Time, your only finite resource

“Time is more valuable than anything else you hold in life, it ties to everything; that cannot be stated enough. “

It’s been said before and it can’t be said enough, a failure to plan is a plan to fail. Often times, there is this tendency in life to just make things up as we go, never truly knowing and/or fundamentally understanding that in doing so, we become an obvious resource wasting machine. Throwing things together at the last minute, or even just failing to throw things together at all, leads to a number of unnecessary expenditures, such as funds, opportunities, and more. But there is one resource that we all possess, are given for free, and only have a finite amount of, yet many times throw it away for little to absolutely no return, and that is TIME.

Time is more valuable than anything else you hold in life, it ties to everything; that cannot be stated enough. Money is earned and spent, and earned again; the chance to earn and replace what was spent always comes back. Opportunities are missed, but if you miss one, you won’t be denied another for the remainder of your life. Skills atrophied can easily be re-learned. But time, when its gone, its gone. This statement cannot be said enough. While many things in our lives will come and come again, time does not, so it makes sense that we should expand on every bit of it when possible.

shallow focus of clear hourglass
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There are all sorts of ways to maximize our efficiency, in order to give ourselves more of that irreplaceable thing, but sometimes in an attempt to save time, we are losing it in the process of learning something that we may never see utility from again. Now take travel into consideration; its something that most are going to do at some point, many doing it more often than others. And when traveling to a new place, somewhere far away and foreign, time is being invested into learning about that place, how to get around, what to do and not do, where the resources are (in the event of emergencies), and so on. Or, there is absolutely no attempt to plan ahead, leaving efficiency to chance. Doesn’t it make sense to find the most efficient and time saving method to consolidate critical information needed, before arriving? I think so.

“Time is more valuable than anything else you hold in life, it ties to everything; that cannot be stated enough.”

Anything in life that fills your calendar demands your attention; anything from a few minutes to days, weeks, and/or months. If its worth doing, it’s worth doing right, and more so, being done in a way that allows you to squeeze every bit of potential from the seconds ticking away. Imagine a trip to Paris, France with no agenda, Rome, Italy with no knowledge of the best sites to see, or New York City with absolutely no plan on how to best traverse the map. While it may feel like more of an adventure having no plan, imagine all the opportunities being missed during the time you are getting lost on the wrong subway, finding yourself on the opposite side of the city from where you wanted to be, or needing to find a doctor during an emergency, only to pass 1, 2, or 3 of them on your way to the only one you know of, because you aren’t aware of what is close by.

If your goal is to make the best possible glass of lemonade, you wouldn’t buy a lemon, squeeze half, and throw the rest away. There is more to gain from squeezing every drop from a piece of fruit (fruit being opportunity or potential, of course). The point is, don’t waste you time. If you want the highest level of value in any moment, you need to have a plan before you are ready to execute. That’s the true merit. Just remember to always consider the one resource that you’ll never see again, once it is gone. And as I wrap up, I’ll leave you with this quote from famous entrepreneur, motivation speaker, and self-development coach, Brian Tracey, “Every minute spent planning, saves as many as ten minutes in execution.”

Check us out at https://www.planiversity.com

While studying abroad can be scary, some things should come easy

A person can’t easily overcome their fears of leaving home, and/or the feeling of missing their own bed, but they can mitigate a substantial amount of fear of the unknown. 

Your bags are packed, loaded into the car, and you’re just gathering up and inventorying the rest of your things. Passport, check. International license, check. Pocket translator, check. You jump into the car, and off you go, heading to the airport to board a plane, which will take you to your first experience away from home, and in a foreign country at that. Mom is nervous, dad is nervous, but neither of them quite as nervous as you, the one who in a matter of hours will be completely out of your element. It’s an adventurous feeling for many, yet statistics show that for many more, study abroad programs are nerve wracking for students. Fears range from language barriers and homesickness, to what to do if they become sick and how will they get around.

There are many variables that can stress out a student who is traveling abroad for a semester, but some things really should just come easy. When the decision to go to a foreign country for school is made, it is made based on the hope and assumption that the experience will be a rewarding and adventurous one, where the student can meet new people, add to their academic progression, experience a new culture, try a different cuisine, and show all of their friends back home what a fantastic time they are having while away; something that will make those friends both envious and in aw. Yet, underneath it all, sometimes the level of comfort really is not fully present, as certainty and self-confidence wane from within.

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Leaving home for any extended period of time while young can be a frightening thing; we all know that. But while there are some things that remain uncertain–and will be scary to a young traveler–preparedness at its best will help to set a limit on those fears. In an attempt to create a service that allows all travelers to plan their travel like a professional, Planiversity.com is thinking ahead, and soon we may be developing an option for creating a student account, in addition to both individual or business.

“There are many variables that can stress out a student who is traveling abroad for a semester, but some things really should just come easy.”

At present, the service does well to organize documentation, while providing users the option to create a schedule, add notes, and something very relevant to the student, we enable filters into the trip packet, allowing them to pinpoint a destination in their travel, and locate resources within whatever proximity they set around it. For example, users can set their location, and know where hospitals, police stations, hotels, service stations, and even their embassy is, within that chosen radius. All of this, combined with the option to include maps, driving directions, arrival weather, and receive a U.S. State Department travel advisory makes this service ideal for the first time traveler. A person can’t easily overcome their fears of leaving home, and/or the feeling of missing their own bed, but they can mitigate a substantial amount of fear of the unknown.

Planiversity isn’t just a service designed for travel agencies and event planners; it’s a travel software that can benefit all who are serious about planning. We may be a master itinerary service, but we’d rather see ourselves as a service providing a much needed and highly relevant tool for anyone on the go; no matter how far, no matter how long.

http://www.planiversity.com

“Winging it” doesn’t cut it

“The best that a traveler can do to eliminate the potential for stress is ensure that they’ve done the best that they can to prepare for the trip.”

Tasked by time constraints, moving with the lines, travel requirements and personal needs, whilst attempting to pull last-minute information together, there are always some who fail to prepare, although knowing that doing so will make things flow smoother. It is a time-consuming process to sift through information, pull out what’s essential, and organize it all; but it’s repeatedly done because that’s mostly what travelers know best. Yet there are many who know to anticipate what’s coming, because they know that when they’ve  consolidated and prepared, they’re ahead of the game.

man standing beside black luggage on street
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In 2012, authors John Crotts and Anita Zehrer published a book titled, ‘An Explanatory Study of Vacation Stress,’ identifying through analysis where in travel the greatest areas of stress originate. This publication quickly became furthered by independent travel bloggers and online influencers since. To echo an article published in 2016 by an independent online travel influencer, about those surveyed in the making of the book, “The participants reported that the most stressful part of their trip was actually the trip planning stage, followed by traveling to the destination, and finally the actual stay at the destination(s).” The author also writes, “The most stressful part, which many people may not anticipate, begins before they even leave their homes in the planning stage.” Makes sense…

Uninformed, ill-prepared, and behind schedule; there’s no need for it. While there are just some circumstances out of our control, most travel stress we bring on ourselves. I’ve been there. I’ve been the guy who digs through his email to find the e-boarding pass two minutes before boarding, who has his itinerary somewhere else, and who is attempting to book a rental car on his phone, while clinging to the last few minutes of free airport WiFi in a foreign country. I can confidently say, to start right reduces a significant amount of stress, anxiety, and confusion. However, I had to know what wrong looked and felt like before fully developing an appreciation for right.

“When one knows what to expect, they keep circumstances within, or close to within their control.”

Time management is usually within our control, and so is planning. The best that a traveler can do to eliminate the potential for stress is ensure that they’ve done the best that they can to prepare for the trip, as well as prepare for the unexpected. Let go of the winging it, even if you think ‘winging it’ will reduce the amount of stress. Some people think that planning leads to expectation (and it does) and when expectation fails, they are forced to deal with stress and adapt. But studies show that the more prepared a person is, the less they are likely to experience stress; that can be applied to almost anything.

Admittingly, there is some adventure in just going where the wind takes you, but that isn’t something that can easily be embraced by the many travelers working on a timeline, traveling for business, or going somewhere for a purpose. When one knows what to expect, they keep circumstances within, or close to within their control. When the choice to forego preparation is made, and impromptu decision-making valued, it should not be a surprise when frustration creeps in. Take the time the plan in advance, have your ducks in a row, consolidate your information, and know where things are.

Check us out at https://www.planiversity.com

Window or aisle seat?

“Who really knows though where the truth behind the airplane seat choice psychology lies, for all we know it’s just speculation and really has no bearing one way or another.”

It’s more than an internal conflict when coming down to the choice between taking a window seat versus an aisle, especially on a flight greater than four or five hours. The choice is a means to maintaining your control or relinquishing it for a view; possibly one that you’ve seen a hundred times before. Although, as a former aviator I can tell you, the sights from above rarely get old.

people inside commercial air plane
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So you’re booking your ticket and the site or the rep asks you to choose your seat, and so begins the conundrum. You can take the window seat and know that you’re likely going to have a wall to rest your pillow against and catch some Zzz’s (hopefully you brought a pillow). However, if you are anything like me, you will have to become slightly dehydrated so that you do not end up being the person who is dancing in their seat every time your eyeballs are floating. And to be honest, the way pressure affects the body, it’s anyone’s guess how often you would need to go; not all bodies respond the same. Too much hydration means more trips to the bathroom, which means more of a nuisance. But hey, the view is a good one as long as there isn’t a wing in the way.

But what about the aisle seat? Aisle seats also has their benefits. If you’re the aisle person, you are the one with less anxiety about having to come and go as you please. While you may have sacrificed a view, you don’t have to be the one feeling trapped in that situation. Although, depending on the individual in the window seat–who may or may not be a conscious thinker–you might end up being woken in the middle of your finally able to find a comfortable position nap, just to accommodate. That part sucks, that’s for sure.

“It’s a means to maintaining your control or relinquishing it for a view”

A 2017 article in the Telegraph explains that more travelers are in favor of the window seat, just slightly over fifty percent of those polled. But also that the window seat taker is also a person who likely sleep better on flights, is more seasoned and therefore has a slightly higher sense of confidence (since they don’t mind bothering their neighbor), and that they are even a bit selfish. On the contrary, those aisle seat takers sleep less and have more anxiety about feeling confined. Who really knows though where the truth behind the airplane seat choice psychology lies, for all we know it’s just speculation and really has no bearing one way or another. But one thing is true, and that is that people go one way or another when traveling alone. It’s just a decision that we all take seriously, and depending on what we choose, we could be setting ourselves up for a seriously long flight if the choice isn’t a preferred one.

Like anything, experience has to be earned.

It’s take guts and a real f***it kind of attitude to say “to hell with survival and comfort, I want to know more.”

Experience changes an individual, often for the better and in permanent ways. So why should it not be fought for, sweat for, bank breaking for, and earned? Many believe that the best things in life are free; that’s true if those things are air, sun, and a view of the stars at night. But in reality, most things today are not free. Not the water we drink, nor the resources we depend on, the grass that we walk on, and even falling in love; it all has a cost. And with the exception of love, those things just sustain, not change us.

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

~ Helen Keller

photo of woman
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If a picture is worth a thousand words, where are we with experiences? Stagnation is a sad reality, but growth through learning about more than we are, seeing more than we know, and pondering more than we commonly conceive is priceless…I’d say. Therefore, the best way to learn, see, and conceive more is through experience, and that is what travelling is best for. To be clear, a person does not have to jump on a plane and fly halfway around the world in order to feel like they are legitimately traveling; a neighboring state will do just fine. Although, an opportunity to experience the way a foreign culture lives can promote tremendous perspective in all of us.

Logically speaking, its not the actual experience that brings anyone change. Instead, it is the result of an experience that yields the high returns. The actions–our experiences– those are just the means; the vehicle, if you will. But the result, the facilitator of change in all of us, that must be earned. And the cost…not always a financial dilemma. Rather, the cost of change (of experience) is fortitude; its facing a fear of the unknown, stepping outside the comfort zone, and taking away the most comfortable aspect in our lives, and that is control. Without control a person is powerless, and vulnerability is the absence of control, something travel presents an abundance of.

According to multiple sources, common reasons for avoiding traveling include the following: no one to travel with, can’t afford it, the element of danger out there, a lack of time and vacation days, language barrier, logistical nightmares, and germs (LOL). What these reasons all boil down to is a lack of resourcefulness and/or fear. Overcoming a fear of the unknown, fear of loss, fear of leaving the comfort zone, it’s not what we are designed to endure. Our brains are designed to do one thing, and one thing only; keep us alive. A desire…that goes beyond survival. It’s take guts and a real f***it kind of attitude to say “to hell with familiarity and comfort, I want to know and see more.”

Like most things in life that aren’t handed to us, we need to earn it. We need to put in, in order to be able to take out something in return. Experiences make a person grow. They formulate differing perspectives, intelligence, understanding, and debate. If you want the experience, you aren’t going to have it given to you. To learn about the world you don’t know, you will have to take yourself from the one you do. And it will cost. It will make you nervous, intimidated, and timid, until you return home a different person than the one who left. OF COURSE it comes with a cost, but almost anything worthwhile does, so you have to make the effort to be someone other than the person in you who refuses to change. You have to actually try, and want to be and know more. Jim Rohn once said, “if you think trying is hard, wait until you get the bill for not trying.”

So, if you want to know what the cost of experience is, it’s life as you know it. And whether a person chooses to experience all that life has to offer or not, they should know that they will pay in any case. Pay for the experiences now, or pay for the regret later. It’s something to think about.

The travel destination represents you as a person?

Wherever a traveler decides to spend their time and enrich their sense of exploration, you can be sure it has more to do with their personality than just what they find interesting in general.

There’s a reason why we choose the destinations that we do, and it’s not a simple as basing it on the aesthetically pleasing photos that Google has just revealed in your search for trip ideas.

“Energy is always a good indicator of where on the scale you are.”

In a 2017 article posted by the Huffington Post, travelers were identified as representing one of multiple identifiable personality traits in choosing the type of vacation that they want to have. People could range from being the classic or posh traveler, to the chill or offbeat, to the artsy or daydreaming traveler. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that where a person decides to spend their time has something to do with their individual likes or dislikes; obvious, right? But the decision to go somewhere you’ve never been comes not from a place of curiosity, but rather from a place within the brain that represents who a person is as an individual; it’s a clue which reveals their inner most personal design.

close up photo of assorted color of push pins on map
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Lovers of romance and traditional or classic aesthetics are more likely to find themselves wandering the streets of Paris, while the thrill-seeking adventurer type, who prefers the offbeat style, would more often find themselves in an area where they can participate in a more active lifestyle. This doesn’t mean that there is no mental flexibility, as all of us have taken trips to destinations that we just want to see, even though we lack a sense of true excitement while there. For example, historical sites are often an interesting find, but without having that true passion for history, with all the appreciation for what it represents, energy will be lower.

Energy is always a good indicator of where on the scale you are. A vacation to an area that is less aligned with a person’s personality is likely going to be met with less enthusiasm, a.k.a. low energy. However, in getting to visit those places that we’ve longed to see, we become charged, excited, and more inclined to get out of the hotel room and soak in as much of it as we can while the opportunity is present. Even if the trip is to just chill and soak up some sun on the beach or horseback riding at a ranch in the mountains, a person will feel that sense of being in the right place, rather than just experiencing something for the sake of experience.

When people go to where they feel more aligned with their interests, energy in them is higher, and the sense of being in the right place more in focus. An understanding of this concept can shed light on who we are deep down. Are we more romantic and traditional, or do we need a rush and sense of non-stop adventure? Or maybe does nothing more than falling off the grid completely recharge us? Wherever a traveler decides to spend their time and enrich their sense of exploration, you can be sure it has more to do with their personality than just what they find interesting in general. Having said that, have you ever thought about what your travel choices say about you?

What type of person does your destination reveal? It’s something to think about.

Why traveling says more about you than you think

A departure flight from Nuremberg, Germany to Istanbul, and then on to Tel Aviv, with an arrival of 5:30 a.m. Hit the ground, collect the baggage, head to customs, and then onto a taxi, hopefully getting to a bed sooner than later. Sleep sounds more than ideal, but the sun is already up and the body is fading towards shutdown mode, while the mind is becoming active with every passing minute into the day. Wanting desperately to get some shuteye, the Airbnb flat can’t be checked into for another five hours, so then the choice to grab a hotel room–just to be able to nap–is what happens.

There’s no fear, no regret, and no hesitation to step into a reality other than the one they are most comfortable with.

This was the introduction into one of my travel experiences, in the not so distant past. It was a stressful trip initially, but the thought to avoid travelling again never once came to mind.

Christmas time, 2017, hit the road later in the day, bound for Quebec City (QC), Canada. Traffic thins, temperatures are dropping, the roads of upstate New York are becoming more saturated in snow and ice; something virtually non-existent in the Philadelphia area at that point. Close to crossing the Canadian border and still no word from the Airbnb host, and knowing that cellular service will soon be lost, a decision is demanded in that situation, and once again–just to be able to sleep–a hotel room gets booked. An overnight stay on the outskirts of Montreal, then onto QC to haggle over the first day’s booking cost for a flat unoccupied the night before. Again, the thought of travelling does not become discouraged.

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Travelling is–and always will be–an addiction for many. It’s a sensory experience that rarely goes as planned. Unless you are on a business trip and following a schedule, your time is yours and its subject to the extensive list of experiences that one can add to their individualistic bag. The things that stun and thrill travelers equally–an inability to speak the language, no knowledge of and discovering the hot (less touristy) spots, authentic cuisine, and getting to talk to people from a completely different walk of life–are what keeps them coming back for more.

Like many things in this world, the experience offers a number of stressors, likely to question the less adventurous why travelers do it as often as they do. But the simple, and yet strangely complex, answer…they don’t know. Travelers are special breed; a specific type of individual wired for and geared towards a love for the unknown. They love being out of their element and know that every experience gained in a far away place is just another notch in their adventured personalities. There’s no fear, no regret, and no hesitation to step into a reality other than the one they are most comfortable with. Being a traveler means being adaptive; someone who makes necessary split second decisions, has a sharp sense for independence, and a heightened posture of survivability.

Every traveler knows and can identify many people in and around their circle, who are less than willing to put themselves out of the comfort zone, and yet the traveler cannot seem to mentally identify with that concept. I alone know more than ten people who have never traveled farther than the neighboring state or set foot on an airplane. The traveler, he or she isn’t wired for limitations, for permanence in the comfort zone, or for letting a fear of the unknown trump the feeling of experiences. Being a traveler says a lot about a person, more so than it does to speak against them. They may be a lot of other things in their lives, and in some areas they may be much less. But one thing they will not be in the end is a person who regrets not living to learn and to experience the unknown.

All this is the reason why a traveler is much more than they appear to be on the surface; it’s just not something for everyone.