Archive for Travel Tips – Africa

Johannesburg, Africa – Land of the Electric Fence

On my last trip to Johannesburg, there is one thing i noticed EVERYWHERE! Every shop, every building, every home had an electric fence around it and it’s not to keep wild animals out. Well, at least not the furry kind of wild animals. The word when I arrived: “If somebody wants your stuff, give it to them because they are probably high and definitely willing to kill you.” Hmmm, I see www.olders.ca.

“Is this place really that jacked up?” I thought to myself but after seeing the car guards in the parking lots, the fences everywhere, the stories of car-jacking, people getting their house broken into, the answer is yes, it is that jacked up! This is another one of those cases where off the beaten path might be on the beaten path. Be wise, stay with your group or somebody who knows their way around. Go out and do a safari where there are only lions and rhinos and such.

CouchSurfing. Sounds Pretty Cool For Anybody But My Daughter.

Not sure what to think about this one. On the one hand, it sounds like a great way to meet people, go cool places on the cheap, get a real community going. On the other hand, it sounds like hitch hiking with a twist. I haven’t tried it but I bet it’s filled with a lot of stories of awesome people and lifelong friends, coupled with a horror story every now and then cs6 master collection mac. Just like any risk sport where each success makes you more and more confident until that one hairy moment is a reminder of reality. Also, as with any risk sport, there are safe and unsafe ways to do it. When a paraglider pilot looks at the weather and it isn’t a sure thing, that’s when you pack it in. Likewise, if a situation feels the least bit weird, time to bail.

An Ode to Cipro….How do I Love Thee!!

The street vendor. Simultaneously your best friend and your worst enemy. Who can resist an awesome photo eating fried crickets in Thailand or balot (duck embryo) in the Philippines? Of course there is also the dare factor along with the “how many chances do I get to try this” multiplier. Many people have traded that photo for 4 days in the bathroom http://www.sfa.univ-savoie.fr/sciences/misc/phpcheck/kamagra-pas-cher.html.

Not to fear, however!! Ever since Cipro (Ciproflaxin to the medically inclined) was invented, people have been able to cut it to a day or so. Ah, the possibilities and photo opportunities!

To the inventor of Cipro, I hoist a drink from a dirty cup along with mystery meat on a stick! You are awesome!

Off The Beaten Path or ON the Beaten Path.

Just thinking maybe we should be avoiding Egypt these days. Do I really want my tourist money to support a government that arrests Christians for being beaten up by a religious mob? This isn’t a one time incident in this place and the attacks have been increasing thompsonmusicstudio.com. They love to beat up the Christians in Egypt. Maybe I’ll take a trip to Israel instead. If you want to read about it, you can find it here.

If I were in the Antartica…or a warzone… or backcountry…. or

Did you know that you can rent a satellite phone? For about 40 bucks and a dollar sixty a minute you can shout out a HEEELLLP! Or someone can let you now that you need to come home NOW! Regardless, it would be pretty cool to have if it all hit the fan.

Travel insurance and travel health insurance, is there a difference?

In short, OH YEAH! One looks out for your luggage and investment in a trip, the other looks out for you. Imagine this: A beautiful evening on the coast in India, a wonderful meal, all the makings of the beginning of appendicitis. Hours later the pain begins as an infection grows and you begin wondering what is happening in your side. I’ll stop there. Let’s just suffice it to say that you will probably want to be in a hospital where they don’t see death as just another step on the wheel of reincarnation. I’m talking about wonders of medevac to a good hospital and overseas medical insurance. These guys here are one of the best at this.

Kinda Dorky But Convenient

This thing isn’t really my style but eliminating hassle is. Basically it’s a vest where you can hold your tickets, passport, snacks, everything you would be searching for when going through an airport. Just keep it in one of the tons of pockets in this vest. The coolest part is just throwing it on the x-ray conveyer and just walking through. If this is your kind of deal, here is a good place to get one.

“That You May Walk (Travel) in Peace”

It can get a little wild in a foreign country where tourists sometimes have a target on their back. You have money, you are distracted, you are not expecting a problem. The underbelly of humanity, in any country, knows this and can take advantage. The above quote comes from an Israeli self defense system known as Krav Maga.

Krav Maga

Krav Maga

It’s made for average people without a lot of time on their hands to be a Judo master or anything. Old, young, heavy, small, it doesn’t matter in this system as the Israelies created it for their army (everyone has to join). The FBI and many police forces have made this their primary training as it’s so easy to learn yet brutal towards attackers. Knowing what to do if it gets dicey will certainly help you “travel in peace.”

Beating the Airline Ticket Guessing Game

I’ve found a free site that rocks and is actually usefull! It’s called farecast.com and basically it takes historical and current data to see the cheapest time to buy tickets. You know how it goes: “what if I leave on Sunday or Monday? What if this week or next week? When does the season end? What If I stay 13 days or 12 days” Well, this site beats them at their game. They make it so confusing that we just guess and make bad decisions. What do we need? Information and here it is!

Learning Languages, The Truth

I once heard of a businessman who wanted to learn Russian fluently in a 3 week crash course. Something got in his mind (advertising maybe?) that made him think this was possible with hard work. He learned a lot but barely touched the edge of what he needed to converse freely. Another person accumulated lots of dictionaries, books (unread), games, stickers and so on but never did the hard part: memorizing and practicing. She got nowhere.

Flashcards Rule!

Flashcards Rule!

THE SECRET: Flash cards and being willing to make a fool out of yourself. Make or buy thirty flash cards with the most common words on them. Keep them in your pocket and go over them everywhere you go. At red lights, waiting in an office, hold them under a table at boring meetings. As you learn the words, take them out of the pile and replace them with new words. NEXT, use them every chance you can, even if you look stupid. Learning a language is about work. First you need the tools (words in your head) then you need to practice using those tools. It will take time and you will also need instruction for native speakers, but until you suck it up and get the words out of books and into your mind, you will be struggling. AH, BUT THE PAYOFF IS WONDERFUL!!! As are the relationships you will form