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Top 5 Ways to Honor the Cultures You Visit

by Richard
04/19/2016 01:32:04 P.M.

Traveling is certainly many things to many people, and few places is that evidenced more than at Travel Country, where people come in to visit places all over the world for myriad different reasons. And that is great, because there are few things more rich than experiencing a new culture for the first time. For me, it is the best thing about travel and, ultimately, I don’t think travel is healthy unless it is rooted in the traveler immersing himself/herself in the local culture. This can be quite difficult and definitely takes work. But when you choose to do it, it can make such a difference in your experience and—more notably—the experience of those whom you interact with on your visit. A nice byproduct is that when you do this, you can fit in quite nicely and experience a truer version of that culture. 

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Travel Country Stays Local in Central FL

by Roots Rated
04/04/2016 03:35:57 P.M.

Mike Plante credits the summers he spent with this family on the road in a motorhome for his love of the outdoors.

“I snored a lot, so typically I was sleeping in a tent most nights. We all spent a lot of time sitting around campfires,” recalls Plante, the family member now managing Travel Country Outfitters in Alamonte Springs, FL. “And we were always reading guidebooks and going hiking and fishing. We were extremely lucky to get to do that together for a decade or so.”

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Taking Your Sheets with You

by Richard
03/27/2016 06:10:32 P.M.

One of my favorite off-radar purchases of the last few years is a Coolmax Adaptor Travel Liner from Sea to Summit. I had no idea how critical it would be to my trip as I traveled around the U.S. There were a few particulars that made the liner so critical and that cause me to now encourage most travelers to carry a sleeping liner:

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Blocking the Nasty RFID

by Richard
03/14/2016 05:29:22 P.M.

I’m not a doom-and-gloom type of person, but I like to be prepared. I’m not afraid to land at an airport in a developing country that some say may be unsafe, by myself, with a single bag, and spill out onto the city without too many fears that I’ll be troubled.

I generally know that I can take care of myself, fly under the radar, and not have much worth taking, but one thing people can take is technical information from my credit cards. That’s why the one safety travel equipment that I carry is RFID blocking accessories.

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Lost in Kuala Lumpur

by Richard
02/21/2016 07:07:42 P.M.

A night of travel and precious few hours of sleep had me worn out by the time I spilled off the train into downtown Kuala Lumpur. I followed directions from a couple Malaysian men toward my destination—a condo I’d have the good fortune of staying at the next few days with a friend. All I had to do was get there without passing out.

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Hanging Out in Bali

by Richard
02/02/2016 05:42:01 P.M.

With the wind in my face and a full meal in my stomach, I sped around the northeastern side of Bali on my $1.50-a-day scooter, looking to experience the unique Balinese cultural in new ways. A wave of desire swept over me, and I knew it would be like discovering a pot at the end of the rainbow if I could find some palm trees on the shore to set up my ENO hammock for an afternoon nap. 

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My Top 10 Massive U.S. City Parks: Part 2

by Richard
01/17/2016 05:50:21 P.M.

Here are the second 5 of my top 10 massive U.S. city parks. 

Criteria reminder: 
–I have to have personally spent time in the park.
–It has to be larger than 100 acres.
–It cannot be a national park or monument. 

Balboa Park (San Diego, California)
One of the oldest city parks in America has just about anything you’d want in your local park—fields, trails, restaurants, a zoo, theatres, museums, beautiful Spanish architecture, even a hospital close by if you get injured. Sitting in this park at dusk, I could have closed and opened my eyes to find myself in a modern Mediterranean paradise, such is the feel of this park. Oh, and it’s a whopping 1,200 acres.

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Cheeky Ranger

by Richard
01/08/2016 05:15:30 P.M.

Most of my experience with park rangers is related to their extreme level of helpfulness. They’ve excitedly aided me and different groups of friends as we decided how to weave through the peaks and valleys of various national parks and forests, taken my calls from Travel Country for over-the-phone customer advice, and I’ve found them on the trail ready with smiles and tips about coming adventure.

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Blackberry Breakfast

by Richard
12/12/2015 10:42:55 P.M.

I recently hiked six miles into a valley of Olympic National Park, straight into a temperate rain forest. I’d never experienced one before and it was certainly something to behold—a forest of trees so big and so old, packed with every other type of greenery in between, that I couldn’t help but wonder exactly what the U.S. was like when those trees were saplings.

My campsite was seclusion. I, in a ENO hammock, by my lonesome in the dry part of a creek-bed next to a running river.

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My Top 10 Massive U.S. City Parks: Part 1

by Richard
11/09/2015 02:17:29 P.M.

I’ve long desired a big expanse of space, snuggled with numerous copses of trees and calm lakes, in the heart of Orlando. But while we don’t have that massive, thousand-acre park in The City Beautiful, I’ve had to settle for visiting other parks recently. It’s been a bit of a binge, really. So, judge away if you need to.

The criteria is as follows:

–I have to have personally spent time in the park.
–It has to be larger than 100 acres.
–It has to have green space as well as trees and/or lakes.

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