Inspired traveling: tips for seeing the world from a globetrotter

Advice for getting out of your comfort zone and finding new adventures without breaking the bank


Kennessy Baban

Fun fact: Mr. Joseph has been to 25 different counties and 26 states

Mr. Joseph, English and Foreign Language Department Supervisor

The Light that inspired

After living in Spain my sophomore year in college, I rediscovered myself in ways I never imagined. During that year, I grew socially, emotionally and culturally. This spawned a lifetime of travel and exploration.  

Exploration, for me, goes well beyond travel. Exploration includes food, people, events and unique experiences that could happen daily. I do not think I am in the majority here; many of whom were born, live and die in their hometown take solace in predictability. That similar mentality often shapes their lives and vacation habits. They will go to the same chain restaurants, order the same chicken parmesan, rent the same shore house and walk the same boardwalk every summer. Many of these people love living in their memories, while I love creating new ones. For this reason, when people ask if I would go back to a certain travel destination, my answer is always, NO!  There is a whole world to see, so why see the same place twice?  

There is a whole world to see, so why see the same place twice?  

Trips vs. vacations 

According to American comedian Robert Orben, “A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in.” Most entertain the idea of going on vacation (or “holiday” if you live in England) during the summer months. Most of the time that includes hanging at the beach, eating, and relaxing with either family or friends. Don’t get me wrong, I love to vacation in Riviera Maya, Mexico, where there is nothing to do besides sleep in, relax, read and swim in the pool.  But, what did I do or experience that I normally wouldn’t in my own backyard?  

A trip is an experience, an adventure, a new place to explore. This is the opportunity to see life from a different point of view, explore a new destination, try a new cuisine and see what is beyond your hometown. You can find high-end all inclusive trips listed on travel websites such as Perillo Tours and Abercrombie and Kent. These trips are costly, but take care of every last detail, from transportation to all destinations, food, tips and entrances to places of interest. For me, the downside is that you are on their schedule and are most likely traveling with thirty other strangers. You wake up when they tell you, eat when they tell you and you have to sit next to that fat, hairy guy who smells on the four hour bus tour to your next destination (ok, sometimes it’s not that bad). This can be a perfect way to travel for those who are uneasy with language barriers or unfamiliar with the do-it-yourself travel plans. 

If you are a globetrotter and planner, online travel agents, where you book the nuts and bolts of your trip, such as airfare and hotel accommodations could be your best option. Sites such as Expedia,, and Airbnb provide a self-serve smorgasbord to book your basics. From there, you are on your own to plan your daily excursions, meals and leisure activities. At this point, you can take it day by day or minute by minute. You can wake up at noon, stay out until 3:00 AM, forget lunch and go to a park for a walk or just explore the city you are visiting. 

 While on your trip, you can also take advantage of tour and adventure phone apps such as GetYourGuide or Viator to book daily excursions, private tours or even a cooking class. These tools come in handy when creating your syllabus in the city, town or beach you are visiting. You can use these apps in most cities around the world. For example, you can take a day trip to the Andes Mountains if you are in Santiago, Chile, go on an oenological escapade in Tuscany, Italy,  or take a go-cart tour in Tokyo, Japan. This type of trip provides the flexibility of who, what, where and when, but requires decision making along the way.  

Caution! When taking an “unplugged” trip like this, make sure you are traveling with a like-minded person. Having to make decisions about what to see and where to eat on a daily basis can get extremely contentious and you will come home without a friend (or divorced from your spouse).


Don’t find a trip; let the trip find you

One of the reasons I can travel frequently isn’t because I make lots of money or choose not to save, it’s because I let the trip find me. Cost is everything; it’s about supply and demand. For instance, in 2019, I was looking to plan a trip to Miami for a much needed long weekend get-away. After doing some research, three nights in Miami (flight and hotel) was six hundred dollars more than five nights in Lisbon, Portugal. So, without hesitation, two weeks later, I was eating a pastel de nata in the Praço do Comércio in Lisbon.  

If there are limited seats on a flight and hotels are packed with patrons, you’re going to pay much more. That is why it’s more expensive to go to the Jersey shore during the summer than in the winter. 

Being open to your location and travel dates will save you money. If your trip includes a flight, it is paramount you begin your search here. Without getting roped in to travel sites, hotels and whatnot, it’s advantageous to search google flights to explore possibilities. Here you can map out prices for a variety of locations and dates without booking anything. 

For my most recent trip, I decided to check multiple cities I was interested in traveling for a six day/five night trip. After looking at direct flights from my area, I found convenient and economical flights for two of my travel choices. I chose Mexico City and began looking for dates.  Google flights indicated that it was $300 cheaper to leave on a Saturday than on a Thursday, so I began the booking process and searched for a hotel through Expedia.  In the end, I spent around $725 dollars for a trip to Mexico City for five nights in a centrally located four-star hotel and round trip airfare.

In addition to using Viator and GetYourGuide for my daily excursions during my stay, I begin doing research and making reservations for dining establishments via Opentable, Bon Traveler and Eater.  The great advantage of planning your own trip is that you make decisions as you go.  If the day predicts major rainstorms, you can make plans to sleep in and visit indoor sites such as a museum. If the weather is sun-and-fun, you can take that dinner cruise down the river. When trips are pre-planned by expensive agencies, you could be visiting the ruins of Pompeii with your thirty stranger-friends in ponchos.



The phrase, “the world is your oyster,” derived from Shakespeare’s comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor, sums up my view on travel. According to Webster’s dictionary, it means, you are in the position to take the opportunities that life has to offer — and I will continue to do just that! 

Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

I always track the countries, cities and states I have traveled on the Been App on my iPhone. So far, I have been to 25 different countries and 26 states.  While to some that might seem as if I’ve traveled the world, according to the App, I’ve only explored 10% of the globe and 46% of the United States, so the oyster is much larger than we imagine.

Think about this: when we talk about the past, we reference people, places and events. We remember the time we celebrated a 50th birthday in Philly, we remember the time we traveled to Costa Rica, we remember the time we saw the ABBA museum in Stockholm. No one ever says, “Remember that iPhone I bought in 2012?” or “Remember the time I downloaded that App?” or “Remember the time the Samsung TV was on sale (which never happens)?”  

So, stop spending so much time with material items and spend time with each other. Regardless if you’re a jet-setter or just like to go on holiday, make sure you do both, because, as the famous anonymous quote goes, “travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”