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.

How to Use Technology to Plan a Remarkable Vacation

If you can still remember the Flintstone’s, chances are you are not quite as savvy with some of the newest travel technology as the current generation, but it’s never too late to learn.

Tweet a Twacation

Twitter is a powerful tool for friends and family to help keep track of each other, but it also happens to be a nifty search tool in planning some pretty remarkable vacations. Twitter feeds enable various companies, such as Travelocity and American Airlines, to keep their followers up to the minute on the very latest deals and savings going on.

If you thought that registering for a daily travel newsletter was up to the minute, you’re actually missing out on some of the best “last minute” deals available each day. Many of these bargains are only offered on Twitter (United Airlines calls them, “Twares”), so if your not already Tweeting, it might be a good idea to set up an account. An account is not necessary for the search function, but it will allow you to follow other vacationers and ask questions.

The search feature on Twitter allows visitors the opportunity to type keywords, find great deals (type-in “travel deals”), and locate fun things to do (“Christmas festival”, “water park”, etc). A nifty trick is to use a minus sign in front of your initial keywords, followed by another keyword which expresses content you’d like to extract from your search. For instance, if you type, “ski colorado – durango”, it will eliminate all ski related subjects in Colorado associated with Durango, and so forth.

While you’re at your destination, you can also use Twitter to keep abreast of any special events in the area, such as festivals or new exhibits, while also gathering quick consumer reviews on restaurants and attractions. The easiest way to follow this type of “on the road” update, is through a compatible cell, such as an iPhone.

Traveling Via iPhone

Computers are great, but what limits their practicality while on vacation, is their pure cumbersome size and design. This is where an iPhone makes perfect sense. Using one of the many travel applications available (for various fees), you can literally place the entire world at your fingertips, including packing reminders (your toothbrush), and proof to your friends (via GPS) that you are actually where you say you are.

A few popular, “free”, applications to keep in mind for your next trip are Wikitude, Citysearch, GasFoodLodging.mobi, and OpenTable. Wikitude is a useful travel guide holding over 300,000 points of interest. Citysearch locates your favorite shops, restaurants, and night venues. If you like to take roadtrips, GasFoodLodging.mobi helps locate lodging, food, and gas; while the application, OpenTable, helps discern which restaurants are worth your while. OpenTable works by offering consumer ratings along with a sample menus of the types of food served.

Fred Flintstone only wishes he had this kind of practical, technological convenience!

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.