Saturday, June 2, 2018

How to Freelance While Your Traveling

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After the Avalanche: Life as an Adventure Photographer With PTSD (Part 1)

After surviving an avalanche in 2011, photographer Cory Richard's world began to fall apart. Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, he found that the only escape from the struggles of daily life was the adrenaline rush of a good adventure.


After the Avalanche: Life as an Adventure Photographer With PTSD (Part 2)

After surviving an avalanche in 2011, photographer Cory Richard's world began to fall apart. Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, he found that the only escape from the struggles of daily life was the adrenaline rush of a good adventure.


After the Avalanche: Life as an Adventure Photographer With PTSD (Part 3)

After surviving an avalanche in 2011, photographer Cory Richard's world began to fall apart. Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, he found that the only escape from the struggles of daily life was the adrenaline rush of a good adventure.


Live a Life of Adventure in 15 Steps

Our family has adopted an approach to modern life that builds adventure into life’s trajectory. We call it the Adventure Possible Life.


In a traditional life, an average person spends the first twenty five years of their life learning through school or trade. The person then spends forty years working with the goal of saving enough money to retire at sixty five. At which time, they hope to enjoy some fifteen years of retirement before venturing into the everlasting unknown.

We modify life’s traditional arc.

The Adventure Possible Life borrows five years from retirement, dispersing those years in one year blocks every seven years throughout the typical working years.

As a result, we create five, distinct opportunities for adventure.

We work hard for seven years, advancing career, making money, and saving money.

For seven years, we thrive, driving professional success while dreaming and planning the next adventure.

The adventure can be whatever desired. It’s personal. Backpacking. Cycling. Paddling. A sabbatical in a foreign country. Teaching entrepreneurship in a developing economy. RV’ing America, for example. It doesn’t have to be dangerous, unconquered, far away, or even last a full year, as long as we get into the adventure mentality by pushing ourselves into new experiences.

Keep in mind. The Adventure Possible approach to modern life is not absolute. It is instead a model that enables you to build your own approach and plans for living a life of adventure.

At AdventurePossible.com, we focus on the experiences and practicalities of living the Adventure Possible Life. Planning adventure. Making Money. Saving Money. Exiting and entering the workforce. We focus on these practical topics so that you can apply them to the Adventure Possible model.

Who is the Adventure Possible life meant for?

The Adventure Possible Life is for would-be adventures who find that their adventure dreams are suppressed by everyday responsibilities related to work, finance, and family.

The Adventure Possible concept emerged out of our own necessity to balance ambitions for having successful professional careers, building wealth, having a happy and healthy family, and embarking on epic adventures.

We often found these ambitions to be in conflict with one another. As career and family progressed, excuses and concerns about money, timing, and family smothered adventure travel dreams.

The Adventure Possible life helps make adventure an integral part of one’s life, enabling would-be adventurers to remove some of the most common barriers to adventure while minimizing the sacrifices related to work, money, and family.

The 15 Steps to Make Adventure Possible

For you would-be adventurers, we have built a step-by-step process to enable you to lead a modern life of adventure.

Built around the concept of the Adventure Possible life, we will walk you through the following steps and provide you with many ancillary articles for each step so that you can make adventure possible.

Read them beginning to end, or jump strait to the step that’s most interesting to you.

Step 1: Determine Your Adventure
Step 2: Manage Debt Before the Adventure
Step 3: Analyze Current Household Spending
Step 4: Cut Current Expenses
Step 5: Create an Adventure Travel Budget
Step 6: Create a Gear & Equipment List with Pricing
Step 7: Create an Adventure Travel Savings Plan
Step 8: Commit to a Long Term Savings
Step 9: Plan your Exit from the Workforce
Step 10: Shed Your Stuff
Step 11: Make Money While You Travel
Step 12: Embark on the Adventure
Step 13: Manage Finances and Other Matters While Traveling
Step 14: Re-Enter the Workforce
Step 15: Return to Step 1

Note: For those steps not linked, the articles are coming soon.

Want to find out when they publish? Sign up for our email.

How to Freelance While Your Traveling

First, a bit of professional background for context. I went to college in NYC and graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design, BA in Psychology and MBA/MS in Computer Science about some years ago. After college, I “didn’t want to work for the man”, so I freelanced for about 2 years, to start, then did both work for 'the man' and worked remotely, simultaneously. I did everything from identity work, simulation work to (self-taught) interaction design, for websites especially the man-machine interface all the while automating as many inputs as possible, thereby deriving knowledge from machine learning, artificial intelligence and expert systems... not to mention mining the collective power and intellect of the vast internet.

It was a good and bad decision but ultimately it taught me a lot about hard work, self-discipline and responsibilities. I made a ton of mistakes, learned a bunch, and eventually found myself learning about a whole new world of design this allowed me to exercise my skills art, photography, psychology and engineering, together they're Industrial Design Engineering. I eventually wanted to “work for the man”, as you have gathered and found myself working at a super small studio in midtown Manhattan for a year and a half. Since it was so small, I did a little of everything—answering phones, setting up for client meetings, designing, interviewing, teaching interns and managing vendors, o start and did everything else from commercial art work to photography, photo chemistry, programming/analysis ( software and systems engineer ), network and systems security. After a year and a half there, I moved onto a larger company in SoHo where I worked for 5 years and then travelled, been a round the world at least twice chasing contracts.

Here is actually where I became a real designer - Industrial Design Engineer.

I learned about UNIX- AIX/ UX /Linux/ Windows define/ design/ develop/ deliver/deploy and many of its system methodologies. I learned about UI and digital product strategy, tactics and mechanisms. I learned how to present to clients and run research testing sessions, protyping and develoment. I properly learned how to work in teams where everyone was held accountable for their own work, and of course the overall project. I worked with developers across the world and was taught how to QA/QC the build of apps and responsive sites. I learned more about finance, healthcare, media, entertainment, sports and education etc. than I knew what to do with. I learned some important components to selling work and qualifying leads, managing large budgets, keeping scope in check, monitoring the overall pulse of my team and managing expectations for everyone, in both domestic and international projects.

Then I quit. Yes, I quit - it was affecting my health and I was realizing some one else's dream.

Saying that freelancing makes me nervous would be the understatement of the year. It’s not easy, but I also never expected it to be. I knew what I was getting myself into. Almost. The only variable I had never played with before was my location while also freelancing. In the last couple of months, I’ve had some surprises and learned some things.

Surprise #1: No one cares where I’m working from.

Literally, no one. Actually, that’s not entirely true. Some clients that I have are asking at least once a week where I am. Not because they want to keep tabs on me, but because they want to know what cool city / country / continent / background etc. they get to hear stories about and see. Several of them get a kick out of seeing a new background behind me every time we do a Google Hangout, or something. Others just want to know where I am in the world because they either have questions about said city, or because they have a travel story they want to share during a call. Either way, it’s a pretty easy ice breaker and a sure fire way to generate conversation for relationship building. As long as I continue to deliver good work for them, they couldn’t be happier, nor careless. Now once in a while I maybe required to a how up onsite depending on the job, attend meetings and answer question when they want to see the whites of mine eye... that's maybe 2 days out of the week at best, and those are usually classified projects, the rest of the time I am "teleworking."

Surprise #2: If you’re saying things that sound smart, people will definitely eavesdrop.
To be clear: I’m not saying this is an issue at all and no, this isn’t me bragging. I actually feel pretty humbled by it, especially since I consider what I do fairly normal. Apparently though, that’s not the case. When I’m in presentation mode, I’m entirely focused on the material, the reaction of the client and listening for feedback. So I have a tendency to tune out my surroundings and become extremely focused. I’ve had people wait until after my call is over to comment on what I’ve said while in co-working spaces, airport waiting areas and coffee shops. I usually get asked what it was I was presenting, or what it is that I do, or just flat-out told that I sound like a badass. If nothing else, it’s a confidence booster and a good way to talk a bit more about what my working hours consist of. And a reminder to take calls that need to be confidential in a private space.

Surprise #3: I’m learning what I like and don’t like to work on.

I don’t know why this is a surprise, but it is. My last 10 years were spent doing cool projects on complex problems with super smart teams. I was fortunate enough to be able to go between 21 different accounts in that time, do a variety of projects, and cover 6 different industries. I worked on everything from short, 3 week projects to long-term, years long engagements. I thought I knew what I liked.

Turns out, when I’m entirely responsible for the work that I do, who I work with, and the nature of the problem I’m being asked to solve, it’s a whole different experience. At this point in time, I can safely say that I really enjoy meaty, strategic, tactical, complex work that forces me to cover a wall in Post-Its for a few days, create crazy diagrams and build out robust decks that include proposals for 6 month, multi-team design plans, for multi nodes and countries.

Learning #1: I can communicate, design and deliver good work from anywhere.

Literally, anywhere. In June-July alone, I’ve had Google Hangouts in my Portugese housing with construction happening outside, presentations in a co-working space in Lisbon, written emails in an airport in Istanbul, Turkey, Cannes France, Whihelmshaven Germany, Riyadh Saudi Arabia, Kuwait City/Baghdad Kuwait/Iraq & Pol-E-Charki/Kabul Afghanistan, teleconference in my hotel for program/project management with project teams in Flyindales UK, Thule Greenland, Watertowm NY, Huntsville AL, Lompoc CA, Pearl Harbor HI, Colorado Springs CO, Fairbanks AK working on a Ground-based Midcourse Defense system comprise the largest fibre optic net, some 20,000 miles long; another telecon while I'm in Nice FR walking around town with project teams in N. Ryde Sidney AUS, Sophia Antipolis FR, Mexico City MX and St Pete FL building out a 15,000 sq ft facilty on each city that will be a Tech Assistance/Call Center for Telecom Nets in APAC, EMEA, CALA Marleting Regions; continue with calls for business development while walking around LA, San Francisco, NYC, Orlando constructed competitive landscape 2x2s with a ton of Post-Its in Portland, created PDF decks on an 18 hour Amtrak train ride up the east coast of the US, created PDF decks on an 18 hour Amtrak train ride down the west coast of the US, and done screen design on a 14 hour plane ride from Turkey. Next weekend I’ll be sketching out options for content strategy while commuting to Morocco. And maybe go home to Cape Verde, haven't been back since I left many many years ago, when I was only 9 1/2 yo.

I don’t need a whiteboard, tons of sketch paper, a big desk or a fancy office to get my work done. As long as I have a power outlet, some noise cancelling earbuds and access to wifi, inet, I can get just about anything done.

Learning #2: When scheduling calls, always provide your time options in the time zone your client is in.
Since I’m bouncing around quite a bit, I can’t expect my clients to know what time zone I’m in. I barely know what time zone I’m in. Even if I provide my anticipated itinerary for the month, it’s still asking a lot for them to remember it. So even though it forces me to do the math, and triple check it for accuracy, I always provide meeting time options for where they are and sometimes post it online for those who missed it. Adding PT or ET or MT to the end of the time block is also a hugely important thing. It just helps clarify that I’m catering to their schedules more than my own. Mine is pretty flexible already.

Learning #3: Something will always go wrong with the meeting connection when you need it.

Whatever can go wrong, usually will. Whether someone has a fan blowing by their computer because it’s 95º F out, they forget to mute and it causes weird sounds in their microphone, or headset, dial-ins don’t work, clients have never used Google Hangout before, Chrome randomly decides to not allow you to have sound in a Hangout or Skype won’t let you log in/ out of nowhere one day, one of those things will happen. You may get dropped by blackhwak in an airfield in Iraq and don't know who you'll meet or who you should call because he is late to pick you up etc. Or all of them. In one day. Maybe all in the same call. Basically, have a backup plan. And then a second backup plan. And then probably a third and a fourth.

For me, I can choose between Google Hangouts, Skype, SnapChat, WhatsApp, Appear.in, WebEx, Yahoo/MSN Messenger or Google Voice... you name it... to get in touch with high paying clients, whatever. And I end up needing to use something different for each one for a variety of reasons.

Learning #4: I am the intern, the designer, therogram/project manager, business development, the billing department and the secretary.

Since I’m working solo right now, I have to do everything. Oftentimes all of the above roles in the same day. Sometimes, within the same hour. I program computer to assist me as much as possible. It’s a lot of different levels to balance and a lot of different hats to wear, which took me some time to adjust to. It results in long days, late nights, early mornings and a strong self-awareness to know when to turn it all off.

This is only the first couple of months in a 12 month long endeavor to better understand myself professionally. I’m sure I’ll learn a ton more things, so I’ll probably post another similar piece in the future.

Aside from being in all 50 states, save one ... enough about business, all work and no play makes for a dull day...

I've Been to 26 Countries in Europe—These Are the Five (5) I Always Recommend.

My first trip to Europe was a heady mix of excitement, nerves, and total awe. At 19, I wandered the streets of Le Marais wide-eyed, marveled at the sorbet-colored architecture in Positano with disbelief, and was completely transfixed by how quickly the culture and landscape changed when you crossed a border. It wasn't a one-time reaction, either: I've felt the magnetic pull to explore Europe over the last nine years, returning almost every summer to swim, hike, and eat my way through 26 countries.

Having spent the majority of my 20s exploring the region and visiting over half of the countries in Europe, I'm often asked by travelers which places I recommend. Of course, the answer varies depending on the type of vacation you want and the amount of time you can spare, but without fail, these five lesser-known locales always make my list. The common thread? They're all exceptionally beautiful, somewhat unpredictable, and absolutely live up to the hype. Having spent almost a decade exploring Europe, these are the five spots I'd return to again and again.

Cappadocia

If I had to pinpoint one destination in Europe that absolutely blew me away, it's Cappadocia. I had seen pictures of the rose-tinted terrain and bobbing hot air balloons on Instagram, but nothing could prepare me for how utterly beautiful it is in real life.

The biggest mistake travelers make is only visiting for one day. The sunrise hot air balloon ride is the top tourist attraction, but weather can be unpredictable, so it's worth staying for three days. It might look desolate, but there's a lot to do in Cappadocia: Be sure to visit the underground city, hire ATVs to traverse the dusty landscape, hike through the "fairy chimneys," and explore the markets.

Croatia

The Croatian coast is a popular summer vacation destination, but I prefer its neighbor, Montenegro. There are fewer non-European travelers, the old towns are picturesque, the seafood is world-class, and the scenery is absolutely breathtaking.

Of the three towns we visited, Kotor was the standout. The fortified town on Montenegro's Adriatic coast has the perfect mix of pristine pebble beaches, limestone cliffs, and historic buildings. Dedicate two to three days to explore the town and be sure to hike to the Castle of San Giovanni for a spectacular view of the mountains.

I heard about the natural beauty of Slovenia from other travelers, but this small European country absolutely exceeded my expectations. It has some of the best traits from its neighbors Italy, Croatia, Austria, and Hungary, but with a local twist.

Slovenia

Slovenia is the ideal place to practice slow travel, so plan to spend at least one week and hire a car to explore the countryside at your leisure. Start in the quaint capital, Ljubljana, then drive to romantic Lake Bled and hire a rowboat to paddle around the 17th-century church on Bled Island. Hikers should venture on to the Julian Alps, home to some of the most spectacular mountains in the region.

Positano

Positano is hardly an under-the-radar vacation spot, but it certainly lives up to the hype. Located on Italy's Amalfi Coast, the cliffside village is every bit as divine as the postcards portray. Picture mosaic-tiled churches, pastel houses, row upon row of bright beach umbrellas, and the scent of fresh lemons wafting from the local cliffside gardens.

If you love Italian cuisine, venture up the hillside to Nocelle, a small village with exceptional homemade pasta. We loved La Tagliata, a casual, unpretentious Italian restaurant with amazing views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Ask for a glass of the locally made limoncello at the end of your meal—it's not to be missed.

Mostar

I came across Mostar, a city in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina, during a road trip from Hungary to Montenegro. We'd planned to pass through, perhaps spending one night in the ancient city and ended up extending our trip. It was unlike anywhere I'd visited in Europe, boasting a beautiful Ottoman town that dates back to the 15th century, lively bars and restaurants, and an incredible curved bridge that locals dive off (yes, really).

Mostar is also a great base to explore the rest of the Balkan country. Don't miss Blagaj Tekke, a 600-year-old Dervish monastery built under a cliff, and Kravica Waterfalls, a beautiful swim spot. It might be a small country, but it's one that will entice you to return again and again.

What Life Is Really Like in Australia

I recently joined the growing throng of Aussie expats living in Los Angeles, and after only one month in the palm tree–lined Golden State, I can see why we continue to flock here. It’s so much like home: blue skies, beautiful beaches, perfect weather, and fantastic restaurants. While we share many similarities, culturally we are a little different, and I’m not sure my new American friends really know what happens in the land down under. Scroll down to be schooled on what you didn't know about the sunburnt country.

There Are Crocodiles, But Life's Not Like Crocodile Dundee

When it comes to wildlife, Australia doesn’t have a great reputation for having many of the cute and cuddly varieties. We’re home to some of the world’s deadliest animals, including the predatory saltwater crocodile, which has the most powerful bite of any species. But don’t stress; there’s a very slim chance of you being death-rolled by a croc. The prehistoric creatures only live in the northern tropics, and you usually view them from a safe tourist attraction. Don’t expect everyone up there to be dressed like Mick Dundee, either. Despite all our best efforts, the 1986 fictional character from the famous Crocodile Dundee flick seems to have made a lasting impression on our American friends. While we do have our fair share of eccentric personalities, Mick is the minority.

We Are Sun Worshippers, But It’s Killing Us

Australians love the outdoor life; whether it’s swimming, running, surfing, skating, riding, or just hanging out at the beach, we certainly get our fair share of vitamin D. The beach is our home, and the Australian bronzed body look is an iconic part of our culture, but it’s killing us. Australia has one of the highest incidences of skin cancer in the world, two to three times the rates in the U.S., Canada, and the UK, and it continues to rise. According to the Cancer Council Australia, two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70. It’s outrageous, and despite major “Slip, Slop, Slap” campaigns to raise awareness of sun protection, almost 14% of adults, 24% of teenagers, and 8% of children are sunburned on an average in a summer weekend.

Most of Us Prefer to Live on or Near the Coast

Australia is a massive continent, but unlike the U.S., the majority of the population lives along the coast. You can drive for miles through the middle of Australia without seeing anything. The Australian Bureau of Statistics found more than eight in 10 Australians (85%) live within 30 miles of the coastline of Australia. This is also due to the fact that seven of Australia’s capital cities are located on the coast, but there’s been major growth in coastal areas outside these cities too. We all have a natural affinity for the ocean, being near the water is medicinal for us, and it’s healing and a powerful source of happiness. Even if you don’t swim in it, just looking at it can be very therapeutic for many Australians.

Not All of Us Love Vegemite

This tiny yellow-labeled jar of salty, dark brown spread is so iconic to Australians, it’s the best hangover cure, and it tastes great with avocado or cheese on toast. But despite Vegemite’s 90-year heritage, not everyone likes the brewer’s yeast paste. I know plenty of people who never developed a taste for it as a child and screw their faces up at the thought. I actually prefer the UK’s Marmite.

Australia’s Obesity Rates Are on Par With the U.S.

Despite our love for the outdoors, obesity rates are rising faster than anywhere else in the world and are now on par with the United States. A staggering quarter of Australia’s teenagers are now overweight or obese, according to a report by the Cancer Council and National Heart Foundation. Too much screen time and not enough time outdoors are partly to blame, and it’s sparked a nationwide campaign to increase the physical activity of all Australians.

We Have a Voracious Appetite for Technology

Aussies absolutely love their tech, from handheld devices to smartphones, 3D televisions, and wireless headphones, and we can’t get enough. In fact, recent data shows 75% of Australians own a smartphone, with an average of five connected devices per person. And we aren’t afraid to spend our hard-earned cash on it too. In the last year alone, a report on nearly 3000 respondents found Australians spent $20 billion on digital devices and services. Maybe it’s our isolated position at the bottom of the globe that compels us to stay connected and keep abreast of what’s happening around us.

Australian Husbands Prefer Their Wives at Home

There is a huge shift happening in homes all over the world as more women enter the workforce, especially post-baby. In Australia, a very traditional view of the family home still remains; a man’s role is the breadwinner, and the woman’s position is housewife who takes care of the kids. While many will probably read this and say it’s not true, a recent study by Associate Professor Roger Wilkins of the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research all but confirmed it. In his Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia study, Wilkins found men whose wives do paid work outside of the home—both full-time and part-time—appear to be less satisfied in their relationships than those whose partners do not work. “When you look at men’s relationship satisfaction, it’s at its highest when their wife is not in the workforce. It does seem that that’s what is behind it; those traditional gender roles die hard. I guess all things being equal, men would prefer their wife at home and managing the household.” But thankfully, attitudes are changing.

We're Obsessed With Fashion and Design

Thanks to our unique geographic positioning and love for smartphones, Australians are hyper aware of what’s happening around the world. From fashion to interiors, we love to have our finger on the pulse and pride ourselves on keeping abreast of the trends, but we’re never slaves to them. While we’re super style-conscious, we’re also really savvy and love a high-low mix both in our homes and our closets. Despite all of this, thongs are still hugely popular, which brings me to my next point.

Thongs Are Really Popular (But Not the U.S. Kind)

It must be our strong ties to the beach that keep this cheap, rubber footwear in our shoedrobes. I personally loathe them, but thanks to brands like Havaianas, their popularity continues. Thongs, for your feet, not your derriere, are a real Aussie icon and, for many, a cultural institution. There are plenty of varieties too: the cheap $2 store style with the Aussie flag painted on them or the $25 pair with diamantes or gold accessories. When I go home, there’s always a line up of them outside every front door, from the adult size down to the kids. Despite my distaste, I don’t think they’re going away anytime soon.

It’s Still the World’s Most Expensive Place to Live

We have everything going for us: beautiful beaches, great weather, the Great Barrier Reef, and cities with culture galore; it really is a wonderful quality of life. But I guess if you want the best, you have to pay for it. Australia still tops the list as the world’s most expensive country. According to Deutsche Bank’s annual world consumer price index for 2014, it’s still more than 12% more expensive than the U.S. No wonder we are all moving here.

Melbourne Is the World’s Most Livable (and Happiest) City in the World

Despite how much it costs, Melbourne continues to top the world's most livable and happiest city (it was nominated seven years in a row). As someone who lived there for four years, I can attest to its beauty, culture, and excellent public transport system. On top of those attributes, Melbourne has been voted the best coffee in the world, even above Italy, and its restaurants are next level.

They Are World-Renowned for Furniture and Fashion Designers

While we may live on a very large island far away from most other countries, our designers have been met with critical acclaim on the world stage. Kym Ellery from her fashion line Ellery is one of the first to show on schedule at Paris Fashion Week, and Dion Lee is a mainstay at New York Fashion Week. In décor, we love Kip & Co for its bright colors and fun designers, and Jardan for its minimal and cool furniture line.

How to Experience the Best of Qatar in 48 Hours

Before last month, my passport had a few stamps from visits to Central and South America, but I'd only made it as far east as Paris, which is, of course, still very much considered "the west," in my travels overseas. So when an invitation to visit Qatar landed in my inbox, I readily accepted. How could I turn down the opportunity to visit the Middle East?

Located on the Arabian Peninsula next to Saudi Arabia, Qatar is quickly becoming a popular stopover destination for western travelers en route to Asia and Africa (and, in this traveler's case, the Seychelles). Though this Middle Eastern country may look small on the map, I discovered that it has a lot to offer jet-setters in search of eye-opening cultural experiences, adrenaline-pumping adventures, and Instagram-worthy eats.

Keep scrolling for the perfect 48-hour guide to this Middle Eastern destination, complete with 11 local-approved things to do in Qatar.

Check into the Ritz Carlton Sharq Village & Spa. With its nod to traditional village architecture and its luxury-oriented amenities, it's unlike any other hotel in the city. If you check in early and have a bit of free time, treat yourself to a massage or a facial at the Six Senses Spa, the hotel's in-house spa, to keep jet lag from setting in.

After some post-flight pampering, head to the Souq Waqif, the city's traditional open-air market. Although the market is known for selling spices, handicrafts, traditional garments, and other souvenirs, there are also several falconry-specific shops (like the one pictured above) that you shouldn't skip. The tradition of hunting with falcons on the Arabian Penninsula began thousands of years ago and is still an extremely popular practice today. There's even a falcon hospital in the souq!

Once the sun sets and the temperature drops, the souq really comes alive. Make like the locals, and enjoy dinner at one of the many restaurants in the market. Try the stuffed grape leaves at Damasca, the grilled fish at Al Bandar, or the saffron ice cream at Parisa. There are plenty of places in the market to try shisha (aka hookah) if you're so inclined, but keep in mind you're going to want to call it an early night to get an early start tomorrow.

You can't visit Doha without experiencing dune bashing, which is essentially off-roading on pristine sand dunes just an hour drive outside the city. Arrange for an experienced driver to take you on a desert safari, and grab a light breakfast at the hotel before you embark on your day trip because you're in for a wild ride.

While you're driving through the desert, don't miss the opportunity to visit a UNESCO-recognized natural reserve, Khor Al Adaid (Inland Sea), one of the few places in the world where the desert meets the sea. Take off your shoes, put your toes in the salty sea, and stroll down the shoreline

After spending the day in the desert, head back to Doha, and have lunch at Al Mourjan, a Lebanese restaurant perched on the waterfront of the west bay. Order everything from the fattoush salad to the mashawi moshalal (mixed grill barbecue with exceptionally seasoned chicken, steak, and lamb)—after all, you're going to be hungry after a morning of dune bashing.

Visit the Museum of Islamic Art and the nearby MIA Park. Before entering the museum, stroll through the park to take in some of the best views of Doha's skyline. Keep an eye on the time because you won't want to miss watching the sunset through the museums' floor-to-ceiling windows.

The Museum of Islamic Art's impressive collection of carefully painted ceramics, gilded glass vessels, and intricately woven silk textiles is reason enough to add this destination to your itinerary, but the opportunity to watch the sunset from a prime vantage point, as I mentioned above, really seals the deal.

After perusing the museum, board a dhow, a former pearl-diving ship, for a dinner cruise and a scenic view of Doha's skyline at night. Lounge on the upper deck for a 360-degree view as you enjoy creamy hummus and kebabs hot off the grill.

After a leisurely brunch at Al Liwan, the indulgent buffet-style restaurant at Sharq Village & Spa, spend the morning exploring Katara, Doha's cultural village. Wander through galleries featuring local artists' works, and then eat lunch at Ard Canaan, a local favorite featuring delicious Palestinian dishes like chicken musakhan with taboon bread (which you should 100% order).

Make your last stop Fire Station, an aptly named fire station turned art gallery, featuring politically charged street art by local artists. Grab a coffee and a snack at either #999 Café's brick-and-mortar location or the café's one-of-a-kind #999 Truck, a fire engine that's been transformed into a food truck serving up burgers, sandwiches, and chapatis (Indian flatbread), before heading to the airport.

Psst… Here Are the Hidden European Destinations French Girls Love!

It's no wonder we're a little envious of the French: In addition to their effortless sense of style and gorgeous accent, they're also well-positioned to explore the very best of Europe. In winter, ski trips to Switzerland and Germany are just a short flight away, and in summer, it's easy to hop over to Ibiza or Corsica for a quick beach vacation.

Few know this better than Garance Doré, founder of Atelier Doré and co-creator of a four-day Moroccan creativity retreat with Mr & Mrs Smith. Doré's move into the travel world shouldn't come as a surprise—those who follow her adventures on Instagram will know that she's always on the go, unearthing beautiful boutiques, hotels, and hot spots around the globe. Given her French pedigree and eye for design, we were curious to know where she vacations in Europe.

Here's how to see the best of Europe, according to one of the most iconic French girls we know.

Corsica

It's understandable that Corsica, a French island in the Mediterranean, tops Doré's list of favorite European destinations—it's where she was born. "I receive e-mails all the time asking me where to go on my native island, and I'm getting the impression that Corsica is getting a lot of love right now, which is awesome because I'm terribly proud of my homeland," she says.

While it's known for its jewel-colored water, Doré says Corsica is also a mecca for adventure travelers. "If you have it in you, hike the GR20. You (and your new butt) will thank me. It's so beautiful," she says of the tough long-distance trail. Also, be prepared to jump around to explore all the island has to offer. "Rent a boat, or get a car. It's just too beautiful to stay in one place," she says.

Porto Ecole

Doré says Italy will be on her travel list "forever and ever," thanks to its diverse landscape and incredible food. "I can't pick a favorite place. I like to drive around. Even tiny villages are worth a stop and might have the best pasta you've ever had," she says. If you're looking to splash out on a hotel, she recommends heading to Porto Ecole, a town in Tuscany, and staying at a celebrity-favorite spot. "Hotel Il Pellicano is a special experience."

Unsure how to pack for your trip? Follow Doré's rule for vacation dressing. "I try to find a thread and stick to it," she tells us. "Hawaii: colorful, comfortable, and light. Paris: black and white, simple, and elegant, but not forced. That way it all works together."

The Greek Islands

Like Italy, it's difficult to choose just one destination when planning a vacation to the Greek Islands, one of Doré's favorite warm-weather getaways. "The Greeks are known for their art of living, of course. They're super welcoming, they like to party, and they love to share," she writes on Atelier Doré.

Among her top picks is Mykonos, an island that attracts travelers in search of good beaches and great nightlife. The pace is refreshingly relaxed and slow, that is, before sundown. "You can stay at the beach until 7 p.m. no problem. You get to the restaurant around 10 p.m., you start eating around midnight, and you leave the restaurant at about 1:30 or 2 a.m. Then you go out dancing if you feel like it. Honestly, having long days like that changes your life."

Provence, France

While the piercing purple lavender fields of Provence, France, might seem like an exotic faraway land, Doré admits it's a familiar second home. "Interestingly enough, I spent so much time there in my 20s that I almost took it for granted. But now I know there are very few places as inspiring in the world," she tells MyDomaine. "I would recommend renting a house and touring a little bit every day, but also just taste the slow life, go to the market, have a glass of wine en terrasse, take a nap…"

La Côte Basque

A favorite among the French, La Côte Basque is a must-see, says Doré. Perched on the border between France and Spain, it's a great starting point to jump to San Sebastian and Bilbao, too. Don't miss Biarritz, part elegant resort town, part laid-back surfing spot. Cite de l'Océan et du Surf, an ocean conservation museum is also a must.

Are you longing for a holiday on the beach and is it really all you can think about right now? Or why not move the office to the beach? Do you want to find that amazing stretch of beach and clear blue water where you can let all your worries drift away on perfectly warm tropical breezes? Then this is the perfect place for your inspiration! Many cities all over the world have beaches, but some beach towns are just all about these beaches. At this towns, serving the beach tourists is all the locals can think about. These are the true beach resort destinations, the beach Walhalla’s of the world.

https://www.explorra.com/travel-guides/top-10-most-amazing-beaches_8051

A Theme Park for Beach Bums - Margaritaville

Finally a theme park for Beach Bums - Margaritaville Resort, Orlando Florida USA.

Offering a true piece of paradise, each cottage embodies the Margaritaville lifestyle and is completely unique with vibrant exteriors, Caribbean-style siding, and exclusive furniture packages in partnership with Ethan Allen.

Ten (10) Oldest Cities

Now, if you're really an explorer, an adventurer then you'll love these ten (10) ancient cities, discover their history and see how people lived millenniums ago, in the old world. I'm in Damascus now visiting the tomb of John my namesake ... Saint John The Baptist, recall his head was severed and given to a dancing harlot... he came before Jesus Christ... another tomb I expect to visit in the near future is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem Israel. And next It'll be Medina, KSA tomb of the prophet (PBUH).
1. Damascus. Damascus is credited with being the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the world.
2. Byblos. ...
3. Varanasi. ...
4. Plovdiv. ...
5. Sidon. ...
6. Aleppo. ...
7. Jericho. ...
8. Beirut.
More items...
Top 10 Oldest Cities in the World- Explorra...
https://www.explorra.com/travel-guides/top-10-oldest-cities-in-the-world_24545



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