Faced with the impending finality of giving up the apartment that has become my comfortable home over the past year, I am once again feeling the constriction in my throat and bouts of fear of what is to come. I am again starting to wonder if I’m crazy and if I should just stay comfortably where I am.
The reality starts to hit me whenever I leave “home” for the unknown. Where am I going to stay? Will I be invited into peoples homes? Will I be safe? Am I crazy for doing this?
For the most part on this blog I have shown you the places I have been and they are indeed exciting. If I have invoked your wonderlust or wanderlust, then I have done a good job of showing you how exciting travel can be. However. I’m not sure whether I have shown you the other side, the uncertainty of it. If I haven’t, I owe it to you to do so.
As a guest in people’s homes, it’s a given that I bring food or a gift for my hosts. But for the longer-term visits, I typically try to contribute to the home in some way as a special thank you. Sometimes my host/hostess knows. Other times they have no idea unless they notice the difference later on.
Sometimes it’s just cleaning floor molding and cabinet doors. Once I recaulked a bathroom. Once I repaired a large hole in the wall…
…disappointed that she was in China and her friend didn’t want to experience it …couldn’t care less. Then I realized! She wasn’t with “travelers. She was with “travel hackers.”
It’s one thing to take advantage of a great New Card offer and get $50,000 bonus miles — giving you a free flight from say, the USA to Europe. It’s not easy to save for a vacation and we all need vacations. And a new card now and then is legitimate. But go on that vacation and enjoy the place you’d selected! Travel overland while you’re there and see the place. Take a train or bus and talk to the locals! Experience the place! Savor the locale, the people, the foods, the languages, the experiences.
On Wednesday May 13, 2015 at 3 p.m., I wrote a note to myself on my iPhone.
One word: Kohlrabi.
A day or two earlier, I was sitting in the Ascent library, my friend Mo’s office in Tzfat, working with him. He had this thing that looked like a white waxy Turnip. It fit in the palm of his hand. I’d watched as he peeled it with a knife.
This was new to me.
A perfect traveler’s food.
Has the craving for a great chocolate cake hit you while you were traveling? Has it hit you in a country where there simply isn’t a great chocolate cake to be found in the stores? Has it hit you where you simply don’t want to spend the money on a top level bakery cake? Has it hit you but you don’t want to go out and buy milk and butter and eggs? Here’s the chocolate cake solution! It’s a perfect cake for travelers because none of the ingredients need refrigeration. This Chocolate cake is called Crazy Cake. Many people learned this cake from grandmothers. (I learned it from my great friend Carolyn who learned it from her grandmother.) It seems to have been popular in the American 1929 depression because it uses no milk, butter, or eggs. You can also make it in just the pan that you bake it in so you […]
I bought 3D Slick paint that works on fabric. My intention was to use it on my backpack. But as I started to practice using this paint, decided to give my equipment a nicer looking identification than just my name written in permanent marker
I love that I have a unique identification method. Plus, it’s fun to take an artistic break once in a while.
I just gave a good shoutout to Vonage for the Vonage Mobile app on Twitter … @Vonage Fab! #VonageMobileApp just maintained a 66 minute call to terrific #JustHost from mountains of N Israel to US as a storm headed in. and I’m doing the same here. — Deborah Shadovitz (@DebShadovitz) February 10, 2015 …and I’m doing the same here. Vonage Mobile app maintained a 66 minute call – during a storm! For months I have slowly been redesigning this website and was finally ready to take it live. Just as I wanted to talk to one of the great support guys at my blog’s host, JustHost, the impending storm headed into these Northern Israel mountains right on schedule. The Wi-Fi is always shaky where I am working under a hard working heater — and with a storm coming in, there was a good chance I’d lose the signal — thus losing my support call. The signal did […]
I awoke at 6am to the sound of Joanna cooking. I was in for another truly home cooked meal. Today was the day for me to move on to my second place in Poland. I was Krakow-bound and a friend was meeting me on the other end of the ride. I sat in a red high back seat on the upper level of my first Polish bus, PolskiBus. It was a very clean, new-seeming, beautiful double-decker. For approximately 5 hours I watched the scenery and did some writing. No friendly conversations with locals on this bus ride.
Day 1 in Prescott, Arizona — February 18, 2014: I arrived in Prescott to clean up and repair a MacBook Air, having already saved it from daily Kernel Panics via phone. How did I end up in Prescott? A client from Beverly Hills has moved here. Day 9 in Prescott, Arizona — February 26, 2014: The woman who’s Mac I just resurrected told Apple techs that her Macintosh was about to be “the most expensive frisbee ever made” because she was ready to throw it against the wall. She’s had an ongoing love-hate relationship with all things Mac (and she’s had 5 of them) and now she’s l-o-v-i-n-g her Mac again! She has give me the title of “Residential Macintosh Intervention Maven.” After I dealt with the software-caused issues and ran diagnostics to assure her that her hardware was not the issue, I embarked on a massive file clean up. As […]
If you’re traveling to places where you want to ensure that you have fire, you might love this Swedish FireKnife. One of the best knife companies, Mora of Sweden, teamed with the Swedish company, Light My Fire, to create this handy 3.4 oz. (94 g) knife that ensures you’ll always be able to start a fire — as long as you have something to burn. You’ll find it, and other useful travel items here, at Industrial Revolution.
People come up to Ventura to enjoy the harbor, the amazing Channel Islands, and the fresh breeze — and now the Ventura Trolley will make travel within the area a breeze. Ventura, California is about to become easier for travelers to visit this summer thanks to a FREE trolley system to take you between Ventura’s Downtown and Harbor Village. After living in Los Angeles for many years, I finally got up to the Southern-ish California coastal village of Ventura. I was there to kayak around the Channel Islands and their pristine beauty took my breath away and reinvigorated me at the same time. But while there, I also got to know downtown Ventura — and as I walked around I was sorry I had missed this lovely town for so many years. (I also learned Ventura has two great golf courses and that one is a true Links course. Soon […]
As friends talk about the issues of traveling with children, I am reminded of the travel kit I made for a four/five-year-old child because he and his dad were heading onto a very long airplane flight.
Rather than just giving him some coloring books, paper, and crayons, knowing he’d soon be asking “what should I draw” or “may I have more paper,” I created play scenes for him — my own take-off on coloring and Colorforms®-like scene play.
As I traveled in Central America in 2012, I had only good experiences and never met anyone who had actually witnessed violence. However, Honduras is known to have problems with gangs, so if you’re considering traveling in Central America, you may like this news. On May 24, 2013, the Honduras Weekly reported, “Gangs in Honduras Will Sign Truce Next Week.” The article reports that this is the work of Auxiliary Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Pedro Sula, Monsignor Romulo Emiliani. The truce will be “agreement modeled after the gang truce in El Salvador of March 2012 that has produced a 52 percent drop in homicides in that country during the past year.” My own travels in both Honduras and El Salvador never brought me near gang members or issues as far as I knew. While in La Ceiba, Honduras I was told repeatedly that after dark it was absolutely necessary to […]
In November 2011 I saw, tried, and fell in love with the ZeroChroma “Theater-Stand 360°” case — an iPhone and iPad case that was also a brilliant stand. My first reaction was, why didn’t someone think of this before. My second was that this is incredibly well done. The easel mechanism is perfectly flat in the rear of the case. It then pulls out to provide many flexible viewing angles. The iPhone case provides 11 viewing angles and comes in two models — slim and more protective. Some of the cases provide slightly different viewing angle options, but there are always plenty. This is, I believe, a great travel case. About 6 weeks ago, I gave one of these ZeroChroma cases to a young man that impressed me. As he was writing to me recently, he included this paragraph. In addition I would like to express my gratitude for the new iPhone 5 […]
As I pull out my sandwich and cookies for lunch, I realize I have been remiss in writing about one of my always-with-me pieces of simple technology.
My two Repac reusable sandwich-sized bags have been with me from the start of my Central America adventure a year ago. I plan to continue using them for many years to come — at home and when I am back out traveling again.
Unfortunately, this company has stopped making/selling these great bags. I’m sorry for the loss. The woman behind them was great and caring.
The morning before I left the good people of the tiny village of Pueblo Nuevo, I used my SteriPEN UV light water purifier one last time as I purified one more bottle of water for my trip back to Panama City.
I got good use out of this SteriPEN but as I go back to Los Angeles, where I am lucky enough to have healthy, safe water, emergencies aside, I know my trusty SteriPEN can be put to much better use here. It will now be used to purify water for the newest baby in the village.
This is the view I get to enjoy from my bed hammock at Hotel Boca Brava. I so-loved sleeping in a hammock at my friend Daniel’s that when I got here and saw this hammock setup I just had to try it. Yes, that is water you see — the warm Pacific Ocean — and yes. Those are islands you see out in the water. Both sides of this room have water views.
I am very impressed. I am at Hotel Boca Brava, having arrived last night just as darkness fell. This morning, ordering breakfast, I said (as always) that I am allergic to Cilantro and Culantro. The man who took my order, Jaime, brought me my delicious Breakfast and then asked me since I don’t eat those, what about Perejill (Pe rey hejl). I told him I don’t know that word, so he said wait and brought some to me. It was Parsley and I told him I love it. Then he came back with one more thing, a piece of a lettuce, to see if it was OK. When I arrived and some guests told me of their meals here and then when I saw the menu and not-exorbitant prices, I knew I was in a good place. This morning’s Cilantro response confirmed that! Oh, here is my breakfast: Omlette with […]
Talking with a friend about calling technology, I was reminded of a calling lesson I hadn’t thought to share here. In early December, I was hanging out in the sitting area of Bambu Hostel in David, a fellow traveller approached me and asked if he might borrow my iPhone. He was having problems with his bank card and his bank needed to call his bank as soon as possible. Happily, I was able to help. I had three calling options installed: Skype Vonage Mobile app MagicJack Vonage Mobile was the instrument that saved me when I needed to call my own banks. It even lets me call the US for free (for now).I knew MagicJack could call the US as well. However, this guy needed to call Europe. I don’t recall where he was from. Maybe Sweden, Denmark or Germany. The issue was simply that I had never used these […]