Imagine you just arrived in a new town. All excited to explore and discover. You will have fun for sure, but it’s only half of it. The other half is in looking back at all those fond memories you created while you were there, years ago. How will you store all those memories for your entire life, in a functional way?
Collecting souvenirs is actually a lot of fun. It not only takes you back in the memory lane but also reminds you how lively and wonderful the trip was. Not to mention that the once with a practical use can be a part of your daily life.
The first few things I started to collect on my trips were coffee mugs.
However my brother from another mother believes in collecting artifacts and shot glasses.
(Ron, are you happy now?) 😉
For a coffee lover like me, buying a coffee mug as a souvenir is a complete win-win because while I am enjoying my coffee or cocoa, I am already thinking about the good time I had in Vienna, Australia, Singapore or wherever.
Souvenirs could be for free, cheap or a bit expensive but in the end what you collect after few years of traveling becomes a priceless gift to yourself. Other than mugs I also pickup fridge magnets and recently I started to collect local recipe books.
When we travel we collect countries, destinations, stories and experiences rather than things to take home, but a small souvenir from everywhere will remind you of special moments and also will hold evidence of those special moments for the rest of your life.
So next time you travel, find a souvenir that fits your lifestyle and preserve the fond memories of your trip for years to come in the memory box of your mind.
Feel free to share with me what other souvenirs do you collect?
The moment you start outlining your first trip to Las Vegas, a string of thoughts will crawl through your mind. There is definitely some sin in the sin city and its time for you to plan it really well.
When you come to this adult paradise you might encounter things probably which shouldn’t be there. If you’re easily offended by things like adult services, topless pools and smoke filled casinos, then you might want to stay away from the Strip. Otherwise, just take a deep breath and go with the flow. Participation in all of the above is not a must however keeping an open mind is advised.
The first thing you should work upon is booking a right hotel for yourself. Choose the hotel which is right in the center of the strip. No need to go towards the far ends as it has nothing much to offer. My suggestion is to stay anywhere in Zone 1. The hotels are much far from each other than they appear but still walking down the strip is a good idea. In my opinion everything here is based on the tips. More generous you become better treatment you get. Throw money around and see the good things coming your way. Room upgrades, quick return of the casino cocktail waitress, complimentary mini bar etc.
In a place like Vegas staying away from gambling is a little tough. It’s a place where you will see 100’s of artfully designed and digital slot machines inviting you with pure lust for those dollars you got in your pocket. If you would like to try your hands on some other card games the opportunities are endless my friend. Just remember, gambling is fun when you’re playing with the money that you can afford to lose. Don’t get tempted by the free drinks or by the glamour around you, pick a limit and stick to it.
Keep a day to explore popular places in and around Vegas. One of the most popular activities in Las Vegas is to explore the majestic Grand Canyon. You will be able to book a tour from anywhere and it should be including The Grand Canyons, Lake Mead, and Hoover Dam. After the tour if you still have some energy left the Vegas downtown or Fremont Street is definitely a Go!
There are a lot of shows to be seen in Vegas. Some of them are really famous but before you buy the tickets make sure to compare the prices online or visit a nearest half price ticket store. Taking a taxi is another expensive affair in Vegas due to long hauling. The best way to avoid it, use Google maps & make sure your driver sees that.
Speaking of taxis, finding a taxi could be a task sometimes especially when you need it desperately. Don’t try to stop one at the strip. It is illegal for them to stop there. Instead just go to the nearest hotel taxi stand and you’ll find a line of taxis waiting to take you wherever you need to go.
If like me some of you share this mad love for clubbing, Vegas is the place. Some of the best clubs can be found on the Las Vegas strip. Remember to dress up appropriately as here people believe what they see. Most of the time you have to choose from these 2 options – buy a table with a bottle service or stay in the queue for hours, and have your 20$ drink in a cramped up corner. Decide! If you want to have some fun then go for the first option and yeah, you can thank me later.
Ladies, you enter for free!
Do whatever you wish to do in Vegas but just don’t get married when you are drunk. If still somehow you wish to then the Las Vegas Marriage Bureau is open till midnight every night. Just remember your wedding the next day. 😉
There is always plenty to do in Las Vegas so just try to get some rest in between your action packed nights and hangover filled days. Have fun and remember what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!
A good hookah and enjoyment goes hand in hand. I am sure there are many hookah lounges in New York City but I found this one closest to The Empire State Building, while I was on a city tour. I am very picky about flavored smoke, may be because I know my good hookah. After going to this lounge, I must say, I was impressed!
They start operations at 15:00 and are open till late. Also have a decent food and drinks menu to choose from. When I visited this place I was greeted by Selin. She not only made me comfortable but also suggested me few options that I could try. Beware – other than being gorgeous, she’s good at up selling too 😉
So, I ordered a special flavor (out of the menu) in a fruit head along with some beer and not to forget, their happy hours include almost everything fancy. Service was prompt and they constantly checked the coal. Selin and her team not only made sure that everything is fine but also were very hospitable and made sure that all their guests are having a good time.
Their hookah hits amazingly and the overall profile is excellent. The music being played in the lounge is mixed genre which brings people from different origins together. They also have a club setup for a weekend which is another added advantage… probably a perfect spot to come smoke hookah, socialize and dance!
The seating area is comfortable and spacious, plus the Turkish lamps add to the ambience. I came to this place for the first time and I absolutely loved it! If compared hookah prices with the other part of the world some people might find it a bit expensive but in the end what matters is having a good time. 🙂
Camping at a festival is like becoming a part of a colorful village that only exists for a few days. It’s where friendships are made and adventures begin, where everyone is ready to have a good time. The Fringe is the world’s largest art festival held in Edinburgh every year in the month of August. It goes on for good 25 days and you can choose from one of the many camping venues. This year I preferred to stay in a camp site managed by camping ninja. It was at Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston. The camping ground was clean and well maintained. I was carrying my own tent so I picked up a standard pitch close by a lake. Other camping options were also available. A separate ground for people camping in their caravans was at a walking distance from the main entrance. A mini kitchen, toilets, shower rooms, cafeteria, and a charging station was also there.
It took me just few minutes to setup my tent and I was already thinking ahead of time about what to do next. Thinking about camping has a stress relieving effect on me. Camping means staying outdoors, close to nature, which never fails to make me happy. Campers on the whole are very friendly. I take great pleasure in having random chats, and sharing some stories I have.
I think I like the feeling of being connected.
Camping festivals always seem to be their own little alternative places where saying things like “join me for a drink” or “let’s go for a walk later” are totally common. Another best thing about festival camping is that curfews are non-existent, parties last all night, and nobody is judged.
If you’re attending the festival and want to feel the true camping spirit, stop by a retail store to grab a sleeping bag. It’s a must have. I love wriggling inside my sleeping bag, in my tent and look up at the stars; luckily this time while I was camping it was a full moon night. It just enhanced the panoramic view of the entire place.
A camping experience can be either the best few days of your life or a frustrating hassle depending on the campground’s location and weather. My advice to you all is to plan well & book in advance.
Exploring and finding joy in the natural world is something I’ll never grow out of so people who would like to join me for the next festival camping session can pre register by following the link.
As the aircraft descends and prepares to land into Amsterdam, I feel elated and excited to explore this city of tolerance and diversity. Amsterdam is one of the greatest cities in the world filled with rich culture, lively nightlife, international restaurants and good transport. It’s also known for its water canals, world famous museums and historic sites.
Amsterdam has more than 75 museums which attract millions of visitors every year but the most famous museums are Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum.
When the weather heats up in Amsterdam, It’s the best time of the year to be in this picturesque Dutch city. Everyone is trying to make the most of the heat wave, and the city feels like a holiday resort, especially during the weekend.
After checking in to my very comfortable hotel I decided to go for a city tour. It was one of those evenings when I was feeling very happy, I think it was the effect of the constant smell of weed I was able to sniff in the cobble stoned city streets which was getting stronger each time I cross a coffee shop.
So, the first stop…? Coffee shop!
I entered multiple coffee shops but I really liked Goa & Baba. I do not smoke myself but the smell does attract me. I saw many groups and individuals sitting in the dark, smoke filled shops waiting to be stoned while I enjoyed my coffee. It was fun.
Amsterdam coffee shops are not to be confused with cafés. They have been a part of the city since the 1970s, and were allowed to sell small amounts of cannabis after the Dutch government made a clear distinction in the law between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ drugs. They are strictly regulated and taxed. A legal coffee shop operates with non-transferable licenses – shown by the display of an official, green and white sticker in the window.
As I continued walking I discovered many big and small bridges over all the criss – cross canals. The many canals and waterways make bridges a necessity for Amsterdam. During the day they are beautiful, but at night some are decorated with dazzling illumination adding to the charm.
I believe each bridge has a story to tell. Historic or may be romantic, not sure!
I continued walking over some bridges, wandered around by one of the canals, took few lefts and few rights and finally came to a place where people were spilling out of the pubs and laughter was echoing. I also noticed some gorgeous wide-eyed Dutch girl’s cycling along on their way. They were really pretty I must say…!
Finally I paused at the doors of De Bekeerde Suster where I stopped by for a drink. I received a warm welcome and chose to sit at the bar for a casual conversation with few locals. While I was deciding what to order, the bartender suggested me to try Jenever. It’s basically a Dutch gin. I completely enjoyed sipping it.
It was getting late and was time for me to move towards my shelter. I took the route through the red light district. This place leaves nothing to the imagination from brothels to sex shops to museums. I am sure you must have heard about this area in Amsterdam and to be honest everything you have heard is true. This place has around 2000 glass windows which are occupied by sex workers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Prostitution is actually legal in many parts of Europe, but nowhere in the world is prostitution a major tourist attraction like how it is here. It is a curiosity for some, and one of the obvious reasons to visit for others. The red light district is exactly what you probably think it is, but it’s also mostly safe and clean and should be a stop on almost every visitor’s itinerary. Being the city’s oldest and most historic neighborhood it’s hard to avoid this area but I would still suggest all the travelers not to visit the red light district first otherwise you may get the wrong impression about the Dutch people and Amsterdam. Enjoy yourself, as a trip down the district will definitely leave a lasting impression.
For some people who would like to grow their own herb, I found a seed store. They claim to have the finest of all seeds and offer worldwide shipping. Oomph…
On my way back I sat by a canal with a can of Heineken studying my tourist map. I felt ecstatic. It was so wonderful to be in Amsterdam. What a fantastic city filled with friendly – kind hearted people. I was almost smiling with joy. Would definitely love to come back here again.
Danes are the happiest people on earth. This also makes Denmark the happiest country in the world. Beautiful architecture, lots of water and friendly good looking people on bikes everywhere.
Located in the centre of Denmark’s capital I visited Christiania, and was surprised by what I found in this famous hippie neighborhood.
Christiania in Denmark and Amsterdam in Netherlands have only one thing in common – Marijuana.
In 1971 a former military base was converted into a free town, better known as Christiania now. As it was declared a free state citizens living in there did not follow the laws of the society that surrounded them. They had their own laws and an individual state flag. When it was first established, the government tried to shut it down but due to the public pressure was unsuccessful.
Visiting Christiania in itself is an experience; a block of warehouses, workshops, art galleries, inexpensive eateries, colorful paintings huts and houses. Visitors are welcome to stroll around Christiania and to eat and drink in the area’s cafés and bars but spare a minute to read their rules before you enter because they are pretty strict on people not following these.
Clicking photos is a big NO! (Although I was able to click a few)
As you will continue exploring Christiania, you might find small stalls, each one selling different varieties of marijuana and hashish. Displayed out in the open for customers to browse were large bricks of dark and light brown colored hash. Besides that, small plastic containers filled with marijuana named grapefruit, AK47, and white widow were displayed with various stickers identifying price. Also, right next to both was giant cones of pre-rolled hash for easy consumption. (Huh, that’s a lot of ‘erb)
Walking through Christiania is not illegal and the restaurants in the area offer delicious food and a unique atmosphere. Like most tourists I enjoyed walking through the district. Just remember that if you decide to exit Christiania leave all the “herbal stuff” in the area. Taking it out is definitely not a good idea.
Always colorful and endlessly controversial, Christiania is a unique place to visit. More than a city district, it’s a way of life.
After so many visits to Munich, finally today I was able to screw up some courage and visited this academy of violence and terror. Not far from the city, it takes less than 20 minutes from Ostbahnhof to reach Dachau.
Documented facts tell us that it all started on March 22, 1933, a few weeks after Adolf Hitler was appointed as a Chancellor of Germany, the first Nazi concentration camp for political prisoners was set up in Dachau. Located just outside Munich in southern Germany this camp received its first group of detainees which were few socialists & communists. The very first commandant for this camp was Hilmar Wäckerle an official in the “Schutzstaffel” (a Nazi paramilitary organization commonly known as the SS)
Main camp gate
Record shows that since the beginning, camp detainees were subjected to very harsh treatment. Prisoners were executed by streaming lethal gasses from showerheads and were forced to end their lives. The immense pain they suffered could be felt even now when you see the nail marks on the walls of the room where they were executed. It eventually evolved into a death camp where thousands of Jews died from malnutrition, disease and overwork or were tortured to death. In addition to Jews, the camp’s prisoners included members of other groups Hitler considered unfit for the new Germany, including artists, intellectuals, the physically and mentally handicapped and homosexuals.
The gas chamber used to murder individual prisoners & small groups using poison gas.
An old sketch by one of the prisoner showing how at midday an entire chain of destroyed individuals returned lying unconscious on wheelbarrows. they were the ones who broke down from hunger, agony & cold.
Whipping trestle with bull whip
There was no way to stop it at that time as an official order was issued stating that Dachau and all other concentration camps were not to be subjected to German law as it applied to other German citizens. SS administrators alone would run the camps and decide punishments as they find suitable.
In June 1933, Theodor Eicke replaced Wäckerle as Dachau’s second commandant. Eicke immediately released a set of regulations for the camp’s daily operation. Prisoners found guilty of rule breaking were to be brutally beaten. Those who planned to escape or support any kind of political views were to be executed on the spot. Prisoners would not be allowed to defend themselves or protest this treatment. His regulations served as a master plan for all the concentration camps in Germany.
With the beginning of World War II, some able-bodied Dachau prisoners were used as labor to manufacture weapons and other materials for Germany’s war efforts. Additionally, some Dachau prisoners were subjected to brutal medical experiments by German physicians, which included high-altitude experiments using a decompression chamber, malaria and tuberculosis experiments, hypothermia experiments, and experiments testing new medications. Hundreds of prisoners died or were permanently disabled as a result of these experiments. In the twelve years of its existence over 200.000 people from all over Europe were imprisoned here and in the various other subsidiary camps. Also, figures prove that around 45,000 were murdered.
Mosquito bites were one of the methods used to infect prisoners with malaria. for this purpose a cage holding mosquitos was attached to the body of the test subjects.
On April 29 1945, American troops liberated the survivors. Just prior to the liberation of Dachau by the forces, the SS ordered approximately 7,000 prisoners to embark on a six-day-long death march to Tegernsee, located to the south. Those unable to maintain a steady marching pace were shot by SS guards. Other marchers died from starvation or physical exhaustion. When the United States military entered Dachau, they found thousands of mostly skeleton looking, undernourished prisoners. The U.S. soldiers also discovered several dozen train cars loaded with rotting corpses. A memorial site was created on the grounds of the former Dachau concentration camp in 1965. Today, visitors can tour some of the camp’s historic buildings and access a library and special exhibitions containing materials related to Dachau’s history.
Although it was a sad place, it was definitely a good place to see. Those people had a lust for cruelty. My tour guide told me that the numbers of people who died there were inaccurate, because Jews, Gypsies and old or weak prisoners were not counted in the death toll because they were not considered people.
Baracks – living and sleeping quarters 1944
Also, the killing was done for sport. Guards could invent any excuse to shoot someone. The most sickening thing was when a guard would take a prisoner to the camp boundary and throw their hat over the border. Should the prisoner fetch, they would be shot dead. Should they not fetch, they would be beaten either until dead, or until they would crawl over the border hoping to be shot dead.
Saint Augustine once said, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page”
I completely agree with him. Travelling does not only allow getting some culture but also teaches us to live an adventure. It gives us that chance to capture the moments of which we are proud and may be a few we regret. Travel expands our awareness, gives us a break from our fast-paced lives but most importantly gives us that first time experience which narration cannot provide. It’s like someone can describe the amazing beaches of Seychelles and historic sites of Egypt to you, but you really have to see it for yourself to experienceit. You can read all the books in the world about the Taj Mahal, but being there is a different story.
When talking to people of my plans, I generally get a reaction along the lines of “I’m so jealous of you” or “I hate you.” But I personally see it in a way that anyone could do what I’m doing. I’m not doing anything extraordinary or something that’s never been done before. Also, sometimes few people view me as being in some special and unique position that allows me to just take-off on a plane whenever I want. Well, it’s not the case. I definitely put some planning into this lifestyle but in my opinion, it’s something that anyone is capable of.
Money is always a tough one when it comes to planning a trip. I think what lot of people don’t realize is that you don’t need a huge amount of money to start your travel. A reasonable amount is required and a small backup is always better.
Not having enough money shouldn’t be a reason to not travel. If you really want it to happen you’ll find a way to make it happen. But saving money shouldn’t seem like a big task when it pertains to travel. I recommend Southeast Asia to start with, where anyone willing and able can travel on almost nothing per day.
My profession gives me plenty of opportunities to travel, but still as often as possible I try to get away because I know travel can be a powerful tool for personal development.
Do not put off your dreams indefinitely. Life won’t always be just about you and you won’t always be young. So, do it now. Travel. Experience the world!
I am sure you will learn valuable lessons, be more responsible, mature and create some priceless memories.
If your work requires you to fly to other countries or even continents on a regular basis, you should be aware that your frequent flyer lifestyle comes with certain health risks. Air travel, particularly over long distances, exposes passengers to a number of factors that may have an effect on their health and well-being. Travelers with pre-existing health problems and those receiving medical care are more likely to be affected and should consult their doctor well in advance before travelling. Health risks associated with air travel can be minimized if the traveler plans carefully and takes some simple precautionary steps before, during and after the flight.
There are many factors that may affect the health and well-being of air travelers but fortunately many of these risks can be minimized with proper planning.
#Jet lag: It is one of the most common problems amongst frequent flyers. Jet lag is a mismatch between your body’s internal day/night clock and a new day/night cycle in another time zone. Symptoms of jet lag include fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, decreased appetite, constipation, headache, confusion etc. In order to minimize its effects travelers require preparation and post-flight management. For those fliers who will be returning to their point of departure in a short time should maintain the same sleeping schedule as much as possible and For people staying in the destination’s time zone for longer than a day or so, should adapt the new time zone immediately on arrival and avoid thinking about the time back home.
#Deep Vein Thrombosis: Another risk during air travel is developing leg clots or deep vein thrombosis. It happens when you’re in a plane, most of the time sitting still, in the same seat, with a limited opportunity to move around due to cramped conditions. Immobility can cause blood to pool in the leg veins and form a blood clot. This clot can travel to the lungs and cause breathing problems or a heart attack. Dehydration and the lack of oxygen in the cabin increase its chances. To overcome this problem frequent fliers are advised to stretch regularly, either by getting up and walking the isles or by performing in-seat stretches and stay well hydrated.
#Motion Sickness: It’s a feeling you get when the motion you sense with your inner ear is different from the motion you visualize. It is a common condition that occurs in some people who travel by car, train, airplane or boat. Motion sickness progresses from a feeling of uneasiness to sweating or dizziness. This is usually quickly followed by nausea or vomiting. To reduce the effects continue looking straight ahead by keeping your eyes focused on a non moving object. The over-the-counter medication can be a very effective preventive measure in preventing motion sickness but remember that it can cause drowsiness and has other side effects, and its use should be discussed with your physician prior to your trip.
#Cabin Air Pressure:
Cabin air pressure falls as the aircraft gains height, which can cause the amount of oxygen in your blood to drop. The aircraft cabin is pressurized to keep this to a minimum but the change of pressure during take-off and landing can give a feeling of blockage of the ears. Chewing, swallowing or yawning can relieve these symptoms. Most reasonably fit passengers can easily cope with this situation.
#Dehydration: The cabin air on board a plane is much drier than on the ground. Dehydration can cause headaches and tiredness, and is bad for your skin, kidneys, liver, joints and muscles. Drink plenty of water and fruit juice, and avoid alcohol or drinks containing caffeine. It may also help to use a mist sprayer or moisturize your skin.
#Flying whilst pregnant: Air travel is generally safe for expectant mothers. You can travel by air up to 28 weeks into a normal pregnancy; in later stages of pregnancy with a medical certificate, up to 35 weeks for a single child and 32 weeks for twins. Each airline has its own guidelines so you should check with yours to make sure you can travel.
It is usually unheard and unknown by many frequent air travelers. Cosmic rays are highly energetic particles that originate in outer space and bombard the earth. But thanks to the earth’s atmosphere and magnetic field, cosmic radiation accounts for only 8% of the total radiation we receive annually. Having said that, the more we move away from our atmosphere towards outer space, the more susceptible we become to this radiation. People who fly frequently are exposed to more cosmic radiation than those who seldom fly or do not fly at all. People who fly at least once or twice a week are exposed to higher radiation levels over time; they may be more susceptible to skin cancer, leukemia or prostate cancer.
Frequent travel can be stressful, but it can also provide a means to explore new people, places, cultures and foods. You might even get a bit of sightseeing in as well! Make the best of it and remember to keep fit and eat well. Bon voyage!
Disclaimer: The information on this page is intended for information only, and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor.
Europe in December may be chilly but the reception is very warm. The aroma of hot Glühwein and other delicacies with the Christmas lights glittering get everyone into the holiday spirit at these European style Christmas markets.
Beginning in mid November these markets promise unforgettable events, mouthwatering food and a variety of seasonal gifts. I witnessed this age-old tradition in Vienna during a short stay. Walking towards the City Hall (Rathaus) I saw several Christmas markets with festively decorated stalls offering traditional hand made goods, Christmas decorations and souvenirs.
It is altogether a very romantic affair; streets bustling with people in high spirits, city beautifully decorated with Christmas lights, artisans showcasing their craft in wooden stalls and that amazing smell of roasting sausages.
This is how Christmas celebration should be.
Food, drinks, music or shopping whatever your reason is, visiting a Christmas market anywhere in Europe is definitely worth it. Few of the best Christmas markets can be found in Germany, Austria, Sweden and France. So, choose a market which best suites your mood and have fun!