Do You Go Out at Night?

 

The world we live in is a very different place at night and for some, this is a world they never really know. Depending on where you live or travel to, going out in public at night may not be something that is advisable because of safety concerns. Especially if you are a woman, the world that comes alive at night can be full of risks that can be avoided if you just stay in.

Of all the places I have been to, the safest place I have ever found to be at night is in Tokyo, which may be surprising to those who have never been there but those who have know exactly what I’m talking about. Even in broad daylight, surrounded by hundreds and thousands of people, I never once felt unsafe and never had a confrontation. Walking down alleys after the sun went down didn’t make me fearful for my welfare and I never thought I would be mugged coming home late. I know people have had brush ins, but on the whole, it was an amazingly safe place!

Now, when I speak to my male friends they agree with me about the safety of Tokyo, but they were not above being harassed, which was something I did not experience. The harassment came from the club promoters who were trying to get the guys to go in to the conversation bars or strip clubs – and the former is exactly what it sounds like. To be fair the harassment took place during the day as well, but really got amped up at night.

Then there are other countries I have been to where I really did not feel good about going out at night and therefore did not. Bangkok was a very interesting place to explore and see a different way of life but, yeah, I never felt safe the entire time I was there. Maybe I’m just easily startled but I always felt like someone was trying to take advantage of me or put me in an awkward position.

Yet still I go out places! I like going out to parties or clubs and those generally only take place at night. In most cases, I have a great time and meet a ton of cool people, but there’s always this like, layer of uneasiness whenever I step outside. There are definitely safety in numbers and it’s not just a thing I have to worry about as a woman – many of my male friends feel the same way and have faced similar issues when out at night. One of my friends was knifed in an alley in London after coming back from an ATM machine alone. Say what you will about this being a stupid decision, but it shouldn’t have to be this way!

 london-by-night

If you do plan on going out at night, be sure to look into the general safety of the place and the advice of those who have been there. Some places are okay and others are not and if you’re from a safe place, it might be a bit unsettling!

Travelling with Kids – Would You Do It?

 

Have you ever been in an airport, checking in for your flight, and come across some people who are travelling with two or three kids under the age of 10 and wonder ‘why in the world would anyone do that?’ Maybe that’s been you and you have your reasons, but you probably have to admit, it’s not the most ideal situation to find yourself in. Whether it’s better than a long car ride is debatable, but particularly if it’s their first time travelling it can be a lot to take in and very overwhelming.

Kids like what they know and travelling is the definition of taking in something new. You don’t want your kids to grow up always doing the same thing and playing it entirely safe, because what kind of a childhood is that, but also because how else will they learn? The funny thing about kids is that they can have a great time just going on a weekend trip to the grocery store or camping in the backyard. People feel the need to take their kids on all these outrageous adventures and spend a ton of money doing so but when it all comes down to it, it’s not necessary.

children_travel

Some people have to travel with their kids because they live far away from their family and otherwise, they would grow up without that benefit. A few times a year perhaps, you grab the kids and pack their bags and hope to whatever deity above that they behave and that the change in altitude doesn’t mess with their ears. It’s nice if they sleep for some of it but you can forget about you having a relaxing time on the flight – you’re just focused on keeping the kids in line! And in the end, is it worth it just to go home at Christmas time? Probably to a degree, but it would definitely be nice to skip if possible.

If you’ve never travelled with kids before, be prepared to learn a whole new way of sightseeing. The things that may be really high on your priority list to see may not be an option depending on how old your kids are. There’s no more eating whenever you squeeze it in or walking everywhere until your feet ache; count out wandering around almost anywhere just taking it all in. The tranquillity you may have enjoyed from travelling solo and experiences prime for reflection simply aren’t appreciated by kids and you may be wondering why you spent all the money.

But this doesn’t mean you should never take your kids anywhere.

You never really know what event or activity will resonate with your kids but you can be sure that depriving them of these meaningful experiences isn’t the best idea either. You can’t have them growing up as spoiled brats who don’t understand how fortunate they are to get to do these great things, but you also don’t want them to shun travel or difference because they’ve never been exposed to it.

You can show your kids the world when you think they are ready, but maybe just choose to do so after they get out of diapers – for your sake and for theirs.

Exercise and Travel – What Do You Do?

Travelling creates a difficult situation for anyone who likes to keep to a routine. For people who don’t, they’re probably wondering what the big deal is. Who cares, I’m on vacation right? Routines are for those who lead boring button down lives and have no business with the thrill seeking, seat of your pants types who frequent the travel world.

Which, of course, isn’t true at all.

When it comes to staying in shape to travel, people seem to fall into a few different camps:

– Those who don’t care

– Those who get in shape for their holiday but let it go during

– Those who try to stay in shape the whole time

Hiking in Sol Duc River ValleyEither option you subscribe to presents a litany of challenges in the form of sacrifices to enjoyment and overall lifestyle making it difficult to say for absolute certain which you should subscribe to. You may think the group that doesn’t care has the easiest go of it but in reality, if they really don’t care at all, they may be doing more harm to themselves than their easy going ways suggest.

Getting in shape for a holiday can serve a few purposes, namely vanity or to take part in some physical activity. Vanity shouldn’t be discounted as ridiculous because we all are guilty of it on some level and if it makes you feel good and it really isn’t hurting anyone, what does it matter? If you want to pop that shirt off or slip into a bikini without feeling awkward or ashamed, more power to you.

Where it’s more interesting is when people work so hard for a singular event and then just give up completely as soon as it’s over. If looking a certain way or having energy means a lot to you, why not stick to it? It’s easier to maintain something than it is to change it completely and your diet and lifestyle choices are included in that.

Depending on where you are living, certain types of physical activity may be easier or harder to do. The hectic urban lifestyle of an Asian city can make going out for a jog or hitting up a gym next to impossible, but an Australian suburb is likely fitted with running trails and outdoor workout stations. A holiday filled with walking will ensure you are always active but one where you lie on a beach and stuff  your face will likely see you come home larger than  you left. Is it worth it? It’s all up to you.

Vacations are meant to be escapes from the ordinary but remember – we all have to return home one day. If you’re the kind to say “I’ll worry about it when I get back” you might enjoy it at the time but regret it later. Smart choices are never a bad decision!

Other Travellers Stress Me Out!

 

Do you ever find yourself playing the competition game with other travellers? You know the one I’m talking about. Who has been to most remote place, spent the least on gelato, went on the least amount of sleep, who has eaten the grossest thing? Does this ring a bell?

We’re all guilty of it on some level. We get proud of our accomplishments and like to compare notes with others to see who is doing it the ‘right’ way and get pleasure from knowing you’re superior in some way to someone else. It’s douchey and pointless but in a lot of ways it’s also fun.

I wonder if he ever feels the same way...
I wonder if he ever feels the same way…

Except it really stresses me out.

I’m not saying I’m going to stop doing it or that I think everyone who does it is a jerk, but instead that I think there has to be a better way of living than constantly comparing yourself with others. It’s an impossible game to win and be satisfied with because there is always someone better than you and not only that, but better is a subjective term. Just because I think something is impressive or worth aspiring to it doesn’t mean it is to you, and even if it is, so what? It doesn’t prove anything!

There are many times I’ve been sitting around with others who have travelling tales to tell and I need to just excuse myself and stay away for a while. I have done some pretty exciting things in my life that I’m proud of and I don’t care if someone else agrees. Some people just like to criticize others to get a reaction or to make themselves feel better, so there’s no pleasing them.

Additionally, I feel like if I’m only surrounded by those kind of people, those who are heavily focused on one very specific niche, I lose perspective on what is important and can’t be related to. I get my head so far up my own butt that I start to think it only matters what a select group of nerds thinks and the other aspects of my life fall by the wayside. It’s how I think grad students must feel after a while.

I know this is an overly simplistic reading of this issue, but there are a lot of people who have their whole identity wrapped up in being a traveller. That’s what they are. They are the travel person. The only problem is, so are many others and chances are, there’s someone out there who is more hardcore than you are. Does this bother you? Maybe not, but I know it bothers some people who have to be number one.

Travel is something I enjoy but I almost wish I could do it in a vacuum so I could enjoy it on my own level without worrying about what other people think. Yes, I like to learn from others and sometimes the stress is a necessary evil in order to make that happen but I wish there was a way I could avoid the stress of the comparing game and just do what I love to do.

Why I Am Sick of Taking Pictures

 

Photography and travel seem to go hand in hand. Part of the fun of seeing something new is capturing it to remember for later or brag to others, even if you aren’t the first person to show to see it. You have to wonder what it was like for the very first person who took a camera on vacation that was capable of taking quick pictures, knowing that they were going to show their friends and family these amazing things for the first time.

Unless I can take this picture!
Unless I can take this picture!

Sadly, we are long past that point.

I’m guilty of taking a lot of pictures when I go travelling because, uh, there are a lot of awesome things to see and capture, but there are times when I just can’t be bothered to do so. In fact, taking pictures can really annoy me. Here are my reasons:

There are Too Many Pictures Out There

I’ll credit and blame the internet for this. Doing a simple Google search for almost anything or place and you get not just a few images but a few million images – many of them the same thing. This can make it seem like not only have you seen the place or thing before but that you already have a picture of it, particularly if yours is going to be more or less the same thing.

I’m Good… but Others are Better

I like to think I’m not a half bad photographer but then I see someone who actually knows what they are doing and I feel ashamed that I’m even trying. From adjusting lenses to compensating for light, angles and then the all important photo editing software – I just don’t know how to do those things and I can’t afford the technology.

Everything Has a Camera Now

This is both a positive and a negative for virtually the same reasons. It used to be that if you wanted to take pictures of anything, you had to carry around a great big camera and have them developed in a lab. Now you can take it with your phone and the quality isn’t half bad. The only issue is, when everything has a camera and I can take a picture whenever I want, it loses it’s novelty.

I Don’t Feel Like it

Yeah… basically… I just don’t care. Sometimes I just want to live life instead of capturing it for later. The memory is enough for me!