Travel Unravel Archives - foXnoMad

Category: Travel Unravel

How To Pronounce Kyiv And Why It’s Not Spelled Kiev

Ukraine has been on the news a lot recently due to the war with Russia and you may have heard its capital, Kyiv and other cities, being pronounced multiple ways. Due to all of that variation from “keev” to “keyee” from journalists, it can be confusing to know how to properly say these places. To help answer those questions as well as the history behind the names of Ukrainian cities and spellings, Irena Chalupa recently joined me on an episode of the foXnoMad Podcast. Irena is a journalist specializing in broadcast from northeastern Poland who spent 23 years working for Radio Free Europe in Germany, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic as the director of the Ukrainian Service. She has also worked for the Atlantic Council think tank and was a Fulbright Scholar in Ukraine during 2016-2017. She is currently an editor at StopFake.

You can watch a clip from our discussion in the video above or listen to the full podcast here.

Could You Visit Every Place On Earth In A Lifetime?

As someone who’s made a career that began from a quest to visit every country in the world, I’ve often thought, could I see more? Could I see every city with a population of over 500,000 or all the world’s countries, UNESCO sites, best and worst cities? It’s a question we’ve tackled here before but in the video above I show just how difficult such a feat would be.

For those of you who love traveling and want to see it all, the answer to the question – can you see the world in a lifetime – will either be discouraging or profoundly inspiring. The choice is a big one and all yours to make.

Would People In Pakistan Be Willing To Say One Nice Thing About India?

India and Pakistan have fought multiple wars and the two countries don’t have good relations with each other. A mild way of putting it, considering the more than half century of animosity and territorial disputes all amplified nuclear bombs. So during a visit to Pakistan I was curious, is there anything nice people could say about India?

You can watch the responses in the video above, they’ll likely surprise you as much as it did me.

Behind The Scenes

Filming around Pakistan, I had this video in mind. Partly as a response to several videos I made comparing both countries which brought a lot of fighting in the comment section (browse at your own discretion). This made me curious, could we boil things down simply: can you say one NICE thing?

burns road karachi

I hesitated before asking the question to the first person, someone I had already interviewed as part of another project. His reaction was positive (aside from a fair amount of camera shyness). Perhaps it was a fluke, I’ll have to ask others and wait for the backlash.

It never came though, people were overwhelmingly positive. As you read this you may be thinking, yeah but well… insert excuse here. Believe me, those caveats bubbled up into my grey matter as well. Across several weeks, cities, and people from all walks of life, the responses were overwhelmingly positive. Not a scientific study but a start. We can go from there, whether we’re talking about nation or your next door neighbor or both.

The Outliers

There were a number of people who did have not nice things to say. Want to guess the number? A grand total of two. But the number of people who said nice things? 100%. Yes, those two people also did have a nice thing to say and are featured in the video.

Let’s talk about those two responses that weren’t entirely positive. One of the two aggressively asked me why I’m asking people to say one nice thing (and why I wasn’t doing it in some other country). I explained that it’s a question I had and he obviously didn’t have to answer if he didn’t want to. After a moment, he thought about it and did say one or two nice things.

The other went on a bit of a political rant about India’s internal political structure, said one nice thing, and then continued one a bit on politics. A bit off the rails but still he surprised me, he did have one nice thing to say. Hopefully you’ll find this video enlightening, encouraging and you’ll have one nice thing to say about it in the comments.

You’re a beautiful person and have a lot to offer the world. Keep striving to show everyone your best side!

What Is Harry Potter Shifting?

This post is part of Geek Takeover Week 2021.

Have you ever wished you could visit one of the fantasy worlds you’ve read about or seen in a movie? Well, shifters believe they can do just that and transport their subconsciousness to Hogwarts, specifically. There’s a pretty active community on TikTok #shiftingrealities where shifters explain how you can shift, what the experience is like, and what happens if you die in Hogwarts.

It all sounds a lot like lucid dreaming where you can control your dreams through various techniques to train your mind to recognize that hey, you’re in a dream and take over. Lucid dreams can often fly like Superman or transport anywhere in the world or perhaps, even to Hogwarts.

On a recent Geek Takeover Week episode of the foXoMad Podcast I and two Harry Potter experts shifted into reacting to shifter TikToks. You can watch a clip in the video above or listen to the full episode below. Evanesco!

How Backpack Liters Are Calculated

Backpacks comes in all shapes and sizes measured by length, width, and height. Seems simple enough. To get volume, just multiply those three sides up, right? Well, it turns out a very common backpack measurement, liters, is one that varies based on who’s calculating. You might see two backpacks that are listed as 34 liters but when you get those bags in hand, they might not have the same carrying capacity. There are a few reasons for this, related to more common units of measurement.

You can learn more about how backpack liters are calculated in the video above or read on.

Basic Volume

We know that length multiplied by width and height equals volume. But that’s volume of a cube and most backpacks aren’t completely square. They’ve got rounded corners, so height might be to the top of the bag without accounting for space lost to curved edges. (Length width and height measurements are made by the way when the bag is completely full, potentially stuffed, to give the best numbers.)

osprey daylite day pack

Some backpack manufacturers might try to get away with this to boost their capacity numbers but another, more hands on approach is often used.

Fill The Bag With Balls

To determine the capacity of a backpack small pellets are used to fill every last nook and cranny to determine volume. Fill up the bag, then measure how many liters of pellets you can fit. Always keep that in mind when reviewing backpack specs. The entire usable space isn’t likely to be used unless you’re traveling with a backpack full of sand. Otherwise the carrying capacity is an upper limit, not an average, and it’s measured under ideal conditions.

Exactly how this is done isn’t standardized – although a lot of people use the word standard when talking about backpack liters – there’s no governing body or backpack liters organization issuing a set of specific guidelines that everyone follows. Backpack companies use all sorts of methods to measure their bags.

Literal Variation

A lot of companies only measure pockets and compartments that can be closed with a zipper while others include side compartments, water bottle holders, and other open pockets in their liter measurements. This is a pretty grey area because it is technically storage space and companies are trying to get a capacity measurement as high as they reasonably can.

backpack review foxnomad

The reason it’s a grey area isn’t because this is a shady practice, it’s because not every company is measuring things the same way, which can make things confusing for you, the consumer. Some companies have even gone away from using liter measurements for this very reason.

Understanding Liters

The best way to think about backpack liters is in generalities. They’re ball park figures, basically to give you an idea of what a backpack can carry which of course depends on the configuration of the backpack and what you’ll be packing – clothes are easier to stuff in a bag than camera gear – so my advice to you is to think of backpack liters ranges like this:

These though are just general guidelines. You know now that liters can vary – a 25 liter backpack by one brand doesn’t’ necessarily have the same capacity as a 25 liter bag from another brand. Fortunately though most companies give you enough of a return window where you can try out a bag, pack it up, and do your own, customized capacity test. A fitting process you should go through so you can pick the right backpack for you.

You Can’t See The Curve Of The Earth From Your Airplane Seat (Mostly)

We know the Earth is definitely round but the view from your airplane seat at cruising altitude isn’t good proof of it. Using math from the 4th century B.C., the ancient Greeks were able measure the curve of Earth at sea level. Taking those same formulas, it turns out most commercial jets aren’t flying as high respective to the size of the earth as it seems.

You’ve probably seen a curved horizon at 10,000 meters during a flight but as you can see in the video above, it’s not what you think.

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About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutHi, I'm Anil. foXnoMad is where I combine travel and tech to help you travel smarter. I'm on a journey to every country in the world and you're invited to join the adventure! Read More

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