Student Drops Out of College & Buys a One-Way Flight to Guatemala

looking-out After trying and failing to lead a conventional life, Jake Heilbrunn decided to follow his intuition by backpacking and volunteering through Central America. This trip changed the course of his life. I distinctly remember climbing atop La Danta and looking out across vast amounts of jungle expanding as far as the eye could see in all directions. It was humbling to realize how big this world is and how small I really was. Oddly enough, this new perspective gave me the confidence to continue pursuing my dreams and passions. The vastness of the jungle reminded me that if I was really so small, I had nothing to lose.

That night, the twelve of us volunteers cooked up a campfire dinner. There was no service or wifi in the jungle, so everyone sat around and talked, face to face. Nobody was distracted by their phones or technology. There was a powerful energy among us as we shared this intense, jungle experience devoid of distractions.

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How to Be An Unsuccessful Backpacker (and Succeed Anyway)

Claudia Tavani was inspired to travel Latin America after seeing The Motorcycle Diaries. She admits she doesn’t always travel by following best practices, but that doesn’t stop her from having an amazing time.

Travel bloggers enjoy “bragging rights” of a sort, especially when it comes to showing off their ability to travel on an extreme shoestring budget, to be hyper-local while getting off the beaten path, and to tout how many countries they’ve explored. If this is what it takes to become a good traveler, I may be on the wrong journey because I don’t think I fit into any of that.

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