Edinburgh Fringe, Learning As You Travel, Hitchhiking Africa, and Independent Travel in Madagascar

This month we’re on to Africa and focusing on education as we travel. This week we’ve focused on Southern Africa and Madagascar with emphasis on independent travel and hitchhiking. To inspire you to the possibilities, we’ve also rolled out 11 of the coolest things you could decide to learn on your RTW trip, including a specially made itinerary that includes them all; just for you! Interested in the arts? Educate yourself at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival… it happens in August this year, so there’s still time to get tickets!

Here’s what you may have missed:

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

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If you’re interested in taking a deeper look at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (and life) then this one is for you. From dealing with death, to art as therapy, and the transition from consumer to “maker,” Brooke Allen will challenge the way you participate in arts festivals and how that applies to real life.

“The third person I talked to was another young woman who was exuding enthusiasm. I asked her how she felt and she said, “Wonderful.”

When I asked her why, she said, “Because we’re not very good, and that’s OK.”

She explained that she’d been suffering low self-esteem for a decade and had tried every form of therapy she could find: Freudian analysis, cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, reiki, acupuncture – even fortune telling and astrology.

Then someone said, “You don’t need therapy; you need to go to the Fringe.””

11 Skills to Learn on Your RTW Trip

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Sure, you could just lay on every beautiful beach in the world as you spend your time slowing chasing your dream. Or, you could make your RTW trip a learning journey, a source of inspiration, and equipping for whatever might be “next” when you come “home.” How? By intentionally crafting your itinerary around learning. What should you tackle? Read on!

“Everyone comes back from a trip with great stories and pictures, but how great would it be to have a new talent or expertise as a souvenir from your travels? Long after your tan has faded, your new Thai cooking skills or photography know-how will be enriching your life for years to come.

If you’re looking to hone a new skill while on a longer trip, check out some of these comprehensive courses to take around the world.”

Hitchhiking Southern Africa

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There’s hitchhiking, and then there’s hitchhiking. Southern Africa is one of those destinations that might give even seasoned travelers pause when it comes to hitting the roadside with a backpack and little else. If you’re considering thumbing it around the world, then this article is for you. Learn from an experienced hitcher the rules of the road for thumbing in Southern Africa.

“Everyone knows that overland travel in Africa is cheap. The same four bucks that gets you a hamburger and fries at home can get you across some 500 kilometers of Namibian bush—often with change to spare. But road tripping can still be a tough sell despite this well-known fact.

That’s because once off the beaten path, African roads are notorious for their disrepair. Public buses and combis are overused, rundown, and oftentimes, downright dangerous. And while transportation timetables are almost always posted, things rarely run on time, which makes sticking to a schedule next to impossible.

Surprisingly, hitchhiking offers one of the best ways to avoid the headaches and the hassles of overland travel (especially since booking domestic flights or fancy tours can get expensive). Thumbing a ride has the potential to save both time and money, and because it puts travelers face to face with the local people, it often results in interesting travel tales. ”

How to Be an Independent Backpacker in Madagascar

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Madagascar conjures dreams of dusty roads, elusive lemurs and those sci-fi inspiring “upside down” baobob trees. Most serious travelers have it on their bucket list, but few actually make it to this island off of the southern coast of Africa. Jessie Beck did. She spent two years living there as a Peace Corps volunteer and she’s got the inside scoop on how to navigate Madagascar independently. If Madagascar is on your list, you want to read this one!

“Flying out of San Francisco’s Airport, Madagascar is about as far away a person can get. Once here, the lack of tourists, expats, and large international chains, combined with a totally unique ecosystem and culture gives off an air of visiting somewhere forgotten, remote. It epitomizes the ever coveted off-the-beaten-path travel destination.

Unfortunately, its inaccessibility has created a tourist industry that caters more to tour groups and wealthy independent travelers willing to rent private cars and personal guides. As such, independent backpackers who can’t afford this luxury, choosing instead to traverse the country’s roads by public transportation, eat local, and take things as they come are a rare yet admirable sight.

Exploring Madagascar as a backpacker is a mixture of rewards and hurdles, but knowing a bit about the country before venturing into the bush will help the adventurous minority have a more trouble-free journey.”

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