Archive for the ‘adventure’ Category

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Spend Summer 2011 Soundwaving in Croatia

March 30, 2011

Imagine yourself having the following conversation with someone when you get back to campus after summer vacation:

You don't have to speak Croatian to scream "Woooooo!"

[Friend who had a dull summer]: Hey.
[You]: Hi!
[Friend]: How was your break?
[You]: Awesome. You?
[Friend]: Pretty boring. Just stayed home, worked. What did you do?
[You, trying not to gloat]: Not much. Hung with friends, worked a little, roadtripped from London to Petrcane for the Soundwave Croatia music fest.
[Friend looks at you with a mixture of disbelief and envy.]: Oh. Cool.

So start getting ready. Grab some friends, find a vehicle for less than $1000, and join the Run to the Sun caravan for a trans-Europe adventure before hitting Soundwave Croatia 2011, a 3-day festival being held July 22-24.

Did you know Croatia was so freaking pretty?

Once there you can enjoy music on the beach, in a tiki bar, on a boat or at Barbarella’s Discoteque.

Read more about Soundwave 2011, and practice saying “Živjeli!”

Roots Manuva,
Lisa

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Travel Safe: Be Prepared for Emergencies Abroad

March 16, 2011

After everything we’ve seen in Japan this week, it’s clear that you can’t plan ahead for every scenario. There are travelers there who arrived hoping to enjoy the food and culture and beauty of the country, who are now doing whatever they can to reroute their itineraries or just go home.

When you’re getting ready for a trip though, there are some things you can do to help yourself be safe and prepared for small but annoying travel issues, like having your wallet stolen, as well as bigger issues, like health problems or an overthrow of the local government.

The things you can or should do will depend on if you’re planning a weekend at the beach or three months backpacking Southeast Asia, but here are a few ideas to start with.

1.  Make sure someone at home has your itinerary. Give them your flight times, names of places you’re staying, contact information for friends you’re visiting, anything that can help them locate you if something happens at home and you’re needed back or if something happens where you are and your friends or family want to check on you.

2. Check with your mobile phone carrier to see if you’ll be able to text from your destination. You may not want to rack up huge charges to tell friends where you ate lunch, but it’s good to know that you can contact someone back home in an emergency and let them know where you are.

3. If you’re travelling alone, or going to a volatile area, let the local embassy know. You can visit the Registration of Canadians Abroad to file your itinerary online. Even if you don’t do that, you should write down the addresses and phone numbers of embassies near your destinations just in case you need them. An embassy can help you if you lose your passport, need medical attention, get arrested or are involved in an accident. See a list of Canadian embassies around the world.

4. Have a backup plan. Sometimes you might arrive in a small town and find that all the hostels are full. Or maybe the train you were expecting to take doesn’t run on Sundays. Advance research and booking (at least a day or two ahead) is best, but if you really want to be spontaneous, then you should have a couple of extra options in the back of your mind at all times.

5. Take some water with you every morning. Maybe the worst thing that happens all day is that it’s hotter than you expected and you don’t want to pay $4 for a drink. Or maybe you’re on a train or bus that breaks down and you’re stuck for a few hours. Don’t let dehydration add to your troubles.

6. Keep a couple of granola bars or some trail mix with you for the same reasons.

7. A mini first-aid kit with bandaids, aspirin, and anything you can’t go 24 hours without (eye drops, inhaler or other medications) should be kept in your daypack.

8. Keep an emergency cash stash. Foreign ATMs don’t always work the way you want them to. Wallets get lost or stolen. Some forms of transportation have to be paid in cash. So whenever possible, keep a little cash tucked away for emergencies only. This isn’t cash you use to buy another drink at the pub, it’s cash you save for when you’re lost at 2 a.m. and need to get in a cab.

9. Keep your eyes open and your traveller’s Spidey-sense on. Always be aware of your surroundings, or designate one of the people in your group to stay the sane and sober one. As soon as something feels off to you, go back to a main road, a well-lit area, a different hostel, whatever it takes for you to feel safe again.

Travelling should be an adventure to enjoy, not a hardship to endure. Stay prepared and you’ll have a better chance that the memories you create are happy ones.

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Virgin Atlantic Makes Travel Look Good

January 7, 2011

Although my trips usually end with me looking exhausted and blistered and tattered, in my mind I always feel like a sexy, exotic jet setter, even if I’ve only spent a weekend in Vegas or Vancouver.

A friend sent me a link to this Virgin Atlantic commercial, and while I don’t have a lot of experience traveling with Virgin, I can say that they’ve at least got the feeling of travel right. The flying, the pampering, the Muse soundtrack, the idea that you’re leaving your life behind to wrap yourself in a new reality – it’s all there.

Watch this and tell me where it makes you want to go.

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Travel Africa With Will and Jada

November 9, 2010

Will and JadaAlright, I’m still organizing all my magical memories and photos from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. (In short: Totally Amazing! Butterbeerlicious!)

In the meantime, for folks in the U.S., check out this awesome contest where you could win a trip to Africa with Will Smith and Jada Pinkett.

It’s not just about celebrities and glamour, it’s about raising money for clean drinking water. So if you’re going to enter the contest, think about taking their birthday pledge and asking for donations on your birthday, instead of gifts. (Or maybe return the ugly gifts you don’t want and donate that money.)

Good travellers don’t just see the world, they take care of it. Make your own committment to help the earth and the other humans who live here!

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Who’s a Top 50 Student Travel Blog?

October 6, 2010

I am. Woo hoo!

Check out the full list and see just how many people there are out there who want you to (temporarily) run away from home:

Top Travel Blogs for Students

I’m particularly interested in the bacon-themed travel blog and the one called Monkey Brewster, just because of the title. Blogs, like books, should be based on their covers, and names.

So where are you going and what are you going to write about it?

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Backpack New Zealand on a Student Budget

October 2, 2010

nzmapYou know where I’d rather be right now? New Zealand. It’s beautiful, it offers a ton of activities and adventure sports and sights, the locals are awesome, and as far as getting around, New Zealand is a student traveler’s dream destination.

No matter what your budget is, there’s a transportation option for you. What you choose depends on your style, your interests and the experience you want to have.

I Want Total Freedom
If you don’t want to be on anyone’s schedule but your own, you’re best off traveling by standard get-me-from-point-A-to-point-B bus. Book as you go, picking the times that are best for you, and answer to no one!

You might also consider renting a car, especially if you’re traveling with friends and can split the cost.

I Want Some Freedom, But Don’t Want to Plan Every Detail
The hop-on hop-off bus is for you. These services stop at different sights between pick-up and drop-off points, can help you organize activities like skydiving, rafting or pub crawls, have drivers who can tell you about what you’re seeing, but also let you jump off whenever you like. Passes are typically good for 12 months, so you can get back on the bus days, weeks or even months later. You aren’t stuck with the group like you are with a full-on tour, so you have more flexibility in your itinerary.

I’m doing most of my travel by Magic Bus, with some day trips of my own thrown in between stops. This way I don’t have to worry about booking lots of separate bus trips, but I can also take time to do things I want to do that aren’t included in the usual schedule. I’ve also used the Oz and Kiwi Experience buses in the past and had a great time.

I Want Someone Else to Plan It All For Me
You need a tour company, like Contiki. All of your transportation and lodging will be planned for you and some meals will be included. You won’t have to do anything except show up on time and enjoy yourself, but you also won’t be able to abandon your group and hang at the beach for a few extra days if the mood strikes you. If you’re on a tight budget and only have a fixed number of days for traveling though, this can be a good way to maximize the amount of ground you cover.

Once you decide how you’re happiest when you travel, you’ll be able to narrow down the options and find what’s right for you.

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Rock Climbing and Heli-hiking in Canada

September 21, 2010

Have you ever looked at a photo and gotten dizzy?

Like, you look at the people in it, climbing up high or hanging on to a ledge by a little rope or walking a thin bridge over a massive gorge, and just thinking about doing what they’re doing makes your head spin?

Well this article I just read about climbing the via ferrata on Nimbus Tower, in the Purcell Mountains of southeast British Columbia, left me feeling equal parts, “I want to do that!” and “*Shudder* I think I’m gonna be sick.”

I heli-hiked Franz Josef glacier in New Zealand, but it was nothing like this. There were no rickety bridges and no real chance of falling to your death – although I did get the mother of all sunburns (iceburns?) that left me in pain for days.

But the Nimbus Tower? I’ll leave that to you daredevil types.

What do you think? Would you do it?