Why I Carry a Travel Backpack With Me

Why I Never Leave The House Without A Travel Backpack

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Travel Backpacks Make Life That Much Easier

If you know me you know I’ve always gone everywhere with a backpack. Not just any old backpack though; a rather large one that seemed to carry everything I own. In the military, my buddies used to bust my balls about it all the time. They used to often call it my “life bag” because everything I needed it seemed I just pulled it out of my bag. Whether you call it a “life bag,” travel backpack, or just simply a backpack, they are some of the most simple, yet valuable inventions we’ve been blessed with. In this article, I’m going to share why I feel backpacks are so important in our daily lives, and the different kinds of backpacks that I use for different occasions.

Travel Backpacks Epitomize Convenience

Ever been out on the road or out with friends and all of a sudden needed something to snack on, like ASAP? Or maybe it’s cold and you’re feeling a nice, warm sweater, but unfortunately, when you checked the weather, the temperature looked good and you didn’t keep in mind the train or bus may be cold. It’s little stuff like this why I always have a travel backpack on me. It seems like it’s when I don’t have it on me is when I either need it or want it the most. For this reason, I pack my bag as if I live on the road. For the most part, I do live on the road.

Different Travel Backpacks For Different Occasions

Just like you wouldn’t wear jeans and a tank top a boss’s engagement party (well at least I wouldn’t), not all travel backpacks are for the right occasion. For the most part, when I’m out, it’s on my own time and the setting is informal. Subsequently, my backpack of choice is usually nice and casual with plenty of space to keep my writing journals and diaries in. The one in this link, for example, is the primary one I use for my travels through Downtown Tacoma.

 

Image result for g4free backpack

 

What I like about this particular travel backpack is that is extremely spacious for a bag so cheap. One of the previous travel bags I had cost about three times as much as this one. The funny part was it wasn’t even waterproof like this one is. Inside the backpack, there is an open compartment. It’s not quite as big as the main compartment, but it’s big enough to hold say a full sweater without taking up too much space. Of course, this all depends on what you prioritize when you pack, as there is still only limited space with this travel bag. It has a nice sized pouch at the top that zips. It’s great for putting things like pens and pencils, candy, lighters, gum, or anything of that size. Altogether the bag has about five different compartments not including the two side pouches for drinks.

Me personally, I like to live a minimalistic lifestyle and spend as little as possible while traveling comfortably, so my priorities when packing my travel backpack are: 1) Things I may buy on the road i.e. snacks and instant coffee, and 2) Things I need for bodily comfort i.e. sweaters, neck pillows, travel-sized deodorant, and things of that nature.

“Life Bag” For Life On The Road

Nevermind the jokes from friends, having the freedom to have virtually anything you may need right on your back and within reach is such a liberating feeling. It gives me a sense of security that I’m in control of. Ladies, I know you already have your purses and pouches for most of your stuff, but it never hurts to have a little more on you (make the hubby carry the backpack if need be)! Fellas, nothing wrong with having access to some of the things you personally feel would be ideal to have on you at all times. The convenience of having a travel backpack with you far outweighs any inconvenience of carrying it around. Even if you’re not one to travel heavy, consider carrying with you a backpack you may already have from your old college days, make a list of things you wish you could keep on you at all times (keep it clean of course!), pack it, and spend a Saturday out with some friends in the town. Who knows, you may even set a trend within your circle!

For more on traveling, exploring, and finding yourself, view some of my other blog posts related to the topics on this website. Otherwise if you have any questions or inquiries regarding my Health Coaching Services and 6-month program please never hesitate to reach me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com!

No pictures in this article belong to me.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

 

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The Gift Of Travel From A Different Approach

Have a baby steps approach to traveling. The world is really ours to see. There should never be a reason to say you haven’t been able to travel anywhere new in a long time. Outside of time (more articles on time management coming), money is the primary factor holding many of us back from traveling more. Sure, you may live in California and New York isn’t necessarily a short bus ride, but you have to think smaller first. Think baby steps; where in your very city have you not been? A certain district? Maybe there’s a museum you never got around to yet, or a new Greek restaurant around the corner your co-workers have been raving about.

Unlocking The Next Level Of Traveling. . .

Once you’ve experienced more of what’s around you, then work your way to your longer term goals. For example, while sticking to local places to visit this weekend, set your sites on a point of interest in a nearby city or town within the next month. I live in Tacoma, Washington. There is plenty, and I mean plenty, to do in this city alone. From parks to boat rides in the Sound, Tacoma has it all. But every once in a while I get out to Lakewood, which is about 15 minutes away, by local bus ($2.75) just to view beautiful American Lake and the other bodies of water around the area.

Travel cheaply
….and this was only $3.75

Once you’ve hit the weekly and monthly milestones (and hopefully were wise with your money in that time frame), you can start setting your sites on quarterly trips that require flights. Even then, start close. I’ll keep using myself as an example: From Sea-Tac, I’ll be flying out to Vancouver, Canada for New Years (fingers crossed, but currently in the works!), which is about an hour long flight. Then in April of next year, I plan to fly out to New York (for my first time ever!).

When you break your traveling plans down like this, it makes it a lot easier to see just achievable it is to maintain that traveler’s high!

Travel Cheaply

Now that you have a better idea of a travel blueprint (more on my blueprint as I go out and create more experiences) not burdened by finances, let’s talk about saving money and traveling cheaply. While you’re out trying something new that’s close to you and you want the full-on experience (meaning you’ll be partaking in activities that render you incapable of legally driving), try walking part way, then taking an Uber or bus the rest of the way. This way, you won’t feel obligated to walk the whole way and you’ll be saving money by shortening your Uber or bus distance. Personally, I recommend using Google Maps Transit to find your nearest bus stops and utilize this handy way of cheap transportation if you’re blessed to live in a city or town that offers this service. Even better if there’s a train or light rail available!

Port of Tacoma/Mt. Rainier
Port of Tacoma/Mt. Rainier

As you start to expand out and travel fares logically go up, you can still keep the traveling cheap. I plan on taking bus route 605 all the way to Olympia for only $3.75. This beats the hell out of driving in traffic, plus, as I mentioned earlier, it gives you the option to have a few alcoholic beverages without worrying about driving!

Travel Can Be Affordable

You can travel at will. Don’t let money hold you back. This article was focused primarily on being financially savvy while traveling, but it does need to be noted that time is really the only thing that can truly keep us from experiencing the world around us. But with that being said, you have to ask yourself: whatever it is that is devouring so much of your precious time, is it worth it? Is it even worth the money you can’t spend experiencing new things around you? Only you truly know the answers to those questions of course. Not to mention only YOU pay your bills!

For my Holistic Health Coaching services related to travel therapy and money management, email me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com. Otherwise look for more articles about travel here on Anthonyjrichard.com!

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

What Traveling Alone Does For Your Soul

Everybody gets the traveling bug, but how do you feel about traveling alone? You finally muster up the courage to actually invest in a trip you’ve been planning for months. You start getting ecstatic as the plans become more in place. So much so that you begin extending invites. Soon a coworker is in for the ride. Then a close friend within your circle suddenly becomes available. Before you know it, you’ve got at least two cars worth of people ready for an awesome weekend!

But then you guys start coordinating plans. All of a sudden the way you imagined your trip going, it’s now quite the opposite. On the road, friends and coworkers start suggesting ideas and stops that were neither in your plan or budget. Of course, to keep the peace, you go along with the suggestions. Hell, some of these suggestions don’t even sound half bad.

However, despite branching off from original plans and having fun with your friends’ suggestions, you can’t help but feel like you didn’t really get out of the trip what you wanted. Maybe you imagined more bar hopping. Or you might have wanted to stay put in a town a lot longer than the time actually spent there. When it’s all said and done, these are the little details you can’t help but recall.

This is why traveling alone can be such a good thing.

How Traveling Alone Can Be Therapeutic

When you think of traveling, you often think of memories; all the goofy things that either yourself or your company will do. The new things you’ll see and explore together. The random, sometimes insane conversations on the way there and back. These are all, of course, valid reasons to invite the buddies. However, what if you just took off all by yourself? What if you just hit the open road with no one to worry about but yourself?

When I was stationed in England, I used to never imagine traveling by myself. For one, I was a youngin’ (18-20). Since the legal drinking age in England is 18 and our military abides by the host nation’s drinking laws, my attention was focused elsewhere. But when I did travel, I was never the one to come up with the idea. I never had the plans. I was always along for the ride if I were invited and always had an incredible time. Despite the good times, I never thought about just picking up and traveling alone when I had the chance. I mean, I was only stationed in one of the most popular well-known and historical countries in the world; one with neighboring countries just as rich and diverse in culture and history as itself.

Just Hit The Open Road

It wasn’t until I was getting ready to separate from the Air Force that I discovered the euphoric appeal of traveling alone. To get out of the house I stayed at in Vegas, one with four other residents, I had to drive. Just drive.

Sometimes it was just to run errands at the Wal Mart across the town in North Las Vegas. Other times it was to hit The Strip, have a few drinks, and talk with the tourists and locals. Then there were the times I just needed to hit the open road. I mean get the hell out of dodge.

Traveling alone in East Washington
Nothing better than being to yourself, music up, on the open road!

There aren’t too many things that beat being on the open road at 2 pm, your own choice of music blaring, and no destination in mind. All of a sudden your mind is unshackled. When you were once thinking of simple, obvious trips that tourists often go on every weekend, now you’re realizing that the world is truly yours to explore.

The Endless Possibilities Discovered When Traveling Alone

I’m drawing mostly off of my driving experience, but make no mistake I’ve done my share of alternative traveling as well. As majestic as it is to see the beautiful landscape from the air, there’s just something about being on the open road that can’t be beaten.

For one, you have the option of completely traveling alone when you’re on the road (unless of course, you’re a pilot). You have the complete freedom to be on your own time. Literally nobody to alter your plans and no other outside factor other than local weather to stop you from just doing.

After I got out of the military, one of the first things I did was use my new-found freedom to explore via driving. With my hometown of Yuma, AZ only a 5 1/2 hour drive south and Phoenix only about 4, I was always hitting the road. Not to mention Los Angeles was only 4 1/2 hours west and San Diego 6 hours.

Some of us don’t mind solitude. In fact, most of us need that solitude. There is no other place you’ll find solitude, peace, and answers than traveling alone on the open road. Sometimes all I’d bring is another pair of underwear and shirt and call it a weekend. It wouldn’t even have to be that far from Vegas sometimes. One weekend, I spent the night out at the Red Rock Canyon Casino near the national park of the same name, about 25 minutes west of Las Vegas. There I had one of the greatest nights of my life just enjoying the luxuries of the casino and the surrounding beautiful scenery. Nowhere in the country will you find sedimentary rocks so finely colored and layered. All this and it was cheap and all by myself.

Discovering Yourself, Your Surroundings, And The World

Traveling alone definitely has its share of perks. Not only are you in control of your trip, you’re also in a judgement-free zone. Unless of course, your hardest critic is yourself, which isn’t a bad thing. Being by yourself while getting away, whether you’re the one driving or you’re taking other means of transportation, allows room for introspection.

And plenty of it.

Especially en route to somewhere new where you’re subjecting yourself to a different and unique experience. When you’re alone and exploring new places, you gain a level of respect and understanding of that place and culture. This is even if you’re just traveling only thirty minutes away from where you stay!

I’d say my favorite part about traveling alone is the “me time” I get. It doesn’t matter how I travel, whether I’m driving or if it’s by bus or airfare, I always figure so much out when I’m out there and undistracted. Undistracted is the keyword. There’s something to be said about the freedom of having an unoccupied mind. You add this to the fact that you’re about to go on a whole new journey with new pictures and experiences to share, and you can see how traveling alone can be therapeutic.

Try It Out For Yourself!

Discover the amazing, therapeutic experience of traveling alone. It may sound nerve-wracking at first, but when you wake up that morning already packed, do your final walk-around to check house security, and head out the door, you’ll quickly see that euphoria fills your mind, body, and soul almost instantly. Of course, I’m not saying don’t travel buddies. That too is one of the greatest joys on this blessed Earth. I am, however, saying don’t underestimate the beauty, pleasure, and unique experience traveling by yourself. Appreciate the break from your regular reality as well as your solitude and independence. Take this time to regroup, meditate, breathe, and focus on the moment. Come back to yourself and cherish your current situation. Then come back home and share your experience through pictures, writing, and stories!

I hope you enjoyed my reasons why traveling alone is good for the soul. For more stories and articles like this one and other lifestyle story and tips, be sure to follow my lifestyle and recreation blog at Anthonyjrichard.com!

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

 

 

3 Simple Tips For Traveling Light

Traveling light is more challenging than many of us think. We could literally come up with a laundry list of things to bring with us on our adventures. Some things that come to mind include books/magazines, travel pillows, and half of our wardrobe. Sure, traveling with a cozy neck pillow is ideal as is having options to wear at your destination, but do you really need it? How much space would you save if you just used a sweater instead?

Although most of the time we could bring half of our homes with us, it winds up being counterproductive. Have you ever gotten off the plane to your destination, giddy with excitement, only to realize you still have more luggage to carry on top of your carry-on? There have been a few times where I arrived at my destination with two carry-ons and two larger pieces of luggage waiting at baggage claim. Why?

With that being said, there are good reasons why traveling light is a great idea. You may be wondering exactly what would be the best items to bring. This question doesn’t have a right or wrong answer, but I will share with you key things that I bring with me on my regular endeavors.

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Always Have Toiletries

This may sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how much travelers spend on small item toiletries. These items include toothpaste, a toothbrush, tissues, toilet paper, brushes, combs, deodorant, cologne/perfume, etc. Of course, not all of these items apply for every trip you take. For example, you wouldn’t need to bring toilet paper with you to a hotel paid for by your company, but you would need a roll or two for a weekend out at the lake.

To keep your toiletries light, remember to bring only what you feel you will definitely use. If you’re only gone for the weekend, there’s no need to bring with you a full stick of toothpaste and deodorant. This is where buying the mini travel packs come in handy. Believe it or not, packing the pint-sized versions of these toiletries goes such a long way in saving space in your backpack!

Bring Your Chargers

Nowadays, it’s pretty tough to travel anywhere without bringing any of your electronic devices. Whether it’s your laptop, smartphone, tablet, or a combination of the three, our electronics have become a part of our daily lives. I dare say that it’s a necessity in this day in age to carry at least one of these technology devices. With that being said, it’s important that you always bring your chargers! There’s no worse feeling than hitting the open road and double-checking your backpack, only to suddenly realize you didn’t wrap up your laptop charger.

Well, maybe you’ll luck out and there will be a computer room at the hotel you’re staying at.

Invest In A Good Backpack

Last, but certainly not least, when traveling light, be sure to invest in a really good, sturdy mid-sized backpack. The backpack should have at least 2 medium and large-sized compartments with a few front and side pouches. The reason these items are a must when buying a backpack is that these compartments will be absolutely stuffed. Every nook and cranny of space will be filled. Why? Because this is literally the only bag you’re going to bring.

Sounds impossible right? You may be thinking this can’t happen on a week-long business trip: Sure it can! Remember you’re bringing only what you need. Think about it: You’re already wearing some clothes and a pair of shoes at the airport. You may need just another pair of shoes, two pairs of work clothes, and maybe another pair of hotel clothes, and you’re all set! Despite the seemingly heavy load, this all can fit in a nice mid-sized sturdy backpack.

Traveling Light Is Not As Bad As You Think

Traveling light can be easier said than done. However, when you put it in perspective, all of the things listed above are really all you need. You have your toiletries for hygiene, your chargers for all of your electronics, and a sturdy mid-sized bag that you can still bring with you as carry-on luggage. When laid out like this, what more could you ask for?

For more travel tips as well as health and fitness articles, be sure to explore more of my lifestyle blog site at Anthonyjrichard.com!

For transparency purposes, this article includes affiliate links. I will receive compensation from purchases resulting from provided links.

I do not own any photos in this article.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

Why Packing Light Is Wise When Traveling

It’s hard to leave some of our belongings behind for long periods of time. Our home is our sanction. No matter how much we complain and appreciate getting away, nothing beats knowing you have everything you may need when you need it. The truth, however, is that you may not need as much as you think you do. Packing light can be difficult, especially if you’re going to be gone for long periods of time. The trick, though, is learning what to pack.

In this blog I’m going to introduce some reasons why packing light is a good idea when traveling.

It’s A Time-Saver

Think of all the times you were packing before a trip. Remember how long it took just to figure out how many pairs of clothes you were going to bring or each day? Then you had to decide which outfits they were going to be. Then you had to decide the pair of shoes to go with it. Then you…well you catch my drift. It doesn’t take a travel rat to know that packing takes time. This is why it’s wise to know what you need rather than what you want.

Remember: Necessity Over Convenience

Sure, you may want to look nice for every occasion during your endeavors. The truth, unfortunately, is that you likely won’t be wearing most or all of those items of clothing anyway. Most of the time we just wind up bringing with us large space-wasters. On top of that, the added weight we made ourselves carry is only insult to injury. For this reason, this is why packing light is encouraged. When you bring only the items you need, i.e. toiletries, underwears, socks, clothes you can wear twice, you save not only time packing, but also space. Not to mention it’s easy on the muscles when you’re traveling light!

You Leave Room To Bring Back Souvenirs

Let’s be honest: many of us underestimate just how much shopping we’re going to do when traveling. We pack super heavy and sometimes end having to buy another bag just to accommodate for all of the new items bought. This, of course, leads to even more inconvenience for you.

Keeping it simple and packing light eliminate this problem. You show up to your destination with plenty of room to spare. This is so that when you get back home, most of the things in your bag will be the stuff you got from your trip!

You Worry Less

There’s a hidden golden rule to life: the less you have, the less you have to worry about. Think about it. When you’re not bombarded with school assignments compounded onto your job, you have less to worry about. When you’ve eliminated debts and payments, it’s one less stressor to worry about.

The same rule applies for traveling. When you pack light, you’re less likely to lose things. Believe me, nothing sours a trip faster than losing a valuable item on a trip. This is why it’s important to understand that less is simply better when traveling.

Packing Light Isn’t So Bad; Try It!

You’ve literally got nothing to lose when your load is less. Sure it’s nice to have the luxury of having what you want when you want it at the moment. But that’s the key word: want. This is totally different from our needs. Not to mention it usually ends up becoming more of a hastle trying to keep up with everything you brought!

For tips and tricks on how to travel lightly, visit my lifestyle blog site at Anthonyjrichard.com!

I do not own any images in this blog post.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthony J. Richard, All Rights Reserved

 

3 Easy Ways To Travel Cheap

I get your pain. Everything seems like it’s out of grasp when you’re broke, including traveling. You see amazing flight and hotel package deals on commercials to beautiful destinations. It takes your mind and soul to an amazing place. But then you start tallying up just how much a vacation like that would be. The good news, though, is that there are very simple ways to travel cheap, ones right under your nose. These tips will especially turn on a light for the nature enthusiasts.

1) Buy A Bike On Facebook Marketplace

Believe it or not, you’ll find some really good deals on the Facebook Marketplace. Like Craigslists, there are different categories to choose from, one of those being transportation. Of course, as a buyer of an untrusted source, you have to be cautious. It’s highly advised to either know a thing or two about bikes or bring someone with you who does.

How Does Getting A Cheap Bike Get You On The Road?

Simple: Having a set of wheels is better than not having a set of wheels. Sure, walking is peaceful, healthy, and certainly gets you to shorter destinations, but with a bicycle, you open whole new routes. Furthermore, you’re saving so much more time riding your bike to explore your nearby surroundings.

2) Taking A Bus Is One Of The Top Ways To Travel Cheap!

It can’t be emphasized enough how little this amazing transportation gift is not taken advantage. You can take the local metro bus and just let it take you to a new part of the city/town you’ve never been or you can venture further with a Greyhound. Whichever one you choose to do, riding the bus provides countless benefits.

For starters, it’s fairly cheap. When you think about it, forking over $2.75 one-way to take you wherever that bus route takes you is really pretty generous. It’s also an excellent way to travel cheap and explore a large city or neighboring one.

If you decide to take the Greyhound, you’ll be delighted to know that this too is one of those life-hacks in terms of ways to travel cheap. For example, I live in Tacoma, WA. For me to travel down to Portland, OR and see the beautiful scenery along the way, all it cost for a round-trip Greyhound ticket is $50! This is why it makes absolutely no sense to not take advantage of this cheap way to travel.

3) Look For Deals And Rent An Environment-Friendly Car.

Maybe you already have a car like this and don’t need to rent one. But if you’re like many Americans, you love your gas-guzzlers. Traveling with a gas-guzzler adds up to one hell of an expense (believe me, I know). This is why it might be beneficial for you to rent! Enterprise Rent-A-Car has excellent holiday deals, with their rentals going for $9/night this past Memorial Day weekend and a few weeks afterward!

What grabbing a nice, cheap, gas-saving rental car does is allow you to venture out as far as you’d like to without worrying about constantly keeping your eye on the meter. Think about how far you can go from where you are in six hours. On top of that, think of the things you can see and do, both en route to your destination and once you reach it (if there was even one determined). I myself have used this way to travel cheap numerous times, with over 100 road trips under my belt. Believe me when I say you can see sooooo much of the world around you even by driving to a nearby town you’ve never previously explored.

Image result for road trips

The World Is Free So Get Out There And See It!

There’s no doubt how easy it is to get caught up in our daily worries. After all, part of the perceived American Dream is working really really hard to play even harder. The trick to life is that you don’t necessarily work harder, but rather smarter. This means work just enough to pay your bills. Then conserve, stretch your money and go see the world! There are plenty of ways to travel cheap. Of course, these are only a few ways, and they’re confined to a more local area. Nevertheless, there are new things to be discovered and explored everyday. The reality is, travel is travel, no matter how far from home base you are!

For more travel tips and general talk about everything lifestyle and travel, visit my blog site at Anthonyjrichard.com!

I do not own any photos used in this blog.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthony J. Richard, All Rights Reserved