Don’t Ride Elephants on Vacation! – Jetlaggin
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Don’t Ride Elephants on Vacation!

We have all seen photos of people riding elephants in Thailand while on vacation and wanted to check that off our bucket lists. I was just like you until I heard about the appalling torture these poor animals go through, just to get them ready…

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We have all seen photos of people riding elephants in Thailand while on vacation and wanted to check that off our bucket lists. I was just like you until I heard about the appalling torture these poor animals go through, just to get them ready to be ridden.   These majestic creatures are beaten and abused just so tourists can ride them.  AN elephant doesn’t have the rights a human does, so we have to speak up for them.

Don’t feel bad for wanting to ride an elephant, shoot; it’s been a dream of mine for years. I had no clue as to the widespread abuse these poor creatures endured, instead, the incredible photos and videos captivated me. Just picture yourself sitting upon these gargantuan beasts as they trudge through picturesque jungles and wade through uncultivated rivers. Thailand is a land of mystery and undiscovered beauty, so why not ride an elephant to top off the trip? You shouldn’t because it’s only proliferating these animals abuse and neglect.

The elephant is notorious for never forgetting, so why would you want to be apart of a smart animals’ demise.

The Asian elephant is an endangered species as there are less than 2,000 living in the wild in the jungles of Thailand. Many are being displaced due to rampant deforestation and illegal poaching. The elephant tourism industry is responsible for the illegal capture and trade of these endangered animals. These wild elephants, many are captured as babies must then be trained for foreign tourist to ride them. This training is considered torture as violent techniques are employed.

 

Baby elephants are tortured so they will allow people to ride them, which is quite unnatural to them. The process of taming these baby elephants is called “Phajaan” or “the crush.” This process involves stealing the babies away from their mothers and licked in very small cages, where they are beaten into submission using clubs and sticks with sharp hooks on the ends. These barbaric techniques aren’t subject to any regulations, as the Thai government simply looks the other way.

These poor baby elephants are continuously tortured until their spirits are broken and sometimes they die in the process.

An elephant’s spine isn’t strong enough to properly support the weight of a human. Years of being ridden create extreme pain in these animals and often when they stop performing, they are put down. Many organizations try to save these ill-fated creatures before they are killed.

Most travelers have no idea of the rampant torment involved in elephant tourism. An excellent organization is trying to change that, the Elephant Nature Park. Located in the jungles of Northern Thailand, the ENP is involved in the protection and care of mistreated elephants as well as educating tourists.   Over 30 elephants are being cared for on the 250-acre park. Tourists are brought in to learn and care for these regal animals in the proper ways. Here, you can walk the animals; feed them and even help them bathe in a river.

The park offers visitors the chance to make a difference in an elephant’s life and stay connected long after their trip receiving progress reports and updates. Also, the park is registered as a non-profit foundation; so all proceeds go to help the elephants.

Elephant training has been going on in Thailand for hundreds of years, but now their sole purpose is tourism. Before they were used in the timber industry and even in the Thai military.

I won’t think poorly of you if you have ridden an elephant in the past. However, if you chose to ride them knowing what torture then endure, I’ll know how you feel. Sure, the experience would be memorable, but the poor elephants won’t soon forget either. Can you handle being part of hurting these beautiful creatures… I know I can’t.

If you’d like to donate to the Elephant Nature Park (ENP), here is a link. Travel with your heart and let’s stop the torture of these magnificent animals for good.

 

 Photos courtesy of TheGuardian, YouTube, elephant-world, speak up for the voiceless, Kaleenaskaleidiscope 

Read the full article over at the ExpertVagabond 

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Guides

Don’t be a Boarding Area Jerk

We’ve all experienced the boarding area jerk at the airport and hopefully you won’t be that asshole. Let’s all be civilized adults here and act like you’ve traveled before.

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We’ve all experienced the boarding area jerk at the airport and hopefully you won’t be that asshole.   You know the douche that is talking loudly on their phone or arguing with the poor airline staff, don’t be the cause of other people’s stress.   Let’s all be civilized adults here and act like you’ve traveled before.

Don’t be a jerk in the boarding area by avoiding these common dick moves.

 

Don’t put feet up

I get it, traveling is tiring and you are exhausted but do you have to put your feet all over the seats around you? No, stop invading other people’s personal space with your big old Fred Flintstone toes. Unless you have a medical condition where you need your foot elevated, keep it down on the floor where it belongs.

 

Stop saving all the seats

Ok, we’ve all seen this jerk. The boarding area only has a certain number of seats, never enough for everyone, so stop hogging seats with your luggage. Stack your luggage up on the floor and let me sit down. I can understand keeping your carry on close because it has your valuable, but that big roller bag doesn’t need a chair.

 

Power Outlet Hog

This jerk doesn’t need to charge all their electronics at once. If there are multiple power outlets next to you, don’t be greedy and only use one outlet. Maybe plan ahead their power hog and bring your own power strip next time if you really must charge your two phones, IPad and laptop at the same time.

 

Stop eating stinky food there

They have restaurants in the airport for a reason, to eat food there. Can we all stop eating stinky ass food in the waiting area and for heaven’s sake keep it off the airplane.   I ’m tired of smelling some tuna sandwich being chomped on behind my seat in the boarding area, eat at the restaurant you bought the food from, geez. People treat the boarding area like it’s their living room, it’s not so act right.

 

Stop crowding the gate

The worst possible people crowd the gate before their flight. These jerks are all usually a late boarding group so they are trying to jump the line. No Cuts, No Butts and definitely No Coconuts. Please be an adult and wait for your group to be called before crowding the tiny boarding area.

 

Leave the airline employees alone

It’s not the gate attendant’s fault that the plane is delayed, so leave the poor employee alone. Customer service is a thankless job that never gets paid enough, so give them a break. We’ve all see the asshole yelling at them when they can do absolutely nothing about it. Traveling can suck; so don’t make it worse by being a jerk.

 

Keep quiet on your phone

This jerk needs to learn how to use their inside voice. We all get it; you are some important hotshot businessperson who is making a douche call, but can’t you use a quieter voice. Learn how to be respectful of people around you or be hated by all.

 

Let’s all try and be better, more considerate people while traveling.

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Destinations

Destinations with Perfect Blue Water

We are all searching for the perfect vacation destination with crystal blue waters and great temperatures.   Your search is over as we have compiled the paradise on Earth list with the most amazing blue waters you can find.

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We are all searching for the perfect vacation destination with crystal blue waters and great temperatures.   Your search is over as we have compiled the paradise on Earth list with the most amazing blue waters you can find. See if your wanderlust will take you to these incredible destinations and the paradise you seek will finally be attainable. These places have the bluest and clearest water on the planet, so book your trips ASAP and enjoy your vacation bliss.

 

Palawan, Philippines

You’ll feel like you are on your own beach here, with few tourists and plenty of sand. Filled with private lagoons and the bluest water around, Palawan is paradise that we’ve found. You’ll also find the world’s longest navigable underwater river.

 

The Maldives

Celebrity destination number one, the Maldives’ blue waters will blow your mind. Located in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is the hottest vacation spots around. A bungalow sitting over blue waters is paradise in my mind.

 

Peyto Lake, Canada

Sapphire blue water will blow your mind while visiting Banff National Park and checking out Peyto Lake. Filled with glacier runoff and snowmelt, you’ll take some memorable photos here.

 

Havelock Island, India

The Bay of Bengal has a few surprises for visitors like Havelock Island.   Get off the grid with this secret snorkel spot. Located in a string of Islands of the coast of India you’ll find some of the clearest waters around.  

 

Ambergris Caye, Belize

Home of the earth’s second largest barrier reef; Belize is a scuba and snorkelers paradise. The clear waters are home to many amazing dive sites including Shark ray Alley where you can swim with nurse sharks and stingrays. Or if more mystery is up your alley, check out the underwater caves of the Blue Hole. The shades of blue here are so vibrant you’ll think it’s a dream.

  

Devil’s bay, British Virgin Islands

Sometimes the juice is just worth the squeeze and Devil’s Bay is exactly that. After an adventurous hike you’ll find the picturesque views and tranquil bright turquoise waters. Snorkel in the crystal clear waters and you’ll know why this place is so magical.

 

Con Son, Vietnam

A hidden gem in Southeast Asia, Con Son is the only inhabited island in the area.   Steep granite cliffs surround the beaches and protect them from violent storms, making the area pristine and untouched. Finding your inner peace here should be easy.

 

Crater Lake, Oregon

A huge crater created by a volcano centuries ago has left us with a spectacular and picturesque mountain lake. Crater Lake in Oregon is simply stunning and a place that we all need to see. Make sure you go in the summer or late spring as the winters here can dump feet of snow in a matter of hours. The deepest and clearest lake in the US, Crater Lake has visibility 400 feet down. Take a dip, but beware, it’s cold.

 

Egremnoi, Greece

The Mediterranean has some of the most beautiful waters around and Greece may have the best. Check out a hidden gem in Egremnoi Beach on the West coast of Lefkada, a small Greek island. A steep staircase keeps the hoards of tourists down and the powder white sand welcome the brave visitors. You will be rewarded with crystal turquoise waters and relaxing waves crashing on the shore. Swim in the luke-warm waters and let all the hassles of the real world melt away.

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Destinations

America’s Most Visited National Parks

The United States have some of the most amazing and spectacular National Park land in the world and you should be visiting them all.  Here are the top 10 most visited parks in the system and why I think you should check them out.

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The United States have some of the most amazing and spectacular National Park land in the world and you should be visiting them all. Last year was a banner year for National Parks as they recorded 331 million visitors in 2016, a 8 percent increase over 2015. That’s a lot of visitors, they all can’t be wrong, these National Parks might have something here.

Luckily, our great country has over 417 National Parks for you to explore and all are reasonably priced. The parks just celebrated their 100th anniversary so let’s all celebrate together by checking some out. The top 10 National Parks are some stunning places to visit, so what are you waiting for?

Here are the top 10 most visited parks in the system and why I think you should check them out.

 

Vietnam Veterans Memorial — 5,299,713

Located in Washington, D.C., the Vietnam Memorial is a somber and powerful monument. The Washington Mall has many great monuments that symbolize our country’s freedoms; the Vietnam memorial may be the most shocking. The amount of names on the list of people that died fighting for our country is alarming.

Check out this monument if you are in D.C. and want to see a truly moving piece of American History.

 

Natchez Trace Parkway — 5,891,315

The parkway cuts through Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee and is over 400 miles of American History. Native Americans and settlers used the ancient trail during the country’s expansion West. Take a trip back through time as you can explore hiking trails, camping and horseback riding.

 

Grand Canyon National Park — 5,969,811

This should be number one in my opinion, just based on how epic and awesome the Grand Canyon truly is. One of the seven Natural Wonders of the World, The canyon is so awe-inspiring. Everyone should see the sun rise over the North Rim and walk over the glass bottom observation deck. Make a day trip from the Las Vegas area or make a weekend trip and take a donkey tour to the bottom.

Real adventurers will take a white water rafting tour down the Colorado River.

 

Lake Mead National Recreation Area — 7,175,891

Straddling the border of Arizona and Nevada, Lake Mead Recreation area is a watery paradise. Spring breakers gather here to party and families venture here for some boating fun. Great destination for the whole family, so check it out and make a day trip to the Grand Canyon, boom, two birds baby.

 

Lincoln Memorial — 7,915,934

Another wonderful monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The Lincoln Memorial is a great place to take in the whole mall and reflect on our country’s greatness and deficiencies. Be one of the millions of people who take a selfie with President Lincoln.

 

Gateway National Recreation Area — 8,651,770

The top destination for New Yorkers Gateway national is actually three parks in one. It includes Jamaica Bay, Sandy Hook, NJ and Staten Island, NY. These three parks combine to offer big city dwellers small glimpses of nature to enjoy. Living in the urban jungle is tough and sometimes you need some greenery in your life.

 

George Washington Memorial Parkway — 10,323,339

Take a scenic drive down the GW parkway alongside the Potomac River; you’ll understand why so many people come here. With miles and miles of hiking trails and jogging paths, the GW parkway has some great green areas. Located just outside of Washington DC in Northern Virginia, the parkway connects the city and the suburbs.

 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park — 11,312,786

Spread across North Carolina and Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains offer grand views and amazing local foliage. Visitors love hiking and other outdoor activities. Come in the fall for some amazing color displays as the leaves are changing.

 

Blue Ridge Parkway — 15,175,578

Driving on top of the world is how this park feels. Located in Virginia and West Virginia, the Blue ridge Parkway takes drivers on some winding mountain roads. Motorcyclists love these mountain rides and huge convoys can be seen on weekends.

 

Golden Gate National Recreation Area — 15,638,777

Outside of San Francisco is a wonderful park full of mystic and wonder. The most visit national Park in the United States is a great one. With giant sequoia trees to ever expanding vistas, the park is worth the trip.

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