Category Archives: Travel Tips

The Banking Habits of the Full Time Traveler

travel and banking

I’m not going to get too technical here. In fact, the thing I want to impress upon you isn’t a skill but a state of mind. I want you to take a good, honest look at your bank (maybe the one you have back home, from years ago) and ask yourself, “Is this the bank for me?” I raise this question, dear traveler, because many people like yourself have settled for a bank that keeps their money secure, but not safe. Here’s what I mean.

Happy MoneySince the Financial hullabaloo of 2008, banks of all stripes have instituted fee structures to keep their profits securely in place. This is a problem at some institutions much more than others. If you are one of the unfortunate few who bank with the former, you’ve seen nasty charges arise for such innocuous behavior as having a debit card, keeping a checking account open, or overdrafting once in awhile. I remember the day when overdrafts were covered by my bank, because they were looking after me. One has to look long and hard for this kind of treatment nowadays. But look one must!

If your bank is racking up fees totaling over $100 per year, you know you could do better. That money could easily fund your adventures or be tucked away for some travel or savings goal. It’s the financial rookies who shrug off $100, thinking it’s not good for much. But you are a seasoned traveler, understanding in what money can do, how it can grow. You won’t stand for this.

Here’s another consideration. Maybe you’ve found yourself in an unfamiliar land, with no one who shares your language. Suddenly, you find yourself in a financial bind, and you need access to your bank accounts quickly to cover a visa cost. Can you do it? Chances are, you can’t, and a representative isn’t available by phone because you’re on the other side of the world, and they are all asleep. If this sounds like your bank, it’s time to change to one that has a presence in every peopled continent and 24/7 service available by the usual electronic communication methods.

And these are really just the basics that any international traveler should have covered. Your bank should have an awesome app to automate your saving habits to keep you on track and doing what you love. Even though these apps are free now doesn’t mean that they’re not awesome. And if your bank doesn’t have one, find one that does.

I hope I’ve been able to convince you that you are deserving of a great international bank. You demand it! You’ll stand for no less! Even though changing banks is something of a bother, it’ll pay off over and over. You may keep these accounts open for decades, and you’ll always think back, saying “I’m glad I did that.” I am too, fellow traveler. I am too.

Interview With The Team Of LucidPractice

Paz Romano Brian Levine Langkawi Malyasia Positive Energy

   Danielle with her Cambodia student Siem Reap Cambodia Lucid PracticeLet’s start off by telling a bit about yourself, where did you grow up, do you remember your main life Goals when you were young and has that changed?

Paz and I both grew up in Westport, CT. It is a beautiful New York City suburb located on the Long Island Sound. Interestingly enough my life goals revolved around sports, work, and “making it.” I was one of those people that thought “hopefully I grow up, play in the NFL, and go on to be successful in the business world that is ever so popular in and around NYC. It is safe to say that my life goals have changed significantly. The combination of one of my best friends dying and going on a backpacking trip through Asia changed my perspective dramatically. I went from a person who always strived to be “more” to a person who is simply trying to accept the present moment and become alive. I think I can speak for Paz when I say our goals is to love, to inspire, and be inspired. When we say “become alive” we mean constantly engage in lucid activities – whether that be meditation and yoga and listening to our breath or traveling the world and saying “WOW, how blessed are we to be here.” The goal now is to realize not that we are trying to make it in this world, but rather “man, I am here, living, loving, and suffering. This is what life is. We have made it.”

What were the key factors that persuaded you to leave the comfort of your home?

We feel that life is a book and those who don’t travel only read a single page. One of the greatest aspects of life is the opportunity to connect and live in unique cultures — that’s how we grow as individuals and become more compassionate and empathetic. There are 7 billion people in the world — each one of them unique in their own way. Coming from the American suburbs, a key factor in leaving the comfort of home was the opportunity to meet these people and seeing the distinctively different ways in which they live. We are blessed with travel we have begun to see oneness and how really interconnected this world really is.

How long have you been traveling? What were your biggest fears before you left home? , and how do you feel about them now?

On our current trip, three months. We have successfully navigated our way through Costa paz danielle smaller photo lucid practiceRica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and now we are in Chile. The biggest fear was that of the unknown. In general, Americans are ever so conscious of the “safety issues” throughout South America. I can honestly say that my girlfriend Kate and I have not felt unsafe during one minute of this trip. Instead I have looked at this as a pilgrimage of sorts to spread love and positive energy, meet people from this part of the world and accept that this is where we are meant to be.

Where are you now?

San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. We just got off a three day “Salt Flat Tour” that took us through Southern Bolivia and into Northern Chile. We’re writing this while in the middle of the spacious Atacama Desert!

What are your plans for the upcoming year?

Well we plan to travel for a few more months and visit Argentina and Brazil. After that we will spend some time at home with our families. In the back of our heads we are planning an extended trip to Europe. Even though I made short stops in Paris, London, and Spain growing up, it is the last continent outside of Africa I have yet to really explore extensively. I am inspired to visit and explore France, Italy, and Greece.

What countries do you consider you felt the safest? And did you feel safer than in your home country?

Ecuador or Bolivia. We have yet to really feel in danger here, just the fear of the unknown is sometimes in the back of our minds. The natives we’ve met from these countries have made us feel so comfortable and welcomed. It has been an absolute blessing. We’ve had home cooked meals, meaningful conversations, and just an overall great experience.

We feel equally safe in America.

What countries do you feel the most on edge (in Danger) ?

Paz Romano Brian Levine Langkawi Malyasia Positive EnergyPaz and I never once felt in danger while in Asia. Granted, we were not likely candidates for physical abuse (two large American males) but still, everywhere we went, we were greeted with warmth, love, and positive energy. The only time we were in danger was while riding a Thai lawnmower boat to a remote island. All of the sudden, the skies opened up, there was thunder, lightning, and massive waves. We considered ditching our backpacks and jumping in the water to make an attempt at swimming to the shore. Fortunately, our driver (err, lawnmower engine positioner guy) was able to right the ship and get us to land safely. (picture of land mower boats)

Any major life targets, that you are working on?

Most of my life goals revolve around faith, love, and health. Although I strive to live in the present moment, I do have goals written down on paper. In no specific order:

+Acknowledge God and be the best, most compassionate person I can be.
+Grow a platform (Lucid Practice) that impacts as many people as it possibly can.
+Love my family and friends unconditionally.
+Remain a healthy male – this is usually determined by how I feel physically and mentally.

Lastly (and travel related), my goal is to visit fifty countries. So far, I’ve visited 30 countries. Touching fifty different countries educates a person to understand worldly culture and “oneness.”

Do you do any work while you travel, such as digital nomad, consulting, or odd jobs?

Yes. We work on Lucid Practice every day. We don’t look at it as work because we enjoy (and live for) spreading positive energy across the world. It is a joy, a privilege and an honor to build the Lucid Practice Community.

Our work at this stage mainly consists of writing for and designing Lucid Practice. We also spend time connecting with other writers/bloggers in regards to opportunities. We recently opened up Lucid Practice to guest writers. We decided to do this because we’d like to provide as much inspiring, quality content as possible for our readers. It’s been a fun process and we’ve met some amazing bloggers and writers along the way.

Any memorable dealings with government officials, Police or Border Guards?

On this trip crossing into Panama was a bit of a pain! The border guards madeKate Lucid Practice us purchase airplane tickets back to our home country. It turned into a bit of a funny story as it was really hot out, my patience had run thin carrying my two backpacks, and we had just come off a boat, and two local buses in Costa Rica. I’m working at improving on simply accepting walking for an hour or two with the large backpack!!

Tell us some of the experiences that made your jaw drop, left you in Awe, or were incredibly touching?

A yoga retreat in Koh Phangan, Thailand was the most transformative, eye opening travel experience we’ve had. The one week retreat taught us to look internally, taught us to meditate, to find connection with ourselves and the universe. We had an amazing teacher who taught us invaluable life lessons, drastically changing out life paths.

How has your traveling affected your relationships with your friends and family?

Yes. Its such a hard balance because truthfully my favorite place to be in the world is at my house with my parents, sister, family, and friends. Travel is beautiful, but I really do miss not having the daily face to face relationships with my family and friends.

Any Regrets?, Anything you would like a shot at a do-over?

Nope, not one. My parents firmly grounded me in “everything happens for a reason.” At this point in my life I have never “trusted” more.

Do you see an end to this journey, or do you expect to continue to be on the move, exploring most of your life?

I hope we can explore as much as possible for the rest of our lives. I envision myself going backpacking with Kate when we are grandparents and old. My thought process in terms of travel and Lucid Practice is “Why not see the world? Why not impact millions of people?

Any words of encouragement for our readers to get them to leave the couch and hit the road?

Yes. Anyone can travel the world. It’s not as expensive as one might think either. If you’re an American, try to look outside of the typical American train of thought of going to the “best” possible college and then accepting the “best” possible job and then taking out a mortgage to purchase the “best” possible home. Be contrarian and open minded — realize that there are other ways to live life. You don’t have to wait until age 65 in retirement to start living. Live now!

We met an interesting couple in Ecuador recently. The boyfriend and girlfriend we met were doing a “Work Away” job at a hostel there. Well, they told us they had left their house in Bogotoa, Colombia with $11 in their pocket combined. They had their backpacks and their laptops. They couchsurf, workaway, juggle in the streets for money, and hitchhike. They have traveled the world – working and hitchhiking their way down all of South America, working a cruise ship over to Africa, backpacking, hitchhiking and working their way through the continent of Africa, and than doing the same in Europe.

These are the types of people who inspire me. They realize that people in this world are good, and that somewhere, sometime they will get a ride, a roof over their head to sleep in, and cash to let them see and experience more of the world. I was in awe of their journey and story.

Have you written any books or have a blog, that you would like to plug?

We are the authors of a blog that delivers inspiring daily content on travel, wellness, art, and yoga. Most of our contributors are traveling right now (in South America and Cambodia) and as a result, our content has been “travel heavy.” But big picture, we’re becoming a hub where people can find travel stories, hidden gem travel destinations, great music, discussion on yogic philosophy, and even spiritual and religious discussion. We created Lucid Practice to share inspiring, positive content with readers around the world.

Bio:

Brian Levine, along with Paz Romano, Kate Reder and Danielle Lussier, are authors of the travel, wellness and yoga blog, Lucidpractice.com. Lucid Practice’s goal is to inspire people to feel happy and more alive through lucid engagement in enriching activities such as international travel, yoga, helping others, and eating enlivening foods. Check them out on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

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List Of DoFollow Travel Blogs (commentLuv)

Travel Blogs List

For those of you who are like me and are looking to increase your blog traffic, Comment posting is a key ingredient. But sometimes it can be quite disheartening spending hours searching through blogs in your niche to comment on, in order to get you a bit of that coveted “Link Juice” . Whell for those of you that ar travel bloggers you are in luck,, I have put together this list for my own use to build up traffic, rankings, alexa etc. and have decided to make this list a post so that you all could benefit as well. Here is a list of highly ranked travel blogs that allow dofollow comments or have CommentLuv on their pages.  For those of you that do not know, CommentLuv is a free wordpress plugin that not only leaves a link back to your site but also shows a link back to your latest post, which is very helpful in generating more traffic as well as leaving some deeper links into your site. So here is the list , enjoy..

The Planet D
Nomadic Samuel
Traveling The Balkans
Adventurous Kate
Bacon is Magic
My Itchy Feet
Eternal Quest
Smiling Faces Travel Photos
Camels ans Chocolate
Dangerous Business
Go See Write
Hecktic Travels
Oxygen.im
Thrill Me
That Backpacker
Traveling Canucks
Migrationology
Brendans Adventures
Green Global Travels
Over Yonder Lust
2 Wings
Man on the Lam
The Aussie Nomad
Monkeys and Mountains
Budget Travel Adventures
My Spanish Adventure
Tourist 2 Townie
Expert Vagabond
Nomadick Chick
Globe Trotter Girls
Four Jandals
Our Oyster
Mallory on Travel
The Travel Chica
Ikuze (let’s Go)
Roamin Around
Turkish Travel Blog
Wae Gook Tom
Sophies World
Breathe Dream Go
9 Reasons to Go
Changes in Longitude
Trans America
Bohemian Trails
Man Vs Clock
Wild About Travel
Globo Treks
I am Riveted
Spunky Girl Monologues
Don’t Ever Look Back
Never Ending Footsteps
Travelated
Traveling Ted
Love Exotic Foods
Positive World Travel
Katie Aune
MS Listologist
Captain and Clark
This Way To Paradise
Eating The Globe
Travel Scamming
Journey Jottings

Hey, You may also think about adding the commentluv plugin to your own site, if you would like to be featured here, just drop me a note..

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Interview With Dawn Kealing Of “Life, Love & Adventure”

saqqara dawn kealing

   pyramids dawn kealing   Let’s start off by telling a bit about yourself, where did you grow up; do you remember your main life Goals when you were young and has that changed?

Hello! 🙂 I grew up in a small town near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. When I was younger my main focus was to be positive, happy and healthy. I always had dreams of doing things that seemed pretty impossible to me at the time, aka. Traveling the world. In the past couple years everything has changed yet stayed the same, I am still that positive and healthy person yet I have been able to travel the world!

What were the key factors that persuaded you to leave the comfort of your home?punta cana dawn kealing

There was no persuasion needed to get me out traveling the world! The key factor that made it happen though would be my amazing husband. I started working with him at his business and together after some time we financially made traveling possible!

What were your biggest fears before you left home?, and how do you feel about them now?

I can’t recall any specific fears; there definitely was a lot of excitement coursing through my veins as we were driving to the airport! There was also the, as I know now, the normal stresses of making sure to remember all the documents and the stress of my first long flight but everything went smoothly!

How long have you been traveling?

I have been traveling off and on for the past 2 years; we did 2 trips the first year and 4 trips last year.

Where are you now?

I am currently at home in Northern British Columbia trying to bear through another one of our freezing winters!

What are your plans for the upcoming year?

dawn kealing petraMy plans for this upcoming year are to work on my blog, A LOT! There are a few goals I have set up for myself to do throughout the year to improve my blog and hopefully get more out of it!

Another plan I have put together for myself is to travel more of BC this summer. I have lived here all my life and am starting to feel like I have traveled more of the world than I have my own beautiful province!

What countries do you consider you felt the safest? And did you feel safer than in your home country?

Most of my travels have been all through Central America, the country that I felt the safest in would be Costa Rica! Everywhere we went through Central America everyone was always so friendly though! 🙂 I honestly think I felt safer in Costa Rica than I do in the town I live in in Canada. We’re the crime capital of Canada says MacLean’s magazine. :/

What countries do you feel the most on edge (in Danger)?

The country that I felt the most on edge in would have to by Egypt. No matter where you are the spotlight is always on you. People trying to bring you into their stores or sell you stuff on the streets, people pulling at your clothes and snickering at you but you have no idea what they are saying.

Any memorable dealings with government officials, Police or Border Guards?

Oh dear, my most dreaded question haha. I always seem to have issues with jordan dawn kealingborder guards, I don’t know why! When I was leaving Egypt to go to Jordan the border guard started speaking really loudly (yelling) at me and pointing to my lip, which is pierced. I had no idea what he was saying and he just kept getting more and more upset, eventually he let me through but only once I was bawling my eyes out. :/ All the other times have been coming back into Canada, as funny as that seems. I always feel like I am being interrogated for doing some horrible crime yet I have done nothing!

Do you do any work while you travel, such as digital nomad, consulting, or odd jobs?

Other than blogging while I am traveling I don’t do any other types of work. We work a lot a home, taking 2 weeks to a month away at a time is a great break from work for us!

Chichen itza dawnTell us some of the experiences that made your jaw drop, left you in Awe, or were incredibly touching?

I think my most jaw dropping experience would be going on my first Hot Air Balloon ride in Luxor, Egypt over the Valley of the Kings and Queens. It was absolutely breathtaking!!

My most memorable experience that left me in awe would be seeing fireflies in Palenque, Mexico. We were sitting on a chair on the porch of our little bungalow and they started flying all around us and through the jungle. I couldn’t help but shed some tears, it was amazing!

An incredibly touching experience was when I organized a trip in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic to a local school to donate school supplies.

Last but not least, my most terrifying experience so far in my travels would be doing to Mega Tarzan Swing in Costa Rica. After ziplining for a couple hours and my adrenaline was already up I thought, why not?! Once I got to the end of a super long suspension bridge that was hanging over a valley I tried to run back but the guys pushed me out! It was one of the most terrifying things I have done in my life!!

How has your traveling affected your relationships with your friends and family?

Not really, my family has always been super supportive of my decisions. dawn kealing colorfull frogSometimes my mother gets a little worried depending on the places I am traveling to but she is always supportive regardless! The best thing is my little nephew (3), before leaving for my last trip I was at my sisters and he asked if he could come with me. Maybe one day little buddy! <3 I travel with my best friend so there’s no issue there! I have close friends at home and I always meet new friends while traveling but traveling as never affected any of my relationships negatively.

Any Regrets?, Anything you would like a shot at a do-over?

No regrets is the best way to live! The only thing I keep kicking myself in the butt for is not learning Spanish yet!

Do you see an end to this journey, or do you expect to continue to be on the move, exploring most of your life?

If I could travel for the rest of my life I would be the happiest person in the world! As of right now I have no reason or want to stop exploring the world so I will continue traveling for as long as I can! 🙂

Any words of encouragement for our readers to get them to leave the couch and hit the road?

saqqara dawn kealingMy biggest encouragement is to JUST DO IT!! Don’t look back, just go and explore this beautiful planet. It will be one of the best things you ever do! There is so much knowledge to learn out there that you cannot learn in a classroom, traveling is priceless!

Do you have any tips for others who are trying to get a successful blog up and going?

It takes a LOT of work, don’t give up, it’s so worth it!! Do what makes you happy, if you get to the point when you’re feeling super burnt out then take a small break to refresh your thoughts and begin writing again! Don’t expect everything to come really easily because it takes a lot of work, join into blogging communities on social media sites or around you if it’s offered. One of my most favorite things about blogging is the love and support from my fellow bloggers in the communities I am in!

Do you write for a blog that you would like to plug?

I have a blog that I strive to update daily; it is called Life, Love and Adventure! It’s a travel blog where I write about all the places I have been so far, where I want to go next and all kinds of travel tips I have learned in my years of traveling! 🙂

A BIG thank you to Roamin Around for featuring me on their page!!

 

 

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Making a Living as a Digital Nomad

      Of all the dreams I have, there are two things in particular that hold a special place in my heart. They are related to each other and they complement each other. These are: the desire to travel and financial freedom.

If you are reading this travel blog, you will understand how I feel. You know how it itches when you have not traveled at least once or twice a year. You have the urge to travel in your veins.

But if you are still new to the idea of actually taking a vacation to some distant place, I bet there is little need to convince you of its merits, for travel appeals to almost everyone. Not only that it is also the number two industry on the internet, Only surpassed by Porn.

I have always wanted to travel. It’s in my bones. I love visiting exotic places and traveling to far-off destinations that most people only dream about. I believe that a lot of people have the innate desire in their hearts to get up and go, to leave everything behind and travel the world.

     If this is so, what is stopping the masses from doing so? The usual problem besetting would-be travelers is simple: they are cash-strapped. They do not have the finances needed to make their dream vacation. For many who actually have the money, they usually don’t have the time to take away and enjoy traveling. They either have to keep watch over their businesses or otherwise have to stay in their work. And while most jobs and businesses allow for some time off for vacation, there are simply too many people that are not prosperous enough to afford one. Soon, all thoughts of travel vanish in their minds, and they start living as zombies without any hope of fulfilling their dreams.

      Which brings us to my point: financial freedom. And this is where it gets exciting, because I am going to give you some tips on how to finally afford that vacation while not leaving time off in your work.

     The advent of the internet opened a veritable treasure mine of online opportunities for making money. There are so many businesses nowadays that are based mainly online, and there are thousands of work that can be done in cyberspace.

       What I am essentially pointing out to you is that you can start making a living as a digital nomad. As long as you can get a decent online connection, you can work absolutely anywhere in the world. The kinds of work available online include jobs as a virtual assistant; SEO and online writer; blogger; web designer; professional in various types of software; data entry professional; typing jobs; mobile application developer; language tutor; graphic designer; and thousands of other virtual jobs. You can learn these with online help as well, so it is not like you need to earn a college degree to be able to competently perform them.

      In addition, you can also put up online businesses which do not need any real, physical stores and can be accessed anywhere. Your products can be anything you want to sell, from bags and shoes to gadgets and vehicles. You can also sell virtual services.

     It is up to you to choose your online niche. Research it while you are still in your current office job, determine its feasibility, determine the time you will spend on it each week, and start on it if everything works out. Afterwards, you can then quit your job and start making a living as a digital nomad.

       After my Industry was hit with the crisis, I had a little bit of cash saved up and started to travel. and it took me about 5 years to learn many of the tricks of the trade that I know now. Also it helps that I am living in Chiang Mai, Thailand where there are many others in the same position that I am in, and I have been able to learn a lot from local networking with other digital nomads. If you are interested I am would like to help, send me an email at info@roaminaround.com and put in the subject line “how do I become a digital nomad”.

      Whenever I retire after a long day of Wondering the planet, I simply open my laptop and start to work at my leisure. My time belongs to me and I can do my work anywhere.

      Making a living as a digital nomad works, and I would like to share with you this opportunity so that you can do the same and finally live the life you’ve always wanted.

So good luck, God bless and I hope to bump into you wherever in the world you may be!