All of Deb’s tales of travel and tech


Enjoying simple kindnesses in Thornbury

When he returned with a USB adapter I jumped from my seat. He told me there’s an outlet right beside my table. I was able to get to over 60% by the time I was done eating. I said I’ll bring it back in a moment and he said to keep it!

I will carry this charger with me daily. Around the house. When I go out. I will truly remember this kind man every day that I’m in his country. And long afterward.


UK Cellular (Mobile) service for travel – easy with giffgaff 1

You might travel well without phone service, but having it can greatly expand your experiences.

Are you traveling from the United States or another non-EU country and into the UK? Are planning to stay in the UK or perhaps in the UK plus EU for a few days? If so — yes, even for just a few days — it can easily pay to get yourself a local SIM card and local mobile service. It certainly does if you travel long-term.

But what service and what plan? A contract (aka post-pay) is out. Should you get pre-pay or pay-as-you-go? What happens if you run out of calling minutes, texts, or data?

This is the narration of my own experience getting cellular service (aka mobile service) as I travel in the UK.


Pub food at The Swan in Thornbury Bristol UK 3

Meals at pubs are a part of experiencing England. When you find you’re hungry and there’s a pub around, you’re usually in for a treat, even if you don’t adore the food. My first pub food this trip was in Thornbury, a suburb of Bristol in the south of England, a small town you’re likely not to get to but I’m sharing it with you anyway because it’s worth seeing the menu.

On my first solo visit to the town of Thornbury, I happened upon The Swan for my first pub meal. In this post, I share the pub and its menu as well as my own first meal. (Sorry you can’t taste it online.)


The-Counterfeit-Report_logo

Will your Amazon purchase be what you expect – or counterfeit?

If you’re shopping on the Amazon website, you need to read this!

As you prepare to travel are you looking at travel supplies, items, or clothing on Amazon?
While slow traveling or digital nomading, are you thinking of buying something at Amazon because it can be sent to you?
Are you living in a country that lacks certain products and using Amazon to get them?
I’ve been reading articles and press releases from TheCounterfeitReport.com for a few years now. The things they report are always disturbing — and important! Wherever you live, if you end up with a counterfeit power cable, your device may become damaged, and even fire is a possibility. If your SD card is counterfeit, you may lose your cherished travel photos. And what good will a fake not-waterproof raincoat do for you on wet travel days.

In everyday life, counterfeit products are a disappointment, perhaps with a serious cost. But as you travel, your loss may well be even greater. So, I want you to be aware of what’s going on at Amazon. (Other sale sites too but today the focus is on this most popular website.)

Rather than try to write this all for you, I have received permission to reprint the press release in full. 
I hope you’ll read it.


A favorite travel top by KikiSol

Once in a while, you happen upon clothing that’s absolutely perfect for travel. Here’s one that’s a go-to top for me in 2018. It’s a brand called KikiSol and this top is called Storm — Black Back and White Jagged Tee. I love KikiSol’s fabrics; they are “printed by hand.” The top has depth and feeling. Plus, it’s cotton! I LOVE cotton clothing — it’s healthy and comfortable.

It takes up almost no space in any travel bag.


Free Shakespeare performances in Southern California 1

I’m visiting a friend in San Pedro, California so tonight… I got to see Shakespeare By The Sea, an excellent performance of The Winter’s Tale.
Fantastic. Minimal set. Beautiful costuming Old English but spoken so it was understandable. Drama, comedy, oh-no moments… I was engrossed.
Tonight was just the 2nd night of the season which runs through August 18, so if you’ll be in the area, you have time to plan.


Vicky & Ben: Ben at Villa in Alicante

Vicki and son Ben: Alicante Spain

Backpacking through Europe sounds so fun and romantic, doesn’t it? The reality is that it’s gritty, tedious, and exhausting. I do pretty well in the daytime, fueled by espresso and optimism… We’ve come to the realization that we don’t like big cities. When your traveling companion is 10 years old…


Vicki and Ben: Tuscany gelato

How Vicki & her 10-year-old son decided to travel in Europe for 10 weeks

This is the first installment of Vicki B & her 10-year-old son Ben on the road.
While researching it I learned that we could take a four-hour scenic train ride to London. Llooking at the map, I saw that it was just a short ferry ride across the English channel and there’s France! And look – it’s just a short skip over to Italy! Our one-week itinerary slowly morphed into ten weeks.


Deb in Ledak India

Deb’s Already-in-the-Bucket List

“Bucket list” — a list of the things we want to do before we kick the bucket.
I never made one, but one day I got to thinking about the things — outside of the scope of family, formal education, and career — that I’ve already done in my life.

So I started my already-in-the-bucket-list, and frankly, I was amazed at it.

Some of these may have been on my bucket list had I ever made one. Others were simply interesting opportunities that have presented themselves during the adventures of my life so far, mostly during my various travels.

What would you do if you had unlimited time, money and resources?
What have you already done?

I bet you’ve done something that’s on someone else’s bucket list!


Watts Towers in Los Angeles – WOW

One day Simon Rodia, a single Italian immigrant living south of downtown LA started using discarded pieces of steel, wire mesh, mortar, glass, and tiles and by hand, without any power tools, created a set of structures that confounded his neighbors. They called him crazy and taunted him as he labored for years on his project. Today, these major feats, the “Watts Towers” as they are commonly known, are the National Historic Landmark Watts Towers of Simon Rodia State Historic Park and are being considered for UNESCO status.

You can see them from the streets around – for free. I happily paid the museum admission in order to support them and the great cultural events that take place in Sabato “Simon” Rodia’s former home.

Have a look. Do they stir your imagination as they do me?


Pioneertown California a taste of the Old West

If you ever get out to Joshua Tree National Park in California, you might want to stop at a unique little old western village called Pioneertown and a walk down its small Mane Street. (Yes, Mane Street, not Main Street.) There’s no admission fee. Just come, park your car for free, and walk around.

If you are thinking “Pioneertown is a strange name for people to have named their town” when they settled out in this open desert area, you’d be correct. You see, it wasn’t pioneers who came and developed this town.

And then there is Pappy & Harriet’s, a family restaurant famous for its concerts. Originally it was just a facade — the “cantina” set of the town that was used in many a  western film you’ve likely seen. 

If you’d like to stay the night either after a day in Joshua Tree National Park or after a meal or concert, you might check out the Pioneertown Motel which also dates back to the founding of this unique town.

You might also want to mail a letter home while you’re there.


Threatened with jail at Nicaragua border over exit stamp position

Each time someone tells me they want to go to Nicaragua I cringe. I hear the people are lovely, they say, and it’s so inexpensive. Yes, that might be true — but my experience wasn’t about nice people. I was locked in a room at the border and threatened with jail — because of an immigration agent on a sick power trip.

I have long debated telling this story, but I feel it’s important. I’ll never know if I really would have been sent to jail in this Dictatorship, but the Tourism agent at the border certainly believed I was about to land there.

Please read this — and take it seriously.


Yoel drinking water from the high-up fountain at the sculpture in Split.

Water equals wellness when you wander 2

Water equals wellness when you wander.

You may cringe at the word “hydrated” because it’s so overused in recent years, but water isn’t just important; it’s critical to us.

Here’s what water does for us, why we need it— and need it even more while we’re traveling.


Bananas are great travel food

While we’re on the road, busy with experiencing new and different foods, we also want to stay healthy. We may not eat well every day. We may become too tired. We many try too many sweets… But it appears that bananas can help us compensate for that kind of lifestyle, helping to keep us healthy.

You may not be able to purchase bananas everywhere you travel, but they are available almost everywhere — and in many places, they aren’t expensive.

Bananas are an easy travel food as well as being good for most people’s health, so I have some info about bananas for you, as well as a Bright Side video to share with you.


Pack an umbrella for travel?

Is it worth the space and weight to pack an umbrella for your travels? There were too many times having to carry my backpack was already bringing me to tears, so I resisted. But an umbrella can be so much nicer than a rain poncho at times, so I’d buy one, then discard it and buy another later.

This changed when I discovered the Fjord Folding Trekking Umbrella by Innate. It’s the thinnest in diameter and lightest umbrella I have found. Yet, it’s durable.

Now that I’ve put this Innate umbrella to the test, I can tell you about it and recommend it.


How to shower while you travel 3

I know… the title of this post is rather odd. You know how to shower. What could you possibly have to do differently to shower while you are traveling — unless you’re camping out and your shower is a jug of water hanging in a tree?

 

The answer is nothing — unless you want to be sure you won’t get caught with a head full of shampoo or a body full of soap.

Picture this. You’ve been on the plane,  bus, or train for hours. Or you’ve been walking for hours. Or you’ve been at the black-sand beach or out gazing at pyramids in the hot air. You get back to your hotel, hostel, guest house, CouchSurfing.com host, or the home of your far-removed long-lost relative.

You turn on the hot water….

Stick Deb showing