Create your own Footprint

Our technology today creates an advanced platform for us to be unlimited with the videos we take and the media that we post on the internet. Unlike ever before in our time, the resources we have allow us to be creative with every moment of our lives. It has become a trend of our time, especially while traveling to new surroundings, to have a consistent pose or action in front of every new setting while traveling. This allows us to have a fun side while traveling and showing our family at home our adventures. We are constantly obsessed with the new advances of technology, and the media has allowed us to make a competition out of the posts we make and the pictures we decide to share.

This is an example of an action repeated in front of several different destinations around the world, creating a cohesiveness to the trip traveled. These poses and actions that are taken in different regions of the world allow viewers to vicariously live through the traveler.

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Yolo… Travel While You’re Young

YOLO. You only live once. The word has been stuck in my head ever since Drake rapped it in his song “The Motto” in 2013 and it went viral. It has inspired me to live life with a different mentality. I have traveled to more places and done more outrageous things than I ever thought I would do, just because of this one little word? I know it sounds stupid. That one word could sway your decision that much. BUT ITS SO TRUE. “Yolo means living with no regrets and taking chances and making the most out of your life,” says Laura Mueller attending University of Colombia. And that’s just what I’ve done.

The summer after it became one of the most overused words in the English language, (and believe me it definitely was) I decided to travel to Europe by myself and explore and adventure wherever I chose. I mean yes, I had an itinerary, but I really decided what I wanted to do for the day when I woke up that morning. It was so spontaneous and unlike me, but it was one of the best experiences of my life. I didn’t go crazy and go tattooing my forehead saying “YOLO!” But I did learn to conquer my fear of heights by climbing the Eiffel Tower, (SO MANY STAIRS) which really encouraged me to do other things abroad that I wouldn’t normally be able to do in the United States.

Almost 3 years have passed now and I have continued to be inspired by the idea of traveling and going on crazy adventurous because, why not? I hiked to the nest of wild gorillas in Rwanda, Africa last summer, something I am very fortunate to have done. Hands down the best experience of my life. These types of experiences have really shaped my life and made me fortunate to be the person I am today. Having those once in a lifetime experiences are crucial to living life to the fullest. We really DO live once, so why not make the most of it?

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Hiking with Gorillas in Rwanda, Africa

 

I think this word had the same affect on other people. In fact I know this word had the same affect on people.  Looking at the millions and millions of pictures with the hashtag Yolo under them was inspiring to my friends and me because it showed us what other cultures were doing to live their lives to the fullest. We saw pictures of people in Thailand letting go the Sky Lanterns at night. We saw pictures of Americans in Italy stuffing their faces with pizza. There were even videos of people bunjee jumping from bridges and jumping out of planes in New Zealand. Through the tap of a button on my cell phone, I was able to see what dare-devil adventures other people were doing in other countries to live their lives to the fullest. It really changed the way that my friends and I thought about our decisions and the way we looked towards the future.

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The majority of the people that followed this motto were young adults, my generation. We all thought that what Drake rapped was true, that he was a hero for not only coming up with not only this rad phrase, but pretty much giving us a new adventurous lifestyle. People use it as an excuse to do something out of their comfort zone that they wouldn’t normally do.  Steven Guarnaccia of the New York Times says, “Because we (young adults) haven’t lived as long, we haven’t seen as much and we’re more eager to see the world.” Teenagers and young adults are naturally faster paced and more open to trying new things and risky adventures, as he says, so it’s a perfect time to take advantage and do things outside of your comfort zone.

Yolo Adventures, a successful worldwide adventure company, creates trips packed with adventure and activities ordinary tourists would not have access to doing. Their mission statement says, “Youth is a limited-time offer. You’ve got the rest of your life to take it slow. Live fast now.” Yolo Adventures has excursions on every continent, which encourages people to travel and try more things out of their comfort zones. “It gives you the personal freedom to follow the whim of the moment.” They really encourage people to travel while they’re young, so that they can go on these fast paced excursions while they can.

I encourage you to travel while you’re young just for the reasons Yolo Adventures says. The truth is, we don’t know the exact moment we’re going to die. Life is so unpredictable. We’re not always guaranteed our old age, so traveling while you’re young is a great way to gain knowledge about people different than you. Many people make the mistake of saying they are going to wait until retirement to travel, or until their kids grow up, but they never end up getting the opportunity. Even if you travel when you’re older, your experience would be different compared to if you traveled while you were young. SO LIVE IT UP WHILE YOU CAN. Don’t take any moment for granted and go for the adventure. There are so many benefits to taking chances right now in life rather than later. Sora Hwang says “Chase your dreams while you’re young because you only get one shot. Seize the day and live in the moment.”

Yolo Adventures particularly advertises to youth because they know that young adults are the risk takers. We definitely make more radical decisions than, say, our parents, who have jobs and responsibilities to tend to. That’s why it’s our time, our time to do stupid shit and make mistakes. Shelby Rothberg, an Architecture major at Cal Poly SLO, traveled all over Europe, and also volunteered at elementary schools in South Africa this past summer. “When I was in South Africa, I swam with Great White Sharks. It still gives me goosebumps just saying it.” Rothberg doesn’t consider herself an adventurous person. She knew this was the only time in her life she would get this opportunity AND ACTUALLY CONSIDER IT, so she went for it. “It was definitely the scariest thing I have ever done and will probably ever do,” said Rothberg. “But I did a lot of cool things, met so many new people, and learned more than I ever thought I would.”

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Rothberg “freaking out” with lions on a Safari in South Africa

 

Having once in a lifetime experiences while traveling can help you to be successful in the future, too. Rothberg said she formed many friendships that she wouldn’t have normally made in America that will help her later on in life. “I met several people in each place that really influenced the way I think about life.” She realized that there are so many people around the world that aren’t as fortunate as she is. I mean, it’s not like she had never seen a homeless person before. But other countries, especially South Africa she said, “have eye-opening poverty levels that you can’t really imagine until you see them.”

Traveling to other areas of the world shows you that there are always people worse off than you. Yes, poverty is in fact worse in other countries compared that one homeless man that stands on the corner of your street. Witnessing first hand the levels of poverty in other settings is a culture shock. One of the great things about traveling at a young age is being exposed to foreign surroundings other than your home. From personal experience, it is overwhelming coming home to such a privileged life after seeing the amount of people that suffer in other countries. I cried for a week straight when I came home from Africa. I could’t bare the fact that I lived in a nice house, with a pantry full of food, and a closet full of clothes when children in Rwanda were struggling to find food for the day. But this experience made me overall more thankful for the life I live.

Ciara Lane, a second year Communications Major at Cal Poly, grew up traveling to Ireland every summer. Lane stresses the importance of traveling while you’re young from personal experience, and says that it has helped her in more ways than she realized before I interviewed her.

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Lastly, I interviewed Valerie Jennings, and HR Rep at Cisco Systems who has, in the last year, traveled to Rwanda, Singapore, India, and many different states in the US. She has always enjoyed traveling, and in the interview, says that she is very fortunate to have a job that lets her do so. As a mother of 3, she has taken her children on many different trips across sees because she thinks traveling while you’re young is the best knowledge you can get as a child.

Talking to all of these women has inspired me to travel now rather than later. Jennings even said that while she was talking to me, she realized that she needs to take her kids on a trip soon before they have other commitments that are more important later on in life.

 

 

 

 

Study Abroad, Your Opportunity Awaits!

Come to the Study Abroad meeting today for tips on how to best plan ahead your next travel experience through Cal Poly!

Anyone that is interested in traveling abroad should come to this meeting. There are so many helpful hints that the study abroad advisors give out during this meeting. Don’t miss it!

We are lucky there are so many opportunities nowadays. With over 200 programs, Cal Poly Study Abroad advisors can help find the right fit for you. It’s always worth checking out, or forever regret it!

Life on the Road

Road trips are a remarkable way to travel by. A heavy part of traveling tends to rely on the destination, but on road trips, destination comes secondary. The trip becomes more about the journey and adventure on the road, making the final stop that much more enjoyable.

Growing up with parents who spent the majority of their (extra) money on travel, road trips were a big part of my childhood. Some of my fondest memories are on the road, because you can really get to know someone when you’re stuck in the car with them. It’s a  common saying that you get to know someone best on the road, and from personal experience, this statement couldn’t be more accurate. With nothing but the road ahead, it is easy to bond over the surroundings you’re passing.

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My siblings and me in Yosemite National Park, CA

Nomadic Matt, a popular and successful travel blogger, greatly supports road trips in the United States for several reasons. He says, “There are lots of unique national parks, cultures, music festivals, and various types of food to try around our own country.” So why not explore them? The best way to start is by simply getting in the car. Even without a destination, you can find great adventure. He says that while big cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles are full of activity, there is just as much life on the road that is worth seeing. “The cities are great,” he says, “but America really reveals itself in the landscape.” For more insight on road trip tips, visit Nomadic Matt’s Blog.
To get a better understanding of the impact a road trip can have on you, I spoke to Stanford sophomore Shin Mei Chan. Chan has always been involved in non-profit organizations throughout her life. She enjoys encouraging younger children in particular to explore the world while they are young. Most children aren’t given the opportunity to travel to foreign countries or exotic locations, so she said road trips are an easy way for kids to start traveling. She became passionate about road trips after taking a family road trip around the Western United States for two months over the summer of her junior year. She has opened the “Fun While You’re Young” program at numerous different elementary schools in the Bay Area, and raised money for kids in the program to go on road trips. She says, “It is immeasurably important for children to see the beauty of nature at a young age.” Children in the program are given opportunities which they wouldn’t normally get, thanks to Chan.
She even said, “On road trips, there isn’t any wifi. Your gadgets are merely useless pieces of plastic.” After the kids get back from the trip, they are enthusiastic about having another experience soon after. “To see their excitement towards nature after the trip makes it all worthwhile, Chan said. “It allows me to relive my childhood road trip through them.”
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Chan in Colorado

Another experienced road-tripper, Michael Nelson, has taken dozens of road trips around the country. Nelson is a Chico State graduate, currently employed at a travel agency in San Francisco. His passion for road trips didn’t stem from a fond childhood memory like Chan or myself, but came later on when he was in college.
“When I went to Chico, I was immediately caught up in the partying life, which was new to me,” said Michael. “I needed to step back and and re-evaluate what was important to me.” Nelson took his first big road trip by himself during Spring Break of 2012, traveling to National Parks in California. He realized that in order to get back to a healthy mental state, he would need to travel by himself and embrace his thoughts rather than other people’s. “The trip marked the beginning of a new me. I was able to clear my head and revert to my personal morals.”
Michael’s trip was just the beginning of his life changing journey. After learning for his love of nature and solitude, he continued to take road trips throughout college, and still takes several a year today. He said he was greatly inspired by the journeys of his hometown friend, Korey, who has been traveling to National Parks since high school.
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Nelson at Sugarloaf Regional Park, CA

 With the help of Michael and his knowledge on road trips, along with my own experience, I have created an road trip itinerary of 10 attractions to visit in the West Coast of the United States. There is more information on each given attraction at the bottom of the page.

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Because National Parks are amongst the most popular destinations on road trips, I wanted to get some inside perspective from Yosemite Park Ranger Suzie Howell-Olsen. She became well aware of the importance of nature and National Parks while majoring in Parks and Recreation at UC Berkeley.

Her passion for Yosemite National Park sparked when she was a young girl, on a road-trip with her family. She fell in love with the idea that road trips bring new adventure every second, with new landscapes and attractions with every mile that passes.
Howell-Olsen said that she has talked to several thousands of visitors and tourists that pass through on National Park or California road trips. “The tourists find an extreme amount of ease and satisfaction in themselves towards the end of their park experience, because they have fallen in love with the nature.”
Tourists can find road trip itineraries on the United States Parks website, a website that Howell-Olsen recommends to encourage people to visit Yosemite National Park. “Road trippers love it here, and I don’t blame them.”
Road trips are a great way to bond with others, appreciate nature’s beauty, and reflect on what is important to you. Next time you plan on traveling, consider a road-trip. It may not seem as glamorous as a European expedition, but it’s worth admiring your country’s own beauty.
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Yosemite National Park, CA

West-Coast United States Road Trip Itinerary
1. Joshua Tree, CA – The city doesn’t seem like much, but the National Park is “insane yet naturally odd,” says Nelson. This should be your first stop because there are several different moderate hikes that showcase California’s beauty.
2. Redwood National Park, CA –  Home of the largest Redwood Trees in the World! They don’t call them the serene giants for nothing. This second stop really eases the mind and helps open up a world of nature.
3. Glass Beach, CA – One of the most unique beaches in the world, as it is covered by glass particles from hundreds of years ago. The texture of the glass is unique and soft to touch, which also attracts many tourists.
4. Yosemite, CA – The point on top of Glacier Point Rock is my brother’s favorite view in all of Yosemite. The main attraction of Yosemite, Half Dome, is also amongst one of the most hiked mountains in the entire world.
5. The Grand Canyon, AZ – As we move out of California, we take a stop at the greatest canyon in the world. This is Chan’s favorite destination of her road trip. “The rock layers and deep canyon truly take you into a different world,” Chan says.
6. Colorado Rockies, CO – Further east into the US, Nelson says that the Rockies are a crucial part of the road trip because the mountains are “breathtakingly ginormous.”
7. Zion National Park, UT – As we continue north on this trip, the open canyons and rock forms are some of the most stunning views in the world. My favorite destination of my childhood road trip was Zion because when the sun’s rays hit different parts of the rock layers, supernatural colors stand out.
8. Bryce National Park, UT – Familiar with the Disneyland Roller Coaster Thunder Mountain? The design of this ride was centered around the landscape of these unique rock formations.
9. Yellowstone, WY – Home of the famous geyser Old Faithful, this destination is easily the most unique due to its diverse amount of attractions, says Nelson.
10. Crater Lake, OR – A perfect way to end the trip. At an elevation of 6,000 ft., the views from the surrounding cliffs overlook over 20 miles of lake.

 

PIZZA!

The Best Pizza is found in Italy

What makes Italy’s Pizza so amazing?


Italy is not only known for their ancient ruins and attractions for people from all around the world to see, but they’re also well known for their food, especially their pizza. With fresh mozzarella, marinara sauce, and crisp basil on top, Italians have truly mastered the art form of pizza making. NOT TO MENTION THE CRUST! (Yummmm!)

lly pizza.

A Last Minute Turkish Bath

I have always wondered how an airport actually works. With different flights coming in and out every single minute, there is great possibility for error. However, there has to be a certain amount of reliability and accuracy in order for an airport to be functional.  International flights in particular are only somewhat predictable, as they depend upon many worldly factors to succeed and get everyone where they want to go. With thousands of planes filtering in and out of the airport every second of the day, there is never a certain point in time where we can be confident of our traveling plans.

It was just a couple of summers ago that I was waiting patiently to board my flight, excited to venture to my destination: Rwanda, Africa. Just as we had all boarded the plane, the captain abruptly took the microphone from the flight attendant’s hands. She had just been explaining the emergency procedures, but the captain clearly had something more urgent and important. He immediately notified the passengers that the flight must be cancelled, and that we could all be flown out the following morning from Istanbul. I was confused and frustrated at first, but I realized I had just gotten the opportunity to explore Istanbul for 1 more day

Excited for the day ahead, my mom and I rushed out of the airport with anticipation of what  our next move was going to be. We quickly went back to our town house overlooking the beautiful ocean of Istanbul, with an amazing view of the Hagia Sophia to our right, with the continent of Asia just to our left. Our excitement for this sudden change of plans was unmeasurable — Istanbul is one of the most electrifying and interesting old cities of our old world. Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 2.43.29 PM

Before my mom and I ventured off into the city, we looked at a brochure we found at the Grand Bazaar the previous day, hoping for some idea or inspiration on our next move. One particular picture caught my attention: Turkish Bath.

Now, we don’t have Turkish Baths where I’m from in the Bay Area, so we decided to take full advantage and immerse ourselves into the Turkish culture. We arrived to Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami, the mosque in which the turkish bath was, after a hectic train ride across the city. I will never forget walking into the mosque: The marble
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We slipped into the bathrobes provided, and were escorted into the bathing room. The women encouraged us to undress, as it is a tradition of Turkish baths to be completely nude. Of course I was a little uncomfortable at first, but the women who worked there made me feel very comfortable. Turkish Baths are traditionally supposed to get rid of all the toxins and dead skin on the outermost layer of your body, and thats exactly what they did.

Going to the Turkish Bath was one of the most rewarding and memorable things I’ve ever done in my entire life. It made the flight the next morning to Rwanda, Africa, that much more enjoyable.

Learning to Go with the Flow

Traveling the world is very unpredictable. Our itineraries can get messed up and changed at any moment. There are so many things that are out of our control as travelers, and it’s our job to adapt to changes and learn how to deal with them in the best way possible. Going with the flow is very important says world traveler  Nomadic Matt. He teaches his followers that it is key to adapt to your surroundings with any spontaneous disaster that comes towards you. Getting too stressed and worried while you’re traveling takes away from the trip. “It may be harder some times than others, but it’s important to keep your calm and take in everything around you while you’re in the moment.”

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Having a plan can be the most important part of your trip, but it can also be very restricting. In another travel blog called Unexpected Gifts of Travel, Anneli Rufus says that there is “light-heartedness” to traveling without plans. She says that traveling without an itinerary is actually “psychologically stimulating,” and that it can force your brain to make spontaneous decisions. Whether traveling 30 minutes to the town next to you, or traveling  half-way across the world, something unplanned could happen. But this isn’t always a bad thing. Spur of the moment changes can bring out your strengths, whether you realize it or not. Maybe you learn that you’re not very flexible to changes in plans, and that sticking with an itinerary is the best thing for you to have a good trip. “A going with the flow mentality can lead to new opportunities, because you never know what’s coming your way.”

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Having a go with the flow mentality can really show how strong you are in stressful situations. In a National Geographic article, Tedd Wood says that people are satisfied with themselves when they learn to adapt with their surroundings. “You can accomplish your goals which makes you enjoy your trip that much more.” It’s important to have goals on big trips because it shows that you’re looking to get something out of the experience. The outcome of the trip can be a lot more satisfying once your goals have been achieved.

Hello! Hola! Bonjour! Ciao!

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We are so fortunate to have the freedom to travel wherever we want in this world. Yes, we might have work, children, or school that may hold us back from taking the next plane to France. But we’re so lucky that we can pretty much travel wherever we want. There are so many beautiful mountains, cities, farm-side landscapes, and oceans to explore, so why not? Travel gives us our greatest form of knowledge through experiences. It is our greatest freedom we have to learn about other cultures, races, and ethnicities through our own eyes. Crazy stories of flight changes, spontaneous love connections, or even last minute decisions can create memory after memory. You have to cut me some slack because this is my first blog I have ever written. But I am passionate about traveling so I have confidence that this will be successful.

I have read Nomadic Matt’s blog for years. He has inspired me by sharing his personal stories and giving helpful travel tips. Another great travel blog I’ve looked at over the past couple years is called the Wandering Trader. His is a little different from Matt’s because he gives more general information for people who travel alone rather than the more family friendly vibe of Nomadic Matt’s. They are both useful sources, so if you’re looking for some travel advice, check them out.

As I mentioned before, this is my first time blogging. I have looked at several other blogs of my peers from previous quarters, so I have a good idea of what a successful blog should look like. Shoutout to a blog I found made by a Journalism student at Cal Poly called Abroader View. I like it because it has the same topic of traveling as my blog. I also find Well That Was Awkward as a good model blog because it is very informative and I learned something new with every post, and I even though it isn’t on the topic of travel, I like the layout of the page because it is very clear and easy to use. Lastly, I think the blog What’s Trending Now is a good representation of what the viewers want to see and what they would be interested in. Well, here goes nothing… Hope you enjoy!