Monday, December 14, 2015

3 Folks Doing Crazy Sh*t For Travel

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She looks over the grand ravine winding into the horizon. A cool breeze pushes past her sunburned face. She whispers a thanks to God for this small token of mercy. Her skin is burned, her hair is a kinky mess, her feet are swollen and from what it feels like, that damn blister on the back of her ankle has finally busted. She's been eating canned food and crackers for days. She ran out of money about a week ago. Her family worries for her safety traveling alone. "What?! You travel alone? Aren't you scared?" she recalls the strangers on her journey who pry for answers. "So why are you here exactly?" She laughs to herself as she remembers the immigration woman questioning her.

Why not?

 She's come too far to stop, now. She's been "bitten by the travel bug" as they say. She picks up her life in the form of a giant, over-stuffed backpack and makes her way toward the falling sun. 

Whether it's selling all your possessions and hitting the road, moving for the 16th time or going on your fifth vacation in three years, you know you've felt it. It's an infection sparked by the curiosity of the human spirit. We ask ourselves questions like: Can I go farther? What's over there? What are those people like? 

And while "normal" more "stable" people look at you lopsided you know that what you're doing makes total sense in your minimum it feels right. Why do we do what we do? Why do we leave our loved ones and comforts of home to see the big wide world? How many of us really know? Here are some folks doing crazy sh*t for the sake of who knows what...

Who Wants To Go For A Walk?

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Former British Paratrooper, Karl Bushby hit traveling "G" status after one day deciding to  walk around the world. Yep, walk. Around the world. I've witnessed a coworker drive across the street from his job to the local bodega to get a sandwich and this dude is walking around the globe.  In 1998, he started from Punta Arenas, Chile and planned to walk the 36,000(+) mile trip to his home Hull, England. He estimated he'd get home around 2012. But like all epic adventures, there was hiccup. After trekking the Bering Strait -on foot- with adventure badass Dimitri Kiefer (did I mention a good deal of the Bering Strait is melted?) he victoriously knocked on Russia's door...and was handed a five year ban from the country. Determined to continue on, he went on a second walking adventure. Anyway, I won't give it all away. 

Lemonade, Anyone?

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Traveler, author, TV guy and now Lonely Planet Pathfinder Aric S. Queen decided to slip out of main stream media and pursue a humble life of single-handedly circumnavigating the globe via a  refurbished boat while selling lemonade. I mean who doesn't love lemonade? Terrorists, that's who. The problem is that his knowledge of boats may have been a bit subpar for buying one and now he's stuck in North Carolina with not much but fundraisers and Lonely Planet to help him fix his wreck of a boat. Why is he still trying? Why not just scrap the whole thing, sell the boat for parts and cash in on his travel celebrity status to get a professionally edited Bourdain-style travel show? Check out  Maritime Lemonade Stand.

Solo Female Hitchhiker's Guide To Earth

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If you were born into a "normal" US middle class family like me you were taught a few things. Look both ways before crossing the street, don't take candy from strangers (except on Halloween?) and don't get into cars with strangers. While hitchhiking was more popular in the US in the 60s, the activity is currently frowned upon by most Americans. Even in Europe the thought of a young woman, hitchhiking alone brings about a certain stigma. Despite all of that, Ana Bakran has been hitchhiking alone across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. She even offers no holds barred advice, which is exactly what travelers need to hear. I mean how many people will tell you that while you travel "People will show you their penises"?  Check out her advice here.


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