Month: June 2011

The Best Comments Of The Month: June 2011

I hope it’s been a hot start to summer for those of you in the northern hemisphere, it started off chilly for me in Vancouver, Canada only to heat up two weeks later in Valencia, Spain. The comments too have been equally scorching, here are some that will give you a sunburn if you stand too close. Imperator gives a good account of how tourism is often a first-aid kit for economies recovering from various social and political ills. I’ve got no word on the hairy sausage Shane mentions though I do appreciate Snapping Blabber helping me to identify the names of Bulgarian foods I neglected to write down as I was too busy stuffing my face. I can relate to Priyank on this one, it’s taken a while for my parents to get exactly what I do for a living, though my grandmother…nowhere near close. The Travel Chica and I are both celebrating our birthdays – by fox years I guess we’re about the same age? I appreciate Stephen‘s advice on booking trains in China, I’ll need it late in September as I race toward Saigon on The Ultimate Train Challenge. Thanks everyone for your helpful comments this past month. It’s summer travel season in the northern hemisphere – so, where are you off to over the next few months? [photo by: Catriona Ward (pug on...

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Days Before Disaster, Hockey Joy In Vancouver, Canada

The ecstatic crowds on the streets of downtown Vancouver, Canada after the Canucks won Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals is the craziest scene I have ever experienced. And it was hockey. I never thought it would be, well, hockey, that would leave me with vivid memories of Canadians cheering in delirium with joy, chanting curses at Boston, and partying well into the night without wavering enthusiasm. Perhaps I should have been more prepared, considering when I landed in Vancouver International Airport (free wifi by the way), above passport control the giant TV screens were showing the Canucks playing Game 4, instead of displaying the standard arrival messages everyone ignores. Did I mention that even some of the airport security staff were wearing Canucks jerseys? They take hockey in Vancouver more seriously than most governments do about their own economies. One of the elegant threads running through the mayhem on the streets of downtown Vancouver were all of the ethnic Indian, Chinese, and other diverse faces in the crowd; unified by a sport notably absent from their countries of descent. The minutes immediately following the victory, which put the Canucks one win away from winning the city’s first Stanley Cup, was a living definition of communitas. It’s not uncommon to see fans exiting European soccer stadiums cheering, beating drums, and sometimes each other – but what made the...

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Blow Out The Candles: foXnoMad Turns 5 Years Old Today

There are some gray whiskers popping up on foXnoMad (figuratively and literally) as this travel site turns 5 years old today. It’s been quite a journey thus far for a blog created originally to help 6 friends keep in touch – eventually morphing into travel blog, funding my travels for the past 2 years to over 40 countries. Sometime within the past year I decided to formalize a general travel goal, setting my sights on seeing every country in the world. (The United Nations sets that at 193, while the Montevideo Convention’s more interesting list is 201 – so I’ll go with that.) There’s still lots of world to see, write about, and share with you. Evolving Styles Over Year 4 Currently I’m in Valencia, Spain courtesy Tour Spain and Valencia Tourism, where I’m enjoying the city where paella was created in the late 19th century. Over the past 4th year of foXnoMad I’ve been focusing mainly on the Middle East, visiting (and getting lost) in countries like Oman, Egypt, Turkey, and Iraq while trying to give my posts a more personal touch. A sharper focus on the visual element is on the way, as well as some major travel projects coming up toward the end of the year. The Ultimate Tech Guide For Travelers 50% Off Today Only For foXnoMad’s birthday, today only The Ultimate Tech Guide For...

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From Lisbon To Saigon In One Shot: The Ultimate Train Challenge

This September, I will begin a race against 5 other travel bloggers to break the record for the world’s longest continuous train journey. To be more precise, The Ultimate Train Challenge will have me hopping from train to train, beginning in Lisbon, Portugal all the way to Vietnam’s Saigon. What Is The Ultimate Train Challenge? In short, it’s a friendly competition between each of us who love travel to try and break a standing world record. Some of the major rules are: we must sleep on the train each night, can’t backtrack through a country once we’ve passed it, and aren’t allowed to repeat any length of rail. When I was first approached with the idea by Michael Hodson, I found both the travel and personal challenge difficult to resist. I’ll spend a little over a week in Portugal, including the best city to visit in 2011 Porto, before the race begins on September 1rst. Aside from exploring Portugal, a country I haven’t visited yet, I’ll also be wrapping up the final preparations for a month where I’ll have extremely limited Internet access. Maintaining foXnoMad and all that comes with it will undoubtedly be my biggest challenge over the roughly 27 days the trip will take. Join Me For Legs Of The Race Those of you who might happen to be taking a train in Europe or along my...

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Common Misconceptions And Several Truths About Travel Blogging Digital Nomads

Traveling all over the world and funding your journey with a travel blog is a personal dream turned reality but one that also turns exploration into an occupation. The confused looks of other travelers, friends, and other folks I meet on the road when I say travel blogging around the world requires 45-50 hours of my time a week or when I have to decline spontaneous invitations to explore the Egyptian desert has made apparent to me several misconceptions about the digital nomad lifestyle – of the travel blogging variety. It’s a thrill to have your working passion follow you around the world to countries, peoples, and places that you dreamed about as a child. But there’s a lot of work behind it in most cases – here’s your look a bit behind the scenes of a traveling digital nomad like myself and many others. Truth: Working Constantly, So To Speak As I mentioned above, I work on this site, foXnoMad, and my other 3 an average of 40+ hours per week. That includes laptop time I spend writing, responding to emails, and cooking up various online projects like my ebooks. That’s “office” time – but if you include actually traveling – fundamental tasks like taking photos, hopping flights, and the like; then I’m on the job nearly all the time. The bare minimum I can fall to is...

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Fishing At The Feet Of A God In The Harbor Of Rhodes, Greece

The island of Rhodes, Greece sits off the coast of neighboring Turkey and is a 90 minute ferry ride from nearby Fethiye. Well, at least under ideal conditions – those that don’t involve late departures due to Turkish captains who haven’t finished their morning tea or mysterious mechanical problems that tend to slow the ferry to (surprisingly) fuel efficient speeds. A day trip from Fethiye is about 60 Euro (or 100 for longer the round-trips) to the concrete coast that reflects off the bright blue waters of the southern Aegean Sea. Rhodes looks deceptively calm and quiet from its harbor. A walk beyond immediate vicinity of the docks reveals what I can describe as a Norwegian resort on crack, or some other radically mind-altering drug. (There are so many Scandinavians on the island I couldn’t help but think the Vikings didn’t vanish over a thousands years ago but found Rhodes and decided to stay instead.) Rhodes is an efficient tourism machine with the streets designed to move you from tourist site to shopping center while expanding your waistline with moussaka and thinning your wallet rapidly at the same time. This 1,400 square kilometer island was an important key to the shipping lanes in the Aegean, heavily fortified to protect itself against invading army after army. In honor of an important victory against a failed siege in 305 BC, the...

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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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