Get Off The Plane: Other Ways To Explore America

America is a huge country – Texas alone is the size of most of Europe – and there is too much to see in a single trip. Unfortunately, most people restrict their exploration of this vast country because, although traveling by plane covers a lot of distance, it can get expensive flying from one state to another. Fortunately, there are ways to travel that are easier on your budget, and let you see more of the country. Get off the planes and try these different methods of travel.

By Train

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Few people know that you can travel around the whole country by rail with a train pass from Amtrak.com. Amtrak offers USA Rail Passes for 15-day, 30-day or 45-day trips. If you’re savvy about using public transport in each stop on your tour, they’re an affordable way to see the country. The most scenic route is the California Zephyr from Chicago to San Francisco, which is one of world’s greatest train journeys. In around 48 hours you will cross the farmlands of Nebraska, scale the Rockies beyond Denver while you eat egg & bacon for breakfast in the diner, snake through rocky river valleys in Colorado and pass through the Sierra Nevada mountains to reach Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay area.

By Boat

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You might not believe it, but there are some fantastic things to see along the coastline of the country. You can plan your perfect trip around the coast by buying a boat with help from boatfinancing.co, or you could get some friends together and split the cost of hiring a chartered boat for the duration of your travels. If you’re charting the course, you have full control over where you go, and how long you stay there. Alternatively, there are some amazing cruises that let you see more of the country; cruises to Alaska, Hawaii, or the Caribbean are popular, but you can also dock in New York or New Orleans. Not to mention the cruise itself has a lot on entertainment and activities on board, so you never feel bored while you’re traveling.

By Road

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The American road trip has been a popular genre in literature, and it features many coming of age stories, Unfortunately, some of the best routes have been forgotten in favor of the interstate or flying. It’s time to bring back this mode of travel and explore parts of the country you might never have seen before. When you’re planning your road trip, you can schedule as many pit stops as you want, change your route whenever you’re bored, and stay in a single place for as long as you like. The beauty of a road trip is that you can dance to the beat of your own drum. Just make sure you stay safe on the road.

If you don’t feel like driving, you can also take the bus. Book the Great American Crossing tour, and you’ll experience New York, Detroit, Mount Rushmore, and many more cities over the course of 21 days.

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Travel Will Help You Beat These Problems

Travel is often spoken of as though it’s a magical cure for everything. I don’t know if it’s quite that, but an adventurous vacation can certainly help with a lot of personal problems…

Shyness

More people have problems with shyness than you’d think. They’re afraid of making a fool of themselves, of going up to new people and interacting, of making themselves noticed. One of the reasons that travel be great at combating shyness is that it often puts you in positions where you have to stop being shy!

The fact is that traveling does often make it necessary for you to come out your shell a little. Not a lot of people can get by in a new place without striking up a brief conversation with a local when they need some help. If you’re staying in a hostel or a small bed and breakfast in order to save some money, then not interacting with other people just makes everything feel more awkward.

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Depression

Depression, like shyness, affects a surprisingly large number of people. While there’s no such thing as a simple cure for a depressive disorder – even pills and counseling can only go so far for most people! – there are loads of ways in which you can lift your spirits in the long-term. Exercising, eating right, being creative – and traveling.

Travel helps you combat depression because it gives you a sense of actually doing something – and a lot of people who struggle with depression often feel that they’re stuck in a rut, not doing anything particularly interesting. Going somewhere new, experiencing different weather, meeting new people – it all helps you feel better. At the very least, it will help distract you!

Fear

There are a lot of words you could use to describe the world right now. Confusing. Strange. Absurd. Many would probably choose the word ‘scary’ above all others. Sure, the world has always been a scary place – but there’s something distinctly grotesque about the world right now, surely?

Traveling helps you put those worries to bed. Yes, there are horrible and baffling things going on all over the world. Maybe that puts you in a bit of a funk sometimes. Maybe it prevents you from even wanting to travel for fears of your own safety. But trust me – when you visit more places and see a lot more of other people’s everyday lives, you’ll start to fear the world a little less. It’s no Disney movie, but it’s no horror show, either.

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Flying

One of the most common phobias in the world is that of flying. (And, to be honest, part of me still feels that you have to be just a little bit insane not to be a tiny bit scared of being in a metal can tens of thousands of feet in the air going at hundreds of miles per hour.) While it would be a lie to say that traveling more often will definitely make you fear it less, it certainly helps for most people.

A fear of flying is often tied to fears of the unknown. It often seems to beggar belief that we can fly so safely. Understanding the deceptively simple physics behind it can certainly help, but actually getting on a plane is probably the best way to do it. Why not try taking a plane to a closer destination instead of an international train? (It’s often cheaper, anyway!)

Being alone

I’m not talking about the fear of being alone in the long term. I’m referring to people’s often-irrational desire to not be in their own company. It can stem from a lack of confidence, or too big a reliance on others. To some, traveling alone would seem to be the worst possible thing you could do in this situation. But it may actually be the best.

Traveling alone can help you overcome the worries of, well, being alone. It boosts your confidence – everything I mentioned in the ‘shyness’ section goes double when you’re by yourself! It also helps you get a stronger sense of yourself. By taking a solo holiday, you may surprise yourself by how un-lonely you end up feeling when there’s so much around you to discover. It may help you rethink ‘being alone’ when you’re back at home.

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Pexels

Homesickness

Even when people go away for a relatively short time, they often feel a little homesick quite quickly. It’s often thought of as a mild, nagging sensation that can be easily dismissed – and it probably is that way for most people. But for others, homesickness can be so overwhelming that it dampens the entire trip.

The more you travel, the more you learn to get over these feelings. In the meantime, you can do this by ensuring you’re always doing something to distract yourself, even if it’s simply wandering around and taking in the sights. Check out these tips for beating homesickness on the road.

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