It’s inevitable that as a Generation-Y wanderer that you’ll have a crippling bout of wanderlust every now and then. It’s a terrible feeling—I used to get it about once every three months but now find myself dealing with it more often than not. Sorry to inform you, but it’s not something that goes away or that you get used to. In fact, I think it just gets worse.
Traveling is like a drug. You go on one trip (no pun intended) and you find yourself craving the next one before it’s even ended. Recently after coming back from Budapest, it took me a total of two days back at my apartment in Lucca to realize I needed to book another trip—fast. I’m headed to Palermo next week because the novelty of being home usually lasts about a week for me, and then I’m ready for my next adventure and ready for time to speed up.
The issue is not so much whether or not you have the travel bug, but how you deal with it when you it’s impossible for you to go anywhere. As someone who is a certifiable addict, learning to deal with restlessness has been an ongoing struggle for me. It has not been easy. I’ve been traveling and living abroad pretty much since my graduation from college (almost two years!) and learning how to slow down and settle into a daily schedule has not been a simple task.
I’ll have a few weeks when I return to the States for the summer where I will be working and planning my next move, and I know they are going to be difficult because I will be in the same spot (except for a quick jaunt to Peru). It’s going to be a challenge to kind of just be for a while, but I am going to do my best. Unless you have unlimited time and money, it’s impossible to constantly be on the road, which is not a reality for most of us—especially members of Generation-Y. So learning ways to come off a trip high (this time, pun intended) and to settle into a daily routine can be a good way to get used to a few weeks or months when you won’t be traveling.
We’re lucky, wanderlusters! Although the feeling of restlessness is never easy, it’s something we can learn to deal with and in a way use for our benefit. We’re always learning and growing and changing because we’re forced to. I like to see time off from travel as a way to reflect on how much I’ve changed and how and in what ways I can change in the future.
Do you have any tips on how to deal with restlessness? Have you had a particularly bad bout?
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Switzerland is one of the few locations where I feel like I am back home in Montana again. Between the stunning mountains and the cheese and chocolate (which is pretty much all I really want out of life), this tiny country has a lot to offer tourist—even if you are not planning on hitting the slopes.
Here are some tips that I have come up with after spending a bit of time in Switzerland.
Go on the off-season.
The Swiss Alps are glorious and you absolutely need to see them. However, you might want to weigh how important to you it is to be able to go skiing or to see Switzerland on a budget. For a non-snow bunny like me (and I’m from Montana…I know, I know), it was better to go when there were fewer people and it was less expensive. Think about checking it out in the late summer and early fall before it gets too cool and the skiers and snowboarders start arriving in droves.
Avoid restaurants if you can.
Let’s face it, as travelers of the Generation-Y variety, we often don’t have a ton of money to spend out. Because prices are so expensive in Switzerland, it’s usually a better option to see if you can find a grocery nearby and cook at the hostel. Not only are you charged an extra tax, but the prices themselves are terrible. If you are thinking about doing Swiss cheese and chocolate on a budget, you can find most the foods you want to try at the local supermarket.
One of the best parts about Switzerland is its natural beauty, so not to get out and explore a bit would be missing out on one of the most beautiful parts of Europe. The best way to know which hiking trails are available is to ask someone working at your hotel or hostel who can supply you with the information—he or she will have a good idea of which ones you might want to consider depending on your level and have much time you have. You might also want to think about choosing a B&B or a small hotel in a location a bit away from some of the main cities like Lucerne—they tend to charge you through the nose for a room.
Have you been to Switzerland? What is your favorite city? Have any tips for Gen-Y travelers on a budget?
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I’m hiking the Andes in July (I know, tough life), and I recently realized that it was time to get back into shape again after months of treating myself to the delicious pizza and pastas here in Italy—plus a tour through the Balkans did not exactly make me lose my appetite.
Getting in shape in order to hike is always a tricky deal, partially because there’s no perfect way to do it. It depends on your body type, how intense the hike you are planning on doing is, and how much time you have. Here are some tips I’ve come up while prepping myself for the big hike coming up.
Give yourself plenty of time.
Going to the gym three weeks in advance can help you, but it’s always better to give yourself a few months to get to where you need to be. By giving yourself an allotted amount of time, you’ll save yourself some stress—and you can pace yourself instead of having to live at the gym for days in order to get into the shape you want.
Combine strength and cardio.
I am much more of a cardio girl. I would rather run miles than have to lift anything too heavy—so lifting weights is pretty much torture. The truth is that when you’re hiking, you’re going to be lifting stuff. Depending on how long you’re hiking, sometimes a lot of stuff. You want to alternate between carrying some things and making sure you also get your running in, as well.
Go for a trial hike.
The best way to test yourself is to actually give it a go out in the wild. If you can, pack your pack to the best of your ability and go out on a hike that is about the same length as your ultimate goal. Having an idea of how much you can carry and what adjustments you’ll have to make while hiking can help you to have a more successful trek when you face your big one.
Have you ever faced getting in shape for a big hike? Have any tips and tricks?
Image courtesy of Jason Priem.
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