20 Travel Experiences That Are Way Better Than Material Things

The festive season is upon us, and many stores around the globe are bracing themselves for frantic discounts and crazy sales. Did you know that in 2014 the average person spent $380 on Black Friday?! Did you also know that you could instead take a 10 day trip to Barcelona from London for around $250? While of course there are many wonderful reasons to buy gadgets and other material possessions around the holidays, we humbly offer a wanderlusty alternative. After all, even science says that experiences are better than things 😉 Whether you’re able to gallivant across the globe, or you’re better suited to explore your own country, here are 50 travel experiences that are WAY better than material things.

1. Discover a hidden bar

We’re ALL about the little secrets only the locals know about. Whether it’s a secret jazz speakeasy or a tucked away dessert and cocktail bar, …

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28 songs that capture the spirit of travel

THERE’S A GOOD reason many of us take music with us when we travel; it can transport us — back home, away from an overcrowded bus, or through a restless night.

Music helps us connect to others — to fellow travelers who might share our taste in songs and to locals who might not speak our language but can carry the rhythm.

For those of us with gipsy blood, music can speak to who we are and why it is that we can never seem to settle down. Music engenders a desire to see a new place, or to travel simply for the joy of the journey.

In the few minutes that a song lasts, the ember of wanderlust inside us can be stoked into a bonfire that can’t be ignored. Suddenly, we’re inspired to earn that money, book that flight, pack that bag — do whatever it takes to …

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A musician’s life on the road: The glory and the grind

So this is living the dream.

You’re insane with sleep deprivation and barely functioning on the internal fumes surviving from the greasy truck-stop burger and fries you forced down in Prince Albert nine hours ago. You want to kill the sleeping figure, once your closest friend but now something of an adversary, slouched and snoring at superhuman volume next to you in the cramped rear end of a mid-’80s Econoline van that reeks of burning oil and unwashed bodies and that may or may not deliver you back to Toronto in a couple of weeks’ time, let alone stagger on westward to the next destination still another five hours away on your itinerary.

You’re not speaking to the driver or his shotgun since the Supertramp-vs.-Steely Dan argument, which is stupid but a point of pride since Famous Last Words is amazing and they’re idiots, anyway. You have no idea, for …

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Why travel is impossible without music

I have a guilty secret to confess: I own a Backstreet Boys CD. I purchased the CD single (remember those?) of Larger Than Life when I returned from a two-week trip through Italy with an old school friend in 1999. We spent a fortnight eating lavish piazza dinners in Rome, travelling by train to the dusky-red streets of Siena​ and diving from the cliffs below our vertiginous hotel in Positano​. And the Backstreet Boys were our constant companions.

These being the days before smartphones, if we had wanted to take our whole record collection with us, we would have needed a truck, not a pocket, so we relied on the kindness of MTV, local radio and nightclubs. Boy, did they loooove Nick, Howie and the crew; you couldn’t escape that song.

Music and travel go together like beach sunsets and pina coladas.

We would check into a hotel and …

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11 Reasons Why Travel Makes You a Happier Person

Travel is good for lots of things, but it can also increase mental well-being – and not just in the short-term. Whether you’re traveling for business, on a one-week family holiday, or have sold everything to pursue a life on the road, traveling can make you a happier person by building self-confidence, providing new experiences and memories, breaking routine and allowing you to meet people from all over the world.

I feel happy when I’m gaining new experiences and insights, and challenging my boundaries. Travel is the perfect catalyst for happiness, as it has allowed me to experience the natural, cultural and man-made wonders of the world. Being in foreign lands, it also continuously forces me to step out of my comfort zone – a great confidence-builder. In my book, travel is the best school there is: I’ve learned so much about the world and, most importantly, about myself.

Marilyn …

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