Why Brussels?

TRAVEL

One of my favorite European cities visited yet, has to be Brussels. Having arrived into the city from Paris, perhaps a change in location was much anticipated due to the less dense population of Brussels compared to Paris. Having visited the city twice already, some of the things I always look forward to when in Brussels are; Belgium waffles, chocolate and trying out one of the many choices of Belgian brewed ales.

Some attractive touristic activities offered by Viva Tours, a non profit organization, are the free and alternative walking tours. Tours are either free or paid for. They offer plenty of insight into the political history, culture and lifestyle of the European Capital. Tour guides are highly knowledgeable and very friendly; providing a fantastic service which, according to the tour you sign up for, can come for free; whilst leaving the participant the option of tipping the tour guide at the end of each session, and this all from your own judgment of how good the tour was.

Leopold Park

Leopold Park

Four (4) languages are known to diversify Belgium; French, Dutch, English and German. Thus language barrier is hardly an obstacle when in Brussels. If you book a tour and head out to meet up with the tour guide and the rest of the group, look for an orange umbrella – the tour guides are always carrying those to make it easier for participants to locate them.

Here are some of the tours that my friends and I took part in, on this particular visit:

City Center Tour

Grand Place

Grand Place

  • The grand place – central square of Brussels
  • Manneken Pis & Janneke Pis
  • Yellow Waffle Van  [Waffles from the yellow vans are freshly made upon order)
  • Royal Galleries of St. Hubert. [best chocolates are from Pierre Marcolini, Passion Chocolat.]

 

Tour of the European Quarter

  • Matonge District (Congolese Neighborhood)
  • European parliament
  • Leopold park
  • European Commission
  • Cinquatenaire park
Cinqauntenaire Park

Cinquatenaire park

Beer Walking Tour

Kwak Beer

Kwak Beer

  • Strong Beers: Westmalle Triple, Chimay Blue, Orval
  • Favourited: La Chouffe, Barbar, Triple Karmelief; Kwak
  • Light Beers: Hoegaarden Wit, Zinnebir

 

Because of the proximity, and if not; the plenty of attractions along the way – maneuvering the city center is easily done on foot. This will get you plenty of exercise, as well as save you from transport fares.

 

Spain | Bold Strangers

TRAVEL

My guess is that we as people are much bolder at making romantic advances towards complete strangers, especially foreign strangers, because the likelihood of ever seeing them again is close to nil. I mean, what’s the harm right? You get to enjoy each other’s company in whichever way you choose, to end up parting ways with no strings attached, should that be choice.

But, let me ask this; is there some initiation ritual of vetting a person into bed? May I compare it to using social graces with the intend of speeding up the process of getting someone to a certain comfort level; or the display of wooing a woman – showing us your gentlemanly side, so that you may feel entitled to the savage ego that may follow when things don’t go your way. This is by no means a widespread profile on the male species, but in this particular story, it’s a profile that well describes the gentlemen approach I received on one particular visit to Spain.

Only too often do us ladies fall for the wooing trap, either as a result of pure ignorance because we are simply eying the gains, or as a result of naiveté and a faint wish in the direction of the situation just being an opportunity to socialize and make new friends in a place foreign to us. The reason for accepting such advances is usually not of mutual interest – one party may approach at a snail’s pace, whilst the other train-speeds to the very end of such an encounter. Motives are often hidden as the master players kick off conversation pleasantries to find common grounds; just for the victim to end up thirst-trapped in an unpleasant ambiance of sexual innuendo and a black swamp of social awkwardness.

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One afternoon, as we bathed in the cool waters of the hotel pool, we were approached by two gentlemen who invited us for a soirée. Later that evening, in conversation, they put forth their case of being on vacation for a couple of days in the Spanish Islands, and that they were scheduled to depart the coming morning.

At first I was startled by their forwardness, but later dismissed it as an innocent approach seeking inter-cultural exchange and mingling. Their attention to detail was indicative of habit. Prompting me to remember that, for some, an intimate encounter with an absolute stranger is without question the ultimate memory of a getaway vacation. At first, the evening was rather stimulating as we exchanged talk on career, origin, culture, shared music and dance moves.  The tables turned somewhat abruptly as our hosts decided to make their move and go for the kill.

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Now, it’s only fair to give people the benefit of the doubt – all within safe and wise parameters of course! This was one of my “male-female cultural-shock experiences”. The ease with which these gentlemen anticipated an intimate night to result from their invitation to a soirée, the situation was laughable. They then went on to stress their upcoming early morning flight, perhaps to justify their approach to leaving no stones unturned that night. After seeing that we were by no mean going to comply, their egos kicked in. Shocked at their ability to continue defending their position, we gladly left them to their own company.

Needless to say, approaching “inter-cultural” or just even “opposite-sex” encounters, especially those of a sensitive nature, with cautious respect rather than pre-conceive stereotypical assumptions is way better. Get to know people as individuals, not as a cultural-stereotype. Be vigilant with social encounters. People may approach you on some familiar ground on which you may connect, just to contrive you into unwarranted activities.

Don’t allow curiosity to lead you astray – safety should come first, always!

Sunday Reflections

PERSPECTIVE & OPINION

The pursuit of God, with sincere devotion, should mature you. This maturity ought then to be seen illuminating all areas of your life. Not that perfection is expected, but you ought to be able to caution yourself when you’ve done wrong, and seek the retribution required to regain a harmonious spiritual balance and continue operating in good faith with God.

We need to teach and encourage independence in people’s pursuit of a relationship with God. It is not about the church – the church is a community, and we have seen many a community rise & fall! It is not about the person who is leading, and is now backsliding – that person is as human as you are! We need to get more confident in pursuing and developing our spirituality as individuals, and to stop solely relaying on the church and biblical scholars for spiritual growth. To pursue God with intention & effort that is self-motivated, in our own time and at our own pace. Operating at your own pace does not equate staying stagnant with the same minimalistic efforts you began with. We are all busy, all distracted! But the ability to repeatedly return to a practice you consider important, that is discipline! A fruit of the holy spirit, that God so asks us to conduct ourselves by!

Do not leave such an important matter solely to the care & guidance of a broken world, for you take the risk of being engulfed in the circular chaos of religious controversies & opinions. The church is there to inspire, to create a place of praise & worship, community and guidance. An individual’s relationship with God, is a personal  responsibility. Thus we ought to stop using the shortcomings of churches, pastors and other spiritual leaders as an excuse to why people’s faith in God is failing. It is the poorest of excuses I’ve come across yet. Spiritual growth does not equate a church, but if you have a church you attend, more blessings to you!

Don’t live a spiritually defeated life, get your eyes off yourself! Growing in God is not about forced intentions, it’s about creating habits and finding a natural flow that allows you to keep God & his teachings at the center of everything you do. Many people don’t realize that the principles they wish to strengthen in themselves, are the very same principles taught in the bible. To live a balanced life of acceptance & understanding of ourself and others.  To do away with reflex responses to unpleasant situations. Not to allow our action to depend upon the actions & reflections of others. To learn the good management of bad situations. To lead with grace, integrity & dignity. To mirror the purest of heart “Jesus”; and to be an example of how God blesses those who conduct themselves within the parameters of these principles & caution themselves to be God-fearing. Because as much as it is by faith that we love & believe in Him; it is also by faith that we should fear Him in all his capacity!

Namibia | Conserving & Preserving

TRAVEL

The raw essence of Namibian sceneries is one that many writers attempt to put into words, and always end up falling short in doing it justice; myself included. But even so, the rising global awareness that speaks to the importance of preserving natural environments & maintaining equilibrium within ecosystems has shifted a deeper appreciation in the direction of the unspoiled habitats of Namibia’s dry-lands.

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Sands of Time | Sossusvlei, Namibia

Never have I been so excited about the nature of a place and the purity it retains. 

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Deadvlei | Over 2000 year old skeletons embedded in a white clay pan
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Many have gone and left their footprints exploring this masterpiece. In time, nature too shall erase their footprints – continuing to shape the masterpiece for generations to come; for we are but mere visitors on the time-line of existence.

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Though a tar road runs cross-country throughout Namibia, a majority of places still remain accessible only by gravel road.

The country’s climate is hot & dry. To maximize vegetation, stored water is often used because the sun shines often and the rain falls rarely.

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This little accommodation was maximized for comfort, but also for preservation.
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The Khoisan tribe, living in tune with mother nature amidst the country’s arid conditions

Wildlife resorts are found across the country, operating both within the public and private sectors.

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Namibia is home to the largest canyon in Africa, the Fish River Canyon, and also to some of the worlds magnificent sunrises and sunsets.

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A primitive beauty, crafted by the force of nature through the hands of time.

Poznan, Poland | Life Check

TRAVEL

For the longest time, I wanted to be a waitress. My desire was driven by the novelty of the job, by the fact that I could do it for however long I wanted & quit when I was ready. But also by the desire to serve people with as much grace, integrity & genuineness as I could master at the said time. This dream was made a reality last week. I went through paperwork, safety procedures & induction, only to end up quitting two days into the job.

One would think, for a dream held onto for so long, I would have conquered up some endurance to see the commitment through. Well yes, endurance and commitment I decided on after the first day’s challenge. At 36 degrees Celsius, going to & from a job which is 40 minutes away, working a 5 hour shift with a single break in between – I was not ready! I kept up with the haste, in fact, I liked it! But the energy left in me at the end of my shifts, as I took the last tram home  just approaching 11pm – that energy was only enough to carry me through the 15 minute walk from the tram to my home.

The second day was more or less the same, except I came ready for energy depletion this time around. What went wrong was, at the very last 15 minutes of my shift, a hasty move in the kitchen had hot oil spill on my skin. Shock froze me! On top of the pain, I was traumatized thinking about how bad my skin would look all bruised & blistered!

I calmed myself down as I headed home to lick my wounds. Thinking about what a stupid idea it was to have begun this job in the first place.

I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of living with a bruised arm that looks as though somebody dug their fingers deep into my skin at an effort to cause pain. I also aquired a dark patch that resembles a birthmark at the meeting of my hand and forearm, all blistered up.

After sleeping on it, I decided the risk was not worth the experience, not realizing then, that what had happened was the experience. Im sure it’s not an everyday occurance, otherwise people would be crazed out of their minds like I was, but this job gave me a reality check. What I went to do there, so many people are doing simply to get by, and they don’t see much of a choice but to stay and do exactly that. That is life! it’s energy draining, it’s time-consuming, its early mornings and late nights, putting yourself at risk, knowing something bad could happen, but hoping you are careful enough not to let it. To serve people; to learn patience, tolerance, endurance.

Time and energy are a luxury, so investing those two assets into work that brings great satisfaction as a return, is optimal priority. Unfortunately not everyone gets the benefit of ending up in a career path they desire, because geographical, social, educational & financial statuses dictate much of the direction many of us take.

I decided not to let small things such as burnt skin define me; nor the hot oils to dictate my direction. Clumsy as I am, my skills are probably better served elsewhere that is not near hot oils, but by no means do I find such work beneath me. I did not have to do it, but I am glad I took the time to try it out, through the scorching sun, the long hours, the challenges of communication & the haste within the kitchen. I am proud of the little success accomplished on doing what is considered simple, yet it’s difficult; some may consider it degrading, yet to serve is humble.

It’s a day-to-day issue that many of us face, on how we often see ourselves and what we deserve. It’s an issue of how those who succeed see and do things. But we cannot allow small things to define us, neither can we allow ourselves to think that life is better and more appropriate at the top of the ladder, and feel entitled  to a certain way of life or certain things in life just because of the accomplishments we have secured to attain the current positions we find ourselves in.

It should be an honor to serve people, irregardless of the position you’re serving from. This all within the right context & with genuine intention of coarse!

 

France | A winters visit to Paris

TRAVEL

Taking a direct flight from Warsaw to Paris in mid-February, my friends & I made our way to the city center in the late afternoon, to our luck no snow was anticipated for the 3 day stay we’d planned for in the city.

Letting Google find our accommodation, we had made reservations at an Ibis Budget friendly hotel in Avenue Jean Jaures. [booking.com]

Passing a McDonald outlet to grab a bite before settling in for the night, we made our way through the busy streets of Paris in the late evening hours.

people eiffel tower lights night

At the accommodation, everything came with good comfort and stuff where super-friendly in providing extra items we may have needed on request; such as blankets & shower gels. After grabbing a few maps from reception, we wiggled our way into the comfort of the sheets and started mapping out sightseeing routes to be conquered in the morning.

Waking up the following day, we got ready & decided to pass a mini-market to grab bottled water for our city tour; as well as a pâtisserie to grab croissants & coffee for quick breakfast.

bacon rosemart

Having arrived in town on a Thursday, we were able to purchase metro weekend passes the next day, which allowed us to save on transport costs whilst exploring the different zones that make up the city.

ancient architecture attraction buildings

Metro-lines are found almost everywhere, so getting around wasn’t a problem. Once a metro pass was purchased, the challenge came in conquering the multiple staircases at a speed fast enough to catch the trains, lest they leave you behind waiting on the next one!

Heading in the direction of the Notre-Dame Cathedral, we stumbled upon a network of streets  filled with crepe-connoisseur walk-in restaurants [crepe restaurants near Notre-Dame]. We eventually sat down in one of the restaurants only to be attended to by an over-chatty waiter, who was interested in asking about our origins & how we came to be in Paris from so far away!

The restaurant we entered served some outrageously delicious crepes! I got a set that served two: a savory (chicken flavored) & sweet (nutella-filled) *I was in heaven*. The dishes were accompanied by a mug of French bubbly >_< and the combination was simply exquisite!

bake bowl breakfast cakemacaroonscroissants and strawberry for breakfast

Withstanding the cold breeze & busy connection networks of Paris, we hit about 90% of attractions marked out on our map. We also managed to spectacularly enjoy croissants, crepes & macaroons as planned.

Paris was beautiful in February, but I imagine that since winter had taken its toll on ridding trees of their leaves & casting a grey-scale appearance over the city; it must be even more beautiful in the fall & summer seasons when flowers are in bloom & the sun-rays brightly reflect a spectrum of colors.

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Our exit from Paris was followed by a four-hour bus ride [Quibus] into Brussels – accompanied by a box of macaroons, as we said “au revoir a la ville de Paris!”

 

 

 

Synchronizing fitness, health & travel

TRAVEL

Sleep, fitness training & meals are activities around which many of us build indispensable routine. Seeing as to how we are creatures of habit, traveling can take a toll on us and leave us in a frenzy. Different time zones, inability to prepare healthy meals at will or attend gym as per schedule; I myself have gotten trapped in this cycle only too often, taking 2 steps forward staying on schedule and one step back whenever I traveling. But enough excuses! Being on vacation, taking pleasure in foreign delicacies or sleeping in after long nights of partying is no reason to stall fitness progress or healthy eating habits.

Below, I share with you easy to follow tips on keeping afloat & up to date with fitness & health schedules while travelling, be it for business or pleasure – even carefully planned out routines can get thrown off track.

In the case of pleasure; travel is usually a means of escape, a time to laze ourselves into relaxation & overindulge on local cuisine. In case of business, one is often operating on tight schedules & hardly has time to catch a breath. Sticking to normal routine may prove difficult. What we want is to be able to substitute & swap unhealthy & impulsive habits with easy to do exercises & healthy, easily available food options, as we navigate our travel planners.

Listed below are tips on how you can combine your fitness, health & travel. Some of these can be done before daily activities begin, so my suggestion: work out first thing in the morning!

STAY ACTIVE

Equipment free & travel activity related

  1. Do a gluts & core workout before taking a shower
  2. Jog around the block or on the beach to familiarize yourself with the scenery. Take care to take safe routes with good lighting.

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  1. Go swimming, if your place of accommodation has a pool or you leave near the beach.
  2. Walk it off or go hiking: step count during sightseeing activities & take the stairs whenever possible.

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3. Rent a bike & cycle the city

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Self-train with a portable gym

  1. Travel with workout gear. Easy to pack are: Jumping ropes, yoga mats, flexi-stretch bands.
  2. Use fitness apps and get into action with easy to do movements and trainers that guide you through every step
  3. Get on YouTube and search for workout videos.

Gym studio attendance

  1. Drop into a nearby gym or outdoor yoga class. First time visits are often free or discounted
  2. If you’re a member of a brand name gym, find out if your gym has an affiliate in the location you’re traveling to.

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Use the hotel gym

  1. When booking accommodation, ask about gym facilities. Most hotels usually have a guest gym. Cardio it out or weight lift in the early morning hours before breakfast. This will leave you with more energy for your planned activities.

EAT CLEAN

Carry healthy snacks

  1. Plan ahead & make sure you always have healthy snack options to fall back on.
  2. Hunger comes quick when you’re exploring a city all day & the impulse to purchase junk along the way may seem feasible. Bring along Fruits [fresh/dried] , nuts, protein bars.

Eat smart

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  1. Kickstart the day with a big & healthy breakfast, stay mindful not to over-indulge.
  2. Yogurt & smoothie bowls are easy to make and filled with nutrients. Ingredients can be cheap & they are filling!

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  1. Beware of liquid calories: opt for fruit & veggie smoothies, as opposed to soda, sweet juices or alcoholic beverages. If you carry water with you, stick to that instead.

MAINTAIN HEALTHY HABITS

Prioritize hydration

  1. Both for fitness & health, it would do you good to start your day of with a cup of water or green tea. Green tea is filled with antioxidants & water provides the much needed fluid intake following overnight digestion.

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  1. Purchase from a supermarket & keep in your accommodation bottled water enough for the length of your stay, otherwise use a self-filter water bottle to purify any unbottled water you may drink.
  2. Carry a filled water bottle when out sightseeing, this will prevent you from splurging on beverages as well as keep you easily hydrated.

Keep well rested

  1. Ensure that you get enough rest to take on activities for the following day.
  2. Jet lag can take its toll, so get enough rest & go easy on workouts, but work out you must as it can reduce stress & feelings of low energy.

Tract your progress

  1. If the goal is to do better today compared to yesterday, tract your progress. It can be difficult to aim for better today if you don’t know how you did yesterday.

 


Don’t justify taking breaks from good habit by thinking that you’ll pick things up upon your return from trips, make fitness and health a constant & you’ll easily be able to find ways in which you can synchronize your schedules to fit everything in. Eat for health not just for pleasure or out of pure necessity, don’t postpone workouts, drink plenty of water and stay active!

 

Travel Namibia on a budget

TRAVEL

Had I been asked to compile a bucket list before my wanderlust years kicked-in, Namibia would not have been anywhere near the top of my list. Exploring home had always been at the back of my mind, but never had I sat down to draw up a plan of action or considered extending surplus funds on such travels.

It took me far & long explorations of foreign lands to draw my interest back home. It took comments such as “You come from such a beautiful country, have you visited the Fish River Canyon?” “What attractions are unique to your country?” “My wife & I are planning to visit Namibia, what would you consider top-of-the-list places to see?”

I neither saw the haste nor the glam in exploring a country indigenous to me, it did not appear as exotic as other faraway lands that were so lavishly highlighted in tourism geography & mass media markets.

With time, I grew curious as to what this beauty could be that it was so highly anticipated by outsiders. I then took to the internet to see places I hadn’t travelled to & often found this beauty to be hidden amongst website pages of Namibian lodge accommodations mainly advertising to foreigners, Instagram pages of foreign travellers to Namibia, foreign travel agencies & bloggers; all advertising the unspoiled open landscapes of our motherland.

I came to find but a few amongst our own media pages & realised that I, along with so many other Namibians lack the culture of getting excited about our own spaces – about drawing people to what is ours & representing it with utmost dignity.

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I found Deadvlei & Sossusvlei to be raw artistry & rare sights of nature’s very own primitive masterpieces!

In the summer of 2017 I relived a few truths about my country;

(1) not even the heat can keep us indoors, (2) a majority of the country remains accessible only by gravel road & (3) with sceneries so rich, any adventurer would welcome the challenges of minor inconveniences.

Namibia needs no authentication – it needs only to be seen, to be understood.

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Canyon Lodge

Listed below are 10 Budget friendly hacks to take any aspiring adventurer across Namibia, on a discount.

[1] Identify the kind of travel you want to do; so you may know where to allocate your hard earned cash & save your cents.

  • Adventure & Sightseeing
  • Relaxing
  • Event celebrations & group entertainments
  • Visiting

[2] Account for the 4 indispensable expenses (the rest are optional).

Transport

Public transport is close to non-existent in Namibia, so if your destination is off the tarred roads you’ll have 2 options:

  • Join a group tour or
  • Own/hire a 4×4 vehicle conducive for the gravel roads ahead.
  • This is highly dependent on the area you’re visiting
  • Learn how to change a tire & if possible, avoid night driving.

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Namib desert drive between Sesriem & Sossusvlei

Public transport

  • Book your trip during off-seasons & buy a return ticket if possible. http://www.intercape.co.za
  • Contact travel agencies & tourist offices for promotional discounts on group tours

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Erindi game drives

Private transport:

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Accommodation

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Namib Desert Lodge

Food

  • Bring your own food (inexpensive & healthy snacks will get you through any trip until a decent meal comes along)
  • avoid restaurants near major tourist attraction sites (they may be a little pricey)
  • You don’t always have to eat at your place of accommodation – head for the supermarkets

Backup funds – emergency cash is highly recommended, as ATMs occasionally are out of order & not every shop accepts electronic payments.

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I found Deadvlei & Sossusvlei to be raw artistry & are sights of nature’s very own primitive masterpieces!

[3] Seek out vacation packages & promotions

  • All-inclusive packages usually include: transport, accommodation & on-sight activities. Some packages may include food & drinks from your place of accommodations.

[4] Invest in a “Gondwana Collections” discount card: they offer discounts on food & accommodations. Find out more here  http://www.gondwana-collection.com/about-us/the-gondwana-card/ 

[5] Invest in a Namleisure [Namibia Wildlife Resorts] discount card: they offer a range of discounts for member guests: find out more here  https://www.nwr.com.na/namleisure-cards

[6] Plan expensive activities ahead

  • Get a map, circle all activities you would want to engage in & places you’d want to see (find out: opening & closing hours, entrance fees, etc.)

[7] When flying: travel light, carry a hat & don’t spare the sunscreen!

  • Take a carry-on cabin-sized suitcase & save on checked luggage fees. This will also spare you from waiting at airport baggage carousels upon arrival.

[8] When visiting touristic areas or accommodations, ask about free guest activities/entertainment such as music bands, walking /sightseeing tours & museums. Be ready to wander off on your own, bring your map along!

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Experience Namibia’s nature reserve sanctuaries

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We are home to the largest Canyon in Africa – Fish River Canyon, Namibia

[9] Stick to local products: be it alcoholic beverages or food products (they’re often cheaper than foreign imports)

[10] Be flexible & on a look out for better rates through research (Google it, ask Siri, pick up a phone & inquire).

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Indulge in culture – Khoisan people.

Cut back on unnecessary expenses, spend money on activities that add value to your experiences & follow the trails of beautiful destinations across Namibia on a discount budget.

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Slow down for golden sunsets

 

15 Pass Time Entertainment Ideas for Your Travels.

TRAVEL

Travel entertainment on the go is easy if you plan ahead and prepare for the hours unattained for waiting to connect on flights, trains or carpooling; spending time on overnight buses; or simply awaiting the rest of your crew to get ready for the next meet up.

I embarked on a connecting flight from Frankfurt to Warsaw in early January and was taken aback by my surprise at seeing a Polish “Pani” reading a hard copy novel. The first thought that came to mind was, “how does she feel carrying such load when she could alternatively carry a device that is able to hold multiple books at once, and one that is probably lighter than the book she’s reading?”

I felt a sense of disturbance as that thought crossed my mind. These means of travel entertainment (hard copy: books, newspapers, magazines), is that all a thing of the past in my mind then? I felt a discomfort from this notion as I remembered all the hard copy books I myself owned and kept at home.  My sense of discomfort was an indication that I was less likely to travel with a hard copy source of literature ever again, unless the situation so demands.

In todays digital age of fast paced, user friendly & convenient technological interfaces that are intended to unburden our day-to-day lives, hard copy literature not only dims in comparison to digital libraries & audio-books, but its usage heavily depands on the unavailability of an Internet connection &/or power outlet.

Entertainment is quite a vital part of any trip. Like most people, I loath being bored & do not take kindly on time wasted. For this reason I’ve made it a priority to always travel with a digital library, making it feel as if the whole world is in my hands – and who wouldn’t want to dive into that!

Below I’ve listed a few ideas for entertainment on the go. You may pick & choose from this list depending on the length of your trip, the intensity of your schedule, as well as what you find interest in:

  1. Reading (digital or hard copy) – become well-versed in your topics of interest. In a world where we’re bombarded with information 24/7, it’s a nice change of pace to cover more than just a few fleeting details of a subject that catches our interest. Don’t simply learn things by accident or coincidence – take time, dive into topics & become an expert about the things that interest you.
  2. Audio books – an invention fast revolutionizing the time & speed of learning.
  3. Music – indulge, catch up & create new play-lists according to your mood & activities
  4. Socialize – meet & make local friends. Ask for direction, explanation or recommendations as a conversation starter.
  5. Food feast – try out local dishes at popular spots. Alternatively; visit a market, pick up some groceries & prepare local dishes with the help of your local friends.
  6. Theatrics – visit a cinema or theater at your travel destination.
  7. Relax – spent some time in the gym, sauna or spa.
  8. Gaming – Board games, card games, tech games
  9. Photography: capturing images, unloading memory cards or editing pictures on a trip – could rid you off the burden of having to do so upon completion of a trip.
  10. Journal – If you are a travel blogger like I am or you simply enjoy keeping records of trips taken, take time to jot down your travel experiences in preparation for the blog you will right or just for keepsake.
  11. Conversation – A simple conversation goes a long way. Choose a topic of discussion & set direction for the flow of conversation.
  12. Geocaching – Local people often place geocaches in places a casual visitor would not readily know about. Geocaching is a great way of discovering places of local significance, viewpoints, walks, landmarks and areas of cultural and historical value.
  13. Equip yourself for your trip – study the local language, culture & cuisine.
  14. Walk & explore your neighborhood – this allows you to put in any extra hours of exercise you may sacrifice on you trip away from home. Remember to inquire about safety before embarking on a stroll & whenever possible, ask a friend to tag along.
  15. TV time – I often find this to be the last resort. It is the easiest option available to you almost anywhere you go.

Why you may need to prepare pass-time entertainment for your trips

Your itinerary may schedule end-on-end activities for you, but if you find yourself uninterested in certain group activities or not relating to the crowd in your immediate surroundings, what then do you do? Having your own sources of entertainment readily available could allow for better flexibility in how you spend your time and this way, you can make sure it is not wasted.

I climbed aboard an 11 hour flight one night and the majority of the flight’s entertainment screens where out of order. A lot of passengers found this to be a show of incompetence from the airline, but unfortunately the problem could not be solved during the course of our fight. This scene had me thankful I had with me a digital library I could use to pass time – I intensely dived into a book & was up reading for most of the night.

One could optimize the use of Travel time by doing things not normally scheduled for in a day-to-day routine, hence I urge you to find some “Me” time, pamper yourself & find pleasure in the small things to pass-time as you travel.