[ trav-uh l buhg ] A wicked bug that bites those who have the courage to travel and keep a curious mind
There is a contagious disease spreading through a handful of people. Nobody knows where it started and nobody knows patient zero.
Little is actually known about this disease because it affects everyone so differently. Symptoms are not the same from person to person. The only thing that can be confirmed is how it is contracted.
A booked flight to some place new, some place foreign and some place exciting, followed by an amazing personal adventure will undoubtedly produce a “Travel Bug” bite which will become infected.
Now, some might tell you that the “Travel Bug” is a BIG joke, one in which your friends and loved ones make after you have come back from traveling. But as an infected traveler myself, I am here to tell you that the “Travel Bug” is very real.
Symptoms almost always appear immediately after the traveler begins the return trek home. Once safely home the symptoms become more prominent.
It doesn’t really matter if the traveler has adventured for a few days, a week, a month, or even a year, they are never quite immune. They may have learned how to get from A. to B., navigate a new city or town, or they may have even lived through a few scary near mis-encounters as any good adventure has a great deal of both ups and downs but, these experiences will not keep them safe from the effects of the bite. In fact, the effects become more prominent the longer the traveler is home.
Travel Bug Symptoms: Please note that these are a few of the symptoms, as they will vary from traveler to traveler.
Upon arrival home, travelers will notice increased popularity. People will be impressed and the traveler will feel an amazing travel high. 2. In the first few weeks back the traveler will experience a whirlwind of conversations reliving amazing experiences. Please note that some travelers might have a problem keeping their stories and excitement contained bringing a slight case of paranoia that some people may only be asking about the adventure to be polite. Please help your traveler with these symptoms by keeping your questions to a minimum and your comments brief.
Travelers will begin to daydream of new adventures as they fall back into their daily routines expected by society to maintain. The traveler may feel others may not appreciate the changes in their mood, health and happiness and may show signs of adventure withdrawal. In a few months the traveler will be fixated on the next big adventure and giving you reasons why.
The Travelers Reasons “Why”: Next BIG Adventure
The last adventure changed them in so many positive ways they cannot begin to list them all
People don’t or won’t understand the experiences the traveler has experienced so they need to infect others with the “Travel Bug”.
The unforgettable sights, experiences, smells, tears, laughs, and life changing moments are addicting and the traveler needs an “adventure fix”.
Bottom Line - Come and travel, learn valuable life lessons, be free, get lost, focus on what is important in life, expand your views, connect with people and experience different customs and new knowledge, teach and be taught.
Even though you look the same and talk the same, your mind, perspective, and values have somehow been expanded and you know the inner change has enriched your life forever.
Fear is one of the strongest emotions that the mind produces. Our basic fear instinct is actually helpful and necessary. It is designed to tell us that we are in danger. You know, the kind of danger one would be in if a lion was chasing you. Unfortunately, our minds misuse our fear emotion to create fears within us that do not exist. This type of fear has no purpose and only exists in our mind. These fear stories hold us back from our greatest adventures, our best selves and our best lives.
I am sharing my Thailand adventure with you for two reasons: I would like to show why travel is important in enriching our lives and how it can help us conquer our fears.
Thailand is a "must" see country, a perfect place to adventure for an affordable price. When the opportunity presented itself I was both excited and a little scared. Backpacking through this amazing country was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I had to jump, but that did not mean I was one hundred percent sure I was not biting off more than I could chew.
I have traveled to Germany, France, Hawaii and many other far away places, but this September was my first time traveling ALONE. My fear stories started to form: What if I can’t understand anyone? What if my lodging is unsafe? What if I get lost? What if…..? What if…? And my “what if” list grew. But I also had other “What ifs?” What if I miss the best adventures of my life because I listened to my fear stories? What if I never live my best life because of fear?
“Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry - all forms of fear - are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.” ― Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
With each travel experience, a little fear disappears and in its place are people, places, and memories. These memories I will carry with me for a lifetime. As I commit to the choice to trust myself I also make the choice to focus on my NOW. I have come to realize that it is the only true life I have and creating “fear” stories in my head keep me from living a full life. Traveling not only enriches our lives through new experiences it also makes us more confident and sure in ourselves. We come back changed from travel, a better version of our selves.
I want to live my best life… in order for all of us to do this we need to decide to dissolve our fears and create stronger connections to the world we live in through connecting to others and to new places. We need to grab hold of our "NOWs" and live amazingly. With each experience I added in Thailand my fear seemed to disappear and in its place was a more confident happy person.
When I returned home I knew that I wanted to share my trip and experiences with as many people as I could.
A favorite motto of the HIKEhoppers team is, "Why not make someday today?" Countless times we've told ourselves, "Oh, one day I'll hike this trail," or "Someday I'll visit this place." Well, no longer! Make a promise to your self and start to making SOMEDAY TODAY. What better way to kick off this motto in your life than coming with me on our HIKEhoppers’ 10 Day Thailand Adventure. If I have not convinced you to join me, here are my top 10 reasons for why YOU should come along on this adventure with me!
Matt’s top 10 reasons to travel to Thailand with HIKEhoppers:
1.The Price is Right: We at HIKEhoppers understand that budgets can be tight, but we don’t think that should keep you from traveling and seeing the world.
2. New Friends and Community: The Thai people are some of the friendliest people I have ever met and through my Thailand adventure I have gained friends from all over the world. You share an instant connection with people because you are all sharing an adventure!
3. New Cultures and Ideas: One of the best things you can experience when visiting a new country is all the amazing "NEWs"! Thailand is no exception. The Street food is some of the best in the world and the sites leave you with a sense of awe.
4.Become A Better Person: Okay, I’m about to throw some research down. Because how can you turn down something that can actually make you a better person? A study from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that traveling abroad can help make a person more humble. I personally think it's hard not to feel humble when you're looking out at a ruins of an ancient civilization! The same study found that traveling makes you more open-minded and open to embracing new experiences. There are also many studies pointing to travel reducing anxiety and depression (Here is one!)
5. Learn More About YOU: Fall in love with YOU and embrace your uniqueness through discovering new things about yourself. Every time I embark on a new adventure I discover something that I did not know about myself. Traveling is a way for us to get away from our routines and really dig into what makes us uniquely individual.
6. No Regrets - Someday Is Today: Traveling is on many people's bucket lists, but unfortunately for one reason or another we put it off. Someday I want to go here, or Someday we will do this.. Grab life by the horns and get going! Travel...... life is to short!
7. Become More Confident:Going to a different country can definitely get you out of your comfort zone. But as you navigate through the unknown you become more confident in yourself.
8. Life long learning: Travel is educational. You can learn so much from geography, culture, and languages. The lessons you learn on this trip are lessons that you will carry for a lifetime.
9. Experience The NEW: It is an incredible feeling when you first see new places for the first time. Palaces, temples, and natural environments are waiting for you on this tour. They will quite literally take your breath away.
10. Fun! Thailand is packed full of fun! YOU will go bamboo rafting, feed and bath elephants, spend a night in a hill tribe village, go to ruins, and much, much more!
I want to give YOU a trip that is affordable and action packed! Say YES and join me for an experience of a life time!
For more information please access this link: https://www.hikehoppers.org/thailand-adventure.html
Winter hiking can seem daunting but with the right preparation it can offer some of the best views and nature walks without the BUGS! Winter can be a great time to get some fresh air and get in some nature time. Here is a list of some of our favorite products to help you prepare for winter outdoors. We hope you love them as much as we do! Every product picture has a link provided within to help you explore and shop more conveniently! We hope you love the products listed below! Just so you know Hike Hoppers has not personally used all the brands listed below, but have used products similar. Some have been included because of the affordable price and some because we could not find the exact brand that we personally use. Hopefully this list can help you find some good products and do your own research and find the perfect product that works for you! See you out on the winter trails! - Matt
1. Darn Tough Socks
These are the last hiking socks you'll ever have to buy. The company is so sure that you will love them and they won't wear out that if you do by chance get a hole in them you can send your pair into them and they will send you another pair! I'd love to give you details on how that works but my darn tough socks from a year ago are still trucking along. I even wear them as shoes when I have to run out to my car or something quick. These guys are awesome! They keep my feet warm and I trust that they won't wear out!
2. Sole Survivor Filtered Water bottle
These water bottles make finding water fun. We used this water system while hiking in Utah, Thailand, Korea and Minnesota this year. Our water bottles have been filled in many canyon rivers, streams and last winter we even filled it up with snow and let it melt in our packs for some ice cold Northern Minnesota shore water!
3. A Solid Neck Warmer
I used to not be a fan of covering up the ole neck while hiking, but I was proven wrong when I found out about some light weight neck warmers. I barely know that they are there and they keep my neck nice and toasty. Way better then a scarf that flaps around and hangs around getting in the way. Try it out today!
This may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised at how many adults don't actually have a good pair of pants that can keep them warm while they go out and play in the snow. Come on guys snow is for adults too! I have pair and I wouldn't dream of going out in the snow without them. Thing of all the fort building, snowman building, snowball fighting you're missing out on! I put a pair of mens on the left and women's on the right check'em out!
5. First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is always a good idea to just put in your pack. Most of the time you won't need it. Mine has been sealed up since I got it over a year ago, but accidents happen and it's a good idea to carry one with you. Especially in the winter, because you'll find that there are not many people out on the trails in the winter. I put the link down for a few options below but don't be afraid to shop around for something that works best for you and your situation.
6. Thermal Winter Gear
Oh boy if this isn't a must have then I don't know what would be. This shirt and pant combo will help trap body heat in and keep the cold out. These are awesome for hiking, hunting, ice fishing, skiing, and any other winter activity you can think of. Check them out, I put some very affordable ones I found, but you can find some that suit your style and winter needs.
7. Boot Grips
Boot grips have saved me more times then I can count on an icy trail. These are a life saver...literally. All you have to do is slip these on your hiking boots and they are instantly transformed into winter hiking boots! They are super easy to slip on boots and convenient for when the Minnesota trails have had a bit of an ice over!
8. A Solid Gloves and Hat
These might seem obvious but there is nothing worse when your on the trail and your fingers start to go numb or your hat isn't keeping you head warm. I put an option for each but these are something that you might need to do a little shopping around and find some that work best for you! However I cannot stress enough how important this is. One thing that can cut a good winter him short then having to go back because you can't feel your hands!