Travel to Learn

Many would love to believe that one of the purposes of living is Travel, exploring new lands, expiring different cultures, listening to different music and tasting different cuisines. Our planet has so many beautiful places which is probably God’s gift to Mankind. The incredible and magnificent natural beauty of mountain ranges, lakes, waterfalls, and forests are unbelievable. Even the man made structures built by human being throughout ancient times are remarkable. The efforts that human being is putting towards preserving these monuments as well as preserving nature are also truly remarkable.

When you see all the beauty that surrounds you when you go to visit a place it leaves a lasting impression on minds, it opens new doors and new dimensions to people. Traveling also makes it possible for us to meet different people, see different sights and do different things. The most important part is not what we see but what we learn from visiting these places. Although the whole human kind is kind of similar with the same need and desires, there are small things which are different form one community to other. While traveling we meet new people of different communities and learn form them. Traveling to new cultures and interacting with strangers teaches one as much about oneself as it does about other people. The challenge of new experiences will push one’s personal barriers back.

Coping with situations that have not been previously encountered can show you that you are capable of achieving, or succeeding at so much more than you had thought. Learning about different cultures can teach you things about your own culture – things you had erstwhile neither appreciated nor understood. Spending time with friends from another culture will challenge stereotypes that may be held by both parties. Some of the greatest joys of travel are gleaned from knowing that your preconceptions were wrong. Some travel to escape, others to explore. While traveling you may feel that you are just an onlooker or alternately when you visit a new place you learn the vagaries of their life and culture. Traveling gives you an opportunity to experience different foods, arts and language and helps bring you so much closer to people.

To make the most of you travels and to learn the most one should plan to travel to different places in the world. One shouldn’t just travel to the nearby beach or the neighboring hill resort or just one or two favorite destinations of yours. There are many countries in Europe which are rich in cultural history and have beautiful scenery and relaxing activities. Places like Greece and Rome, Berlin and Munich and the picturesque villages of Black Forest prompt travelers to come to these places again and again. Winter sports enthusiasts find snow covered mountains of Austria and France enthralling enough to show off their skiing and snowboarding skills. Asia and Africa with their vast natural sceneries and historical and cultural heritages have made their tourist sites attractive to woo international visitors. The top animal reserves of Africa are found nowhere else. So you have bag full of options to spend your vacations at some of the stunning locations of Asia, Africa and Europe.

California Travel – From Santa Barbara to Monterey by Car

Northern Santa Barbara County, and the California coast beyond, offer tourist attractions worth spending a few days enjoying. There are a number of natural wonders and great tourist stops to be seen driving north from Santa Barbara. This trip is suitable for both couples and families.

Take the San Marcos Pass road as you leave the city of Santa Barbara. This is a breathtaking mountain drive that heads up the side of La Cumbra Peak on Highway 154. Along the way to the highest part of the highway, there are many scenic turnouts for a panoramic view of Santa Barbara, the Channel Islands National Park and the many miles of coastline.

Once over the pass, you’ll drive by Cachuma Lake. This is a state recreation resource for camping and fishing.

Santa Ynez, for which this valley and region are named, is an old California mission town. Here you will find a number of fine art galleries and the county’s fine wineries. Notable celebrity homes here include President Reagan’s ranch and the Neverland retreat of entertainer Michael Jackson.

The quaint community of Solvang is just a few miles west of Santa Ynez on Hwy. 246, just west of Hwy. 101. It is a remarkable replication of an old Danish village, complete with a giant windmill. The town boasts some of the best Danish bakeries and buffet smorgasbords in the country. Spend a few hours here for lunch, and to visit the Scandinavian craft and souvenir shops. You’ll forget, for just a while, that you’re in the heart of Southern California horse and wine country.

The beautiful state beach parks just a few miles north of the city are yet another group of attractions. Leaving town, travel north along the coast on Highway 101. The road today retraces the historic El Camino Real, or King’s Highway. Check out El Capitan, Refugio or Gaviota state beach parks. They offer fishing, camping, and picnic sites on remarkable beaches.

Santa Maria is the next town up the highway. Santa Maria Tri-Tip barbecue is a local tradition. It’s not like anything you’ll find in Texas or other barbecue meccas. This is rubbed and marinated barbecued sirloin roast. It’s sliced thin, and is usually served rare. Typically it is eaten with corn tortillas or on a sandwich bun, and along with Santa Maria’s slow-baked Poquito beans. It’s well worth the stop to try.

Less than half an hour north of Santa Maria is the picturesque seaside town of Pismo Beach. Most of the motels and restaurants are on the ocean side of the highway, set on the cliffs overlooking a view of miles of coastline. Pismo Beach claims to be the world’s clam capital, owing to the unusually large, tasty and abundant Pismo clam. Several versions of clam recipes are available in a number of the local restaurants.

The nearby Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. It is a 1,500 acre sand dune state park for ATV and 4-wheel vehicles. There are camping and RV facilities available. This is one of the few places in California where driving on the beach is permitted. Bringing folding beach chairs is a good idea.

Continuing north from Pismo Beach, you can drive up the tiny coast road to the town of Morro Bay. It’s a town with a distinctive New England coastal flavor. This is where the Pacific Coast Highway becomes part of the National Scenic Byways Program. Enjoy the road stretch from Morro Bay on the south, along the Big Sur coastline, up to Monterey at the north. Without exaggeration, this is one of the most beautiful and breathtaking roads anywhere in the world.

Exploring the central California coast is a great and affordable journey. There’s no need to forgo travel plans because of today’s high cost of living.

Be Remarkable – Stick Out Like A Sore Thumb And Multiply Your Exposure

Today’s marketplace is crowded with smart and talented business owners. If you want to hook your business on to the fast track, your first step would be to increase the exposure of your business to the market. Let’s just agree that without exposure, your market wouldn’t even notice that you’re there among the other smart and talented business owners. So how is it possible to get yourself spotted? The answer is, ‘be remarkable’.

Have you wonder how can you become remarkable?

Be A Sore Thumb

Sticking out like a sore thumb is one of the ways, just take a leaf out of William Hung’s book. He is definitely one hell of a sore thumb and everyone was scouring the Net just to find more video clips of him, be it spoofs or interviews. He was not expecting any fame from the American Idol but it did gather him the most popularity votes among the other misfits. I would say that his fame is fueled by his remarkability because most people have the habit of sharing the latest interesting news with their friends. His remarkability travelled by words of mouth and the media decided to feature him to boost their own rating. In the end, the man had enough exposure to shoot him to fame. He had received marriage proposals from strangers around the world, he was cast in a Hong Kong movie and he had his own music video with gorgeous babes dancing around him.

You would want that for your business, don’t you? Note: I am talking about the exposure.

So how can you add a touch of ‘remarkability’ to your business and be 100% sure that everyone will glance at your business at least once?

Here’s how one guy who is remarkable in his own ways:

The One Million Dollar Man

I can still remember a particular Monday night when my partners and I attended a networking session for online marketeers. The entire social event was a frenzy session of exchanging business cards with as many people as we can say ‘Hi’ to, but one man distinguished himself among the rest by handling out black-white copies of US 1,000,000 dollars. He went around giving out ‘cash’ freely and extending his well-wishes to everyone. You can expect everybody to welcome his ‘gifts’ with open arms. Best of all, they are cheaper than conventional business cards and yet they are more remarkable. In fact, they are so remarkable that I even see people willingly introduce their friends to him!

When you are remarkable, words about you will naturally spread and your amount of exposure becomes viral. The Million Dollar man has so much attention that he stood out among the rest of us, just like a sore thumb. People just had to see what was the buzz around him.

Another way of generating remarkability is to boost your presence in your market. In other words, your name should be synonymous with your targeted market.

Get A Bigger Slice Of The Mindshare Pie

In the past, businesses built this presence by buying advertisements spaces on the magazines, newspaper, billboards, etc. These media were deeply rooted in the daily life of consumers for they were the popular places where consumers look for solutions, education and entertainments. So, when they were facing some problems, they would turn to the advertising companies as they were the most prominent then – remember that the companies had been advertised in the major media. The media had helped companies to capture a large mindshare of their targeted market. The companies brand had become remarkable in the eyes of their market.

However, the mindshare landscape has started to change. More and more people are searching for their solutions, entertainment, alternative income, education and even groceries from the Internet. But our focus should be on the social networks such as Facebook which has over 66 millions of active users and online forums, or anywhere else where people seek for answers everyday. Instead of the companies using the media to spread their names, they used existing social network to do the same! Netizens who find the companies’ products to be interesting and remarkable will be very likely to spread the words to their friends. Likewise, their friends will introduce the same products to their own networks of friends.

This is also known as web 2.0 marketing, where buzzworthy news are spread like wildfire among groups of friends with similar interest. Every business owner would want this kind of viral exposure, it lends remarkability to their businesses.

Web 2.0

Web 2.0 actually refers to the current trend of the Internet. It basically means the proliferation of user-generated contents, compared to contents from authoritative sources such as universities. The use of web 2.0 marketing is a very cost effective way to generate the remarkability for your business.

For example, when a company wants to sell high-end cameras, they can easily find their targeted market in online photography forums and social networking groups. They just need to create a buzz in those particular areas and will start seeing potential customers discussing about it in the forum. These potentials will multiply when the discussion is carried on into other forums too. In other words, instead of paying a huge cost to get your products in front of TV viewers, you can spend a tiny fraction of the same cost to create a buzz in web 2.0 and see how the exposure for your products grows!

The Internet has already become an integral part of modern life and it has garnered an even larger mindshare than conventional media. If you are serious about growing your business, there is no doubt that you should start to consider building your business presence on the Internet and be nothing less than ‘Remarkable’ in your targeted market.

In fact, these companies and organization have already done it and had seen great feedback:

Ogilvy & Mather – Used Facebook to promote the Motorola Q mobile phone last December. They said “much more money” would be needed to achieve the same level of consumer awareness and interest using traditional media.

Mediaedge:cia – Used MSN Spaces to promote Canon digital SLR cameras. They said “The campaign exceeded expectations with over 3 million… and 30,000 comments… in just two months”

Paramount Pictures – Used Facebook and MySpace to promote the monster-flick, Cloverfield.

The buzz that these promotions had seen is a testimony to how low-cost advertising using Web 2.0 can deliver huge exposure to your targeted market and boost your online presence. You can start learning the ropes immediately by googling ‘Viral Marketing’ and ‘Social bookmarking’.

If you own a business and really want to distinguish yourself from everyone else, you have to be remarkable in your very own way. You can either stick out like a really sore thumb that attract attentions every way you go – which is a good thing for business – or you can start building your online presence with web 2.0 and attract global attention right in your home sweet home. Which is a better way to gain exposure? You choose.