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Posts tagged with ‘slow travel’

Traveling Around The World For Free

Backpacker relaxing and enjoying the view of the Torres Del Paine national park in Chili

While my travels are usually measured in days or weeks, most of the other travelers I’ve encountered during my journeys were usually on the trail for months on end, and sometimes even years. It requires a completely different pace of life. It’s a lifestyle in itself. For if you’re not pressed for time, the slower you travel, the cheaper you can live.

The article ‘How to travel the world for free‘, goes on to explains how one can explore our planet with just pennies in your pocket. Though I have some doubts if it can really be done completly for free; you can probably go a long way if your goal  is to immerse yourself in the different cultures and customs you may encounter during your travels, while skipping the hightlights and tourist hotspots.

Exotic Train Travel: a list of the nine best rail journeys

The Tangula luxury train traveling through the Uninhabitable yet beautiful landscape of Tibet.

Having finally taken the Eurostar from Brussels to London and back, it not only struck me how small Europe has actually become; compared to the state of air travel to today, trains have become a lot more enjoyable and comfortable way to travel. While it’s hard to claim the Eurostar trip as being exotic, other rail lines do speak to the imagination. For example the Orient Express, that in its heyday followed the famous silk road. Or the Trans Siberian, which probably is not only the longest rail line in the world, but is also a destination in itself. “The nine best train journeys in the world” has put together a list of the more interesting rail lines, some of which I had never even heard of up until now. Never the less, they all look quite interesting.

One line missing though is the Tangula, which connects Beijing with Lhasa in Tibet. Maybe out of political correctness? The railroad itself is a remarkable feat in engineering that traverses through some of the most harshest environments on this planet. Because of the extreme heights it runs at, the cabins are pressurized. There is already a regular line running on this route, but apparently, the Chinese have also added a luxury train.

Great for Beijing, but for Tibet however, the railroad is a threat. For it has long been Beijing’s policy to actively relocate and subsidize the majority Han Chinese to the poorer areas of the country. From their point of view, they are simply spreading prosperity and trying to increase the standards of living for all Chinese. But with this new rail line, traveling and moving to Tibet has become a lot more easier. The danger for Tibet however is the further loss of their culture, identity, but most important of all, their autonomy. If they had any left. The Tangula is probably one of those rides you have to take with a lot of mixed feelings.

Hitch a Ride on a Cargo Ship

While a cruise on a luxury ship has never really appealed to me, I have discovered a new found love for ocean travel. Great was my surprise when I discovered that it is possible to ride along with one of the many cargo ships that cross our seas. They are the unsung hero’sof our globalized world. But social commentary aside, there is something to be said about slow travel. It’s an excellent way of stepping out of our hectic lives and coming to terms with how to fill your time once you’re confronted with too much of it.

Little red ship at Neko Harbour

Where my love of ocean travel began.

Freight travel by sea also has a notorious reputation for serving really great food. With crews away from home for months at a time, it has been proved that a world class chef onboard is the best way to keep morale high for those long trips out at sea. Traveling with a freight line is not cheap however. But you do get your own cabin rather then being packed and sealed into one of the containers they are transporting. And did I mention the food?

Nowadays, there  is also the added excitement of being boarded by pirates and taken hostage for huge ransoms. Chanses of stumbling across Jack Sparrow may be slim in this day and age, but still. Imagine the stories you could tell. And believe me, if you had to choose between buccaneering with pirates or sharing a plane with a terrorist, I would go for the first.

Any way, more information about cargo travel can be found over here: http://thetravelersnotebook.com/how-to/how-to-travel-by-cargo-ship/

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