I had a birthday recently, and as I get older each one of these minor annual events serves to remind me that there is still so much I want to do, so much I want to see, and so much I want to be.
It’s very easy to become complacent with our current lots in life. Things are working, or not, and our lives move along at a comfortable, or at least tolerable pace. We get used to the familiar and come to expect it. We move to a routine rhythm and wince when something is out of sync.
This is not a bad way to be, but it is not the only way to be. When my birthday rolls around I take stock of where I am, and where I want to be next year. When I was younger and had kids at home, this was an easy exercise. I always wanted to be pretty much where I was, taking care of home and family.
Now that the kids are on their own I’m finding that I don’t fit in that mold anymore. My life feels like an old pair of loafers that I’ve kept too long. It’s worn, stretched out of shape, and scuffed and when I wear them they feel loose on my feet, stuff gets in them and makes walking uncomfortable if not hard to do for any real distance.
Time to change the loafers for some hiking boots.
I’ve always been a fan of traveling. I don’t do it nearly enough, but I intend to change that. But where to go? What to do?
These are easy questions to answer. Where to go depends on what you want to see or do, and that depends on your ability to physically be at your intended destination. For instance, you wouldn’t want to climb the Eiger if you’re afraid of heights, snorkel the Great Barrier Reef if you can’t swim, or visit a Sahara oasis if you are wheelchair bound. That’s not to say that it can’t be done, just that it could be overly difficult to accomplish, especially when there is so much else you could be doing that can accommodate you.
If you don’t want to venture too far from the familiar then day or weekend trips to places relatively close can be just as rewarding as a month long excursion to some exotic location. Still, you need to find these places, right?
If you own an iPad then finding places to go is easy too. Just get 1000 Places to See Before You Die. The title may sound a bit morbid to some, but to me it sounds like a challenge, I’ll likely never get to visit all of the 1000 places, but it would sure be a hoot to try.
The free iOS app is a great way to start. When opened you are presented with a map of the world that’s dotted with flags indicating points of interest. If you’d rather you scroll up the map and see a listing of places organized by region. Tap a flag or a list item and you get details about that place including photos.
What I like is that each description includes pertinent travel info, like the best time of year to go, approximate cost to stay, and other details a traveller might want to know. Good stuff.
1000 Places isn’t just a travel guide, its a social tool too for like minded folks. Get a free account and post your pix and travel desires for others to see, and keep track of where you’ve been and where you want to go. This is a fun app and a good tool for those looking to move on in life.
While getting there can be half the fun, staying abreast of the goings on in the world is a must and National Geographic Today can help on that point.
This freebie is chock full of National Geographic goodness, daily news articles, photos, movies and more are presented in a clean and easy to use format.
As always with National Geo, the photos and video are amazing and the news stories are interesting. I like the different views (by day, week, or content) that lets to scroll through categories to find items of interest easily.
I have several National Geographic apps and they never disappoint. This one is no exception.
I REALLY like this app. It is so well designed to it’s a joy to use (as an app that showcases design should be).
Design Museum lists 59 items that were created for a wide variety of purposes. From telephones to teapots, the design of each device is such that it level sets the category it was made for.
Each item includes a back story, photos, some include movies with commentary from experts. I’ve only gone through a few of the devices listed in the museum, but I’ve seen enough to know that this is one of those apps every iPad owner should have. It’s that good.
I only wish there were more items to view. I’m hoping that by the time I get through the included 59 they’ll have updated the app with more designs to review.
This app is a definite. Get it.
That’s a wrap for this week. More free travel apps below with direct links.