Cappuccino Coffee: A Rich & Colorful History

Cappuccino coffee is one of the most popular coffee drinks in the world.

It’s made from a freshly prepared espresso that has its flavor enhanced with hot milk and steamed milk foam. Then, more often than not, cappuccino is topped off with a sprinkling of chocolate or cinnamon.

Yet, the drink so many people know and love has not always been served the way it is today and the true origin of cappuccino coffee remains unknown.

double sided coffee glass with cappuccino and spoon

A History Shrouded in Mystery

Cappuccino coffee originated in Italy and is believed to be named after the “cappucio” hoods worn by Franciscan monks.

Cappuccino translates as “little hood” and the color of the monks’ hoods bears a striking resemblance to the shade of brown that results from the mixing of coffee and milk in a cup of cappuccino.

Although there can be little doubt about the reason cappuccino coffee received its name it is unclear how long ago the drink was invented.

One popular story states the drink is the invention a Capuchin Monk called Marco d’ Avaiano and that he produced the world’s first ever cappuccino coffee in 1683, after the Battle of Vienna. It’s a great story, but there is no historical evidence to back it up.

Capuchin Monk & Cappuccino

Cappuccino From a Machine

Cappuccino coffee drinking grew in popularity in 1901.

Up until then coffee was made in small batches.

This changed when a young man from Milan, called Luigi Bezzera, decided the coffee making process was too slow and invented the world’s first espresso coffee machine. Bezzera’s machine made it easy to make a cup of strong, black espresso in around 30 seconds and the fact that an espresso could be produced so quickly made it easier to produce other coffee drinks, including cappuccino.

Bezzera’s creation may have made it easier to make a cappuccino, but early cappuccinos lacked the thick texture that modern-day coffee drinkers know and love.

The milky foam was a later addition that came about when enterprising coffee machine manufacturers decided to add steam wands to their machines.

After the foam was introduced to the drink adding sprinkles of cinnamon or chocolate was an easy next step.

la marzocco coffee machine

Cappuccino Coffee is Introduced to America

By the 1950s, Cappuccino was a firm favourite with coffee drinkers all over Europe.

The drink did not become popular in America until the early 1980s.

Drinking coffee was already an important part of American culture, but many Americans preferred to take their coffee black and a visit to a coffee shop was often more about the food than the drink that accompanied it.

Things changed when a few entrepreneurs noticed how things were done in Europe, where coffee drinking was as much about the experience as the beverage. This was very different to America and the entrepreneurs realized coffee had a potential that was yet to be taken advantage of in America.

However, when it came to coffee drinking, the cultural differences between America and Europe were significant. It was the norm for American’s to pop into a coffee shop, grab a quick coffee and then go, only staying longer if they wanted something to eat.

The entrepreneurs needed a way to encourage customers to stay longer and order more drinks. They achieved this by offering a wider variety of options including lattes, caffè cremas and, cappuccinos.

One only has to look at the present popularity of Starbucks to see how successful the move turned out to be.

American Coffee Culture

Cappuccino: A Coffee Conclusion

These days anyone who wishes to do so can pop down to the local supermarket and buy a sachet of cappuccino coffee to prepare at home and the hardest part of a coffee shop visit may be choosing to opt for a cappuccino or taking one of the many other coffee options that are on offer.

Enjoying a cappuccino has become so easy to do it has become equally easy to take the drink for granted. That is a pity because the beverage has a long and interesting history.

The modern-day cappuccino is not just the result of a monk’s experimentation with coffee beans, water, and milk; or a Milanese man’s desire to speed up the coffee making process.

Cappuccino is a drink that has evolved and improved over the years. In fact, the history of cappuccino is as rich and colorful as the drink itself.

More Coffee Adventures

A Short Guide to Hiking in Slovenia’s Triglav National Park

The best of Slovenia’s Alps are contained within Triglav National Park, which is named for Mt. Triglav, the park’s highest peak (2,864 meters).

The mountains in Slovenia’s borders are somewhat smaller than those found in Italy or Austria. However, they are no less scenic.

There are plenty of challenging climbs and breathtaking viewpoints that will satisfy the most avid hiker.

Here are a few tips to help you make the most out of a trek through Triglav National Park.

Church of St John the Baptist

Church of St John the Baptist, Bohinj Lake, Slovenia

Plan at least two days on the trail to reach the summit.

Slovenians consider it a rite of passage to stand atop the country’s highest peak.

The summit can be approached from several directions, but in most cases, a round trip will take an experienced hiker 16-18 hours.

Basically, hiking Triglav in one day is doable, but you will wear yourself out.

Do yourself a favor and plan to stay overnight in the park.

where to stay when trekking in park

Julian Alps in Triglav National Park

You will enjoy the hike a lot more since you won’t be rushed.

Make reservations beforehand at one of the mountain huts. Camping in the park is illegal, so you’ll need to reserve a spot at the Alpine Club’s mountain huts to stay overnight.

A dorm bed will run you 20 euros (less if you can show an Alpine Club card). Hot food is available, but generally expensive. It’s a good idea to bring extra snacks.

You can obtain a comprehensive list of hut phone numbers from any tourist office. You will need to reserve by phone at least a few days in advance for the more popular huts.

It’s often easier to get a spot mid-week as more locals head to the park on weekends. Some hikers show up without a reservation, which is risky and tends to annoy the hut managers.

Ascend by way of  Voje Valley towards Mt. Triglav and descend through Seven Lakes Valley.

If you want to ascend Mt. Triglav and get a proper tour of the park, this is by far the most scenic route.

When you take this route, plan for a two-night trek.

The best hut to stay at for the first night is Dom Planika pod Triglavom (aka “Planika”).

You can check in, drop your bags and ascend Triglav on your first day, or save the ascent for the morning of your second day.

Reserve your second night in one of the huts in the Seven Lakes Valley region.

From Seven Lakes Valley, you will descend into the Bohinj Lake Valley on your third day.

Breaking up this route into three days will give you plenty of time to enjoy the scenery.

waterfall in Triglav National Park, Julian Alps, Slovenia

Pericnik waterfall in Triglav National Park, Julian Alps, Slovenia.

Check your shoes before commencing your hike.

The alps contain rocky, steep and difficult terrain. When your shoes fall apart mid-hike, you may have a very difficult time continuing your journey and getting back to town.

If your shoes are more than a few years old, you may want to consider replacing them before taking on the Alps.

See how to break in hiking shoe to prepare for better comfort during your Triglav National Park hike.

Bring hiking poles.

Even if you’re young and spry, poles can help enhance both safety and stamina.

Hiking poles are useful for traversing slippery rocks and steep slopes. They will also greatly ease the strain on your knees during steep descents. The alps are serious mountains, so bring serious equipment.

Don’t Forget a Good Map

Buy a good map.

Topographical trail maps are easily purchased from the tourist offices.

A map with full detail will help you plan your route, learn more about the area, and locate nearby huts should you find yourself in an emergency.

More Hiking Adventures

Chill Out with Iced Coffee from Around the World

No matter the season, no matter the reason, iced coffees always hit the spot.

Americans aren’t the only ones enjoying iced coffee beverages, around the world iced coffees and espresso drinks are popular. There’s more to an iced coffee then, well, ice and coffee.

In the northwest, where American fascination with coffee was born, an iced coffee includes very little flavoring or sweeteners. Seattleites will pour a shot of hot espresso over a cup of ice and add a bit of coffee to fill it to the top.

In California, iced coffee drinks are often created by filling a cup with ice, adding milk about half way up the cup then topping off with strong coffee. A squeeze or two of caramel and whipped cream topping finishes it off.

Ice Coffee California Style

Coffee lovers on the east coast dig coffee martinis. Cold brewed coffee is mixed with vodka and a splash of coffee liquor, shaken in a martini shaker and served in an iced martini glass.

Italians have been known to serve iced coffee drinks on hot days by placing a cup filled with ice under the espresso maker nozzle. They claim espresso begins to turn bitter if cooled slowly.

In France, they like their iced coffee sweet and syrupy. After brewing a strong cup of Joe, they add sugar cubes and spices before stirring and adding ice.

Iced Coffee 101

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that if you add something hot, like coffee, to something cold, like ice, they both end up diluting and becoming lukewarm. There are a couple ways to counter this rule of science.

Making cold brewed coffee is one way to combat the ice melting issue.

Don’t confuse the cold brewed coffee described below for cold, brewed coffee – the leftovers from this morning’s pot.

Ice Coffee and Straws

When made properly, cold brewed coffee serves as a refrigerated coffee concentrate that can make hot beverages as well as cold.

  1. Start with a pound of freshly roasted, high quality, coarsely ground coffee beans.
  2. Place the beans in the bottom of a one gallon pitcher.
  3. Fill the pitcher with ten cups of filtered water.
  4. Leave at room temperature for twelve to fifteen hours.
  5. Place folded cheesecloth or other fine mesh filter over another pitcher that is one half to a full gallon in volume. Secure cheesecloth with a rubber band around the lip of the pitcher. It doesn’t have to be tight, just secure.
  6. Pour the cold brewed coffee and sludge over the filter, filling the bottom pitcher with a filtered concentrate.
  7. Squeeze the remainder of the essence from the beans by wadding the cheesecloth or filter around the beans and compressing tightly over the pitcher.

Cold Brew Recipe

You can use cold brewed coffee to make a plethora of iced coffee drink favorites.

Fill a glass one quarter full of milk. Stir in two tablespoons of chocolate beverage syrup or Ovaltine. Fill with ice. Pour concentrated cold brewed coffee to the top of the glass. Substitute strawberry beverage syrup or protein shake powder to make a tasty iced coffee treat.

Another way to combat the melting issue is to use the low temperature of your other ingredients to temper the coffee or espresso, making the melt far less obvious. When you will be using milk in your iced coffee drink, you can mix the shot, milk and anything other than the ice before adding your ice cubes.

With a little forethought, you could also place your iced coffee drink glass in your freezer until you’re ready for it. Pour the hot coffee or espresso shot into the frozen glass. The liquid from the coffee or espresso will absorb the cold temperatures, making for a cool cup of coffee in just a minute.

Keep cool. Keep caffeinated. Travel far.

More Coffee Adventures Await

Five Great Reasons to Make Nova Scotia Your Vacation Destination

With summer fast approaching, it’s time to begin planning the perfect vacation—and this year, you can skip the debate about where to go.

Nova Scotia, Canada, has always been popular with tourists, but this summer, everything is lining up to make it the ultimate destination for every traveler’s needs.

Here are just five of the many reasons to choose Nova Scotia:

1) It’s Breathtakingly Beautiful

Known for its diverse landscape and stunning natural beauty, Nova Scotia has it all.

Miles of coastline offer access to white sand beaches or rugged rocky shores, and a network of well-maintained highways lead you through charming ocean-side villages and thriving agricultural towns.

The looming highlands of the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island offer dramatic vistas, while trails along the Atlantic Coast and the Kejimkujik Sea Adjunct offer the chance to glimpse marine wildlife in their natural habitat.

Take in the sight of the innumerable islands of Mahone Bay from shore or on a watercraft, and enjoy the striking effect of a bay full of sails during Chester’s race week.

With numerous picturesque communities and designated look-offs around the province, when it comes to photo-ops, Nova Scotia is sure to impress.

Cabot Trail Canada Travel

2) It’s Entertaining

Nova Scotia is known across Canada for having the nicest, most fun-loving population in the country – and what makes Nova Scotians so friendly?

Perhaps it’s all the interesting things going on around the province.

For urbanites, the capital city of Halifax offers a thriving arts scene.

Live music venues, theatres, restaurants, galleries and museums (like the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia) abound, and the city’s popular waterfront boardwalk is alive with buskers and vendors all day long.

Whale watching and deep-sea fishing expeditions operate out of a number of different towns, while a leisurely tour of the vineyards of the Annapolis Valley is available for those who prefer to keep both feet on land.

The province boasts a popular craft beer scene, folk music, crafts, many excellent festivals, and no end of annual events and must-see destinations in every region.

Facade of Halifax Alehouse Canada

3) It’s Adventurous

With so much rugged wilderness, it is no surprise that Nova Scotia is a No. 1 destination for outdoor adventurers in North America.

Offering a plethora of hiking trails through a variety of ecosystems and terrains, adventurers can experience many different landscapes within a few hours’ drive.

You could conquer Cape Split on foot or mountain bike, go sea-kayaking along the wild Eastern Shore or the Bras D’Or Lakes, surf or parasail at one of the province’s stunning beaches, or go zip lining at in the mountains at Martock.

The possibilities for outdoor adventure are endless, but the fun doesn’t stop there!

Nova Scotia is well known for its stories of haunting and pirate treasure.

The supernaturally inclined can go on any number of chilling ghost walks, and can keep a wary eye open for the flaming ghost-ship of the Northumberland Strait.

Treasure seekers can ask the locals about the infamous Treasure Pit of Oak Island, or go panning for gold at the Ovens Provincial Park.

There is even excitement for those who seek less conventional thrills, who can investigate the mass UFO sighting of 1967, locally known as the Shag Harbour Incident.

Cape Split Rocky Shoreline Tides

4) It’s Historic

As home to the Mi’kMaq First Nation and one of the earliest locations of European settlement in North America, attractions for the history buff abound in Nova Scotia.

For the more relaxed traveler, the historic sites at the Halifax Citadel, Fortress of Louisbourg, Fort Anne, or the Habitation offer guided tours and live reenactments by costumed performers that are sure to spark your interest.

For those willing to venture into more rugged terrain, the trails of Kejimkujik National Park harbor historic Mi’kMaq petroglyphs, and the Canso Island National Historic Site offers artifacts from the Dummer’s war and one of the earliest fishing settlements in North America.

Literature fans can explore the land of Evangeline and mull over the Acadian Expulsion at Grand Pré, rockhounds can comb the fossil-rich shorelines of the Bay of Fundy or examine the displays at Joggins and Blue Rock, and those who like to mix history and adventure can descend into the coal mines at the Cape Breton Miners Museum.

5) It’s Accessible

Today, the attractions of Nova Scotia are more accessible than ever.

With service from two major ferries (Yarmouth and Digby), Via Rail, the Trans-Canada Highway, and an international airport with connecting flights from across North America, getting here is easy and enjoyable.

A low Canadian dollar means that travelers from the USA will enjoy an excellent rate of exchange, boosting the affordability of all of the exciting activities on offer, and there are a range of charming accommodations available in every town.

The icing on the cake is that, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Confederation of Canada, general admission to all Parks Canada sites is free when you order the no-cost pass from the Parks Canada website.

So get your free parks pass and hit the trails – you’re not going to want to miss an adventure this summer in Nova Scotia!


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Prepare to Hike in Nova Scotia with These Tips

Hiking Basics

Hiking is a healthy activity for both the body and mind.

Hiking trails for all levels of expertise are found in every country. It is truly a global pastime, enjoyed by individuals, friends, hiking clubs, and families.

Some level of hiking is possible for everyone who can walk, making it the perfect hobby for every age, as well as for groups and families of mixed ages.

To experience a safe and enjoyable hiking experience, it’s important to know the basic “rules” of hiking.

Picking The Trail

There are hiking trails everywhere.

Some trails are difficult and only for experienced hikers, but many are easy hikes that don’t contain steep inclines or require climbing over rocks.

Contact your local Chamber of Commerce, in the USA or abroad, for brochures and maps of hiking trails in your area.

Many state parks have hiking trails, perfect for day trips, family hikes, or overnight camping. Some trails are designed to accommodate wheelchairs and strollers.

If you live in a state full of woods and mountains or live where you are surrounded by blacktop and high rise office buildings, there are trails nearby where you can enjoy hiking.

Girl Pair of Hiking Poles Grand Canyon

Choosing Your Hiking Trail – Grand Canyon

Hiking Rhythm

Whether you pick a gentle trail or a challenging trail, it’s important to learn to pace yourself.

Develop a rhythm (cadence) that is comfortable and allows you to go a considerable distance without feeling strained or needing a break. As your endurance builds, hiking will tire you less. Plan short breaks at specific intervals.

When you are a new hiker, plan a ten-minute break for every 20 minutes of hiking. As your body conditions itself, you can increase the length of time between breaks.

Shoes for a Day Hike

Hiking Shoes

It’s necessary to have the proper hiking gear to avoid as many problems as possible.

Top on the list of gear is the right hiking shoe, and the right sock.

To avoid the hiker’s nemesis, the blister, wear properly fitted shoes and break them in before embarking on a hike. If you are wearing leather shoes, follow the manufacturer’s recommendation, which can mean rubbing with saddle soap or mink oil, and sometimes a specific brand of boot treatment is suggested.

Regular care will keep your boots pliable, prevent them from drying out, and be kind to your feet. Cotton is not the best material for your boot sock liners.

Purchase specially designed liners made from a wicking material such as polypropylene or Thermax and wear a good wool sock. Always carry moleskin to apply in the event a blister starts to form.

Hiking Shoes with Walking Poles on top

Food And Water

Because food is your body’s fuel, it’s especially important to plan your food carefully for the length of your hike.

For day hikes, dried fruit and nuts, pre-packaged instant oatmeal, and instant noodle and pasta dishes can meet the need. Water is required to keep the body hydrated, but water is also heavy.

You can probably carry enough for a day hike, but if you plan to do longer hikes, purchase a water filtration system to purify water from lakes and streams and carry an insulated water bottle to keep your drinking water cool in warm weather.

Food and Water for hiking

Safety And First Aid

A first aid kit and manual are important for even the simplest hike.

Many outfitters have first aid kits you can purchase containing most of the supplies needed for minor injuries. You can also build your own first aid kit.

The Washington Trails Association website offers excellent instructions on building a hiker’s first aid kit in the hiking resources and hiking basics section at www.wta.org.

First Aid Hiking

Hiking is a great way to enjoy the beautiful outdoors, while staying healthy and fit.

Remember to plan your hike carefully and bring sufficient food and water to enjoy a fun-filled hike.

When you’re ready to got further, you may want to use hiking poles to keep your energy levels up, see reviews of walking poles for hiking here.


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5 Things About Rome That May Shock You

You’ve decided to make that big jump across the pond and head over to Italy. You’ve read all the tour guides, seen plenty of vlogs and have been fantasizing for what seems like forever, and now it’s finally happening.

But if Rome is your first stop on a European adventure, or if you’ve never been to the city before, then you might be in for a surprise. Here are five things about Rome that may shock you. Knowing them might help you prepare for your trip.

1. Rome Is busy

Anyone who’s been to Rome will tell you how busy the city is, but you’re not going to understand how busy until you experience it for yourself.

Depending on when you go, not only will Rome be full of locals trying to live their daily lives, but it will be filled with tourists as well. The metro and buses, while well-connected, are quite crowded.

Europeans and Italians are going to be traveling during the summer and into the early fall months, so be sure to time your trip accordingly.

Vatican City, a tiny country within Rome, is the center of the Catholic Church’s activities. It is also is the home of the Pope, so if there is a Christian holiday coming up, you can be sure there will be throngs of worshippers, especially during Christmastime and Easter.

During these holidays, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to find cheap accommodations in Rome. You might be better off delaying your trip instead of going during a holy time.

Be prepared for the crowds in Rome

2. Pickpockets work 24/7

Professional street hustlers are everywhere.

If you want to blend in and avoid most pickpockets, you should dress as the locals do.

Italians are known for being fashionable yet understated. Clothing is always expertly tailored and often paired with gorgeous, handmade shoes (which are surprisingly reasonable to purchase in Italy).

Tone down your image and leave the digital SLR camera with the extra lens in your hotel. If you don’t feel like being fashion forward, you just have to be more aware of your surroundings than you normally might be.

Keep valuables (like your passport), at the accommodations and keep money and cell phones inside your zipped coats or under your clothing. Don’t make it easy for thieves to rip you off, duh.

Keep your head up and don’t assume someone is offering to help out of the kindness of their heart: Con artists target tourists under the guise of helpfulness, but then expect to be “paid.” Be polite, but be firm. A loud “No!” is often most effective, as they will move on to easier, less-vocal targets.

Roman Ruins Hiking

3. Accommodations are expensive

Hotels are not cheap, even when using discount websites to book them.

Fortunately, there are many alternatives to choose from. Locals will often rent out their homes through private vacation rental sites, such as AirBnB. This is a great way to save money since the locals set the rates, not hotel chains.

Another alternative is to stay at an agriturismo–accommodations that are located on a farm and typically offer B&B-like amenities. Often run by individuals who also live on the property, agriturismos allow you to experience their culture and see how they live from day to day.

When you’re looking to stay in the city, hostels are another alternative to major hotel chains. Bear in mind that many hostels cater to a younger clientele and can be busy, noisy places. Check the reviews before you book and be sure there is no age restriction.

Many hostels are run like conventional hotels; you just have to be sure the one you’re staying at caters to your particular needs.

By saving money on accommodations, you’re free to spend that extra cash on the things you want to do in Rome like eat and sightsee.

roman coliseum

4. The food is terrible (unless you know where to look)

Unless you only want to eat pizza and panini, eating in Rome can be a terrible experience.

Most restaurants around the popular Roman tourist sites are expensive and cater to tourists that are desperate for food and willing to pay anything to get it. Don’t fall into this trap. Before you go to Rome, investigate some cheap and delicious restaurants online, and then program them into your cell phone map.

Not only will you have a guide to great eating right in your hands, but you’ll also be able to find your way around the city and explore areas you might never have gone to otherwise.

The best restaurants are where the locals also go, and they usually do not eat near touristy areas.

TeeShirt for Sale in Rome

5. The weather can be wild

Depending on the time of year, Roman weather can vacillate wildly between extremely hot and humid and miserably cold and damp.

Check the weather forecast and plan ahead. You will need an umbrella, a sturdy rain jacket, and comfortable walking shoes.

Although public transportation is efficient in Rome, you will be doing a lot of walking, so leave the heels and dress shoes at home (unless you’re planning on a fancy dinner night).

Temperatures can fall below freezing during the winter, so make sure you pack light but warm clothing (think Merino wool that can be layered).

In the summer, the less clothing the better, but you need to be careful.

Many religious sites have specific clothing restrictions (women can’t have bare legs or shoulders in churches; men can’t be wearing shorts or go in without a shirt), so check the sites you want to visit and be sure to pack comfortable, cool clothes that also cover your body.

When in doubt, pack a scarf that can double as a shawl, or pants that convert into shorts.

Clothing is relatively inexpensive in Rome, so if you forget something at home, you can pick up what you need at one of the local shops.

Hiking in the Rain Rome

Ohhh, the Memories…

Rome is an amazing city and one that will linger in your memory long after you’ve left, but it does take careful planning, especially if it’s your entry point into Italy.

When you plan, pack accordingly, and keep your head up, you’ll have a wonderful time in the eternal city.

Hiking Poles

Five Major Benefits of Being a Digital Nomad

Remote working was virtually unheard of only a few decades ago. Having a full-time job usually meant working in the same place every day, with a fixed schedule and the same group of colleagues.

With the internet having become more widespread, it is now much easier for people to work remotely.

Over the past few years, a whole movement based on working remotely while traveling the globe has emerged. “Digital nomads,” as they are commonly known, typically have jobs which allow them to be fully remote, such as translation, computer programming or writing.

Here are five major benefits of the digital nomad lifestyle:

using technology to work from anywhere

1. You can live almost anywhere you like

You can base yourself anywhere that’s equipped with electricity and a reliable internet connection. There are even websites that rate top digital nomad destinations, for example Nomadlist, you can see it here.

Looking for something more fantastic, if you’ve always wanted to live by the ocean, or in the shadow of a mountain, now you can.

There’s no need to live in an overcrowded, polluted city just because that’s where all the jobs are.

Digital Nomad Working Mountainside

Also read: Top 5 Cities to Live as a Digital Nomad

2. You can make time differences work for you

Some digital nomads are lucky enough to be able to set their own schedules and work whenever it suits them.

Others need to work fixed hours, especially if they need to be available to take calls or participate in video conferences.

However, even if you fall into the second group, you can make the time difference work for you.

When you’re a night owl, try living somewhere which is 10-plus hours ahead or behind your home country, so that you can work until the early hours while still being able to take calls and contact your team.

Hiking Watch

Also read: Travel + Work: Synching Across Multiple Time Zones (When on the Road)

3. You don’t have to put up with colleagues

One of the biggest problems you might have at work is dealing with annoying colleagues, whether they won’t stop talking when you’re trying to concentrate, or they have a taste for stinky egg sandwiches which they eat at their desk.

Working remotely usually means working alone, from the comfort and privacy of your own home.

If you do get lonely, you can always use a co-working space to meet other digital nomads; unlike traditional working environments, it’s totally up to you.

soloprenuer

Also read: Outsourced Ecommerce Fulfillment Allows for Location Independence, Run a Biz While YOU Travel

4. You can move around regularly

As the name implies, digital nomads are free to move around as much as they want to.

Many stay put in one place for several months, or even years, but others choose to relocate more often.

As soon as you feel the need for a change of scenery, you can book your next flight and go.

Lots of nomads even travel with carry-on luggage only, to make it even cheaper and easier to work while on the move.

Backpacking Season

Also read: Getting Ready For the Backpacking Season

5. You have much more free time

People with regular 9-to-5 jobs usually have to commute. That means a lot of wasted time, whether they’re waiting for delayed trains or crawling along the freeway in rush-hour traffic.

When you’re a digital nomad, going to work can be as easy as walking downstairs and setting up your laptop on the kitchen table, which can save many of you up to two or three hours per day.

You can use that extra time to catch up with friends, pick up some new skills–like hiking or Mandarin–or just wake up later in the morning.

Hiking Trip Essential Preparation

Also read: Essentials for a Safe, Enjoyable Hiking Trip

Remote Work Isn’t for Everyone

The digital nomad lifestyle is definitely not for everyone; it wouldn’t suit those who have time-management issues or need to be close to family and friends.

However, it can be an eye-opening experience for those who struggle to fit into traditional workplaces or who want to see more of the world without being limited to a few weeks of vacation time per year.

Why not give it a try?

Hiking Pole Reviews

Bangkok Airports (there are two) Don’t miss your flight in Bangkok!

Suvarnabhumi International Airport and Don Mueang International Airport (sometimes Don Muang) are two separate airfields serving Bangkok.

The site of harried tourists leaving their hotels and arriving at the wrong airport has become more common as flight traffic increases in Bangkok.

Tourists should be prepared and know which airport they will be using, how to get there, the differences between the two and the services available at both.

Why does Bangkok have two airports?

Tourist Waiting Arrival

In September, 2006, a Quantas flight bound for Sydney departed Don Mueang Airport at 3:12 a.m.

It was to be the final commercial flight from the field that had served Bangkok since 1914. Operations ceased and were transferred to Bangkok’s new airfield, Suvarnabhumi International Airport.

The closure was short-lived, however: Operating costs at Suvarnabhumi Airport were high, and safety concerns over cracked runways and taxiways created a crisis of confidence.

Low-cost carriers saw Don Mueang Airport as a viable transit hub, and authorities began to see it as a reasonable alternative to expanding operations at Suvarnabhumi International.

By March 2007, Don Mueang International Airport again reopened for domestic flights.

Today, legacy carriers and long-haul international flights operate from Suvarnabhumi International, while low-cost carriers operate from Don Mueang International.

Here are some things to know about Bangkok’s Two Airports:

Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK)

Suvarnabhumi Airport Thailand Travel

Suvarnabhumi International Airport, 25 km east of the city, is the sixth-busiest airport in Asia and handles 53 million passengers yearly. It also has the world’s tallest free-standing control tower. It serves as the main hub for Bangkok Airways, Orient Thai, and Thai Airways. It was built in an area formerly known as Nong Nguhao, or Cobra Swamp.

The terminal is massive and as beautiful as it is functional.

TIPTourists should be warned that the arrivals hall can be populated by con-men and illegal taxi drivers, and should use care.

Getting to and from Suvarnabhumi is easy.

In addition to taxis and express buses, the Airport Rail Link, which operates from 6 a.m. to midnight, connects Suvarnabhumi to downtown Bangkok.Airport Rail Link Bangkok

Connections to Bangkok’s MRT subway system can be made at the Makkasan City interchange, while the BTS Skytrain connects at the end of the line, at Phayathai Station.

Transit is cheap and the connections are easily made, but parties of three or more may find it cheaper to take a taxi.

Travel Time from Suvarnbhumi Airport to Bangkok:

Approximate time into Bangkok is 30 minutes.

More Info:

>>> Check your flight status for flights arriving and departing Suvarnbhumiy Airport here.

>>> Suvarnabhumi Airport Bangkok Official Info Page.

Don Mueang International Airport (DMK)

Don Mueang International Airport

Don Mueang International Airport, 25 km north of the city, has seen yearly double-digit growth in passenger travel and handled over 35 million passengers in 2016.

Don Mueang International Airport began handling commercial traffic in 1924 and served as a major US base of operations during the Vietnam war.

Today, it is a hub for Asia’s low-cost carriers, including Thai Lion Air, Nok Air, and Thai AirAsia.

Don Mueang’s two terminals:

  1. Terminal 1: handles international travel
  2. Terminal 2: for domestic flights

Most people traveling between Bangkok and Don Mueang Airport opt for a taxi, as there are no fast transit options in and out of the city.

A few bus routes travel to Don Mueang.

Some travelers attempt to take the Skytrain to Mo Chit station, and taxi from there, but savings are slim and reports of difficulties finding cabs at Mo Chit abound.

Travel Time from Don Mueang Airport to Bangkok:

Approximate time into Bangkok is 45 minutes or more.

More Info:

>>> Check your flight status for flights arriving and departing Don Mueang International Airport here.

>>> Don Mueng Airport Bangkok Official Info Page.

Airport confusion can be prevented in Bangkok.

First, tourists must note well which airport serves their airline.

Second, you must be specific with cab drivers when traveling from hotels to the airport. It is prudent to have the name and the address written along with the terminal number to avoid confusion.

Bangkok’s two airports each serve different but equally important purposes.

Knowledge of the two and prior planning can save a mad dash between Suvarnabhumi International Airport and Don Mueang International Airport as minutes tick down to departure.

Happy trails… now catch your flight!

Get Out and Travel More


Trekking Pole Dog Icon at Bangkok Airports travel

Getting Ready For the Backpacking Season

When the call of the wild is hitting you hard, you need to start thinking about your camping gear and the supplies you need to make backpacking a great experience.

It is time to check your tent, pack, sleeping bag, and emergency supplies to make sure the key components for your camping comfort and safety are in order.

Your Tent

Camping Tent

Your tent serves more than a way to keep the rain off your head (or snow, if you are a winter camper).

If properly sealed, your tent will not only be waterproof, but will also help contain your body heat.

Tent Checklist

  • Make sure your vents, fly, and entry are all cleaned and tear-free.
  • Use a mild mix of bath soap (unscented) to wash off any dirt or debris on the fabric, and
  • Use clear water under mild pressure to clear any dirt, debris, or sand in your zippers.
  • Never use any harsh chemicals – the man-made fibers can be damaged by any chlorinated cleaners.

Anything in the zippers will cause them to wear out faster as a natural course of using them, so keeping them clean is critical.

Winter Camping

For winter camping, you want those zippers to close snugly to keep out the cold and blowing snow – and in the summer you want them to open all the way so the moisture and heat released from your body while you’re sleeping can escape.

Check the siding material of your tent to make sure they are free of tears or other openings. You can usually patch most man-made fibers with kits readily available from a variety of sources.

It is a good idea to apply a coat of sealant to the exterior of the seams of your tent and fly with the sealant appropriate for your tent’s material.

ONLY apply the sealant in a warm dry place, making sure you give it plenty of time to dry properly.

In order to apply the sealant, it is best to pitch your tent with all sides taut, which will help ensure the sealant gets into the nooks and crannies.

Lastly, check that all of your supplies – poles, straps, and stakes – are intact, then set up the tent completely one time before packing it and going out into the wild.

Your Sleeping Bag

Sleeping Bag Example

Your sleeping bag and ground pad should be relatively maintenance free, other than the same cleaning of the surfaces and zippers for the bag apply.

You need to clean your bag inside and out, but not get the insulation wet. You also want to make sure the skin of your bag is clean and free of any oils or greasy substances.

Check the insulation. If it is becoming bunched, or lumpy, it may be time to replace your sleeping bag.

Ground Pads

Ground pads come in a variety of materials and comfort levels.

Their primary function is to insulate, to keep your body heat from being radiated into the ground through your sleeping bag. Your ground pad is also your last defense from ground water getting to the skin of your sleeping bag, drenching you.

Both situations can lead to hypothermia, a dangerous condition in which your core body temperature drops below 93 degrees.

A self-inflating ground pad offers a great combination of comfort and protection.

These foam-core pads are a relatively new development, are very light-weight, and compress for easy attachment to your backpack.

Your Backpack

Taking Care of Your Backpack

Your backpack is your greatest asset for wilderness camping, and maintaining it so it will withstand several kinds of constant abuse is critical.

1. Check that there are no threads hanging or tears in the liner.

Snags and tears can quickly spread, dumping your supplies into a creek at an inopportune moment, or the entire bag coming undone if you are using it to suspend your food supplies for safekeeping during the night.

Clip any snagged threads, and patch any tears. You also need to make sure you keep your pack water-tight. Seal the seams, and if the material permits, coat the entire bag.

2. Check all the grommets and clips on the straps.

If you are using pack with an external frame, make sure the clips holding the bag to the frame are secure.

Make sure there are no rips or tears in any of the straps, and that the fastening clips that hold the shoulder straps and waist strap in place are free of chips or cracks.

Readjust the straps to fit your body as it is today.

Let’s face it, we all tend to gain a little weight over the winter, and an improperly balanced backpack can overbalance you, or chafe in very uncomfortable ways.

Your tent and bag came with stuff bags. Use them – but make sure the bags are clean and dry before stowing away your equipment.

TIP: Packing Your Tent

When loading your tent, put in the fly, then the poles, then the tent itself.

This is the reverse order in which you will need them, and the proper order when you unpack it.

You should never store the stakes with the tent, even if they are in their own ripstop bag, the edges could puncture the tent skin, forcing an emergency repair out in the field.

Emergency Supplies

Emergency Preparations

Duct Tape

One of the backpacker’s best friends is duct tape.

It is strong, water-proof, and multi-functional. You can use it to make temporary fixes to any torn material, and if you combine it with the extra tube sections that came with your tent, you can even temporarily fix the poles on your tent.

You can also use duct tape for emergency first aid, because it makes a great way to tightly secure bandaging material or splints.

Gallon Zipper Sealed Plastic Bags

Bring along a few gallon-sized zipper-sealed plastic bags.

You can use them for a variety of purposes, from collecting specimens to storing your wet socks until you can set up camp and get them dry.

Keeping your supplies (and feet!) dry is critical. In a pinch, you can use them to catch and store water.

First Aid Supplies

Check all of your first aid supplies, and make sure you still have a proper assortment of bandaging materials, disinfectants, scissors, and other supplies.

Toss out the antibiotic ointment you have in your first aid kit from last year and replace it. It has lost its efficacy. If you carry hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant, it needs replaced as well.

You can find the components of a good “do it yourself” first aid kit by checking with the Boy Scouts or the Red Cross.

Water Purification System

Check your water purification supplies, and make sure the iodine and/or filters are ready for use.

Make sure that your purification kit’s components are free of cracks. Get your canteen, waterpack, bladder, or insulated water bottle cleaned and ready for use, too.

Signaling Devices – Mirror & Whistle

No backpack is complete without two signaling devices – a mirror and a whistle.

Obviously a mirror only works when there’s a light source, but if you become disabled and a search party is looking for you, the reflection from the mirror gives you better odds of being spotted from a great distance.

The whistle is a vital signaling device. You can only yell for help for a few minutes at a time, while you can blow a whistle for hours.

GPS Locator

Another signaling device becoming more common in our high-tech world are GPS emergency locators.

Many are solar-powered, some are coming with Farraday generators, or they come with batteries.

No matter how they are powered, they only work if there is a satellite overhead, and a means of triangulating on your position. When you intend on going into extreme wilderness, rugged terrain, or into mountainous areas, you may want to invest in one of these gadgets.

Do NOT rely on this as your sole signaling device. If you’re breathing, you can still use a whistle. If the batteries go dead on the GPS unit – you could be as well shortly after.

Miscellaneous

Other stuff

Matches

Always have at least two different means of starting a fire in your pack.

Waterproof matches and a “permanent match” are easy to stow away, and work in a wide variety of weather conditions.

Knife

Always have a knife. A good multi-tool with a knife blade and other gadgets, can be found in most hardware and sporting goods stores, and can be handy.

Patch Kit

An emergency patch kit for your tent and backpack could also prove handy – but keep in mind for every ounce you add, you are losing food!

You have duct tape (featured above), which is a great permanent patch.


There are a wide assortment of other supplies you might consider bringing along for your camping expedition, but these suggestions cover most contingencies, in lightweight materials suitable for backpacking.

The best preparation if you’re a novice is to pick up any of the various books available for backpacking in the type of environment you plan on trekking in, or to pick up a copy of the Boy Scout manual on camping.

More Backpacking Season Tips

Sedona, Arizona – Easy to Get to but Hard to Leave

There’s a reason they call Sedona, Arizona the most beautiful spot in the United States.

Regardless of how you approach the city, there is beauty all around you.

Whether you’re looking for an outdoor adventure or a little culture, you’ll find it here:

Mountains, Sign, Sedona Landscape

Biking In Sedona

If you’re driving to the area make sure you bring your bike. Sedona has numerous bike trails, and they’re growing each year. The newest trails are along the Red Rock Scenic Byway.

If you do forget your bike, not to worry, there are plenty of places to rent one.

When you’re ready to put the miles in, make sure you plan your trip in October to enjoy the Sedona Century Bike Tour. It is forty miles of scenic beauty through rivers, desert views, and red rocks.

Driving to Sedona

Horseback Riding 

If sitting on a bike all day isn’t your thing, perhaps seeing the countryside on horseback might be more to your liking.

Get ready to play cowboy or cowgirl as you wind your way through Red Rock Country crossing creeks and dining under the stars.

Camping in Sedona Tent Stars

Hot Air Ballooning over Sedona

For a wider view, consider a hot air balloon ride over the canyons and ancient ruins.

An aerial view let’s you truly appreciate the scope and size of the area. There’s nothing more beautiful than watching the sun rise over the canyons from 1,000 feet in the air.

Mountains of Sedona and Yellow Hot Air Balloon

Golf or Tennis?

golf green in sedona

Once back on firm ground, consider an afternoon of golf or tennis. There are several championship courses open to the general public.

The Sedona Golf Resort, surrounded by red rock formations, is just one of the stunning courses available. If you would rather not spend all day on the course, there are also executive courses for a quick nine holes.

Sedona is a perfect location for the tennis lover.

Visitors can play year round at many of the local resorts.

The weather is always just right for tennis, and professional instruction and competition is available for those who need a little brushing up on the game or are ready to take on a challenge.

Sedona Indoors

If you’re eager to spend a little time indoors, Sedona has you covered.

The city is home to film festivals, theatres, music, and over eighty art galleries.

You’ll find festivals throughout the year, so do make sure you check out what’s happening during your stay.

You’ll also find local wineries to explore and indulge your taste buds after a day in the canyons. Restaurants run the gambit with a little something for everyone whether you are looking for fine dining or an al fresco experience.

The Red Rock Canyon isn’t the only thing to feast your eyes on in Sedona.

Going Cuckoo

Eagle and Cathedral Rock

Due to its elevation and climate, Sedona is a bird lover’s paradise.

In the month of May, more than a hundred and thirty different species of birds are normally seen during one bird watching outing in the Verde Valley.

During the last week of April, the yearly Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival is held in nearby Cottonwood, Arizona.

Weddings

Wedding in Sedona

Sedona is also a wonderful location for that special day.

When you’re looking for an outdoor wedding, the beauty of Sedona can’t be matched.

Professional wedding planners are on hand to help you will all the details necessary to make your special day a day you’ll never forget. After the ceremony, consider riding off into the sunset on horseback or in a horse-drawn carriage.

Regardless of your interests, you’ll find what you’re looking for in Sedona. From a Wild West adventure to relaxing on the veranda, there is truly something for everyone. Coming to Sedona is easy. It’s the leaving that’s the hard part.

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