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Nervous about travel in Africa? Here’s why you shouldn’t be

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Thanks to “gilesmeetsworld” for sharing…

When most people think about travel, Africa doesn’t usually come up as an option, and admittedly originally it wasn’t top of my list either… I think this is because not only are people unaware of all you can experience there, but sometimes the continent can seem an intimidating place to travel. I recently wrote a guest post on WanderingOutsideTheBox (linked here), about why Africa should be your next travel destination, and it made me realise that I should be writing more on my experiences in Africa so that I can show others how incredible it is to travel there.

I want to convey what the reality of travel in Africa is like, and try and go through common fears or things that might put people off. So in this post I’ll be doing exactly that, I’ll be listing common fears about travel in Africa, and then explaining based on my experience what the reality actually is.

A little side note here, I realise throughout this post I use the term ‘Africa’ a lot, which is of course a massive generalisation of a huge and diverse continent with over 50 countries, but when I use it I’m referring to sub-Saharan Africa.

Mosquitoes and Malaria

This is probably what most people worry about. Yes there is malaria and it’s a massive problem. However as a western person with a western immune system who will (and definitely should) likely have anti-malarial medication, the chances of you catching it are very minimal. When I travelled through different countries in sub-Saharan Africa, mosquitoes were actually not as bad a problem as I thought they would be. When you’re staying in a tent that you can seal off completely from anything outside, it means you can be pretty effective in keeping them out.

I was expecting the biggest and baddest mosquitoes I had ever seen, but they never showed up. Just use some mosquito spray (of which you’ll be able to get great brands out in Africa that are much cheaper), take your anti-malarial meds and you should be absolutely fine. My best advice when it comes to travelling anywhere where there might be diseases etc you could catch, is speak to your doctor, get your jabs, and make sure you have health insurance.

Safety

Often people will be worried about visiting Africa because of political troubles in some nations or safety, and if you don’t know what you’re doing or the areas you’re going, then I would strongly advise travelling there first with a guide or in a group. However when you do go with experienced guides who are constantly on the ball with where you’re going and know exactly the areas you’re travelling through, you don’t feel unsafe or in danger at all.

In fact it’s like most places in the world, in that it’s a tiny population of people who are giving places a bad reputation. Most locals were so friendly and passionate about their country and wildlife, and it was an absolute pleasure getting to meet so many great and inspiring local people. Not to mention it’s often in the places where tourism isn’t massive yet, that tourists are treated extremely well because of the financial benefits they bring to the country.

Bathroom & Campsite facilities

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I was expecting a camping trip in Africa to have non-existent bathroom facilities, and yes sometimes we were in national parks so it was just a hole in the ground. But this was extremely rare, and completely a choice by us to want to experience camping in the wild. I actually experienced much worse bathrooms travelling through SE Asia than in Africa. Most of the time we had very decent showers and toilets at our campsites that were perfectly adequate.

Admittedly when you’re doing a lot of travel through remote areas, there aren’t going to be toilets everywhere, so we did stop by the road a fair few times for toilet stops behind some sort of vegetation, but just bring a toilet roll (that you throw in a bin you take with you) and hand sanitizer and it’s completely fine. A little bottle of anti-bac hand sanitiser is generally just a great thing to carry with you travelling anywhere. Not to mention if you’re travelling in Africa and not camping, it’s just like anywhere else with excellent quality accommodation and hotels, if that’s what you prefer.

Western food

If you’re worried about being able to find those delicious snacks when you travel, don’t. We stopped many times at many places and there are usually supermarkets or shops selling the standards snacks crisps chocolate nuts etc etc. We had to stop to get water often so to enough supermarkets to know, it’s not just local stalls selling local foods, there are plenty of western foods too. Also camping, we made all of our own food anyway, and this was often very similar to what you’d eat back home if not with a bit more meat cooked on the brai (South-African bbq) than normal. It’s really not the case at all that you won’t be able to find western food.

Shops

So this sounds like a strange one, but I learnt the hard way… When I was in New Zealand just before I flew to Cape Town, I stocked up on loads of meds and various things for my Africa trip as I was determined not to get ill, and my thoughts were going to be that I was travelling in remote and less developed areas so wouldn’t be able to pick the things up I needed. I get to South Africa and on the first day we stop in a massive shopping centre just outside of Cape Town which sells all the exact same stuff for a quarter of the price… You will stop in places where you can get clothes, food, meds etc, so don’t be like me, wait until you get there to get the basics. We even had a couple of people in our group who didn’t bring sleeping bags and they managed to find them very easily.

Wifi

Don’t panic folks, there will be internet. Admittedly depending on where you are it may be limited, but you’ll be very surprised how frequent and in how many campsites there will be wifi and internet connections. It’s sometimes nice to have a break from the internet for a while, but if you’re concerned you’ll be weeks without being able to contact home etc, there’s no need. The internet often will be limited or not that strong, but it’s even the case that some companies who run these overland group tours have wifi on the buses themselves!

I’m going to get eaten by a lion!

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Ok, so obviously this sub heading is an exaggeration, but you see my point. Camping in national parks with no fences between you and lions… are you serious?! Yes, I am actually. So firstly and most importantly, the wildlife in Africa is to be taken seriously. You’ll need to watch out for scorpions and snakes etc in the desert, and also bigger game and wildlife camping in national parks. However, if you’re sensible and listen to advice (of which there will be plenty), you will be fine. Wildlife often won’t want to have anything to do with people and will keep away from them. So as long as you are sensible and listen to advice, you will be absolutely fine.

I’ve even camped where elephants and hippos stroll next to people’s tents, but they view them as obstacles rather than anything of interest. People will be there to make sure you are camping in a safe environment, and will be on hand for emergencies, so you shouldn’t let any of these fears put you off.

So I hope I’ve gone through a few concerns people have about travelling in Africa and explained why they shouldn’t put you off. Like anywhere, as long as you’re sensible and listen to locals advice you’ll be completely fine. Anything I’ve forgotten to mention or any fears that are putting you off travel in Africa, pop them in the comments below.

When most people think about travel, Africa doesn’t usually come up as an option, and admittedly originally it wasn’t top of my list either… I think this is because not only are people unaware of all you can experience there, but sometimes the continent can seem an intimidating place to travel. I recently wrote a […]

via Nervous about travel in Africa? Here’s why you shouldn’t be… — gilesmeetsworld

Daily Stoic

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Daily Stoic

Thanks to Daily Stoic for sharing…

Daily Stoic

We asked Mike Duncan, whose podcasts History of Rome and Revolutions have done more than 100 million downloads and whose new book The Storm Before The Storm, was just released, why Stoicism seems to re-emerge when the world is in crisis.

His answer:

Anytime the world starts to feel like it’s being engulfed by entropy, chaos and noisy disunity, the mind naturally seeks out something that offers cohesion, order, and quiet unity. We can get carried away by events and certainly feel our passions leading us into behavior that we might upon reflection regret. Stoicism offers a solid place to plant your feet and say the winds may howl but I will not be swept away.

That’s a fantastic definition of the attitude the Stoic seeks to cultivate. The winds may howl but I will not be swept away.

(P.S. For more ways to keep Stoic principles in mind as you navigate your day, check out our Daily Stoic Store. jurisdictions features our popular amor fati and memento mori medallions, Marcus Aurelius print, and more. Also, The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living is available everywhere books are sold.

Like this email? Forward it to a friend. And if it was forwarded to you, sign up for our free 7-day course on Stoicism, packed with exclusive resources.

You can read the full interview here).

 

 

In a World

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In a world of doubt ………..trust
In a world of fear…………mindfulness
In a world of hate ………….love
In a world of ignorance….educate
In a world of  choices……select
In a world of taking ……….give
In a world of sorrow………forgive
In a world of curiosity….seek
In a world of hunger ………..feed
In a world of intolerance…..open-mindedness

source: Eddie’s Journal 2010
image: Eddie’s Images, Buddha
revised original post published 2010

In a world of doubt ………..trust In a world of fear…………mindfulness In a world of hate ………….love In a world of ignorance….educate In a world of choices……select In a world of taking ……….give In a world of sorrow………forgive In a world of curiosity….seek In a world of hunger ………..feed In a world of intolerance…..open-mindedness source: Eddie’s Journal […]

via In a World — Eddie Two Hawks

6 Mindfulness Tips for Millennials

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Thanks to Alex CoteThe Mindful Mermaid for sharing…

Many of us could use some added mindfulness into our daily lives—especially us millennials.
We are the instant-gratification seeking generation that grew up with the digital age. We value self-fulfillment and social impact. And yet, it’s so easy for us to feel overwhelmed and under pressure.
Let’s take a step back and see what simple steps millennials can do to realign our selves in order to feel valued and content.

Before we get started, let’s set the record straight for what mindfulness even is. Clearly, you’ve come to right place (hence the name of my blog).
Mindful.org defines mindfulness as, “the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.”

For simplicity, mindfulness can be broken down into three steps:
Learning to be more present
Become aware with your inner self
Letting go of judgment of oneself and those around you.

It’s less about being perfectly calm and focused all the time as it is about awareness.

I’ve tailored a series of simple steps that I’ve found are both effective and relevant for our generation. 6 simple steps to living more mindfully as a millennial starts here:

Learn to unplug from the digital world and focus on the present.

Do you notice that your computer runs a lot slower when your internet browser has 20+ tabs open? Same thing goes with our brains. It’s time you close some of the tabs open in your head, and start focusing on one thing at a time.

It’s estimated that millennials spend at least 18 hours a day online. We’re constantly managing multiple tasks at once and thinking about what’s coming next.

We need to learn to turn the digital world OFF. That also means putting our brain into airplane mode and focusing on the moment in front of us.

When you’re with your friends, be with your friends. When you’re at work, be at work. Look up from your phone and notice the trees changing color on your walk home. And believe me, every moment of your day does not need to be on Snapchat.

Stop focusing on what to come, and what you’re missing out on somewhere else. Learn to just be in the now.

Get a hobby, other than Netflix…

6 Mindfulness Tips for Millennials

A series of relevant and effective steps for millennials to realign themselves and find purpose…

via 6 Mindfulness Tips for Millennials — The Mindful Mermaid

3 Ways to Start Thinking Outside the Box 

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By Dave Anthony – theunschool.blog

We are in a box, a box not too big. It is claustrophobic, restrictive and debilitating. How do we get out?

The box is a metaphor that sums up much of our lives. All our beliefs, customs, morals, norms and traditions are locked inside the box. We are scared of what might be outside, as it threatens our reality and influences change.

A change of heart, a change of mindset, goals, lifelong beliefs and the status quo as we know it.

The box has clearly defined boundaries and we know where they are. We know the lines we should not cross, the walls we should not breach. However, for some of us, there comes a time when the box gets too small. It begins to drown our creativity, stifle productivity and leaves us lost and left behind in a radical thinking generation.

So, how do we change this and start thinking more open-mindedly? These steps might just help with that…

Learn everything

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There is a very close correlation to the box and the life paths we choose. The box says you will become a doctor or a lawyer, hence, you take the necessary steps to doing just that.

Get good grades in school, get a bachelor’s, and a master’s. Obtain a good paying job, with great benefits, save in a retirement account, retire at 65 and die.

For many that is a life well lived. But, that is also a life very limited.

Many people, once they have reached the pinnacle of where the box limits them, stop learning. They apply what they have learned to get to that point in their lives, but they refuse to or do not see the need to learn anymore.

In a 2008 article entitled The Goal of Learning Everything by Scott H. Young, he says:

“The justifications for functional learning are easy. If your goal is important, you learn what you need to learn. If I want to become a professor, I need a graduate degree. It’s easy to justify spending time and money learning when the outcome is right in front of you.

The justification for lifelong learning isn’t as obvious. Lifelong learning feels important, but when you break it down to practical reality, it isn’t for most people. Most people see a far clearer return on investment for working more, socializing or entertainment than learning unnecessary subjects.”

Learning new things opens up your mind to new worlds, to new realities which you never thought existed. It widens your net and gives you a much firmer footing in your career and personal life.

Lifelong learning does not entail going back to a formal school setting, nowadays you can learn anything online. Learn physics, sociology, psychology, art, health, aviation, dance, writing, marketing, mechanics, etc. Learn and learn well, be varied, be in-depth, be thorough, and absorb everything.

You will be surprised how much of what you learn outside your niche or career bubble can be applied to it. You will begin to think with clarity, make decisions from an informed and diverse standpoint and quickly come up with creative ideas that you never thought you could.

So, learn everything and you will see how much your mind opens up and your thinking changes.

Network outside your niche

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Birds of a feather flock together. We have heard this saying time and time again. This is very true as I expressed in a recent article, however, flocking with the same set of birds all the time may not be so helpful.

In most cases, our friends reflect us. They represent our values, beliefs and our self-identity. Hence, they most likely share our opinions and viewpoints on most things.

As good as this might be, it can also be to your own detriment. One of the first steps in thinking outside the box is to listen and respect opinions different from your own. It is understanding that everyone has a unique mind that is crafted by the way they were raised and the life experiences they have had.

Opening up your network to people who you may disagree with will be hard, but only having “yes men” around you will not help you grow. It will keep you stagnant and guarded.

You need a diverse network. Comprised of people that will be honest, share their real opinions (not the ones they want you to hear), tell you when you are wrong, open you up to new ideas and teach you something new ever so often.

Your network should be an asset to you, your business, your career and your overall growth, not a disservice.

Really travel

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It is the norm to wait for your 2-week vacation in the middle of the year and book it to a hotel in a cookie cutter hotspot like Hawaii. But, that is not thinking outside the box.

We love to play it safe when we travel. We go to places our friends and family have told us good things, we stay in 5-star hotels with walls on all four sides and we go on organized tours booked months in advance.

After your return home, you come back learning nothing new other than the fact that there is a hotel in [location you visited]. You did not really explore, you did not mingle with the locals, you did not try the tasty, authentic food from the mom and pops, you did not visit the beautiful beaches and landmarks that are not in travel guides…

You were just someone who went on a plane or road trip somewhere.

The only way to really start thinking out of the box is to put fear aside. Not saying you will not be cautious, but fear restricts progress and true learning. Garnering an open mind means unlocking the fear that has held you back. Getting rid of the fear that kept you inside the box.

Fear of rejection

Fear of change

Fear of death

Fear of failure

Fear of success

Fear of life itself

It makes you play safe, and many times too safe. To extend your mind and at extension, your thinking, you have to see new things, do new things, create your own realities, your own memories. One of the best ways to do this is to really travel.

Travel deep, travel far and long, learn all that you can while traveling, take pictures, create journals, embrace and delve into other cultures, try new foods, sing new songs, learn new languages.

Travel for fulfillment, but also to open up yourself to different ways of living. To learn acceptance and respect of other norms while acknowledging that the world is far bigger than the box in which you have lived.

Conclusion

Stepping outside the box is very frightening. We do not know what to expect when we do, and that creates a sense of fear and apprehension.

But, once we begin to open up our minds to other possibilities, other existences, other realities, and other ways of life, we will see that the box was all an illusion in the first place.

How do you think outside the box?

Source: 3 Ways to Start Thinking Outside the Box ‹ theunschool.blog ‹ Reader — WordPress.com

Ice cream laws face revamp in the battle against obesity in Ireland

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Irish ice cream laws dating back to 1952 are being revised in an effort to fight national obesity levels.

Health Promotion Minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy has proposed to revoke the current Food Standards (Ice Cream) Regulations dating from 1952.

The planned changes will revise the content of milk-fat, milk solids and sugar content in ice cream.

One of the stipulations in the 1952 regulations states that ice cream must contain at least 10pc by weight of sugar.

This obviously presents problems for any company wishing to reduce the sugar content of its ice cream products, according to the FSAI.

It says the purpose of the proposed regulations is to revoke these compositional standards as soon as possible.

Having consulted other relevant Government departments and official agencies, it is considered that it is no longer fit for purpose and has largely been superseded by EU legislation, Ms Corcoran Kennedy said.

Recent research found that Ireland has the third highest consumption of ice cream per capita in Europe

Source: Ireland’s ice cream laws face revamp in the battle against obesity – Independent.ie

10 Survival Tips That Kept Your Great-Grandparents Alive

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Unless you are fairly young, chances are your great-grandparents already have passed on. But if they were around in today’s tenuous times, our great-grandparents might have a few words of advice for us.

Survival was something most of our ancestors did well, and a few tips from their success could make a real difference in our lives today.

Our great-grandparents probably survived hard times due to a combination of the right skills and knowledge, the right priorities, and the right attitudes. Here is what they might say to us if they could:

Skills and Knowledge

1. Be able to acquire food by multiple means. Learn to grow vegetables, tend fruit and berry orchards, milk dairy cattle and goats, keep laying hens, raise meat animals, and hunt for wild game.

2. Know how to preserve food for leaner seasons by way of canning, smoking, drying and root-cellaring.

3. Learn to make all of your food from scratch, from bread to butter to noodles to jerky to cheese. Even if you do not do all of it annually, develop and keep up the skills.

4. Be able to repair and maintain what you use. Furniture, buildings, engines, equipment, shoes, toys, kitchen utensils—you name it. It is important to take meticulous care of your belongings and fix whatever needs fixing until it is beyond repair. Buy less, fix more.

5. Know how to treat minor injuries and illnesses at home. Sometimes seeking professional medical advice is the best course, but in a survival situation it is valuable to be able to assess and treat problems yourself if needed…

Written by: Kathy Bernier Extreme Survival [ repost: http://www.offthegridnews.com/extreme-survival/10-survival-tips-that-kept-your-great-grandparents-alive/ ] Unless you are fairly young, chances are your great-grandparents already have passed on. But if they were around in today’s tenuous times, our great-grandparents might have a few words of advice for us. Survival was something most of our ancestors did well, and a few […]

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