Deep Travel: The Secret to Feeling Happier on the Road

Travel is a state of mind.

You know that feeling—the still point in between all the movement and chaos of travel, when you look around and you're knocked out by the beauty of the world around you?

The moment when you're driving through a mountain range across the world, or watching the sun set over the lake in your hometown, and you feel your heart fall into tune with your surroundings? It's a moment when everything drops away, and the purpose of life feels crystal clear and simpler than ever.

For many of us, that feeling is the reason why we travel. Sure, the photographs are great souvenirs—but we travel for the experience.

Some writers have called this feeling "deep travel." According to former New Yorker staff writer Tony Hiss, deep travel is a "feeling of interconnectedness and heightened experience." It's "an exhilarating state of mind that travel can evoke, when everything seems suddenly fresh, vivid, intensely interesting, and memorable."

Of course, it doesn't always work out that way. It's easy to get wrapped up in logistics, to get discouraged when something goes wrong, or to get overwhelmed by pressure to have an incredible vacation.

Fortunately, there are ways to maximize the amount of deep travel experiences that you have, and here's a spoiler: It starts from within.

How to Access the Deep Travel State...

1. Give yourself time

So often, tourists try to cram too many destinations into a single trip. This is incredibly tempting, as there are so many beautiful places to see and most of us have limited vacation time—but really, what are you going to get from speeding between Venice, Rome, Napoli, and Florence in four days other than blisters on your feet and an awful headache? You'd be much better off spending the time soaking in the magic of Firenze. A good rule of thumb for travel in general is to spend at least two full days (or three nights) in any city or location.

If you think back to the times that you've felt electrified, breathtaken, or otherwise moved by a travel experience, you might realize that these experiences don't always happen when you think they will. An expensive beach resort, a wild safari, or a twelve-hour bus tour can create a deep travel experience, but it's more likely that you'll find what you're looking for by traveling slowly.

Image via Lottoland

2. Meet locals

In order to fully immerse yourself in a place, you'll want to avoid the most touristy attractions. The best way to do this is to meet the locals.

If you want to go all-in, you can live with a local through a program like Couchsurfing or Workaway. Couchsurfing is just for accommodations, but Workaway involves doing four to five hours of work for your host each day in exchange for room and board. It's one of the best ways to get close to locals and other travelers quickly, while also traveling cheaply.

Of course, you can also just visit local haunts and start talking to people—or you can enroll in a class, attend a festival, or take part in another experience that will allow you to really get to know the people living there.

Image via The Telegraph

3. Leave things open to chance

Getting lost is one of the absolute best ways to experience deep travel. Especially in the era of WiFi and smartphones, you're not really in danger of being totally stranded (just make sure you check the time of the last bus).

Instead of trying to check off the best destinations, try opening yourself up to fate. Always favor experiences over destinations, ask locals where they think you should go, put on your best walking shoes, and let yourself wander.

When wandering, try to really drink in the sights of the world around you. The gardens hidden between buildings, the old man and his wife lingering beside the river, the accordion player in the subway station—they're what will bring you to that state of peace and connection that defines deep travel.

Image via Artstation

4. Do some research

While you should always be open to chance, it's never a bad idea to do some research and planning before setting sail. First and foremost, you should definitely check bus and train times and book your hostel or hotel in advance; that way you won't have to stress about these things while on the road.

Try bringing along some literature by writers who lived in the area, or carry around a research or fun-fact guide. Having some knowledge of a place's history, culture, and language can only help you deepen your connection to wherever you are—so grab some Lorca while in Spain, or De Beauvoir in Paris, and let your mind wander alongside your body. In general, you should prioritize destinations that align with your interests. Spend time chasing the ghosts of your favorite artists around New York. See the local sports team play. Whatever floats your boat, it's always worth customizing your trip based on your own preferences rather than blindly following in the footsteps of the crowds.

Image via As Told By Ash and Shelbs

5. Don't spend that much money

This is a win-win rule to live by while traveling. While you don't want to deprive yourself, sometimes you can actually enhance your travel experience by sticking to the free or cheap stuff. Typically, the most touristy of attractions can be the most expensive, while gems will be hiding in plain sight.

Instead of picking places or attractions because of their value, pick destinations based on reviews and local recommendations. Instead of favoring expensive meals every night, try out the local dive—or cook pasta with other hostel occupants. Instead of flying from place to place, try out a long train ride, and watch the countryside pass by.

Don't feel like your whole trip is ruined if you skip out on a place because the admission fee was too high. Instead, prioritize experiences over checklists, and memories over souvenirs.

Image via My Belize Blog

6. Don't expect everything to go well

If you set out on the road expecting everything to go exactly as planned, you're going to be disappointed. Accept it now: Your bus will be late. Your hostel will be loud. The food will be disappointing, the attraction sold out. That's all part of the journey. Crying in a hostel bed is part of traveling. Buying the wrong train ticket or falling asleep and missing your stop is, you guessed it—part of traveling.

You can and should plan for mistakes—always leave a few extra hours to get anywhere, and buy museum tickets in advance—but regardless, things will always go wrong while you're traveling. You might see unexpected sights; you might have to sleep in a train station; you might wind up spending the night in a city you've never heard of. You'll wind up in transit and waiting in lines far longer than you planned.

If you can find a way to treat all of this like part of the trip, not like a hindrance, you'll find that you'll be far more open to deep travel experiences than if you'd been meticulously counting your wins and losses.

Image via Western Financial Group

7. Travel alone

Traveling alone gives you time to think and to get to know yourself. It allows you to follow your own rhythms, to create your own path, and to see what you really want to see. It also makes it easier to meet people, and to make impulsive decisions about where to go next.

One of the most rewarding parts of travel is the strangers you meet on the road, the brief bonds or sunrise conversations with people you've never met before and will never see again—and especially when traveling alone, you'll find it's shockingly easy to talk to people, even if you're introverted. Plus, when you're not constantly chattering with a companion from home, you can actually soak in the place that you are, and you can allow new experiences to expand your mind and even change your life.

Of course, traveling alone comes with its own baggage and safety concerns, but it's generally a great excuse to totally escape, to try on new personas, and to embrace your surroundings on a deeper level.

Image via So Tov

Ultimately, deep travel is about opening your mind to new surroundings. It's about allowing yourself to appreciate the beautiful world you live in, and the body that allows you to experience all its salt and wind and sound. It's what pushes us to keep adventuring into the unknown. It's about paying attention to the inner dimensions of your travel experience, rather than just the exterior aspects. If you do it right, it can make all the difference.

As anyone who's been on a family vacation that erupted into fights at the hotel bar knows, any trip can be utter misery if you're in the wrong state of mind. But with deep travel skills in your arsenal, any destination can be a paradise.

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Travel Tips

Best Jobs for People Who Love To Travel

If you want to travel but have a job that is currently holding you back, here are a few of our suggestions for the best jobs for people who love to travel.

For many people, traveling is an amazing experience, but traveling is not always feasible because of responsibilities to work.

One way to get around this roadblock is to get a job that will let you travel and see the world. Here are some of the best jobs for people who love to travel.

Hostelworld HostelworldHostelworld.com

Translator

A translator is a wonderful job for those who want to travel. It will bring you to many places as you work, so long as those places speak the language you can translate. The great thing about translating is the variety of work you can get by translating for specific clients or just translating for tourists in the area. You can choose what type of scene you wish to work in very easily.

Pilot

A pilot fits the definition of a job that gets to travel perfectly. Now, whether you are a private pilot or a commercial pilot, you will still get to fly all over the planet. The only major problem with this job is the requirement of flight classes. But once you get your license, you can fly freely around the world while making yourself money to fund your trips.

Travel blogger

Being a travel blogger is a temperamental job but, if done correctly, it will allow you to visit anywhere you want. Writing to fans as you travel the world can be a fun and exciting way to engage with the planet. This job can be difficult to do, though, as you must be able to write consistently and capture your audience with each post.

English teacher

This may not sound like a job that allows you to travel, but schools all around the world are always looking for more people to teach English.

In this career, you would move near the school that you would teach at and live there over the course of your time there. The interesting thing about this job is that it does not necessarily require a teaching degree, depending on the school and country in question. You also get to live in a new country for an extended period.

When it comes to the best jobs for people who love to travel, these are just a few of our suggestions. There are plenty of jobs where you can travel around the world, but these ones are far-reaching and cover a lot of different lifestyles. They might seem like pipe dreams, but hey, you never know!

Seattle, Washington is a rainy, coffee-fueled, coastal town often referred to as the "Emerald City."

Located against the ecological wonderland of Puget Sound, this cosmopolitan, seaside city is a mishmash of arts, culture, history, nature, and, of course, cloudy weather. Thanks to its proximity to nature, its greenery, and its culturally rich, big-city atmosphere, the city is becoming increasingly popular, both for tourists and those looking for a change of scenery.

The Big Stops: Tourist Seattle

If you only have a few days to visit Seattle, you'll probably want to check out the area's most famous attractions.

For nature lovers and summit-chasers, there's the imposing, wildflower-shrouded Mt. Rainier.

Mt. Rainierthebesttravelplaces.com

Mt. Rainier

For foodies, there's the popular Pike Place Market, a giant patchwork of food-sellers and friendly chaos where you can purchase everything from giant crabs' legs to bottomless amounts of coffee (more on that later).

Pike Place Marketseattle.eater.com

And finally, there's the iconic Space Needle and the Sky View Observatory, which will give you extraordinary views of the city.

Space Needlegetyourguide.com

Seattle Arts and Museums

For arts and culture lovers, Seattle has plenty to cut your teeth on. Don't miss the Chihuly Garden and Glass, a collection of extraordinary blown-glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly.

Chihuly Gardensfodors.com

Chihuly Gardens

For art, there's the giant Seattle Art Museum Downtown. Seattle also offers the Museum of Pop Culture, a nonprofit that features all your favorite icons from history, and plenty of other options.

Museum of Pop Culturesmithsonianmag.org

For some history, there's the Klondike Gold Rush Museum, which commemorates Seattle's history as a gold rush hub.

There are plenty of quirky attractions—like the giant Fremont Troll, the 18-foot sculpture in the Fremont neighborhood that cuts an imposing figure.

Fremont Trollsillyamerica.com

You could also take in the city from a boat—marine enthusiasts might enjoy visiting to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks to explore the history of this port city.

Seattle, of course, also has a gritty underground side—you may know the city from its time at the heart of the '90s grunge movement.

It also has a long, storied history that has left more than a few scars. You can literally see its underground through one of its underground tours, which will take you on a walk through the "buried city," the remnants left over from before the Great Fire of 1889.

Seattle Undergroundpinterest

Natural Wonders

Seattle is notorious for its natural wonders. For a close-up view, there's the Seattle Aquarium, a marine experience that showcases the best of what Puget Sound has to offer.

For more exposure to the beauty of Seattle's nature, try the Washington Park Arboretum, a 230-acre showcase of Seattle's wetlands and natural wonders.

Washington Park Arboretumtriposo.com

You might also pay a visit to the Alki Beach for some time with the ocean waves.

Alki BeachMetropolitangardens.blogspot.com

Or consider taking a more exhaustive adventure to Discovery Park, a giant and labyrinthine natural park at the edge of Puget Sound.

Discovery Parktrip savvy.com

Food and Drink

Food tours are also popular options for those who want to get more intimate with the city's cuisine, and Seattle is often ranked as one of the best cities for foodies.

It's also a great place for coffee-heads. You might also pay a visit to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, AKA Ultimate Starbucks, a tasting room that features a coffee library amongst other treats for coffee addicts.

Sarbucks Reserve Roasterydesigner.com

Moving to Seattle

If you're planning on moving to Seattle, locals say there's a few things you should know. First off, it is most definitely overcast the majority of the time, though the rain is rather like a mist. That makes the rare sunny day shine even more, though, locals say, in addition to fostering natural abundance.

The city is generally very congested with traffic, which can be noisy, though it offers great public transportation options, from buses to rail—regardless, you'll want to get an Orca Card for that.

Like every city, Seattle has a number of diverse and charismatic neighborhoods. For example, there's the beachy, more laid-back West Seattle.

West SeattleWest Seattle

There's the vibrant Capitol Hill, a hub of arts, culture, tech bros, and nightlife (during non-COVID times).

There's the historic and artsy Pioneer Square, featuring plenty of museums, shops, galleries, and pubs.

Pioneer Square SeattleExpedia

Fremont is a more bohemian area. Belltown is a trendy waterfront neighborhood that's close to everything.

In general, Seattle residents love the city for its proximity to nature, from beaches to glaciers, and its abundance of arts and cultural attractions. As Kimberly Kinrade said, "Seattle is for people who love culture, but refuse to sacrifice their wild nature to attain it." Residents dislike the steep cost of housing and all things that come from rising prices, including the city's large homeless population.

In general, the city is known as environmentally conscious, liberal, and dog-loving. The people are often referred to as nice but possibly a bit standoffish and cold (the "Seattle Freeze" is when you make plans to hang out and then bail, which is apparently very common). The rain can certainly get depressing, but the proximity to nature helps.

Remember, if you do happen to move: umbrellas are dead giveaways for tourists.


What's your favorite part about Seattle? What did we leave out? Let us know at @thejourniest on Twitter!

Travel

Weed World Candies Exist to Prey on Gullible Tourists

Weed is still illegal in New York, but scamming tourists is not.

You wouldn't know it walking around midtown Manhattan, but marijuana is still illegal in New York.

It does seem strange to think that perhaps the most metropolitan city in the US would be lagging behind so many other parts of the country that have legalized possession, production, and sale of cannabis and THC products, but it's true.

New York's decriminalization of marijuana has led many smokers to be more brazen with their public consumption in recent years, and Governor Cuomo recently announced plans for limited legalization for recreational use at the state level. But for the time being the sale of products containing THC is still very much illegal.

buy happiness You sure about that?

Adding to the confusion is a company that has sprung up to prey on tourist's uncertainty. Weed World trucks have multiplied at a staggering rate since they first started appearing in Midtown and the Village a few years ago. Easily a dozen RVs and vans now line the tourist-dense streets of Manhattan, advertising Girl Scout Cookies and Gorilla Glue, clad in marijuana-leaf decals and occupied by employees who are paid either to be stoned out of their minds, or just to pretend they are.

With eyes nearly in slits and an air of relaxation that suggests that customers are temporary interludes from a permanent nap, they will promise you as much as they can get away with while letting their branding do most of the work. They will sell you four lollipops for $20, which would seem like a great deal if not for the fact that they will not deliver on the strong implication that they'll get you high.

They have a Twitter account where they celebrate the supposed availability of weed and claim to "have New York locked down." They'll even sell you vape cartridges that advise you to "get medicated," and which are packed with potent doses of… flavor?

weed world truck

An employee once assured me that their candies do contain THC—maybe they wouldn't be so brazenly dishonest today—and in a drunken state I coughed up $5 to test that claim. There is a faint weedy taste to their candies, and you may find trace amounts of CBD inside, but that's it. It's a scam. There is no THC. Nothing that will give their customers the experience they're selling.

Worse than the trucks is the Weed World Candies storefront that opened in midtown in 2019. Just walking past you would swear that people were passing a massive blunt inside.

The smell is unmistakable and overpowering, except that it's fake. Whatever chemical fragrance they pumped onto the street, it was not connected to anyone smoking weed. Inside, the psychedelic wall art complemented shelves lined with suggestive candies and boxes emblazoned with pot leaf insignia.

Whatever the venue, they are all too happy to sell you overpriced hemp products and CBD creams and chocolates made to look like nugs. And if you're a tourist, or a moron like me, you might believe the scam long enough to give them money, but nothing they sell will get you high.

weed world store Hiroki Kittaka

The owners of Weed World, Judah Izrael and Bilal Muhammad—who prefers to go by "Dro Man" or "Doctor Dro"—will defend their products by claiming that they serve to promote legalization and decriminalization efforts by normalizing the idea of public sale of marijuana. But at no point in the purchasing process is the illusion that their candies will get you high broken. At no point are their customers offered literature explaining the mission of Weed World.

On their website's FAQs page, there is no mention of THC or its absence from their products, but the first question, "How much should I eat?" is answered, "It's all based on your tolerance but there's no limit." Tolerance for what? Sugar? The company—which originated in Alabama and has spread to cities around the country—mostly seems like a very profitable way to sell candy to gullible adults.

weed world wall art Nicole Mallete

The best thing I can say in their defense is that one of their trucks was recently busted by police in Saraland, Alabama, with products that "tested positive for marijuana." Assuming this isn't a screw up or deliberate frame-job by the police, it's possible that some of the Weed World trucks are using their faux activism as a front for selling actual drugs. If so, that would be the most honest thing about this company. Until that's confirmed, ignore these trucks and maybe just ask a friend for a hookup.