Connect with us

Travel

Going traveling? Top tips for peace of mind

Whatever type of traveling you intend to do, whether going up into the wild with a tent or traveling an entire continent, you need to be prepared. Some people are more inclined to do this than others.

Published

on

Photo by Deanna Ritchie from Unsplash.com

Sometimes people forget what kind of undertaking traveling is. They seem to think about it as an extended holiday, but if you really want to get off the beaten track and see a country for what it really is you need to take heed and really make time for some in-depth and wide-ranging research. If you don’t, you could end up in trouble at the far end of the spectrum or just not have the time you envisaged in the best-case scenario.

Whatever type of traveling you intend to do, whether going up into the wild with a tent or traveling an entire continent, you need to be prepared. Some people are more inclined to do this than others.

Some people just like to wing things, but winging such a large undertaking isn’t by no means advisable. There are many tips out there that can help you get on the right track.

The tips below are meant to give you the best start possible.

Make Sure You Plan In Some Chill Time

Traveling isn’t always all fun and games. It can take its toll. There are long bouts of transportation. Nights spent in questionable accommodation, or no accommodation at all. Wherever you are, and wherever you’re planning to go, you must make sure there is some down time. The way you relax is ultimately up to you, but just spending some time by a pool or in the local spa can drain the stress away, leaving you ready to hit the road once more.

Traveling is by no means the same as a de-stressing vacation, but you just have to make sure you spend a little bit of time taking some rest. You can even do this in keeping with the culture your making the effort to immerse yourself in. Plan it beforehand too so you know exactly what you’re doing and when.

Some people just like to wing things, but winging such a large undertaking isn’t by no means advisable.
IMAGE SOURCE

Take A Friend

It isn’t always an option, but if you can, traveling with a friend can make for a much better and more rounded experience. Sharing your time with others makes it a less lonely time and acts as a true bonding event. It’s also a lot safer. Two is always better than one. If something goes wrong they can get help. If you go missing or get lost they can call the police.

If you don’t take a friend, you have to think extra hard and do more research than you usually would to make sure all the routes and places you’re going to are safe.

Pack Bug Repellants

This depends on where you are going, but most places in Asia and Africa have problems with mosquitoes and other nasty bugs. You’ll be able to buy it out there, but it’s always better to take it with you to avoid any distress if there is none available. Look at where you are going and research what kinds of bugs there are in the area.

Take the good stuff. Preferably the repellant that comes in a cream or gel that you rub in instead of a spray, they can rub off too easily. A mosquito net can also help avoid miserable nights and itchy bumps the next day.

Be Contactable

It’s getting easier with the advent of technology but even now some places are hard to reach. Ensure you’ve got phone signal, and if you know you won’t make sure someone knows exactly where you are going.

If you’re going out away from civilization for an extended period, you might want to take a power pack for your phone too. If you lose your phone, have a contingency. You can buy a prepaid one for pretty cheap these days. It might be worth even taking one of these with you as a spare in your bag. Drop in from time to time with your family at home too. It’s easier said than done, but if you just give them an update every time you swap accommodation they’ll know where you are if something goes wrong. Besides, they’ll be worried about you anyway so see it as a common courtesy.

Know Where Not To Go

You’ll want to see all of the places you’re going too, and it’s understandable. But just like there are bad places in your home city, there are in wherever you’re going. Know them. Don’t go there. Even if you’re tempted by some sight or place, make sure you do some proper research just in case. Certain places have higher crime rates. It’s a simple fact. If you avoid the areas with a high crime there’s less of a chance you’ll be affected, and all your travel plans waylaid.

Travel

New Zealand, Britain ease rules on blood donations by gay, bi men

New Zealand and Britain eased the rules on blood donations by gay and bisexual men, and men who have sex with men (MSM), as both countries continue to face supply issues brought about by Covid-19. This development follows the June 2020 move of the American Red Cross to change its restrictions on blood donations.

Published

on

Photo by @websitethink from Unsplash.com

Getting rid of a discriminatory practice… albeit somewhat slowly.

New Zealand and Britain eased the rules on blood donations by gay and bisexual men, and men who have sex with men (MSM), as both countries continue to face supply issues brought about by Covid-19. This development follows the June 2020 move of the American Red Cross to change its restrictions on blood donations from gay and bisexual men, and other MSM, also because of supply issues. Australia also said it would follow suit, though the change will not apply until January 31, 2021.

The antiquated, yet still current practice is to ban MSM from donating blood within 12 months of having sex with another man. But starting June 8, the wait time will be cut to three months.

Just to emphasize: In all the countries where changes were introduced, though, it is not a pro-LGBTQIA move; instead, there’s severe shortage of blood donations in due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Particular to New Zealand, the government cut the celibacy period from a year to three months, regardless of whether they had used condoms, the New Zealand Blood Service said on its website.

Meanwhile, in Britain – which previously had a three-month deferral period – a behavior-based policy will now be used. This means that anyone — gay or straight — who has had anal sex with multiple partners or a new partner will not be able to donate blood.

The antiquated restrictions on gay and bi men donating blood was imposed by many countries at the height of the HIV and AIDS pandemic in the 1980s.

Continue Reading

Lifestyle & Culture

Relaxing weekend activities to try

If you want to shake off some stress, here are some safe and relaxing weekend activities you should try.

Published

on

Staying at home for an extended period can cause many individuals to start feeling cabin fever or quarantine fatigue. Days can become so dull that many people crave to engage in different activities to serve as an outlet for their frustrations.

If you want to shake off some stress, here are some safe and relaxing weekend activities you should try.

Go Camping

Nowadays, it is no longer advisable to spend your day at the beach, as it can get too crowded for social distancing to be possible. For camping, campgrounds have more control over how many campers they can allow to pitch tents and park RVs. If this is your first time going camping, it would be best to do some research on how to survive a weekend in the great outdoors. Sites like outdoorcommand.com have several tips that you can use to prepare for your upcoming trip. 

Drive Around

If your area does not have restrictions on local travel, you can choose to drive around your town to appreciate your neighborhood a bit more. It can be an excellent way to get to know your locality, including areas you haven’t visited yet. Before you know it, you’ll discover sites that would soon become your favorite spot when everything goes back to normal. You can also choose to head out to the countryside

Take a Hike

Aside from camping, another activity that you can do during the weekend would be hiking. Choose a time when there aren’t too many people exploring the area. This way, you can enjoy the view without having to worry about being too close to others. Surrounding yourself with nature can also help boost the immune system, helping you fight off infections better. 

Pick Up a New Hobby

If your weekdays are filled with work duties, you can set aside your weekends for enjoying a hobby. Know what you are passionate about and give it all your energy once work is over. This way, you can have a work-life balance that allows you to destress. 

Do Yoga

One activity that you can squeeze into your busy days would be yoga. Not only will it help you relax, but it will also improve your overall health and wellness. It can be an excellent way to destress and let go of negative vibes. Make sure to stick to poses that are most suitable for you, and gradually increase the range of motion to improve your flexibility. 

Learn a New Recipe

If you aren’t happy with the food that you’ve eaten over the past few months, it will be best to learn a new recipe during the weekend. You can try to experiment and create your own version of a dish. If you feel confident in your cooking, you can send some to your friends and family. Who knows, you may even start a food business with it. 

Start a New Movie or TV Series

The movie and TV industry is always providing great value in entertaining people. The internet also became a good source of new platforms to watch movies and TV shows with various genres. You can even reminisce about your yesteryears with some old movies and series you used to watch with your friends and family. Hulu and Netflix are some of the reliable platforms that can satisfy your cravings for entertainment.

Engaging in relaxing weekend activities can help you refocus on your goals in life. If you feel suffocated by staying at home, you can choose to go out and explore. However, you should always keep safety in mind. Bring essentials like sanitizers and weak your mask whenever possible.

Continue Reading

Travel

Bhutan parliament decriminalizes homosexuality

Both houses of Bhutan’s parliament approved a bill that legalizes gay sex, amending Sections 213 and 214 of the penal code that criminalized “unnatural sex”, which was widely interpreted as referring to homosexuality.

Published

on

Photo by Prateek Katyal from Unsplash.com

Rainbow rises in Bhutan.

Both houses of Bhutan’s parliament approved a bill that legalizes gay sex, amending Sections 213 and 214 of the penal code that criminalized “unnatural sex”, which was widely interpreted as referring to homosexuality. With this development, the Himalayan kingdom becomes the latest Asian nation to take steps to ease restrictions on same-sex relationships.

In total, 63 of the 69 members of both houses of parliament voted in favor of amending the code to scrap the discriminatory provision. There were six members who were absent at the time of voting.

Worth noting: The changes still need to be approved by the King of Bhutan to become a law in the majority-Buddhist nation of 800,000 people.

Continue Reading

Travel

Norway outlaws hate speech against trans people

Norway’s parliament outlawed hate speech against transgender people, a move that expanded the country’s penal code which has already been protecting gay and lesbian people since 1981.

Published

on

Photo by Philipp Berndt from Unsplash.com

Pro-LGBTQIA development.

Norway’s parliament outlawed hate speech against transgender people, a move that expanded the country’s penal code which has already been protecting gay and lesbian people since 1981.

The country’s penal code’s amendments specifically outlawed discrimination based on “gender identity or gender expression”, while also changing “homosexual orientation” to “sexual orientation”. This means that bisexual as well as lesbian and gay people will be explicitly protected from discrimination.

Violators – if a judge decides their actions were motivated by someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI) – can face a fine or up to a year in jail for private remarks, and a maximum of three years in jail for public comments.

Norway is actually one of the more liberal European countries, allowing trans people to legally change gender without a medical diagnosis since 2016.

As quoted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Norway’s Minister of Justice and Public Security Monica Maeland stated that trans people are “an exposed group when it comes to discrimination, harassment and violence”. As such, “it is imperative that the protection against discrimination offered by the criminal legislation is adapted to the practical situations that arise.”

Continue Reading

Travel

British High Court bans gender transitions for children

Children under the age of 16 are unlikely to give “informed consent” to take puberty blockers to begin their gender transition process, according to the British High Court.

Published

on

Photo by dorota dylka from Unsplash.com

Children under the age of 16 are unlikely to give “informed consent” to take puberty blockers to begin their gender transition process. This is according to the British High Court via a landmark ruling.

The case decided by the court was filed against the Tavistock Centre, England’s only youth gender identity clinic, and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. A claimant, Keira Bell, was referred to Tavistock as a teenager (16). After three sessions with a psychologist, she was prescribed puberty blockers at 17; and at the age of 20, she had a double mastectomy.

She, however, said she later regretted the decision. As she started to “de-transitioned”, she sued
the government for allowing her to undergo the radical therapy, which she fears may have damaged her ability to have children. In her argument, she said that underage children cannot truly understand what they’re signing up for when they go through the life-changing therapy.

The three judges in the Bell v Tavistock case backed the complainant, ruling that children under the age of 16 wouldn’t be able to properly grasp the consequences of consenting to using puberty blockers.

“It is highly unlikely that a child aged 13 or under would be competent to give consent to the administration of puberty blockers,” the decision states. “It is doubtful that a child aged 14 or 15 could understand and weigh the long-term risks and consequences of the administration of puberty blockers.”

Even for children aged over 16, they argued it may be necessary to involve the courts.

“In respect of young persons aged 16 and over, the legal position is that there is a presumption that they have the ability to consent to medical treatment,” they further wrote. “Given the long-term consequences of the clinical interventions at issue in this case, and given that the treatment is as yet innovative and experimental, we recognize that clinicians may well regard these as cases where the authorization of the court should be sought prior to commencing the clinical treatment.”

In the past, British minors could consent if they were “Gillick competent”, i.e. when a child is considered mature and intelligent enough to give informed consent.

In response to the ruling, the Tavistock Centre said it was “disappointed” and planned to appeal. All the same, all referrals for under-16s have been stopped.

Continue Reading

Lifestyle & Culture

Common whales to see depending on the season

While many people think of whale watching as a seasonal activity reserved for warmer months, interesting and impressive species of whales can be seen in San Diego all year. If you are planning a trip, you should consider which species you would most like to see and book a tour during for when those species are most common.

Published

on

While many people think of whale watching as a seasonal activity reserved for warmer months, interesting and impressive species of whales can be seen in San Diego all year. If you are planning a trip, you should consider which species you would most like to see and book a tour during for when those species are most common.

Of course, some species are easier to spot than others. Those looking for the best humpback whale watching San Diego has to offer can find themselves satisfied all year. Blue whales, on the other hand, only migrate through San Diego from April to September.

All Year

Humpback whales are visible in San Diego all year round. Humpbacks are extremely popular with older tourists and children alike for their distinctive appearance. Dolphins are also common throughout the year, and what these brilliant creatures lack in size, they easily make up for in presentation. Dolphin pods love to breach the surface of the water, seemingly for the pure joy of doing flips and rolls for dazzled onlookers.

Summer

Summer is an excellent time for a San Diego whale watching tour. The peak season for blue whales, the largest creatures to have ever lived, is in June, so most times from May until August are good for blue whale sightings. Fin whales, the second largest species of whale, as well as minke whales are also most abundant during summer months. While you may have seen these species on nature documentaries, they have to be seen to be experienced properly. In person, you will be awed by their sheer size and power.

Fall

Humpback whales and rare species dominate fall months in San Diego. Though killer whales travel widely, their migrations take them through San Diego in late fall. Of course, there is plenty of other wildlife in the bay during fall, from seals to seabirds, and some tours have even spotted sharks swimming alongside whale watching vessels.

Winter

The gray whale, a species named for its coloration, is at its peak season in winter. Gray whales love to spout pillars of water into the air, and are highly social animals that often travel together with other cetaceans. February is known as one of the best months for a whale watching tour, as this is when an extremely high volume of gray whales pass through San Diego each year.

Spring

April is generally recognized as the last month for gray whale sightings. While various species can be spotted in early spring, the first blue whale sightings normally begin around May. Dolphin activity tends to ramp up in spring, resulting in awesome photos of playful pods and megapods.

If you are planning a trip to the San Diego area, you can find marine wildlife worth visiting throughout the year. Whether you’re booking a family whale watching tour, or you want to have your wedding reception on a boat San Diego waters have something for you.

Remember that, while no tour at any time of the year can guarantee that you will spot a specific type of whale, you are almost certain to see something interesting or learn something you didn’t know before when you book with a good company.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK

Most Popular