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Dispelling all the Lies About Traveling in Africa

If you’re traveling or thinking about traveling to Africa, here are some common myths that might deter you which are just not true.

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Africa is the second biggest continent in size, yet people make comments like the whole continent is the same. Does that make any sense? No one makes such declarative statements about Europe, the second smallest continent because it’s so diverse. Well, guess what, so is Africa, it’s a huge continent with 54 countries inside of it. Do you really think these 54 countries are all the same? No, the fact is you can’t really make generalizations about any continent, especially the second biggest one. Well, actually there is one continent you can probably make generalizations about, Antarctica. Antarctica is cold, Antarctica has penguins, those statements are true, but the ones you hear about Africa are not.

So if you’re traveling or thinking about traveling to Africa, here are some common myths that are just not true.

 

All of Africa is the Same

Well, Africa is a big place, but it’s not all the same. There are thousands of different cultures here and about 2,000 different languages spoken, also the landscapes vary wildly. You can go to the beach, go to the mountains, go to the desert or go to a giant city. Saying Africa is just one big place is like thinking the whole shopping mall sells Cinnabuns. Thinking like that just doesn’t make sense.  

 

Don’t Go to Africa, It’s Scary

Sure there is some conflict and danger in Africa but not in the entire continent. In America, there is conflict and danger as well. Find me a continent that does not have danger or conflict inside of it. Africa gets a bad wrap, it’s the only place where if something bad happens it reflects on the entire continent. That doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world (except maybe Antarctica.) There are many safe places to travel in Africa, some are even safer than the United States.

 

You Go To Africa To Volunteer or Safari

When people think about going to Africa they think of only two reasons, to volunteer or to go on a safari. No one thinks you can just be a tourist in Africa. But you can totally be a tourist there, it’s an amazing place to tour! Pretty much anything you could want to do is right at your fingertips in Africa, from scuba diving to bungee jumping you can do it all.

 

Africa is Gross and Dirty

The only thing gross here is this generalization. There are a lot of countries that are doing very well on this continent, like Rwanda, Botswana, and even Tanzania. You will not believe how clean and developed a lot of these countries are. Sure they don’t show this part of Africa on the news but trust us, it’s definitely there.

 

There’s A Lot of Deadly Diseases There

Sure there have been some scares of diseases like Ebola and malaria a few years ago but those numbers have dropped off dramatically thanks mostly to the major initiatives that have been put in place to eradicate such diseases. You absolutely should still talk to your doctor about any preventative measures before heading to Africa, but you don’t need to be terrified of contracting anything while you’re there.

 

Traveling Alone There is Nuts!

Traveling alone in Africa is just like traveling anywhere else in the world. You have to be smart and do your best to not take chances but as long as you keep your wits about you, you should be fine. Just trust your gut and do what you think is right and you will be just as safe as you would be if you were anywhere else in the world.

 

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Saving the World by Doing Regenerative Travel

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Regenerative travel may help halt the rapid degradation of tourist destinations all over the world–and eventually slow down climate change. 

Earlier this year, an article pointed out the beneficial effects of regenerative travel, a mode of travelling that posits helping the world regenerate itself, adopt less social crowding, and acquire an environmentally conscious mindset.

Prior to the onset of the novel coronavirus outbreak, tourism was one of the largest industries all over the world. In 2018, total tourism revenue was $5 billion per day, according to a World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) report.

Tourism earnings helped various countries boost their economies. However, the same tourism activities ultimately affected—and degraded—the environment. Hence, the said industry caused major impacts on the local communities that were frequently visited by travelers worldwide.

Several areas in different European cities, for instance, were metamorphosing into unlivable locations while the exponential rise in various rentals also exacerbated the problem. Beaches in Thailand, for example, were increasingly filling up with plastic residue coming from various hotels and tourist boats in the country.

The necessity of adopting sustainable travel became a popular outcry as mass tourism became the norm. Before the advent of the term, regenerative travel, advocates began asking travelers to minimize travel impact in the different places they visited. Initiatives including the minimized usage of plastic and the reduction of waste were encouraged.

Regenerative travel, however, takes the advocacy a step further. Whereas sustainable travel merely aims to eradicate the effects of tourism in specific locations, regenerative travel calls for the improvement of the particular locations that visitors go to.

Jonathon Day, an assistant professor at Purdue University, stresses that “[tourism] is sort of a low bar. At the end of the day, it’s not just making a mess of the place. Regenerative tourism says, let’s make it better for future generations.”

Regenerative travel does not merely postulate buying local stuff or decreasing your carbon footprint. Regenerative travel stresses the necessity of executing actual, measurable, and concrete change. Hence, tourists are encouraged to provide meaningful improvements to the places they visit. This can be initiated by joining restoration groups or even supporting a local business school for the area’s indigenous women. In a sense, regenerative tourism means leaving the place a better one than when you first stepped into it.

Various travel companies are now starting to support the regenerative travel campaign. The preference for quality over quantity is stressed. With the help of various groups and organizations like the ConsciousTravel, a service that provides guidance to tour and destination operators regarding positive change, more and more travel agencies are now advertising the need to create more meaningful, environment-based changes to each tourist destination in their lists.

As visitors to these tourist hotspots, it is essential to be a major player in the creation of environmental improvements. International travelers must be aware of the destructive impacts of tourism and help promote regenerative travel. The present pandemic has been a huge eye-opener as we see the ill effects of pollution to the world. Climate change is a major issue that will ultimately affect everyone if we do not begin saving our environment now.

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Destinations

Best Vacations for the Recently Retired

Work is done and you have little to no responsibilities since you recently retired, so what are your excuses to not travel?

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Work is done and you have little to no responsibilities since you recently retired, so what are your excuses to not travel? It’s time to enjoy your golden years and travel to some fun destinations. If you saved for your retirement, hopefully you put in some sort of travel budget so you can see the world, and stay in amazing hotels like the Marriott. Baby Boomers are reaching retirement age and that means a huge influx of retired travelers is set to hit the world’s top destinations. We can’t travel like we used to so let’s explore some excellent vacations for retirees.

Ireland

Who hasn’t dreamed of strolling through the rolling green hills of Ireland? The lush green country is a perfect vacation destination for the retired set. Dublin is a great place to start to see some of the oldest buildings in all of Europe and taste the perfect pint at the Guinness brewery. There is so much to see in Ireland you can really take your time on an extended trip and enjoy everything Ireland has to offer.  The perfect vacation for the recently retired.

Sicily

If Italian food is your favorite or if ancient architecture is your bag, Sicily is for you. Who hasn’t wanted to check out Palermo, the lively capital that boasts spectacular cathedrals and delicious street food? The small island off the coast of Italy’s big toe is the perfect destination for retired folk. The islands slow pace and miles of gorgeous beaches make Sicily a great spot. Many Italian-Americans track their heritage to Sicily and those Baby Boomers can visit their ancient roots.  Retired people will love the vibe of Sicily.

Australia

The flights to Australia will take up to 21 hours so you need to spend some time there to make it worth it. Now you are retired and you have literally nowhere to be, it’s the perfect time to take an extended vacation to the land down under. Australia has something for everyone, with major cities, extreme outback and wonderful beaches. You must see Sydney Harbor, the Great Barrier Reef and a kangaroo. Other than that, explore Australia at your own pace; you have all the time in the world.

U.S. Road Trip

If times what you have, why not take a coast-to-coast road trip across our great country. America has so much diverse landscapes that you can experience so much on a road trip. For a real adventure rent a recreational vehicle and take your time, see all the sites you want and do it in style. An RV can be rented at very affordable prices and offers a unique experience many have never lived. See the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, drive historic Route 66 or make your own route.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Why not take a road trip on the most scenic highway in America, the Blue Ridge Parkway. This picturesque 470-mile drive connects Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and the Great Smoky Mountain national Park in North Carolina. The road follows the peaks of numerous mountains along the way giving off spectacular views and winding through some cute little towns.   There are some seriously cute places to stay along the way and more than enough activities to keep you entertained.

Rocky Mountaineer

Maybe you should let someone else drive so you can soak up all the incredible views along the Canadian Rocky Mountains, in the Rocky Mountaineer, a luxury train. Enjoy sitting in glass domed train cars so you can see beauty at every angle. There are multiple options available to satisfy any urge. You can get coastal views or strictly mountain routes. You can decide among many options to make the vacation fit exactly what you want.

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Destinations

Why You Should Visit Hawaii

 I break down each island in the chain and tell you why you should visit each one

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Hawaii is paradise on Earth and one of the most traveled to destinations on the planet, so why all the hype? I break down each island in the chain and tell you why you should visit each one. Check out paradise in each of its unique forms from the laid back vibes of Molokai to the big city by the beach in Oahu’s Honolulu.

 

Oahu

Oahu is home to the largest city in all the Hawaiian Islands and is the most populated. There is a huge military population on Oahu as the Navy has its base, Pearl Harbor. Honolulu is the island’s only “big” city and Waikiki is the party destination if you are into that sort of thing. Not all of Oahu is a party destination, as many parts of the island operate at a much slower pace. Check out the North Shore for bohemian beach towns and world-class surfing.

For some interesting attractions, check out the Polynesian Cultural Center or the sunken remains of the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor. The beaches are world-class and the resorts are massive.

 

Hawaii (Big Island)

The largest of the Hawaiian Islands by far is Hawaii or “the Big Island.” This massive island features almost every climate in its rich ecosystems. There is often snow on top of the mountain peaks that are surrounded by rainforests and deserts. The big island features a wide variety of terrain and activities. Check out some of the best surfing, snorkeling and hiking the world has to offer. The island is split into two main sides, the leeward side, which is very dry and arid, and the wayward side, which is the wettest region in America.

Make sure you check out Mauna Kea, the world’s tallest mountain, measured from the sea floor up. There are also two active volcanoes to check out where you can see lava flows.

 

Maui

The most all-around island in the chain, Maui has a little bit of everything. Every major resort has a luau and we recommend checking one out for some culture and unlimited mai tais. This island has all the outdoor activities you could ever want with some incredible hiking, surfing and snorkeling. The weather is perfect and the sun is usually shining.   Take a hike to the crater of a volcano at the Haleakala National Park.  

 

Kauai

Known as the garden island, Kauai is easily the most beautiful of the main islands. This is also known as the lovers’ island and the retirement island as most guests are on their honeymoon or well, old. There aren’t too many spots open past 8pm and the island’s nightlife is almost non-existent. There is some of the best hiking and outdoor activities in the world.

Check out the Na Pali Coast, a rocky, 20-mile section of the island that is unreachable by car and where you’ll recognize the beginning of Jurassic Park. Take a helicopter tour of amazing waterfalls and secret beaches galore.

The most impressive feature is the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, the Waimea Canyon.

 

 

Lanai

The smallest of the Hawaiian Islands that are open to the public, Lanai is mostly owned privately by billionaire Larry Ellison (Oracle). This island used to be a huge pineapple plantation and is now home to two Four Seasons resorts. Golf is god here as two of the best courses in the US are located here.

 

Molokai

The most remote Hawaiian Island is Molokai, which has hardly any infrastructure and has very few visitors each year. The pace is slow here and they only operate on island time. Come here if you want to chill hardcore and not do many touristy activities, as they don’t really exist here.

 

Find which version of paradise you like the most and check it out. Hawaii has a little of something for everyone; you just have to find it.

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