Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

And here is a little how to video about deep frying a turkey for Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Reveal the Path - The Movie

I recently had the opportunity to watch this documentary film called Reveal the Path. The film chronicles the journey of a group of friends that travel around the world by bikepacking with mountain bikes. The adventurers do not actually ride around the world, but they ride, hop, bus, train, fly and just move. 
The group travels through locations like Scotland
Switzerland
Morocco
Nepal
and Alaska.

While the locations do provide some interesting scenery, challenging environments and unique cultural experiences, the film is not really about the destinations, but the journey that the group undertakes. Isn't that what travel is really about?

Check it out on Youtube, watch it on Netflix or download it from the website of Reveal the Path.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Contrarian Travel Tips

Do all of your travels end up being unremarkably similar? Do all of your vacations involve staying at a hotel, taking guided tours, eating with other tourists and coming back home with photos that look just like your neighbor's photos from their vacation the previous year?

Here are some of my contrarian travel tips which will hopefully add a little variety and adventure to your next trip.

1. Booking an all inclusive vacation?  Instead, wing it.  Book your flight, upon your arrival, locate a hotel or hostel near the city center and take local transportation (not taxis) to get around. Make it up as you go.

2. Taking an organized city tour?  Instead, take a walk and wander. Try to ask locals about the places, things and people you encounter.

3. Just relaxing?  Instead, schedule an activity that might push your limits. Go bicycling, horseback riding, canyoneering or just go for a walk and get lost.

4. Doing something?  Instead, relax, spend the day in bed, read a book or just meditate.

5. Packing for every possibility?  Instead, intentionally leave out some items so that you are forced to shop for those items and interact with people in local stores and markets. Trying to buy a toothbrush, sunglasses or underwear could lead to some great interactions.

6. Staying within a daily budget?  Instead, go under budget by seeking out free activities or go over budget by splurging on a once in a lifetime activity. It all evens out in the end.

7. Eating street food?  Instead, go to a supermarket, buy what the locals are buying, and ask someone how to prepare it. Or ask a local you meet if you can prepare and share a meal with them.

8. Creating an itinerary?  Instead, Learn to walk in another persons shoes. Upon arrival, ask a local to create a list of ordinary things you should do. Do not give them any of your preferences or ideas. Allow them to share their ideas. Follow their suggestions irregardless of how ridiculous, expensive, dangerous or boring the suggestions might sound. You will probably have the most epic experience ever.

9. Buying a souvenir at the local market?  Instead, bring something with you from your home town and try to sell it at the local market or on a street corner. The interactions and conversations you may have should be amazing.

10. Taking lots of pictures?  Instead of capturing memories with a camera, make real memories. Leave the camera in the hotel for a day. Wherever you go and whatever you do, try to intentionally create a mental picture of that experience and you will probably remember it for always.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Modern Indiana Jones

I recently re-watched one of my favorite adventure films of all times... Indiana Jones - Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Indiana Jones has always been associated with his trademark look and style... the fedora hat, leather jacket, khaki clothing, whip and satchel. Inside his satchel he often carried a pencil, notebook, pocket knife, revolver pistol, canteen, flashlight, handkerchief, gloves and artifacts.

And so just for fun I was wondering, what would a modern Indiana Jones carry with him?

Below is a list of items that I think he would carry or keep close.
1. Mountainsmith Tour Waistpack
2. iPhone
3. Leatherman Juice Multitool
4. Black Diamond Headlamp
5. Space Pen
6. Paracord
7. Duct Tape
8. Buff/Bandana
9. Gloves
10. Artifacts

Friday, November 8, 2013

How To Travel Across America By RV (Recreational Vehicle) For $12 Per Day

As you may have already deduced, I am a big fan of long distance overland travel. I enjoy overland travel by motorcycle, car, bus, train or just about any means possible. I have always found it to be very rewarding to my soul to see vast landscapes, changing scenery, small towns and having the flexibility to stop anywhere and anytime while traveling overland. One vehicle that I have never traveled in, but would consider traveling in, would be a recreational vehicle (RV), also known as a caravan.

Some friends recently invited me to join them for a camping trip to Big Bend National Park in West Texas. I have traveled to Big Bend various times and each time I visit I experience something quite unique... so I'm always up for a road trip. The journey from my home to Big Bend is about 8-9 hours of driving. Yep, Texas is a big state. We had six people in our group, so we needed to look at various options as to how we would travel. We thought about a few options: 1. taking our personal cars which would require us to drive two cars because each of our vehicles could only hold four people. 2. renting or borrowing a six person van in which we could all fit. And, 3. renting a RV which could hold our entire group of six and our gear.

I researched renting a RV and this is what I found.
There is a company which rents RVs called Cruise America.
The company rents various RV models that can accommodate/sleep from three to seven people.
The RVs are pretty self contained and include storage, a kitchen, a bathroom and sitting lounges. To rent one of these beauties it typically cost $150 or more per day. Plus there is the cost of gasoline and RV parking. The advantage is that this cost pretty much covers your transportation and housing.
While browsing through the Cruise America website I came across this interesting option under Hot Deals
The hot deal is to help the company transport one of their RVs one way from Phoenix, Arizona to a specified location within a specified period of time for a rental cost of $12 per day! The drop off location could be as close as California to as far as Florida or Virginia.

Thus, if you are traveling from Phoenix, Arizona you could pick up a RV and drive it across America to say Florida at a rental cost of $12 per day, plus gasoline and RV parking. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me.

For our trip to Big Bend this option was not going to work for us because we were just traveling from one side of Texas to the other side of Texas, but I'm going to keep this option in mind if I ever find myself near Phoenix, Arizona.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Things Not To Do


I like this list of things Not To Do.

What really sets high achievers apart is not that they do a lot, but that they don’t do a lot. The most successful people filter out thousands of opportunities every day, and focus on a very few important tasks. Some keep a physical list of things not to do; but for most, the filtering process has become automatic. Here are the six things every high achiever has on his or her to-not-do list, whether the list is written down or ingrained in habit:

DON’T DO #1: Spend time thinking about anything beyond your control. If you can’t do anything about it, drop it. Don’t spend time agonizing over mistakes made in the past, or missed opportunities. Likewise, don’t spend time worrying about events in the future that you can’t do anything to influence.

DON’T DO #2: Waste a second trying to change somebody else. Ignore any illusions you may have that you can change another person. The best a trained psychoanalyst can do is help the other person change – and even then, the process takes years. Besides, people sense you’re trying to change them, and resent it.

DON’T DO #3: Do anything you can delegate to somebody else. If the task can be handed off to somebody more skilled than you, and you can count on that person to do it, let the other person do it. Keep for yourself the most critical activities, and those you don’t think somebody else can do.

DON’T DO #4: Focus on fixing one-time occurrences. Don’t knock yourself out trying to fix problems resulting from isolated events. Focus instead on building lasting processes. If you get the processes right, the events that make up each process will fall into place.

DON’T DO #5: Spend time with people you don’t trust or people you can’t count on. Trust is the basis of all good relationships. If you ask somebody for help with something, but can’t be sure if they’ll follow through, you’re probably wasting your time.

DON’T DO #6: Put effort into anything that will clearly have little or no impact. Be prepared to drop activities that no longer promise significant results. Spend your time only on projects of consequence.

source: Forbes Magazine

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Spice Trail - The Movie

I recently saw this documentary on television called The Spice Trail. I thought that it was really interesting. I enjoy spices, food and spicy food so it was right up my alley. The documentary traces back the history of a specific spice (vanilla, saffron, nutmeg, cloves, pepper or cinnamon) and highlights how the spice and trade of the spice influenced world events. If you are a foodie I think that you might enjoy it too.
You can watch the documentary on YouTube or right here. (59 minutes)

Looks like a good day to start a new adventure


November 1st... Looks like a good day to start a new adventure. Any guesses as to what it might be?

I will post a clue later today.