Month: April 2011

The Best Comments Of March And April 2011

Due to the hectic March madness travel contest a few weeks back (congratulations again Porto), I wasn’t able to highlight the best comments from last month. So, today for this last post of April, I’m combining the last 8 weeks for a bonus look at the best comments from March…and April. Guilia who nominated Cairo in The Best City To Visit Travel Tournament tells us a bit about what the city was like in the aftermath of Egypt’s uprising. Those of you using a Windows desktop back at home for computer support should take this bit of Rich Polanco‘s advice. Betsey highlights one of the best aspects of a best city contest. Istanbul’s Basilica Cistern seems to be everywhere, even on an episode of The Bachelorette – thanks Sara Gabrakirstos! AirTreks Nico has a great wind-up car analogy for travel I think you’ll enjoy. Turkey’s For Life brings up a good point – I wonder how many world adventure ideas came up over a few too many drinks? Barbara Weibel tells us to get lost (in a nice way) to enhance the travel experience whereas Nomadic Chick (and me included) simply can’t help it – either way it works! Tijmen asks and Jose answers – a good example of how blog comments bring foXnoMad, and all of you, together to travel smarter. Thanks Natalie for sparking the idea to...

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2 To 4 Minutes In Dubai

Dubai, the concrete emirate on steroids in the United Arab Emirates, tends to get stretched out into 24, 48, 96 hours or longer when it comes to travel advice. In a city where everything is larger than normal (even the most inconsequential buildings seem 3 times the size required), why not do the opposite. Overload your senses before you arrive in Dubai, only to have them shocked again on your 24, 48 hour, or however-long trip to the city that sees over 10 million tourists each year. Really Big Buildings Every piece of modern architecture in Dubai seems like it was built with the express purpose of outdoing another (now former) Dubai wonder. For many, the first image to come to mind is the Burj Al Arab – that iconic sailboat overlooking the popular Jumierah beach. Under the imposing luxury of the Burj Al Arab you can surf, get a tan, or simply relax from the steel intensity you tend to find everywhere else. Dubai Beachwear For Women – Ladies, bikinis and swimsuits are acceptable when laying out to get a tan; however when up and about on the beach a sarong wrapped to cover top and bottom was the norm. (Gourmantic has good information on what to wear for women visiting Dubai.) I also wouldn’t recommend getting romantic in public if you know what I mean. The Wild...

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How To Protect Your Laptop From Invasive Governments As You Travel Across Borders

As you learned yesterday, you don’t have to be traveling to China or Cuba to have your laptop inspected, downloaded, or confiscated without probable cause or justification. Many countries around the world leave your rights (digital and otherwise) in gray areas right outside of their borders. To even the odds however you can protect your privacy while traveling around the world with a few simple rules and tech tools. And while you might not be worried about what governments will do with your data, you ought to be concerned with how they might lose store it. Brush Up On The Rules It’s important to understand your digital rights in the free world and beyond, because the truth of the matter is that most countries view your laptop, mobile phone, iPad, and other electronic devices as imports. This means both physically and digitally they can be inspected for virtually any reason or not; yet what might constitute a problem in one country might not be so in another. Bringing your porn to Australia isn’t a good idea and you probably don’t want these books on your Kindle depending on where you’re traveling. Those of you traveling to the US should remember that Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees are not authorized to inspect the contents of your laptop or digital equipment. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can however. (Though their...

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Understanding Your Digital Rights As A Traveler In The Free World

When talking about Internet censorship or unwarranted laptop searches, most travelers’ greatest concerns are before heading to the Middle East, China, or parts of southeast Asia. Although many countries in these regions of the world (among others) are digitally restrictive to put it mildly, you might not know that the United States, most of the European Union, Australia are other democratic nations can leave your digital rights at the door border. Maintaining your privacy isn’t about hiding things you shouldn’t be doing, it’s a fundamental human right that is often disregarded in the name of security. You might be thinking, “we’ll, I’ve got nothing to hide” but who watches the watchers – besides, wouldn’t you rather decide who sees your travel photos from Mexico? “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety”. – Benjamin Franklin Why You Should Care According to government figures, in the US alone, more than 6,800 electronics devices (mostly laptops and mobile phones) were confiscated, searched, or downloaded for further analysis upon entry into the country since 2009. Roughly half of those searched were US citizens, without probable cause nor authorized by a search warrant. However, all travelers entering the US and many other first-world democracies are subject to the same (lack) of restrictions. Though these are specific examples from the US, many other countries...

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Catching Up With It’s On The Meter: The World’s Longest Taxi Ride

I first heard about It’s On The Meter from Kirsty, in one of the best comments from this past December. Johno Ellison and his two friends are attempting to break the Guinness Book Of World Record for longest taxi journey – in a London classic black cab. Their trip reminds me of The Ultimate Train Challenge I’ll be participating in this fall and I’m hoping to meet up the It’s On The Meter guys somewhere along their path in the next few weeks. Johno was kind enough to take a few minutes to share a bit about the trip which began February 17, 2011. Whereabouts are you right now? We’re currently in Geneva, Switzerland after spending the last six weeks driving through Scandinavia, Russia, Belarus, and Eastern Europe. It’s a little strange seeing people on the motorway waving at us and honking their horns and probably thinking we have only been on the road a few days when in reality we’ve covered over 6,000 miles (~9,650 km). Where did the idea to attempt the world’s longest taxi ride come from? My team mate Paul was sitting in a taxi going home one night and watching the meter going higher and higher when he thought, “I wonder what the highest ever taxi fare is?”. He always used to come up with these crazy ideas so we didn’t take much notice...

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Where To See The Sights And Struggles Of Doha, Qatar

In a nation where more than 75% of the population lives in the capital city, you would think that getting a feel for Doha, Qatar would be a straightforward affair. Developing at a rate unmatched elsewhere in the world yet still in the shadows of Dubai, Doha is a city I’ve struggled to find, yet found it in its struggles. As much as it would like to be, Doha is much more than reflective skyscraper glass and World Cup construction. Rather, Doha is a place to treat your stomach, camera, and lungs by slightly shocking each one. Starting With Souq Waqif The word ‘souk’ – an Arab bazaar – misleads you to believe that one of Doha’s most famous travel destinations is anything close to the modern market is has come to be. Sure, Souq Waqif is wearing an Arabesque veil, but it’s not much cover for the steel construction and freshly dried plaster its shops are made of. Imagine an American strip mall having an “Arabian Nights” theme and you might come up with something close to what Souq Waqif looks like – but you’ll be nowhere near what it tastes like. 1,001 Arabian Nights Bites The path through Souq Waqif is like eating your way around half the world – Moroccan soup at Tagine, dishes from Yemen, and wonderfully spicy roller coasters of Malaysian curries. You haven’t...

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About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutI'm the blogger and computer security engineer who writes foXnoMad while on a journey to visit every country in the world. I'll show you the tips, tricks, and tech you can use to travel smarter. Read More

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