Hip Hop Music Sales Slump in Digital Age What Does This Mean For the Industry?

Hip hop music was huge in the United States just a few years ago. At one point in 2000, sales even hit a record high of over 1.8 billion USD. That was when Hip Hop R&B had over taken all other genres of music in terms of record sales. To find out why Hip Hop music sales are slumping currently, one has to rewind a little and understand how Hip Hop all started out.

Before Hip Hop got accepted into the mainstream, many Hip Hop artists pretty much stayed underground to practice their art form. No one knew Hip Hop was going to become the titan that it would develop into. When Hip Hop first began, it started out in the streets. It was a movement by people who were disadvantaged, or were ostracized by the community – they were looking for a way to express themselves and their plight. And express themselves they did.

Hip Hop music is spontaneous and witty. For example, when a battle takes place between two artists, the lyrics are never pre-written. Each competitor will be given the opportunity to rap for a certain period of time. The audience is the judge. The culture of rap is that the judging audience is never biased making it a truly democratic art form. Whoever comes up with the most original and creative lyrics will win the battle. Of course, there is an element of like and dislike. So the lyrics have to connect with the audiences as well. The final results of the battle is based on the cheers of the audience. Whoever receive the loudest cheer, wins the battle.

As you can see, Hip Hop arises out of a need for talented artists to be heard. And the artists became really good from years of practicing. As they practice, the world remains largely unaware of what is happening. It wasn’t until the artists become more entrepreneurial that Hip Hop starts to take off.

Unlike other type of music, the Hip Hop community accepts was far reaching in content and profanity in the lyrics. The market finds it refreshing to hear such profanity in the records. And soon, Hip Hop music took off like a bullet with as much variety in tone as there were people. From the angry rebellious rap, to the happy its a party time songs.

The market soaked it all in mainly because they believed that the artists were just doing their thing – they were voicing repressed feelings, from lack of opportunity or showing you how to enjoy yourself and life. So record sales continued to soar. Recording artists like Eminem, 50 Cent Lil Wayne, Jay Z, T.I and Gucci Mane all did very well in the industry.

Unfortunately, the success of the Hip Hop industry has hit a turning point. In a few short years, sales for Hip Hop music begin to decline, and it continued to decline year after year. Some recording labels, once worth millions of dollars, are now near bankruptcy.

It is clear that the market has taken the time to learn about Hip Hop music and culture and have fully embraced it. After earning billions of dollars in the industry, and being widely accepted in the mainstream, what is the source of the decline in sales?

Many will argue, its all due to the Internet. The new Internet age has brought about many new opportunities along with many new threats to the old industries. Now its easier then ever to commit piracy and unfortunately the record industry has been resistant to change. Too stuck in the old mind frame and old distribution channels to fully embrace what the Internet could really mean for them.

Hip Hop artists are now being heard all over the world. There is no longer the element of distribution channels or lag from the artist to the market. Why? Because the Internet makes it instantaneous. As such old walls have been broken down where people had to wait for months or search relentlessly to be able to acquire all of an artists past works.

As such artists must continue to evolve in order to continue thriving. Perhaps it’s still back to basics. No more focusing on big marketing budgets and record label driving initiatives. Maybe what the Internet has done is take Hip Hop out of the corporate boardrooms and back to the streets where all that counts is just great rap music lyrics from the heart.

Hip Hop Music

Hip-hop music is the vehicle of hip-hop culture and contains “rapping” (superimposed with vocals) by emcees. Owing to this, hip-hop music is sometimes referred to as “rap music,” However, those who dismiss hip-hop as rap music do not comprehend its rich history and the influence this genre of music has on youth culture.

Hip-hop music is a vehicle used by the singers to address racism, oppression, and poverty issues. It narrates tales of inner city African-Americans living the American dream (through hard work, courage and determination one can achieve prosperity) from the bottom up, and bitterly touches upon racial discrimination, broken homes, and overcoming adversity.

Invented by Jamaican migrant DJ Kool Herc in the early 70s in New York City, it has since then spread its tentacles across the world. Herc shifted from reggae records to funk, rock and disco. Owing to the short percussive breaks, he began extending them using an audio mixer and two records. As the unique style of music became a hit, performers (emcees) began superimposing the music with vocals; initially, they introduced themselves and others in the audience. Later, the rapping became more diverse, incorporating brief rhymes, often with a sexual or violent theme, in an attempt to entertain the audience.

In the mid-1970s, hip-hop split into two groups. One focused on getting the crowd dancing, another highlighted rapid-fire rhymes. The 1980s witnessed further diversification in hip-hop; highly metaphoric lyrics rapping over multi-layered beats replaced simple vocals. In the 90s, gangsta rap (glorified outlaw lifestyle) became mainstream. Hip-hop was soon an integral part of mainstream music, and nearly all the pop songs featured an underlying element of hip-hop.

In the 90s and into the following decade, elements of hip-hop were integrated into diverse genres of music: hip-hop soul combined hip-hop and soul music; in the Dominican Republic, a recording by Santi Y Sus Duendes and Lisa M was coined “Meren-rap,” a fusion of hip-hop and meringue. In Europe, Africa, and Asia, hip-hop has undergone a transition from an underground occurrence to the mainstream market.

All About the Hip Hop Music

Hip hop music as we all know is really popular these days. It all started in the 1970’s from the South Bronx of New York City. There are a lot of sub culture music styles that are involved with Rap music. Let us know more about hip hop in the following listed details:

Brief history:

During the 1970’s, New York City’s African American Puerto Rican community created the Rap music genre. It is actually a style that came up while trying to add rap music and other instruments like synthesizers, drum machines in live bands. Rappers are the main subject of the hip hop though there are more to it than just rapping. It began with its simple music versions that were modernized and evolved throughout the years.

Styles and Techniques:

Hip hop music or Rap music is not just music at all. It is composed of other things, not only the music itself. If we talk about being in a hip hop culture and community, you will be in a lot of transformation and changes. For example is their fashion statement. Hip hop has brought along a new type of clothing to all artists on the rap music industry including the people listening to it. It is what the people on the Bronx have come up with, but the a little edge into it. We can see most of the artists wearing baggy clothes, with much ‘blings’ in their accessories. It is all part of the hip hop community transformation.

The language is also a bit different. Black people from the Bronx have a certain style or slang in their language. They are more of the baroque style of speaking, and they have added that style in their music’s. Rap music are consists of songs that are written for people that wants to express their feelings in an edgy way.

Graffiti:

Even the graffiti has been transformed by the hip hop music society. It was used in the earlier years as a form of expression for the political activists. Now, hip hop people created it into a way for them to express their way of life, thoughts with the current society, and all other issues. It can be seen throughout the Bronx where it originated.

Famous artists:

1. Run-D.M.C.

2. Public Enemy

3. Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five

4. Beastie Boys

5. 2pac

6. Eric B and Rakim

7. N.W.A

8. Wu-Tang Clan

9. Jay Z

10. De La Soul

11. Outkast

12. A Tribe Called Quest

13. Notorious BIG

14. Nas

15. Eminem

17. LL Cool J

18. Boogie Down Productions

19. Dr. Dre

20. Afrikaa Bambaataa

21. Kanye West

22. The Roots

23. Gangstarr

24. Ice Cube

25. EPMD

26. Salt-N-Pepa

27. Slick Rick

28. Big Daddy Kane

29. Snoop Dog

30. Pete Rock and C.L Smooth

Those are the major information we should know about the rap music genre. Try listening to some of their songs to know more about what this type of music is all about.

Audio Production – How to Become a Hip-Hop Music Producer

There are many upcoming music producers interested in audio production in hip-hop. This urban genre of music appeals more to the youth which you must be aware of with your techniques. This means you have to be different and unique, and these qualities are what most of the hip-hop production houses and artists are looking for. With the right knowledge in music production, the next thing is to find your way into the list of notable hip-hop music producers in the industry.

Since your interests are in hip-hop music and audio production, you have to know how to make these kinds of beats. Make nice hip-hop beats because you will need them when you want to show artists looking for suitable beats to sing or rap over. The best way is to know places where you can find aspiring hip-hop artists so you can offer them your beats for “mix-tapes” or sell them for a small fee and if you have good beats, you can be sure your chances of them and the public liking them is a lot higher.

You should also make sure you attend all the events you can that will keep you in contact with hip-hop artists, other music producers and any interested parties so you can introduce yourself and what you do. Network is crucial in the music business and you have to learn how to sell yourself. You could also give samples of your work and remember to make follow ups since it is likely you are not the only one doing that and they may have received a lot of samples from other aspiring hip-hop music producers who also love audio production.

Make sure you network with people you share interests with and this means other people aspiring to be hip-hop music producers. Through discussions and forums, you can get to know what other people are doing to make it in the industry which could be very useful to you.

There is need to know all that is happening in the hip-hop industry including the changes that you need to adopt especially to do with technology. Since music technology is changing rapidly and people’s needs and tastes are also changing, the artists too will need to be into audio production that are up to date to give them an edge in the industry since they know their fans will also like it.

There are music producers equipment that you will use in your work which you must have. On top of being aware of the music technology in the industry, it is also important to be aware of the different hardware that are introduced so that you get some knowledge and understanding as to how they operate.

Perhaps the most important thing is to have a genuine interest in what you do and strive to make your skills better in audio production. Practice always makes perfect. Listen to a lot of hip-hop music and learn the tricks with the best productions. You can consider listening to your favorite producers to try to emulate their style and as you get better slowly evolve and develop your own.

How Does Urban Wear Relate to Hip Hop Music?

Over the years because of hip hop music stars who also design clothes, urban wear has become some of the most popular types of clothing on the market. There is a definite iconic status for people who design urban clothing and the fact that the clothing is related to the hip hop music culture. These clothes reflect the attitudes of the rap culture itself. In fact, as hip hop continues to thrive and move forward the clothing that comes with it will remain hot! As the hip hop culture continues on it becomes more popular among young people especially in the urban clothing lines. Some of these lines are designed by the hip hop artists themselves like. This increases the popularity of hip hop and this type of urban clothing will be the stamp for future hip hop admirers.

Urban Wear is definitely more for open minded people. Today’s urban fashion is worn around the world and is considered the most fashionable. It may seem to be American but this type of clothing was actually inspired by African culture. That is why the term hip hop seems to bring to mind colored people wearing over sized shirts and jeans. This type of clothing is also known as street or urban wear. It really begins from the music genre that brings out the personal expressions and goes against the mainstream music scene. It has been known to feature huge accessories that are known as bling! There are also the basketball caps and t-shirts that tend to be at least one or two sizes bigger then the way clothes are worn on average. These types of shirts could come from plain basketball jerseys or feature some sayings that express what the individual wants to get across to society.

The fact is that hip hop style has been accepted all over the world. It was first accepted in the poorest American cities like the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. The urban wear phenomenon is made up of various styles and different ways to wear pieces. There are some vital pieces that you should have in your wardrobe. Society So when hip hop music stars look good in their clothing then the fans want to look good in it too! The hip hop industry is collaborating with the fashion industry and getting the urban culture out there which includes hoods, military printed cargos, custom sneakers, hip hop hats and more.

It is not uncommon to see urban wear appear in music videos and on rap icons. This is the way that they contribute to the flavor of fashion today. It is quite common to see these labels under the leadership of famous rappers and producers that want to build their business and get into urban clothing deals. Many hip hop musicians will get into the business or urban clothing because they know it will be a huge business accomplishment. Many music artists get signed to a record label and get paid huge sums for their recorded work but may not see more money until the label gets back all the money from promotions. This is when artists may want to invest in other ventures and urban wear has become one of these popular outlets.

This is a way for these artists to make their money work for them. It will also benefit them as far as their public image and self expression which they want to give to their fans. With these kinds of ventures it is a way for them to market and sell their clothes. P. Diddy with Sean John, Nelly with Apple Bottoms, Jay-z with Rocawear, 50 Cent with G-Unit and more are all managed by rappers and many other labels have grown in appeal as rappers continue to get their names and music and urban wear out into the main stream where the public is just eating it all up.

Instrumental Hip-Hop Music

Indian Hip-Hop is a wonderful mixture of conventional Indian musical rudiments with hip hop music. Hip-Hop changed all the dynamics of world music in 1990s. It’s a form of music which focuses more on message or lyrics of the song than the music. To understand Indian instrumental Hip-Hop music we will have to look at instrumental and Hip-Hop music separately. Indian instrumental music is a part of the great tradition of Indian classical music. Indian classical music is one of the prime constituent of wonderful Indian heritage. Whereas Hip-Hop originated from Afro-American culture and now it is more of a global phenomenon. The mixing of these two forms of music results in captivating instrumental Hip-Hop music.

Instrumental Hip-Hop music redefined the music scenario to the extent that it is considered as a genre of its own. It is one of the most experimental forms of music. Slowly India is also catching up with this new genre. Instrumental Hip-Hop uses one or more local music with other instruments. For example, Indian instrumental hip-hop music mixes few of the Indian languages with percussion or other Indian instruments like Veena or Sitar and thus comes out a completely new form of music which is soothing to the ears. Other experiment includes using Indian movies songs with numerous instruments.

Indian hip-hop musical segment is still in evolution stage. Though, few of the Indian artists have managed to make a name for themselves on international scale. One of the most popular Indian Hip Hop artists who is credited to carve a niche for himself is Asoka. Basically a solo performer, he has worked with famous rappers as well. Asoka has worked with one of the world’s most popular rappers, The Outlawz. Not only that, he has prominently featured in major mix tapes. Other prominent Indian hip-hop artists are Srik, OBB, Sagar, PRX etc.

Summer Hip Hop Music 2013

Get ready for the newest hip hop releases. Summer 2013 has officially arrived and we’re gearing up to give you the business of the new music artists’ releases!

Now before we continue, let me just make clear that a lot of rumors have surfaced as to exactly what is about to go down during this hot, sticky, and sexy season.

For starters, Lil Wayne’s songs and other new hip hop music releases will be served handsomely on a platter via your local favorite Summertime radio station, that is. Besides, who would’ve really doubted Lil Wayne songs as yet another regulatory bypassing of judgmental fodder for submissive temporary airplay? Not us.

Besides, the boy has been among the top hip hop artists since he killed audiences with those none other than dare I say who? If you guessed TT Boi a.k.a. Sir 2 Chainz, then you guessed right my friends. Remember back in the Spring of ’07 when we all couldn’t wait for the newest hip hop releases? Ever since that historic mind-blowing period for Playaz Circle, 2 Chainz has gone on to become seemingly out of nowhere literally one of top music artists to date.

But that’s not all, because my sources inside tell me that this summer’s newest hip hop music will be an ever so eventful one considering the likes of the classic duo even once more collaborating.

Just in time. Right on the money, huh? Pssst… we hear this one’s aiming to be a classic.

In other rumors of new hip hop music, Rocko’s not at all in any type of a hurry to take a break thus far in getting off of his wave. After all, so is everyone else riding it out along with him. Definitely be on the heavy lookout for one of his brand new music releases around midway through this hot Summer season.

Oh yeah, and for all you doubters and forgetful types out there, guess which hip hop music artist is making a steady and long-awaited comeback? Younger shorties prepare to pinch yourselves accordingly, for you may not know who this is.

Just not too long ago, the former Cash Money record label signee, known to other artists as Young Turk, was released from prison on what had foully appeared to be trumped up felony-related charges upon him and other music artists as of late.

We hear that Turk is currently back in the lab perfecting and fine-tuning his “oh so” Lil Wayne-ish like craft effortlessly for a sharp and secondarily memorable return.

We wish him well.

*On a sidenote, we also heard unconfirmed rumors of Young Turk once again collaborating with his former group mates Weezy and Juvenile for an official Hot Boy’s reunion.

Hip Hop music artists Hot Boys Young Turk and B.G. were both incarcerated due to what apparently led to the former groups fallout, among other unsolved issues. The new hip hop music releases that are slated for this year’s Summer should be on smash to say the least.

Without giving away all of the goods, I must say that fellow west coast artists will become very active once again this Summer in the newest hip hop music scene. Big up to all of the new music releases coming from up out of the new west. As fans, we need a breath of fresh air, for sure and most certainly.

Well, that about wraps up the lowdown on this year’s Summer 2013 annual music artists and upcoming new music releases. Definitely keep an eye out for the west coast as mentioned for the west will certainly provide this Summer’s classic club bangers and newest hip hop music. Turn up!

Why Parents Don't Like Rap and Hip Hop Music While Kids, Teens and Young Adults Do

Rap and Hip Hop Music is one of the leading trends in music today. Yet, so many parents disapprove of rap/hip hop music, while kids, teens and young adults have an undying love for it. Why?

Most parents want the best for their children, and so, they go about their days attempting to acquire better lives for themselves and their loved ones. Parents were young once too, but they later discovered it is more beneficial to live a positive life style compared to a negative one. They have come to understand that the path towards having constructive experiences start with feeding the mind with constructive ideas, learning good lessons and following sensible instructions.

Therefore, most parents do not want their loved ones to have negative experiences, such as the constant viewing of cruel images, repeated feelings of unnecessary pain or repetitive listening to destructive words that are heard in some hip hop and rap songs. For this reason, parents don’t like many rap and hip hop songs because of the damaging lyrical content. What is more, they don’t appreciate the idea that such harmful words are being fed into the minds of their kids, teens or young adults.

On the other hand kids, teens and young adults love rap and hip hop music because of the powerful nature of the beat, while the flow of the lyrics spew out catchy punch lines and slick metaphors. For the young at heart, hip hop and rap is more than just music, it is a life style. It is a wonderful combination of rhythm, rhetoric and hope. Kids, teens and young adults all over the world bop their heads emotionally to the rhythmic sounds of hip hop. They become awe inspired by the rhetorical flow of rap and hope to one day capture the financial success of the artists viewed in the videos.

Although some of the lyrics in rap and hip hop music are derogatory in nature, all of it is not belittling. Several hip hop and rap artists outright demean people, places and things, while some rhyme about how they overcame appalling living conditions, hateful peers, poverty and crime. Others boost about their financial success as an affirmation that they have made it out of a life of dreadfulness. And, artists may use language which they are familiar with — a curse or two to express such experiences.

So I ask parents, a kid, teens and young adults, is there a balance?

Well, everyone knows that the mind is like a sponge, soaking up information like water from the very moment of human conception. Indeed, the mind vividly records what is observed through sight, sound, touch, taste, smell and imagination. As a result, that which is recorded in our minds has an effect on our behavior. Yes, music also shapes our mindset!

Music is considered an art and science for a very good reason! Experts in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, biology, physiology, physics and education have worked alongside musicians to unravel the mysteries of music. Such research is aimed at understanding music’s basic structure; it’s biological, emotional and psychological effect on humans and the brain; it’s healing and altering potential; and its function in the evolutionary process. Music helps scientists understand complex functions of the brain and opens up treatments for patients who are recovering from strokes or suffering with Parkinson’s. Research even suggests that music may alter the structure of the brain.

What is more, words have power, real energy. This is demonstrated in the fact that music can thrill us, sadden us or inspire us. We feel goose bumps rise on our skin as we listen to a favorite melody, and we are whisked back to old memories by hearing the opening bars of an old school song. Throughout history, songs have been created with the intention to inspire feelings of happiness, joy, praise, relaxation, anger, heartache, destruction, etc. Wow! Music can do all this?

The good news is that there is a balance. For parents, it is recommended that you do not discredit all rap and hip hop music. There exist good and wholesome compositions out there that your young ones can enjoy, and you can feel safe that they are feeding their minds with sensible ideas.

And for the kids, teens, and young adults, it is suggested that you be more mindful of the type of rap and hip hop music you are listening to as it does have an impact on your mindset.

Hip Hop Music Production – 3 Essentials For Producing Your Own Hip Hop Music

The Hip hop music production of today uses drum machines, samplers, online beat makers, live instrumentals, samplers, live vocals, sequences, and synthesizers. If you can imagine it, you can probably use it. This genre of music includes all the various processes that go into the production of the music. As a producer, your role is to assemble the instrumentals of each track.

Putting together a hip hop instrumental is an art form what the hip hop music producer is known for. This is typically called the beat, while in the role of producer you are known as the beat maker. The biggest change that is now happening in the industry is that advancing technology which is eliminating the job of producer in hip hop music production.

The good news for Rap and Hip Hop artists is that today artists themselves are now taking of the production of the entire hip hop beat. For new and emerging artists this is even more so. The new age of beat making applications can do three times more than anything a retired hip hop producer could do.

Young and happening artists are discovering they can create anything from laying down vocal tracks, to creating instrumentals, and finally mixing and mastering their complete track right from the comfort and convenience of their own home. Further, they can do it for only a fraction of the cost! A modern beat making application for hip hop production can be purchased on the web for less than $30 USD.

Amazingly, for this incredibly low price even the beginning producer can get their hands on the most prized functions and tricks. In addition, having access to comprehensive online tutorials and a support networks means you can instantly begin producing your own music today even if you do not have any knowledge of laying down hip hop beats.

Obviously, this is causing quite a power shift in the industry as artists gain more control. Still though, there are a few fundamentals to hip hop music production that every newbie hip hop self-producer needs to know.

1. The first thing you should know is that the drum beat is the most fundamental component of your track. The complexity and pace of the drum beat dictates what speed and impact the entire production will have. Everything is supported by the drums. It is recommended that you keep them as simple as possible when starting or you will likely run into problems!

2. The second consideration is where to get your drum beats from. They can be downloaded, sampled from online sources, created by a drum beat maker, or you can create them yourself own your own beat making application. This can take some skill though so many musicians often begin with a download then move up to creating their own beats.

3. Finally, start with the basics then increase the complexity gradually. If you want to learn hip hop music production, this is the best way. Once you are happy with your drum beat, you need to develop the percussion and sampling elements of your song. You need both to add emphasis to your sound and create a great work of art.

Interested in producing your own tracks? Looking for a way into this amazing industry so you can do what you love? There are now lots of options for everyone. You have to start somewhere though. So get your hands on a great beat making application.

How Often Should I Travel?

I once found myself in London sitting on the floor of a friend’s flat, debating my next move. I had been traveling for a couple months and couldn’t decide whether I wanted to visit Morocco or Istanbul next. I had never been to either and both were well out of my normal comfort zone, a combination of criteria that should have insured a feeling of excitement no matter which route I chose.

Instead, both options felt boring to me. I knew, cultural differences and random unexpected experiences aside, what to expect from my next destination, wherever it was. No matter which location I decided on I would end up in a routine similar to the one I had been on while traveling the past couple of months. No matter how odd the destination I arrived at I knew I’d be able to find my way and do just fine for myself.

I realized I couldn’t choose between the two options because I quite frankly didn’t care to go to either of them. The growth I experienced on this trip seemed to be at a plateau and no amount of culture shock seemed like it would jolt me back onto the fast track of enhanced personal revelation.

Debunking the Myth of Eternally Vagabonding

After a couple months on the road I was tired of traveling and just wanted to go home. Though “going home” presented its own problems as I didn’t have a home to return to. I left with the aim of traveling indefinitely, yet even when I had been back in the States I moved often, leaving one location for another every couple months, sometimes within the same city, sometimes across the country.

Now, sitting in London, totally ungrateful for the opportunities at my fingertips, I wanted a real home. I thought endless traveling would be right for me but I was wrong, and it became clear the notion of vagabonding indefinitely wasn’t right for everyone. In fact, in all my travels I’ve realized the notion of constant, consistent, endless travel isn’t right for just about anyone. For most of us, travel is a special experience and not the way of life we desire for our day-to-day existence.

A Quick Caveat

If most of us weren’t made to travel indefinitely, than how often should we travel, and for how long should we leave home?

The answer to this question will always be intensely personal and depends on individual factors that are both ephemeral (personal disposition, relationships back home) and entirely tangible (money, work, mortgages and leases). For the rest of this article I’m assuming you’re in the fortunate position of being able to travel whenever you want, for as long as you want.

What’s the Point of Travel?

Before you can answer how often you should travel you need to first answer why you want to travel.

Do you get bored when you stay in one place for more than three months at a time? Do you love surfing and do you want to explore the world’s best beaches? Are you intensely interested in food and do you have a laundry list of native cuisines and restaurants you want to munch on? Do you simply want to see more of the world? Or do you simply want to expand your understanding of the world by experiencing as much of it firsthand as you can? Everyone has a different reason to travel, and knowing why you want to explore the world is a good first step towards figuring out how often you should leave home.

In my opinion there’s really only one reason for travel, a single reason that lies at the heart of every specific explanation you can give for your wander lust. People want to travel because they want to grow.

We travel to grow- to grow our ideas of other countries, to grow our ideas of the world, to grow our ideas of what it means to be human, and most of all to grow our conception of who we are and what we want out of life.

Thinking in Cycles

If we travel to grow then it makes a whole lot of sense why indefinite travel tends to lose its appeal over time. After a couple of months of traveling you will hit a peak. You will have learned everything you’re going to learn from the trip you’re on and you will have settled into a new routine, a new set of expectations, a new perspective that will eventually become just as rigid as the one you developed back home.

Humans are adaptable, and while the thought of being able to live out of a single bag in a country where no one speaks your language may seem like the height of adventure before you leave home, after a couple months backpacking in Cambodia you’ll settle in to a life that once seemed an insurmountable challenge.

Once you hit that wall in your travels you’ll return home and find home life to be challenging and foreign and filled with opportunities for growth and appreciation you never noticed before you left on your adventure. And then, after a few months pass you by, you’ll feel locked into a stultifying routine once more and ache to push yourself by hitting the road once more.

The answer to how often you should travel sits within the rhythms of growth and adaptation lying within all of us.

Finding the Right Pattern

While everyone is unique and everyone follows slightly different flows of exploration and consolidation there are a two patterns for alternating between travel and home life that seem to strike a chord within the greatest number of people.

  • 2-3 months at home followed by 4-6 weeks traveling. Spending 2-3 months at home gives you the time you need to focus intensely on work, on home life, on building relationships, on seeing friends and family, and other similarly domestic activities. 2-3 months in one place also tends to be the amount of time it takes until the average traveler starts to feel the itch to explore once more. 4-6 weeks of traveling is a good amount of time to gain a good feel for one or two locations, making this pattern good for people who are happy seeing a small handful of new locations every year.
  • 6-9 months at home followed by 2-3 months of traveling. This pattern lets you focus very deeply on a specific work project or other type of consolidation-oriented task whose completion you then reward with an extended period of perspective shaking overseas travel. Even the most ardent travel nut seems to find it relatively easy to stay in one place for 6-9 months when they have a passion-driven project to focus on. Once you leave home again 2-3 months is enough time traveling to either get very deep in a new culture (it’s an especially good time frame for learning a language) or to visit a couple new countries in one trip.

No matter which pattern you choose, no matter if you make up your own pattern, just know that travel is part of a larger life cycle, so find the right cycle that meets your particular needs for both adventure and security.

Organic Gardening Tips – 5 Tips to Successful Organic Gardens

Unlike the popular theories that state that the space shuttle could miraculously appear if blown up enough times, an organic garden is usually not the result of an accident. People that have a successful garden have created one based upon their consistent upkeep, planning, and a desire to make their garden grow. Regardless of the therapeutic value the gardening has, relaxation has little to do with the steps that it takes to ensure the success of your gardening endeavor. Here are a few organic gardening tips on how to make sure that your organic garden goals are reached by looking at planning, soil preparation, fertilizers, irrigation, and insect and disease control.

Tip #1 – a plan is always needed. Not something that is thought of and reconsidered over time intermittently, but a specified plan of action that leads to a specified end result. When you decide to grow your garden, and you choose to do it in an organic matter, you will need to take a few things into consideration such as location, the environment that the plants will grow it, the time that it will take in order for you to properly take care of your garden, how much effort will be involved and are there any resources that you may or may not be able to acquire in order to reach your final goals.

Once you have a clear written outline of what it is you need to do and what you need to acquire to reach your garden goals, it is time to start the plan into action. Action is everything once the goals are defined. If you set your goals but neglect factors such as good seed, compost, or even a source of good water for your plants, you will fail in your attempt because any compromise will lead to an overall failure.

Tip #2 – prepare your soil. Soil preparation is the foundation of the growth of any and all plants that you have. From the soil, the plants will be able to get their nutrients. Soil that is hard or dense will be almost impossible to aerate and therefore the plants will not get enough oxygen through the root system in order to thrive and flourish. Likewise, if there is no way for the water to evenly percolate to the plants roots in your garden, some plants will make it while others will die without consistent moisture, and some will be oversaturated and get root rot.

Another organic gardening tip is that you must also consider the consistency of the soil in regard to the amount of compost and nutrients that will be accessible to the seeds that will grow into the plants in the garden that you desire. By adding natural compost or other fertilizers to enhance the nutrients within the soil such as nitrogen or potassium, you will need to prepare this ahead of time, specifically as you are preparing the soil and getting ready to plant your seeds.

Tip #3 – Add compost. With reference to fertilizer, if you are doing this in an organic matter, some of the best fertilizer that you can get can either come from your compost pile or from a worm bin that you have created through your vermicomposting efforts. This needs to be prepared several weeks in advance so that it is ready to use when you are ready to plant. Compost that has not had time to properly finish will be detrimental to your soil and therefore proper preparation is always mandatory before getting ready to add these nutrients to the soil that will bear the fruit of your labor.

Tip #4 – Consistently water your garden. The consideration of water is also paramount in your success. You must have a way for your organic garden to get enough water on a regular basis so that it can grow unimpeded by the periods of droughts that are self induced by someone to did not plan ahead of time and create an optimal situation for the gardens irrigation needs. This includes having enough access to water, easy access through an irrigation system or hose system, and potentially a sprinkler system on a timer which can ensure that the garden is receiving water on a regular basis.

Tip #5 – Beware of insects. One final organic gardening tip that you should consider is that when your plants begin to grow, insects will appear. Weeds will also appear as well as potential diseases that can kill off your crop. This will take some wisdom on your part knowing the types of plants you are growing and finding natural alternatives to pesticides that may inhibit or deter the natural growth processes of your plants. If you are an organic gardener, you will not want to use these anyway and therefore finding beneficial insects that attack bad insects or natural scents or plants that will deter weed growth or disease is paramount in ensuring the healthy growth of your garden.

When considering all of these things together in a big picture, you realize that gardening cannot possibly be the result of an accident. There must be proper preparation and access to all of the tools necessary in order to make a garden successful and to make your efforts worthwhile. Take some time and use these five organic gardening tips to your benefit and make your garden one of the best you have ever had.

Create Your Home Furniture by Downloading Woodworking Plans

The home furniture industry used to be a booming enterprise. People would choose pieces that were stylish for the day and trash when a new trend came along. But the world is changing and we need furniture that is going to be durable and sustaining for more than a few years. There is nothing more solid than wood furniture that has been handmade. You are in charge of the type of wood, the structure and strength and moreover, the design.

Where to get the perfect downloadable home furniture woodworking plans is the first question that you need to ask yourself. Have these plans actually been tried or are they just a repeat of an article that was lifted from another site? Finding reliable home furniture woodworking plans for your building needs is the most important step in making your own furniture.

There are many professional woodworking experts that are willing to share their ideas and methods in building home furniture if you just know where to look. Now there is a website that lets you choose from leading wood craft that have designed and put together plans and detailed instructions that takes the guesswork out of your project.

Perhaps you are looking for a specific set of shaker coffee table plans that will withstand the torture of three kids and a dog but have been unable to locate plans that address bracing adequately. This is the site for you. Dozens of experts can show you how hand crafted furniture can be made to last for generations, not a limited amount of time.

File cabinets are another type of home furnishing that is becoming popular with home businesses starting up. There are several flimsy metal models at any department store that do not really match any type of decor or hold up to the usage that they receive. Building a solid wood piece that is classy and solid would be a great idea for the woodworker looking to provide home businesses with sustainable furniture. Experts can lend advice on types of wood to use, the best hardware and braces for such an application and durable finishes.

Creating sustainable home furniture can be relaxing and a moneymaking venture at the same time but if the wrong woodworking plans are used, your finished home furniture may look presentable but not withstand a durability test. Build it right the first time and you will not have wasted your efforts with amateur builders that give poor advice.

Buying plans on the Internet can be very useful in building your own home furniture but it takes much more than a set of blueprints and patterns. Listening to experts and using methods that have been tried and recommended is the only way to know that your time and labor have paid off.

Travel Website Dictionary

For the benefit and convenience of the traveler and adventure lover travel dictionary is compiled. This dictionary provided a complete guide to all the aspects of traveling. You might be a regular business traveler looking for some discount on travel cost or the wanderlust looking out for a vacation that many travelers do not take. For every kind of traveler with whatever their requirements, website dictionary is the solution.

There are a number of things that go into planning a vacation and without a good travel dictionary this is impossible on your own. The road map has to be conceptualized and the itinerary must be sorted out. While you can get a customized itinerary for you self you can also select one suitable to your travel destination from an array of great tours travel website dictionaries boast of.

Only a travel website dictionary will be able to get you the latest updates on prices of tours, discount packages and the umpteen frills all travelers look out for. You can get them right in your inbox by signing up with them. The latest fares and the festivals are all listed on travel website dictionaries.

Before spending your hard earned money on a lavished tour it’s always a good idea to sample its preview. And what better way to do that than through the eyes of experienced travelers and their travelogues. On a travel website dictionary you get the opportunity to communicate with there travelers who have been to the sites where you plan to go. Get the best tips and cultural information on the food habits, dress code and religious customs before you arrive.

A travel website directory is one that gives you the chance to sit back in your easy chair and book a travel guide over the net. Isn’t it a better proposition to have your travel guide waiting for you on arrival than to scout the alien city seeking one out. Travel agents who register on travel website dictionaries have a name for themselves, and can give you the right information which many guide books are unable off.

A travel website dictionary is also regularly updated and you will get all the latest information about new sites to visit, the recent change in hotel room tariffs and what is new in town. You can source contact numbers and get more information from their websites and agencies that have been listed. A Travel dictionary has a huge list of hotels, taxi services, insurance companies, travel guides and travel tips that you cannot expect to find any where else.

Crate and Barrel Outlet – Contemporary Home Furniture and Accessories for Modern Living

Crate and Barrel is a home furniture and accessories shop that offers good quality at a reasonable price. You will always find something perfect and useful for your home. You may not easily chance upon an actual Crate and Barrel store but you can always check their website for your online shopping convenience.

Gordon and Carole Segal started crate and Barrel during the ’60s. Its concept was inspired by their European honeymoon. They noticed that majority of the home improvement stores in Europe has functional and durable products. Furniture and accessories are also contemporary and very appealing. Since then, they decided to start their own shop that will offer functional and aesthetically appealing products to young couples.

The first Crate and Barrel outlet was opened in Wells Street, Chicago. They leased an abandoned factory and started their own business. Their products are imported directly from Europe. Its first product line includes French copper pots, bistro dinnerware, and ceramic accessories that they have bought throughout their travel.

One interesting idea of their first outlet is that merchandise is displayed on top of crates and barrels that were used during its shipping. This emphasized one of their strongest points against competitors – their products are direct imports.

Crate and Barrel products are now available in over 170 stores across the US. They also ventured in the international market and had their stores in Toronto and Calgary, Canada. There are also plans of setting up a store in Dubai.

Though they started originally in European house ware, you can also find other styles in their items. You can have Mexican, Thai, and Indian-inspired designs among their broad product line. Their products are often contemporary and have exciting colors. You will find that their furniture and accessories will fit in your house because of its physical appeal and functional use.

Crate and Barrel outlet offers everything that you will need in transforming your house into a home. They offer both indoor and outdoor furniture. You can choose from different styles of living room, dining room, and bedroom sets. You also have different options for your porch and garden. There are umbrellas, bistro sets, and other outdoor furniture to suit your preferences.

Majority of their small appliances are related to food and drinks. There are mixers, waffle makers, and food processors. They also offer oil and drink mixes.

For decorative items, you can find numerous candles, holders, frames, and mirrors. Kitchen goods and bath accessories are also aplenty. There are pots, pans, bake ware, and bowls. Bath accessories like shower curtains, linens, and mats may change its colors and patterns seasonally. You may want to watch out for mark down sales whenever they clear out for the next season.

Online shopping is also one of the strong points of Crate and Barrel. It will offer you with promos and convenient shopping experience. You can create a registry when you purchase online to avail discounts. Shipping and packaging normally takes one week so you need to order ahead of time if you are planning for a big event or a major redecoration in your house.

Home Loans to Get the Best of Your Property

At least once in life everyone thinks about moving. Either to a bigger home if the family is growing; or to a smaller one, if the kids are leaving and the actual home is going to be too big for you. Whatever your reason may be, selling a house is always an opportunity.

Home loans, if well used may help you to make a good deal from your property’s sell. There are many suitable options, depending on your situation and what you are looking for. Even with bad credit, and also if you are still repaying your home mortgage.

Types Of Home Loans

There are many options to be evaluated within home loans, you should start evaluating first what is that you want to do. If you want to switch to a bigger home, to a smaller one, and how would you like to invest the extra benefit obtained from the selling, if any.

There are two important home loan categories that you should look at when thinking about moving. Those are, home purchasing loans and home improvement loans.

Home improvement loans point to, as their name says, improve your current home. Either if there are any reparations to be done, or if you would like to make your home look better before selling it, these kinds of loans may be a good help. If you do the right modifications, your home value could be increased by the time you find a buyer. Financial companies will also approve loans for landscape improvements, such as constructing a swimming pool, if that is favorable to increase the property’s value.

Home purchasing loans, in the other hand, are meant to help you on your new home’s purchasing.

Different Options

You will find a wide range of loans within both, home improvement and home purchasing loans.

Home purchasing loans will vary according to what do you intend to do. In example, if you had purchased your actual home whit a home loan which you are still repaying, and the home you are willing to move to will also need extra finance, you could get a home conversion loan. These kinds of loans, place your actual loan into the new home, including the extra amount you need. If you do not have any previous home loan, you can have a mortgage loan or a home equity loan, just over the extra amount you need to buy your new home.

You will also find many options on home improvement loans, the most common are unsecured personal loans for home improvements, home mortgage refinancing, first mortgage loans and second loans.

Unsecured personal loans may be a little more expensive than secured loans since they represent more risk for the lender, but you will not need to have equity in your property or any other collateral to apply. Credit score may be a limitation for the borrowed amount, but you are still eligible even if you have bad credit.

Home mortgage refinancing and first mortgage loans, are good options to evaluate if you have purchased your home with a mortgage loan. First mortgage loans are offered by your current lender, to finance your home improvements over your existent mortgage. With home mortgage refinancing your actual mortgage loan will be refinanced. You will not be borrowing more money, but refinancing will lower your home mortgage monthly payments leaving you extra money to invest on improving your home.

Second loans are suitable if you have an equity in your property to justify the loan.

All these options, if well used may help you to obtain the best of your property’s sell. Try to search and compare as many lenders as you can before you decide to apply for any loan.

Why Buy a Diamond Watch?

Diamonds are always pleasurable and it gives you so many reasons for your happiness! Diamond Jewelery comes with different collections like rings, necklace and watches! Among all these diamond collection, watches are always special and extraordinary, as they are the best companion for any individual.

They are becoming increasingly popular, as people of both sexes have started wearing it. They are not really flashy and they give a gentle professional look. People of any age group find the best way to adorn themselves is with diamonds. Diamond watches have always been beautiful and they are known for their rich look!

These days they are really inexpensive and most people have started purchasing them for their casual use. There are plenty online shopping jewelry stores, where you can find the diamond watches with a wide collection. They come with a wide collection that matches both men and women. Also, the wide range of watch collection matches the style and professional look of individuals with their respective standards. Generally, diamond watches come with different shapes, style and sizes. The rate of every piece will vary from one to another depending upon the style and design.

Diamond watches are akin like any other wrist watch! The only difference is that, they explicate a rich look with grand aesthetic appearance. Women of these days have started wearing designer collection of watches, and they sizzle with the gorgeous look. Generally, they are worn during special occasions like a pleasurable evening party or any other blessed occasions. Some brand masters that introduce classy variety of diamond watches are Seiko, Rolex, Omega, Citizen, Cartier and Bulova.

Most of the men have started to sport out a variety of diamond watch collection! Diamond watch collection of Men will be ultimately beautiful and special. Most of the brand masters, who design ladies designs, also design unique variety of watches for men too.

There are plenty of online shopping jewelry stores that make a grand purchase of diamond watches for both men and women. Most of the Men designers will never design the watches akin like the women’s design. Watches for men will be ultimately masculine and they give a virile look.

While you purchase your favorite watches, you must consider about quite several factors. Get to know the quality of the diamond that is fixed in the watches. Basically, price and rate has always been a major factor, when it comes for purchasing diamonds. Buying a costly diamond watch never just entails that you have purchased the branded diamonds with supreme quality. Rather considering the price and rates, ensure about the quality of the diamonds and make sure that the dealer in 100% reputable.

There are plenty of online stores that direct and offer you cheap jewelry for sale! You can find the best dealer to make your purchase!

7 Best Online Travel Communities

True, Tripadvisor, Frommer’s and the Lonely Planet are some of the best online travel communities going, but they’re far from the only ones amongst the greats. So go on, expand your travel community horizons and check out our 7 Best Off The Radar Travel Communities:

1. Travelistic

From YouTube to Hulu to Yahoo, were a video obsessed bunch. Travelistic has cleverly taken this to head and created a travel community wholly centred around video.

Log on and you’ll find over 10,000 user submitted travel videos, to view, comment on and inspire your future travels. Want to visit the Great Wall? Journey to the top of Everest? You can do it all on Travelistic, without ever leaving home.

2. Igougo

A masterful all in one travel community, where you can plan your trip, compare flights and hotels and share your travel experiences with the world.

Just type in a destination and you’ll be instantly connected to a plethora of photos, reviews and users who have traveled or reside there. When you’re ready to go, create your very own trip journal and give back to the community by sharing your own travel experiences.

3. Trip It

Less of a travel community and more a travel service, Trip It is perfect for the organization nut in all of us. Just enter your flights, hotel stays and destinations and let trip it create an optimized travel itinerary for you in seconds. Never miss another plane or train again.

For those who truly want it all, upgrade to the pro version and Trip It will automatically alert you if there are changes or delays in your travel plans. That means less time at the airport, and more time at the beach.

4. Dopplr

Create a map with the dates and location of your travels; share it with the Dopplr community, check out other’s maps, then meet up with those whose travel plans overlap with your own. If you’d like to keep your location a secret from some (mom, dad, a raging x), don’t worry, you can control who can and can’t see where you are.

Along the way you’ll get a wealth of location specific travel information, so you’ll always know where to stay, where to eat, and what to do. Taking the thinking out of traveling, we like that.

5. Travbuddy

Travbuddy’s got all the ingredients that make for a killer online travel community; helpful forums, honest reviews, stunning travel photos and a dedicated membership 1.5 million strong.

Travbuddy ups the ante by giving you your very trip blog, allowing you to easily post your stories, pictures and reviews as you go. There’s even a built in mapping feature that builds a map of your travels as you venture across the earth.

Wherever, you’re headed, this is one buddy you don’t want to leave behind.

6.Travelers Point

Besides being a great place to plan, book and share your next trip, Travelers Point has hands down one of the best travel resources on the web; wiki travel guides.

These 100% user created and edited travel guides, give you the collective wisdom and travel experiences of over 250,000 members, right at your finger tips. From country and city guides, to travel health and safety information, you’ll find everything you need to get in the know, before you go.

7. Travel DODO

Travel DODO takes travel reviews and puts them into a fun, easily digestible format, Travel Do’s, and Travel Don’t.

Want to find out which restaurants, hotels and attractions are best avoided in France? Just click on the location on the interactive map, and you’ll be given a list of places to cross off your list (travel don’t), so you spend your valuable vacation time wiser.

Frankly, you’d be a DODO, not to check up here before you GOGO.

Travel Agents Are Still In Demand

Although their are numerous online travel services a traditional Travel agent is as much an important part of the trip as comfort is to traveling! The role of a travel agent has been increasing with the times and today most people are dependent on them for executing most of their travel plans so that they can rest easy and just enjoy their trip.

It is the responsibility of the travel agent to help and guide the travelers about the constantly changing schedules and airfares, availability of packages for vacation, and a lot of travel information that the traveler may not know about.

Choosing a reliable travel agent can be an important decision, since how you travel and your comfort will be largely decided by the travel agents. You should verify the information given by the travel agents, to be on the safer side and minimize your travel hassles. In case of International travel, choosing a proper agent becomes more important.

The right agent should be able to foresee your problems and guide you about them. They should provide information related to customs regulations, important documents like visas, passports, currency exchange rates and certificates of vaccination.

Many hotels, cruise liners, resorts, and special travel groups make use of travel agents to market their travel packages to the ever increasing rate of people choosing to travel both inland and overseas. Most agents advice you on destinations and make arrangements for hotel stays, transportation, tours, car rentals, etc.

Information on weather conditions, restaurants, tourist attractions, and other such necessary information are also provided. A good travel agent could also take the trouble of checking out hotel services to gauge their quality of service in order that they can base references on a first hand report.

With the changing times, the travel industry has seen a big development in terms of Internet bookings and travel related information made available on the net. The number of people using online services is growing. This has resulted in a change in the view of the convenience of traditional agencies.

A poll result of American tourists revealed that over 92 percent of them generally buy their travel related necessities online. According to these consumers, online travel agencies have cheaper rates, are the easiest to use and offer all the relevant information. A word of caution is necessary for those using the Internet for their travel bookings. Be sure to navigate the site, verify that the agent has a good back-up system.

Also ensure that there are no added costs that are credited to your credit bills.

Till a few years ago, travel agents provided free services to their customers. Travel agents worked as agents for airlines, hotels, rental car companies, etc. The agencies worked on a commission basis from these suppliers.

But free travel agent services began changing as a result of certain changes in the rate of commissions. For example, in 1995 Delta Airlines imposed a $50 limit on domestic airline commission rates.

The Basic Elements of Style

Wearing the latest in fashion is what every one of us likes to do. But it is very important to carry the clothes in style. Having a great wardrobe is definitely essential but some basics of style should also be adhered to in order to make a striking fashion statement. There are lots of online wholesale apparel shops that cater to the fashion conscious generation. But apart from stocking up a fantastic collection, there are a few other issues that need to be paid attention to.

• A well groomed appearance is very essential in order to carry any ensemble with style. Nobody looks good with straggly, greasy hair, chewed up fingernails, gross skin, unplucked eyebrows, and leg stubble.

• Taking good care of your clothes is also very important. Well maintained clothes are the basic requirement of carrying off any stylish look with elan.

• Over usage of accessories can kill any fashionable ensemble. It is always best to make minimum use of accessories so that they can act as a compliment to the basic outfit and add some style.

• Try to choose outfits based on which colors and styles look nice on you. It is a good idea to match what you are wearing with your own personality. This helps in bringing out your true colors and helps you look and feel great.

Each year new fashion trends are born and it is time for the old ones to retire. Though it is definitely a great idea to go with what is in vogue, but at the same time you should keep an eye out for the comfort factor as well. Comfort and style goes hand in hand and choosing apparel based on how comfortable you feel wearing them is the smartest decision. Fashion trends appear unexpectedly and fade away even quicker than they appeared.

There is no limit to the permutations one can think of in terms of mixing and matching clothes and creating a style that is comfortable yet elegant. If you want to achieve a great look, be in line with new fashion styles that are influenced by different seasons. In recent we have seen the rise of new brands as well as the comeback of some old fashion trends. To wear something different and with style is to create fashion and with a bit of creativity you can come up with unique combinations that can become a personal fashion statement.