5 Reasons Every Traveler Should Use Localeur

So you’re in a new city and everything is beautiful and different–but you just want to find a coffee shop. There’s an app for that!

Localeur is a new app designed to find the best local places anywhere life may take you. Although the app is fairly new and only contains information about 14 cities in the US–the idea is brilliant and can easily reach beyond these few cities with a little extra support by users.

1) It’s trendy. The concept for the app is that locals from the area enter their favorite places around the city. When you are visiting, you can use the app to eat at delicious restaurants, party at the most electrifying nightclubs and even find the most relaxing parks nearby.

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2) It offers variety. Similar to apps like Yelp, essentially you are getting reviews for the best spots around town for shopping, dining, entertainment and much more. Localeur offers a lot more than just reviews though, it offers Instagram pictures and clever yet easy to follow lists like: “5 things to do on a date night on Haight Street,” or even “How to Be Straight in the Castro.”

3) It’s not trying to rip you off. What makes this app stand out the most is it’s organic feel and tasteful variety of options. Rather than being a platform for advertisement by businesses’ themselves–which are the general “reviews” we’re all flooded with daily–Localeur is run by honest members of the community. Their motives are not to make money off of you, but to offer genuine opinions about what’s good, and what’s not.

4) Avoid tourist traps. Localeur can be key to avoiding getting caught in expensive, low-quality tourist traps that litter big cities around the world. Localeur is the best app so far to offer recommendations to enjoy a bonafide cosmopolitan experience.

5) Live like the locals. Using Localeur rather than choosing options based off of generic paid advertisements can highly increase your chances in finding the most niche venues and locations that can make your experience of the city as authentic as possible.

Meet Culinary Bad Boy: Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain is not your typical celebrity chef. Described as “culinary bad boy,” he is the Chef-at-large at New York’s famed bistro, Les Halles, and is also an accomplished author, having written three crime novels, a cookbook, and several bestsellers. Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, is Bourdain’s candid, hysterical and sometimes shocking portrait of life in restaurant kitchens that has been translated into over 28 languages.

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Bourdain was born in 1956 in New York City. He grew up in New Jersey in a house full of books and movies. Bourdain’s father was a hotshot at Colombia Records, and his mother was a copyeditor at New York Times. Bourdain was a rebellious and bitter child. Growing up in the 60’s, he developed an impeccable taste for rock’n’roll by the age of 10. Hanging out with hippie chicks in San Francisco, he experimented with every drug he could get his hands on.

In Kitchen Confidential, Bourdain reflects that his love of food was kindled in France, when he tried his first oyster on an oyster fisherman’s boat while on a family vacation. Bourdain graduated from the Dwight-Englewood School in 1973, and went on to attend Vassar College, but dropped out after two years. At the same time, Bourdain worked in Provincetown, Massachusetts seafood restaurants, which he writes sparked his decision to pursue cooking as a career.

Bourdain went on to graduate from the Culinary Institute of America in 1978. From there, he went on to various restaurant positions, eventually running various restaurant kitchens in New York City—including the Supper Club, One Fifth Avenue, and Sullivan’s. His positions ultimately led to the position of executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles. He remained as executive chef for many years.

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Bourdain gained immediate popularity from his 2000 New York Times bestselling book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, an outgrowth of his article in The New Yorker called “Don’t Eat Before Reading This.”

Bourdain wrote two more New York Times bestselling nonfiction books: A Cook’s Tour, an account of his food and travel exploits across the world, and The Nasty Bits, another collection of essays mainly centered on food. Bourdain’s additional books include Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook, the culinary mysteries Bone in the Throat and Gone Bamboo, a hypothetical historical investigation Typhoid Mary: An Urban Historical, and No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach. His latest book published in 2010, Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook, is the sequel to Kitchen Confidential. 

The acclaim surrounding Bourdain’s memoir, Kitchen Confidential, led to an offer by Food Network to host his own food and world-travel show, A Cook’s Tour, which premiered in January 2002. In July 2005, he premiered a new, somewhat similar television series, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, on the Travel Channel. As a further result of the popularity of Kitchen Confidential, the Fox sitcom Kitchen Confidential aired in 2005, in which the character “Jack Bourdain” is based loosely on the biography and persona of Anthony Bourdain. 

His shows highlight him consuming exotic local specialty dishes. Bourdain has eaten sheep testicles in Morocco, ant eggs in Puebla, Mexico, a raw seal eyeball as part of a traditional Inuit seal hunt, and a whole cobra—beating heart, blood, bile, and meat—in Vietnam. According to Bourdain, the most disgusting thing he has ever eaten is a Chicken McNugget, though he has also declared that the unwashed warthog rectum he ate in Namibia and the fermented shark he ate in Iceland are among “the worst meals of [his] life.”

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Where in the World…

Most wanderers know they want want to travel, but the question is, where? With a wide world full of colorful cities, there are so many options to choose from.

Teaching English Abroad

Teaching English is a fantastic way to support yourself while traveling. Anyone can become a certified English teacher with the universally-recognized Teaching English as a Second Language Certificate (TESL). This certificate is available through online courses, college programs, and even community classes.

With the certificate, you are free to travel anywhere in the world to teach private lessons, group classes, or even in a classroom. The average salaries for English teachers vary from country to country, and depend on many other factors like the specific city you are in and the amount of students you are teaching at a time.

Because the cost of living in many places like Southeast Asia and Central America are much lower than living in the United States, the salaries may seem relatively minimal, but are actually more than enough to pay the bills and feed yourself. This chart shows the average monthly salaries of English teachers in various cities across the globe.

English is the business language of the world. Teaching English to students in foreign countries equips them with the chance to use this knowledge as a tool in the business world if they choose.

English teachers are in extremely high demand all over the world. As countries try to advance economically and increase education, English teachers are needed. Being a native English speaker is a simple requirement. Many schools also require a bachelor’s degree and the TESL/Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)/Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification. These certificates go by many different names, but are all essentially the same thing.

“After I completed my certification, it only took me a week before I found someone who needed a private teacher,” said Niku Sharei. “Since then, I’ve gotten a lot of other offers and now I’m teaching two students a day, five days a week.”

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Suitcases stacked up in airport in Istanbul, Turkey.

Though there are many different ways of obtaining these certificates, you must be careful when choosing your route because some are much more established than others. There are many companies that charge high prices in exchange for a certificate. These companies are scams that take your money without giving you the proper training you need to actually be able to teach. This online forum allows people to post if they or someone they know have fallen victim to a scam–so beware of these sites! When you do receive your certification, there are also many job offers that can be scams. Check out this site to learn about the most common warning signs of job scams. The golden rule #1 is: never pay anyone a single penny to find you a TESL job. These types of fake companies are well-known by institutions, and schools will not accept certifications from these programs.

Being a native speaker of English is not enough to make you a proper teacher. Classes are essential to learning the basic skills you need to manage students and effectively teach. This is why certification programs through universities are highly effective.

“A lot of people take the courses, receive their certification, and teach for the first time when they arrive in a foreign country,” said Dr. Battenburg, professor of linguistics and head of the TESL certification program at Cal Poly–SLO, “This can be a major shock for many people because they realize that teaching theory is very different than actually teaching in a classroom. Teaching skills need to be taught through practice and application, not just theory.”

Through such programs, college students take a series of courses in order to earn their certification. These courses are a balanced mixture of linguistics, intercultural communication, and actual teaching practicum. The teaching practicum classes require teaching English as a second language to students in classrooms in the local community.

“This hands-on learning experience is really important for teachers because classroom management is a skill that can only be learnt through actual practice,” said Dr. Battenburg.

However, since TESL certification is usually associated with a linguistics minor requiring a series of classes, most students don’t have the time to take so many additional classes along with their major requirements. A lot of universities offer alternative ways to obtain the certification.

One of these internationally recognized certification programs is Oxford Seminars. The program offers classes in plentiful cities all over the United States. The program generally requires that you take six classes taught by instructors to receive your certification. They are so confident in the certification process and the demand for teaching jobs, that if you don’t find a job within six months of receiving your certificate, they have a guarantee of refusing you the $1195 you paid for the program.

“Being able to travel to whatever country I want knowing that I have a secure job and source of income is the most liberating feeling in the world,” said Catie Born. “Over the past few years I’ve taught in Japan, Spain and Italy.”

“Being able to travel to whatever country I want knowing that I have a secure job and source of income is the most liberating feeling in the world,” said Catie Born.

Regardless of the route you choose to receive your certification, teaching english is a secure way to travel anywhere in the world that you desire.

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Anatolia, Turkey

University Overseas

One of the main things that people say about traveling is that it opens up your mind. Experiencing new things, meeting new people, and discovering new places are the best ways to expose yourself to different perspectives.

Life is just a matter of perspective. Through travel, you are forced out of the bubble of your comfort zone.

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Flying over Maui, Hawaii.

College is a time for new experiences and growth. Studying at a university abroad has many perks besides just opening up your mind to new perspectives.

Amelia Thompson doesn’t in the least bit regret earning her bachelor’s degree abroad.

“I met a ton of lifelong friends and I traveled to places I never knew existed,” said Thompson, who earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Newcastle, Australia. “I learned how to manage on my own in a foreign country and socialize with new people and break out of my shell.”

Some top international universities charge no tuition. 

In countries like Germany all state-run universities are tuition-free, including the University of MunichRuprecht Karl University of Heidelberg and the University of Hamburg. ​

Another tuition-free European destination is Norway, which includes universities such as the University of Oslo and University of Bergen. ​

Finland doesn’t charge tuition to international students, but they still need to pay for living expenses, which can run from 700 to 900 euros per month ($900-$1,200) according to Finland’s Centre for International Mobility.

In a Kiplinger article titled “Earn a Degree Overseas,” Jane Bennett Clark points out that even world-renowned universities overseas often cost half the price of many American schools. Also, in lots of countries, degree programs are only three years instead of four–saving students even more money.

One of the reasons many students go to school overseas is to experience another culture. But Thompson asks: Why not, while you’re there, travel around?

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Bruges, Belgium

Travel everywhere

“Don’t just stay in one spot,” Thompson said. “Venture out and explore other countries that are nearby.”

Many students go overseas to experience new cultures. Thompson asks: Why not, while you’re there, travel around?

In places like Europe, this is especially simple in places. A student in London, for example, can easily take weekend trips to places like Paris and Amsterdam with low-cost  domestic flights or high speed trains.

“Don’t just stay in one spot,” Thompson said. “Venture out and explore other countries that are nearby.”

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Paris, France

Hands On Learning

Some abroad programs can offer better options for hands-on learning and research than staying near home. For students studying in many fields, living in areas that offer access to renowned museums, libraries and city vaults can be very beneficial. For science and environmental majors, living in special corners of the world with specific habitats and bio-regions can provide a more stimulating learning experience. Studying abroad affords rare opportunities to live in another country or be immersed in programs that strongly correlate with your future coursework or areas of interest.

For just this reason, Eric Djanie, a student at Cal Poly, decided to leave his home in Ghana and travel to the United States for university.

Katie Davos attended Webster University for her undergraduate degree. The university in St.Louis, Missouri offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs that involve studying in multiple different regions of the world. Davos studied in Thailand, Netherlands, Indonesia and South Africa over the four years it took to earn her bachelors degree in International Relations. A recent graduate, Davos now works for Wedu, a developmental organization focusing on education and women empowerment in Bangkok, Thailand.

“I can’t imagine my life any other way,” Davos said. “I’m in a place I love working with people that I care about every day.”

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Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Staycation

College may be the busiest times of our lives. With only the weekends free of overwhelming classes, studying and work, it is often difficult to find a way to actually wind down before it starts all over on again Monday.

Why not try a staycation? You don’t need to spend a ton of money to travel. Instead, you can stay near home and discover the beauty of your own area.

Living on the Central Coast, there are quirky cities full of unique shops and breathtaking beaches lined up and down Highway One.

One of these little towns is called Cambria. In the 80’s Cambria was the basis of the radio show “Milford-Haven USA” which was a national hit on BBC radio and was turned into a series of best-selling books called The Milford-Haven Novels.

In 1990, the Hollywood horror comedy Arachnophobia was also filmed here. They even used actual Cambria High School football players and students in the film.

Most randomly, Shia LaBeouf is actually a former resident of Cambria, having lived there for a short period of time but returning regularly to camp and maybe even open up an aquaponics farm with his girlfriend.

Follow me on Twitter to follow my adventure to Cambria on May 9th!

The Road Trip

America is a huge place so if you want to travel, you don’t even need to leave the country. Every state is it’s own world and every city it’s own kingdom.

Being in college, it isn’t easy to just pack your bags and hop on a plane. What you can do though, is load up the car and hit the road for a few days. Joining a club is a great way to get involved with cultural activities while you’re in college, and sometimes they can even give you the opportunity to travel.

I am a part of the American Indian and Indigenous Students Association at Cal Poly. This spring, we were able to take the group to the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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Road trips are the perfect way to experience the beautifully diverse landscapes and communities of America.

If you decide to go on a road trip, the first step is to make sure you have a plan. Personally, I love to wander– so sometimes it feels like planning takes the spontaneity out of a trip. A plan really is necessary though, if you want to avoid unexpected and often unpleasant surprises.

Driving from California to New Mexico, we didn’t have a solid plan. After waking up at 5AM and driving for 17 hours, we finally got to Albuquerque around 1AM the next day.

When we pulled up to our hotel exhausted, the woman at the desk said, “We have one room ready for you.”

Panic. We had thought we booked two rooms, but somehow the reservation wasn’t confirmed. There was no way we could squeeze seven people in one room. She told us, “There’s a huge event going on so all our rooms are booked. All the hotels around are booked too.”

Worn out and miserable, we had to scramble to call every hotel and motel in an unfamiliar place. Christina Tlatilpa, one of the officers of the club, stepped up to help. If you are ever in a room crisis, her advice can save you hours of stress and anxiety. Tlatilpa said,

“We should call the closest Hyatt or Marriott. Most of the huge chains have reservation services. If they don’t have a room for us, they’ll personally call around to find another hotel with an open room to put us through to their reservations.”

We finally got a shabby room at the Roadside Inn with a dirty shower and a noisy couple next door who wouldn’t quit banging all night.

Spontaneity has it’s perks, but maybe if we’d planned a little. we could’ve actually gotten some sleep.

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Rain clouds over a soaked parking lot in Arizona.

One of the best parts of a road trip is the stops. Finding landmarks, views, cafes and restaurants to stop at along the way are a great way to explore while making the drive more relaxing.

Along the drive from California to New Mexico, we passed abundant forests, wildlife preserves, national parks, deserts and mountains. We ate burritos at the original Del Taco in Barstow, had a snowball fight in Flagstaff, and saw a meteor crater in the blazing New Mexico desert– all in one day.

You know those people who collect random facts? They’re the best road trip buddies. Monuments and landscapes are obvious to everyone, but there are a lot of things that you can look at without really knowing what they are. Sarah La Mar was in our car and we’re lucky she was because she seemed to know a random fact about every little thing we passed.

“That’s where James Dean crashed and died,” she pointed out a Texaco on our way down to LA. The tower-sized cardboard cutout of Dean confirmed she wasn’t just making stuff up.

Pointing at a corner in Winslow, Arizona she said, “That’s the corner from the Eagles song.” Sure enough, there’s a bronze statue of a man holding a guitar with a sing above him that reads “Standin’ on the Corner.”

Passing a bunch of abandoned, dilapidated homes in New Mexico she told us, “When a Navajo person dies inside a home, the spirit never leaves, so the family abandons the house. That’s what my Navajo teacher told me.”

Having someone in your car who knows the significance of spots along the way or even looking them up yourself, can make the drive more relaxing and memorable. Plus, discovering new spots is a great way to make plans for your next trip. Stopping in the Mojave Desert, I knew I would have to return soon to camp out for a few days to truly enjoy the beauty of the area. Sometimes a quick stop just doesn’t cut it.

Lessons of Travel

By the time you’re in your early 20’s, you’re expected to start your life. But what if you don’t know what you want to do? Traveling gives you the opportunity to explore what the world has to offer before you settle to live a certain way.

Not only does traveling teach you to become independent and responsible, but it also allows you to enjoy the freedom of your youth. Check out my slideshow for five reasons you should travel young.

There are so many lessons the world can teach people like compassion, appreciation, goodwill and insight. By dealing with the situations and people that travel exposes you to, you can gain these invaluable qualities and carry them with you wherever you go.

Youth is the only time that we are not tied down by insane amounts of responsibility, so it is the best time to appreciate the beauty of being alive. If you enjoy adventure–the world is your oyster, and the time to travel is now.

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Why You Should Travel Young

If money weren’t an object, then everyone would do what they love.

Since most have bought into the idea that money runs the world, people spend years of their lives working jobs they don’t even enjoy.

But if money weren’t an obstacle, what would you do? We are only alive for a very short amount of time. If you spend all your time worrying about making money–you’ll miss everything the world has to offer.

In a Lifehack article by Anna Chui she wrote,

“Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing… than a long life spent in a miserable way.”

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It’s obvious from the traveling lifestyles of bloggers like Traveling Earl that the idea that you need a ton of money to travel is simply not true.

Many people have decided to travel off the beaten path to create a lifestyle of exploring. Some of these “permanent nomads” chronicles their adventures around the world on websites and blogs. Wandering Earl began his adventures with a three month trip to Asia which is yet to end 4,195 days later. He left home with $1,500 to his name. In his article How I Can Afford My Life of Constant Travel, he lays out a timeline of his trips and how he’s managed to support himself throughout. Most of the time, he taught English in exchange for pay and housing.

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There are a lot of ways to make money while you’re traveling. College graduates have even more unique opportunities and options to work around the world. You take your skills (and your diploma) with you wherever you go, so applying for internships or jobs related to your degree are great options if you’re worried about losing momentum in your career.

In his article 42 Ways You Can Make Money and Travel the World, Wandering Earl lists many other ways to support a traveling lifestyle. Here are a few:

  • Teach English
  • Online Freelance Work
  • Work in a Hostel
  • Travel Blogging
  • Housesitting
  • Bartending
  • Cafe/Restaurant Work
  • Teach Musical Instruments
  • Teach Dance Classes
  • Teach Yoga
  • Au Pair
  • Tour Escort
  • Photography
  • Travel Writing
  • Work Exchange

Regardless of what you do, traveling–especially in your 20’s–can open up your mind to new perspectives that can change your life forever. In her article Why You Should Travel Young, Brooke Saward writes about her experiences:

I can tell you with 100% certainty and accuracy that there are many things you can’t learn from an education. Things like independence, patience, understanding, appreciation, cultural immersion, feeling out of your comfort zone, budgeting…. the list is endless. There’s so much you can learn from travel that you simply won’t get elsewhere. 

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