knowledgeable and travel enthusiast agency. They try to offer the best tour services to their prestigious customers.

They offer group trips to some amazing places like Laos & Thailand and other Asian countries too.

Online travel industry/agencies are growing fast. They do offer a great opportunity to the hotels, restaurants and airlines industry to provide easy and secure booking service to the customers/travelers. But with the upcoming advanced technology, these companies might face some serious challenges.

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The 182-meter-high gigantic ‘Statue of Unity‘ is a tribute to the country’s first Home Minister ‘Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.’ He was known as the ‘Ironman’ of India. His contribution to independent India is noteworthy.

Size

It is believed to be the world’s tallest monument now leaving behind China’s ‘Spring Temple Buddha Statue‘ and the renowned ‘Statue of Liberty‘. It is 29 meters taller than the Spring Temple Buddha Statue and almost 93 meters taller than the Statue of Liberty in New York.

Location

The statue is located at the Sadhu Bet Island on the Narmada river, between Satpura and the Vindhya mountain ranges in Surat. You could imagine the scenic view from the description of the location.

Now, to pay respect to the great legend, our honorable Prime Minister has chosen the date of the inauguration on the 143-birth anniversary of Sardar Patel.

It is indeed a massive project, and it is said that it took a whopping amount of around Rs 2,989 crores to complete the project. That’s a considerable amount.

This prestigious project was given to the Turner Construction and the Larsen and Turbo company. They have done an incredible job.

Things to see

Apart from the statue, there is a museum and an exhibition hall that has been constructed inside this enormous structure, representing the life and contribution of Sardar Patel. An overview of pre-independent and post-independent India.

It has also constructed an additional 52 guest rooms, auditoriums, and galleries for the tourists.

One of the fantastic things about the statue is, it has a viewing area where you can reach by elevator.

After all the overindulgence, there remains a question:

Is the amount invested in the project is worthy? Will, the project itself, can attract tourist? Can it boom the tourism sector?

The Gujrat government expects flourishing business in the tourism industry. The motive is to promote ‘sustainable economic growth and to promote the local culture.’ But investing almost 3000 crores towards a statue isn’t worth for economic development. As per research, it won’t drive that much tourist unless they are offering something more for the tourist.

Some people think ‘the government could have invested this much amount of money towards the agricultural and industrial sector.’

The economic growth of which the government is talking about or expecting can be attained if there is a better agricultural facility, ways that could give rise to more job opportunities.

The youth of our country needs motivation.

If the core purpose is to bring forth the tourism business then it is my firm opinion ‘our government could have financed the money in the maintenance of the numerous historical ruins of our country.’ Those are neglected and left behind for decades.

Still, I would say, it is a proud thing for all the citizen of India. The ‘statue of Unity’ symbolizes discipline, unity, and determination. I hope Indian citizens especially all state governments and the central government will hold to what it stands for.

Featured Image Credit: India Today.

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Diwali is coming, and it’s a holiday time when kids and adults both love to enjoy. Some prefer to spend the days traditionally with family and relatives at home whereas some plan for traveling to new places. Traveling overseas to celebrate the festival with family and friends is the latest trend although India has several such beautiful places where you could go. But because it is a festive season, flight ticket and hotel cost a lot. And to skip that, planning has to done 4-5 months before.

What if you could travel someplace else without much planning and celebrate Diwali the way you want?

When in today’s market, international destinations are accessible, and if you are willing to spend little extra from your pocket, then I would say, an overseas traveling could bring you a lot of fun with unique experiences.

People’s mindset is changing, and you can celebrate the festival with your loved ones in a different challenging way. Diwali shouldn’t be limited only to sweets and shopping, let’s do something more and explore the outer world.

Here is a list of best nearby destinations that you might find interesting:

Dubai

Dubai celebrates all Hindu festivals. It has plenty of places where Diwali visitors can go and celebrate starting from shopping, buying gold in Dhanteras, sweets, and food. Dubai is a fantastic place when it comes to shopping. The Dubai Mall in Financial Centre Road is one of the largest in the world offering great shopping options. For cultural and traditional events, Sheikh Mohammed Centre is a good one. You can also witness the Light show during the Diwali day.

Thailand

The Southeast Asian country is a perfect beach holiday destination. There are a lot of things to do and explore in Thailand. Thai culture and tradition are something that I am often read about. The historical stories of its monarchy, religion, Buddhist temples everything is so rich and unique. Spending the Diwali, knowing something new could be quiet interesting rather than doing only shopping and be at home.

Singapore

A trip to Singapore can be a bit expensive but if you are a travel enthusiast and love to explore then adding Singapore on your travel list is smart. The accommodation in Singapore isn’t cheap, so if you want to lower your budget, then there are plenty of other things where you can save your penny. Like, taking the public transport, taking a free walking tour, dining out during the happy hours. If you are looking for India cuisine, Singapore has ‘Little India’ where you can get delicious yet cheap foods.

The best way is to book your tickets two months before so that it won’t hurt your pocket much. With Makemytrip.com you can now cancel your ticket anytime with the refundable amount.

Bali

Bali is yet another exciting holiday destination where culture is everywhere you look. With thousands of temples, ancient deities, traditional ceremonies, and rituals Bali is for them who loves to explore. You can enjoy both the incredible beaches of Bali and the culture paradise of Bali.

Just research properly before going, you can either hire a guide or download ‘guidebook of Bali trip.’ It will smoother your journey.

Maldives

The Maldives are the ‘love to go’ holiday destination for the honeymooners. With access to easy visa policy, travel to this tropical island- clear water, luxury stay, beaches, warm sunny days and lot of many other things to do.

You can make your Diwali this year more romantic and happening in the Maldives.

Nepal

Nothing beats an excitement when you are in close proximity to the Himalayas. Spending the Diwali in a mundane way will be much more adventurous and interesting if you pick Nepal as your travel destination. This beautiful country where nature bestows everything that it has to offer. It is indeed, one of the best tourist attractions.

Why going to Switzerland when we have Nepal our neighborhood country. As there are limited flights, booking tickets 2-3 months before will be better.

Sri Lanka

Another neighboring country Sri Lanka, which is a paradise on the earth. Sri Lanka has a significant historical story where it is connected to India. Learn more about their cultural background, locals, delicious Sri Lankan cuisine and their connection with Buddhism. Sri Lankan cuisine does resemble the Indian cuisine not only this a lot of other things too.

Diwali is celebrated in Sri Lanka too, and it is their public holiday. It will be a memorable experience, watching and able to observe the ‘Festival of Light’ in a different country but in a similar pattern.

Bhutan

This small Buddhist nation is tucked between India and China. Nature has showered all its blessings on it, and it has grown to be one of the most wanted destinations for the Indians. Those who love spending their Diwali holidays in peacefulness and want to be surrounded by only nature Bhutan would make the right choice.

So, bring a change in your way of celebrating the Diwali. Let this Festival of Light bring happiness and love on everyone life through traveling.

Happy Diwali to you all in advance.

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Just a few years ago, I wasn’t even aware of a social media platform named ‘Instagram’. It was only Facebook I knew, and before that, it was ‘Orkut’ which has now got disappeared in the air.

Anything visual is always attractive and beautiful. Instagram is such a cool social media platform that introduces itself as a “platform to share a series of pictures with the world.” Over the years,  microblogging platform like ‘Instagram’ and ‘Twitter’ has become much more popular than Facebook.

Some people are earning in thousands of dollars from ‘Instagram’ only by sharing beautiful travel pictures and promoting. Even, I also follow Instagram more, post my travel pictures and share.

Let ‘s come straight to the point through this article; I will share 10 such popular Instagrammable spots in India that are truly beautiful and make you travel to those places. Have a look!

  • Taj Mahal

The 17th-century Mughal-style most alluring and beautiful monument is worth a visit for all. Who doesn’t want to capture the beauty of Taj Mahal and its aura?

It very much represents the Mughal graciousness and love for art. Now that Instagram is the most lovable social media platform, you will find pictures of Taj Mahal in the Insta feed frequently.

  • Hampi

One of the most beautiful and ancient monuments situated in Karnataka and one can photograph the place in different directions resembling its grandeur. Hampi is UNESCO heritage site, and its ruins are its beauty.

It is one of the places that I have added in my travel list and you should too if you haven’t yet.

  • Hawa Mahal

Jaipur is itself a very popular place among the tourist. Its impressive architecture, colorful buildings, local craft, and Rajasthani culture, is what tourist are attracted towards.

While planning to Jaipur, your list of ‘to-do’ can be extended. As there are several places that you won’t get tired of exploring and the journey will take you to such magical places that you will fall in love with.

And among all the landmarks, ‘Hawa Mahal’ is one of the most instagrammable spots in India.

  • Amber Fort

Amber Fort is yet another widely recognizable landmark in Jaipur where tourist love to visit and try to blend in with the local culture and tradition. The fort is, so there are numerous spots where you can capture amazing architectural details and share that on your instafeed to gain more followers and likes if you want.

  • Pangong Lake

One of the most picturesque lake and most prominent tourist attraction spot in our country is Pangong Tso situated in the edge of Himalayas. The allure and wide-open sky with mountains, rugged terrain, and blue water is a perfect blend for a fantastic picture on Instagram.

Every traveler in India or a travel enthusiast would dream to go on a bike trip from Manali-Ladakh. The experience is something worth remember throughout your life.

  • Munnar

When I say Munnar, the visual image of scenic tea plantations come across my mind and believe me, it is the only reason Munnar is so beautiful. Indians love tea. Perhaps the love for tea and love for mountains has driven many tourists to go there.

It is one such tourist place in India that people love to Instagram the most.

  • Golden Temple, Amritsar

Do I need to say more?

Have you ever heard anyone saying that he/she was in Amritsar and didn’t visit Golden Temple?

You simply can’t miss it.

Let me tell you; it isn’t a temple it is a Gurudwara (holiest place for Sikhs)

Irrespective of caste and creed, Golden temple is for all.

  • Pondicherry

A place with a series of historical events, exotic blend of French, Portuguese, British and Indian culture, French quarter, colonial architecture and influence in cuisines. All these elements represent Pondicherry. A popular holiday destination and a lot of spots within the city to photograph.

If you scroll or swipe up and down on Instagram, you will at least see a picture of Pondicherry at every refresh.

  • Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Sikkim

I believe, almost every destination that we visit is instagrammable but yet there are a few that gives us a purpose of traveling. The Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Sikkim is a spot that you will often find on Instagram. The Tibetan culture, their lifestyle, cuisine, the mountainous road everything together is itself unique and adventurous. Traveling in that altitude will give an opportunity to get yourself near nature.

If I talk about photography? It is definitely a place which will give you ample such themes to photograph like nature, portrait, landscape, and culture.

  • Jodhpur

The famous blue city of Rajasthan is no less known place for the tourist across the world. The city is all about representing culture, delicious food, friendly locals, amazing talent in handcraft materials, rich history and fantastic architecture.

Do you need more?

Then I must say go and visit this amazing vibrant place.

If you want to add any other places, kindly let me know.

I hope you guys have enjoyed reading this article.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Thank you.

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“Maa asche..matro r ko ak din baki..” which means the idol of Durga, the most awaited festival of Kolkata is coming in a few days from now.

Although a festival is for all. Regardless of caste and creed, a festival brings happiness and joyful moments in everyone’s life. But, when I talk about the ‘Durga Puja’ it is predominantly a festival celebrated by Bengalis. A celebration which is no less than a carnival, and depicts our Bengali culture.

I have grown up staying in Kolkata and enjoyed the Durga Puja session each year. For the past three years; I haven’t got the chance to visit my hometown during this festive time which I terribly miss. Even this year too, I had to give it a miss for some reasons.

You won’t believe until you see the city how beautiful and vibrant does it look during this time. The city, its people everyone waits for this festival to come. People believe that the arrival of Goddess Durga will shower happiness and merriment in our life and will take away all the pain and struggles.

“A holy moment to hope for the good.”

Now, I will tell you what we love to do during the days of Durga Puja in Kolkata. How we Bengalis celebrate and why it is a part of our life.

  • The most obvious Shopping

So, the last-minute shopping is done. Everyone is rushing to the shopping malls, grabbing the best-designed clothes at a fantastic festive deal. If it is not sufficient or didn’t get time to shop then online platforms like Myntra, Jabong, Flipkart and Amazon are the best with a huge collection.

I am heavily dependent on online shopping as it saves my time and I often get a superb sale which is a respite to my wallet.

  • The countdown begins with Mahalaya

With Mahalaya; the first day of the auspicious festival sets the mood. We love to start this particular day by listening to the special Mahalaya chants. These chants are spiritual, and almost all the Bengalis love hearing to them early in the morning of Mahalaya.

  • Puja special edition

Every magazine publishing house releases a Puja special edition which we Bengalis follow enthusiastically. These special edition magazines consist of things and events happening around Kolkata during these puja days, like the latest fashion to follow, and several other entertainment stuffs.

I remember, how I used to buy the Bengali “Anandamela” magazine from the local newspaper salesperson each year before the festival gets started. So, basically, we go through these magazines because they publish pretty amazing things during these festive times.

  • No mood for work or study

Durga Puja is a festival that we keep waiting for the year.

How could we concentrate on work or study? Because our concentration is always on what to do these 5 days, where to go, what to wear to look the best and it’s an unending list that the mind occupies.

Most of the corporate offices remain closed on these 3 auspicious days (Ashtami, Novomi, and Doshomi). Schools and Colleges remain closed during Durga Puja.

  • Waking up with the sounds of ‘Dhak.’

Well, there is no escape from the beat of ‘dhakis.’ Dhak is a musical instrument which in layman’s word we say ‘drum.’

The early morning ‘dhak bajna’ means the ‘rhythmic sound of the drum beating‘ which is so hypnotic and it makes your heart feel alive and cheerful.

Durga Puja without dhak er awaj (drum beating) is impossible.

I love the spellbinding rhythmic sound of the drum beating. I feel like to dance. It gives me a different happy feeling.

  • Saying no to food is a crime

If you are on a diet?

It is better to forget about that for these 5 days.

Imagine you are surrounded with a lot of varieties of some lip-smacking food, and you can’t taste it.

Of course, be it any festival one should always enjoy, and the food is one such way that keeps us happy.

You can never resist yourself with Kolkata’s famous kathi roll, puchka, chaat, kobiraji, bhog in the pandal etc etc.

  • We don’t forget to post pictures in Social Media

“Hey tag me also if you are posting on Facebook and don’t forget to post all the picture.”

With social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, posting pictures nowadays seems to have become an important thing to do.

“I still don’t understand why there is such an urgency of posting pictures in social media. During my days, there wasn’t this much craze of social media. I didn’t even have an account with any of this. Unlike now, I didn’t have that privilege of buying a smartphone. My first handset was a Nokia simple phone with no camera.

I can feel the difference, and I had enjoyed way more in those growing years than now.”

Anyways, let us move from my story to what we do now during the Durga Puja days.

  • Reunion

Festival is a great time for gathering with family, old friends, and neighbors. Because it is a 5 days occasion people have time to meet and gather around. Those who live outside of Kolkata for work they also try to come.

Like me, I live in Pune which is in Maharashtra; a western state in India. I try to go home during this time and if I can I make plans with my old childhood buddies to meet and ‘adda‘ which means ‘a friendly get together‘. It always feels amazing to be around friends and family.

But modern life doesn’t allow that to happen every time whenever we want, so a special occasion like Durga Puja is an appropriate time to share some amazing moments with some amazing people of our life.

  • Ashtomi is always a special day for ‘Onjoli’

‘Onjoli’ is a short prayer to Goddess Durga where we chant some ‘montro‘ meaning rhythmic slogan or Vedic hymn with flowers in hand.

We take an early morning shower, wear clean clothes and go to the ‘mandap’ (temple) to perform the prayer.

  • Doshomi Visarjon – Sindoor khela and special misti (sweets)

‘Doshomi‘ is the last day of the festival where the idol of Goddess Durga is being immersed in the water which is called ‘Visorjon’.

It feels little sad watching the idol getting immersed and at the same time the feeling of departure to our old monotonous and busy life.

During this day, most of the local sweet shops make special sweets like ‘goja’, ‘mihidana’, ‘jalebi’, and several other varieties which are truly delicious.

‘Sindoor khela’ (vermilion) is something that every married woman plays after they take blessings from the Goddess Durga. It is a fun activity with cultural value.

In the end, I would say, we Bengalis have a unique way to celebrate the most happening festival in Kolkata. If you ever want to visit Kolkata I would suggest you come to this festival; you will be awestruck to see how everything in the city looks unimaginably gorgeous.

If you want to share your experience or anything related to Durga Puja, I would be happy to know.

Thank you.

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“We travel not to escape life.”

We all love to travel whenever we get time or wherever possible by briefly shrinking the boredom of life.

After continuing with the same sequence of daily activities of life, at some point, we get bored of the repetitiveness, and we look for a temporary closure, a respite which travel gives us.

What is the boredom of life?

The truth is we can never escape from the “reality of life.” I have seen and heard many people saying “I need to travel. My life is getting boring. I am tired of the same old everyday thing happening to me; I need closure.”

It is wrong to pretend or think that traveling will make go away permanently “the apparent mundane environment that we all are leading.” Yes, it can break the monotony of life and refresh your heart and mind. But you have to again come back to the same territory tomorrow. So, it is the same repetitive process that nature follows.

Individuals often try to attain an adventurous and cheerful life through ‘traveling.’

So, the reality of life is the routine that we follow every day. Waking up, eating, getting ready, doing work, sleep. This is the mandatory thing that we all tend to do. While doing the same never-ending activity, we feel confined and tedious.

Why do we travel?

We all urge to travel more often when we want some excitement and inspiration in our life. I feel the modern western life has brought quite a pessimism. Despite being open to advance technology, we are so isolated, always desire for attention and the constant rat race that we all are following. With this increasing dissatisfaction with our urban lifestyle, we view travel as a form of ‘escapism.

Does travel help to escape?

Yes, it does.

But saying this, we travel to discover ourselves in the process which is very important. We tend to get lost in the fast city life. Going to new places brings in us the element of wonderment, and throughout the journey, it reveals our strength and limitations.

With no disrespect, I read blogs and several articles on the internet where an individual says that how traveling has changed their life, how traveling is their livelihood, how their life is different from the rest of us and how we can also find traveling as a meditative way to escape from the mundane life.

Whenever I see those fantastic travel pics, I assume how beautiful and carefree their life would be. I wish I could also have the same vibrant life. But I don’t know the truth of their life. How they are living or how they arrange money for traveling.

What I mean to say is, the truth of life and the purpose of traveling is different for everyone. Some travel for leisure and relaxation, some travel only on vacations to spend quality time with family, and some travel because they love to explore and experience.

Traveling more often brings you happiness

Several people have a weird notion about travel. They think traveling is a waste of money and time. They say the money you are spending on traveling and enjoyment can be utilized in doing something productive.

Do you think traveling isn’t productive enough?

Here is the thing:

You work hard 9-5 Monday to Friday. You spend your weekend hanging out with friends or watching Netflix sitting on the couch. A moment comes when your mind and body have given up and you desperately in need of a break. You planned your trip to say Sydney or Rome or London, booked your flight online, packed your bags, and you are super excited to start your journey.

You spend the next 10 days away from the monotony. These 10 days you have would probably one of the best time of your life, no longer to answer to your boss or clean up your home or wait for the train to come. You are way out of the box.

You are back home with a smile on your face still cherishing the moments of travel. The break has boosted you up and made you more productive than before.

Travel harvest your inner being and gives you happiness.

Some travelers call themselves ‘nomad.‘ According to them, they have attained great happiness in traveling. Although, initially they had to sacrifice their worldly aspirations to become a full-time traveler. But they claim traveling has given them a ‘new meaning to life’ and ‘liberty from the limitations of modern life.’

Accept your life with a flow

Monotony will always remain a part of our life. It comes and goes with the life cycle. We have to work and earn money to survive. Each day can’t be surprising, but it is you/we who can make your/our day less depriving by doing several little things. Always be grateful for your life.

Travel wherever you want at least twice a year. Explore the new roadmaps and momentary phase of your journey. You can’t keep moving constantly. You need to stop and live somewhere.

Regardless of what you do to break loose your chain, it will tie you up again. The more you will want to run away, the more it will block you.

So, let your life go on like a river flows make its path. There will come tons of struggles on your way but if you are positive you can overcome them all.

Photo Credit: Nick Fewings from Unsplash

Thank you all.

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