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Showing posts from 2013

Lovely Belize

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Being in Belize, for us, was like a short trip back to Jamaica. In both countries, English and patois are spoken, reggae is played everywhere, people are laid-back, many of them smoking marijuana, the Chinese run all the supermarkets, and the local street vendors have a hit-and-miss selection of fruits and vegetables.

Mexican Hospitality

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We went to Mexico thinking we would just pass through the vast country on our way to Central America, but we ended up staying two months—thanks to the wonderfully welcoming and hospitable Mexicans and expatriates residing there. Hospitality exchange works like a dream in Mexico. It proved to be a complete opposite to the United States where we could not find a single host. Particularly big cities in Mexico have an active network of members who both host and organise various weekly activities. Finding hosts was easy, and we enjoyed every second of our stay with them.

Today Is Our Ninth Wedding Anniversary

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Pelicans Fishing in San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico

USA Without Car: Travel Information And Tips

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We landed in New York, slept the first night in JFK airport, and travelled from east to west and north to south by bus. On the way we were pet-sitting in Cincinnati and Seattle and visited friends in Syracuse and San José before exiting to Mexico. Our journey proved that it is not only possible but also easy and comfortable to travel in the US without renting a car, taking a train, or flying.

Syria, the next Iraq?

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A decade ago, the USA invaded Iraq using exactly the same pretext as with Syria now: weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), which proved to be weapons of mass distraction. International media was provoked to stir anger among nations by spreading speculations. Does a hoax become the truth if sufficiently many people believe in it? It shouldn´t. If you were somehow involved in the election of Obama, please try to influence him not to start massacring the Syrian people. Don´t have their blood on your hands. Peace cannot be made by killing people.

Free as a Global Nomad: Our Own Copies

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We finally got to see our newest book called Free as a Global Nomad. The book came out from Drifting Sands Press already in December 2012. We have not had an address earlier where to receive the printed copies. Looks good, although the font could have been just a tiny bit bigger for our old eyes. Thanks a lot for the many people who helped us with the book or who have read it and given us feedback. Drifting Sands Press has kindly asked the readers to contribute reviews also to Amazon and Goodreads. Thank you for your support!

Durable Backpacks Are Designed to Break

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Our durable, small backpack that had served for a decade got stolen in Spain. It was made in Finland and available only there. We tried a bunch of other small rucksacks that all broke in 2-4 months and as they were made of polyester fabric, they could not be fixed. Finally in Borneo we received visitors from Finland who brought us a new backpack from Finland, the same Savotta 123 that got stolen in Spain. However, meanwhile the manufacturer, Savotta, had updated their model that was originally introduced in 1950s. Those updates proved to be less than desirable at least for our needs.

New York City Hike: Brooklyn-Manhattan-Central Park

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Work Exchange in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

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Work exchange has provided us an inexpensive and a fun way to travel and see new places, and it interrupts our usual travel routine for a while. We spent June-July in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica making a commercial film and a website for a local hostel. The surroundings were awesome: the beautiful beach of Playa Espadilla and the super green, hilly jungle around us, and all this for minimal costs.

Twitter and Facebook as Travel Marketing Tools

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How to use Twitter as a marketing tool for websites? Let's start with basic vocabulary: tweet is like a text message with 140 character size limit, tweets can contain links and images retweet or RT works just like forwarding an email except you can’t edit retweeted messages hashtag is a string that begins with hash sign (#) and hashtags can be used for searching tweets bot is a program or script that automatically sends tweets or/and retweets posts, can also manage following and unfollowing people, and react to tweets sent by others #ttot means Travel Talk On Twitter, mostly travel related spam. There are basically two kinds of tweets: Retweets of the old tweets of others for receiving reciprocal retweets Advertisement of own blog posts. For example: 6.94 ABSOLUTELY Vital Travel Tips http://www… via @blahblahblah#ttot#oldpost Tweets are not for initiating a real discussion. Most tweets appear to be written by bots, and unfortunately majority of the followers you will attract are…

Top 100 Travel Websites in the World

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With this brand new TOP 100 travel website and blog list generator you can create your own hugely popular top list and copy-paste it to your website. Our top-secret, sophisticated algorithms make sure that your own travel website will always appear on top of the list without any fees or payments. If you link to this page, it will automatically show the linking website's referrer address on top of the list.

Tripadvisor Practise Censorship In Discussion Forum

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We had a peculiar incident with Tripadvisor discussion forum. All our discussions regarding Greece were deleted yesterday. Earlier a member calling himself aldro10 had been accusing us of lying because we had claimed that Greece was not as cheap as he said it to be. After asking if differences in opinions and mere discussion on various different views qualify as lying, all our posts related to Greece were removed. Also a post where we recommended to check Hospex options, namely BeWelcome, was removed perhaps because it was hindering his efforts to promote his favourite, or his employer’s, hotels.

Travel Bloggers Get Paid For Selling Dreams

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We have been working for a hostel to update their website and help to develop their social media marketing. As part of the process, we reviewed their competition and other travel websites. We were surprised by our findings. When we started full-time travel and travel blogging in 2004, there were hardly any bloggers around. Now Internet is full of glittering travel blogs selling dreams to their readers. Competition demands that travel bloggers offer all the time fresh content, make practical lists, and visit fancy places. This is the way to attract readers and make them return. To finance their travels, bloggers accept freebies from tourism boards, hotels, tour organisers, and sights. As a result, most blogs are paid advertisements that offer praising reviews of the visited destinations and services used. A few leading travel blog sites acknowledge the corruption, but like always, making money justifies the means. Travel blogging and tourism industry do not tolerate balanced travel wr…

6.94 ABSOLUTELY Vital Travel Tips

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We all know that travelling without lists is simply impossible. This is not just because many travellers are obsessed with lists. If there was no need for such lists, there would not be any lists, right?Here is the ultimate list for each and every real traveller to follow. Ignore this ultimate list and you will perish or even worse: stop travelling. Nobody likes ignorant travellers. Read it, memorize it, and share it. This is the ultimate travel check-list you will ever need.

House-sitting in Managua, Nicaragua

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After Colombia and Panama inexpensive Nicaragua was great. Food and accommodation are affordable and the country is not as touristy as the neighbouring Costa Rica. People are friendly and they do not expect tips for example for giving you directions.

What do Global Nomads really do?

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Posters From The Fool´s Paradise

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Sustainable growth
Solar panels
Plastic bags
Energy saving light bulbs
Plastic
Progress
Welcome to U.S.A.
Celebrate peace, not warAre we living in the fool´s paradise?

Marimba Master Juan from Masatepe, Nicaragua

Nomads episode 9: Santeri

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This is the 9th episode of the mini documentary series we made for the Nelonen Maailma TV channel in 2012. We believe it was never broadcast in the TV. Perhaps there were too many naughty words and heretic opinions for the Finnish TV. The film is in Finnish but there are English subtitles thanks to Ian.

Touristy Costa Rica with a Dark Side

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We stopped by in Costa Rica to make a commercial for a local hostel in exchange for food and lodging. You can watch the film here:

Travel Plan 2013–2014

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We have often received complaints because we have not planned our travels in advance. Understanding how stressful surprise visits and last minute changes are, we have decided to make this up by planning a year ahead starting from today. We have booked all the tickets and made hotel reservations and bought the bus tickets, so there is not even a slightest possibility that this schedule would change. Please check when we will be near you and book an appointment in advance to make sure we will have time to meet with you. You can simply click the date when you would like to see us to reserve a time slot. If you want to invite us over in 2014, you can do that, too, by clicking the calender below. See you around!

Getting from Colombia to Panama and Away

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When we arrived in Puerto Obaldía in Panama, we had a most thorough customs check just like years ago in Peru. An obese female officer had to stick her dirty hands to all of our stuff including food, spices, and underwear. After that she dropped carelessly a wireless microphone to the ground damaging the delicate device. We had just had enough of Panama within the first two hours we had been there and decided to head immediately towards Costa Rica and Nicaragua. How to cross Darién Gap from Colombia to Panama? The trip is relatively easy using boats (10 kg luggage limit) with 273,000 Colombian pesos (US$ 155, 131€) whereas the cheapest direct flight (with Avianca airlines) from Medellín to Panama City costs 672,000 Colombian pesos (US$ 382, 294€) thanks to high airport taxes. Third option is to participate in a five-day sailboat tour that costs 880,000 Colombian pesos (US$ 500, 385€) plus drinking water. By walking some parts of the trail you can save a bit of money, but at the same …

Hiking and Filming in Colombia

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We went to Colombia to meet our friends Bill and Betty whom we got to know when we were all living in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2005—2006. We met Bill and Betty last time in Cambodia in 2006, and it felt good to see them again. We talked incessantly, wandered in the markets, and exchanged tips for hot new releases in books and in TV shows. Bill and Betty have the habit of escaping Minnesota winters and this year they had chosen to hibernate in Santa Marta, Colombia. Santa Marta is a popular and polished tourist city. It has a fair amount of beautiful colonial buildings and a nice stretch of beach, and the city is kept clean and safe. The presence of soldiers and policeman seemed a bit exaggerated to us: they were literally everywhere. The contrast to the local living areas was huge. When we stepped out of the old city, we found streets full of trash and houses that looked like they were collapsing any time.

Crossing Venezuela by Bus

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Venezuela was inexpensive and easy for travel, although not always very comfortable. They have the same kind of cramped double-decker buses than in Argentina that mainly go by night so you will have to try to sleep on the bus. We crossed the whole of Venezuela starting from Guiria where we arrived from Trinidad & Tobago. On our way, we passed by Puerto la Cruz, a seaside town on the Caribbean coast and the oil rich town of Maracaibo before entering to Colombia. Maracaibo was a city full of contrasts. We saw a beautiful and precious historical centre but right after there was a huge market area full of people and rubbish. We found an interesting hotel, Hotel Victoria, from the historical centre. It works mainly as an hourly hotel (brothel) probably because of the low number of tourists around.

A Bit Pricey Trinidad and Tobago

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We arrived in Port of Spain at the end of the carnival. There were still some cooldown happenings going on, mainly soca parties on the beaches, but the city itself was already suffering from hangover and looking just like Rio de Janeiro after the carnival: it was full of rubbish and sulky people. Guest houses in the capital were still asking for carnival rip-off prices so we headed to a little village called Toco in the northeastern corner of the island. The seaside is great there, ideal for surfers although there were none around. Tourists seemed to have vanished right after the carnival although the dry season between December-June is supposed to be the high season.

Jamaica Helps With Excess Luggage

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Have you noticed how hard it is to get rid of the stuff you don’t need any more but which is too valuable just to give away? If you are tired of carrying it around, go to Jamaica. Friendly and happy Jamaicans will help you out.