As a born and bred city girl, nothing makes me happier than seeing a dark, generic metropolis reignite its flame and foster life back into those cold city streets. America's cities used to be the center for culture, enterprise, and change but with expansion into the suburbs, many game-changers that once inhabited these areas left.
Very few things can get me out of bed early on my day off. The promise of brunch is one of them. Nothing is more compelling than the smell of fresh brewed coffee, endless glasses of champagne and mountains of decadent carbs topped with sugary goodness. So of course, when my sister suggested brunch this morning, I was all in.
The world is our playground. From the beaches of Boracay to the ruins of Machu Picchu, we have an all-access pass to play in the most iconic and remote corners of the globe. But with this access comes an onslaught of new hurdles for the modern day wanderer. Threats of fraud, identity theft and civil unrest make traveling a bit more challenging. However, with the right preparations, you can arm yourself for a stint in the global sandbox.
Hard Copy of Flight Itinerary
I never thought to travel with a paper copy of my flight itinerary until I was stopped at the Panamanian border control, trying to re-enter Costa Rica. My friends and I had traveled to Panama for a weekend get-away. We had crossed into Panama with ease, only needing our passports and a few bucks to pay for visas. We didn't realize trying to get back over the border would prove to be more difficult...
Whether you're traveling locally or abroad, navigating a new city can be a challenge. Luckily, we live in a world where help is just an app away. Here are some of my "must have" apps that make exploring a destination unknown a breeze.
1. Google Maps
I love Google Maps. It lists bus stops, subway stations and local places of interest like grocery stores, museums, etc. Directions are fairly exact and offer routes by foot, local transport, taxi and personal vehicle. If you are short on data, you can also download areas beforehand to use offline while touring the city. Just be sure to calibrate the app every so often for the most accurate results.
If you are city-hopping, Rome2Rio is super helpful in figuring out your travel options. It collects routes and fares from a variety of websites to offer you the best deal on the web.
To my fellow twenty somethings:
Stop. Remember back to the last few weeks of school when everyone was talking about traveling the world after graduation. Your plans to explore the unknown, one couch at a time were the only things keeping you sane during finals week. Then graduation happened and society convinced you to put your travel itinerary on hold, while you started a career.
With every passing year, the possibility to visit another country grows more difficult. Not only does your job offer limited paid vacation but there are always a slew of excuses that make you say: "I'll travel abroad next year."
Trust me. I get it. Adulting is tough. But we owe it to ourselves to make travel a priority...