Take the Plunge into a Life of Adventure

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Read on only if you're ready to sit in on a high-stakes game. My goal in the columns that follow is to persuade you to make travel an integral part of your life, as natural and essential as breathing. If I succeed, you'll change your life forever. If you're not willing to take that risk, reach for your ante and slide your chair away from the table.

I used to wonder why so many people don't travel at all or, if they do, limit themselves to well-worn paths leading to familiar places. I've learned that there are two main reasons.

First, they have, in the beginning, no way of anticipating the true rewards of travel. If you don't know how deeply travel can enrich your life, why make the effort? Second, especially when thinking of going to an adventuresome destination, they feel intimidated by what seems to be an obstacle course of things to be learned and done.

These columns will begin by exploring the most powerful reasons to travel, and then we'll address and overcome every one of what appear to be obstacles. We'll answer dozens of practical questions about travel such as: How can I afford it? Will I be safe? How can I find the food I like? How do I learn about visas, itineraries, permits, shots, and all the other details of organizing a trip? If planning a trip to a foreign destination seems daunting, we can turn it into a simple step-by-step process that will avoid costly, frustrating, and possibly dangerous mistakes.

We'll focus on the "how to" of travel. Instead of offering opinions on where to eat in Paris, I'll discuss how to find delicious, affordable meals anywhere in the world. Rather than reviewing the world's "best" (usually meaning shockingly expensive) hotels, I'll talk about how to locate comfortable, affordable lodging anywhere in the world.

There will be columns on choosing travel partners, selecting the most appropriate luggage, making good decisions about tours, and staying healthy and safe everywhere you go.

We'll cover how to turn the so-called language barrier into nothing but a speed bump, women traveling alone, and the fascinating and sometimes challenging modes of transportation abroad (air, train, bus, rental car, water, and thumb).

We'll take a look at meeting local people as well as other travelers, and how to connect with a network of travelers who can guide you to festivals, concerts, and special restaurants.


Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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