The Value in Not Traveling Alone

Traveling alone gives me a chance to stop, block the outside voices and finally think “What is it that I want to do?” It’s a rare opportunity to remember my own needs.

But traveling with others then taught me how to assert those needs. By traveling alone, I learned how to recognize them; by traveling with people, I learned how to communicate them.

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How Buddhism made me a better traveler

“Before the monastery, I was often in need of constant stimulation. In fact, that constant urge was a large reason why I traveled so much in the first place. While other backpackers seemed to tire after a few months on the road, I couldn’t get enough. The more “newness” in my life, the more it seemed exciting and “real.”

But at the monastery, I learned that I don’t necessarily need external stimulants to satisfy this feeling. Instead, I needed to focus on making the internal be enough.”

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Over half of American millennials say they’d consider leaving the United States. Here’s why I’ve already left.


After fifteen months of travel, I returned to the United States ready to give American life another try. After a few months at home with my family, I moved back to San Francisco, the city I lived and worked in before traveling. I started looking for a job, looking for apartments, looking for new friends. I felt eager to re-enter American society, and pick up somewhat where I left off.

Within four months, I had changed my mind.

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The travel industry thinks millennials are out to change the world. Here’s a reality check.

Somewhere along the way, we’ve all missed a crucial point about millennial travelers: though we may want to change the world, that doesn’t mean we have any clue how to do it.  Instead, many of us lack both the self-awareness and research necessary to travel in a way that actually benefits the countries we visit.

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Why don’t women celebrate their travel accomplishments the way they celebrate engagements?


I wonder if we’d see more women taking the risk of travel, exploration and adventure if we celebrated it in the same way we celebrated marriage. I wonder if these badass female travelers were ever recognized for their bold daring as much as they were recognized for their choice of partner. I wonder if the reason we don’t see more women climbing mountains, flying planes, or simply taking time off to adventure on their own, is because we have convinced them they should be focusing on a different prize.

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5 Uncomfortable Truths About Living in San Francisco

A new report from the data company Priceonomics found that the median rental price of a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco, as of June 2014, was $3,120, totaling to a yearly housing price of $37,440. The average starting salary for a San Francisco Unified School District teacher is $47,000. The numbers exemplify how the city has become essentially unlivable for teachers, service workers, and other employees with middle-class salaries. Many of these workers come from nonprofit organizations: almost one quarter of non-profits in San Francisco have had to leave the city as a result of higher rent prices. From 2008 to 2012, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco found that the city lost approximately 30,000 workers with incomes of less than $35,000 a year.

The Plight of Being a Gay Teacher

Very early in his career teaching in New York, Glenn Bunger witnessed a student getting called “faggot” in between classes, but he hesitated to respond. As a gay teacher who hadn’t come out to his students or staff, he felt hamstrung.

“I worried: If I get involved, what will others think? Will they associate this with me? Is my reaction right now really about me? Or about the student? I was always processing these questions and insecurities that prevented me from speaking out.”

5 Uncomfortable Truths About Living in South Africa

The price of a coffee in Cape Town is equal to the average daily income for a third of the South African population.

As an international line of measure, the World Bank and the United Nationsdefine poverty as living on less than US$2 a day. When the World Bank measured poverty in South Africa in 2009, they found that 31% of the country’s population lived on $2 a day or less. Poverty rates change based on province: over 70% of children in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape fall below the definition of poverty, while the Gauteng and Western Cape provinces have child poverty rates of 34% and 27% respectively. Poverty in the country also has a clear racial component:67 percent of black children live below the poverty line in South Africa compared to only 2 percent of white children.

Traveling While Latino

In her novel Americanah, the Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie describes immigrant ideology as “conditioned from birth to look towards somewhere else, eternally convinced that real lives happened in that somewhere else … hungry for choice and certainty.” Maybe this was what I inherited from my family: not a new nationality or country to call home, but a form of restlessness, a need for exploration, a constant longing for something more.