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My Definition of Well-Traveled

well trav·eled – adjective – a person who has (1) vacationed in over 100 of the Travelers’ Century Club ”countries” and has, (2) on several occasions, been (3) traveling alone and (4) been the only one on the overnight bus / mini-van who was “reasonably” fluent in English and not able to hold a conversation in any of the local languages.
Featured post

Asia 2017 Local Transportation

This is the transportation breakdown for local transportation in the cities I visited. Some cities had no cost because they were small and I didn’t require local transportation. Often, I tried to get day passes when I though they were worth it and they were available. Other times I just paid by the ride. Continue reading

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Asia 2017 Sleeping Evaluations

sleeping

sleeping

At first I wanted to title this post Asia 2017 Hostel Evaluations but I realized that I wasn’t just going to be sleeping in hostels. There were some locations that I would be traveling that did not have the typical hostels that I would have for most of the trip. When I planned the section of the trip using the car to see the Great Ocean Road I realized that hostels for that period of the trip were virtually nonexistent along the way. This is going to be a really long post that will grow as I move around.

So what’s the point of this post. Food for thought. I’m going to comment on some of the amenities, features and what I consider to be drawbacks of properties where I stayed on my 2017 trip. You’ll get my perspectives. Try to put them into perspective as you might see them and judge them under your own values and criteria. Continue reading

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Asia 2017 Airfare

Asia 2017 DestinationsThis is my current transportation breakdown for the Asia 2017 trip. The total comes to $1,698.22, or $19.98, a day for all transportation from one location to another for the 85 days. While that will not be the exact final figure but it will be fairly close as the airfare and bus rides are already purchased and that comprises the vast majority of the major transportation expense. There are 23 flights, 3 bus rides, 3 train trips and a car rental. Actual map is hereContinue reading

Photo Places

I’m working on a new website. I will need photos for the website. Steps to getting a great screen shot image is as follows. I was able to do a prt+sc and get an image that I could save with Paint. Next step was to crop the image with lunapic. Next, I could compress with toolur to about 30% without loosing what seemed to be any of the quality of the image and without loosing any size in the width or height at all. Once I did those steps I had a nice looking picture with a very small size.

lunapic - crop photos for the web. toolur - compress photos for the web.

Free Images

Wikimedia Commons - the Grandaddy of Public Domain pics.

flickr – Great repository.

Pixabay – All images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0. You may download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty free for anything you like, even in commercial applications. Attribution is not required.

Pexels – The pictures are free for personal and even for commercial use. You can modify, copy and distribute the photos. All without asking for permission or setting a link to the source. So, attribution is not required.

StockSnap.io – No attribution required.

Unsplash – No attribution required, but appreciated.

Burst – No attribution required, but appreciated.

Not Free Images

iStockExpensive.
Getty Images – very, very epensive.
Shutterstock – costs are discussed here.
Fotolia – costs are discussed here.
Dreamstime – costs are discussed here.
123RF – costs are discussed here.
Bigstock – costs are discussed here.
Depositphotos – costs are discussed here.

 

Kayak Links 450

Level 1
CHICAGO IL
NEW YORK NY
ATLANTA GA
DALLAS/FORT WORTH TX
OKLAHOMA CITY
HOUSTON TX
LOS ANGELES CA
BOSTON MA
DENVER CO
MIAMI FL
SAN FRANCISCO CA
SEATTLE WA
NEWARK NJ

——————————————

Level 2
BALTIMORE MD
CHARLOTTE NC
DETROIT MI
FORT LAUDERDALE
LAS VEGAS NV
MINNEAPOLIS MN
ORLANDO FL
PHILADELPHIA PA
PHOENIX AZ
SALT LAKE CITY UT
SAN DIEGO CA
TAMPA FL
SAN JOSE

——————————————

The following do not need to be done.
PITTSBURG
SAN ANTONIO
JACKSONVILLE
ST LOUIS
RALEIGH/DURHAM
CLEVELAND
AMSTERDAM
ATHENS
BANGKOK
BEIJING
BERLIN
COPENHAGEN
DUBLIN
ISTANBUL
KUALA LUMPUR
LISBON
LONDON
MOSCOW
NEW DELHI
OSLO
ROME
SHANGHAI
SINGAPORE
STOCKHOLM
TAIPEI
TOKYO
VIENNA
ZURICH

New Kayak

NEW YORK NY | (400)
NEW YORK NY | (400)
ATLANTA GA | (400)
DALLAS/FORT WORTH TX | (400)
OKLAHOMA CITY | (400)
HOUSTON TX | (400)
LOS ANGELES CA | (400)
BOSTON MA | (400)
DENVER CO | (400)
MIAMI FL | (400)
SAN FRANCISCO CA | (400)
SEATTLE WA | (400)
NEWARK NJ | (400)

——————————————

Level 2
BALTIMORE MD | (400)
CHARLOTTE NC | (400)
DETROIT MI | (400)
FORT LAUDERDALE | (400)
LAS VEGAS NV | (400)
MINNEAPOLIS MN | (400)
ORLANDO FL | (400)
PHILADELPHIA PA | (400)
PHOENIX AZ | (400)
SALT LAKE CITY UT | (400)
SAN DIEGO CA | (400)
TAMPA FL | (400)
SAN JOSE | (400)

——————————————

The following do not need to be done.
PITTSBURG | (400)
SAN ANTONIO | (400)
JACKSONVILLE | (400)
ST LOUIS | (400)
RALEIGH/DURHAM | (400)
CLEVELAND | (400)

Places I Would LIke To Go

I’ve been a few places. I’m scheduled to go to a few more. But there are some places that I would love to explore a bit. There are even some places I’d love to explore a bit more. There have been times in the past when I’ve been somewhere and I’ve not allocated enough time there. Some places are a lot more enchanting than their pictures can convey. But, that’s not what this post is about. This post is about those places that I have seen in an image somewhere and it strikes me as a destination that is quite possibly too good to miss.

Here’s the list. I started it because I saw a picture of a place and I couldn’t really recognize where it was. It’s a reference for the future.

Cinque Terre, Italy (Images). Technically, I’ve been there. Realistically, I didn’t spend nearly enough time there. Perfect time to go is April-May or late September to mid-November.

Cappadocia, Turkey (Images). Never been. Need to go. Think Uchisar.

Ephesus, Turkey (Images). Never been. Need to go.

Santiago de Compostela, Spain (Images). Never been. Need to go. Walk there? From where?

Besalu, Girona, Catalonia, Spain (Images). Not far from Barcelona.

85 Days in Asia

Remember when I had to decide how many books I bought and took with me? I used to buy and rip the sections out and then throw the sections away when I left a place because of the weight. I lost pages and I picked up souvenirs. That was before the 7 kilo rule and I carried 30+ pounds..

Makassar – Ambon – Sorong

MakAmbSor

Makkasar Ambon and Sorong

Makassar ,Ambon and Sorong are three cities in Indonesia. Interestingly, the geographic areas where they are located are also three countries in the Travelers’ Century Club’s (TCC) list of “countries” that they publish. This means that, if you go to all three, the TCC allows a member, or anyone else for that matter, to claim that they have been to three countries, not one, even though the three cities are all in Indonesia. Continue reading

Asia 2017 – Tasmania

Yes, I’m headed there. Not to look for Devil’s, of course, but rather to collect a notch, that is country, for my belt. The TCC gives me Tasmania as a country and I’m going to take it. But, since I’ve never been to Tasmania and never plan to go back, I need to talk about some interesting Tasmanian facts.

First, Tasmania has some of the oldest living things on Earth, the Lagarostrobos, a species of conifer tree that can live to be several thousand years old. While we don’t have any trees still alive today that are that old, we do have some that are around 2,000 years old. They are only native to Tasmania.  Continue reading

Fergburger

fergburger

fergburger

It’s called a Fergburger. According to Wikipedia “Fergburger is a hamburger restaurant located in Queenstown, New Zealand. Fergburger specialises in gourmet hamburgers, and is quite well known internationally despite not being a chain and only having one location.” Their website is located here. I was told that the place had a perpetual line outside the door and that it was open 20 hours a day. When I went to get my first Fergburger it was sometime after midnight. There was a short line. It was only about four people. I guess I was lucky. Lonely Planet states “Queenstown’s famous Fergburger has now become a tourist attraction in itself, forcing many locals to look elsewhere for their big-as-your-head gourmet burger fix. The burgers are as tasty and satisfying as ever, but is any burger worth a 30-minute wait? You decide.”

line at fergburger at 8 AM

line at fergburger at 8 AM

The picture on the left is a picture I took of the line at Fergburger at 8:00 AM. It explains the reason I hadn’t gone earlier in the day. The line was usually at least 20 people. I ordered the basic hamburger . It was $8 USD. The prices went up from there. It seemed like they had a variety of options. They gave me a number for my order. I went outside to sit on a bench and watch the display screen for my number. When it arrived I picked up my burger and took it back to the hostel. The hostel was located about a block away from the restaurant. How was the burger? It was great. It was as good as advertised. Was it better than the burgers back home? Yes, I hate to say it. It was. Was it worth the $8? That becomes very subjective. If you’ve got $8 – no problem. If you haven’t got $8 that’s another story. Was it better than the half-price burgers I get on  on Wednesday night at McNellies or O’Connels pubs? No. Not in terms of value. My home town Wednesday night specials include fries. Would I eat a Fergburger again? Absolutely.

Gold Medal Ale

Gold Medal Ale

Gold Medal Ale

First off, let me put to rest all claims that I’m an alcoholic. I’m not. I just like good beer. And a little wine. And maybe I show a definite weakness for Courvoisier. But, I’m not an alcoholic. I just like certain alcoholic beverages. Periodically…

Tonight was one of those periods. I went out and got a bottle of Speight’s Gold Medal Ale. The cost was about $4.25 USD for a 745 milliliter bottle. I’m not sure if that’s a good deal or a bad deal. I just know that’s what it cost at one store in Queenstown, NZ. I had been interested in a bottle of Speight’s ever since I saw the Ale House located at Corner Of Stanley Street & Ballarat Street in Queenstown. The words “Gold Medal Ale” also caught my attention.

Speight’s was founded by James Speight and others during 1876 in Dunedin, NZ. It is still brewed there. The company has a chain of Ale Houses on the south island of New Zealand. Speight’s goes out of their way to market the beer as a “southern” (island) beer. While it is sold as an ale, it is actually a lager beer. It seems that Speight’s is more in tune with marketing than actually representing their beer in more accurate terms.

But all the technical jargon aside, how was the beer? It was great. Was it overpriced? Yes. But the beer was really good and I’d definitely buy it again, even if it isn’t really an ale and even if I can get as good a beer in the U.S. at a better price. Let’s face it, I’m not in the U.S. I have to take what I can get.