1. The BBQ barAll you can eat and drink. That’s all you should need to hear to want to visit a BBQ restaurant. The beer flows freely as does the food. There’s a small barbecue in the middle of every table and plates upon plates of the tastiest meats you can think of are brought out by the waiters upon request. Run out of food? Press the little buzzer on your table and as if by magic five more plates will appear. Bear in mind that there’s a three hour time limit in most of these places, so eat and drink as fast as you can… if you can stomach it.”
If you don’t learn how to be patient……all sorts of negative things can happen to both your mind and your body; we can become stressed and anxious, or start wishing ourselves into the future. The human imagination is so good at what it does that we can think ourselves into a preferable situation that might not even happen. When we do this it makes us want to jump forward into this imaginary future to escape the stressful present (which is stressful in itself, because such a thing is impossible to do). When we let impatience turn into stress and let that stress gather momentum, it becomes crazily hard to return to balance. We can start to feel our muscles tense, experience shortness of breath and feel our limbs become restless - all of these are physical manifestations of our negative mental state. Impatience is no good for our minds either; our thoughts become scattered and any trace of our ability to stay focused turns to goop. If this goes on for even a moment too long, we risk heading into the abyss that is anger, and you sure as hell don’t want to go down that road. Worst of all, if we don’t learn how to be patient we can begin to feel isolated, and isolation can make us feel very sad and lonely. We feel cut-off and alone because rather than accepting that we’re being impatient, we assume that the fault lies with the other person or situation. The feelings themselves spring from the realisation that there are some things we just can’t control. And so, we must learn patience.
How to learn patienceWhen people suggest that you should take a deep breath and count to ten, they’re not all that far off the truth (as annoying as that statement may be). The below is by no means a definitive list, but there are some simple points to get you started.
- See the challenge
- Ask your friends
…The 5 Worst Travel Itinerary Mistakes
- 1. Planning your travel itinerary too rigidly
- Squeezing too much in
- Building expectations
- Forgetting to add breathing space
- Letting your itinerary rule you
5 ways to not waste money in Marrakech
Marrakech is billed as one of the best cities in Morocco to visit and I believe this to be true. However, Marrakech isn’t without its traps and pitfalls, so it’s best to stay vigilant and make the best use of your time and money without getting scammed. While it’s true that there are scams all over the world and in every country, Marrakech is a hunting ground for locals wanting to make a quick and easy living from sun-stroked tourists that are otherwise unaware. Here are my 5 top tips for holding onto your money when enjoying Marrakech.
1. Don’t follow ‘helpful’ people
You might think that young man is being mighty friendly offering to show you how to get to the tanneries, but alas he is not. “Oh hello! Where are you going?”, he’ll say. If you tell him where you’re going he’ll take you the longest possible way to nowheresville and charge you to help find your way out.
Whatever you do, don’t stop or it’ll become more difficult to leave, instead just politely explain that you’re just out for a walk and head off. Be warned that these young men are persistent and can become angry if you refuse them, so be as friendly as you can when you decline their ‘generous’ offers.
2. Don’t be persuaded by the ‘aggressive sell’
If you’re not fond of bartering and aren’t filthy rich then you probably won’t like the markets. In the markets of Marrakech, or ‘souks’ in the local tongue, are hundreds of empty-bellied, money-hungry salesmen waiting to help you part with your cash. If you’re not vigilant and don’t stand your ground it’s more likely that you’ll be taken advantage of.
“Come inside, come inside!” or, “No charge for looking!” they’ll say. But be warned, once you’re inside a shop it’s extremely difficult to get out without experiencing the owner’s aggressive sales manner. Once I was almost hassled to death and despite being polite the owner thanked me by saying something inaudible and spitting at me.
3. Don’t buy the drugs
If you buy drugs in Morocco you’ve got to be a little bit crazy. One of the oldest scams in the book involves drugs and it goes a little something like this – Man 1 tries to sell you drugs. You say yes. Man 1 gives you the drugs. Man 2 (a police officer), will then arrest you and tell you that you owe him (insert obscene amount of money here) or you’ll be taken to prison.
Just don’t do it.
4. If someone says something is free, it probably isn’t
Speaking from experience in the souks I had items forced into my hands on several occasions being told that they were free, and when leaving told that I had to pay or they would call the police. Don’t be threatened by this, it’s just the way in which things appear to be done. Again, politely refuse any free offers (including a cup of mint tea) and walk away if you have no intention of buying.
5. Don’t get into a taxi without agreeing a price
Don’t get into a taxi without agreeing a price. You will be ripped off if you don’t negotiate terms or make the driver turn on his meter. You’ll probably hear “Sorry the meter is broken”, so negotiate a price before you even enter the vehicle.
Despite some pretty stark advice it’s not all doom and gloom in Marrakech. It’s a fascinating city with many cultural heritage sites to be in awe of and as long as you’re up for the challenge there is much enjoyment to be had.
A Journal/DiaryLet’s start with the most obvious – a diary. Writing down your thoughts every day has more value than most people realise. A diary will not judge you like ‘friends’ on Facebook – it’s an open forum for you to have a private conversation with yourself. Only you can judge what appears on its pages. Carrying a diary can help you free yourself from a social media addiction by giving you a space to brain vomit through the best and worst of times. You might even develop a deep relationship with the most important person of all – yourself.
A film cameraI have a digital SLR, but that’s not to say I’m not an advocate of a good film camera – in fact I infinitely prefer them. It’s not about the quality or the convenience, but about the restrictions. This blog is all about being restriction-free, but when you’re working with something like a film camera the importance of getting the right shot the first time around is paramount. Knowing that you don’t have a screen to review what you’ve just taken means that you’ll take much greater care when taking photos. It will encourage you to be more intimate with your subject and the surroundings and help you develop a sense of perspective, both literally and metaphorically.
Photos of homeThese can work in two ways… They can: a) Remind you of the people who mean the most to you and in turn give you a willpower boost or b) Remind you of what you’ve escaped from Both of which I think are incredibly useful motivators for winning freedom.
A book about something you’ve always wanted to learnNo matter what anyone tells you, travelling can be a lonely affair even if you’re not travelling alone. When you have your moment of self-realisation you’ll likely realise how isolated you’ve become from ‘the world’, and you’ll grasp at the air to find ways to reconnect. The trick is that it’s not ‘the world’ you need to reconnect with – it’s yourself. One of the best ways to get to know yourself is to try and learn something new. Pick something that you’ve always wanted to try and is easy to do on the road – whatever the results may be you’ll learn heaps about who you thought you were and have a lot of fun in the process.
A list of jokes in the local languageThis has served me well in more instances than I can remember. Making people laugh is just about the perfect way to gain access to any culture if you know the right things to say. Google a few jokes in the language of the places you’re headed and, when you get the opportunity, read them out to the locals. You might end up making a complete fool of yourself, but either way they’re going to laugh with you or at you. Do you agree with these? Is there a piece of technology you couldn’t bear to travel without? Whatever your answer let us know in the comments below.
The Bear Mountain Side Trail Loop7.5 km round trip Beginning at Memorial Hall bike east along Esplanade, through Rendall Park to Rockwell Drive. Turn right and bike straight into the Mount Street Trail. Continue on this trail to the Quarry Road Trail and further along until you reach farmland. This trail climbs about 20 meters and offers a great view of the area. At the farmland you will find McPherson Road. Follow this road for about 450 meters, where you will see on your right the trail head of the Bridle Trail. This trail will lead you back through the forest to a bridge crossing a slough. Turn right onto Otter Slide Trail. After 350 meters you will come to New Forest Trail. Turn left and bike back along this trail descending via the Mount Street Trail to Rendall Park. Turn left and head back to Memorial Hall.
Hicks Lake Loop Trail6 kms. Take a short 12 km drive from Harrison Hot Springs along Rockwell Drive to Sasquatch Park and follow signs to Hicks Lake. Park your car in the “Day Use” parking lot” and bike to the main dock. On your left follow the old logging road. At the fork in the road (just past the outhouse) bear right onto a trail which winds up and down crossing 16 little wooden bridges. At the end of this trail turn right onto a beautiful sunny beach. Follow the shoreline back to your car. Hicks Lake is an ideal spot for a picnic or swim so make sure you go prepared.
- Quarry Rd: This road runs from McCombs Road to the old shale pit on Bear Mountain. A great bike trail with no hills.
- Sidehill Trail: From the east end of Driftwood Road, this trail climbs up Bear Mountain and runs along the hillside to the shale pit. This trail offers views of the village, as well as a few bumps and grinds!
You feel disconnected from the worldThere’s a gap that seems to appear between us and the world when we’re unsure of ourselves. We can even feel completely cut off from our friends and family. When our sense of who we are comes into question we often turn inward to find the answers. But what many of us don’t get is that it’s partly through our interaction with other people that we come learn the truth about ourselves. If you’re feeling disconnected, maybe a journey of self discovery is for you.
You’ve got itchy feetHands up if the voice in your head enjoys nagging at you. Yep, me too. The nagging can manifest in many different ways. We might feel like quitting a boring job, moving house, leaving a bad relationship, killing a smoking habit, or anything else that would mean a fundamental shift in perspective. Our minds are tired and want out of the game. A chance to breathe. And the only way to satisfy a persistent voice is to listen to what it has to say. It might be time to listen to your voice and uncover your true self by experiencing all the diverse contexts the world and its people offer up.
You daydream about self discoverySimply put, your head is in the clouds.
You don’t like getting up in the morningI know that a lot of people find getting out of bed about as attractive as a grenade, but that says something about the way we’re living. To be alive should be a great joy. We should be able to welcome every day with positivity. “And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?” – Rumi But sadly the thought of waking up, both metaphorically and literally, becomes too challenging when it feels like there’s no escape from the cycle. The good news is that it’s never too late to realise that things can be different. The path of self discovery is infinite because we never stop learning. But thats okay because when we live in the moment, the journey becomes the destination.
You distract yourself with stuffHands up if you buy crap that you will probably never use. Yep, me too. We do this because it offers us a temporary pleasure – a distraction from the terrifying prospect of self discovery. It lets us forget all the ‘problems’ we’d rather sweep under the carpet, or put aside to think about another day rather than confront them. We don’t just do it with stuff. We do it with TV, movies, video games, alcohol, drugs and all sorts. We hide because we’re afraid of the truth. And we’re afraid of the truth because we don’t know what it is.
You’re always tiredOur physical wellbeing is inextricably linked with Our mental wellbeing. Having a tired body and a tired mind only serves to block life’s answers from view. When we find that we’re always tired, we might be spending too much time involved in soul-sucking activities that totally drain us. It’s not always easy to tell what those things are without a change in perspective World travel offers us limitless, dynamic perspectives that can guide us toward what we’re looking for.
You feel like there’s so much moreIf you can recognise any of the following, you’re probably in this category : “I’m ready to conquer the world, but I’m afraid to step outside my comfort zone.” “I feel like there’s so much more out there, but worry about taking action.” “My rational mind files away my dreams for another day.” What’s funny is that the times when we’re truly afraid to make a leap of faith are often the times we need to leap the most. The truth is that there is much more out there, but it’s not going to fall into your lap. The fruit of life is low hanging and incredibly sweet. Take it, it’s yours to enjoy. In the next post we’ll look at how travel helps with all of the problems listed above. Subscribe to my mailing list to get it in your inbox. There’ll be no spam. And that’s a promise.
The 5 Worst Travel Apps
We might as well face up to the fact that the attention depleting smartphone in your pocket isn’t going away anytime soon. The best thing to do is fill it with things that help you in your day to day experience of the world. In this case we’re looking at apps, although it’s worth noting that the five apps below are ones you’re probably never going to find useful. Think of it as me being kind and doing some BS filtering for you.
1. Find Nearest McDonalds
I have nothing against free-will. Not a thing, but i will say this: If you’re so desperate for a McDonalds that you need an app to find one nearest to you, you’re in serious trouble in life. what’s more is that if you have any map application all you need do is type McDonald’s in the search field and it does exactly the same thing. When you’re in a foreign country, please do your best to try the local food rather than eating burgers and fries. The app isn’t even free!
Was I? Several times while using this app I ‘checked in’ at places I’ve never been to. It’s a bit like Foursquare but much worse. the user experience is poor and when you’ve used the far superior Foursquare it’s difficult to see the point of iWasHere. There are several functions that I won’t describe here that seem to encourage intrusive, stalkerish behaviours and that alone is enough to put me off. Don’t waste your brain power on this one.
3. Coppertone MyUVAlert
This is an app that beeps at you when you need to reapply sunscreen and suggests products to buy. I think that’s all I really need to say.
I might be going crazy, but an app that measures the electrical output of your travel gadgets seems a bit counter-intuitive. Using electricity to measure how much electricity you’re wasting is just bonkers. I’ve come up with a much better solution: Use your electronic devices as little as possible or not at all when you’re away. Why not enjoy your trip instead of wasting energy by wasting energy.
5. SwearportI’m in two minds about this app. On the one hand it’s hilariously funny in that it lists an enormous number of expletives in foreign languages, but on the other it’s useless to you while travelling unless you want to start a fight and get thrown into a Thai prison. In fact I’d go as far as to say it actually hinders you because it teaches you how to insult people in their home country. Not something you want to be doing as an ambassador for the country you’re from.