Monthly Archives: May 2016
Some travelers like to take photos, some like to write about their travels, and some only want to enjoy the moment. This article is written for the first two types of travelers; the photographers and the writers. The others will have to live off their memories without any prompts from audio-visuals.
Now, I know that you may not consider yourself either a writer or a photographer based on the results of the reporting of your personal travels. But, if you put your travel information and photos on Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, a blog, or any other social networking site, you are a writer and a photographer already — and a published one at that.
O.K, I didn’t say you were a professional writer or photographer, but in my opinion you still qualify for both terms. Keeping a travel journal is not designed as a step to becoming a professional writer. It is designed to preserve and share your travel memories. Who knows, your journal might be the first step toward becoming a professional. Stranger things have happened.
Whether you want to systematize your writing and your photographs while traveling, or do it from notes when you return from your trips, a good vehicle for doing this is an online journal.
What is an online travel journal? Think of an online journal as a personal travel diary which can be used at will, opened to or closed to the public, and is kept up through an internet based service. You can log in daily or keep notes and log in when you have time later. You can upload your descriptions or your photographs from anywhere in the world where there is an internet connection.
In the past a travel journal was usually a physical notebook or bound journal in which a traveler wrote down his impressions or thoughts about his or her travels. Before you could share your travels with family and friends, you first had to write up you experience, make copies of your pictures, and usually prepare a presentation folder for them to see.
With the advent of the internet all that has changed. You no longer have to wait until you are back home to start sharing. Today, with an online journal you can almost instantaneously share your impressions of your travel destinations with descriptions and photos.
Where do I get an online travel journal? Online, of course. Do an online search for the key words “online travel journals” and you will have numerous sites from which to choose. I have personally checked out over a dozen online diaries sources that are available for your use.
Most sites have a “free” version and a “fee” version. There are some additional features with the “fee” version, but the major difference is in the amount of storage space available for your use. Take the “free” one. You can upgrade to the “fee” one if you find you are running out of space.
Lamar Ross is an author, educator, photographer, internet entrepreneur, and international traveler. He has a special interest in training individuals for expatriate living and providing information on unique travel destinations. He has lived in the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and India and has traveled extensively in 29 different countries. He speaks both English and Spanish fluently and has a basic ability in several other languages.
Big, beautiful, bold, and breathtaking are just some of the words I would use to describe the magnificent city of Cape Town, a bustling metropolis with a small town feel.
One of those travel destinations that gets under your skin, Cape Town is a place where one immediately feels welcome, and once you start to uncover the delights that South Africa’s “Mother City” has to offer, you may well find yourself choking back the tears when the time comes to leave.
Sitting at the tip of Southern Africa between the rugged coastlines of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, Cape Town is an action packed tourist destination where can enjoy everything from a round of golf, wine tasting tours, boat trips, mountain hikes, cultural tours and some of the best dining venues in the world.
Since the 2010-World Cup highlighted the beauty of South Africa, Cape Town and its surrounding areas have become increasing popular with international travellers, and with daily flights from most large European and US airports, it is more accessible than ever before.
So what makes Cape Town so great? Well, firstly it would have to be the sheer beauty of the place. Table Mountain makes a striking backdrop, and when you combine that with the Lions Head Mountain, the huge expanse of coastline, and a mishmash of luxury villas, hotels, shopping malls and the Waterfront harbour, you get a vibrant, interesting and colourful city.
The people of Cape Town are some of the friendliest people you will encounter, and if you take the time to get to know them, you may well make lifelong friends during your stay.
As with every major city, Cape Town has its own international airport and hotels to complement every taste and every budget. From Backpackers hostels to five-star luxury, you will find whatever accommodation you are looking for in this sprawling city.
Dining is big in South Africa and if you enjoy trying new foods, you may find yourself spoilt for choice. As one would imagine, the seafood is fresh and plentiful, the fruits and ripe and delicious, and you will have the opportunity to try rare game meats that you might not find at home.
Dining wouldn’t be complete without a bottle of wine, and Cape Town is surrounded by some magnificent wine regions including Stellenbosch, Paarl and Wellington. Most hotels offer wine tasting tours, and if you would like to discover New World Wines, you will struggle to find anywhere that does it better.
Highlighted excursions include a trip up Table Mountain, a boat ride to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent several years incarcerated, a day tour/drive to the Cape of Good Hope, and a sunset champagne cruise along the coastline.
Cape Town is a paradise for shoppers and offers both colourful street markets and high-end luxury stores. The Victoria & Albert Waterfront shopping centre is the perfect place to spend your last few South African Rands, and if you want some handmade trinkets and souvenirs, just head over to Hout Bay and shop the local market.
Overall, Cape Town has something for everyone – it’s new, it’s exciting and it is waiting to receive you with open arms – so why not head on down to the Rainbow Nation this year!
Wendy Kaufmann is the owner of Equatours Limited. A family owned and family run business specialising in unique travel experiences to countries below the equator.
Fully bonded tour operator, our packages are inclusive of all travel arrangements, accommodation, insurance and a personal travel guide is with you every step of the way to make sure your trip with us is a holiday of a lifetime.
As you stroll down the lanes of Bangkok, most shoppers experience firsthand a different kind of hustle and bustle while shopping. The vast canvas of Bangkok has more shopping destinations, restaurants and spas then one can count. Yet, the truth is that you can’t have too many shopping malls! Each market, shopping mall, shops and showroom add to the fun and magic of your shopping bag along with the many things that you just had to buy.
Among the many Far East travel destinations, Bangkok is the one that flaunts the culture of shopping at its best. It is a living, breathing and happening city that you just can’t get enough of! Have you visited the Central World Shopping Complex, which is the sixth largest shopping complex in world? For most shoppers, it changes the very perception of what shopping complex should have. A hotel, an office tower, gourmet restaurants and ice -skating rings are lined up along with boutique shops, branded showrooms, high-end gadget shops, designer boutiques, book shops and imported grocery stores. And Bangkok is abounding with many such shopping malls.
Yet, the pinnacle of Bangkok shopping lies in its Chatuchak Weekend market. This is a very popular travel attraction for several Bangkok tour packages for a reason. A word of caution is required, though. Do not enter this crazy, lively marketplace of 35 acres without a map. You will get lost in the many alleys and aisles of wonder. You will be tempted at each corner by a shrewd localite to purchase wood furniture, plants, antiques, books, artworks, pets and clothes, of course.
Don’t be fooled by the consumerist look of this city. It may seem like all you buy on a Bangkok tour package are clothes, gadgets and souvenirs. But, the heart of this city is much deeper. The culture of the city is far more engaging. Bangkok has one of the most engaging art scenes. Singapore is the only other city on the Far East travel itinerary that can boast of a similar art scene. If you want relatively cheaper options like fake antiques and artworks, the local markets are the best. There are some exquisite original paintings and other art works that make your visit to Bangkok gallery worthwhile as well.
This is just a small part of what Bangkok is all about. This city has the most insane food. Every street food dish you can gobble without harming your digestion is a delicacy on to itself. A visit to the club scene can be completely memorable, as well, with the number of amazing cocktail concoctions these bar tender artists create. The ride in Bangkok’s canals and a visit to Wat Kalayanamit are equally enjoyable. Thai spas strewn across the city create the relaxation experience that should rejuvenate your mind and body. The one thing you can be sure of is that you won’t get enough of this exotic culture.
The bachelor party is a common rite of passage for most soon to be married man. Over the years the bachelor party has gone from a night out with the guys to a full blown event. The bachelor party getaway vacation is becoming increasing popular. So much so that many travel destinations and resorts have gone out of their way to attract young man looking for a wild time. With that in mind let’s count down the top five bachelor party destinations.
5. Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
Looking for something more exciting then visiting the strippers and sitting around like a wallflower while you pound a couple back. Why not hit the slopes? Whistler Mountain has some of the best skiing in the world. It also have plenty of gorgeous Canadian ski bunnies. After the lifts close you can take in a game at Buffalo Bill’s. Be sure to visit Tommy Africa’s Bar, voted the top dance club by the locals. Finally, head to the only strip joint in town, The Boot Pub. The legal drinking age is 18 in Canada.
4. New Orleans, Louisiana
Where can you get away with asking a woman to show you the goods and not get slapped for it? Two words. Mardi Gras. Where better to spend a bachelor party than at the ultimate party. No man can truly enjoy Mardi Gras without participating in some beads swapping. This is not going to happen with the missus around so do your buddy a favor and head to the Big Easy with the guys. There are actually bachelor party organizers who host balcony parties for the event.
New Orleans is more than just Mardi Gras. Hang out on Bourbon Street and enjoy a “Hurricane” at the Pat O’Briens bar. And with a name like Temptations Club, it may be hard for any man to stay out trouble at this strip club.
3. South Beach, Florida
Sun, sand, and tons of beautiful babes. South Beach is home to the trendiest nightclubs in America. Stay at the Clevlander hotel, a favorite spot for bachelor parties. It is located close to many of the hottest clubs in town. The Fifth, Priv, and Nikki Beach Club are just a few on the stops on your club-hopping tour. Say goodbye to sleep because you will not be getting much here. After spending the day by the pool, or at the beach be sure to head over to the Madonna Night Club for some stripping South Beach style.
2. Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Montreal has some of the best strip clubs on the continent. Furthermore, Montreal is one of the few places where a full-contact strip is legal. What that means is for $10cdn-a-song you are allowed and even encouraged to touch your lap dancer. Pray you get “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” from Iron Butterfly. There are over forty strip clubs in the heart of Montreal and most are full-contact. Americans get the benefit of the exchange rate plus admission, dances, and drinks are cheaper than you might find in Vegas. In addition to the strip clubs, Montreal has a happening nightlife scene with plenty of popular nightclubs and pubs.
1. Las Vegas Nevada
Vegas, baby, Vegas! Could it possibly be anyplace else? This Disneyland of Debauchery is the number one bachelor party destination. What’s not love about this city that never sleeps. First class strip joints, hot nightclubs, cheap booze, and enough neon to burn a hole in your retinas. If you have the cash there is practically nothing you can’t do in Vegas.
It would be impossible to list all the fun things for you and your crew to do here. Why not start the day of right with a game of golf. Spend your afternoon by the pool admiring the “scenery”. Indulge your inner child and hit all the attractions. Test your luck at the Blackjack tables. All this can be done with a beer in one hand. This must be what heaven is like.