Failure to use social networking and social book-marking with your blogging is like putting together a jigsaw without all the pieces. One of the fastest and easiest methods to get free targeted traffic to your website is with blogging. However, having a blog and keeping it updated is only a fraction of the process. One of the top blog strategies involves taking advantage of social networking sites to promote your blog posts. If you have a presence on the Internet and you’re not blogging to the world, then you’re missing out on one of the best ways to get free targeted traffic to your website. However, creating a blog and keeping it updated is only part of it of the story. One of the booming blog strategies involves taking advantage of web 2.0 social networking websites to announce your blog posts. The main reason why social bookmarking sites should be a part of your day by day Internet business actions is that a lot of people utilize these websites as their main source of gossip and news. A popular social news website like Digg brings agreat deal of traffic. Digg attracted more than 200 million visitors a few years ago. Peoplego to Digg and like-minded websites tocheck what’s new and to communicate content from the web, including their personal blog posts. If someone love what they see, they can choose the article, plus if an article is favorite, it will reach the top pages of Digg and be discovered by millions of visitors. Other social sites utilise a similar voting system. If the blog posts you put up to Digg, StumbleUpon and additional social networking sites don’t get hits, you are still enjoying the gain of creating unidirectional backlinks to your blog, so it’s worthy of the effort in making the effort to submit your blog posts to social marketing sites. Besides, it’s easy to do and frequently necessitates just a mouse-click. Yet another profit from blogging frequently and adding your posts to social networking sites is branding you and creating your credibility. Ensure you use keywords that people are using to research for your kind of business. Social networking can also give your blog a great boost in search engine rankings, and you might discover that you may make your site into the top ten of Google for a sweeping range of keyword terms if you take a controlled approach to marketing on social networks. Do not take on too much with social networking. Numerous folk attempt to submit their post to every social networking site that they can discover only to become overcome by the huge choices of social networking sites. It’s much easier to choose a dozen of the finest social networking sites for your business and to center of your social networking and marketing attempts on making routine entries to those social networking sites. The other part of your portioned time should be utilised to create casual submissions to different social marketing sites wherever you want to keep a presence. Keep yourself concentrated, disciplined and to a schedule to blogging and social networking, then you will pull in so much more publicity for your blog and online business than you will if you take a unfocused approach to social marketing. To Combine your blog posts with social networking is one of the topmost blog strategies that you can utilize. Follow the advice of this article and remember to post to your favourite social networking sites every time you post a new blog entry and you will be amazed at how effective it is for generating high quality traffic to your site.
The end of the year brings some big changes for many businesses. Around the holiday season, many companies hit their busy peak, particularly those that specialize in consumer goods. There is a general increase in work and deadlines, which can create a lot of pressure. Because of this, a company is under the pressure to perform more efficiently and on a tighter schedule than usual. Additionally, New Years encourages many companies to set new objectives for the upcoming year. In this blog, I will identify the ways in which synchronized clocks can help companies perform at their best and meet their goals. With an increase in work, there also comes an increase in meetings and deadlines. Multiple meetings a day for many employees can make for a schedule that is difficult to track and adhere to. Particularly when employees have back to back meetings, it is important that these gatherings stick to the pre-arranged amount of time so as not to make employees late to other meetings or miss meetings entirely. Through the use of a synchronized clock system, every meeting room and office in the building will be receiving the same time. This eliminates discrepancies between the clocks which can result in scheduling conflicts. Do your meetings still have the tendency to get sidetracked? If your company opts for digital IP clocks, this system has a timer feature which can be set for a particular amount of time, and will count down accordingly, making sure that everyone knows exactly how much time is remaining before the meeting must adjourn. At the end of the holidays is New Years, a time in which many people, business included, set goals for the upcoming year. This year, many businesses will be resolving to become more environmentally friendly by taking steps to “go green.” Not only is going green the responsible thing to do, it also helps to boost a company’s public image, and can often be economically beneficial as well. A synchronized clock system is the perfect tool to aid companies in achieving this goal. There are many small steps that can be taken to reduce the environmental footprint of your company, such as turning off lights or air conditioning when a room is not in use. However, with many employees coming and going throughout the day, these small tasks can often be overlooked. With the use of a synchronized clock system, many of the electronics throughout the facility can be consolidated with the clock system. With this feature, lights, air conditioners, printers, and even small electronics like the company coffee pot can be pre-set to turn off or on at a specific time. This way, they will never be running when not in use and will save a significant amount of electricity for the company. The holiday season can be a hectic time for all, especially for many businesses. Through the use of a synchronized clock system, however, companies can function more efficiently. Additionally, a synchronized clock system can help a company achieve its green initiative in the New Year. Employees will be more task-oriented and productive if they are not constantly wondering, “Is this meeting running late? Or is that clock 10 minutes fast?” or “Did I forget to turn off the coffee pot when I left the break room?” This holiday season, give the gift of a synchronized clock system to your business!
Who doesn’t like homemade Christmas cookies?
When I was a little girl my favorite holiday treat was no-bake cookies. I remember the sweet aroma throughout the house and the delightful gems lined up across the kitchen counter on waxed paper.
Mom made them perfect. She always made them around Christmas time. She made other kinds of cookies, but the no-bake ones stick in my mind.
Are you pressed for time or energy this holiday season and you just don’t have the time to make a big variety of homemade cookies? I have a really fun solution for you!
Host a Christmas cookie recipe exchange party. This is an excellent way to gather a nice assortment of Christmas cookies. The key to this event is “how many show up”…the more guests you invite, the more recipes and cookies you will end up with.
This event can even involve a holiday meal before hand as well to make it more festive. This is really up to you. But, the number one rule is…each guest that attends has to bring so many dozens of only one type of homemade cookie along with their recipe. (the exact amount of cookies are decided upon by the hostess).
Important Tips For Your Cookie Exchange Event
1. It’s best to print the recipes on index cards. Each guest will need to bring multiple copies of their recipe. Make sure your guests include their names on top of each recipe copy. It would be a good idea for you to have extra index cards on hand just in case there is not enough to go around to each guest that attends.
2. Have your guests call you to let you know what recipe they will be preparing and bringing to the event. (just to make sure none of them are bringing the same recipe) Of course, you want them all to be unique to provide a good variety.
3. Have some festive throw away containers or trays available for each of your guests to gather their cookies in.
4. If you decide on a meal…to make it easy on yourself, finger foods work really well for this type of event. Make it a buffet style. A good idea for a beverage would be some hot cider.
5. Have fun with this event and set a festive table display!
A cookie exchange party is a really fun way to visit with family and friends and end up with some special holiday treats and recipes all at the same time…not to mention, it’s saves YOU time and energy when it comes to baking.
Below is my Mother’s recipe for no-bake cookies:
No Bake Cookies
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. cocoa (unsweetened)
1 stick margarine
1/2 c. smooth peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. quick oats
Combine sugar, milk, cocoa in small saucepan. Bring to boil for 1 minute.
Remove from heat, add remaining ingredients. Mix well.
Drop by tsp. onto waxed paper. (May need to refrigerate)
If you want to liven up your holiday party try one of my favorite casseroles. While most of your guests may never heard of Chayote before they will never forget how great it tastes. A common theme at all holiday parties is to bring a new and unique dish that will amaze and please your guests. Once you have used Chayote squash and have discovered its great ability to absorb the flavors of the ingredients it is combined with to present a new and unique taste with each dish you will find a new place in your menus for it.
Chayote is also called mirliton, vegetable pear and other names in other countries, such as guisquil in Guatemala, where I first learned to use this squash. It is a relatively flavorless fruit, generally used as a vegetable. Similar to zucchini, its lack of specific flavor makes it an excellent choice to mix with other more flavorful ingredients. It is excellent as a side dish, and can even be made into a dessert. This is one very savory way I like making this into a side dish for my family.
Chayote and Goat Cheese Casserole
3 chayote squash, halved, cored, peeled and sliced thinly
4 ounces mild goat cheese
1/4 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons green peppercorns in brine
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter or spray with cooking spray an 8 inch square or 7 x 11 inch casserole dish. Place half the squash slices into the bottom of the pan, evenly. Sprinkle on half the onion slices, then one tablespoon of the flour, 1 teaspoon of the green peppercorns, drained, and half the goat cheese, crumbled. Place the rest of the chayote slices evenly over the first layer, repeating with the rest of the flour, onion, peppercorns and goat cheese.
In a bowl, combine the milk and sour cream with a whisk. Whisk in the salt and white pepper. Pour over the casserole. Cover the casserole with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 45 minutes more, until the squash is tender. Makes 6 servings.
Chayote squash grow on a vine. They are easily grown by planting the entire fruit, which will need a support for the vine to climb. It is from the cucurbita family as are pumpkins, gourds and other squash. Grow your own and have a bounty of this lesser used fruit for your family and friends. A wonderful filler food, it can be added to soups, stews, or mixed with potatoes in a dish or casserole. The squash may also be used in place of potatoes in your favorite scalloped potato dish, reducing the high carb load of the potatoes.
Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I hope it was informative and helped you along your own culinary journey. You will find many more recipes and helpful tips on my web site. I am on Facebook at A Harmony of Flavors and share a recipe or tip each day to the fans that have liked my site. I hope to see you there soon.
Every year millions of people around the world celebrate during the holiday season. But too often, many people experience adverse health problems that taint the joy of the season.
Why? Because of stress, lack of energy, poor eating or overeating, and more.
Recent studies show that heart related issues or heart attacks are strongest between December and early January. Experts theorize this is due to holiday stress, skipping medications due to holiday rushing around, ignoring chest pain, and overindulging in food or alcohol.
Instead of thinking about what to buy for your friends and family this year as a gift, why not give the best gift of all, one that is priceless… the gift of good health.
Ready to put this beautiful holiday gift idea to work?
Here are some ideas:
1. Think about what you could do in your life to be healthier and happier. Make a commitment to yourself to start doing this.
2. Ask for support in doing this. In fact, you can even ask your family to offer support instead of other holiday gifts. Maybe this means your spouse commits to going for a bike ride with you once a week. Or your son cooks up a healthy meal on Saturdays.
3. Offer to support someone in your family who is trying to make this change. For example, get a gym membership together and make a regular weekly date to go swimming or play basketball. Plant a garden together and share the produce.
Dress these gifts up and give them more impact. You can create a certificate committing to healthy living. Or put together a card filled with coupons for bike rides, healthy meals or even loving reminders to get off the couch.
These are the kinds of gifts that never cost anything, only bring benefits. They can be cherished and also passed on to other people. And they make everyone – both the giver and the recipient – better off.
When it comes to family members vacations then accommodation is really a large decision. Not only does it consume up a large chunk of one’s budget but it significantly affects the quality of your vacation. There are basically two options available for you. The very first is a hotel or a resort style hotel and also the second is to rent a holiday home. In my opinion holiday homes really are a a lot better choice for several reasons. Here are 5 of them…
While many people might argue that space is not all that essential whenever you are on vacation it absolutely does. In the event you really are a family members of 4 or more then renting a large vacation home can be very affordable and there will probably be much more than enough space for everyone. It’ll allow the parents privacy and the kids sufficient room to play indoors if they have to. A resort can get extremely cramped following per week or two.
Most hotels don’t have kitchens which means you have to buy most of your meals. Expensive! Holiday homes however have totally fitted kitchens that will permit you to organize your own meals. It also allows family time throughout meals which is an excellent thing on holiday. It will save you cash and you’ll most likely have much better quality food than getting take-aways on a regular basis.
The majority of holiday homes come with washers and dryers which allows you do your washing your self – and for free. Hotels not just charge you but it actually keeps a lot of people from doing it in the resort and searching for a laundromat elsewhere – a real trouble.
Although resorts generally have great entertainment it lacks that in-room enjoyment that many kids want these days. Holiday homes have their own TV’s with Cable and also you do not need to pay additional. If you want to watch movies you are able to just get a DVD and also you don’t have to pay hotel rates simply to view a film. Some even have PlayStations to keep kids entertained on rainy days.
Perhaps the biggest problem with hotels is privacy. No matter where you turn you’ve other people inside your encounter. When we’re on vacation we frequently just want some peace and quiet and you’ll by no means get that inside a resort. Having a family members house you’ll have total privacy and will probably not even know you have a neighbor. You will have all the peace and quiet you deserve on your vacation.
A common question that many people who are new to the network marketing industry have when trying to evaluate a potential company is “Is this a scam?”, so I wanted to take some time to research a relative newcomer in the notorious network marketing travel industry that has a lot of people curious if it’s a good opportunity or not. The company I checked out is World Ventures, so here’s what I found which I hope will help you to decide for yourself, “Is World Ventures a scam or a good business to join?” .
You may have bought your entire seat, but you’re only going to need the edge on this one, folks…
Here’s the thing that’s most important to consider with any MLM company you’re thinking about joining:
1. Whether or not a real product and/or service exists.
2. Does the service or product provide real value to its customers regardless if they’re involved with the company as a distributor? Simply, would people still buy it even if they didn’t earn a bonus (We’ll go over the World Ventures LTC and Dream Trips programs in-depth soon)?
This is definitely the most important aspect of any serious evaluation, and World Ventures is no exception because if the service or product doesn’t hold up to scrutiny, than every other aspect of a network marketing like World Ventures is essentially moot.
Would you agree?
World Ventures travel products: Do they provide real value?
The Dream Trips product currently sells for a $199.95 fee up-front and $24.99 per month after that. The basic concept behind this product is the same as Costco or Sam’s Club. They purchase in bulk and through their customer’s monthly membership fee, they get access to discounted travel packages. I took a look at the World Ventures website and there are currently about 70 vacations to choose from.
Are the vacation packages a scam or are they actually good deals?
It would be very time-consuming to compare all of the vacation packages currently being offered by World Ventures to properly determine the value, but the few prices I audited were actually good deals when I put them head-to-head with some of the top travel booking sites.
One vacation I compared was to Cabo San Lucas at the Riu Palace (yes, please!). For two adults, this vacation was priced at about $760 with World Ventures via the Dream Trips product and Travelocity was almost $200 more expensive at about $950.
Another comparison I did was for the Grand Lido Braco resort in Jamaica. This trip for two adults was priced at about $890 via the Dream Trips product with World Ventures and Travelocity came in around $1050. At least in these two examples the savings were pretty substantial.
Since we’re comparing “oranges-to-oranges”, there were some more extravagant trips listed that couldn’t be easily compared because they included extras that someone couldn’t buy through some of the major travel sites, or they didn’t show the price unless you were a World Ventures customer.
Based on what I’ve seen so far, it looks like most World Ventures consumers would recoup their Dream Trips membership cost with the money they’d save by taking their first trip. You’ll have to keep in mind that this isn’t an exhaustive Dateline NBC-type investigation since I only reviewed 2 of the almost 70 Dream Trips to a major travel booking site, but based on what we’ve seen so far, I think it’s reasonable to say that people who take at least one good vacation per year would get some value out of their World Ventures membership.
The “World Ventures Scam” is looking busted…
World Ventures Leisure Travel Consultant Package (LTC)
The World Ventures LTC program also sells for a start up fee of $199.95 and $24.99 per after that. The best way to think about it would be as a turnkey online travel business. The start-up fee includes your own online retail travel website, web-based travel learning modules along with an exam, and opportunities for higher-level travel industry training. Cutting edge marketing training excluded, from what I can tell they give their distributors many of the tools they’ll need to build a thriving online business in the travel industry.
I was also extremely impressed with the Rovia search engine because, after messing around with it for a while and seeing how it searches all the other major travel sites, I could start to see how World Ventures’ claims of not needing to search multiple sites to get the best deal could be very true.
Speaking of getting the best price, they also have a “Match or Beat” price guarantee for online travel bookings against Priceline, Travelocity, Orbitz, and Expedia which could be a very positive marketing tool for someone who is working to build a network marketing with World Ventures.
Common claim of why World Ventures is a “scam”: World Ventures LTC program is essentially a “travel agent card mill”?
Over the past 10 years or so, there have been more than a couple network marketing companies that have tried to take advantage of the undeniable fact that a rapidly increasing amount of travel is booked online. Unfortunately for the end consumers, these companies didn’t really provide much real value and left them with “a bone to pick” with the entire network marketing travel industry.
What these companies were doing was they were selling a cheap plastic card disguised as a good product that allowed people to get discounts as if they were licensed travel agents when they technically weren’t. This is where the term “card mills” came from.
It’s kind of like those B.S. scam “classes” that are conducted in international waters where a school will issue you a college degree in an afternoon for a fee. Super, you got a piece of paper that says you’re a qualified lawyer in Kazakhstan. Very nice!
I’m happy to say that I didn’t see anything on their website or in their marketing materials which would show that World Ventures has gone this route with their LTC program. Actually, World Ventures went a step further and made it so that LTC’s can’t get this card until they’ve booked a standard number of travel sales along with completing additional training similar to what offline agents must do.
It’s important to keep in mind that World Ventures product is a discount based on their buying in bulk and not by giving everyone travel agent discount cards like some less-than-reputable network marketing travel companies have previously done.
I hope this has helped provide some insight into World Ventures as a company and will help you figure out for yourself if it’s a scam or not.
(Disclaimer: I am NOT affiliated with World Ventures in an way and am providing non-biased information along with my opinion based on 10 years in the MLM industry.)
Are Travel Clubs worth the investment?
My traveling days have slowed down since I’ve become a new mom, my priorities have changed, but my husband and I still try and take a vacation at least once or twice a year. My boss travels several times a year and was telling me about the opportunities that come along with them and suggested that I check things out. Well, my curiosity got the best of me and I started searching different sites for information on the pros and cons. I hope my findings help you with your decision on whether or not to purchase a membership.
Wondering what a travel club is? Members a charged a membership fee in return for providing travel at cost or an extremely discounted rate. There are several different types of clubs, ranging from luxury leisure travel to affordable adventure travel and a whole slew of others.
My boss chose to go with “Travel RCI”, which guaranteed the lowest prices for flights, hotels and other forms of travel. He has been very happy with the services and said he wished he would have joined earlier. The savings have truly added up for him, and they might for you as well.
Becoming a member can be extremely beneficial if you travel more than just once a year. Most memberships come with several free trip offers each year. Travel club memberships offer cheap trip options that are not available to the general public. Investing in a membership can range anywhere from unlimited flexibility in travel options, trip packages in thousands of destinations. You can save on all the extras that go hand in hand with planning a trip, like car rental, hotel reservations, airline tickets and discounts on food and drinks. Travel club membership also works like airline mile rewards programs, giving you additional benefits for traveling more.
There are a handful of different types, ranging from women’s only clubs, sport-specific like ski or golf travel to clubs for traveling singles. Most memberships require a one-time nominal fee, while other may require annual or monthly membership fees. There are also several companies that coordinate for the professionals, like teachers and dentists, with professional services related travel opportunities.
With the vast array of options and types, just about every traveler can find a club that is unique to their individual tastes. An important factor is convenience. A travel club allows members to maintain up-to-date profiles based on their travel interests that help the club to weed out potential offers and trip options for them. With a vast array of traveling tools, a travel club can simplify your travel planning process for you by keeping everything you need on an easily accessible site.
Like any other special offers and discounts you may find on the Internet today, travel club options should be thoroughly researched for legitimacy. There are many travel-related Internet scams on the Internet and they prey off vulnerable trusting individuals. Be sure to check out the company’s reputation by conducting a basic Internet search. Like contacting the Better Business Bureau, or simply calling the company in question to ask for more information.
Also, remember that the benefit of a travel clubs really ramps up once you travel twice in a given year. If you do not travel at least twice a year you will likely not save enough money to justify the cost of your membership. If you travel more than twice a year your travel club should be a great investment.
Travel clubs can be a great investment for the avid traveler. If you plan on traveling several times a year I would highly recommend that you research the different travel clubs and see which one will best suite you and your family and/or business needs. Please take the time so you too can get the best out of your future travels.
When litigating a road accident claim, travel anxiety and associated stress is one of the typical sub headings of damages. Depending on whether physical injuries exist, the severity and level of disruption socially and occupationally of any travel anxiety are crucial to accurate and viable quantum assessment. Paul Elson and Karen Addy both have considerable experience in differentiating clinical and sub-clinical types of ‘travel nerves’.
Travel nervousness following a road accident is almost a universal psychological consequence among those people unfortunate enough to suffer such an event. The level of nervousness displayed by individuals varies considerably. For some people it is very mild and soon disappears as they return to driving. This can essentially be considered a normal response that does not require treatment. For others however the level of nervousness suffered is more problematic. This group of people fall within three categories, namely those for whom the problem is considered ‘mild’, ‘moderate’ or ‘severe’.
Mild travel nervousness describes those people who, while displaying a clear degree of travel anxiety, are nevertheless able to travel in a vehicle without too much difficulty and as such there is no avoidance behavior. Those people with a moderate degree of travel nervousness display increased nervousness and have consequently reduced their level of travel, typically limiting their travel to essential journeys only. Finally, those people whose problem is considered severe display both marked anxiety regarding the prospect of traveling in a vehicle and in addition have markedly reduced such travel or even avoid travel altogether. The level of travel anxiety suffered by those people for whom it is considered mild is unlikely to meet the criteria for a psychological disorder, ie it is not clinically significant. The level of travel anxiety suffered by those people for whom it is considered moderate may or may not meet the criteria depending on the level of anxiety suffered and the degree of avoidance involved. For those who are suffering from severe travel anxiety it is likely that they will be suffering from a diagnose psychological disorder, most commonly a specific phobia.
There are various approaches to tackling these problems. First, a person may benefit from learning strategies to relax, such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation. This may be available on the NHS (usually via the person’s GP), privately, or could be accessed through simply buying a relaxation tape that will talk the person through the skills needed. This approach would be of particular benefit for those people considered to be suffering from mild travel anxiety and could be sufficient to help the individual overcome their nervousness. Behavioral approaches, such as encouraging an increase in travel practice, are essential to recovery as avoidance of travel maintains the nervousness and reduces confidence in traveling. Thus encouraging a person to increase the time or distance involved in their traveling would help them regain their confidence. Refresher driving lessons can also play a part in increasing confidence and reducing avoidance; this approach is likely to be beneficial to all three levels of travel nervousness.
For people with more severe travel anxiety and those that meet the criteria for a specific phobia, more formal psychological treatment is often required. The most common and evidence-based therapy used in such cases is cognitive behavior therapy. This is a well-established psychological treatment that seeks to teach people to overcome their nervousness by tackling both the individual’s thought processes (the cognitive component) and by working on the degree to which they actually travel or else avoid doing so (the behavioral component). It is practically-oriented, involving the teaching of skills and homework-type assignments. Its effectiveness is grounded in scientific research. This approach would be indicated in those individuals whose problem is moderate or severe and usually consists of a course of 8-10 sessions. Ideally, the person receiving the treatment should possess a degree of psychological mindedness, ie they possess the ability to reflect on their thoughts, feelings and behavior.
Another form of psychological therapy used to treat travel nervousness is that of Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR). This approach involves encouraging the client to bring into awareness distressing material (thoughts, feelings, etc) from the past and present and which is then followed by sets of bilateral stimulation, most usually side-to-side eye movements. Once the eye movements cease the individual is asked to let material come to awareness without attempting to ‘make anything happen’. After EMDR processing, clients generally report that the emotional distress in relation to the memory has been eliminated, or greatly decreased. EMDR is primarily used to treat post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), for which there is some scientific evidence demonstrating its benefits, and although it may also be used to treat travel phobia, the research evidence supporting this is more anecdotal.
The above approaches are not mutually exclusive and it is likely that in practice a combination of treatment approaches is needed. For example, a person undergoing cognitive behavior therapy is also likely to benefit from being taught relaxation techniques and to increase their travel practice, components which usually form part of this therapeutic approach. They may also be receiving EMDR treatment.
While the approach to tackling an individual’s particular problem is partially determined by the nature and severity of the problem, as outlined above, it is also dependent on the preference of the individual concerned, as some people would rather try tackling the problem themselves, having received some simple informal advice, while others would prefer something more formal, such as psychological therapy. Either way, the person needs to be motivated to tackle their problem and ideally possess some belief in the effectiveness of the approach that they are using.
The following case highlights a typical anxiety reaction to a car accident and the recommended treatment for such symptoms:
Mr. M was a 28 year old who was in an accident in May 2008. He was a front seat passenger, in a car driven by a friend. The car they were traveling in was hit from the rear by a lorry and pushed into another lorry whilst on a motorway. Mr. M was trapped in the car and was cut free by the fire service. He received whiplash injuries and burns to his legs as a result of the car’s water tank spilling on him. Early psychological symptoms (developed within 2 months of the accident) were stress symptoms of intrusive thoughts, nightmares, some avoidance phenomena and persistent arousal symptoms. These symptoms as described did not meet the full criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (DSM.IV 309.81).
However, he experienced mood disturbance with variable low mood reactive to pain, feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem, sleep disturbance, reduced appetite and weight loss, lethargy and reduced motivation, consistent tearfulness, loss of interest in usual activities and consistent irritability, exacerbated by physical discomfort. He also stated that he was generally more anxious, describing worries about potential hazards and being more jumpy and hyper-vigilant to perceived danger. Following the accident Mr. M avoided driving and at the time of the interview (15 months since the accident) he had not driven. In addition he avoided traveling as a passenger whenever possible. There was social withdrawal due to travel anxiety and low mood. He reported stopping usual activities such as going to the gym and going out with friends. Mr. M had not worked since the accident. He reported that he was physically unfit for approximately six months, however had not returned to work due to a fear of traveling in a car preventing him from accessing work.
The symptoms described by Mr.M meet the criteria for a Specific Phobia (DSM.IV 300.29) related to travel and a Depressive Disorder (DSM.IV 311). Mr M completed a course of cognitive behavioral therapy (12 sessions) which included a graded approach to increasing his travel practice and incorporated general relaxation techniques. After six months Mr M had significantly increased his driving and passenger travel, had started to work part time and no longer met the criteria for either a specific phobia or depressive disorder. It is unlikely that without appropriate psychological treatment such improvement in Mr M’s condition would have occurred as evidence suggests that maximum natural improvement in symptoms will occur 6-12 months following the index accident.
Travel anxiety, a common response to experiencing a distressing road traffic accident, is a well documented and understandable phenomenon. It can and does improve with self help, advice, and where appropriate, professional help.
There is no one “right” way to travel, especially when it comes to the number of partners you choose to travel with as you explore the world. Yes, if you travel with others, you should only travel with those whose presence you enjoy. And yes, I’d argue you’ll have a lot more fun by traveling with some close and adventurous friends rather than traveling through a foreign destination with a group of tourists who barely want to leave the hotel. But, assuming you make a few wise choices regarding the company you keep, there are unique benefits hidden within traveling with one person, with three people, or with a dozen people.
Not that you actually need to travel with anyone else. In fact, the intensity of traveling alone often outclasses anything you’ll experience traveling with others- intense in its highs and its lows. Intense in its connections and its loneliness. Intense in its opportunities for building confidence, and intense in its opportunities for dealing with doubt and fear. And it’s this intensity of often-conflicting experience that makes traveling alone for an extended period of time an absolute necessity for each and every one of us.
Travel is About Growth
A quick aside.
Some people may be put off by the ideal of intensity I’ve used to drum up travelling alone. I understand this. An intense experience can be uncomfortable to think about. But in reality, an intense experience is often more uncomfortable to think about than it is to actually live through. But our discomfort surrounding intensity lies at the heart of every growth opportunity we ever encounter. We grow the most when we feel most alive and when we push through vague anxieties to expand our sphere of comfortable action.
In other words you shouldn’t avoid the intense experiences and the discomfort they temporarily produce- you should run towards them. Sometimes traveling is about just enjoying yourself, but at its heart traveling the world is about running towards intensity, embracing discomfort, and expanding the world you inhabit.
So yes, the thought of traveling alone can sometimes feel scary. That’s sort of the point. Don’t use this fear as an excuse to live in a smaller world than you need to.
When you travel alone your experiences will swing wildly back and forth between being deeply social and deeply lonesome. Often the tone of your experiences changes overnight. One night you meet some new friends you spend hours and hours with as you talk, as you explore, as you bare your souls- as you get drunk together and dance together and as you wander foreign streets late at night together, invincible in the moment. The next day they leave and so does the last person you know in your current location and you’re alone again. In that moment you can be active and reach out and meet others, but you’ll feel shocked how often, in that moment, you’d rather spend your time totally alone.
Through expat bars and hostels and alternative tours, traveling provides you with a never-ending opportunity to meet new people. When you travel by yourself you’ll only ever be as alone as you want to be. You’ll be able to meet others without preconceptions, without strings attached, without checking in to see if everything’s cool with your friends and without worry what others will think about the relationships you build and leave behind. When it comes down to it traveling by yourself provides you with social freedom you could never experience back home or traveling with others.
And that includes the freedom to truly be by yourself. The relief of occasionally spending a day on your own when you’re back home does not, and cannot, compare with the depth of the solitude you will experience when you are alone for hours, days, or weeks at a time in cities, countries and cultures far from your everyday experience. These silent, lonely moments will make you feel so many things, they will give you the time to process and to question and to answer, it’s in those moments of total separation from everything and everyone related to home that you can gain the most perspective on your life and make the hard decisions about who you are, what you want, and how you’re going to get there- decisions you just can’t make when you’re grasping on to even the slightest thread of connection to the life you used to know.
I hope I don’t sound like I’m bearing down negatively on others. So many of your opportunities for some semblance of enlightenment will come to you in the company of others. We are intensely, and intrinsically, social creatures. As E.E. Cummings said, “We are for each other,” and every nugget of insight you learn as you travel by yourself exists for the sole purpose of helping you better serve the world and the others who live in it. I’m merely suggesting there are benefits and insights out there in the wild you can only gain when you disconnect completely in the way you only can when you vacate normal life and search for something else on your own.
If you need any greater indication that humans are truly social in nature consider the powerful feelings of doubt and fear you’ll feel when you cut yourself off from others. Even thinking about traveling alone you’re probably thinking that it isn’t something you could ever do. When you leave home on your own you will feel incredibly scared of what you’ll find way out there and whether you’ll be able to handle it. Traveling alone you will repeatedly question pretty much everything about yourself and whether you can even survive, in a basic mental and emotional sense, without continuous close contact with others.
And moving through these cycles of fear and doubt you will learn something- that you can handle it. You cannot only survive but you can thrive. You learn how tough you really are, how little you really need, and with that knowledge of your own inherent indestructibility and with that understanding that life can be great even if you lose everything, you will gain the confidence and courage to actually act on the dangerous insights you accumulate while you travel. Traveling alone not only lets you see what difficult choices you need to make when you return back home, traveling alone lets you know you’re strong enough to risk it all and act on them. Traveling alone makes you both a wiser and a stronger person in a way traveling with others never, ever could.