The Negative Impact of Tourism on the Environment in Zanzibar

The Negative Impact of Tourism on the Environment in Zanzibar

As you proudly snap your latest selfie against the backdrop of Zanzibar’s idyllic beaches, it’s hard not to marvel at how your single presence is part of a larger wave that’s slowly eroding the island’s pristine charm.

You’re not alone in your quest for the perfect tropical paradise; in fact, you’re among a growing number of visitors who, perhaps unwittingly, contribute to environmental pressures that the island struggles to withstand.

From the suffocating coral reefs, gasping for relief from the sunscreen-laden waters, to the piles of waste that play hide and seek with the tide, Zanzibar’s environment is paying the price for its popularity.

You might wonder how the crystal-clear waters are becoming clouded with consequences and what that means for the future of this once-untouched haven.

Stick with this conversation to peel back the layers of this complex issue and uncover what could be done to ensure that the island doesn’t become a victim of its own allure.

Overcrowding and Environmental Stress

The surge in tourism has led to overcrowding in Zanzibar, putting significant strain on the island’s delicate environmental resources. You’ve seen the pristine beaches in brochures, but now they’re swamped with visitors.

The influx of tourists isn’t just about busy beaches; it’s straining local water supplies and generating waste that the island’s infrastructure can’t keep up with.

You’re likely aware of the coral reefs and marine life that draw scuba enthusiasts from around the world. Yet, as you explore the underwater wonders, remember that increased boat traffic and physical damage from visitors are threatening these fragile ecosystems.

It’s not just an ecological concern; it’s also about preserving the very attractions that you’re there to enjoy.

Coral Reefs at Risk

Zanzibar’s coral reefs, a magnet for divers worldwide, are under threat as tourism escalates beyond the island’s capacity to safeguard its submerged treasures.

You’ve likely heard of their vibrant marine life and stunning underwater landscapes, which draw thousands to Zanzibar’s shores. But as visitor numbers surge, the reefs face mounting pressures. Anchors from boats, careless snorkeling, and diving practices damage fragile corals. Sunscreens with harmful chemicals wash off into the sea, causing further harm.

It’s not just about losing a picturesque spot for underwater selfies; it’s about the biodiversity that relies on these reefs for survival. You’re witnessing a delicate ecosystem in peril, struggling against the tide of tourism’s unintended consequences.

It’s a wake-up call to act before these natural wonders are irreparably damaged.

Waste Management Challenges

Waste Management Challenges

Amid the allure of Zanzibar’s tourist spots, waste management has become a critical challenge, with litter and pollution threatening the island’s environmental health.

You’ll find that as tourism flourishes, the influx of visitors inevitably leads to an increase in waste, much of which isn’t properly dealt with. The island’s infrastructure struggles to keep up with the sheer volume of trash generated, and recycling facilities are scarce.

You must understand that when waste isn’t disposed of correctly, it ends up contaminating soil and water bodies, harming marine life, and detracting from the natural beauty tourists come to see. It’s essential to recognize the urgent need for sustainable waste management practices to protect Zanzibar’s fragile ecosystems and ensure the long-term viability of its tourism industry.

Water Resource Depletion

As tourists flock in droves to Zanzibar’s idyllic shores, the island’s freshwater resources are being rapidly depleted, posing a serious threat to both local communities and the surrounding ecosystems.

You’re likely unaware that the luxurious pools, lush hotel gardens, and even the simple act of laundering your towels demand vast amounts of water in a region where it’s scarce. This overconsumption strains the supply, leaving less for residents’ daily needs such as cooking, cleaning, and drinking.

Moreover, groundwater levels are dropping as demand outstrips natural replenishment. This can lead to saltwater intrusion, further contaminating the precious reserves.

You’ve got a role to play in this: by using water judiciously during your stay, you can help alleviate the strain on Zanzibar’s fragile water resources.

plastic polution on zanzibar's beaches
Plastic pollution on zanzibar’s beaches

Threats to Wildlife and Habitats

While you consider the water you use, it’s also crucial to recognize how tourism affects the island’s wildlife and their natural habitats.

The influx of visitors leads to habitat fragmentation as resorts and infrastructure expand into once untouched areas. You’ll find that noise pollution and human interference disrupt the natural behaviors of animals, sometimes resulting in decreased reproductive rates.

Furthermore, the waste generated by tourist activities often ends up polluting the land and sea, threatening the delicate ecosystems that Zanzibar’s species rely on.

You must understand that activities such as snorkeling and boating, while seemingly harmless, can stress marine life and damage coral reefs. It’s vital to balance the economic benefits of tourism with the need to preserve Zanzibar’s unique biodiversity.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Has the Local Government in Zanzibar Responded to the Environmental Challenges Posed by Tourism?

You’re asking how Zanzibar’s government has tackled environmental issues from tourism.

They’ve implemented regulations, promoted eco-friendly practices, and invested in sustainable infrastructure to mitigate the industry’s ecological footprint.

Are There Any Sustainable Tourism Initiatives in Place to Mitigate the Negative Environmental Impacts in Zanzibar?

Yes, you’ll find sustainable tourism initiatives in Zanzibar. There are eco-resorts and community projects aimed at preserving the island’s natural beauty while still welcoming visitors. These initiatives are making a positive difference.

You’ll find that Zanzibar’s environmental issues mirror those of many island destinations. Overcrowding, pollution, and habitat loss are common problems due to the high influx of tourists.

Zanzibar, like other islands, struggles with overcrowding. The constant stream of tourists can put a strain on the island’s resources and infrastructure. This can lead to increased pollution as waste management systems are overwhelmed and unable to handle the volume of garbage and sewage produced.

In addition to overcrowding and pollution, habitat loss is another significant issue in Zanzibar. The development of hotels, resorts, and other tourist infrastructure often requires clearing land and destroying natural habitats. This can have detrimental effects on the island’s unique wildlife and biodiversity.

What Role Do Tourists Themselves Play in Exacerbating or Alleviating the Environmental Problems in Zanzibar?

You can exacerbate Zanzibar’s environmental issues through careless behavior.

You can help alleviate them by being eco-conscious.

For example, you can use less plastic and support sustainable tourism practices while visiting the island.

How Has the Perception of Tourists Towards Zanzibar Changed Due to the Increasing Awareness of Its Environmental Issues?

You’ve become more mindful of your travel footprint. You are choosing sustainable options and supporting local conservation efforts in Zanzibar as awareness of its environmental challenges grows.


You’ve seen how tourism’s footprint can scar Zanzibar’s natural splendor. Overcrowded spots strain the ecosystem, putting coral reefs on the brink. Waste piles up, challenging disposal systems.

Water becomes a precious commodity as sources dwindle, and the wildlife you cherish faces shrinking habitats. It’s clear that without urgent sustainable practices, the island’s environmental health is at stake.

You’re now aware—it’s time to act responsibly to safeguard Zanzibar’s ecological future.

Everything You Need to Know About the Thailand Privilege Visa

Benefits and Privileges - stray in thailand long term

Imagine you’ve just unlocked the door to a hidden tropical garden, one that’s exclusive and brimming with privileges. That’s what obtaining the Thailand Privilege Visa feels like for many expatriates and long-term travelers.

As you consider making the Land of Smiles more than just a holiday destination, you’ll find this visa offers a blend of luxury and practicality that could transform your stay into an extended sojourn. You’re likely curious about the hoops you’ll need to jump through, the benefits that await, and whether the investment aligns with your lifestyle.

While the initial glance might reveal a straightforward path, there’s a tapestry of nuances to consider that could impact your decision. Stay with me as we unpack the layers that will help clarify if this golden ticket to Thailand’s serene beaches, vibrant culture, and bustling cities is the right fit for you.

Overview of the Program

The Thailand Privilege Visa, often referred to as the ‘Elite Visa,’ is a long-term visa program designed to offer you a range of benefits and hassle-free entry into Thailand. It’s tailored for affluent travelers who wish to stay in Thailand for extended periods of time.

With this visa, you’re looking at a myriad of privileges, such as expedited immigration procedures, complimentary airport transfers, and access to exclusive lounges. You’ll enjoy the ease of a renewable visa, granting stays from five to twenty years, depending on the package you choose.

Plus, there’s no need to worry about annual visa runs. It’s a straightforward route to immerse yourself in Thailand’s culture and lifestyle without the usual red tape. Consider it your VIP pass to the Land of Smiles.

Eligibility and Requirements

Now that you’re acquainted with the perks of the Thailand Privilege Visa, let’s ensure you meet the necessary eligibility criteria and understand the application requirements.

Firstly, you don’t need to be from a specific country, as this program is open to all nationalities. However, you must possess a valid passport and be able to prove you’re financially stable enough to support your stay in Thailand.

You’ll also need to clear a background check, showing no criminal record. It’s essential to have a clean bill of health, so a medical certificate is required.

Lastly, you’ll have to pay the membership fee, which varies based on the chosen package. Remember, the Thailand Privilege Visa is a long-term commitment, so make sure it aligns with your lifestyle and plans.

Application Process Explained

Are you ready to take the next step? Here’s how to navigate the application process for the Thailand Privilege Visa.

First, you’ll need to complete the online application form on the Thailand Privilege Card Company’s (TPC) website. Ensure you’ve got all the necessary documents handy, including your passport and proof of financial means.

After submitting, you’ll receive an acknowledgment email with a reference number.

You’ll then need to transfer the membership fee as per the selected program. Upon confirmation of payment, TPC will conduct a background check, which can take up to four weeks.

If approved, you’ll receive an approval letter, and your visa will be ready for collection at your specified Thai embassy or consulate. Remember, accuracy is key to avoiding delays, so double-check everything!

Everything You Need to Know About the Thailand Privilege Visa

Benefits and Privileges

Embarking on your Thai journey, you’ll discover a suite of benefits and privileges that elevate your living experience beyond the ordinary.

The Thailand Privilege Visa, often known as the ‘Elite Visa,’ affords you long-term residency, ranging from five to twenty years. You won’t have to worry about frequent visa renewals, and airport services include expedited immigration and passport control processes, ensuring a smooth arrival and departure.

You’ll also enjoy complimentary limousine transfers from airports to your residence or hotel, making travel hassle-free. Additionally, you’ll have access to exclusive discounts at golf courses, spas, hotels, and restaurants across Thailand.

The visa entitles you to a dedicated concierge to assist with government agency interactions, including 90-day reporting, driver’s license applications, and bank account openings.

Renewal and Cancellation Policies

While the Thailand Privilege Visa offers a wealth of benefits, it’s important to understand its renewal and cancellation policies to maintain your residency status without interruption.

Prior to your visa’s expiration, you’ll receive a renewal notice. Act promptly, as renewing before the expiration date ensures continuous legal status. Failure to renew on time can result in cancellations and possibly affect future applications.

If you wish to cancel your visa, notify the Thailand Privilege Card Company directly. Keep in mind that cancellations can have repercussions, potentially including the forfeiture of membership fees. It’s essential to consider these consequences carefully.

Should your circumstances change and you no longer meet the visa requirements, the authorities may also cancel your visa. Always stay informed and compliant to protect your residency privileges.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does the Thailand Privilege Visa Affect My Tax Status in Thailand?

Your tax status in Thailand isn’t directly affected by the Thailand Privilege Visa. It’s determined by your residency status and the income you earn within Thailand, not the type of visa you hold.

Can Family Members Also Receive the Thailand Privilege Visa, and if So, What Are the Specific Conditions?

Yes, your family members can also get the Thailand Privilege Visa.

They’ll need to meet certain conditions, like proving a relationship to you and possibly paying additional fees for their own visas.

Are There Any Restrictions on Purchasing Property in Thailand for Thailand Privilege Visa Holders?

You’ll face restrictions buying property in Thailand, as the privilege visa doesn’t grant you special rights.

You’re limited to condos, and only if foreign ownership doesn’t exceed 49% of the building.

How Does the Thailand Privilege Visa Impact My Ability to Work or Start a Business in Thailand?

The Thailand Privilege Visa doesn’t grant you automatic work rights; you’ll need a work permit.

Starting a business is possible, but you must comply with Thai laws and investment requirements.

In the Case of Political Instability or Changes in Immigration Law, What Protections Are in Place for Thailand Privilege Visa Holders?

In case of political turmoil or legal shifts, you’d likely face uncertainty, as your visa’s stability hinges on current laws and government discretion. There are limited protections against such high-level changes.


Now that you’re clued up on the Thailand Privilege Visa, you can enjoy its perks with ease. Just make sure you meet the criteria, follow the application steps, and stay aware of renewal and cancellation terms.

It’s your ticket to a hassle-free, extended stay in the Land of Smiles. Get ready to immerse yourself in Thai culture with the comfort and convenience this program offers.

Happy travels!


Unearthing Hidden Wonders of French Riviera: An Ultimate Guide

French Riviera

Welcome to the ultimate guide to exploring the concealed treasures of the French Riviera, or Côte d’Azur, as it’s fondly known.

This dazzling destination, nestled in the southeastern corner of France, is not only a playground for the rich and famous but also a haven for those seeking cultural richness, architectural marvels, breathtaking landscapes, and culinary delights. Let’s embark on this enchanting journey, uncovering the hidden gems of the French Riviera.

1. Introduction to the French Riviera

The French Riviera, or the Côte d’Azur, is famed for its sparkling blue waters, golden beaches, and vibrant cities. This Mediterranean coastline stretches from the Italian border to the quaint commune of Cassis in the west. Over the years, its charm has attracted everyone – from artists, writers, filmmakers, to celebrities, making it a prized gem of France.

2. Best Time to Visit

Enclosed by hills in the west and the Mercantour Alps in the northwest, the French Riviera enjoys a pleasant Mediterranean climate all year round. Boasting nearly 300 days of sunshine a year, there’s no such thing as a wrong time to visit the area. However, if you prefer to avoid the bustling crowds, the shoulder months of May, June, and September are perfect. For beach lovers, July and August bring peak beach weather.

3. Getting to the French Riviera

Reaching the French Riviera is a breeze, thanks to the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, the second busiest international airport in the country. Furthermore, the Riviera’s towns and cities are well-connected by high-speed (TGV) trains and regional rail services, making it easily accessible from various parts of Europe.

4. Beaches of the French Riviera

The French Riviera is home to over 100 kilometers of coastline, offering a plethora of beach options to choose from. Some notable ones include Plage de Pampelonne, known to attract A-listers, Garoupe beach for snorkeling enthusiasts, and Almanarre beach for kite surfing. For those who prefer quieter spots, Plage de l’Escalet in Saint Tropez and Plage Petite Afrique in Beaulieu-sur-Mer are perfect choices.

5. Artistic Masterpieces

The French Riviera has been a muse for many artists like Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, and Van Gogh. Visit the Musée Picasso in Antibes, where Picasso himself lived in 1946, or explore the extensive collection of Matisse’s work in the Musée Matisse in Nice. For the lovers of opulence, the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, built in the early 20th century, houses an extensive collection of art and antiques.

6. Hiking Trails

The French Riviera is not just about beaches and art; it also offers picturesque hiking trails. Mercantour National Park, the Préalpes d’Azur Regional Natural Park, the Var Valley, and the Vésubie Valley are a few places where you can enjoy a hike amidst nature. If you’re not into hiking, you can try other outdoor activities like horse riding, mountain biking, or canyoning.

7. Vineyards & Wineries

The French Riviera might not be as renowned as Bordeaux for its wines, but the region does boast vineyards producing exquisite reds, whites, and rosés. Some renowned wineries you can visit are Château de Brégançon, Château Paquette, and Clos des Roses Vineyard.

8. Island Hopping

The coast of the French Riviera is dotted with various islands, perfect for a peaceful getaway from the bustling crowds. Iles de Lerins, a group of four islands just a 15-minute ride from Cannes, and Îles d’Hyères are worth a visit. These islands offer serene beaches, walking trails, and secluded coves for picnicking and swimming.

9. Culinary Delights

The cuisine of the French Riviera is a delightful fusion of Mediterranean, Provençal, and Italian culinary traditions. Seafood is a staple, along with a variety of other dishes made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Some local delicacies you must try include ratatouille, fougasse, bouillabaisse, pissaladière, and socca.

10. Excursions to Hidden Gems

While known cities and towns of the French Riviera have their own charm, the real treasures lie beyond these bustling locales. Towns like Vence, Tourrettes-Sur-Loup, and Gourdon offer a quintessential French experience with their medieval architecture, charming squares, and stunning views. Don’t miss the serene beaches of Cavalaire-Sur-Mer and Paloma in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, or the vibrant, colorful buildings of Menton.

The French Riviera, with its myriad offerings, is sure to leave you spellbound. Whether you’re seeking tranquility, adventure, cultural immersion, or culinary indulgence, this Mediterranean gem has something for everyone. It’s time to pack your bags and set off on an unforgettable journey to explore the hidden wonders of the French Riviera.

Biden Vows to Rebuild Hawaī “No Matter the Cost” After Devastating Wildfires

Biden Vows to Rebuild Hawaī

President Joe Biden visited the fire-ravaged island of Maui this week, surveying the immense damage firsthand. He pledged federal support to rebuild destroyed communities, despite skyrocketing costs. With over 800 still missing and massive infrastructure losses, Hawaī faces profound challenges from this tragedy.

Biden called the devastation “overwhelming” during remarks on Monday. Yet he emphasized the “remarkable resilience” of Hawaīians, promising the country stands behind them. Federal aid has already been dispatched for emergency housing and supplies.

Criticism Mounts Over Disaster Response

While Biden focused on recovery efforts, anger continues to swell over perceived failings in the initial fire response. Hawaīian media decried authorities’ over-reliance on confusing social media instead of emergency sirens or broadcasts.

Locals also expressed frustration regarding federal disaster relief applications. Many lost identifying documents in the blaze, preventing access to support programs precisely when they need it most.

Officials maintain they are working diligently to streamline aid and rectify past mistakes. But systemic emergency response issues clearly need addressing to avoid similar outcomes down the road.

The Long Road Ahead

Rebuilding essential infrastructure and temporary housing will likely take months or even years. With thousands displaced from their homes, both short and long-term shelter solutions are desperately needed.

Environmental rehabilitation will be required as well to stabilize landscapes stripped bare by the sweeping fires. And Hawaī’s travel economy faces losses from destruction in popular tourist towns like Lahaina.

While the path forward is daunting, Hawaī has a track record of resilience amid adversity. Their culture’s foundations of community and tradition will steady the islands through recovery. With patience and collective effort, Hawaī will once more rise stronger than before.

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Top 10 Travel Destinations to Explore in 2023

Top 10 Travel Destinations

The world is slowly opening up again, and it’s time to start dreaming about your next adventure.

Whether you’re a foodie, a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or a beach lover, there is something for everyone in our list of the top 10 travel destinations to explore in 2023.

From quiet beach escapes to bustling city adventures, here are the places to tick off your travel list in 2023.

Alexandria, Virginia: A City Rich in Culture

Virginia’s Alexandria is a city that effortlessly combines history, culture, and modernity. Its cobblestone streets, proximity to the vineyards of northern Virginia, and its effort to confront its own history make it a must-visit destination.

New exhibitions at the Freedom House Museum honor the enslaved people who were forcibly brought here. The African American Heritage Trail, which opened in 2020, follows the Potomac River and traces nearly 200 years of history.

Stay at the elegant Morrison House Old Town Alexandria, Autograph Collection, which was recently voted one of the best city hotels in the continental U.S. in T+L’s 2022 World’s Best Awards.

Cairo and the Nile: A Journey into the Past

Egypt’s capital, Cairo, and the Nile offer a journey back in time. After more than a decade of construction, the Grand Egyptian Museum is set to finally open its doors in 2023.

Luxurious new ships like the Viking Osiris and the opulent Sphinx from Uniworld Boutique River Cruises have started sailing the Nile. A refresh of the hotel scene is also underway with the arrival of the Mandarin Oriental in Cairo in 2024.

Nevada’s “City”: An Artistic Wonder

City, a monumental open-air sculpture in Nevada, is a testament to the power of art. Made from dirt, rock, and concrete, this awe-inspiring installation is the single largest contemporary artwork in the world.

The sculpture is set within the 704,000-acre Basin and Range National Monument, created in 2015. This remote preserve offers endless opportunities for hiking, climbing, camping, and cycling.

Havana, Cuba: A Blend of Old and New

Despite the ever-changing travel restrictions, Cuba’s capital, Havana, remains a popular destination. The city is a blend of old-world charm and modern progressiveness, and a testament to the resilience and creativity of its people.

The city’s vibrant streets are filled with music, color, and life. For those ready to take to the vibrant streets of Havana, a visa is required but can be handled on the day of travel at the airport check-in desk or from a tour provider.

Tangier, Morocco: A Bohemian Paradise

Morocco’s northern city, Tangier, is a bohemian paradise. Its rich history and vibrant culture have attracted artists, writers, and free spirits for decades.

Newcomers to the city include the Museum of Contemporary Art, housed in the renovated 17th-century Kasbah prison, and the Fairmont Tazi Palace Tangier, set on a refurbished century-old estate near the old city.

Lakes Region, Turkey: A Natural Wonder

Turkey’s Lakes Region is an unspoiled natural wonder. The region’s tectonic lakes, created by ancient earthquakes, and its many ancient Greek and Roman archaeological sites make it a must-visit destination for nature and history lovers.

Staying at cozy places like Eskiciler Konaği, a renovated century-old mansion near Lake Eğirdir, or Aliya Konak, a seasonal farm stay on a working lavender operation in Isparta, will make your visit even more memorable.

The United Kingdom: A Blend of History and Modernity

The United Kingdom is a blend of history, culture, and modernity. From historic cities to beautiful countryside, the UK offers a wide range of experiences for every type of traveler.

Scotland’s first rewilding center, Dundreggan, plans to open a visitor’s center by the end of 2023. Meanwhile, the new Two Toms Trail in Lancashire covers 25 miles and features some of England’s most stunning scenery.

Venice, Italy: A Timeless Beauty

Venice, Italy, is a city of timeless beauty. Its canals, bridges, and grand architecture make it one of the most romantic cities in the world.

The city made headlines in 2022 for its day-trip entrance fee, which takes effect in January 2023. But with attractions like the Venice Architecture Biennale running from May 20, 2023, to Nov. 26, 2023, and the Procuratie Vecchie, a 16th-century building along St. Mark’s Square, Venice offers plenty of reasons for a longer stay.

Mallorca, Spain: A Mediterranean Paradise

Mallorca, Spain, is a Mediterranean paradise. Its beautiful beaches, charming towns, and vibrant food and wine scene make it a perfect destination for a relaxing vacation.

The island has seen a surge of development recently, with new arrivals rediscovering local chefs like Santi Taura and the pleasures of strolling the cobbled streets of Valldemossa. If you’re looking to stay out of the hubbub of Palma, make Castell Son Claret your home base.

Cairo, Egypt, and the Nile: A Journey Back in Time

Egypt’s capital, Cairo, and the Nile offer a journey into the past. The Grand Egyptian Museum, set to finally open its doors in 2023, is a must-see attraction.

Luxurious new ships like the Viking Osiris and the opulent Sphinx from Uniworld Boutique River Cruises have started sailing the Nile. A refresh of the hotel scene is also underway with the arrival of the Mandarin Oriental in Cairo in 2024.

Whether you’re in the mood for a beach escape, a city adventure, or a trip back in time, 2023 has something for every traveler. So start planning, pack your bags, and get ready to explore the world!

Hawaïian Wildfires Leave Over 1,100 Missing and 115 Dead

Hawaïian Wildfires

The island of Maui in the Hawaïian archipelago has been devastated by catastrophic wildfires. Over 115 people have been confirmed dead so far, but many more remain unaccounted for.

The FBI has compiled a list of missing persons topping 1,100. This staggering number may continue to grow as efforts to consolidate various registries persist. With thousands displaced and entire neighborhoods razed, locating all missing persons is proving extremely difficult.

The coastal town of Lahaina, once home to 12,000, was practically wiped off the map. My heart goes out to the victims’ loved ones, many frantically searching for answers. This unimaginable loss leaves deep scars on the Hawaïian community.

Authorities estimate over 85% of the burn area has been searched by rescue crews and cadaver dogs. Yet only 27 of the deceased have been formally identified thus far. Severe burns make visual recognition near impossible, underscoring the importance of DNA samples.

A Long Road to Recovery

The Hawaïian islands now face profound challenges in the wake of this tragedy. Rebuilding essential infrastructure in Lahaina and across Maui will likely take months, if not years. With thousands displaced from their homes, both temporary housing and permanent solutions must be established.

Medical facilities require expansion to handle severe burn victims and others injured in the fires. Mental health resources are desperately needed as well, to help survivors process immense grief and trauma.

Environmental damage from the fires will also take time to assess. Wildlife conservation areas may need rehabilitation. And risks of flash flooding and mudslides tend to increase after wildfires strip the landscape.

Hawaïians have a long, arduous healing process ahead. But their resilience and aloha spirit gives me hope they will persevere. The islands have weathered nature’s wrath before, from volcanic eruptions to tsunamis. With time and community support, Lahaina too will rise from the ashes.

Lingering Questions Around Emergency Response

While resilience now takes center stage, serious concerns linger regarding the emergency response (or lack thereof) when the wildfires initially struck Lahaina.

  • Why were no evacuation alerts issued via siren warnings or emergency broadcasts?
  • What communication breakdowns allowed the fire to spread uncontrolled before residents had time to flee?
  • Did insufficient vegetation management and brush clearing enable the rapid growth of the blaze?

Public outrage recently forced the resignation of Maui’s emergency management chief. Yet larger systemic issues likely contributed to the failed response. Unless addressed, mistakes are bound to be repeated whenever the next disaster strikes Hawaī.

The Road to Rebuilding Begins

The challenges facing Hawaī may seem insurmountable. But the islands have a long history of overcoming adversity through community strength. While deep wounds from this tragedy will take time to fully heal, the road to rebuilding Lahaina has already begun.

With thousands still missing, the search for victims continues. Supporting grieving families and identifying the deceased remains a priority. Environmental rehabilitation and infrastructure reconstruction will soon follow.

It won’t be easy. But Hawaīans have proven time and again that their spirit cannot be broken. Guided by lessons learned, they will come back stronger than ever. The world stands ready to assist the islands on their road to recovery.

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Our best travel tips for 2023!

our travel tips for 2023

As we approach the year 2023, avid travelers are already planning their travel adventures. While you may not have a clear idea of where you want to go, you can use these travel tips to help you narrow your choices.

First, take a look at current travel trends. Look at Instagram Influencers or Google Destination Insights to find out which destinations are currently popular. Also, consider special events that may be taking place in a particular location.

travel tips for 2023

The number of small ship cruises and European river cruises are expected to rise.

These cruises are popular with budget-conscious travelers. Plus, their all-inclusive nature makes them affordable. The next time you travel, consider taking a cruise instead of a flight. Compared to flying, cruises are cheaper. Here are a few travel tips for 2023: Make sure to plan ahead. You can save up a lot of money by booking your travel early.

Another good travel tip for 2023 is to keep an eye on your bucket list.

A bucket list represents the experiences you want to have. Having a list of experiences will help you prioritize which travel destinations are worth the effort. For example, a bucket list may include a trip to Queenstown, New Zealand. The city is known as the adventure capital of the world, but it’s also a great place to relax and enjoy great food and wine.

Another way to save money on travel is to cut back on expenses elsewhere. Most travelers prioritize traveling, so they don’t spend much on other expenses. But if you want to travel more frequently, consider reducing other expenses. In Latin America and Southeast Asia, for example, you can find many cheap places to visit and make the most of your trip. If you’re on a budget, it’s still possible to have a fun holiday.

If you’re a marketer in the tourism and hospitality industries, you may want to pay attention to the top travel trends of 2023.

These trends are expected to shape our travel habits in the years to come. Fortunately, you can use these trends to your advantage. Keep up with these trends and you’ll be well-positioned to meet the demands of travelers in the year 2023.

First, book early. Early booking allows you to take advantage of the best deals, award space, and hotel availability. Additionally, it makes it easier to plan your trip, request time off from work, and lock in your travel dates. The last thing you need is to leave your flight or hotel reservations for last minute changes. Remember, this is a risky strategy and can cost you your vacation. If you wait until the last minute, you could end up paying more than you can afford.

Next, travelers will be embracing more experiential travel.

While standard international travel destinations are still popular, younger generations are looking for new and unique locations. As a result, escorted tours, customized trips, and experiential travel are increasing. Traveling with a trusted travel advisor can help you realize your dream vacation. They can even provide you with some helpful travel tips. The following travel tips are just some of the travel trends you should be aware of in 2023.

Sustainable tourism is an increasingly popular trend. It involves taking into account the environmental and social impacts of travel. In fact, over 80% of travelers plan to stay in eco-friendly accommodations in 2022. This is a great way to promote a sustainable destination. Marketing efforts should promote this as a selling point in the year 2023. The next time you are planning your next holiday, make sure to make sure it’s sustainable.

Magic Edinburgh in the footsteps of Harry Potter

The Scottish capital, where the author of the Harry Potter saga still lives, is the real home of the little wizard. Even if Rowling says he imagined him on a late train between Manchester and London, Edinburgh is full of places that inspired him from near and far. She has never confirmed direct links between real and fictional locations, but she has always said that she drew her inspiration from her surroundings.

Getting lost in the closes of the Royal Mile and seeing Rowling’s handprints

In the courtyard of Edinburgh City Hall on the Royal Mile, opposite St. Giles Cathedral, take a look at a walled garden and see where it leads. Whether it’s a quiet little square, a busy street, or an endless staircase, it’s the element of surprise that gives Edinburgh’s Old Town that supernatural air. On the sides of the City Hall courtyard, look at the pavements and look for the handprints of J. K. Rowling, honored by the City of Edinburgh in 2008, alongside those of Ian Rankin, another famous Edinburgh writer.

Writing the first pages of the saga in a cafe

Perhaps the place most readily associated with the beginnings of the Harry Potter adventure is The Elephant House Café on George IV Bridge. With a sign indicating that this is the ‘birthplace of Harry Potter’, no wonder the establishment is so popular. It’s easy to see why a young author might make it her home to write: the pastries and tea are excellent and cheap, and the view of George Heriot’s School is breathtaking. The architecture looks familiar? This very chic private school, which in the 17th century housed orphaned students, may indeed remind one of Hogwarts. The students are divided into four houses, just like in Harry Potter.

Not far away, on Nicolson Street, Rowling used to go to another café: it’s now a restaurant called Spoon, but you can always go upstairs for a cup of tea.

Going to Voldemort’s Tomb

Many stories, each one more chilling than the last, come from the Greyfriars cemetery. It is also on the graves of this cemetery that we can find familiar names of fans of the Potter universe, such as McGonagall, Scrymgeour, and above all, a certain Thomas Riddell… who echoes the name of the Dark Lord himself, Tom Marvolo Riddle.

Savor the glory and success

To end your walk, head towards Princes Street, the main shopping street in the city center, and, more specifically, the Balmoral. With its clock tower, it is not only one of the most striking features of the skyline, but also one of the most beautiful hotels in Scotland. It was in room 552, now called the J. K. Rowling Suite, that the author put the finishing touches to the seven volumes of the Deathly Hallows saga. Here you can spend a night and admire the marble bust of Hermes that she signed before leaving for the modest sum of £1,500.

China: 5 cities you absolutely need to visit!

Would you like to spend your next holiday in China?

You may have no idea about the most prestigious cities in China. To help you, we offer you a circuit that goes straight to the point. Here is a selection of five of the most popular destinations in China. Discover them by reading this article!

Explore Shanghai

It is the largest city in China and probably the most economical. The beauty of Shanghai lies in its atmosphere that combines a colonial past with ultra-modernity. A visit to Shanghai allows you to discover some of the attractions. You can visit Porte Pan, the Museum of Sexual Culture in Ancient China.

Discover Beijing

During your stay, you can visit Beijing, the historic capital of China. It is a city steeped in history and rich in many remains. Visiting this city will be fascinating for you as it has some famous tourist sites. There is, for example, the mythical Great Wall, not to mention attractions such as the Temple of Heaven and many others. Beijing is at the top of the list of cities not to be missed.

A small stopover in Guilin

Guilin is one of the most beautiful places in China. It shelters a river bordered by beautiful mountains covered with lush vegetation. The city is considered to be one of the most magical on earth. It is a tourist city developed with top-of-the-range hotels. Guilin is easily accessible and has many attractions, such as the Elephant Trunk Hill. There is also the Reed Flute Cave, a cave superbly colored by Mother Nature, as well as Moon Hill.

A visit to Xi’an

For a complete trip to China, visit Xi’an! This city has a large number of relics of the past and exceptional sites of interest. You will have the opportunity to discover the Terracotta Army, the most famous tourist attraction in the region. Xi’an is a popular tourist destination for travelers. In addition to the Terracotta Army, you can discover the Ramparts of the old town and the Museum of the Stele Forest.

Visit Hong Kong City

During your stay in China, you must travel through Hong Kong. It is a fantastic place that is unlike any other on earth. It is one of the most important economic and financial centers in Asia. The city is a vibrant and dynamic metropolis that benefits from all the advantages of large cities. Hong Kong offers a variety of activities. If you are a shopper, in Hong Kong you will find what you are looking for. It has many shopping centers. In addition, it offers attractions such as Victoria Peak, Aberdeen Village, Repulse Bay. Visiting this city will be charming to you.

Travel to Madagascar, discover more than a country

Each year, a lot of tourists chose Madagascar as their destination for a summer holiday. If you are one of them, you are probably wondering the following things:

Did I make the right choice?

It is a question that can torment many people. I am talking about a trip, and not just any trip, a trip to Madagascar. Yes, let’s leave aside the high-profile destinations and focus a little on the essentials of travel, in other words, discovery.

Madagascar is more than just a country to discover

Indeed, Madagascar is a country that I consider to be special. A lot of people only know about it from the film. Don’t worry; there is none of this in this beautiful country of the Indian Ocean. Only fossas and lemurs exist, but there is no hippopotamus, no giraffe, and even less lion. Speaking of fauna and flora, Madagascar has a real treasure in this field.

If I only talk about baobabs and reptiles, 75% of the latter are only visible on the island. And it’s just a sample. Unfortunately, I could not mention all the Malagasy treasures here, but you have to come to see it. The real problem with a trip to Madagascar is the impracticability of the roads. Imagine 10 hours in a minibus, dying of heat with the turkeys and chickens under your seat, and that to travel a distance of less than 500 km. I can see very clearly that you expect me to reveal the secret to avoid that.

Locals’s tricks?

Some may expect me to provide them with advice to make their trip to Madagascar perfect. I’m sorry to say I’m not a miracle worker. I can only share my experience on the destination. It is important to know that in most cases, flights to Madagascar land in the capital, Antananarivo. A rather dull city, in my opinion, I wouldn’t dwell on it too much if I were you.

The streets become quite dangerous when the night begins to fall. I’m not paranoid, but I’m just telling the truth. It is where you must now make your choice unless you have well planned your trip. For my part, I was satisfied with my valuable guide and backpack and on the way to the adventure. Three choices are then available:

  • Head south and cross the RN7, a mythical national road with its so-called “dahalos” – highway bandits – that I consider to be myths to frighten the population. You should just be wary of night travel, that’s all I recommend. Landscapes that have nothing to envy from the American westerns parade along the road, passing through the Isalo Park, which is a must visit.
    Choose to head west towards Majunga, the city of flowers, the most famous seaside city on the island, but I don’t think that’s the case.
  • Otherwise, this city is especially exciting because of its climate: hot and dry with a minimum humidity level. In my opinion, it’ s only a tourist catch, but it only involves me.
  • The last option is to take the eastern route, my favorite. Okay, I’m not advertising, but it’s just to say what I think. The landscape on National Road 2 is such that I can’t find the right words to describe it. Tamatave, Madagascar’s first port, is the culmination of this road. Continuing north along the coast, this is my favorite part of the big island. National road 5 is more of a track than a road. Sometimes you have to cross water fords, river mouths to continue on the road. But all this in a setting that is just beautiful.

I tested canyoning in the Sierra de Guara.

In July I returned to a little-known region of Spain, the Sierra de Guara National Park. I had stopped there for two days during our road trip in a van from Arcachon to the Sierra de Guara, and I loved it. I promised myself that I would come back to explore the region a little more.

The park is considered as the “near Pyrenees” composed mainly of gorges and canyons in dry and Mediterranean vegetation. This region is very famous for canyoning in Spain, with no less than 60 canyons, and climbing (among other things). The walls of the gorges make it a spectacular playground.

A day Canyoning in the Sierra de Guara


For this experience, I chose the Petit Mascun course; this canyon is an excellent choice for beginners. The path is quite accessible; jumps are not mandatory, there is no abseiling or too vertiginous stuff. But it remains fun, sporty and amicable.


A short hike in the Gorges

I start the day in Rodellar, a cute little hamlet. After taking possession of the equipment, I dive into the river fully dressed to stay cool for an hour’s hike to reach the start of the canyon.

During this walk, I discovered other villages made of stone. Here it is the headquarters of climbers, everywhere the athletes who indulge their passion.


Canyoning departure


I picked up on the edge of a small beach before putting on our suits and putting our stuff in waterproof cans in our backpack. Then it’s off! Now I can’t march anymore. I trust our guide who is very reassuring and attentive, no pressure. The spectacular landscapes that I can only see in canyoning revealed itself before our eyes. I don’t know what to expect; the route takes river paths that I would never have dared to cross without our instructor. What an excitement!

The first jump


That’s it, and I’m finally getting there. The first jump on the course is 2 meters, a good start to build confidence. After a few hesitations, I jumped into the water! And it’s too good! This jump moved our friend who had never done anything like this before. It feels good to let go and push your limits a little bit. I’ll ask for more.


Second jump 3 meters


As I said at the beginning, jumps are not mandatory, and there is always a way around them. But I like to do a little violence to myself, so it happened all by itself. My friends and I made a block on this one, and we had to go down a little on the rock to jump, get on your buttocks, get up all of a sudden and go. She was afraid to slip because she didn’t trust her shoes. So make sure you take good sneakers with you.


Last jump of 6 meters


The end of the canyon and another river joined, the walls here are steeper and allow higher jumps than I can do several times. And I had a great time with Laure. I admit that once I was upstairs, I was less smart, it was necessary to be motivated to jump. But I loved that feeling so much. I lost confidence in myself during the last few months, especially when hiking, the fear of falling, slipping and dizziness disabled me a lot during our walks in Reunion Island. And this day gave me back my confidence.

Most underrated travel destinations in 2018

amazing philippines

The end of the year is always an opportunity to think about the following year. Including for your trips ;-)

At the end of 2017, I have decided to share with you some ideas for destinations for 2017. The only logic of this list is to try to orient oneself towards less visited destinations and to go to unknown regions of tourist countries.
My year 2017 has been rich in travel and some of these destination ideas for 2018 come from my travels this year. But not just that!

South Korea, A Forgotten Destination

Last revelation of 2016 and destination that I highly recommend to you, South Korea. It’s a country to discover. Korea has points in common with China and Japan but is different from these two countries.

South Korea is little known in France and is full of places to discover. Between the small traditional villages, the bustle of Seoul or the tea plantations of the south of the country, it is a destination where activities can be numerous and varied.

Okinawa, Another Japan

Japan is an increasingly popular destination for Europeans. Nevertheless, the vast majority of tourists visit the same places in Japan: Tokyo, Kyoto, and their respective surroundings.

Japan has many other places worth visiting. I will soon tell you about my last trip to Japan in unknown places in Japan, notably in the prefectures of Tottori and Hyogo.

The Okinawa Archipelago is another place to discover in Japan. Isolated from the rest of Japan, the archipelago is famous for its cuisine, its art of living but also for karate, native to this archipelago.

After three trips to Japan, I can’t wait to go back and why not to Okinawa this time? If you have already been to Japan, it is most certainly for a trip to discover the great classics. This is quite normal and very often the case for a first trip. If you plan to go back, why not try Okinawa?

A Paradise Journey To The Philippines?

If you dream of a trip to paradise islands to enjoy the fine sand and turquoise sea, head for the Philippines!

My trip to the Philippines was one of my favorites of this year 2016. Beyond the dream islands, a trip to the Philippines also allows you to discover culture and grandiose landscapes.

The Philippines attracts fewer travelers than other Southeast Asian countries, and yet, the country of 7000 islands is magical! I invite you to read or reread my travel diary in the Philippines.

Iran, A Country To Discover!

I have never been to Iran before, and this country has attracted me for a long time… This idea of destination can concern you but also concerns me. This is one of my objectives for 2017, to discover Iran. Iran has been on my list of travel desires for far too long.

Tourism in Iran is developing following the gradual lifting of the (scandalous) US embargo.

A resolutely cultural destination, Iran is a fascinating country full of historical sites. The hospitality of the Iranians is no longer to prove and rare are those who return from Iran being disappointed…


Another little-known yet magnificent country, the Sultanate of Oman. The cost of living in Oman must certainly be a factor. Traveling to Oman is not necessarily cheap.

But this country is beautiful. From superb beaches to the desert through magnificent mountains and valleys, the Sultanate of Oman is a delight for lovers of nature and wide open spaces.

This country lends itself perfectly to the road trip, and it is according to me the mode of travel to retain to discover Oman. So if you want to embark on a road trip in 2017, think of the Sultanate of Oman and its wide open spaces just for you:) And there are plenty of places of interest in Oman…

Trendy destination of the month: Djibouti

djibouti travel

Nestled in East Africa, between Somalia, Eritrea, and Ethiopia, Djibouti is still a popular destination for tourists promising to delight nature lovers.

Bordered by the gulfs of Aden and Tadjoura, this small African country is known for its black lava fields and steam-spitting chimneys, created by the tectonic plates that animate the soil. These landscapes with the appearance of Martian or lunar decorations attract geology fans particularly, admiring in front of the extinct volcanoes, the limestone columns, the jerky plains and the deserts of dark stones. It is the ideal place for the curious wishing to lose the thread of time in front of a view that exists nowhere else, except perhaps on Lanzarote, the island of the Canary archipelago, or in the region of Myvatn in the North East of Iceland. Salt lakes, like Assal, with their millions of small white crystals, fascinate all visitors to the country.

Between volcanoes and heavenly beaches

Lazy lovers will also enjoy Djibouti on the white sandy beaches and turquoise waters of the Gulf of Aden. These clear waters also allow snorkeling fans to admire the incredible marine flora and even dive with whale sharks. In this French-speaking country, you will also discover a fantastic mix of cultures between Arab and African traditions, without forgetting French influences. Leaving Djibouti City, the capital where the majority of tourist resorts are located, you will be able to make numerous expeditions in a great diversity of landscapes which will mark your spirits. To be accompanied by a guide will allow you not to miss anything of the essentials and will avoid you losing yourself too long in the middle of the plains of rocks.

Today, Djibouti welcomes about 50,000 tourists per year, a figure that is continuously growing. You wish to enjoy this nature still in its wild state? It’s time to go!

Rules to know about leaving tips when traveling

Leaving a tip can be confusing because the rules vary from one country to another. While it is impolite to leave a tip in some of them, it is very wrong to leave them in others.
Here’s what you need to know.

Always have money in local currency.

fgsghdshsdjdajqdjehjdaBeing an organized traveler means having enough local money on your hands to cover any planned or unexpected expenses. It is essential to be able to pay tips in local currency because changing foreign currencies costs service providers a lot of money and it is very likely that they are not even allowed to do so. It is also often impossible to add a tip when paying with a credit card.

Know when not to tip

In some countries (such as Japan, China, South Korea or French Polynesia), staff may be offended to be offered a tip because service excellence is an integral part of the culture there.
If you tip Japanese Ryokan staff, a taxi driver or a tour guide, for example, be sure to place the tickets in a card or envelope and hand them over with both hands and bow your head.

In French Polynesia, tips are almost perceived as rudeness because they indicate that the person receiving them occupies a lower status. Even if you’ve received excellent service, the tip is not welcome. If in doubt, please refrain.

Leave a tip only for a service received

In India, for example, make sure you have received a service in exchange for a tip. Some beggars ask for alms, but giving them money sends a wrong message. As it is an impoverished country, try to buy them something or hire them to do a small job, if you feel compelled to give them money.

Check your bill before you leave a tip.

lsngosngorsngosnoswsdgdIn the United Kingdom, Chile, Brazil, Portugal, Portugal, France and many other countries, restaurants, hotels and other establishments already add service charges for most of their services.

And check if the bill includes a “service charge,” as opposed to a “tax” on service before you think you have been billed for the tip. A service “fee” does not go to servers. A small clarification concerning Brazil:”Although tips are not necessary, they are nevertheless desirable because of the very modest salaries,” notes Dan Boland. In general, people who work in tourist destinations have become accustomed to Canadians leaving some money behind.

When can you leave more?

In Iceland, as in many European countries, a tip is not required in most cases. Restaurants will often include a 10% service charge on the bill, which means you don’t have to leave a tip, but you can leave 15% if you’ve received exceptional service. Taxi drivers, hairdressers and tour guides add an amount to their bills to cover service charges.

European exceptions

Although many European countries do not have a tipping culture, Greece, the Czech Republic, Spain, Italy and a few other countries are the exception. In Greece, when dining out at a restaurant or taking a taxi, a tip of 5 to 10% depending on the service is highly appreciated. It is also well worth giving a few euros to your maid at the hotel and your tour guide.

Cannabis tourism in California

california the land of marie jeanne

Some marijuana tours are luxury style with limo drivers and med-stops before going to the 5-star restaurant downtown. Then there’s those that go on nature trails and hikes.

When California legalised marijuana for medical use in 1996. It historically, caused a small boom in the industry with various businesses, one being the travel tourism business. Historically, California was the most tolerated of the states which were the first one to decriminalise marijuana in 1975.

smoke whatever greenery you wantOn November 8th, 2016, Proposition 64 was passed. In other words, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act states marijuana is legit. Legalisation of the cannabis is for recreational use and those over the age 21. With much efforts and support, it eventually became legal, and many marijuana dispensaries surfaced.

Because of this, the marijuana tourism grew as well. And naturally, it boomed again with recreational usage as the focal point. It became legal in various California cities and towns. Some of the most notable ones are Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Oakland, Fresno, Long Beach, San Bernardino, Sacramento, Tahoe, Santa Monica, Anaheim, Huntington Beach, Riverside, …and many others.

Adults have an option to legally be allowed to utilise the green alternative within the medicine bureaucracy.

In fact, residents of the cities are allowed to possess 1 oz. of marijuana at a time and cultivate six plants yet, out of the public’s viewing or eyesight.

Here are the basic policies in the marijuana law:

– Individuals seeking a medical marijuana I.D. = Proof of age (18+)

– California residents

– Qualified patients possess up to 8 oz. or 1/2 lb. of marijuana at a time.

– Qualified patients = cultivate 6 mature plants or 12 immature plants.

Marijuana Tours

Depending on your needs, smoking on these tours vary. There are places where smoking is prohibited in certain spots. It is for the privacy of those around the smokers.

Although it may be legal, at the discretion of the owner and his/her property on certain tours, respecting their space is important. Therefore, enjoying the experience while vacationing at the hotels, bed and breakfasts are recommended. They accommodate smokers. Tours manage the itinerary accordingly, and they do a great job doing it.

tour with the most experienced guides
Tour with the most experienced guides

Food based tours.

Some of the tours available in California are food based. It means that guests will go through the dispensary’s site tour, have the option to purchase medication, then eat a three-course meal!
Whereas there are tours that have their guests go for the appetiser at one restaurant, then go for the main course at another restaurant, making the experience more quality driven.

After eating a delicious meal at a fantastic restaurant, the option to medicate once more before going for desert is given.

There’s a fine tour for you!

California is not only accepting to specific tour packages and respect the need for outdoor marijuana users since it’s inception. Although, it’s said that those who smoke should also respect the natural surroundings as well.

Encouraging the discretion of marijuana smoking in California is always enforced by many dispensaries and tour guides. They recommend Vape pens which are popular in the state but, also, it’s the best way to consume it if you are in a public place. Also, don’t drive while high is truly enforced. Plus, you can be convicted of a DUI for driving under the influence of marijuana in California.

Street Art Tours

If you are passionate about art them, you’ll love this type of tour.
Street art and the appreciation for it can come with a price. The price is enjoying the atmosphere as you immerse yourself in a tour of fun that’s cannabis involved. While doing so, there are tour packages which nurture the historical significance of contemporary public art.
In Venice Beach, for instance, there’s a guided Pedicab tour that travels through the entire beach town.

While travelling, the guide presents to tour guests the various locations and hot spots for public art created by locals; some people there for years.

Not only is the cannabis legal here, but in Venice beach so is the graffiti art which is a hot commodity in the California beach town.

Visitors from all over the world.

a growing area in californiaThe activities on these tours vary, therefore, the prices will too. For instance, if a customer pays at a higher pay scale, naturally they’ll be able to get the 5-star luxury activities. For an average pay rate, then the mediocre tour; but, it’s all great because you and your friends are in Cali. And this is what your mission is to relax and vacation on these tours.

Visitors come from all over the world, plus, visitors regularly consume from all over the world. Celebrating significant events and milestones is the best way to go through these tours.

Most tours have a welcome presentation from the guide including the schedule of the day. The majority of the time, there’s certain spots that the group will stop at one at a time, as the day progresses. And all the engaging with the marijuana are spent in unique ways.

They’ll learn and be more educated with the herbals from the expert guide.

You will get to also stop by the most famous grow shop of California and buy souvenirs and equipment such as vaporisateur pour herbe and other bongs as well as various accessories!

Finally, when as the day ends, visitors or guests will not go empty handed. There’s always a package or gift given or souvenirs to take home to. They are normally cannabis infused ingredients in the food given or creative crafts that were made with clay and resin…etc.
All in all, the cannabis tour in California will be an unforgettable experience for you and your guests, especially if you have to head back home where it may be illegal. Although, you may have to consume it if you have leftovers and you live in a state where it’s illegal.

My Take on Hiking Gear

good quality Hiking Gear is paramount

After a rad winter spent in Colorado, hiking and skiing, I wanted to share my take on hiking gear for all you adventurers out there!

There are several things you need to consider before deciding on the hiking gear you will need. Is this a simple hike of short duration, a hike that will require sleeping and eat on the trail, or is it an organised hike where amenities are supplied.

The hiking gear you need will depend in large part on this information, and, if it is not a planned hike, you will consider how willing you are you to rough it.

The first step when determining what hiking gear you should take is to get together with your hiking partner. If you are hiking any distance and plan to eat and sleep on the trail, you do have some choices to make! When you plan carefully so that each person has the responsibility to bring certain items, it can lighten the load considerably, and it is important to remember that these are items you will be carrying on your hike.

The first thing to consider is the pack itself.

Some stores specialise in hiking gear, and even military surplus stores, where you can find used hiking gear inexpensively.

A hiking pack should be approximately four thousand cubic inches unless you plan on carrying a lot of extras such as photography equipment, or things such as hunting and fishing paraphernalia. When shopping for hiking gear, try to keep in mind that it needs to be functional and efficient as well as light weight.

If you plan to be on the trail during the night, you should decide if you plan to sleep in the elements, or if you will need to include a tent in your hiking gear.

Again, it is never wise to hike alone, and you will need two one man tents or one two man tent. Trail shelters are available that weigh from three to four pounds. If it rains or gets chilly, you will be glad you brought a tent on your hike. You will need sleeping bags as well if you plan on sleeping on the trail. Depending on the weather and terrain, you might choose a very light weight sleeping bag or even one much colder resistant and even a sleeping bag liner.

Sleeping bags

There are sleeping bags available that provide protection from the cold down to thirty degrees. These sleeping bags weight as little as one pound and two ounces, and pack down to about the size of a softball. You could choose MRE (meal ready to eat) such as those the army uses, which can be heated with a small can of Sterno. Should you want to hunt, fish, forage, and cook on the trail include cooking essentials made to be lightweight and compact, specifically for hiking gear.


Clothing to include in your hiking gear depends on the season, climate, and duration of the walk. In summer, you need basics like plenty of socks (wet ones tend to cause blisters) comfortable outerwear, boots, and any climbing accessories you might need.

However, if you are hiking in cold weather, or climbing in high altitudes, you’ll need long underwear, light nylon shorts, a mid-weight fleece jacket, a light rainproof layer, gloves, hat, and accessories to suit the weather and your needs. Extra hiking gear includes a headlamp, tool/knife, first-aid kit, compass, sunglasses, and sunscreen, and you’re good to go!

Here is an interesting video with a solid checklist for you :

Fun in the Sun-Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

the amazing coastline next to Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is the favourite place to vacation for travellers worldwide. Rated #1 by Trip Advisor in 2014 as the top beach destination, this year-round getaway has something for everyone. There are over 60 miles of white sugar sand beaches that stretch from just over the border in nearby NC to historic Georgetown in South Carolina.
Whether you like to golf (there are over 104 courses in the area) shop (hundreds of name brand discount outlets) or eat out (1700 restaurants to choose from)-Myrtle Beach has what you need. With over 500,000 tourists each year, the vacation city must be doing something right. Maybe it is the small town feel of cosy beach houses, or the big city taste of the Grand Strand-Myrtle Beach is full of southern charm.

Things to do:

south carolina state houseIf you like to stay active on vacations, you will find a wide assortment of things to try. There are rentals for scuba diving, deep sea fishing or banana boat rides. You can visit Ripley’s Haunted Adventure or the magnificent aquarium. There is a giant sky wheel for daredevils and a zip line to try at Outdoor Adventures. Barefoot Landing boasts a wildlife exhibit, complete with tigers, unending curiosity shops and a one of a kind theatre.
If musicals and live music are more your taste, the Carolina Opera House and Alabama Theater have shown for every night of the week. There are also magic shows, haunted ghost tours and race car adventures to explore.

Amazing Vacation Pictures

If you would like to take once in a lifetime photos and videos of your vacation, a drone is the way to go. Pictures of about 150 feet give you a perspective of beaches and other sights that haven’t been experienced before. Careful planning about strategic photo flights and knowledge of the restrictions in your area will ensure you have a positive experience with drone vacation pictures. Your friends will be amazed at the Myrtle Beach you capture on your drone. Visit this Facebook page to know more.

Little Known Fun Facts About Myrtle Beach

my new drone in action for videoMyrtle Beach continues to amaze visitors and keep travellers returning with its wide variety of offerings. Even for you experienced Myrtle Beach enthusiasts, here are some fun facts you may not know:
• The local Sweet Myrtle Beach gave the city its name.
• Vanna White, from Wheel of Fortune, was born in Myrtle Beach
• Real estate in Myrtle Beach went for $25 back in 1902.
• Sports Illustrated has been in Myrtle Beach since it started in 1953

Of course, the main attraction of Myrtle Beach is the beautiful beaches. Families travel from around the world to try the surf at Garden City Beach, Surf City, Sunset or Cherry Grove-these have all been named some of the best beaches in the United States

To say that Myrtle Beach is an ideal summer destination is an understatement. It caters to families, teenagers, honeymooners, seniors and motorcyclists. You can hear fun going on, at any time of the day. You won’t soon forget your vacation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

If you are after drone news make sure you read amateurs de drones wordpress

My Trip To Banff. Getting There is Half the Fun


I had been looking to do something a little out of the ordinary for my next trip.

I had been to Mexico, Florida, Dominican Republic, New York City, and a handful of California cities. It was time to go North. After Thousands of searches on Expedia, Trip Adviser and google images I settled on Banff. The colourful mountain town in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta. The pictures promised snow-capped mountains, rugged hiking trails, white waters, a vibrant downtown, great restaurants and beautiful if slightly overpriced hotels. I decided to opt for a camping option and started looking for the best camping tent reviews I could find online. I ended up grabbing the MSR Hubba Hubba Tent which is great for backpacking!

banff national park townI flew into Calgary on a Thursday evening just as the sun was setting over the Rocky Mountains, an hour’s drive towards the west. By the time, I went through customs and picked up my bags it was dark out. I picked up my rental and opted to stay at the closest Double Tree to the airport. I hadn’t been sure when I made my reservations, but now it was dark, was sleepy and wanted to enjoy the drive into the mountains in daylight so I could appreciate the scenery.

I set westward on the #1 TransCanada Highway while it was still dark. As a reward, I drove the 63 miles (110 km by Canadian signage) to Banff as the sun rose behind me filling the sky with pink hues. Despite the green highway sign saying that Banff was only another 27 km I detoured into the inviting-looking town of Canmore. The little town is nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

I drove the streets lined with old brick bungalows and into the busy little downtown. Sitting on the patio of a Restaurant called The Summit Cafe I sipped coffee and orange juice as the rising sun warmed my face and I savoured the mountain views. I congratulated myself on my decision to wait out the night in Calgary and make this drive during the day. I left my car parked in front of the cafe and walked around the sunny little town. I crossed a bridge and walked along a river trail for a few moments before I remembered this area was abundant with bears. On my way back to my car I passed a lovely little art gallery called Fallen Leaves. Ironically I fell in love with a bear painting and it broke my heart to leave it and the One thousand dollar price tag behind.

I missed the first turn off for the town of Banff, but the highway has about five more and so it was not long before I was in the busy, bustling, lively town of Banff. Cars were bumper to bumper down Banff Avenue. The Avenue is lined with colourful restaurants and hotels.

The sidewalks were lined with people walking one way or another. A tour bus stopped in front of me and 80 Japanese tourists disembarked and immediately began snapping photographs of the town and the surrounding mountains. It took me approximately one hour, not counting breakfast, to drive from Calgary to Banff. It took another hour to drive the three miles from the highway turn-off to my hotel, The Fox Inn and Suites. I was about five hours too early to check-in but the receptionist assured me I could leave my car in the parking lot behind the building with no issue.

I left my bags in the car for the moment and was happy to set out on foot. I had a town to explore!

Found this amazing timelapse video of the area, hope it makes you want to visit the place!

My Time-Share Presentation Experience

Aerial view of Mexico city

my timeshare presentation
my timeshare presentation

I wanted to share something quite special that happened to me recently. Aside from being known as a “party” guy, I sometimes happen to work…

I had never been to one of those time-share things until the first time I went to Mexico. You know, those presentations where they hold you hostage for hours while demanding to know the dollar amount in your savings account. True story that is what happened to us! Landing in Puerto Vallarta at about 8 pm, we de-boarded the plane by a staircase and walked across the runway to the airport.

After clearing Mexican customs, we left the airport walking down a long ramp towards the front doors. All along the hallway were booths. These booths displayed taxi services, car rentals, horse back riding, cruises, fishing trips, the works. We did our best to avoid being stopped but eventually a charming Mexican boy, and a beautiful Mexican girl got our attention and held us in conversation. They promised us a free taxi ride to our hotel that evening and a cruise the next day if we went to their 90-minute time-share presentation. An all-day, all-you-can-drink-and-eat cruise, free, tomorrow, in exchange for the 90-minute presentation. We caved.

Of course, we had to pay for our taxi that night. It would be reimbursed on the cruise. The taxi driver promised he would pick up the next morning. The next morning we were waiting outside our hotel when an entirely different taxi driver insisted we went with him to the cruise. He drove us from the opposite direction of the port, out of town for half an hour on a narrow jungle winding highway.

At a brand new 5 Diamond time-share resort, we were offered mimosas. Then they separated my friend and I and we were each presented to our time-share real estate agent. She showed me condos I could never afford. They insisted I drink champagne and demanded to know why I wouldn’t sign up to buy a condo. Supervisors were sent over to ask what my the savings in my bank were. They made me fill out a work-book demonstrating how much more affordable it was to buy their time-share than any other type of travelling. After four painful hours, I was let go. I found my best friend waiting for me at the bus stop. There were no taxi rides back to the city, not for those of us who did not buy a time-share. Our taxi ride was redeemed, however, and the cruise turned out to be the real deal. I don’t like the way they tricked us into attending the time-share and held us, hostage. But he next day we spent eight hours on a boat eating ceviche, drinking “cervezas”, and trying to forget our first full day in Mexico.

Awesome Trip to Playa Del Carmen

Playa del Carmen, Cancun

Hey what’s up guys, today is the day you’ll get to learn about our epic trip in Mexico!

Packing my bags pre-flight

On board during the flight
On board during the flight

I was thirty minutes into Googling ‘Playa Del Carmen’ when my phone started playing “Exit Music” by Radiohead. To be honest, I was two hours into a rabbit hole that led me from my original search to scrolling through Facebook. I tapped the power button on the side of my phone and silenced the alarm. Procrastinating had yet again failed to serve me as I leaped from the couch and began throwing together a bag. Passport, check. I.D., check. Being a guy is easy, you can do anything last minute. Road joint, check. With a lit joint hanging from my lip, I headed out the door when I got a call from Eric.

Timeless Flight

Falling asleep on an airplane ride is the virtual equivalent of becoming an X-Man. My powers must be time traveling and teleportation. I woke up just in time to order a cocktail from the attractive flight attendant. Eric nudged me as she walked away. “That’s the kind of women that are going to be there, dude.” I grinned and closed my eyes again.


Eric and I had been planning this trip for months. Fly into Cancun International. Catch a bus/taxi into Playa del Carmen and wing it from there. I suppose it’s not so much of a plan when you think about it. I hailed a driver and Eric, and I climbed in. They guy clearly spoke little English, so we just gave him our destination and were on our way.

About twenty minutes into the ride, our driver pulls off the main road and decides he knows a faster way into town. Eric and I are confused since there is very light traffic on the highway. Paved road turned into gravel which turned into dirt. At this point, Eric and I are sacrificing the cost of data usage to check google maps. We show him our phones and try to explain that he is taking a detour. All we got back was “yeah, it’s no problem. Here is faster.”

Strangely enough, the guy was right. At this point, I consider my failure to learn some basic Spanish over the last few months. Once we arrive at a hotel, I decide to bust out the Spanish I do know:
“Queremos mota. Sabes donde esta la mota, señor?” The accent is flawless.

I’m Not the Man they Think I am at Home

sound system in mexicoDebauchery, here we come. Armed with a map of the city, a pocketful of sunshine, and enough pesos to bribe Zorro, Eric and I began walking the city. The obvious place to start was downtown, which is party central. Everything was modern and updated. Sanitized for American tourists. Eric and I dipped into an alleyway after eating dinner to light up a joint. This one’s for Che. Wrong country.

We could hear the reggaeton music blaring from Mamita’s Beach Club as we walked up. The nightlife of Playa del Carmen is something special. Latin music breathes into your soul after eight whiskey sours and a night of grinding on beautiful Mexican women. I won’t get into details. Besides, that’s not the only reason we went on this trip. Red, blue, and green ornamental lights that make up much of the city’s decorum inspired a weird sort of Christmas-like sentimentality. As we traveled around downtown, it became abundantly clear which bars were tourist spots and which ones were local favorites.

It’s Just My Job, Five Days a Week

I can’t speak to the beauty of Playa del Carmen and Cancun’s beaches during the day. It wouldn’t do it justice. Over the course of the next three days, Eric and I traveled around the entire Yucatan visiting ruins and scenic beaches. The inherent beauty of the countryside there is overwhelming when you’re not being ushered around by a tour guide. Its aesthetic nature vastly contrasts with the gritty allure of much of the state’s cities. Trips to a foreign country always excite me. I especially like to see the difference between the way a country portrays itself to foreigners and the way it operates behind the scenes. I don’t know; maybe that ‘s just the stoner in me.

It’s Gonna Be a Long, Long Time

dude must have been stone too
Weirdo we met on a beach, dude must have been stone too…

I highly recommend going to Playa del Carmen to have some fun with a friend. Check out the sites. Explore the city. Explore the surrounding area and its beaches. I would also recommend, however, that you try to find an English speaking driver before leaving the airport. It just makes things so much easier. I would love to go back to Playa del Carmen one day, but first I have so many other places to check out. Remember life is short, carpe diem!