Category: Health and Fitness

Small, Ergonomic, Revolutionary? A Review Of The Penclic R3 Wireless Mouse

The Penclic R3 Wireless Mouse is a rethinking of how you should use the gadget you probably touch most during a given day. Traditional mice put your arm in an unnatural position, causing wrist, elbow, shoulder, or even back pain from using one. Frequent traveling can make the situation even worse, especially if you’re working on hotel, cafe or tray tables in cramped spaces where you have to get into contorted shapes to type.

penclic r3 wireless mouse  Penclic 3-Scroll Ambidextrous Wireless Mouse – Black

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I know the mouse isn’t the most interesting piece of technology to write about – they haven’t changed much over the past few decades. But as you can see in the video above, the Penclic R3 is really a creative design, put into a travel kit that’s small, light, and very ergonomic.

penclic r3 wireless mouse

The Penclic connects to your laptop with through a wireless USB dongle connection, has a battery life of about a month, and gives you precision hard to find in a traditional mouse. Getting used to the Penclic though will take some time but of all the ergonomic designs I’ve tried, this comes closest to real comfort in a size that’s actually practical for frequent travelers.

How To Track Steps Using Your iPhone (Hint: It’s A Built-In Feature)

lisbon 25 de abril

Many of you want to track the number of steps you’ve taken during the day or know the distance you’ve covered sightseeing. Activity trackers like Fitbit are good options, but if you’re an iPhone user mainly interested in tracking distance and steps, this functionality is already built-in your phone.

fitbit charge 2 Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband

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All you need to do is activate the feature from Apple’s Health app and remember to keep your phone on you at all times. Here’s how to do the first part, the second part I’m guessing you started a long time ago.

Dust Off Health

It’s easy to ignore the Health app, which has been a part of iOS since version 8.0. Trust me, it’s there, because Apple doesn’t let you delete it – but unlike a number of fairly useless apps Cupertino forces on you, Health, although clumsy, is a convenient way to track your daily movements.

  • In case you can’t find it, ask Siri to “open Health” or swipe down from any screen to search for Health.

Once you’re in the Health app, if it’s your first time using it, you’ll be asked to either enter (or skip) your medical data and emergency contacts. After you’ve completed or ignored those steps, you’ll see the Heatlh Data screen shown below.

ios health data

Tracking Activity

Tap Health Data, then Fitness > Walking + Running Distance. Next, toggle on Show On Dashboard, and go back to the Health Data screen. From there, in about 24 hours after your phone has had a chance to collect some data, you should see a graph of how many steps you’ve taken, flights of stairs you’ve climbed, and the overall distance covered.

ios walking steps

There’s no need for any additional equipment except the phone of course, it can’t track how much you’re walking if it’s not in your pocket. iOS also has a list of recommended apps, which can expand your fitness tracking ability, but for simple sightseeing step counting, Health is a handy tool.

With some data on how much you’re walking, you can better calculate how many calories you burned sightseeing, and potentially encourage yourself to 10,000 daily steps, even at the airport.

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My Favorite Places To Smoke Shisha (Nargile) Around The World

cario egypt shisha nargile

The art of smoking shisha (or nargile as it’s also commonly called) isn’t so much about exhaling plumes of flavored smoke from your lungs as it is for cultivating conversation, reflection, and relaxation in many parts of the world. Originating in India or Persia around the 1600s, shisha cafes are now a regular sight around the world, many with their own characters.

Having stumbled into more than a few shisha bars as I travel, many often leave an impression on me as I jot down my thoughts about a town, chat with locals, or take in a few cloudy breaths at the end of an interesting day. These are some of my favorite shisha cafes from around the world, welcoming and perfect for a unique experience of your own.

Arabesque Cafe In Cairo, Egypt

Aptly named, Arabesque‘s yellow walls are an oasis of calm a few minutes walk away from Tahrir Square, the heart of Cairo’s Arab Spring. Several months after Egypt’s revolution, I looked up from my laptop (Arabesque has free wifi) to see a large crowd chanting slogans and marching toward the American embassy. Nobody in Arabesque took more than a glance as we all continued to smoke as hundreds of angry protestors marched past a few meters away.

arabesque cafe cairo egypt

Mesale In Istanbul, Turkey

Open 24 hours hours a day, with live music in the evenings along with excellent food, Mesale is nearly always full of interesting locals and tourists alike. Mesale isn’t hard to spot if you’re visiting the historic Sultanahmet neighborhood of Istanbul, just follow the sweet scent of light, fruity, tobacco smoke to the left of the Blue Mosque. (You’ll also want to keep an eye out for a colorful waiter who likes to pretend he’s going to spill a tray of hot coffee on unsuspecting tourists for a laugh.)

mesale cafe istanbul turkey

Shisha Cafe In Sulaymaniyah, Iraq

The city of Sulaymaniyah in northern Iraq has a bizarrely strong Chinese influence, plentiful liquor stores, and this massive two story shisha cafe is the center of it all. The service is great and after a while the groups sitting at neighboring tables tend to mingle and mix. As the evenings go on at the shisha lounge the entire cafe becomes a large conversation you can join as you desire.

sulaymaniyah iraq shisha nargile

Annette In Sofia, Bulgaria

Primarily a Moroccan restaurant, Annette has probably the best shisha in Sofia. The hookahs last for hours, going well with the tasty appetizers offered here. Bulgaria has some of the fastest Internet speeds in the world so if you’re looking for a good spot to get online while enjoying apple, mint, or other flavors of tobacco, make sure Annette is in your Sofia plans.

sofia bulgaria vitosha parking

Babylon Shisha Lounge in Lubeck, Germany

Ironically, Babylon Shisha Lounge is a breath of fresh air in a town that’s a bit stiff. Babylon is cramped, which means you’ll have to arrive early in the evenings to be assured a place to sit – or closer to midnight when the thoroughly pre-gamed crowds head out to dance the alcohol off. There is free wireless at Babylon (not always a given in Western European cafes) where you should plan to watch at least one German national soccer game if you can.

Mhirsi Cafe Alta In Tunis, Tunisia

I’m fairly certain Mhirsi Cafe Alta isn’t the right name of this den cut into a stone wall, slyly positioned in a busy intersection of Tunis’ medina ideal for people watching. Around this area, you’ll find many of Tunis’ most popular travel attractions making Mhirisi Cafe Alta a good location to rest and chat with locals.

Mhirsi Cafe Alta Tunis Tunisia

There are quite a few places I didn’t add to this list but could have – like Address Restaurant And Cafe Bar in Fethiye, Turkey – plus a number of others not big or official enough to have a proper name. All though, with intangible qualities making them worth a visit, even if you’re only in it for the tea.

For those of you who enjoy a good nargile, what are some of your favorites places? Let me know your recommendations in the comments below!

Could A Meal Replacement Drink Be The Ultimate Travel Snack? I Tried It For A Week To Find Out

ambronite drink

Eating is one of the most pleasurable, enlightening ways to experience a culture when traveling. Snacking on the road however usually consists of a forced choice between junk and crap due to a lack of healthy (or tasty) options between point origin and destination. Meal replacement drinks have grown in popularity over the last few years so I was especially intrigued when I was contacted by Ambronite.

Started by 5 Finns through a successful Indigogo campaign, I decided to try Ambronite to see if it might be an ideal body hack travelers can use during long layovers.

Starts As A Powder

Ambronite is delivered in a small box of either five or ten sealed powered packets meant to be mixed with cold water, ready to consume within a few minutes. Made completely from natural foods that are blended down, Ambronite is designed to meet the nutritional requirements of a balanced meal.

You can see the entire ingredient list here. Ambronite is gluten-free, has no added sugar, and is vegan.

Function Over Flavor

Despite all of its practical benefits, Ambronite has a gritty texture with a taste something similar to a hemp bar. You’re not going to ditch eating vegetarian food in Turkey if you’re got the time or opportunity; but when you’re stuck at a train station, Ambronite could be a wonderful solution for travelers. Ambronite is filling enough that after you’re done drinking it you instantly know traveler’s constipation isn’t going to be an issue you’ll be facing.

ambronite nutrition

The problem is both the taste and the fact that Ambronite isn’t very easy to mix without a blender. Using the shaker that’s included in the 10-pack Ambronite box you often end up with mix where a stubborn 10% of the stuff clumps. I found Ambronite’s earthy flavor could be greatly enhanced by blending berries with it using soy milk – though a blender’s not exactly a carry-on item.

What You Gain In Taste You Lose In Portability

The more palatable you make Ambronite the less portable it becomes, since you really need a blender to smooth out the drink as well as the flavor. Ambronite isn’t terrible (although I might have made it seem so) but it’s not something you’re going to reach for at home to satisfy a craving next time your stomach grumbles.


Yet if you travel frequently and are tired of having to compromise your health by eating soggy week-old bus station sandwiches, a few packs of Ambronite is worth packing in your carry-on luggage. Sealed in powder form, Ambronite will pass through airport security without issue. According to the company, unopened Ambronite stays fresh for up to 6 months; an opened pack is good to eat for 2 weeks.

Given the price of around $80 for 10 packets Ambronite is an effective 500 calories tool to fill in those gaps between destinations when you want to satisfy your hunger – and would rather drink something with a little less taste but a hell of a lot healthier than what you can find at most airports.

Ambronite also offers free samples with shipping worldwide. If you’re curious, you can request a free pack of Ambronite here and let me know what you think in the comments below.


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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