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International Travel is continually on the rise and the number of students and young people taking significant journeys has been steadily increasing...

Travel changes people's lives for the better, why not set ourselves a resolution for the new year and travel? "Travel is fatal to bigotry, prejudice, and narrow-mindedness. Broad wholesome, and charitable views cannot be acquired by vegetating in one tiny corner of the globe." - Mark Twain

So maybe a dead person's quote might not be the best encouragement to travel. Let's look at contemporary institutions then, our government encourages students to be global citizens and employers generally value potential employees who have traveled overseas.

When we travel we don't just go on a holiday, we learn life skills along the way. We might have to thank the driver in a foreign language, or ask where the nearest toilet is. We get to learn about ourselves, how we cope in sticky situations when we get lost or when the trip turns crappy. Such life skills can never be experienced when we are in the comfort of our hometown.

Travelling is the perfect time for us to try something new. Track Elephant migration patterns in Kenya, volunteer with environmentalists in the Australian outback or learn Italian in Naples. Why not do something totally different from taking photos of statues or queuing to buy some pricey bag?

We should seize the wonderful travel opportunity and give something back to the community with voluntary work or conservation projects. Carpe diem! We can set ourselves personal challenges; my personal challenge is to visit at least a city in every continent. Reveling in personal challenges are always that much sweeter.

Coincide your travel plans with the year ahead and assess what your passions are. If you love wine, why not visit or work on vineyards? If you love football, why not teach children football in Thailand? The first step is always to let your imagination flow, that's the best way to start planning for your trip.

Of course preparation is essential, failing to plans means we plan to fail. So use all the tools at hand, read guidebooks, speak to peers who've "been there, done that"; visit experienced travel agents such as STA Travel to ensure you get the most out of your trip. Ultimately, the travelling is done by you, so take the leap; you'll be addicted.

For travel tips from like minded travellers or first timers from Singapore, join STA Travel Singapore in their Facebook group. While waiting for your trip to happen, download cool widgets for free from www.statraveltools.com or find out the latest deals at www.statravel.com.sg


About the Author
Tim has always wanted to be a tourist when he grew up. His most recent travels included drinking on the Star Ferry, bumping into Dakota Fanning at the foot of Shatin Ten Thousand Buddha Hill and buying a piece of the divisive Berlin Wall from Gerd Glanze.

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