19 Tips for Taking the Trip of a Lifetime

Spend part of your trip alone

I firmly believe that solo travel is something everyone should experience, at least once. Now, I’m not saying you should abandon your loved ones and strike out on your trip of a lifetime alone. But, if you are unattached or your usual travel buddy can’t make it, don’t let that stop you.

And if you are traveling with someone else, set at least a part of one day to explore on your own, to experience this time and place as you want to. It’s one of the best ways I know to develop independence, and the absolute best way I know to get to truly know yourself.

Lewis Tse Pui Lung / Shutterstock.com

Lewis Tse Pui Lung / Shutterstock.com

Leave home behind

This will be more difficult than you imagine. You’ll wonder about your friends and family and how they’re doing. You’ll worry about that renovation project that still isn’t complete. You’ll keep thinking about those three-hundred emails that are surely waiting to welcome you back to the office.

Put it out of your mind. Avoid your phone and laptop as best you can. Avoid the TV and newspapers. For now, forget it all, relax. And don’t feel guilty. You deserve it. And, besides, you’re not avoiding life, you’re living it.

karelnoppe / Shutterstock.com

karelnoppe / Shutterstock.com

Remember that even setbacks will one day make for a great story

Things will not always go as planned. There will be surprises and they may not always be pleasant. Roll with the punches. Do your best to maintain a positive outlook and view every challenge as an opportunity.

In Venice, I saw a pair of teenagers fall into a canal. They didn’t seem too pleased about it then, but given time—maybe a few hours, maybe a few weeks, maybe a few years—you know they’ll have a great, hilarious story to tell… or they should, as long as they choose to view it that way.

Corepics VOF / Shutterstock.com

Corepics VOF / Shutterstock.com



Cultured Palate: Dishes from Iran

Iranian cuisine uses a myriad of spices, dried and fresh fruits, herbs, and nuts to flavor dishes. These ingredients turn even the simplest meal of rice and stewed meat into a sensory explosion.

Around the World in Holiday Baking

Every December, millions of pounds of butter, sugar, and flour contribute to the creation of spectacular treats for holiday celebrations. Even if you’re not ordinarily a baker, many people venture into the kitchen before the holidays to make sure that they’ve got plenty of treats to offer to family and friends.

The Most Unusual McDonald’s Menu Items from Around the World

If you’re a fast-food connoisseur, chances are you’re already familiar with the McDonald’s menu that’s typical in North America. They bring in new choices fairly frequently. However, most people stick with their usual order of Big Macs, Quarter Pounders, fries, McFlurries, and Apple Pies. It’s familiar food, and the bulk of the menu is essentially…