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RTW Budget: India

India is famous as a budget-friendly destination, but how much does it really cost? I spent two days in transit and 10 days in Delhi with perhaps the least expensive hostel and dining expenses of any destination on my RTW itinerary.

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Why I Didn’t Go to the Taj Mahal

It is incredibly difficult for me not to consider my trip to India a failure. While there were certainly positives, between jackass hostel guests, my own mistakes, and a million outside factors that are nobody’s fault… it was kind of a shitshow. Case in point: Who goes to India and doesn’t see the Taj Mahal?

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Never Knew Your Name: The Unsung Angels of Travel

One of the biggest things I have learned on my RTW trip is to appreciate even the briefest of connections. As an introvert, I tend to seek out deeper relationships. We introverts detest small talk and prefer to invest our limited social energy in a small circle of close friends. That luxury doesn’t exist when you’re constantly on the road. In fact, with many of the people that have stood out in my travels, we never even exchanged names.Nonetheless, they made so many aspects of my trip easier and became the unsung angels of the road.

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Are You Ready for India?

Before flying into New Delhi on my RTW trip, I had never been outside of Europe and the United States. Clearly, some part of me wanted to just rip that band-aid right off. I spent hours reading everything I could about India. It’s not exactly a country highly recommended to solo female travelers, particularly if you’ve never been anywhere else on the Asian continent.

But why is that exactly? Why do all the challenges of India make it an unwise destination for inexperienced travelers? Is Delhi somehow really uniquely terrible?

I was surprised when I landed and didn’t feel an immediate, strong culture shock. Delhi largely looked as I imagined it, with ruddy dust-filled streets, tangled webs of traffic, and oranges and bananas piled high at road-side stalls. In my first few days, I had to focus on work and much of my ‘travel’ experience was limited to simply taking a walk around the city and maybe going out for lunch.

As I wandered and saw the challenges of travel in India first-hand, I realized why I wasn’t reacting to the typical culture shock triggers. I had, in fact, seen them before in other cities – they weren’t unique to Delhi at all. Are you ready for India? See how many of these challenges you know how to handle.

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Bucket List London (And What to Do Instead)

London is the ultimate cosmopolitan capital. Its centuries of history, massive political power, and far-reaching culture often make it a prime destination for first-time travelers. It’s easy to pack a whirlwind itinerary of double decker bus tours, snap a few selfies with Big Ben and the Trafalgar Square lions, and call it a holiday. London is so chock full of things to do, you could spend years here and never see it all. But that’s just why you should make an effort to go beyond the top bucket list attractions of the city and see more.

Say cheerio to the heaviest crowds, save a few quid, and enjoy modern sights instead of suffering through ‘must-sees’ that don’t really interest you. Below, you’ll find your guide to bucket list London and the less iconic sights you should add to your itinerary.

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WorldSmith of the Month: Photographer Erica Coffman

WorldSmith of the Month is a new feature, showcasing traveling artists and creative professionals around the world. I believe travel in itself can be a creative pursuit, but there are so many ways travel and art can (and do) intersect and fuel one another. Travel can bring you closer to creative endeavors, and living creatively can help you travel more. Read on to meet the newest addition to the WorldSmith community and learn how she balances art and travel.

Few arts go hand in hand with travel like photography. We all love to snap away while we’re overseas, whether it’s on a disposable Kodak, a waterproof GoPro, or a fancy DSLR with interchangeable lenses. Taking photos while we travel at its most basic helps us show friends and family back home what our time abroad was like, but at its best, developing your photographic craft makes you a better traveler. The reason is simple. A traveler and a photographer both require the same trait for success: patience.

Just ask professional photographer Erica Coffman, who has fondly irritated many a travel companion with her long shoot set-ups!

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RTW Budget: London

Budget London? Isn’t that an oxymoron? The British capital isn’t exactly known as a cheap destination. When I determined Istanbul probably wasn’t the best place for me to spend the month of October, I was afraid switching gears to London would completely kill my RTW budget. I did wind up spending about $200 more than planned. But that was about the difference in the cost of my Airbnb rental from city to city – everything else pretty much evened out. Read on to see exactly what I spent on a month in London.

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The Creative Professional’s Guide to London

For centuries, people from all walks of life have flocked to London. Henry VIII even believed it to be the literal center of the universe! The city is notoriously pricey in terms of accommodations, but if you can afford to get here, free museums and cheap eats in Chinatown can balance your budget. More importantly, the long history of supporting arts and culture and the wealth of working cafes make it an ideal base for traveling creative professionals. Read on for a digital nomad-friendly guide to London.

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Six Months In: How My RTW Packing List Has Changed

Every new traveler thinks they’ve nailed the perfect packing list. My original RTW packing list turned out to be pretty good. But in the first month or so of my trip, it seemed like I couldn’t turn my head without something in my pack getting lost or broken. As soon as the last thing got replaced, something new would fixing. And then there are all the toiletries I had planned on restocking on the road.

So as I rounded the halfway point of my year-long RTW trip, I took another look at what’s inside my backpack. What have I added? Did I get rid of any items I don’t need? Just how often does a traveler have to restock things like shampoo, toothpaste, and deodorant? How often do things get lost and broken? Read on to see how my packing list has changed.

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5 Unique London Day Tours to See the City in a Different Light

The typical hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus is a great way to spend the day on your first trip to London. The ‘Old Smoke’ is such a large city, you can get your bearings and tick off some of the famous sights you feel you can’t miss. But London’s size also means that there is so much dwelling beneath that tourist-friendly surface. As Samuel Johnson rightly said, ‘He who is tired of London is tired of life,’ and you could honestly spend years in the British capital and still never run out of new things to see and do. So once you’ve satisfied your tourist tooth, try one of these more unique London day tours on for size.

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