Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Travel Photo #13: Denali, Alaska

Denali National Park.  Fall 2011.

Denali Overview
Denali is a national park and preserve located in Alaska. The park occupies over 6 million acres of land, while the preserve occupies over 1.3 million acres of land. Denali was officially signed into law on February 26, 1917 by Woodrow Wilson, the President of the United States back then.

Top Attractions At Denali

There are numerous attractions that will keep you entertained if you ever find yourself in Denali, Alaska.

1. Husky Homestead
Do you want to enjoy a warm welcome when you arrive at Denali? Then simply find your way to Husky Homestead and you are sure to get the warmest welcome ever. At Husky Homestead, Jeff King and his staffs will give you a perfect treat. You will hear sled dog race stories from the very mouth of Jeff King. This is one place you wouldn't want to miss when you visit Denali in Alaska.

2. Mount McKinley
This is the most popular part of the park. Mount McKinley which is about 20,320-feet is America's tallest peak. Mount McKinley has an amazing view that words can't even express. If you visit this mountain on a clear day, you will totally love the view of the mountain and its splendor. So if you ever find yourself near Anchorage in Alaska, make it your priority to visit Denali and have a view of this mountain.

3. Wonder Lake
This is a perfect location for canoeing and other water activities. The views this part of Denali National Park and Preserve gives are so beautiful and spectacular. Wonder Lake and all the fun embedded in it await you at Denali.  

4. Sled Dog Demonstration Ground
If you are a lover of dogs, then this is the ideal location for you. Here you will get to witness the sled dog presentation, and you will totally love it. The dogs at Denali National Park are very friendly, so you need not entertain any form of fear when you are this area of Denali National Park.

How To Get To Denali
There is one direct entrance road into Denali National Reserve and that is via Alaska Highway 3.  Generally, Denali is about 120 miles South of Fairbanks, 240 miles North of Anchorage and 12 miles South of Healy.
I flew to ANC, visited Anchorage and the surrounding area, took the Portage Glacier cruise, then drove to Denali.  My Alaskan trip was exceptionally memorable.  I promised the moose that I would be back to see them again.  I have never seen the northern lights, meaning I have to go back to Alaska.  I stayed at Bed and Breakfast in Anchorage - my room was named "Denali".

 “No matter where you go, there you are.” – Buckaroo Banzi 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

5 Ways to Stay Motivated for Travel

Different people have different motivations that push them to travel. But generally, it is by setting goals that we all get motivated. Travel is an interesting thing to set as a goal for there is still so much to see in this amazing world before you die. I am writing this because I can’t travel for the next 2 months.  "The mountains are calling....." and I can't go.  

Here’re the top 5 ways to motivate yourself for traveling:

1. Have Passion for your Goals

Being passionate about achieving your goals will help you in making your dreams come true. For instance, if your goal is to travel around the world, you should just be passionate about it even if you do not have money. (Last night, I wrote about how to save extra money for travel which helps me keep motivated to travel).  With passion, you will find yourself earning the money to travel around. You can also get inspiration from people who have achieved their goals by working hard. 

2. Find out the Places

You can find the places you want to see in the world. Make a list of all the places and do research on those places. The more you research on those destinations, the more you get closer to achieving your goal of visiting those places. Have a bucket list.  That goal will motivate you to save more money for travel.

3. Devote your Time and Concentration

Another way of motivating yourself to travel is by devoting your time to plan for the travel. This way you keep on reminding yourself that you have to travel. If you don’t do this, you will probably forget about your goal and aim of traveling. Therefore you should do this to keep yourself in check.  Reward yourself by booking a trip every time you reach goals or accomplish something at work, at school, etc.

4. Read Travel Blogs and Books

Reading books and travel related blogs help in equipping you with knowledge of different destinations. So if you plan for a travel to a specific place, you will be in the know of what to expect once you reach there. The different cultures are well explained in books and blogs. You can also read the interesting travel stories to motivate you to travel to your preferred destination.

5. Learn Different Languages

When you learn different language in advance, you get motivated to go out there and explore the world with a new language.  Oh, I’m bad at this.  I am losing my Mandarin Chinese, which is my second language.  (English is my third language).  But locals out there prefer those who know their language and will give them preference in service. Therefore it is advisable that you learn the foreign languages early enough to keep you motivated. 

Death Valley, California

“Good things come to those who wait.. greater things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen.” -Anonymous

Friday, September 26, 2014

5 Ways to Save Money for Travel

The estimated amount that you spend on travel usually sounds too much.  Every time I talk about frequent traveling, people mention that it’s too expensive.  If you love traveling, open the door of your passion.  I am living my life on purpose.  People say they can’t afford to travel.  That is true to some extent but there is a remedy for it. It involves saving money. There is so much you do with money without exploring the option of saving that extra cash. 

Arches, Utah

Here below are some of the ways that you can save money for travel without sacrificing your daily comfort.

1. Reduce Caffeine Addiction

Americans are known to spend so much money on coffee daily. It sounds like a mere $2 or $5 when it is just for a day but when added up for a long period of time, the money can sum up to reasonable amount for some travel expenses. Every little thing counts.  You can actually reduce the coffee intake or simply brew coffee at home, which will be more cost efficient.

2. Leave or Reduce Alcohol Addiction

Stopping the alcohol addiction is not only beneficial to your health but also helpful in saving you some money, which can be used for travel. Therefore, you should consider letting go off alcohol and some parties that are known to make people overspend their hard earned money.  Have a movie night with friends at home with some beer and wine, instead of going out in regular basic.

3. Cut down the cost of Cable

Do not be addicted to TV but rather choose to save the cable money for travel. Cable bill may cost more than $100 per month and hence it can be avoided if possible.  I can watch any news that I am interested to watch on the internet.  Ever since I gave away my TV to people who needed it way more than I do, I get to read books more than ever before.

Big Ben, London

4. Find the Side Jobs

You can decide to do an extra job after your normal working hours. This will help in hastening your savings for that desired travel. And if you don’t have a destination in mind, then I suggest you think of one for it is good to work hard and reward yourself with a traveling holiday.  If you get an opportunity to work over time at your full time job, take it as long as you are compensated.

5. Reduce Car Usage

You save on fuel by reducing the car usage per day. I walk for forty minutes every weekday while I can't hit the gym. You can also do that to save on fuel and use the money for your travel expenses. It is a perfect way to keep yourself in shape.  I walk everywhere whenever I travel.  I walked for 8 miles in Washington DC.  I walked across the bridge from Nassau to Paradise Island in the Bahamas.  It’s a good exercise and you can also do the same to cut on costs when traveling. 

World War II Memorial, Washington DC

"It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy".  –George Lorimer