THIS WEEK IN TRAVEL (ISSUE NO. 01)


We've just recently launched 'The Journal', a place for us to share things that we find interesting, and to record our adventures and musings. You can expect to find travel tips and hacks, destination guides and field stories, alongside our weekly travel digest.  

So what is the weekly travel digest? Simply put, we scour the net for travel related news and highlights that we summarize for your reading pleasure. We thought about doing it daily but then checked ourselves, because no matter how much we love travel  (which is a lot), we still wouldn’t want an email reporting travel news every day.  So that’s what this is - we have a ton of fun writing it and we hope you'll enjoy! Feel free to reach out with comments, and suggestions - we love to connect with likeminded travelers.

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Some might say 2016 was a bit of a shit show (just refer to our last post, The Year of Fear), and now that we are a few weeks into 2017, people cringe when you bring it up.  It was, after all, dubbed the worst year in history on social media. However, that doesn’t mean that nothing good happened in the world, nor would we go so far as to call it the worst year in history for that matter.  One optimistic soul (Helhthehatter on tumblr) listed out some of the great things that happened in 2016. 

In any case, it's a new year and that means it's time for new year resolutions. If your resolution wasn’t to give up social mediaand you find yourself in need of some inspiration, make it a point to follow these passionate, candid and dedicated humanitarians to stay informed. We'd love to hear what your resolutions are - let us know in the comments below!

Speaking of inspiring individuals, National Geographic named its annual “Adventurers of the Year” nominees back in early December. For the past 12 years, they’ve highlighted some seriously epic people who don’t just have a flare for travel and exploration,  but are selected for their achievements in humanitarianism and conservation. It’s certainly worth a read – what people can accomplish is just so damn incredible. Voting has now closed and Nat Geo will reveal the People’s Choice winner in mid-January.

Ashima Shiraishi, National Geographic

Ashima Shiraishi, 15 year old rock climber in Thailand. Courtesy of National Geographic.

Talking about achievements in 2016, how about Cuba! If you didn’t make it to Cuba over the  holidays, and you haven’t decided whether on not to make the trip a priority, we suggest reading celebrated writer Pico Iyer's reflection on his nearly 30 year romance with Cuba in the wake of Castro’s death. Iyer describes the country as one full of contradictions, beauty, and mystery and that it is in a constant state of flux despite Castro’s efforts to keep it at a stand still. Whatever his political leanings, Iyer paints a loving portrait of Fidel and the country that is rife with honesty and poetic revelation. Iyer muses, “Cuba remains a sophisticated European place, rich with African spirits and rhythms, placed in the midst of the sleepy Caribbean, and asked to dance to a German and Russian thinker. There’s no getting to the bottom of it.” His Cuba may soon only exist in his memories, as the arrival of the internet is changing the culture, particularly youth culture, in an irreversible way.

On that note, if you’re sitting in an airport worrying about some potentially expensive roaming charges, check out Mashable’s easy to use free wifi passwords map. You can now use your savings to purchase an ice cold beer, which is what we would do. You're welcome! 

It's no secret, we travelers are a thrifty bunch, aren’t we? But even so, sometimes airline prices can get us down (not to mention new charges for overhead bins...OH YES THEY DID!). Worry not because Matt from Expert Vagabond claims that January is the one of the cheapest months to book a flight...he even explains how! What are you waiting for? 

The good news (if you happen to be from the United States at least) is that the US dollar is still killing  it. So if you haven’t picked your next adventure yet, and you’re like us and prefer to wait for wicked deals, here are some expert picks courtesy of Forbes on where to travel to in 2017.

Bali, Forbes
Forbes lists Bali as one of the cheapest places to travel in 2017. Photo courtesy Nastasia Yakoub/Dame Traveler via Forbes. 

Not ready for 2017 yet? You can comb back through the 52 places you should have gone in 2016 according to the New Times. Spoiler Alert: Grand Rapids, Michigan made the list - respect!

Meanwhile,  Lonely Plant has just released their 2017 'Best In Travel', and has named Canada number 1 in the country category. This really drives home that old adage, “there’s no place like home” (John Howard Payne).  We'll definitely need to spend some more time exploring our own backyard this year! 

So wherever you plan to go in 2017, and however you plan to challenge yourself, Huffington Post thinks that maybe you should add going solo to your plans.  Spoiler alert: You can expect to have more freedom and you may become wiser! While that's all well and good, and we definitely encourage giving it a go, we think that is pretty much always the point of traveling! It is about learning and growth, and if you haven’t gone before (and even if you have), check out Rough Guide's '14 Things Everyone Learns On Their First Backpacking Trip'.  

Or just read this insanely accurate quote from our favourite been everywhere guy Anthony Bourdain:

"Travel isn't always pretty. It isn't always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that's okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind." -- Anthony Bourdain

Okay, we’ve rambled on long enough...onwards and upwards with your resolutions and travel plans!

Happy Travels!

The Kosan Team