Saturday, November 17, 2018

Places That Don't Want You to Visit


Similar to what was included in our list for 2018, places in the world who are capping tourism or whose residents have spoken out about how it’s detrimental to their home. Last year, destinations such as Amsterdam, Machu Picchu, Venice, Santorini, and Koh Tachai were all examples of places that were overwhelmed by their own tourism industry. This year, more are begging tourists to reconsider how and when they travel.

Venice, Italy
Photo by Cynthia Dial

Residents of Isle of Skye, Scotland, have complained about traffic and congestion clogging up roads and throughways, especially near famed ethereal Fairy Pools, and hope that if tourists do come, they will look beyond one site with respect to the locals. 

Chile’s remote and ancient Easter Island, with its World Heritage Site monolithic human sculptures, have drawn curious tourists who are overstaying their welcome—they could once stay for 90 days, but it’s since been curtailed to 30. “Foreigners are already taking over the island. They’re damaging the local idiosyncrasy, the 1,000-year culture is changing and not for the good,” said mayor Petro Edmunds. Ana Maria Gutierrez, the local government’s environmental adviser, warns that, “Environmentally, the island is very fragile” and basic services are under strain–not least, waste management. A decade ago, the island produced 1.4 metric tons of waste per year. Now, it produces nearly twice that amount at 2.5 metric tons a year. 

In Dubrovnik, where Game of Thrones fervor has reached a fever pitch, with locals claiming Old Town has become “Disneyland,” especially due to multiple cruise dockings on the same day. 

And most alarmingly, in Mallorca, a local campaign to protest mass tourism led to a “summer of action” where campaigners vandalized hotels, demonstrated at the airport, and tagged graffiti proclaiming “ “tourism kills the city.”

In all these cases, the residents and locals emphasize that it’s not necessarily the tourists themselves who cause the frustration that comes from living in a tourism economy, but often poor management of resources from the region’s governmental and business leaders who exploit the situation. 

Feel like you just have to visit? Consider off-season, veer away from tourist hot spots, and make sure to be considerate of the people who live in your vacation destination.

#travel #traveltips #travelingcynthia 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

You Had Me at Hello or Did You?

I love this article, as it makes you think about those cities you instantly love and those with whom you initially don't like but slowly begin to love. And why??

By Nomadic Matt


How are you? I'm in L.A. this week for meetings, meet-ups, collabs, and visits with friends and family. It's amazing how my love for L.A. has grown over the years. The more time I spend here, the more I love it.
During my first visits, I hated Los Angeles.
Maybe it was the traffic. Maybe it was vanity. Maybe the smog. Or the hippie-dippie way of life. I know it was definitely in part the lack of public transportation.  I could never put my finger on it fully but something about LA just always rubbed me the wrong way.
But then, one day, everything just clicked. I couldn't wait to visit and was sad when I left.  It hit me recently why.
I hated LA for the same reason I originally hated Bangkok.  And I love LA for the same reasons I fell in love with Bangkok.
LA isn’t like Hong Kong, Paris, Buenos Aires, London, Sydney, or a bunch of other things where you can go down a long list, drink in the culture, find stuff easily, get around easily, and get a feel for the place in a short period of time.
It’s a city you live in not a city you visit.  Just like Bangkok.
LA is an onion and requires you to peel back the layers over time. You need to let the city unveil itself to you.
I began to love Bangkok when I stopped traveling, stayed put, and started to see the city as a resident. When I got know it beyond the temples and the tourist trail. When I found hidden markets, amazing street stalls with only locals, became friends with my hairdresser and the expats of the city.
When I understood how the city operates, suddenly I knew why people loved it so much.  And I began to love it.  I began to love LA when the same thing happened.
I think that's why I never liked it when I first visited. I expected it to be like Paris, London, Tokyo, or New York. A city with lots of tourist activities that's easy to get around.  And it wasn't that.  But the more I got to know it, the more I liked it!
The moral of the story: never judge a destination by the first time you visit.
There are so many factors that determine how you feel about a place - weather, traffic, the people in your hostel, your interactions with locals - that every place always deserves a second chance.  And, yes, that even means my least favorite place in the world - Vietnam.  I would go back there if the opportunity arose.
So never count a destination out. You never know what can happen on that second visit!
#travel #traveltips #travelingcynthia

Thursday, November 8, 2018

I Think We Should Change the Definition of Travel

By Nomadic Matt

People like to think of travel as this thing you do in faraway lands. They think that travel is about getting on flights to places that don’t speak their language, have different customs, a different history, different food, and different climate.
San Diego
Photos of Cynthia Dial 

Travel is the act of going to the exotic, they say.  But I don’t agree with that definition. To me, travel is the act of going somewhere new. That can be to a country half a world away. Or, it could be to the next town over. Or, it could be simply when you explore your own town for the first eyes (the staycation).
Anywhere can be a travel destination.
When I travel, so many people tell me that I've seen more of their country than they have. I remind them they could travel their own country too. "I guess," they reply and move on to the next subject. I'm always amazed by how few people explore their own country.
There’s something special about being a stranger in your homeland and realizing you really don’t know much about it as you thought. We think because we’re born in a place we understand it but every country has regional differences that make it unique and, unless we travel to see and experience them, we'll never fully understand the place we call home.
Driving across my country (the U.S.) taught me a lot about it. It gave me a deep appreciation for it, the people, and the diversity within its borders. It broke down stereotypes and misconceptions I had about the different regions in the US. My time exploring my own backyard was just as important to my growth as any trip to a foreign country.
If you're on a limited budget, can't afford a flight or a trip to exotic land, or just want to do something different, don't forget that you can always travel your own country. It can be just as powerful as visiting another country.
Expand the definition of travel.
And be a stranger in your homeland!
#travel #traveltips #travelingcynthia #definitionoftravel 

Friday, November 2, 2018

Survey on Air Travel Etiquette and Comfort

Excerpted from

Air travel gets us where we need to go, but it can also make for a long, long day. As the amenities start to dwindle and the leg room gets smaller, it’s easy to get worn out and uncomfortable during a flight. In fact, our survey revealed that the average amount of time before people get uncomfortable on a flight is three hours.

Photo by Cynthia Dial

So, what do travelers do to combat this discomfort? In order to get more comfortable on a flight, many fliers will try adjusting their seat or using a travel pillow while others may kick off their shoes and socks. But is this socially acceptable? According to our survey, 64% said it’s OK to take their shoes off, and 20% said it’s OK to take your socks off to get more comfortable during a flight.

Lastly, we asked our survey to rank flying annoyances. Coming in at No. 1 with 54% of the vote was getting your seat kicked. A crying child followed seat kicking with 27% of the vote and body odor came in third with 26% of the vote. Other flying annoyances were a talkative passenger, inattentive parents, a drunk passenger, a seat pulled back or leaned on, snoring, rushing to get off the plane as soon as it gets to the gate, a reclining seat, a passenger putting their feet up, smelly food, man-spreading, a passenger removing their socks or shoes, bright screens on phones, non-service dogs, and finally in last place was dressing sloppy, which bothered just 1% of our survey.

#travel #traveltips #travelingcynthia