Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Round the World Adventure

My Round the World Adventure


Dividing Up Travel Responsibilities

Posted: 30 Jun 2011 07:09 AM PDT

elise from positive world travelThis is a guest post by Elise, the other half of Positive World Travel.

In a previous post, Anthony wrote about how compromise and communication are key factors in maintaining a successful travel relationship. I also wrote about how "me time" can do wonders for avoiding arguments and keeping the relationship fresh.

But, there is also another important tip to keep in mind: making sure each partner has certain responsibilities on the road.

There are many tasks to perform when you travel. Questions constantly need to be answered. Where are you going to stay? What visas do you need? What currency is accepted? Who is going to make transport inquiries? Who’s going to book flights?

By splitting up these tasks early on, it can make traveling with your partner far easier and much less stressful, giving you time to focus on the thrills and experiences rather than the mundane and nitty-gritty aspects of long-term travel.

Anthony and I learnt from the get go that it pays to know who is doing what on the road. We both now have our own little roles we take on every day.

For example, I now am the official key bearer to our room, which means I am responsible for making sure our room is locked and that I have the key safely tucked away and on me at all times. We spent far too many nights early on our trip having the same conversation:

'Do you have the key?'

'No, I thought you took it.'

'Well, I didn't take it. It was on your side of the table.'

‘Where is it then? I don’t have it.’

It’s a small role, but it's an important one nonetheless and we save ourselves from getting into fights.

Splitting up the responsibilities of travel also has other benefits. You can save a lot of time and frustration if you both give each other certain planning jobs when organizing your onward travel.

For example, instead of both looking for accommodation, one person can be finding accommodation while the other can be figuring out transport. This in turn can save time and reduce conflict and stress. By assigning part of your 'workload' to one another, you each have a single focus rather than trying to cope with everything at once.

For instance, Anthony is in charge of booking and organizing all onward travel, whether overland or by plane, and I am in charge or researching and finding accommodation at our next destination. We both decided on these roles fairly early on. A month or so into our trip we were finding ourselves being disorganized in terms of transport and accommodation. I remember specifically, in Borneo, we were traveling late at night into the town of Semporna. Ant had told me that he already had accommodation in mind. However, when we finally got off the bus, Ant didn't have a clue where any of the hostels were or how to get to them (and, of course, there were no Tuk Tuk drivers in sight!). We were left on the road deserted bar a few stray dogs. A heated argument ensued and it wasn't until much later that we ended up in a hostel room. This only had to happen once for it to be decided that I would be in charge of finding accommodation on our trip.

When deciding who will take on what roles and responsibilities, it all comes down to knowing your partner. You must have an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses.

I am in charge of finding and researching accommodation. Why? Because I'm good at it. While we try not to plan too far into our trip, I love to be organized. Anthony can't stand spending time online looking for places to stay and reading reviews. But me? I love it! Anthony trusts that I will choose a good place to stay, and he is happy that he doesn't have to do it himself.

What I'm not good at is directions. Never have been. Getting from A to B has never been a strong suit of mine. In India a few years ago Anthony bravely handed over the map for the day, as I demanded that I was fine in directing us through small towns and villages high in the north. It wasn't until 4 hours later (when we should have reached a town by then) we were still walking slowly up hill. Anthony then asked for the map, only to then announce that I had been leading us in the total opposite direction! Tired and fed up, we hitchhiked our way back to the starting point, fuming silently in the car.

I also know that Ant is better with money. That is his strength. He sorts out exchange rates and conversions, and knows when best to exchange our money.

Of course, when you are out on the road, there may be times where these responsibilities will change as your travels develop or things crop up, but at least having an idea of who will do what is a good start.

The key to making this work is being consistent. Don't chop and change all the time or become lazy at what you are both supposed to do. It may sound like being back at an old desk job, but being consistent with tasks – even when traveling – only makes things easier.

But, while splitting up jobs and taking on different roles all helps make travel easier, there is one job that you should still both do together: making decisions.

While compromising will come into play when making decisions, don't take the idea of splitting up the jobs of travel to the extreme and only have one person make all the important choices during your trip. Remember, traveling as a couple is about working as a team and doing things together.
By balancing the workload, knowing your partner and staying consistent, you can be sure that it will make your travels easier, happier and more rewarding.

Elise is one half of the dynamic duo at Positive World Travel. Both are writing about their experiences and thoughts on what long-term travel is like as a couple. You can also follow them on Facebook for more of their travel updates.

©Nomadic Matt's Travel Site. Want to save OVER $700 USD on your next trip? Get Free Travel Coupons with my guide to traveling the world.

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Volunteer Wildlife Conservation (Tanzania)

Posted: 29 Jun 2011 04:17 PM PDT

Sam Lloyd reports from the Kilembero Valley in Tanzania, where he is working for Frontier, a UK based NGO, on a conservation project that is working with the local community to protect the vital Ruipa Corridor. The resurrection of wildlife corridors is a favourite conservation issue of mine and Frontier are doing great work in this area. Between the gargantuan Selous game reserve and the mighty...

Read the full story at http://www.travel-wonders.com.

Cunard Line Sends 3 Ships on Epic Voyages in 2013: itravelnet.com Travel Blog

Cunard Line Sends 3 Ships on Epic Voyages in 2013: itravelnet.com Travel Blog

Link to itravelnet.com Travel Blog

Cunard Line Sends 3 Ships on Epic Voyages in 2013

Posted: 29 Jun 2011 05:19 AM PDT

This week, Cunard have announced that in 2013 they are sending all three of their cruise ships on epic round the world voyages. It seems that despite some economies around the world still finding it tough at the moment, the cruise industry is not one of them, and Cunard's announcement comes from the demand for longer cruises especially during the winter months.

Queen Victoria will sail from New York in January 2013 taking a 105 day trip around the world in one direction, while her sister ship Queen Mary 2 will sail a similar journey in the other direction from Southampton. The third Cunard ship Queen Elizabeth will also set sail from Southampton, but her journey will see her travelling to the south Pacific and back in a 91 day long journey.

Peter Shanks the President of Cunard Line is quoted as saying "In a time when some economies around the world are still finding it touch, we're seeing an increase in interest for longer voyages in the winter." He also went on to say that he believes vacationers today are seeing the value of longer cruises which on a per day basis end up being a reasonably affordable way to travel to see some of the far flung destinations around the world.

These epic journeys will take in many different ports in many countries, and will offer people the chance to visit a wide range of destinations. The Queen Victoria will stop at 34 ports in 23 countries while the Queen Mary 2's cruise will include 34 stops in 18 countries as well as including as 12 day highlight circling the beautiful coasts of New Zealand. Among the countries visited by these two ships on their world tours are China, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Vietnam, and India. The Queen Elizabeth will take a somewhat different direction heading out from Southampton to the Americas and south Pacific with 22 ports of call in 11 countries including Honolulu, Somoa, French Polynesia, New Zealand and America.

If you're looking to book passage on the Queen Victoria or the Queen Mary 2, fares start at $19,995 per person based on two people sharing, and early bookings (before 29th Feb 2012) can enjoy savings of up to 10%. Cunard World Club members will receive extra discounts too. Fares for the Queen Elizabeth start at $6,245 per person based on two people sharing for 36 days taking in just part of the journey, but customers can tack on extra segments of the journey to suit them including a 15 day Panama Canal section from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles, and an 18 day Los Angeles to New York section.

Cunard Line Sends 3 Ships on Epic Voyages in 2013 from itravelnet.com - Travel Directory


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

WebEcoist

WebEcoist


The Gates of Hell: Forever-Burning Crater of Poison

Posted: 29 Jun 2011 10:00 AM PDT

[ By Delana in Energy & Fuel & Geography & Travel & Nature & Ecosystems. ]

Turkmenistan is known for its offbeat tourist attractions, but one of the most unusual is the hole in the ground known as The Gates of Hell. The hole, an impressive 230 feet across, is filled with leaping flames that have been lighting up the area for 40 years.

Those looking for supernatural meanings could certainly come up with many to describe this surreal site. The actual origin of this oddity, however, is far more mundane. In 1971, a group of geologists drilling in the Darvaza area accidentally punched through the rock to a deposit of natural gas. The ground crumbled and fell away beneath the drilling equipment.

Since methane is considered dangerous when released into the atmosphere, the geologists decided to light the hole on fire and burn the methane off. They clearly expected it to be a simple, short-lived fire that would burn itself out within days. It was anything but simple.

Now, four decades later, the fire burns on. Looking into the pit, it is easy to understand how it got its name. It almost feels like stepping into this fiery abyss will take you directly to the devil’s lair. The massive deposits of methane below the entire field simply continue burning while curious travelers often make their way to the dangerous location with the sole purpose of peering into the bizarre burning hole.

In 2010 the Turkmenistan government decided that something should be done about the crater. President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov ordered the hole covered up and the other gas deposits in the area explored for their mining viability. As of press time more than a year later, the crater continues to burn 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

(top image via Wikipedia – all other images via Atlas Obscura)

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[ By Delana in Energy & Fuel & Geography & Travel & Nature & Ecosystems. ]

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Adventure Logger

Adventure Logger


Tour d'World with Nokia Ovi Maps 3D

Posted: 29 Jun 2011 02:21 AM PDT



Take a look at that. Ovi Maps 3D is amazing. You can fly over and walk the streets in 20 cities around the world. Or you can look for directions to any place, anywhere in 2D maps.
In 3D maps for each city there are some famous places to see or fly over with a prepared "helicopter" tour. In 2D well, lets just say you will never be lost again.



 I've always wanted to see the Hollywood sign up close.