As summer is approaching and vacation plans are starting decisions need to be made. If you have a choice of a four hour bus trip that permits you to travel with numerous pieces of luggage free of charge and have access to free Wi-Fi the entire trip would you choose the bus or would you choose to fly? Take into consideration that the actual flight time for that same distance would only be about 30 minutes, but remember that is only if you have a direct flight. However that time does not include taxiing to the runway which may vary, boarding and deplaning and then of course there is the one hour ahead check in time period.
Now let's consider the fares. Bus fares vary greatly and some can be a bargain at mere one dollar. Airfares vary a lot also but chances are you will not get a one-way fare for any extended distance for less than $100.
As for service there is none on a bus, but on most domestic airlines there isn't much service either. If you are lucky you may get a complementary soft drink when flying. But on the bus you won’t have to pay for luggage!
Not long ago I had to endure an unplanned 15 1/2 hour total flight-time trip that would have taken me 8 hours to drive. That flying trip time did not include my check-in time!
Many of the airlines are in financial distress and are merging to continue operations, while some of the bus lines are thriving and expanding their range of operations. Airlines are also making their seats smaller to accommodate more passengers to help offset the costs. Whereas bus seats are roomy and the size remains unchanged.
Also consider the view when traveling on a bus, it can be a lot more enjoyable that seeing nothing but clouds or miniature everythings.
So consider you options before dishing out your hard earned cash, travel times are not always what they seem at first glance.
There are basically two kinds of travelers, those that unpack at any given destination being “at home” everywhere and those that never seem to unpack anything, living out of their suitcase or bag even when home.
Some people unpack their bag at every given stop putting all of their clothes in the closets and drawers then filling the bathroom with their toiletries. This is a procedure that is repeated numerous times if touring. When these types of travelers return home they unpack immediately and often have the laundry started even before they sit down. Their bag is then promptly stored for their next trip.
The other type of traveler lives out of their bag. They never unpack when traveling and when they get home they usually “get around” to removing stuff at a later date. Some explain it makes them feel the trip isn’t really over until the unpacking is done. Others never really unpack at all; keep the bag packed for the next adventure, ready to take off on short notice.
Both types of travelers can be considered well organized and efficient, but in different ways. Neither way should be thought of or judged as right or wrong, it is strictly an individual preference.
I am the never un-packer. Now that doesn’t really mean I never need to pack, it just means that sometimes it is just a matter of a clothing swap between trips, a few long sleeves to replace the tank tops or vice-a- versa. I also unpack the “dirties” immediately when I get home and then re-pack them “just in case.”
When traveling I never really got into the unpacking thing believing it is a waste of my precious time that could be better used exploring. I discovered that notion really early on. We had returned late in the evening/wee hours of the morning to our hotel room only to discover bags had to be out for the bellman extremely early in the morning (we were on a tour), so I had to pack instead of sleep. (Lesson learned!) Less unpacking also reduces the chance of misplacing or leaving an item behind.
So are you a unpacker or a slacker, let us know.
Today's modern technology has generally made life easier for everyone. We can thoroughly research our travel destinations and we can communicate with locals almost instantly to get additional tips and advice. We can also instant message with family and friends across the world or in some cases even across the room! We have the ability to see traffic and current weather conditions at the exact moment that it is happening. Technical devices have also made it remarkably easy to learn about and try to understand people different than ourselves, either culturally or physically.
Mark Twain felt we should all travel more.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." ~Mark Twain
This instantaneous communication is wonderful and amazing but does have some downsides. Electronic harassment can occur at a very rapid pace and can sometimes be almost continuous without being obvious to others. Bullying or harassment because a person is different is no longer just a case of verbal sticks and stones or pulling, pushing and punching.
Recently at the middle school in my hometown a young man in the seventh grade tragically took his own life because he could no longer live with the continuous bullying.
I plead for parents, law-enforcement officers, school teachers and school board members plus government officials to get involved and please stop this preventable cruelty.
This can be accomplished through public education and with punishable consequences for the evil actions by the perpetrators.
If you feel the need to help stop this growing problem consider using *C∞L*, Cyber Bullying and Bullying Forever Lost, http://beforevercool.webs.com/home. It is a unique and revolutionary educational learning and recovery program focused against bullying. The program helps people learn about life after difficult and traumatic experiences which will provide a safe haven for victims of "bullying.” This is especially important in cases that have escalated to the point where there is potential for psychological damage and physical harm.
We live in an awesome digital world with fantastic technology and possibilities but please help to see that the technology is helpful and not harmful.
And to Parti and all of those kids that gave into the relentless pressure, may you finally rest in peace.
AdventureBound Publishing is PROUD to be a sponsor of the Cool Learning and Recovery Project.
This past Saturday I participated in World Tai Chi & Qigong Day 2013. The massive global event is held at 10 AM local time the last Saturday of April in 100's of cities in over 70 countries around the world.
Despite Tai Chi being based on traditional Chinese medicine the first event was held in Kansas City Missouri USA in 1999. The event has expanded every year since. Since it occurs at local time, New Zealand is the first country to celebrate the event each year.
The event motto is “One World One Breath”. It is a wonderful example of how one purpose & event can bring people together across religious, racial, political & economical boundaries for the purpose of health & healing.
Now I know I am talking about one specific day but I have personally seen Tai Chi practiced in China, Thailand, New Zealand and the United States. I have watched it being practiced in city parks, hotel parking lots and on beaches.
If we can get together for one hour on one day a year to promote health through Tai Chi imagine what we could do if we got together one full day every year to discuss other pressing issues!?
For more information about the art of Tai Chi check back to my blog on 3-4-13.
Today is Earth Day, the 43rd anniversary of the first Earth Day. Many people know it is Earth Day but few will make any changes environmentally to protect the earth. As many of you know I am a supporter of protecting the endangered species and an avid re-cycler. During my years as a Girl Scout leader I tried to promote both concepts to my girls in hopes that their generation could make a difference. Thus far is seems there has been only small improvements.
Girl Scouts do their part to clean our waterways.
We still have thousands of endangered species and we still have growing landfills. These landfills will eventually become “mountains” amidst the flatland areas. (How many mountains have you seen in Florida? I know of at least one on the shoreline of Tampa Bay.)
Yes we have save the American Bald Eagle and the American alligator, but the Polar Bear is starving and drowning due to lack of ice. And the rhino and sharks are in danger due to ignorance of their importance.
Senseless death of this beautiful shark due to finning
Oh and let’s not forget the increase in severe weather conditions around the world. It could be due to global warming caused by our reckless disregard for the ozone or possibly the shift of the earth’s axis has caused weather that is happening with record breaking proportions.
We know the axis is changing because the location of the equator moves. (I didn’t know that until I was in Ecuador.) Somewhere back in the depths of the knowledge I got in my high school physics class I remember hearing Sir Isaac Newton’s Law “For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction.” So I am thinking that for every rocket we blast into space and for every bomb that get dropped we are shifting the earth axis.
Regardless what is causing the changes in our earth’s conditions only we, each and every one of us, have the ability from making it any worse. So I ask you…Vow today to make changes to save our earth! Our earth is the only place we have to live so let us try not to destroy it.
“Take care of the earth and she will take care of you.” ~ Author Unknown
Tragically paradise is marred by litter
No Blog last week... I hope I was missed...I was AdventureBound!
Jimmy Buffett asks the million dollar question, where do you go? I have been thinking a lot about volcanoes recently since I took yet another trip along the Pacific Ring of Fire.
I just returned from a trip to New Zealand and Hawaii that seemed to focus on volcanoes and geo-thermal activity. Searching out the volcanoes late one afternoon we took a lift three quarters of the way up Mt. Raupehu. Unfortunately time did not permit us to go to the summit nor did the lack of proper cold weather hiking attire. We also drove around the recently erupting and still steaming Mt. Tongariro and along the way we also saw the beautifully cone shaped Mt. Ngaurahoe. Days later we climbed up to the crater summit of Mt. Rapitoto, the youngest of New Zealand's volcanoes. And for more fun we rode a three wheeled luge cart down sleeping Mt. Ngongotaha.
A local Kiwi laughingly told us there are two types of volcanoes, sleeping or dormant and sleeping in or
Leaving New Zealand we flew to Oahu and hiked up to the summit of Diamond Head crater. While years earlier we drove the Volcano National Park and to the top of Haleakala Crater on Hawaii's Big Island and to the then dormant Kileua.
On other adventures we have soaked in thermal hot springs at the base of Mt. Arenal while in Costa Rica while watching it spurt lava and had the soles of my shoes melt while hiking up Mt. Pacaya in Guatemala. In Nicaragua I had to cover my face due to the extreme sulfur gases being released by Mt. Masaya. In Ecuador we traveled the Avenue of Volcanoes seeing our highest, at over 16,000 feet, snow covered Mt. Cotopaxi.
While Pacaya was my most memorable volcano, my hardest volcano climb was Mt. Batur on Indonesia's island of Bali. I did a sunrise climb hiking the steep volcano in the dark of night with only a headlamp for lighting. I swore that would be my last climb since I thought I was going to have a heart attack due to the difficulty of the climb.
Despite everything the mystical mountains still have a fascination and hold over me. But while heading up Raupehu I did learn where to go during an eruption....go to the ridges, lava flows through the troughs! Guess that only makes sense, the path of least resistance.
Very soon I will again be sitting in my chosen seat preference on multiple flights. Seems everyone has a preference regarding seat selection on an airplane, I am a window person.
“There are only three types of people in this world -- window, middle, or aisle --
which are you? ~ Unknown
Layang Layang Malaysia
I like to be able to see the world as I travel. I love it when the flight crew makes announcements informing passengers where we are located, “The Grand Canyon can now be seen out of the left side of the plane.” “For those passengers sitting on the right side of the plane you can see the Statue of Liberty in the distance.” One of my favorite narrative flight experiences was when our pilot flew along the Panama Canal to give us an aerial view of the magnificent man made wonder as we left Panama City. And then announced “this concludes our tour” as we climbed up into the clouds. The in-flight map of the flight available in the seat back console is nice also.
Another reason I like window seats is to have the option of using the window to lean against if I want to rest or sleep. It is not comfortable but it is better than nothing. There is also no chance of flight attendants and other passengers bumping into you as they pass your row. And you don’t have to get up every time someone in your row decides to get up.
Aisle people have the benefit of being able to get out of their seats when they want without having to bother their seat mates. Plus they have the advantage of getting off the plane sooner which helps with connecting flights.
Statistics show that women more often than men pick the window seat, this may be due to the fact some feel the aisle seat has a bit more leg room for the taller framed men. Other statistics show window people tend to be more relaxed, where as aisle people feel they need to work on something while they are in-flight or have more control over their movement on the plane.
Regardless of which you seat you choose and it seems we all have a preference; the airlines seem to have figured this out and now charge you extra to select your favorite seat.
I have always packed what I consider light, a duffle and daypack, carry-on only. It is not because of airline fees but mainly just my choice. It seems like before when I did check luggage it never arrived at my destination with me. But in today’s market, with ever increasing and changing fees, it has become a way of life for most travelers, one carry-on and one personal item.
Many people have asked me “how do you do it?” or “I need to learn to pack like you.” It does take some practice but for me it is just easier to travel light. It doesn’t matter if it is one week or a month, one rule I follow is … if the item can’t be used for multiple purposes it doesn’t go.
“You’ll never meet a traveler who, after five trips, brags: Every year I pack heavier.” ~ Rick Steves
There are dozens of websites and hundreds of articles that have tips and advice on “how to pack light” but it is just makes sense. Carrying LESS luggage means MORE freedom and LESS stress. There is no waiting at baggage claim so you are on your way out of the airport sooner with MORE time to explore. And with LESS luggage there is also LESS worry about keeping track of all of your bags as you move about.
Financially having LESS baggage gives you the option to share a taxi with others instead of filling the cab with your luggage which means MORE money. Or when using a rental car you are able to rent a smaller more cost effective vehicle. Traveling carry-on only there is no need to pay for porters or bell hops.
Physically speaking light luggage is much easier to carry or maneuver through airports, buses, hotels and airplanes. Did you ever try to drag a bag or two up several flights of stairs when the elevator was broken and the bell hops were nowhere to be found?
So before your next trip assess what you really need to pack, you just may find you are able to live with LESS… at least temporarily!
So yesterday March 17, was St. Patrick’s Day or St. Paddy’s Day as many refer to it. It was the day for everyone to be Irish and be wearin’ a bit o’ the green! It is a day to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland. People around the world of Irish descent of not celebrate the day with parades and festivals. Since the holiday fell on a Sunday I am guessing many people started celebrating on Saturday.
“May your pockets be heavy
and your heart be light.
May good luck pursue you
each morning and night.”
Saint Patrick is best known for driving the snakes out of Ireland, which may or may not be true, rumor has it there were never really snakes in Ireland but consequently it still makes him a hero in my book!
In Sydney Australia often times the famous opera house is lit green, in Chicago USA the Chicago River is dyed green and in London England the fountain at Trafalgar Square is also sometimes dyed green. This year Cape Town South Africa will illuminate Table Mountain green.
My one tiny personal connection with Ireland, other than some Irish decent on my mother’s side of the family was a 24 hour layover in Shannon back in the ‘80’s. I saw nothing of the island country except its very green landscape from the window of the plane.
St. Patrick’s Day is also a day associated with shamrocks, tiny leprechauns, pots of gold, luck, yummy corn beef with cabbage and beer, lots and lots of green beer!
So my question to all of you is … how many people are still feeling a shade of “green” today after all of the celebrating this past weekend?
“May you have the hindsight to know
where you've been,
The foresight to know
where you are going,
And the insight to know when
you have gone too far”
WooHoo, Thank You Readers!