This year I got to branch out more as a traveler and a travel writer. I also learned a few new lessons for myself. Here are three of them.
There’s a lot to see in your home country – more than you realize.
As someone who tries to get to as many “must-see before I die” international destinations as I can, I find it’s easier to forget that my native United States has many unique finds. An April visit to Carmel-by-the-Sea introduced me to its quirky history – no stoplights or street signs – and souvenirs like a permit to wear high heels. During summertime, I got to experience artistic and culinary growth in Detroit, where a relationship between old buildings and new purposes seems to be bridging together nicely. Cheyenne showed me more about what life was and is like on the Western frontier, and how rodeo remains its legacy. And Reno has its charms too. So hopefully in 2016 I’ll do some more sightseeing of the U.S. of A.
Expand your travel options. It’s easy to consider just one option for getting from A to B, but consider looking at alternative methods of everything from transportation to dates to make traveling more efficient. With the hope that I’ll be doing more flying in the future, I decided to sign up for TSA’s Pre-Check and applied for enrolling in TSA’s Global Entry. They are security clearance programs in which once you complete a background screening, you’ll be given a special traveler’s number that you’ll be associated with you. It means you go through a different airport security line in which your screening will be conducted separately. The same goes for driving. Also as someone that tends to avoid being behind a wheel on trips, especially on my own, I made a stride in changing that by heading to Maine last November.
Learn more by doing. There’s no other time that I could think of which gives people the opportunity to travel more with websites, apps, forums and other resources providing tips and deals. The same goes with travel writing. Whether you want to post about your travels as a diary, or develop your skills as a blogger, there are hosting sites that can give you the knowledge to gradually develop your site. It does take time to flourish – I’ve been at if for three years as a blogger, close to 20 as a professional writer – but either way you’ll learn a lot. Even if you don’t make a living from travel media, you learn about self-promotion, marketing, social media, SEO, and networking. Starting out? Don’t be alone. I suggest connecting with travel-minded Meetup and Facebook groups and signing up for Travel Massive, a global networking exchange of individuals connected to the travel sector.