This Week in Travel (Issue No. 6)

What would it take for you to leave your desk behind, to pack up your computer and phone, and become a working nomad? If you’re anything like us, it probably wouldn’t take much if you had the opportunity. The reality is that most do not have the flexibility in our current jobs that would allow us to work abroad. The digital nomad lifestyle draws in individuals who yearn to escape the 9-5, and who want to expand their freedom and see more of the world. Who wouldn’t be tempted? With shorter hours, exotic destinations and the liberty to live independently on a fairly frugal budget, we are about ready to go! But long-term travel as a digital nomad may not always live up to the hype. Travelling continuously, for some, can impose unsettling feelings and leave you wishing for a more stable way of living, financially and personally. The solution: travel slower and stay in one place longer. There are travel gigs all over the world that will solve your financial sorrows and ignite lasting adventures.

As it turns out, there is an explanation to your wanderlust frenzy. Matt from Nomadic highlights our desires for a nomadic lifestyle written by guest writer Kayt. Not entirely conclusive yet, a recent scientific study attempts to explain the stimulating tendencies behind all those risk-seekers, adventurers and anyone else with itchy feet. Scientists have linked in part the chemical, dopamine—the pleasure chemical—to some people’s more impulsive, risky behaviors. A variant, the 7R + has helped, some say, to motivate us to explore, or wander, hence the desire around wanderlust. See, maybe we aren’t that crazy after all! It’s all in the genes—the travel gene!

South Africa. Photo courtesy of Cándida Wohlgemuth,  @_candida.

If the nomad lifestyle is calling to you, these five spots have been named by BBC as the most welcoming countries to live. For many expats, it is often overwhelming living abroad with no family or friends nearby. A friendly smile and warm welcome can be exactly what someone might need to feel at home. Surveys are in! Whether thinking long-term or just craving a brief visit, Oman seems open to tourists. It’s true; the sun does inspire a friendlier nature.

From the Kosan archives. 

Yet, no matter where you go (for better or worse), you will see the familiar seductive green Siren on the ever-popular coffee cups. Yes, Starbucks continues to expand, adding a shop or two on every corner in Milan and Rome by 2018. Don’t fret, Starbucks lovers around the globe, you will likely see one on your Italian travels soon. And for those saddened by this recent news, we hear you. Do you remember the first time you saw a 7/11 or Burger King in Kho Samui and thought WTF…? This feels a a bit like that. The Italians know how to brew an espresso too good that a visit to Milan had inspired Mr. Schultz’s vision for a cultural Starbucks experience.

Planes, trains, boats, cars and even drones, in today’s day and age, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to travelling and Condé Nast has the scoop on the very best options. Spoiler: train travel is their top pick with boats a close second. Avoiding the hectic airports and long line-ups, maybe not exactly backpacking, but road trips has our vote. Winding roads, coastal views, vast landscapes and the good-old, guilty pleasure road food. You know by now that we love the journey just as much as the destination. So, buckle up! After all, getting lost, or travelling with less direction, often ends up being the most memorable adventure.

From the Kosan archives.

Although the places in Planet Earth II may seem far away and unattainable, these destinations do exist on our planet and you too can visit and experience these wonders. The scenery and wildlife in this BBC documentary series has us feeling all sorts of wanderlust; and the good news is, it’s just a hop and a skip away. The wildlife around the world is beautiful and we must remember the value in their existence. So, if a seal happens to hop on your kayak, respect their space. They’re cute, but can be deadly. More importantly, seals, like any other wild animal, need to be protected and admired from a distance.

The Namib dessert, as seen in Planet Earth II. Photo courtesy of BBC America via Condé Nast Traveler.

In other news, a charity catered to help newly arrived refugees settle into their life has prospered into a successful business after only two years. Vienna’s refugee run hotel, Magdas, has 30 staff, of which 20 of them are refugees from countries such as: Syria, Iran, Somalia and Chechnya. The refugees’ knack for travel, fluency in multiple languages and accommodating nature has set them apart from other 5-star hotels. There are many success stories behind the Magdas project, which encourages the world to connect with many different types of people. During this time, it is important to highlight these positive stories that unite our communities together. As business owners closed their doors on February 16th in the U.S. for “a day without immigrants”, we hear the message loud, and respect these national and international businesses for their continuous support for all immigrants struggling at this time.

And with that, let’s not forget, those around the world that need our help in raising awareness. The Yemen crisis requires your attention much like the crisis in Syria with 80% of the population in urgent need of assistance. Here’s what you need to know.

Kosan quote of the week:

“For the born traveller, travelling is a besetting vice. Like other vices, it is imperious, demanding its victim’s time, money, energy and the sacrifice of comfort.”

-Aldous Huxley


Happy Travels!

The Kosan Team