What is mindfulness exactly? How is it different from mindfulness meditation? Why is it good for you? And how to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life and travels? What is my relation and experience with mindfulness? Read the answers on these questions and more, in this beginner’s guide to mindfulness.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the act of being present in the here and now. It is the art of accepting whatever is and comes your way, and being less reactive. Mindfulness allows you to tune in with this moment and fully experience it, with all your senses.

Although there are various mindfulness meditation practices, mindfulness itself is merely the act of being present in the here and now. If you notice your thoughts wandering off while you rather want to be present, and you bring yourself back, then that’s an act of mindfulness: shifting your focus & attention to this moment.

Whereas mindfulness can be done at any time or moment or activity, it is useful to do a mindfulness course and practise these various exercises and meditations to learn techniques on how to bring your awareness back into the present moment.

In my upcoming 10-day course about self-growth, you will learn the basics of mindfulness meditation, along with other meditation practices that will improve your ability to focus, be present, happier, healthier, and get closer to that beautiful version inside yourself, your best self. Find more information about what the course contains right here.

What are the benefits of mindfulness?

Mindfulness helps relieve stress, improve your focus, regulate your emotions, improve your mental & physical health, improve your sleep, decrease levels of stress and anxiety, calm feelings of pain or dis-ease, and much more.

For those of you who don’t know my story yet: mindfulness has drastically improved and transformed my life. I got dragged into a mindfulness class while I was on pills, prescribed to “kill the pain, “stop my anxiety” and “calm my mind down”. However, a lot of awful side effects and pills later, I realised there is no pill to cure your mind. In fact, there is nothing to cure. Only to accept. And with mindfulness, you learn exactly that: to accept whatever you feel, experience, smell, hear, taste, see. And witness it without judgement, but with curiosity and openness.

The benefits that I have experienced are endless, but to sum it up: it cured my anxiety, healed my physical diseases, and improved my overall quality of life. By that, I mean I went from being anxious, unfulfilled, always overthinking, living in my head (and mostly in the future), to: being present, in the here and now, knowing how to deal with anxiety when it arrives (barely anymore), being more happy, less stressed, less worried, and more accepting of whatever comes my way. It helped me grow in ways I cannot even comprehend and it has changed my life completely.

How can you bring it into your daily life?

You can bring mindfulness into your daily life by practising mindfulness meditation. There are various courses and programs online and on meditation apps.

1. Set your intention: become aware of why you want to practice it

What has driven you to become more present in life? Is it a problem you are struggling with, a challenge you are facing? Or is it merely curiosity or a desire to become more calm and less reactive? There are many, many benefits of mindfulness, scientifically proven to improve your mental and physical health. Before you start looking on the outside, to those benefits, begin to look on the inside, to what you really need right now.

2. Start small. Mindfulness is to be found right now.

Do not worry or think too much about living mindfully, because then you are doing the exact opposite. If you want to start living more mindful and aware and present, begin right here and right now. This is the only moment we have and right now is the only time we can take action.

In my upcoming course, I take you on a journey through the basics of meditation and mindfulness into a process of self-growth which even reaches eliminating limiting beliefs, anxiety, improving your mindset, practising self-love and much more. And the basics of all that is to be present. To tune in with yourself and your body. To really notice what you feel.

Breath work is an essential part of being conscious and aware. To be with our breath, is to really feel alive. So, here are some exercises to try out to focus on being present:

  • Hand Practice: place your left hand in front of you. Take your right finger and run it over your left hand’s fingers. While going up, breathe in. While going down, breath out. Follow the rhythm of your normal breath and don’t try to force it or change it in any way.
  • Breath Awareness: Sit still and notice your breathing, for as long as you want
  • Breath Counting: Sit still and start counting your breaths from 1-5. If you lose counts, start over
  • Body Scan: Lay down and scan your body from head to toe. Welcome every sensation that might arrive and when your attention drifts or you fall asleep and come back, just continue the practice.

In the 10-day self-growth course, we will explore these meditations together. Besides the video material and workbook, you will have guided meditations at your disposal, made & recorded by me. Subscribe here.

When I started out mindfulness, I got dragged to the case by my dad. I was suffering from anxiety, he wasn’t suffering from anything but curiosity and a willingness to explore something new. “Mindfulness really is something we can all use, no matter if you have a problem or not. It’s not a quick fix to a problem, because you won’t see the results until after weeks, maybe even months. It’s a way of life that we can all incorporate to enjoy life to the fullest and seize every moment.” Those were the words of my father when I asked him about why he participated in this course, for the second time even.

After this journey of practising it for almost 5 years, from when I was 17, I have discovered that mindful living is more than just a mediation practice or a “something new” to try out once in a while. It is a lifestyle, it is enjoying and tasting life and just putting your focus and attention to the here and now, instead of drifting off in your thoughts or scrolling endlessly on your phone. Distractions come to us in many ways these days, and it can be hard to keep our focus. Be gentle and kind towards yourself and give yourself the time to adapt to a mindful life. It will improve your overall health, quality and appreciation of life.
If you’ve made it until the end of this blogpost, it means you are ready to take the next step in mindful living. I am currently working on a course about self-growth & transformation, with mindfulness and meditation as leading forces. Place your name on the waiting list & claim your 50% discount now.
During the past months, we went through a lot. However, it is important to not let these moments just pass by, but instead stand still & reflect on what happened & what we can learn from it. Also on the “travel level”, we have grown stronger and independent, gaining more skills as travellers. That’s right: by going absolutely nowhere, we still prepared ourselves for better travel experiences in the future. Read here about why quarantine made us better travellers.

Accept what you cannot change

Instead, change your reaction to it⁠

This was the biggest pil to swallow: change. Our entire lives changed. Isolation took away our sense of normality and nothing was the same. Whether that’s travel, seeing your friends and family, or even your job and day-to-day life: everything got cancelled.

However, we can learn how to accept what we cannot change by making the best out of it. Take a deep breath and think about how you can make this new situation work for you is all we did these last months. And that, my friend, is a valuable lesson while traveling.

As with travel, things don’t always go as we want them to go, but by recognising and acknowledging change, we can practice our resilience towards it – and ultimately, go with the flow & adapt to the new situation. When something goes wrong on our vacation, we try to fix it and come up with a solution. Treat your life the same way: with positivity & optimism.

Take a moment to look back on what changed in your life and how you can turn it around for the better. Maybe you discovered that you like working out from home & trying out different exercises. Maybe you discovered you need more of a personal trainer to guide you: on whatever level you faced changes, this is progress, too. Learn from it. Get to you know yourself more!

Appreciate what you have

No matter how small or big⁠

As things got taken away from us – our social life, our work life, traveling, and everything that contributed to your normal day-to-day life, what we were left with was not much. It was just us, inside our homes. But this was a blessing, and we realised that as well. However, moments or boredom arrived and we got to settle in again, enjoy the little moments, and finally take some rest.

“You don’t miss something until it’s gone.”

This lesson taught us how to appreciate what we have in life – our health, our family, a home, access to everything we need rapidly, and the freedom that we have and is slowly given back to us.

As with travel, we open up our minds in new ways. We see the world differently, and that is exactly what is happening right now. We gain a new perspective on the things we do have and we become more grateful for them.

We care more about the collective

One of the things we valued more and appreciated more is our health, safety & wellbeing. Whether that’s from us personally, a friend or family member. Knowing that you close & loved ones are safe is a beautiful feeling. On the other hand, we also cared more for our fellow human beings. Whether that is a stranger that was kind to you, or the general wellbeing of your country.

This is a principle that makes travel so beautiful: connecting with one another, caring about each other and being friendly & kind to the people that you meet. With all the current riots and protests going on, one message of hope was seeing this picture of hero Patrick Hutchinson rescuing a protestor, protesting for the complete opposite thing he was, from the crowd and possibly being trampled by the crowd.

There is still humanity, love and kindness in this world. Through travel, we broaden our horizons and trough standing up for each other, we show each other peace and kindness. On your next trip or neighbourhood stroll, take time to connect with someone – a cashier, a neighbour, or just a smile to a person passing by. Be kind towards one another. You never know what they are going through.

Re-purpose travel 

Boy, have we missed travel. That feeling of excitement when booking a vacation, that getting up early to catch your flight, that moment of arriving in another country and feeling it all – the new smell, the sun burning on your skin, checking in at your ho(s)tel, meeting new people, speaking a foreign language, strolling around in a small, cute village… The small and big things.

Because we miss it so much, we start to think about the deeper meaning of travel. Why do you miss travel? What makes you want to leave your home so desperately?

After finding this deeper meaning, you can re-purpose your future travels. By setting an intention for your trip, you get everything out of it. By travelling purposefully, you can transform through it. Reach personal goals. Grow from it. And that’s where I can help you in, as a travel coach.

Re-discover your country 

Another cool thing we have learned is domestic travel – it’s not completely new, but the travel restrictions have encouraged us to travel within our own country. I see many people leaving on road trips, discovering several parts of their domestic country – new places or known places. As we value more of what we have, this includes where we live – and if we realise that our why for travel is to relax and get away from our daily life, then we can do it in all safety in our own country.

There are many benefits of domestic travel, and I’ve listed them all here for you. Go check them out and start your new trip in your country! You’ll be surprised to what it has to offer you. Sometimes, the things we need are right in front of us.

SEAS the day & this moment 😉

Be present⁠

This is a BIG one. As we were isolated, bored, and missing out on travels, spending time with our friends and family, we only had the present moment. We learned how to fill it with useful things. We found new hobbies, started spending more time with our existing hobbies, and learned how to be here and now. We learned how to spend our time wisely and also how to seize this moment & this day.

We learned how to be here and now. Without any distractions or plans. As we tuned into the moment, we were really here. And during traveling, that’s finding the magic in the moment: being truly present.

Practising mindfulness is not only scientifically proven to be hugely beneficial for your mental & physical health, it contributes to our quality of life as well. Mindful travel is a huge trend as well, as people really want to tune into the moment, and take it all in. I will be soon writing a blogpost about mindful travel, what it means and how it can improve your travel experience, stay tuned!

Also: my course about self-growth is coming up. If you want to learn more about mindfulness meditation, practising gratitude, journalling & much more, put your name on the waiting list here & claim your 50% discount!

I hope these lessons have given you a fresh perspective on what we have learned, and what you can take with you. Remember these are unusual times, and if you feel like you need some encouragement or hold-on in the uncertainty, take a deep breath and think about what you DO have. What you have right here, right now. Remind yourself to stay present, grateful. And then start planning your little domestic getaway 😉
If you ever need some guidance, confidence:remember that as your travel coach, I am here to guide you along your inner & outer journeys in the world!
Whether you have questions about solo travel, budgeting, or you feel like you want to reach personal goals through travel: it’s all possible during our private coaching. Schedule your free intake interview with me now & start transforming through travel.
With this coaching, adapted to your own needs & personal goals, you’ll learn how to life with purpose and travel with intention. Schedule it here.
It’s no secret COVID-19 took over the world and paused international tourism for an indefinite amount of period. Until we can safely travel again, domestic travel seems to be the best & most beneficial option at this point. With several destinations handing out travel rewards, some countries promote travel within their borders to encourage citizens to explore more of their home country.
Domestic travel may not sound as spectacular as international travel, but there are still many benefits, in small & big ways, eventually contributing to the health of our planet and diminishing the spread of the virus. It is the perfect chance to explore more of your country, get into solo traveling and 7 other benefits of domestic travel, listed below.

Reason #1: You Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19

By traveling within our borders, we take our responsibility of stopping the spread of the covid-19 virus. By staying within our borders and taking the necessary health & precaution measurement, we can assure ourselves & other citizens of the health & wellbeing of the country.

I am currently residing in Portugal (as an expat), and this beautiful country has declared the “Clean & Safe” stamp of approval, giving by the Turismo de Portugal. As such, the official statement declares this serves to “distinguish tourist activities which are compliant with hygiene and cleaning requirements for the prevention and control of COVID-19 and other possible infections.” Knowing this, I am happy to travel around in Portugal and explore even more of this country in all safety. Thank you, Portugal!

Reason #2: You Support Your Local Tourism

Another way of looking out for the world’s health and safety is when it comes to the economy and tourism of your country. Some countries heavily depend on their tourism incomes, and with the pandemic many have seen a huge decrease in income streams. By traveling in your own country and giving back to your economy, you help you country recover from the damage COVID-19 has caused.

All types of touristic companies have suffered from a setback, and this is your chance to give back and give your money to companies that support your local region or country, and show your support and love for the country you live in.

Also, as mentioned, there are some countries who are giving out rewards to those who travel domestically. Read more about this in my previous blog post about travel rewards.

Reason #3: You Keep Your Travel Spirit Alive

Let’s not forget about this amazing benefit: YOU get to travel again! Yes, you, travel lover, are finally free again to explore. To leave on a road trip, hop on a domestical flight, stay in an enchanting B&B, meet new people, and have meaningful experiences.

In the end, that’s what travel is all about. It starts within yourself, and it’s all about your mindset & perspective. You could make this period amazing and go on beautiful trips and discover more of the country you live in. Or, you could be pissed you can’t go to Bali and stay inside until October. Which one is it going to be?

Also – this time, there might not be new languages or new food to be discovered – depending on which country you live in -, but I am sure every country has its own delicacies in certain regions and there might be some dialect, so that counts too, right? 😉

Reason #4: It’s Your Chance to Start Traveling Solo

On the other hand – also considering this is more a solo travel blog & business – this could also be your perfect chance of starting your solo trip! There are SO many benefits of traveling solo, I cannot even get started. Check out these blogs if you want more information. It has changed my life, and let me to become a solo traveler coach, and I know it can change your life too in many ways.

As there are several ways to slowly get into solo travel, domestic travel is a perfect and safe way to get started. You already know your country, the language(s), and your way around & means of transportation (mostly). Home is not far away – you are disconnected, but still connected on some level with your home base.

Besides that, it’s an interesting way to get out of your comfort zone in your home country & be free spirited in a region you have never been before. I encourage you to not start going on solo adventures in places you are way too familiar with, as this can block you from going outside your comfort zone.

If you want to become more confident with solo travel, go someplace new! A lot of experiments have shown that people are more successful in changing their habits & getting out of their comfort zone when they are in someplace new, not known or familiar. That also explains why you feel so free on holiday: nobody knows you, you are on new grounds.

Reason #5: You Become More Appreciative & Grateful

The pandemic has taught us many things: be more considerate of your health, the environment, the planet & other people. Appreciate what you have. Have patience. Live with yourself (or others). Value your freedom, health & wellbeing. So, this next reason, we really have to thank to the pandemic. See it as a blessing in disguise, the rainbow after the rain, the light at the end of the tunnel.

The pandemic has cause a huge shift in the world. Somehow, we all became more loving and kind, and look out for each other. People want to speak their truth. Crises around the world get the necessary attention, if it’s not from the media, then from the citizens of the world. Not only do we value our health and wellbeing, we value our freedom and our rights, our place and existence in this world.

Phew, back to my point now! Because we couldn’t travel, we were longing for it so much more – you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Now that it’s slowly returning and we have the chance to get out there again, we are so much more grateful & appreciative. We realise the value & worth of our freedom and being able to travel around without having any significant worries.

As you travel in your homeland, you start to look for places that are worth visiting. Along your journey of planning this trip, you might discover very interesting places and companies. You’ll realise that your country is beautiful, that tourists visit it for a reason, and that is has a rich culture & history. Yep, I am shamelessly saying this about all countries out there, because it is the truth: they all have a story, a history, their own unique style & sights to be discovered.

Reason #6: The Place Is All Yours

No. Tourists.

Can you imagine, if you live in some of the worlds’ most popular touristic attractions, that there are NO tourists?

Depending on whether your country opened its borders yet and the destination you choose to travel to, I think we can all agree that touristic hubs are less populated than normal. This is great news for locals and citizens, as you are the main visitors now! That means no more waiting in line, no more overcrowded places and no more mass tourism.

Maybe you’re extra lucky and you’ll find lower prices, as the demand is lower. Maybe the prices are the same. Anywho, this is an amazing way to connect more to your country and the local touristic companies. Go on fun activities and don’t worry about it being overcrowded or waiting in line too much. Embrace the calmness and serenity, until the tourists are back again.

Reason #7: Manage Your Budget Differently

Let’s not forget this important reason of why you should go out there and travel within your borders: the green stuff! As you can skip the expensive flights, you can either choose to travel on a budget or spend your vacay money on other things. Overall, I would say you can save a lot of money traveling domestically instead of internationally.

However, if saving money it not a goal of yours and you wish to treat yourself to a nice vacation, you can choose to upgrade your accommodation style and opt for a 5* hotel instead of the normal 3* or 4* hotels. Maybe you can upgrade your vacation with renting that awesome car you always wished you could drive in, or a treat in a spa centre: there are so many ways to spend your money on a way that is comes back to you in so much value. By choosing to spend your money on travel, you already made a huge step into that direction. Now, it’s up to you to choose what type of travel you wish to go on and what you want to get out it this.

Also, reconsider your travel insurance now that you’re in your own country. Probably you can save a lot of money on that as well. Check if your country has any subsidiaries, incentives, vouchers or others types of rewards for domestic travellers, as those might come in handy!

Don’t forget: in many cases, properties are still obliged to ask you for the touristic tax. Even though you’re technically not a tourist but you’re just roaming around in your own land, you still have to contribute to the tourism & the economy by paying this small tax.

Reason #8: Bring New Travel Buddies!

We all have that friend or family member who is afraid of flying, or traveling long-distance. Well, good news for them, because while traveling domestically, you don’t necessarily need to take the airplane! You can easily travel by car, bus or train – or whatever transportation options are in your country: ride a camel in the desert, ride a donkey in a Greek village, take a ferry to a nearby island – everything is possible!

I hope this inspired you to get out there, support your local tourism, the environment and you own wellbeing and start traveling again. Remember that as your travel coach, I am here to guide you along your inner & outer journeys in the world! Whether you have questions about solo travel, budgeting, or you feel like you want to reach personal goals through travel: it’s all possible during our private coaching. Schedule your free intake interview with me now & start transforming through travel. With this coaching, adapted to your own needs & personal goals, you’ll learn how to life with purpose and travel with intention.
Thank you for reading. I am curious about your next trip! Are you travel domestically? Feel free to leave a comment below.
You ask, you shall receive! I often share handy apps on my Instagram account – apps that help me grow, that inspire me & are deeply rooted in my daily life. After a while, you guys really wanted me to share these apps once and for all – so here it is, my list of holy apps that helped me in my journey of self-growth, spirituality & health.
I linked the names of the apps to the Apple Store for your convenience! This not sponsored in any way, just a fan!

Personal growth

Shine

Having Shine is like having your own personal mental health coach at one touch. You get a daily Shine, or a check-in, featuring a new subject every weekday and an attached guided meditation + extra tools, such as: journalling, being grateful, checking in on your mood, etc.

Besides that, there is also the Shine community, where you are surrounded with like-minded people and can discuss the daily topic.

You unlock many more features with a Premium subscription, and they often have great limited deals on their paid, yearly subscriptions.

Happiness Planner

The Happiness Planner has become a part of my daily ritual. I love planning, and this app makes it easy and beautiful, plus you can sync it with the desktop version totally for free. Again, if you’d like to unlock extra features, be sure to upgrade.

Sanity & Self

Sanity & Self is your base for self-care and exclusive help and chats with experts. It offers mediations, podcasts, interesting reads and always someone who can help you & you can count on. However, the free content is very limited, so you’d be better off upgrading to the paid version.

Mindventure

Mindventure takes you on a journey through your own inner world. Plan and keep track of your habits, your day, your goals, on a unique way, on your own “road” towards becoming your best self. Like the word venture says, it’s a journey, an adventure through your life. The concept is very unique, fun and out-of-the box! Again, totally for free.

Mindvalley

Mindvalley is my favourite personal growth resource. I learned so much with their free masterclasses and interesting videos. Their app offers quests, which are about all kinds of subjects that have to do with personal growth and taught by many experts in the field.

Again, choose your fields of interest in which you want to learn more or improve and voila! Mindvalley often offers huge discounts on yearly packages of unlimited content, so keep an eye on those if you can’t get enough of it.

This is also a perfect part of your morning routine if you follow the move-reflect-grow method during your first hour of the day. Their quests are 20 min long. Perfect timing!

Remente

Remente was actually my very first self-care app I ever downloaded. Honestly? It was like coaching. It had a huge impact in my life and it got me started on the first steps of my self-growth journey. Fill in your wheel of life and update it regularly, check in with yourself daily and learn from lots of recourses and tools for you to work on yourself. The fun thing is they have resources themselves which are integrated within your profile. For example: if you start a 7-day course on becoming more fit, you will see the course on your to-do list every day for the next 7 days (unless you change it).

I immediately tried out their premium subscription to unlock the content, and as it was only around €30 for a whole year, I found that to be a great investment.

Meditation

Insight Timer

Insight Timer is the biggest meditation library. There are more people on this meditation app than all the others (Calm, Mindbliss,…) combined. That is for a good reason: there is so much content, so many experts, so many themes, and guided meditations. I also love their Sleep tool and their Timer. It’s for free, and you can upgrade to receive offline meditations, unlock courses, and use their advanced player which allows you to repeat or fast forward a track.

Breethe

Just the fact that this app has a soothing background music while opened, puts it high on my list! Besides that, this app let you choose your main goals you want to reach through mediation and then gives you the right content to reach them.

Oak

Oak is a great app to try out breathing exercises. Their free application offers themed meditations and breathing exercises to focus, calm or become awake. I often use their “Awake” breathing exercise during the day instead of a coffee. And I promise you, it works! You also earn fun badges the more sessions you do, which is a nice motivation.

Balance

Balance is the perfect app if you’re looking for personalised meditations. This app adapts to your level, preferences, and experience and utilises its algorithm to improve your meditation skills. I fell in love with it the first time I used it, and I also got hooked on their personalised 10-days programs, which motivates you to finish it and then hop on to a higher level. Again, this is totally for free – they had a free year of premium subscription during Covid-19.

Simple Habit

Simple Habit is a perfect meditation app if you’re in need of quick meditations at nay point during the day.

It has a super easy tool called “on the go’ which allows you to quickly tap on a theme you’d like to tackle right now – After Work, SOS, Taking A Break,…and you can adapt the time from 5-20 minutes.

It has helped me a lot during commuting, a break at work or just a quick break in between handling tasks.

Spirituality

Pattern

Pattern gives you insights based on your horoscope. The fun thing about it is: you get daily “patterns” – that are accurately true – and you can connect with Facebook to see the pattern between you and your friends. You learn about things you have in common, how your relationship looks like, and more fun & interesting facts and tips.

Moonly

Moonly is a beautiful app for all the spiritual goddesses out there. It offers your personal spiritual guidance, affirmations, runes, daily horoscope and more.

It comes in very handy as it gives you access to all your daily spiritual practices, all in one app!

It starts out free, but to unlock more features you have to upgrade to a paid subscription.

MOON

Moon is a very simple, aesthetic and accurate app about the moon cycle & phase. It’s great to count down the days until a full moon and it offers a great view of the moon & the stars.

Soulvana

Soulvana by Mindvalley is the resource to broaden your spiritual horizons, learn more about several themes & surround yourself by like-minded people, your soul tribe.

Health

Flo

This one is for the ladies. Flo tracks, predicts & supports your monthly cycle in a way that no app can – with courses, a community, secret chats & even a medical chat when you log certain symptoms. it is totally free, but there is a way to be included in the Premium subscription.

AYD – Ashtanga Yoga Days

This app is for the yogis out there! More specifically, Ashtanga Yogis! This app allows you to log your yoga sessions and its so detailed you can even log which pose precisely you did and how your balance, flexibility and effort was. You’re immediately part of a community and you see who had practiced today as well.

Zero

This is for the fasting people! Zero is a informative tracker that helps you to keep track of your fasting and provides important facts and information.

Books

Blinkist

Blinkist is the perfect tool if you’re short on time and big on book cravings! You can choose to either read or listen to your favourite book. I find it helpful to read informative books. Although I like to los myself in a book, sometimes it’s nice to immediately get the lesson out of it. Again, there is a paid version which allows you to unlock more content.

Charity

ShareTheMeal

ShareTheMeal is a great initiative that allows you to support all sorts of projects of the United Nations World Food Programme.

You can choose between which project you want to support or you can start a subscription and choose freely any amount.

The beautiful thing about this app is that you see how many families you have fed with your contributions and how many meals you have provided.

You can follow the whole process through the app – how these persons receive your contributions, what they bought with it and how they bought it.

I hope these apps will help you in growing and learning new things everyday. Remember that it’s important to take care of yourself. It doesn’t always mean eat snacks or get a manicure: sometimes you need to dig deeper and have a nice chat with someone. Especially during these challenging times, it is normal to want some support and guidance along the way.

These apps are not just apps on a phone: there are experts behind creating the content in a way that serves you and your wellbeing.

Furthermore, as your favourite life coach & travel coach, I am always there for you. Learn more about my coaching here. You can schedule a free intake interview with me here.

How to Stay Conscious While Traveling During a Pandemic

Now that more and more destinations are re-opening their doors to tourism this summer, fall, or winter, all of you travel lovers feel it coming again. That travel bug. That little voice in your head saying, no, screaming: I want to travel!
As seen in my previous interview about the future of travel, it will look a whole lot different. Unfortunately, since we’re still in a pandemic, there are many things to be considered prior to boarding on your next flight to the first re-opened touristic destination. So not click on “confirm booking” yet, not without these travel tips and hacks.

Why Travel Now?

What Is the Real Reason?

First of all, take a look at why you want to travel now. Why do you want to leave the country? Why do you want to go on a trip? We all have deeper meanings buried under our prior motivations, so feel free to ask yourself the same questions a couple of times: Why?

For many, this can be: an escape from home. Seeking a silent, calm place. Maybe you have had enough tranquility at home and you want to spread your wings and seek adventure. Or maybe, you’ve had to endure a lot during this time and you just want to cool off and blow off some steam somewhere on a tropical location sipping margarita’s under a beach umbrella, without your screaming kids running around the place. We all have our different motives, so take a moment to decide on that.

Make Your Trip Great

Intention Is Key

Setting an intention for your next trip is key to making sure you know what your want and you will get what you want. If you just book the first destination that re-opens, but it doesn’t give you what you want, you’ll end up getting disappointed and not fulfilled.

Next, you’ll want to think abut what you want to get out of your trip. Again, is it peace? Is it adventure?

When you set an intention on what you want to get out of your trip, it’ll be much easier to stay in that frame and really have a great vacation that gives you what you need.

Choose The Right Place

Jot down a couple of destinations that come to your mind first when you think about your next trip (you know, the ones you’ve been daydreaming about and seeing daily in your Instagram-feed), and think about what activities or surroundings you want to be in.

Do you feel like hiking? Or do you want to go to the beach? If you’ve read about a destination that is re-opening their doors soon and you’re eager to visit it, you can try this in reverse: will this place fulfil my needs? Greece is opening their doors mid-July. Which island would be best for you? Since there are so many, they each have their own culture and character. It’s important to not get caught up in an impulsive deal just because you’re so excited to travel again.

Think about the consequences

For Yourself

Take health and safety measurements

Make sure to carry enough face masks, gloves, hand sanitiser, etc. You never know when you might need extra ones on your trips. And normally, yes, you should have access to them everywhere in the world by now, but you never know when these items could be sold out in the nearest pharmacies or supermarkets. I’m not saying you should bulk up – please don’t -, but just make you have enough at least make it to your hotel.

Also, think about your mental health: do you feel good about soon traveling again? Are you ready for it? Do you realise the risks, and health and safety precautions you have to take? And are you willing to do this? Seeing the world so empty and abandoned, walking around with a face mask and stepping into this new reality can feel overwhelming. Take a moment to check in with yourself and decide whether or not you’re ready for this.

For Our World

Research Your Destination

Follow any mandatory requirements 

This is super important: no matter where you go, make sure to look up the local health and safety precautions. Not only of the destination itself, but of your journey towards it, too. It most airports, it’s mandatory to wear a facemask. Make sure you’re prepared for this, even though if you’re traveling to an abandoned place and won’t need a face mask.

Tink about purchasing a travel health insurance so you’re covered in all cases. First, check with your normal health or travel insurance plans and see if they are already covering this.

For Others

Take precautions and keep yourself to the rules regulate by the local government. This starts the moment you leave your home.

Don’t be scared to talk to people: you can still have interesting connections and meetings while on holiday. Keep your distance and mask on at all times to protect not only yourself, but people you come in contact with as well.

Remind yourself it’s about the physical part of social distancing, not social distancing itself. Don’t be afraid to start a conversation with someone. Just because you’re both wearing face masks and keeping distance, doesn’t mean you can’t communicate with each other. We are still human beings who needs to connect with each other, and that’s a wonderful thing we should never stop doing.

For the Environment

Now that we stopped producing, ravelling and polluting, the earth is cleaner than ever before and is healing. Be conscious of the way you travel: can you travel by a more eco-friendly way, such as a train? Some airlines offer to recompense your ecologica footprint and with a small contribution, you can help them recover the damage of pollution.

Start Planning

Stay Up-To-Date

Take a look at what destinations have re-opened or will re-open soon. This is, of course, a crucial part of your travel planning. Grab your list of destinations you wanted to visit and see if any one of them has already communicated their opening date.

Travel Deals, Travel Deals Everywhere!

Make use of the flexible cancellations policies, waived fees and low prices before they go up again. Maybe you had a cancelled trip and you received a voucher: this is your perfect shot to get back your money’s value!

Airlines

Make use of the flight deals, hotel deals and other vacation deals while they last. A lot of travel companies. Check out this link for an overview of worldwide airline deals.

Star Alliance, which has 26 airline loyalty programs to offer, has made this page to check out all the Coronavirus updates of each airline member program.

Hotels & More

Here are some hotel chains that have updated their loyalty programs or extended their cancellation policies:

IHG (Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Intercontinental,…): extended cancellation policies, a new rate and the ability to upgrade faster to a higher teer level and keep your points valid longer than usual

Miles & More: mileage bargains, in addition to alternative ways to earn and redeem your Miles

Marriott: extended cancellation policies for all guests

Hyatt: flexible cancellation an extension of their member programs for all members globally

Tip: if you’re not sure on traveling yet, but you want to start saving loyalty points, you can always check out the credit card services of these loyalty programs. Often, you earn a monthly amount of points when you spend a certain monthly amount with the credit card. That way, you can shop from home and start saving up for your next trip.

Be Gentle With Yourself & Others

Travel is a tool we use to relax, to grow, to connect, to experience, to taste, to wonder, to go outside our comfort zones. The longing for travel is in our human nature. 

As this time is unseen, it can be very difficult for some. Keep in touch with yourself by journalling through your travels: write down everything that’s on your mind, no matter how small or how big.

Count On Your Support System

Ask someone to be your support system when things get rough 

Whenever you feel uncertain, anxious, of frightened by the situation, rely on your support system. Ask for the help of your close and loved ones to support you and guide you whenever you might feel like it.

Count On A Professional

We all need someone who motivates us, who encourages us, who supports us, no matter what.

A certified life coach, or license therapist or a type of counselor can help you with that.

In these uncertain times, it’s natural and logical we are in need of some vacation. It’s important to set your intention for this new trip and to be clear with yourself on what it really is you are looking for. That way, you make the best out of your getaway. Next, it’s always crucial to follow health and safety precautions, wherever you go. Take advantage of travel deals, waived cancellation fees, and lowered prices now that it’s still ongoing. And finally, count on a support system to be there for you when things get rough. It’s normal to feel lots of different things now, and it’s even more important to deal with them on a healthy way.

Re-purposing Travel with Sahara Rose Devore

Travel. Coach, Travel Coach, CEO, Interview
Now that travel is on hold, we are longing more than ever to escape to dreamy and exotic resorts. As the saying goes: you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. We have never valued our freedom and travel more than now.
I consulted Sahara Rose, Travel and Business coach, CEO, owner of Sahara Rose Travels, LLC, and the founder of The Travel Coach Network™ . Her mission is to create the first and largest online network of travel coaches who change the way that the hospitality and tourism industries provide fulfilling, empowering, and transformative travel.
Being an expert and pioneer in this niche, she shines the light on re-purposing travel, travel coaching and the impact of Covid – 19 on the travel industry.

Sahara, let’s start from the beginning. Recently, I read an article in Forbes Magazine that said travel coaching is the new, hottest trend.
How did you come up with the idea to become a travel coach?

“I realised that there’s people like you and me who want to make something more out of a job, fuelled by their love of travel, but didn’t want to be a typical travel agent. There is a lot more to the travel industry than the classic jobs; there is so much more. That is what I encompass in my Travel Coaching Network: to encourage, inspire, support and guide travellers, mostly women, to do something more out of their experiences so they have something that makes them happy, gives them money, and they can create of their own — all while making an impact on the travel industry.”

“Travel coaching is all about empowering people, inspiring them, supporting them, encouraging them (…) so they can have the travel experiences, outcomes and results that they want.”

– Sahara Rose
Did you face any challenges building up your business, being a pioneer in travel coaching? 

“Oh yeah! It’s been a very long and bumpy road. When you start an online business and when you put yourself out there, there are so many opinions and feedback. During the first six months, people were so confused about what travel coaching really was — they thought it was the same as being a travel agent and that would make me so angry.“

How did you overcome that?

“I learned how to shift that anger towards shedding a light on my message so I could create clarity about what travel coaching really was. I even enrolled in a publicity program which has helped me so much — I got featured in over 40 media outlets: Forbes, Business Insider, Thrive Global, …— all to put my message out there.”

You quickly progressed from traveler to travel coach. What has led to you become a coach for travel coaches, too?

“When I was getting started, there was no one that I could turn to. I wanted to create what I needed and what I wished someone else had provided to me. I wanted to make it easier for other travellers to go down the road of travel coaching. My program contains everything I did to get there — from how to start a business, to marketing, software, defining your niche — it took me a year to accomplish this (though, I am forever learning). I am glad I didn’t have the resources then because it gave me the opportunity to start TCN to pave the way for others.”

“The concept of starting all of this submerged after I began. I thought travel coaching already existed because it made so much sense for me. One day, I got a message from someone that was interested in becoming a travel coach and who didn’t know anything about it. I wondered why they were asking me about it instead of just Googling it. I just thought it just made sense — until I Googled it and saw that nothing came up. Then I just ran with it, I knew I had to take ownership of it.”

“We need to follow our hearts and create more of what hasn’t been done before.”

– Sahara Rose

“I created the TCP (Travel Coach Program) — which is now going through a beautiful transformation to a certification program, it will be the only certification travel program available right now — what is exactly what I was looking for after 10 years of travel, when I was getting started. There is so much more us girls can do to make an impact.”

Let’s talk about the current corona situation and the travel industry. I just read your article in Thrive Global about introducing a new way of travel after the COVID-19 crisis.
Tell me more about this shift that is happening right now.

“Before covid-19, people went to travel for deeper reasons but they failed to acknowledge why they were travelling or they didn’t know how to use the experience to enhance their wellbeing. So much research has shown that travel enhances your wellbeing in many ways: cognitively, mentally physically and spiritually. There is so much depth in there . Because we can’t travel, we miss travel and we are realising why we valued it so much in the first place.

“People have fears but they are not afraid to overcome their fears.We will be looking to travel as an outlet to help us get through what we were in for so long.”

– Sahara Rose

“This is the time where people are struggling with so many things at the same time: emotionally, mentally, physically (not being able to be outside), and travel was able to help us with this beforehand. Now that we are in isolation, we are ever more yearning for it. The travel industry is going to bounce back (our human desire to travel is very resilient) but it’s going to be different. People are going to re-purpose travel to help us through what we went through with COVID-19, to better ourselves and our lives and to give us clarity.”

How can travel coaches step in? How does this influence the niche? 

“That is a great spot for travel coaches to come in and say: I can help you obtain that. It’s all about empowering people, inspiring them, supporting them, encouraging them and helping them figure out the right tools and resources so they can have the travel experiences, outcomes and results that they want.”

What do you think this new future of travel will hold?

No one knows yet. But as far as the big travel industry leaders are saying, people will be looking for more in-depth experiences, more meaningful experiences — which is what travel was for me all along. The travel leaders talk about the new depth of travel and helping people focusing on their wellness and enhancing their wellbeing. That is, as far what I can say, what the future of travel will look like.”

How will the average traveller experience this?

“People always have fears, for everything. After 9-11 people were very scared to travel. That was a time when the travel industry and the people were shocked. But people are resilient: we are native travellers, we have an internal desire to travel and travel leads us to so many ways. We have to reflect on how can travel benefit us for the future so we can live healthier, stronger lives.”

“People have fears but they are not afraid to overcome their fears. That is a great place for travel industry leaders and travel coaches to give a helping hand. That’s what I love about travel coaching: providing that encouragement and empowerment and support because it is what people are going to need. We will be looking to travel as an outlet to help us get through what we were in for so long.”

Who inspires you the most as a (travel) entrepreneur?

“David Meltzer was my very first mentor and he is someone who has overcome a lot of setbacks and he built everything back up again. His perspective and the way he gives back to people has always been an inspiration for me.”

“However, there isn’t really someone in the travel industry that has inspired me is because people are doing a replica of what someone else does in a different way: eg. starting a new hotel line. There hasn’t been a lot of disruption in a good way. There is so much more to travel industry than to create what’s already been done. We need to follow our hearts and create more of what’s not been done before.”

If you could travel anywhere right now, where would you go?

“Right now I would love to go back to Israel. I fell in love with Tel Aviv: the scenery, the people, the beaches, the nightlife, the food, everything. But also; Tel Aviv is a booming tech industry and they focus on the wellness industry. It’s the second most uprising tech industry and that has always intrigued me. I was supposed to be there now and I’m itching to go back there — I’ll probably go live a couple of months there when this is all over.”

Do you have any tips for beginners in the field of travel coaching?

“I always tell people to look within: what does travel means to you? What do you love most about travel and what got you to choose this industry, above all the others? Why is it that travel has put you on this path of wanting to help people and make a difference, make an impact in some way on yourself and on the world? Find out what is true to yourself and all these things in your life, then you can include travel into it so you can better help people make a difference in their lives.”

“There is so much more us girls can do to make an impact.”

– Sahara Rose

“Go back to your story and see where it began. What has drawn you to travel, what transformations has it given you? Often, in travel, we overlook all of this and we just say: I love to travel! When you’re able to figure out what travel means to you, then you’re able to figure out: Who do I wanna help most? Who identifies most with my story?”

“My definition of travel coaching is it being very authentic: helping people in a way, from your authentic travel experiences, that resonate with you, your story, your expertise and your skills. Everyone has something different to offer and is can stand out from the rest.”

After starting up her own Travel Coaching business, Sahara Rose took the next step to train future travel coaches in the making to provide fulfilling, empowering, and transformative travel. After the COVID-19 crisis, a re-purpose of travel will take the lead, as we travellers will use it as an outlet to get through what they went through. As people are resilient, the urge to overcome their fears and everything they are struggling with after COVID-19 can be resolved through purposeful travel and a travel coach guiding them along their journey.

The loneliness of the expat is of an odd and complicated kind, for it is inseparable from the feeling of being free, of having escaped.

This quote captures the feeling of being an expat perfectly . You are free. You have taken distance from your life at your birth town. Yet you are alone, on a quest. A quest to a life full of adventures, discovering new cultures, traveling, meeting new people, learning, falling and getting up. It is not that different from a normal life based in the same village as your family and friends. It’s just that you have come to the realization that life will end one day, and you want to make the best out of each and every day and life your true purpose.

Phew, that was kind of heavy. Let’s discuss in a more lighter way how the life on an expat is made up. It has been since February 2018 since I last spent an official night as resident at my parents home. After that, I lived in Barcelona and Lisbon. I took a chance, started a new life. Twice. And what I have learned from this, in this relatively short time of period, is beyond what I could have imagined.

You Get To Know Yourself More

Being an expat, living on yourself in a new environment in a new country, you automatically get to know yourself more. You know what you can handle and what you can’t. You discover new interests, new hobbies, new habits, etc. I myself became more strong and spiritual while living in Lisbon. I never liked doing any kind of sports, but here I love devoting my time to yoga. Everybody’s experience is different, of course. But you get to know your habits, your addictions and your needs.

You Blossom Up & Find Your True Purpose

Because you have no outer distractions or influences or other people around you – whether it be family, friends or a lover – you can do completely what you want to do. It’s like solo traveling – you get to do what you want thus you take your chances to try out new things. While trying these new things, you meet new people, you experience what you like and what you don’t like and you can move on with that knowledge.

“Stepping out of that comfort zone is scary. Challenging. Frightening. And the best thing that can happen to you.”

You Gain Independence

Living on yourself or sharing a house with (an)other person(s) causes you to be more independent. You clean, clean up, do groceries, manage your life and household; you know how to take care of yourself and build up your own life. This is important knowledge everybody needs in their lives. To be able to take care of yourself on your own is the most important thing you can learn.

Loneliness & Homesickness Is Inevitable

Even if you build up your own life in a new country, surrounded by glorious self-love, friends, maybe a lover, an amazing job, there will always be missing that one part: family. You will be homesick and you will miss your family and friends at home. That’s natural; how can you not miss the most important people in your life? But that is what makes the visit to home that much better and fulfilling. And the moments when you cherish these people and memories, will give you a feeling of gratitude because you realize you have these amazing people to miss.

Being An Expat Opens Up Your Mind & the World

Let’s continue with the most wonderful advantage, and maybe the reason why you became or want to become an expat: discover the world. Explore new cultures. Not as a tourist, but as an expat. By living somewhere, and truly mixing in that culture, you will gain experience about how that culture truly is like. It opens up your mind: you are open to new experiences, like learning that new language, getting to know all about the local food, music, traditions, and so on. And hereby comes the realization of how big the world is (and that you should explore as much as you can).

You Are Open To New Experiences

Imagine living at your parents’ village your entire life. Would you try new things? Things that scare you? Would you eat new kinds of food that you never heard about before? Would you learn a new language, not by an online course but by really speaking and hearing it? Your answer is probably no. In your comfort zone, you are safe. You are comforted. Stepping out of that comfort zone is scary. Challenging. Frightening. And the best thing that can happen to you.

When you are living abroad, you don’t mind trying new things. And that is healthy – us humans have to be open to new things, it’s good for us. That’s how you learn things in life. I wrote a list of all the things I learned during my time as an expat, and I probably didn’t write it all, but the list is long. And it is only getting longer. Not just language or culture-wise, but also personally. If you are an expat, I suggest you to do the same. It is mind-opening to see how much you’ve learned during a period.

So don’t be afraid. Go after your dreams. Step out of your comfort zone. Whatever your dream or aspiration in life is: go for it. Because the world is big and there is a lot to discover. I hope you have a clearer image about the life of an expat and what my experiences are.

Solo traveling has become a huge trend amongst us youngsters in the last few years. After the phenomenon of backpacking, a lot of people decided to rewrite the travel rules and go on an adventure on their own. Solo travel, in others words. Whether its a luxury trip, a backpacking trip, or a citytrip: exploring new destinations on your own is inevitably a trend in tourism as we speak.
A big and important part of solo traveling is having confidence. And, in order to have confidence, you must be well prepared and comfortable with your decisions. Confidence starts within. In order to reach this point of confidence and secureness within, let’s discuss the most common questions regarding fears, worries and doubts about solo traveling.

Why should I solo travel? I am perfectly happy with going on trips with friends and family.

If you are wondering why you even should start with solo traveling in the first place, then I kindly redirect you to firstly read this post.

Welcome back. Now you know why you should make that jump, you feel more challenged, right? Are you ready to go on an adventure? Are you ready to connect with yourself more?

Solo traveling can be an eye-opener for a lot of people. Some find peace and calmth, some find adventure and challenge, some find a deeper meaning of life. It is personal and that is what makes it so special. While solo traveling, you can make your own choices. You are free. Free to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Do you want to socialize? Or live as a monk for three weeks and leave behind your social life for a while? It’s all up to you.


I feel really unsafe and insecure about solo traveling.

First of all, you wouldn’t be the first one. The concept of solo traveling is all about taking a jump into the unknown, broadening your horizons and taking a leap of faith. In other words: it’s a just-go-for-it experience. It’s about fueling your courage, empowering the adventurous you and giving no power to your fears and doubts.

Confidence start within, but it continues on the outside. For me, having the biggest part of my trip planned means that I am confident about my trip and the external factors of it. I am sure of my accomodation, flights and my travel itinerary. When you exclude the external factors that could give you any worries or stress, you immediately feel more secure about your trip and the adventure you’re going on. Or, you could also book a trip with a travel company in a group. Then, you’re also solo traveling, while being on a guided trip where everything is taken care of for you.


“I don’t know where to go, all on my own.”

The most important thing is to start with yourself. Think back. What are the places you really want to visit? The things you really want to do? Write down a bucket list of the things you want to achieve and do in your life. Are they linked to certain destinations? More tips about where to go on a solo trip you can find here.

If you are looking for a safe travel destination (especially for solo female travelers), then check out my top five of safest solo female travel destinations here.


“Is traveling alone boring?

The only one who can give you the answer to this question is you. What you get out of your vacation is whatever that you put into it. Happiness and fulfillment come from within.

To make the best out of a solo trip, you can write down the following list and answer it honestly. The answers to your questions already came from you.

  1. What makes me happy?
  2. What do I love to do in my free time?
  3. What makes me feel good?
  4. How does a perfect day look like to me?
  5. What do I want to do in my life? (Bucketlist)
  6. What do I want to see in my life? (Bucketlist)
After writing this list, check off as much as you can during your trip. Do things that make you smile, that give you fulfillment, or that scare you but that you always wanted to try.
Whatever you decided about solo traveling, I hope that you are happy with your choice and that you look forward to your (solo) trip. Because it is, after all, a vacation and you should enjoy it to the maximum.

Traveling is a wonderful treat you can give to yourself and others. Going on an adventure or discovering a new destination never gets old. In many cases, you may already know which destination to go to. We all have that “dream destination” in our minds. But maybe you don’t. And then what? How do you know which destination is perfect for you to travel to? How do you know which destination suits you best?

Let me provide you with some tips that help you choosing your perfect travel destination, so you can enjoy your holiday to the fullest. We’ll figure your perfect destination out, together, using the W-W-W-W-H method (Who-What-When-Where-How). If you specify these points, you’ll get a lot closer to pinning down that place on the map.

Who would you like to bring on this trip? (Who)

In order to find your perfect travel destination, you have to make a decision about who is traveling with you. Is it nobody? Perfect, less hassle, more independence for you. Are you traveling with friends? Sit with each other and discuss the others needs, wants and availability. Are you traveling with family? Idem.

Communication is really important in the process of planning a vacation, and it is uttermost important that you discuss important factors with your fellow travelers. Even small details, like a preferred airline or accomodation type, can change your entire getaway. If you’re having difficulties finding time to travel in a group or even with yourself, then check out my tips on how to make time to travel.

What do you want to get out of this vacation? (What)

What is your main reason for traveling? Maybe you want to discover a new culture, city or language. Or you’re more the adventurous type that likes to go into nature, pack your backpack and go hiking for a bit. Maybe you want to relax and lay at the beach all day. or maybe, you’re the type that likes to get both out of a vacation: go to an interesting place and relax. Yin and yang, as they say.

If you decided this for yourself, than you’re making your quest for the perfect travel destination a whole lot easier. Do some research about the best beaches, for example, or the best hiking trails or cultural cities. Write them all down.

Which climate do you feel most comfortable in? (Where)

After you made this list, you can specify more by selecting the proper climate. This is a really important one and it requires some research. Because no matter when you go to a certain country or city, their climate can be a whole lot different than yours.

Do you want a sunny location? If yes, what is the maximum temperature that you could handle? If you’re going hiking in the mountains, what is the minimum temperature that you’d like to find yourself in?

Always prepared about any changes that this climate can bring, such as diseases or insects that can harm you.

After deciding on which climate you would like to find yourself in – cold, tropical, moderate,etc. – remove the destinations from your list that do not meet this requirement.

Which period would be best suitable for you to travel in? (When)

This is a really important filter. The date. You should check with different parties to have the perfect period to travel in. Is anybody traveling with you? When are their days off? Or are you traveling solo, and are you looking to find time to travel? Another helpful source is my previous blog make time to travel, where you find tips and tricks to pin down that travel date.

After checking off possible date(s), see which destination would be suitable to visit during this period. For example, if you want to go hiking on a trail or go to a beach that is closed during that time, you might want to find another destination. Cross out the destinations that are not suitable for your availability.

How would you like to travel? (How)

Last but not least: transport. How do you like to travel? Catching flights is my favorite. Get comfy in an airplane, put on that airplane mode, have some me-time, get served food and drinks, and fly with your favorite airline. There’s nothing better than a nice flight to start your trip with.

But maybe you don’t like flying, or the flights are overpriced, or the people you are traveling with are afraid of flying.

Whatever the reason may be, there are so many transport options these days. Bus, train, car, boat, you name it. If you want to do some island hopping but you don’t want to fly in and out or take the ferry all the time, you can consider a cruise.

If you’re planning on doing the yin and yang vacation (beach and city), a car may be a good idea, so you can drive to places you would like to visit and you have the freedom to visit any beach in your surroundings. If you’re traveling solo and you want to do a full city trip, public transport is your go-to!

Take your list of destinations with you and investigate on how to get there. If it’s overseas and you’re afraid of flying, check out alternates like cruises or an overnight boat. There are so many ways to travel nowadays. Find your way and make the best out of it!

The most important thing is to follow your heart. If you have a dream destination in mind, go for it. If not, the world is so big, I’m sure you’ll find the perfect travel destination for you after applying the W-W-W-W-H method. Save travels, adventurer!

Traveling. Getting on that airplane. Catching flights. Breathing in a new culture and country. That fulfilling feeling of adventure and jumping into the unknown.

Many of us love to travel. Especially if you’re reading this. I see you! The difficult things about going on a holiday? Budget and time. If you’re struggling with planning a vacation within a budget, read my tips here. If you’re struggling with finding time to travel, keep on reading then!

Make Yourself A Priority

Start at the beginning. Who wants to travel? You? Or your friend(s)? Or a spouse or family member?

If it’s just you and you are waiting on somebody to make time to join you on your trip, then leave that. Just plan your trip, since you want to travel so badly. Take a look at your budget, the flight tickets and availability of your desired accommodation. Next, compare it to your vacation days. When can you take a weekend/week/month off? The same goes for when you are the plus one. If you notice your friend really wants to go to a place and you don’t have the time/money/motivation to go with them, let them know. For the sake of all travelers out there, don’t keep us waiting.

The more, the merrier

If you are planning on going on a trip with somebody or a group, but you are struggling to plan dates, here’s what to do next. Firstly, ask around when everybody can take off to go on holiday, if somebody already used all their vacation days or they have a busy job and they have a strict schedule, ask them to request days off in advance and plan your trip later. If you really want the person to come with you, first make sure you’re all on the same line and with the same availability. Next, discuss a budget, and put it all together in one account.

Side note: I recommend to use Revolut. It’s an online bank where you can create a credit card in a second and opt to use a vault. Everybody can put money the credit card and put it in the vault or on the current account. Then, when you are traveling, pay all the common expenses with this card so it’s fairly divided.

It comes in extremely handy when you are traveling because it gives you the best currency rate possible. Plus, they offer a travel insurance that was better than my original one! I used Revolut for all my trips and I am a happy customer. And no, they didn’t ask me to write this.  

If you’re more of the “we’ll see what happens”, you can opt for an app that divides everything you spent. But you will divide it later on, so somebody will have to take the big bill into account first.

Maximize Your Vacation Days

As I already mentioned, vacation days are an important factor if you are looking for time to travel. Maybe you don’t have time in the weekend to go on a trip. I get that. But play it smart then. Plan you vacation days in advance and get everything out of it.

Take a look at the upcoming bank holidays. If there’s a holiday on a Friday, plan the Thursday. Like this, you put one vacation days and you win four days. Hello, city trip!

If there’s a holiday on a Thursday, same rules applies. Get that Friday and enjoy your 4 days off. Or put the Wednesday and Friday and enjoy 5 days off while only losing two days. It’s all about being smart!

Plan Beforehand 

If you are wanting to go on a big trip of a month or two weeks and you are struggling with finding time, don’t panic. It’s all about planning. A big trip like this has to be planned in advance.

Firstly, make sure you have flights available on those dates and you have enough budget for it. If you really want to go to a certain Airbnb, hotel, hostel, etc.: also check that availability. Because since it’s for a longer period of time, it’s less evident to guarantee an availability for the whole period.

Secondly, request a holiday for that period. Since you’re planning it way in advance, it shouldn’t be a problem. Plus, you get the flight tickets at a normal rate and not at a higher rate close to the departure date.

And finally, don’t forget the important details about your trip. Vaccinations, a visa, a credit card, travel gadgets; you will thank your future self for planning in advance and being prepared. You can read all about preparations and gadgets that will help you here.

And there you go, off to your next destination. I’m so proud of you. Fly, discover, live, enjoy.

I was 19 years old when I set foot in an airplane, leaving for my first solo trip.

I was 20 years old when I went on my 6th solo trip, 6 times zones away from home.

We can conclude that the travel bug bit me – in a maybe slightly disturbing way. But that is not the subject here. Because what about you? What is stopping you?

Why should one go solo travel, you might wonder?

Let me sum up the most important reasons one needs to go solo travel at least once in a lifetime.

You gain independence

Let’s start by the beginning. You arrange everything yourself: you plan your trip, you saved up for tickets, you take leave at your job and you just go. Doing things on your own and taking care of your own requires independence. You are fully in control. You have to take care of your own. There is no family member or colleague or friend to assist you. You have to figure out things all by yourself. And that is where the fun begins. Because that is when you get to make mistakes and learn from it. That person you asked for instructions became your friend. The flight attendant whom you spoke to about your travels, gives you tips and invites you to a night out. The life begins. All because you gain confidence, courage and  independence to live your life.

You gain strength

Going through an adventure alone strengthens the mind and spirit of a person.

You miss your family, lover and friends, but that makes you realize what you really have in life. Because you are separated from your normal life and the persons in it, you start to appreciate it so much more. And you become more grateful for everything that life gives you.

Mentally, you become more reliant on yourself and stronger as a person. You learn more about yourself and you trust yourself more.

Another important factor is that you broaden your horizon. You gain more courage and the true adventurer inside you steps out to the front.

You overcome fears, because you are out of your comfort zone.

When I was in South-Africa, I was so afraid to go hiking on the huge Table Mountain. After I collected all my courage and I did the hike, I felt like I was standing on the top of a mountain. Literally and figuratively. It was an accomplishment that I was proud of. I had became more stronger and had overcome a big challenge.

And that feeling, standing on the top of the mountain, is something we all need to have at one point in our lives.

You gain knowledge

Cultures, stories, languages, food, people: they are all part of new discoveries in your travels.

The moment you set foot into another country, you can smell it’s air, observe the people, learn their ways of communicating, dancing, eating, etc.

You learn about so many wonderful places, events. Your eyes won’t believe what they see.

And again, because you are alone, you have to figure things out alone. Every time you do that, you learn something new. All the mistakes I made traveling solo, I immediately transformed into lessons and learned from them for the better.

You gain life experience

After you travel solo, you have been through a lot. You can be very proud of yourself for accomplishing this trip. You have witnessed beautiful moments, made a lots of friends from around the world, maybe learned more about a language, a culture, etc.

You can become a travel expert and knowing the world little by little.

You learn about stories of people and you will share memories with some you will never forget. And you can be proud of yourself, because this is your accomplishment, your independence, your life.

So I invite you to try solo traveling at least one time in your life. Be the best version of yourself. Experience your moment on the top of a mountain. Be bold. Go solo travel.

More moments. More world. More life.

The subtle wind brings you the smell of a salty ocean while your feet sink deeper and deeper in the soft sand. Every step brings you closer to the warm and beautiful Mediterranean ocean.

Palm trees cast a pleasant shadow over your body while you lay your feet in the burning sun. In the background, you hear relaxing music playing softly from the beach bar next to yours.

While resting your head on the soft pillow of your beach bed, your fingers slide through the warm sand while all your worries dissolve slowly.

The water surrounds your body and all the stress and worrying thoughts easily drift away from your mind. With every dive you take, the water becomes more and more pleasant.

There is a strong feeling arising, the urge of staying inside the refreshing and wavy ocean. You never want to leave again.

Thalassophile (n.) a lover of the sea, someone who loves the sea/ocean.