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Category: Travel

The Best Place To Eat In Fairbanks, Alaska

There aren’t a lot of places to eat in Fairbanks, Alaska which has a population of 32,000. Not to say Fairbanks doesn’t have some good dining options (it’s no Anchorage) but if one place defines the ambiance of the city, it’s The Chowder House. Alone in a quiet parking lot in the center of town, The Chowder House serves up hearty soups, sandwiches, and potstickers (basically fried dumplings).

Chowders are served daily from chicken and wild rice or creme of broccoli to steak chili. Build your own or enjoy a baked Alaskan salmon sandwich. Hearty, welcoming, and much more interesting packages of tasty calories than its name would suggest, if you need more reason to visit, watch my visit to The Chowder House here.

How To Protect Your Backpack From Slash Attacks

Slash attacks on backpacks are brazen theft attempts where a thief uses a knife to cut through your bag and make a run for it. These are quick grab attacks where the crook doesn’t really care if you notice because by the time you react, they’re already running away at full speed.

Fortunately, there are a few tactics to avoiding slash attacks on backpacks, purses, and other handbags.

Prioritizing Prevention

There aren’t many statistics on specific ways people are pick-pocketed but anecdotally the slash and grab is most common against bags with one strap. That’s purses, belt packs.. things where the slash immediately detaches the bag from your person. With a backpack that’s a lot harder to do, so one piece of advice right off the bat is to always wear your backpack with two straps on. Also, don’t wear your backpack too loosely, so you can better feel if your bag is being tampered with.

Plan Of Action In Progress

A good backpack security strategy against slashing starts with the bag you choose. Fabrics like nylon with higher denier counts, sailcloth, and polyester tend to hold up well. The Aer Travel Pack 2, Tortuga Outbreaker Laptop Bag, GORCUK GR2 and Pacsafe LS450 offer solid protection. No matter which backpack you go with, inspect where the backpack and supportive straps meet.

Not only will strong stitching and reinforced straps be more durable over time, strap meets the bag, is a part that tends to get a lot of use, movement, and wear over time. Also, the thicker the material used for the thinnest part of the backpack straps, the more resistant they’ll be to cutting.

Layering Strategy

Many slash attacks don’t go for your entire bag but rather vulnerable exterior pockets. So, pack your most valuable items in the interior, closest to your back. A lot of backpacks have multiple pockets so don’t use outside facing ones for your wallet, phone, or other important items like a passport. With your valuables deeper inside the bag, there’s more material between the knife and your stuff.

When you’re riding in a bus, metro, or train, don’t keep your bag by your feet which gives a thief a lot of time to attack your valuables without you noticing. Always keep your bag on your lap. It’s inconvenient but a lot more difficult for someone to tamper with.

Like most pick-pocketing security, you want to deter an attack from even happening and give a thief reason to look elsewhere. Being aware of your surroundings, having your gear secure, and using a strong backpack will all help. But if you do notice someone cutting through your backpack and turn around to see someone with a knife in your face – do the smart thing and give them what they want. That’s a mugging situation, don’t be a hero and risk injury or worse, for things that can be replaced.

The Best Vegan And Vegetarian Restaurants In Antigua, Guatemala

caoba farms antigua guatemala

Antigua is the gateway to Guatemala for most tourists to the country and serves as a culinary introduction to one of the world’s most underrated cuisines. A mix of Mayan dishes with Spanish influences, Guatemalan plates are colorful blends of unexpected flavors. Meat is plentiful but so are vegan and vegetarian options.

These are the best restaurants in Antigua to find vegan and vegetarian food.

1. Coaba Farms

There are few restaurants where you can see and eat just meters away from where your food is grown. Coaba Farms is open a few days a week and serves breakfast through dinner. Plates of food with ingredients grown and produced on Coaba’s land, there’s something for everyone. Meat or vegan options, from the cheese to the milks, it’s your choice. No matter what meal you go with, make sure to walk around the farms, visit the shop, or stay for a yoga session.

2. Wachuma

A specifically vegan restaurant that doesn’t stray far from Guatemalan tipicas (typical) dishes. Cheeses are substituted for vegan alternatives, there’s a wide selection of deserts and everything is cooked to order at Wachuma.

3. Samsara

Although Samsara leans into Asian fusion it’s a good vegetarian restaurant that as an extensive menu. From shakes to soups, salads and Thai to Indian dishes, Samsara can add variety to your meals during your stay in Antigua.

4. Y Tu Pina Tabien

y tu pina tambien guatemala antigua

Not a specifically vegetarian restaurant, Y Tu Pina Tambien features a variety of veg and vegan dishes. Breakfast is their specialty to be sure to visit during the morning hours for their specialty omelettes, cheese avocados, and excellent coffee.

5. Fat Cat Coffee House

fat cat coffee antigua guatemala

In addition to their exceptional coffee (in a town where the competition is fierce) Fat Cat Coffee House has a variety of vegan snacks and health food options. Go for their massive fruit oatmeal with oat milk and enjoy a strong cup of their best java.

6. Cafe Cafe

cafe cafe antigua guatemala

Food fresh to order and a kitchen that serves up dishes that are a fusion of Guatemalan and international cuisines. There’s options for meat eaters and vegans but both offerings at Cafe Cafe are sourced from local ingredients.

Kitchens For Everyone

Antigua has a unique culinary landscape not only because if its location in the heart of Guatemala but like many of its indigenous ingredients, they’re blended, mixed, and made into an endless variety of deliciousness. Particularly for non-meat eaters who might be thinking a good, local meal will be hard to find in a region that indeed loves meats, Antigua will be pleasantly surprising for anyone who likes to eat.

How Much Does It Cost To Buy Your Own Private Island?

The thought of buying a tropical island is one many of us have dreamed of. Now imagine you asked a bunch of those people to chip in some money and actually buy an island. Well, that’s essentially what Marshall Mayer did with his Let’s Buy An Island project, resulting in the world’s first crowdfunded island.

The goal began to buy an island- any island – and potentially as more people invested, they could afford something nicer than a tiny river island in northern Canada. Let’s Buy An Island reached well beyond its initial goal in 2018 and ended up purchasing Coffee Caye off the coast of Belize. Now, it’s poised to become a micronation, offering citizenship to what’s being called Islandia.

belize island

Marshall was a guest on the foXnoMad Podcast where we talked about how Let’s Buy An Island came to be and what forming a micronation is like. It’s a fun discussion on the logistics of turning a dream into a tangible… in this case, island. You can listen to the episode here or watch it in full in the video above.

I also happened to be headed to Caye Caulker Belize two weeks after our conversation and guess who made it to Islandia? The plans for the island, mainly a vacation rental property that will make your friends jealous, hasn’t been built yet but it was an adventure just getting there. You can watch the entire trip in the video here.

The Best Places To Eat On Caye Caulker, Belize

Caye Caulker (pronounced “key”) is a small island off the coast of Belize known for it’s go slow motto, backpacker appeal, and sea activities. Although the large Ambergris Caye not too far away is known for its larger towns and restaurants, Caye Caulker is surprisingly diverse in local Belizean cuisine with enviable prices.

These are the 6 best places to eat in Caye Caulker, Belize.

1. Chef Juan’s Kitchen

There are local Belizean favorites from all meals of the day starting with fry jacks in the morning, fresh ceviches for lunch, and catch of the day fish at night. Only just a sampling of the excellent food cooked from the small kitchen with large portions, good prices, and a smile from Chef Juan.

2. Wish Willy

wish willy caye caulker

An outdoor barbecue that opens as the sun sets, the backyard atmosphere is laid back and welcoming. The long benches make for a social environment and the food is what happens to be fresh that day. All served in person with beers waiting for you in the cooler near the kitchen. Wish Will is not only a meal but a Caye Caulker experience.

3. Namaste

namaste caye caulker

Hipsters rejoice, Namaste is a breakfast to lunch cafe with lots of fresh fruits, omelettes, coffee, and even a yoga studio upstairs. It’s popular with tourists and gets crowded around 9am but the food is consistently tasty, well prepared, and the open space makes for a relaxing environment.

4. Maggie’s Sunset Kitchen

The lobster, when in season, is Maggie’s most popular dish. Once the grill gets going and the sun starts setting, Maggie’s, a family run restaurant, turns amber orange as the food is set on the table.

5. Errolyn’s House of Fry Jacks

caye caulker errolyn's house of fry jacks

Open at 6am to about 11 in the morning, Errolyn’s serves up Caye Caulker’s traditional breakfast of fry jacks. Dough stuffed with some combination of mashed beans, ham, cheese, and eggs, then fried crispy, Errolyn’s is the best place on the island to try fry jacks.

6. Rainbow Bar And Grill

caye caulker rainbow bar and grill

A bit expensive but a good variety of foods both local and standard American (hamburgers anyone), Rainbow Bar and Grill is open throughout the day with a nice view overlooking the ferry boats coming in from Belize City.

Selection On A Small Island

As tiny as Caye Caulker is, there is a lot of good food to choose from. Street barbecue, sandwiches, vegan and vegetarian dishes to nice seaside restaurants, there’s a little of something for everyone along this 2 kilometer stretch of paradise in the Caribbean.

How To Get To Caye Caulker From Belize City

Caye Caulker is an idyllic island paradise off the coast of Belize City, Belize. It’s only 35 kilometers (~21 miles) away but it can be confusing to find out the best ways to get to Caye Caulker from Belize City. Fortunately, there are multiple options on getting there for various budgets and personal preference.

Water Taxi

There are two water taxi options: Ocean Ferry and San Pedro Belize Express taking off from two small ports in town. To get to either port you can either grab a taxi from the airport (it should cost roughly $25-30USD) but be aware that official taxis have green license plates. Otherwise they look a lot like every other car. Secondly, you can arrange a shuttle in a private car using Viator, which ends up being cheaper (~$16) and more convenient. You just need to book it in advance.

caye caulker beach

  • Ocean Ferry: Takes off every 90 minutes or so throughout the day but as it is with either ferry, if you’re arriving to Belize City after around 5pm, you’ll have to book a hotel in the city and wait for the morning ferries. Ocean Ferry runs large semi-covered speedboats. They’re not the most comfortable but the least expensive of the two ferries and if you like the feeling of wind in your hair, it’s a good choice.
  • San Pedro Belize Express: These are larger, covered boats that run every hour. Belize Express also has multiple boats so it’s less likely they’ll be too full for passengers as they can run a second one if needed.

Both ferries are roughly the same price (about $20 one-way or a discounted $37 for round trip) and take about 45 minutes. You’ll be able to keep your hand luggage and backpacks but larger suitcases are checked-in at the port and stowed away separately.

By Air

Roughly $200 for a one way to Caye Caulker from Belize City, you may prefer taking a flight if your arrival time into Belize doesn’t match with the ferry schedules. Flying is faster and the only additional step is to go from the international to the domestic terminal. As is usually the case, going by air is more expensive than by boat.

Flip It And Reverse It

Going back to Belize City from Caye Caulker, it’s basically the same process in reverse. The ferry docks in Caulker are not far from anything (nothing – not even the airport is far away on this 8km long island) and you can arrange the same car ride back to the airport from the port in Belize City. (It’s easier than getting a taxi there.) Tanned and relaxed one hopes, the departure is the hardest part so some just buy their own islands nearby.

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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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