Millennials: What are we doing?

Great post by my friend Dave. Really nicely summarizes a lot of thoughts I have myself… Well done Dave!

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This article was posted on my blog a couple weeks ago, and Daniela asked if I would share since I discuss Millennials and our habits, needs, and wants; including travel. Enjoy! 

If you haven’t noticed, the Millennial (typically between ages 21-34) is one of the most observed animals on the planet today. Marketers, brands, and social networks all want to know what we’re up to, where we go, how we spend our time and money, what we do for fun, our family dynamics, etc. Well, that’s all for good reason. In my research and experience, I’ve found a few interesting pieces of information about our group of humans. In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of these experiences.

Let’s Talk It Out

Our generation, specifically in the U.S., expects more conversation and interactions with brands and more from the relationship we have with brands’ marketing. It’s not hard to…

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The art of the “Thank You Note”

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For those of you who know me, you’ve heard me talk about this before, and you’ll probably hear it again and again. I’m a huge advocate of Thank You Notes. It’s just good manners… Now writing a good and meaningful Thank You note can be hard. You don’t want it to be cheesy or sound over the top. You need to choose your words wisely.

A good Thank You note should incorporate a few components:
1. Clean Handwriting
2. No Spelling Errors
3. Mention what you are thankful for and why
4. How it makes you feel

Sounds simple enough, right? Continue reading

Prepare for a long haul flight…

So you’re going on vacation. You’re excited and can’t wait for the adventure to begin – but oh that long flight ahead… That’s the only part you’re really dreading! Well, here are a few tips that might help make it more enjoyable…

In preparation for your flight I’m going to cover a few different topics:

1. Carry on items

Your carry on should be small and light. On most long haul flights, your big suitcase gets checked for free, so why bother dealing with a lot of carry on. You really only need a few essentials with you during the flight.

My personal favorites are my fully charged cell phone, earplugs, my own headphones, my eye mask, a good book, a few granola bars, almonds, chex mix, a refillable water bottle, a pair of heavy socks, my neck pillow and a small blanket. All of these items fit into a small backpack, along with my wallet and my passport. Multiple compartments help me keep it organized and easily accessible. I also add a pair of Yoga pants (to sleep in), a hairbrush, travel toothbrush and toothpaste, moisturizer, eye drops & nose spray (to fight the dry air on planes) and some powder make up. I always make sure I wear a scarf. Can be used as pillow, headband, blanket and more…

2. Food before and during your flight

Eat healthy, light foods. Elevation and climate changes are hard on the body and the digestive system. Eating heavy, hard to digest foods, is not going to help. You don’t want to be going to the restroom every hour and you probably don’t want to be the gassy person on the plane either… 🙂

Sandwiches, Salads, Nuts and Trail Mix are usually a safe choice. Snacks like Almonds can hold you over for hours and are easy on the stomach.

Stay away from smelly foods. Especially if you plan on eating on the plane. As yummy as it is, Indian Curries, Chinese Food, Burger King or Beef Jerky are NOT good options and will make your seatmates hate you. Do you really want to be the most disliked person on the plane for the next 8-14 hours? Think before you eat – it’s not like we can just open a window…

3. Proper stretching before you get on board

Sitting in the same position for a long time, is not only really uncomfortable, but can be a health hazard. It is important to move your limbs around a bit, get up and walk around and do proper stretching. It helps if you do some exercising a day or two before your flight. Get those muscles loose and the blood pumping…

When you’re at the airport, waiting for your flight, don’t sit around. You have hours of that ahead of you! Instead, walk the terminal, stretch out a bit and keep moving. You don’t have to resort to push ups at the gate, but hey, if you’re up for it good for you…

While on the plane, make sure to move your limbs a bit – within your own personal space please! You can draw circles with your feet, crunch your toes, tip your toes and heels and much more. There are usually some exercises in the Airline Magazines. Make sure you get up every few hours and walk up and down the aisles to get the circulation going. Blood clods are the biggest risk here.

4. Clothing

We know you’re going to be on a long flight. You want to be comfortable. I get it. But onesies are not acceptable clothing! PJ’s as a whole are not acceptable. Let’s be a bit more sophisticated than that… Cover your private body parts. We don’t want to see your belly button, lower back tattoo, side boob etc.. you get my drift. If you’re an adult, dress like one! .

5. Code of conduct at the airport and on the plane

I shouldn’t even have to cover this, but please try to be courteous and just be happy. Every person with a boarding pass has a seat on the plane. Nobody will steal it from you.

There is no need to push your fellow passenger around or try to cut in line to get on the plane first. If you stick with the standard carry on, there will be room for it.

Instead of bad mouthing the parents with crying kids in front of you, be sympathetic and understanding. They have enough to deal with and don’t need dirty looks.

Same goes for you, it’s nice to be able to strike up a conversation with your seat neighbor, but use indoor voices. Some people want to sleep and not everybody is as fascinated by the life cycle of butterflies as you might be…

Put up your backrest during meal services and keep your limbs to yourself.

If you take a relaxed approach, many things won’t bother you and you can be a happier traveler.

I hope these tips help you enjoy your next long haul flight a bit more.

Happy travels!

Honeybees

If you know anything about me, it should be that I hate little crawly things. Bugs and spiders give me the willies and even worse if they have wings. You know that person that jumps 3 feet when a moth comes at them – yes, sadly this is me. If there is a spider, I’m ready to leave the building…

Having said that, I found a new fascination with honey bees. They are so gentle and look amazing close up. Have you ever really looked at them?

I’m been doing a photo study with them, of in flight pictures. I’ll share a few here, but hope to exhibit them maybe next year when the pieces are all done…

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I just took this cool little slow motion video of them flying to and from my birdbath I wanted to share: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152840995368218&pnref=story

It made me so happy to see them buzz around this weekend…

I’m been putting potted plants outside as well as sugar water to help them along. With the fluctuating temperatures they seem to be struggling and I see many that drown or freeze to death.

If you see them in your yard, place a Tupperware lid with sugar water outside. They’ll thank you by coming back this summer and pollinating your flowers…

Experience Jordan Part 1: Diverse and Beautiful

Check out Monika’s article on Jordan!

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I just returned from Jordan a few weeks ago and was very impressed with the diversity of this beautiful country!

There were certainly some concerns about the stability of the region. I have been following the news in that Region, including reading the Jordan Times on-line and was confident that Jordan is still a safe destination. I was also eager to experience this destination without the usual crowds, especially in Petra!

Once in Jordan, we felt welcome and safe. People are very friendly and English is widely spoken.

Highlights of Jordan:

  • Petra, a World Heritage Site! You can see it in one day, but if you enjoy hiking and exploring, you need 3 days here.
  • Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan – Baptism Site of Jesus
  • Mount Nebo
  • Madaba Map in Church of St. George
  • Wadi Rum
  • Dead Sea
  • Ma’in Hot Springs
  • Dana Biosphere Reserve

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Preparing for an African Safari

I’m getting ready for my next African Safari. I thought it would be nice to share my preparations for the trip, so you have a good handle on what needs to be done before you can go…

First, always check Visa requirements. I’ll be traveling through South Africa, which currently doesn’t require a Visa for US citizens. However, 2 empty back to back passport pages are required and your passport has to be valid for at least 6 month after your return date!

Next I checked for required and advised immunizations. Yellow Fever shots are required, along with standard things like Hepatitis, Rabies etc… Also, most game drive areas advise the requirement of Malaria Pills. You can get a full list at either your local county health department, your primary physician or specialized Travel Health Services, such as Passport Health in Arizona.

The biggest hurdle are Luggage Restrictions. On many safari itineraries traveling via bush plane is required. As these planes are very small and can’t pack a lot of weight, luggage restrictions are strongly enforced. In general you can only have soft sided bags, between 28-33 pounds. That includes all your camera equipment!An no, exercising to lose 5 pounds before your trip, can not be added to the luggage weight… The larger airports, such as Johannesburg, host lockers, so you can secure larger pieces of luggage while on safari and pick them back up on your way home. Alternatively, services such as luggage free allow you to ship a larger suitcase home, while you enjoy your safari.

Check for the correct currency. South Africa uses the Rand. You can order some prior to departure, or purchase them at the airport. Keep an eye on current exchange rates, as they can change daily. If you choose to, you can wait until you arrive in Johannesburg. The airport offers a wide variety of exchange banks and ATM’s. Withdrawing money from the ATM’s seemed easiest to me – just make sure your ATM card only has a 4 digit pin number. On my first trip I had a six digit pin code, and the ATM’s didn’t accept that!

Wifi and Phone service can be tricky. Some parts of Africa are so remote, you just don’t have a signal there. Places like South Africa, usually provide pretty steady signals. Check rate plans with your cell phone providers. There are quite a bit higher that the European plans, but if you have to be accessible via phone or email, this is your best bet. Most hotels will offer wifi, at no or minimal charge, so connect via their network to check emails or face-time/viber with family and friends.

Next up, how to prepare for a long haul flight… Stay tuned!

Also see my previous post on South Africa Packing Lists: https://wordpress.com/post/82441859/134/