Writer: Determine travels by activities

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National Geographic’s author and travel expert Doug Lansky educated K-State students on the various ways to plan a memorable travel experience without being roped into notorious tourist traps Tuesday night in the K-State Student Union.

Elizabeth Davis, junior in psychology, was part of the Union Program Council committee that contacted Lansky to come to K-State.

“We watched his video and thought it was interesting,” Davis said.

Eva Hedtke, junior in public relations, was also part of the UPC committee. Hedtke said she thought Lansky could offer a “new look on traveling.”

“College is about experiencing new things, and that’s exactly what traveling is all about,” Hedtke said.

“It’s a great time to travel,” Lansky said to begin his presentation. Lansky recognized some of the fears that can arise when people start to think about traveling, especially internationally.

“It’s the same kind of nervousness when you learn to drive a car,” Lansky said. “But anybody can do it.”

One way people tend to plan their travel is to first decide where they want to go and then decide what to do when they get there. Lansky recommends a different approach.

“I think of the activity first,” Lansky said.

Whether it is bungee jumping, hang gliding or sand boarding, Lansky decides what to do and then researches the best places to participate in that particular activity.

Activities, Lansky said, are just part of the travel experience.

“Getting around is also part of the adventure,” he said.

What you eat, where you stay and the people you meet all contribute to what Lansky refers to as “the travel adventure.” In all of these categories, Lansky encouraged the audience to “try as many as you possibly can.”

Lansky also addressed practical tips on insurance, vaccines and safety. One of these tips: look into several travel insurance options.

“There are some Superman insurances, but not all of them are,” Lansky said.

Another tip is to “have a bunch of head shots with you” to help speed up the visa process when traveling from one country to the next, Lansky said.

Sara Thurston-Gonzalez, director of the International Student Center, said Lansky’s presentation “visually helped students understand” what the travel experience is all about.

“This was a great opportunity for students to explore their possibilities,” she said.

At the end of his presentation, Lansky said, “Travel is a state of mind.” He said it does not matter how many people a person starts traveling with, “when you travel alone, you’re almost never alone.”

He said traveling costs money, but remembering that “a thick wallet will insulate you from the culture you’re trying to see” is key in getting the “travel experience.”

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