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Life Changing Travel Experiences

Some of the best moments of my life have been while traveling through Europe. I can remember the first time I landed in Frankfurt, Germany like it was yesterday. Even though I was overtired, I was immensely excited and anxious to start my — I’d like to say vacation, but it was more like a journey.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

My father’s family was from Germany and I had dreamed about going there since I was a child. I was raised with Coo Coo clocks, lager steins, sauerkraut and yodeling, so it was in my blood. I was also mesmerized with photos of enchanting castles like Neuschwanstein. I had to go to Germany but wasn’t sure if it would actually happen. It did, and my first trip led to many more excursions exploring other beautiful European countries.

Traveling has been such a wonderful experience for the most part. It broadens your perspective and you develop an appreciation for other cultures. You’re not the same when you return home  This is the premise of two new books from Lonely Plant; sharing life-changing travel experiences from traversing the world.

A Year Off – A Travel Story

A Year Off

A Year Off is about a newly acquainted couple that did just that. They took a year off work to travel the world and decided to document every moment along the way. Their book is broken into three sections – Before You Go, On The Road and Coming Back Home. Each chapter provides personal views from both authors and covers a different part of the journey.

The Before You Go section gives a lot of beneficial pre-trip advice. It shares that once you make this big decision to travel, some necessary planning is in order. Getting your budget and finances arranged and agreeing on a travel route along with sights to visit are the first two steps that need to be mapped out and organized. Things we need to consider are cultural differences, temperatures, tourists season and safety. It ends with how to stretch your budget further and how to smart pack for one year.

On The Road dives into adjusting to life on the road and living a nomad lifestyle. They share practical advice on how to find your travel rhythm, set your pace and how to hob-nob with the locals. This part of the book also shares engaging stories about some of the people connections and interactions they made.

The last section Coming Back Home is filled with tips on preparing for the journey home – back to reality. They shared an experience about clicking on an email that was work-related and how it switched their focus from embracing the moment to pondering about being back in the workforce. A decision they regretted. Upon arriving back in the US, it was a culture shock to be home so some tips on reentry and how to find a new perspective on your old life are provided.

The Best Moment of Your Life – 100 Travel Stories

The Best Moment of Your Life

The Best Moment of Your Life covers The World’s Most Memorable Travel Experiences. If someone asked you what the best moment in your travel life was, how would you answer? Would you have an immediate answer, or would you have to ponder the question? Lonely Planet heard the answer to this question from 100 different people and compiled their stories into one breathtaking book. Each of the stories are placed under their fitting category, Culture, Adventure, Wildlife, History, Journey and Environment.

Some memorable experiences include the Witnessing Nelson Mandela’s first free speech — Carnival Wave of Alegria in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil —  Enlightenment on the Camino de Santiago — Exploring Colombia’s lost city Ciudad Perdida — Encountering Kuchi Nomads — Swimming with Whales in Tahiti — Encountering mountain gorillas in Rwanda – Riding the midnight train from Urgench to Tashkent, Uzbekistan — Wild camping in Wales — Chasing the Northern Lights and Learning to love solitude in Mendoza, Argentina.

Each story shares more than just a travel trip or adventure. Some convey a flash of realization or inner reflection while others expressed a moment of deep awareness, while others still, shared a release of pent-up feelings that finally purged unwanted emotions. Everyone felt better and their experiences changed the lives of the authors forever.

38 Comments

  • mine would be.. I worked my Senior year towards going to Europe for a year.. I went to see relatives. When I got to Frankfurt no one was there to meet me! I had to find my own way to Munich then up to the town my grandparents lived. Was a long difficult journey after flying for 9 hours it then took me 12 hours to get to my destination! It was a Saturday and the trains ran different hours… I was just turned 18 alone and for me at the time scary, I could understand German better than I could speak so got by! But the trip was fantastic, lots of memories and gained confidence and grew up because of that trip!

  • I loved travelling to El Salvador to see where my husband grew up. I love the food, meeting his extended family and the country!

  • Taking my kids for the first time to Walt Disney World and going there on a roadtrip. We learned alot about each other and we all had a memorable time.

  • Visiting my daughter in Sydney, Australia – such a beautiful country and the city is surrounded (nearly by water) lots of wonderful coves to visit and enjoy. I loved it and thoroughly enjoyed my stay. I just wish that I’d been able to see more of this splendid country. ps I really did want to try out this new form for contests – congrats Lilac

  • It was one big one. Dropping out and going on the road, for the most part, for 16 years. Summers in Canada and winters in Mexico. We settled down last year and bought a house in Canada but now we have a daughter working in Geneva so looks like we will be travelling there!!!!!

  • I was fortunate enough to have lived in Germany between the ages of 9 and 15. We had amazing class trips every year and it gave me a taste for other foods and cultures. Would not change that experience for anything.

  • we traveled to Italy once, our one and only trip to Europe. loved the history of the country and the food and it has given me the travel bug…..if only we could afford to travel a bit more often.

  • I have had a few. One was the Big Island, Hawaii. We toured pretty much every corner of that Island. It was very educational to see all the landscapes formed by Volcanos. We took a few pictures and we often wonder what it looks like now.

  • I haven’t had very man travel experiences but when I was a kid we would venture out to our cabin by the lake almost every weekend. I have a lot of great memories there. Thanks!

  • I lived in Belgium for a few years and it’s amazing how close everything is! One weekend to Amsterdam, another to Paris! Definitely a wonderful way to experience so many different cultures without going too far. I hope to go back to Europe one day. 🙂

  • Going to Jamaica as a high school was really life changing. Watching the way people lived and how they dealt with their experiences on the island. Also, going to art museum was a serious acknowledgement that we had so much more privileges than the average Jamaican, many of whom cannot go the museum. There were so many highlights in that trip.

  • Traveling to the Bahamas was my first trip out of the country, so it will always be the most memorable to me!

  • I travelled by train when I was 17. I guess my timing was right for the trip as there were teens & young adults going to Banff for summer jobs. A few people brought guitars so we stayed up all night singing & having fun on a shoestring. So much fun.

  • I’d say my trip to Cuba was eye opening, learned about a lot of culture and met a lot of laid back people. It was an unforgettable experience.

  • I always treasure my visits back to Ontario to see family, but the most memorable ones are taking my husband and kids to meet everyone. Memories to last a lifetime.

  • We lived in Poland for three years and it was amazing just being able to hop into our car and travel to so many amazing countries!

  • We were travelling near Gros Morne Park in Newfoundland in the summer of 1999. There was a power outage at the cabin we were staying at so we headed out to find a place for dinner. After driving for about 35 KMs, we stopped at a service station to ask where the nearest family restaurant was. We were distressed to learn there was no restaurants in the area and we were going to have to settle for junk food for dinner. A fellow behind invited us to his home for dinner. He said his wife had made a Jigg’s Stew and there was plenty for everyone, including fresh rolls. We thought he was joking, but he was serious. We ended up having a wonderful evening and make life long friends who have now visited us in New Brunswick. Canadian hospitality at its’ best.

  • After graduating university I traveled to Togo, West Africa and spent 16 weeks there, it was such an amazing experience and I am so grateful that I went.

  • I have never travelled anywhere and probably won’t but I do love dreaming of far away places such as Hawaii

  • I absolutely love the mountains, such a beautiful place to visit. They take my breath away every time I visit.

  • In high school, we went to Russia (then still the USSR). We were treated very well and had a great time. We went to Moscow, Kiev, and Leningrad. We saw some amazing sites and even the subways were decorated beautifully!

  • While visiting in-laws in Italy, I was fortunate enough to book a week’s semi private lessons, on campus of Italian for foreigners. After that week it got me over the hump of being afraid to make a mistake in the language.

  • Travelling to Ireland on my own last year was an amazing experience. I met a lot of interesting people and got to enjoy some me time.

  • When I was 25 years old I saved all my tip money waitressing in Salmon Arm, then went to England for the first & only time. I met most of my relatives , stayed with my Aunt & her 2 kids. We only did a little traveling while there because people in England don’t do that. I spent one week in London with a great great Aunt . Also went to a few pubs, to Blackpool by car and to see where I was born. I spent one month in England & saw and did quite a few different things.

  • Our recent trip to Africa was my dream trip, ever since I was a little girl. I’ll never ever forget it.