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Travelling with Purpose: Picking a Theme for Your Next Adventure

Posted in lifestyle, tourist attractions, travel, travel ideas, travel tips
on January 13, 2018

Now, there’s nothing wrong with looking at a map of the world, throwing a dart, and deciding to travel to whatever country that you hit. And there’s nothing with looking at exotic photographs of far-flung destinations and deciding “I want to go there.” However, there’s also another way to travel, and that is by picking a theme you already love and picking destinations around that subject. If you do this, you know you’ll have a good time, and will most likely visiting places that most people never think to visit!

Source: Pexels.com

A Literary Tour

You can travel to different countries and periods through the power of the written word. But now that you’ve travelled there through literature…why not travel there in real life? There are two ways to do this. You can visit places that famous authors have immortalised, or you can visit the places where they lived and worked. Love reading Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays? Then take a trip to Stratford Upon Avon, and the Globe Theatre in London. How about Ernest Hemingway? You can get recreate his travels through France, Spain, Africa, and everywhere else, drinking in the same bars he drank in along the way (be warned: there are a lot of them).

Tasteful Travels

We live in a global world, and it’s never been easier to get food from all over the world, regardless of where you live. However, drinking a glass of delicious French wine at home isn’t the same as drinking a glass of delicious French wine as you’re sitting in France, overlooking a vineyard, with a setting sun in front of you. Japanese food, Italian food, Sangria, and so on: they’re all given another level of deliciousness when you’re in a place that mastered them in the first place.

Life’s Mysteries

How about taking a trip that connects with you the spooky goings-on on earth? There are plenty of real haunted houses across the globe; pick your destination, and take a tour of some of the homes where spirits are said to roam. And there’s not only earthly concerns you have the option to explore: take a trip to Roswell, and you’ll be able to do your own bit of investigatory work about what really happened there in 1947. Did a UFO really crash there? The locals certainly think so.

The Sound of Music

Of all the human inventions, it’s hard to find one that people love more than music. There are musical icons, classic venues, and urban legends about musicians located all over the globe. If you have a favourite type of music, incorporate it into your next travels. No fan of The Beatles, for example, can call themselves a true fanatic if they’ve never been to Liverpool.

Movie Magic

Finally, to the big screen. You don’t have to go to Hollywood to get your dose of movie magic; film sets are located all over the world. Have an all-time favourite movie? Visit the famous locations! Whether you choose to recreate the scene is up to you, though.

 

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How To Pack For Vacation

Planning a vacation can be stressful. From asking for time off of work to finding where to swim with manatees, getting your affairs in order to go on a special trip can be exhausting. However, it’s completely worth it when you are finally getting ready to depart for your dream vacation. The final step in planning your vacation is packing your suitcase the right way. Here’s the best way to pack for vacation.

Decide What Size Suitcase You Need

A large suitcase doesn’t make sense for a short trip, nor does a small backpack make sense for a long vacation. The first step is determining how long you will be gone and how much you will need. You should also determine whether or not you are checking your bag for an additional fee or if you will be taking your bag onto the plane with you.

Handle Your Liquids

If you are going to be bringing your bag on the plane with you, make sure that your liquid products are in small containers to meet federal guidelines. However, if you’re checking your bag, you still have to take some special precautions with your liquids. Too many vacations have been ruined because a bottle of shampoo spilled everywhere and ruined all of the clothes that the traveler had brought with them. This is why it’s best to always store liquids in plastic bags in the event of a spill.

Plan Your Exact Outfits

Don’t just throw garments into your suitcase and plan to coordinate your outfits once you arrive at your destination. If you do it this way, odds favor that you won’t have the right pieces to coordinate a fashionable outfit. Instead, plan your exact outfits ahead of time. This is an easier way of ensuring that you have everything you need to look your best.

Packing for a vacation doesn’t have to be hard. If you follow this guide, you can ensure that you have everything you need and that all of your belongings arrive at your destination intact. After you finish packing, all that’s left to do is depart and enjoy your trip.

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Amazing Alabama: What To See and Do

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If you’re into a side of history with your travel, then you may want to discover the state of Alabama. With the global lens firmly focused on US politics right now, what better location to explore than somewhere that’s home to some of the most significant landmarks of the American Civil Rights movement? So for a US trip that goes beyond the usual theme parks and movie studios, take a look at these must see attractions:

Talladega Super Speedway

Seeking some fast and furious escapism? Then immersing yourself in the action at the world-famous attraction could be on the cards. You can camp on site by tend or RV which makes it a unique experience, and soak in even more of the exciting motor racing atmosphere by gaining pre-race pit access. An unforgettable, all-American experience.

Civil Rights Trail

There are plenty of historic sites that figure large in the US Civil Right movement in the state, which is particularly fascinating at this moment in time with the Trump government heading up a return to extremist thinking, Start at the Dexter Parsonage Museum, where you can see the place that Civil Rights leader Dr, Martin Luther King and his family lived in the 50s and 60s. An interpretive centre gives access to archive footage and videos explaining Dr King’s pastoral life, community and family. The Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham is an educational research centre dedicated to promoting human rights and will let you see the legacy of movement as it is today. And the Rosa Parkes Museum is another must-visit, featuring exhibits dedicated to the impact and legacy of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, located on the site of the former Empire Theatre – a fascinating walk through history on a topic that is so relevant today. Stay at the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa for a convenient base to explore the region from.

Alligator Alley

Designed in 2004, this working farm was designed as a natural habitat for its reptilian occupants and is home to over 450 alligators, from babies to mature adults. Take your family on a nature walk, feed the gators and even get the chance to hold a baby alligator in the Gator Station. Ospreys, owls, turtles and bullfrogs can also be found there.

The Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum

Whether you’re a fan of the beautifully constructed literature or a latecomer who simply enjoyed The Great Gatsby movie, a visit to the former home of the Fitzgeralds in Montgomery is a fascinating insight into this talented and dysfunctional couple. This centre aims both to preserve the literary legacy and to actively work with new young writing talent, with some fascinating artwork and artefacts on view.

U.S Space and Rocket Centre

With one of the world’s largest collections of rockets and space memorabilia, your trip will literally be out of this world. The capsule from Apollo 16, a space travel simulator, a Skylab solar array and lots of other objects and space memorabilia await. There’s also an IMAX cinema that screens space footage and daily movies. From the fascinating history of the Space Race to the modern-day International Space Station, the exhibits are so evocative and really bring the story to live.

 

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Our Visit To The IMG Worlds of Adventure in Dubai

 

Last Dec. 19 was my first visit to the IMG Worlds Dubai Theme Park. My husband has been there a couple of times with his friends except for me and our daughter.

I initially thought it was very far from our place of residence and surprisingly, it wasn’t. Location wise, it is okay because it is not in a remote location. It is situated in the City of Arabia just off the Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road.

IMG Worlds of Adventure is an indoor theme park which is open year-long. It is divided into zones just like any other theme parks out there.

 

Cartoon Network

This zone consists of several rides and attractions such as:

  • The Powerpuff Girls – Mojo Jojo Robot Rampage ride

This looks like a very cute ride for kids but it is perfect for taller kids and adults as it turns you 360 degrees as your carriage flies you through the air.

  • Adventure Time – The Ride of OOO with Finn and Jake

My favorite of all the rides we have tried maybe because I am biased because I love the Adventure Time cartoon show. 🙂 Kidding aside, this is a fun ride for all ages. it is a monorail ride that takes you to the different areas in the Adventure Time show if you are watching it. You will encounter the many characters of the shows as you pass tunnels around the Cartoon Network zone. It is not a very fast ride so even younger kids can ride this one but always check the height restriction before you proceed to fall in queue.

  • Ben 10 5D Hero Time

I watched Ben 10 with my daughter when she was younger but the Ben 10 in this simulator ride is now a younger adult version of Ben 10. Compared to the other sim rides I have taken in other theme parks, I find this attraction a bit “too much” for my senses; hence the 5D. The other rides where just 3D and 4D. This one tops the chart in terms of giving you a thrilling simulated ride. I think it’s an OK ride but maybe the sound can be reduced a little. I just found it to be too loud.

  • The Amazing Ride of Gumball

I am not familiar with this cartoon but the ride is like the Buzz Lightyear in Disney where you zap some characters and earn points while riding a moving car.

  • Lazy Town

There are several rides and attractions in this area. I didn’t venture here as much as I have in the other parts.

  • CN Live Shows

 

There are plenty of pressed coin souvenir crank machines all over the park. be sure to get one (or more)!

Marvel

My husband liked this zone a lot. I definitely understand why after visiting it. It has rides and attractions most Marvel fanatics will truly like and enjoy.

  • Avengers Battle of Ultron
  • The Hulk 3D

This is a 3D motion-seat attraction with a cinematic feel while you watch Hulk and The Avengers battle their foe.

  • Spiderman Doc Ock’s Revenge
  • Thor Thunder Spin

I didn’t ride this because I don’t think I’ll manage due to the spinning movements. I suggest, when you visit, ride this before having lunch or dinner. 🙂

  • Avengers Flight of the Quinjets

You have to eat here! I love how clean the food tastes, not too salty but savory enough to tickle your fancy palate.

Lost Valley – Dinosaur Adventure

  • Predator

The super loopy rollercoaster ride in this zone is epic! I didn’t ride it because I don’t think I have the guts to but I am pretty sure it is perfect for the thrill-seekers and adrenalin junkies out there who loves a ride that not only has several loops and twists and turns but has a 90 degrees drop. Yes, 90 degrees! No thanks!

  • The Velociraptor

What starts inside the park goes roaring and twirling outside! If this is your type of adrenalin rush, then this ride is for you.

  • Forbidden Territory

This is like a cart on tracks where you go through the Forbidden Territory to see the dinosaurs. It has height restrictions so be sure to check before you fall in queue with your smaller kids.

  • Dino Carousel

This is a good ride for the young, and young at heart. The carousel are made of cute dinosaurs instead of the common horses that you see in ordinary carousels.

  • Adventure Fortress

This is like your jungle-gym but not the typical one because it has towers, ladders to climb, tunnels to go through, and slides. Kids will enjoy this place with an adult supervision. So, if you have kids who have limitless energy, this is their place.

 

IMG Boulevard

Just like most theme parks I have visited in the past, the IMG Boulevard stands at the fore of the entire premise of IMG Worlds of Adventure. From there, you will find shops, coffee shops, and other food kiosks to satisfy your hunger.

  • The Haunted Hotel is also located here.

My husband said it is just okay for those who liked to be scared a bit but not scared-stiff. It is not a ride though. You walk through the hotel and encounter some scary characters in certain areas. Not my kind of attraction since I am a scaredy cat.

Maybe you can handle this type of attraction then experience it for yourself when you visit the park.

  • And the IMG Worlds of Adventure also has a 12-screen multiplex cinema within the premise for the movie fanatics and the entire family.

 

All zones have restaurants, food outlets, and shops where you can buy souvenirs and merchandize of your favorite characters, and heroes!

I like the place because it’s not really huge and there are plenty of places to sit and relax. Aside from that, if you’re not into some extreme rides and flashy/bright lights attractions like me, you can definitely go around the shops or just walk around, have some snacks or just do some nice photo-op against the colorful background.

This is a good place to visit all year long because it is air conditioned. There are plenty of restrooms to freshen up. There are also disability access all over to provide ease and comfort to our family and friends with disability or movement limitations.

Super clean and spacious restrooms are all over the park.

If you need strollers and wheelchairs, you can rent it from the park. They also have lockers if you need to store your hauls or what-nots.

No need to worry about parking space.

Parking area near the entrance of the park

ATMS are available too.

 

*Ticket price:

Park admission: AED245
Junior admission (under 1.2m in height): AED225
Children (under 1.05m in height): Free
Senior Citizens (over age of 60): AED150
Guests with Disabilities:
Above 1.2m in height: AED150
Under 1.2m in height: AED100

Annual Pass:

Park Annual Membership: AED365
Senior Annual Membership: AED270 (for guests 60 years and above)

Season Pass:
Park Season Membership: AED295
Senior Season Membership: AED200 (for guests 60 years and above)

Please check the website for more information before you purchase your ticket. They have a promo right now for the festive season but I am not sure until when it is valid. The price is 195 dirhams for UAE residents only.

 

*Park timings:

Opening hours during the festive season (Dec 21st 2017 to Jan 6th 2018):
Sunday: 11am to 10pm
Monday: 11am to 10pm
Tuesday: 11am to 10pm
Wednesday: 11am to 10pm
Thursday: 11am to 11pm
Friday: 11am to 11pm
Saturday: 11am to 11pm

Opening hours on the other days:
Sunday: 11am to 9pm
Monday: 11am to 9pm
Tuesday: 11am to 9pm
Wednesday: 11am to 9pm
Thursday: 11am to 10pm
Friday: 11am to 10pm
Saturday: 11am to 10pm

Opening hours are subject to change. Closing times indicate the times queues close.

*from the website http://www.imgworlds.com/en/planyourvisit/ticket-bookings/

 

Location:

It is located on E311 (Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road – near Arabian Ranches, next to Global Village), in the heart of Dubai. You can get there by private car, and public transportation. Please check their website for more information on how to get there.

 

So, if you have no plans for the New Year’s holiday or anytime soon, why not visit this park with the whole family for a fun, happy, and thrilling bonding experience.

 

Disclaimer:

All opinions and photos are 100% mine. Please do not copy or use without my written permission.

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What To Do During A Weekend In Connecticut

While most people don’t venture to Connecticut for a vacation as such, many readers might find themselves stopping off there for a few days during a long US trip. So, it seemed like a good idea to offer an insight into the New England state and some tips and tricks about what to do while you’re there. It’s a beautiful place with lots of attractions that are guaranteed to keep everyone entertained. You’ll encounter cliche New England weather and welcoming faces at every turn. With that in mind, use this guide to ensure you don’t overlook anything significant.

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Finding the best accommodation

There are thousands of hotels and places to stay in Connecticut, and so you just need to use a booking app on your smartphone to find the best deals. The Econo Lodge Inn and Suites Airport is always a top choice for people who need to rest their head as soon as they arrive. However, most of the hotels in the state meet high standards, and so you just need to read some reviews to sort the wheat from the chaff. Just bear in mind that Connecticut is a large place, and so you’ll probably want to hire a car if you arrived via a plane. While there is excellent public transport available, getting from A to B is much easier when you have a vehicle to use.

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Finding the best food

It’s always sensible to ask the staff at your hotel for local restaurant recommendations because Connecticut has some fantastic eateries. The issue is that most of them are dotted around different parts of the state. That is why some local knowledge is going to come in handy. There are also lots of street food vendors around during the evening time if you spend a few hours near districts with lots of pubs and bars. Just make sure you don’t overlook places like The Capital Grille, Millwright’s, and ON20. You’ll also want to stop off at one of the many cafes each morning to get a full American breakfast.

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Finding something to occupy your time

When it comes to attractions, Connecticut has much more than most people think, and it’s budget-friendly. For that reason, it’s always wise to perform some online research before you plan to arrive. However, the following list of places should point you in the right direction:

  • The Mystic Seaport
  • The Mystic Aquarium
  • Gillette Castle State Park
  • Mark Twain House
  • Lake Compounce
  • Submarine Force Library and Museum
  • Beardsley Zoo
  • Connecticut Science Center

 

Now you know how to have a brilliant time in Connecticut, nothing should stand in your way. As mentioned at the start of this post, it’s not the most popular vacation destination in the world, but it does offer a rare insight into New England culture and history. So, if you have interest in the way our country came into being, or even if you just want a relaxing few days away from the grind, Connecticut is an excellent choice. Just make sure you take a camera because you’re going to encounter many photograph opportunities!

 

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Forget Vacation, Go For A Relax-cation!

While a lot of people want their vacations to be adventurous, full of danger and excitement, or some people prefer to go on a backpacking vacation to explore themselves. Yet, some people are too busy in life to be running around in another country, and would much rather live by the pool, with a pile of books, in the glistening sunshine. Many people would much rather this, so here is a little guide to the most relaxing vacation destinations you can try right now.

 

Budapest, Hungary

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While Budapest is one of the grandest of capital cities, rife for adventure, there are plenty of opportunities to relax. There are many spars, which has water flowing from the subterranean springs. But if you are looking for a more cultured way of relaxing, you should go to one of the Art Nouveau Gellért Baths, which boasts stained glass as well as beautiful mosaics.

 

The Galapagos Islands

While you can venture on Santa Cruz Galapagos cruises, there are so many quiet beaches, as well as the island of Isabela. It’s a nice small town, it is very quiet, but there are plenty of things for you to relax and unwind if you find that you are spending too much time relaxing on the beach! Isabela also has authentic Ecuadorian food, plus lots cater for all types of dietary requirements, from gluten-free, to even vegan. However, if you are not fussy, you may want to just chow down with the seafood! The freshly caught lobster is to die for!

 

Portugal

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Apart from the beaches, there are some fantastic tranquillity spas, such as the Vilalara Longevity Thalassa and Medical Spa, which is located in a beautiful botanical garden, with fantastic views across the Atlantic. If you are looking for a way to rejuvenate, you can reap the benefits of the natural saltwater in the Thalassa therapy package. In addition to this, there are workshops in mindfulness, methods to reduce stress, as well as yoga, arguably the most restorative technique you can practice.

 

The Seychelles

If you are looking for somewhere that is going to instantly unwind you in a tropical paradise, you cannot go far wrong with the Seychelles. There is silky soft sand, clear water, as well as restorative sunshine. You may be forgiven for thinking that it is extremely expensive, but you can actually stay in the Seychelles on a small budget. It all depends on what you intend on doing, but if you plan on relaxing, that luckily doesn’t cost that much!

 

St Lucia

Flickr

 

If you’re looking for a spa destination, in 2016 The Bodyholiday Destress was voted the world’s number 4 best destination spa. This spa implements a lot of ancient techniques as well as more modern therapies. In addition to this, you will be guided through tai chi, qi gong, as well as yoga to help de-stress yourself inside and out.

 

We all want something different out of our vacation destinations, but if you are looking to relax, you should try a few of these places. Not only will your body benefit from the break, but your mind will too!

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Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, But Plenty To Prepare For!

Posted in fun activities, lifestyle, outdoor activities, travel, travel tips
on November 14, 2017

Whether you are a beginner or an expert, there’s nothing quite like the rush of climbing a mountain. There isn’t a mountain out there that someone hasn’t wanted to conquer, and that’s for a good reason. The achievement of scaling the peaks of a mountain is one that is often unrepeated – unless of course you get the climbing bug!

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There are plenty of mountains to explore across the planet, with plenty of companies offering experiences and expeditions to get to their summits. The thing is, you can’t just pack up and head to Kilimanjaro for your latest adventure. Preparing for a climb takes a lot of time and not just in terms of what you need to pack: think water and Oxygen Plus just for starters! You need to think about conditioning yourself ready for you embark on your mountain climb. Experienced mountaineers are already aware of what they need to be totally ready for a new challenge, and it’s not a short process, either!

 

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Timing. When you’re going ahead with a mountain climb, you need to think about how early you should be starting with your training. Of course, it’s never too soon to start preparing yourself, but you should be conditioning your body for around a year before you actually head off on your expedition. The serious training should begin around four or five months before you plan to set off.

Outdoor. Your training – whether you live in a city or not – should be all outside! Your plan should be done in all terrains if possible and should be enough to literally kick your butt into shape. It’s all about pushing your own boundaries, because you’re soon going to be pushing them past your limits when you get climbing. Hiking with a pack on your back. Stairs should be taken as much as possible to train your legs. Mountain biking is another great option for outdoor training!

Indoor. While you would push your endurance levels outside, you should weight train inside. Bench pressing, leg and calf raises, and arm work can all help you to build your strength and get you used to pulling your own weight.

Diet. Swapping to a diet that is mainly protein based is going to get you where you need to go to pack on some muscle before you head off to an expedition. You should also – in the weeks prior to your trip – stock up on fatty and rich foods to build up some of the stores you’ll be burning mountainside.

Climbers go through a rigorous plan and training session before actually beginning their climb. Mountain climbing is about endurance, focus and hitting goals that you would never have anticipated hitting elsewhere. It’s a different kind of break from everyday life, but it is one that you absolutely should consider if you are wanting to find something different from the norm! Challenge yourself to climb to the highest peak – just make sure you’re physically and mentally ready to go!

 

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