Where to Start a Trip Around the World: Cape Town

As I am writing this, we are two days out from getting on our first flight to Cape Town South Africa. It has been quite a scramble getting ready for this trip, and it feels like we will never be truly ready. From the packing to the planning, it has been a bit brutal at times. All the hard work is about to pay off. With three years in the making, we’ve finally begun our world trip!  And this is where.

norway-2

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5 Tips for Mastering Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing.com is a website platform for connecting a global community of travelers, facilitating stays with locals or opening your home to visitors. Sometimes hosts can offer a private room and bathroom; sometimes it’s literally nothing more than a couch upon which to crash for a night. It is also a place to organize events in cities around the world.

We have used this platform to host eight amazing travelers, and we have also been hosted once abroad in Norway. All of the people we met through this platform were incredible. They all came from different walks of life, and they shared their own travel stories and cultural experiences with us (like teaching us how to drink like a Russian!).

We are the type of hosts who like to treat our guests to local Portland activities, hikes, and even trips to the coast. We enjoy meeting new people, and every experience is completely unlike the last. There are many reasons to love this platform.

Over our many hostings and stays, we’ve learned a lot.  Here are five tips for mastering Couchsurfing.

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Essentials for enjoying an evening drinking with a Russian

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Travel Totaled my Car – How we Barely Escaped Eastern Oregon

Having never been to the far reaches of Eastern Oregon, we felt like this was a good time to get that knocked off our bucket list. Some of the highlights of the area are Steens Mountain, Alvord Desert, Leslie Gulch, and Jordan Craters. This would be our one last road trip before departing on our round-the-world trip. With it being such a remote part of Oregon, good preparation was critical as anything could happen. Fortunately we had an incredible trip, but it wasn’t quite what we expected.

Page springs campground

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5 Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety

Whether it is booking your first flight or packing up your belongings for a year-long trip, some anxiety is bound to happen. We’ve been on an emotional roller coaster as we say our final goodbyes to friends, leave our jobs, sell our stuff, and start booking all of the first leg of our trip. Most of this isn’t easy as we have been so used to living a certain way and now we are uprooting all of it to do something different for a while. Here are 5 ways we have found to overcome travel anxiety.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

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How to Book Campsites in Namibia National Parks

Booking campsites in Namibia was a bit of a process, especially when you want to be inside their National Parks. The process was a little frustrating, and we want to save you from having to go through the same hassle we did. There are several steps involved in getting exactly what you want when booking your accommodations. Let’s get started!

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Photo by dconvertini Creative Commons

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The People We Meet – Travel is More Than Just Destinations

Visiting new places, exploring landscapes, and seeing new cultures are a big part of why we travel. But there is more to the story than just these three things. It is also about the people we have met and the connections we have made. Travel is more than just destinations; it’s about the people we meet. The more we travel, or even host travelers, the more bonds we form that span the world’s borders. That is what makes our travels meaningful.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

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Puffy clouds floating by our airplane's wing | BIG tiny World Travel

Long-Term Travel: Booking the First Flight

While leaving our jobs was terrifying enough, the thought of booking our first flight was equally, if not more scary. After much deliberation, we chose our starting point: South Africa.  Now we just have to get there!

We have been looking at various flight options over the last several months, and have finally found the best option. By weighing flight times, baggage rules, and cost we are about to pull the trigger. This was our thought process before arriving at the final booking. With this first step, it will really feel real!

Climbing the covered walkway onto our Norwegian flight | BIG tiny World Travel

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How I Dispelled the Fear of Travel

Much of the news media focuses on the worst possible things that happen everywhere. I know this well as there are people outside of the USA that are afraid of America because of all the mass shootings. In America we have similar fears about places like Mexico, Colombia, or even anywhere in Africa. Because of the media, I am also guilty of having some of these fears. And the only way to conquer fear is by doing what scares you.

Costa Rica Barred Windows

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World Highlights: Top 5 Sounds of Japan

In Tokyo, the sounds of the city can be intense. With a metropolitan area of around 40 million, you can expect to hear plenty of interesting sounds as you are exploring. Some are completely in your face like advertisements, while others are more pleasing. Both of these have their place in our Top 5 Favorite Sounds in Japan.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

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