FAVORITES FOR THE WEEK OF 12/4/16:
1. WESTERN UNION
If you don't know about the "trouble" I experienced this week, the fact that Western Union is the number one thing I am loving should give you a hint. I have always known what Western Union is in theory, but in reality, I had no clue how it worked.
It sounds complicated. Money wiring? Money transfers? It actually couldn't be any easier.
Western Union is something every traveler should know about, and should be ready to use at any moment. The company has a rich history, dominating the telegraph industry throughout the 19th century. It also was the founder of money transfers, candygrams, and charge cards, among other things. Read the wikipedia page guys, you'll be impressed.
Today, Western Union still has its finger on the pulse of society's needs. It takes seconds to set up a Western Union transfer online. From there you can immediately pick up these transfers at any Western Union location. Western Union represents over 200 countries/territories worldwide, so odds are you are covered.
Anyone, especially those traveling alone, should know what Western Union is and how to work it. I suggest downloading the app and hooking it up to your bank account, or a card you don't bring with you, before you leave so you can transfer money at any time.
2. LONELY PLANET THORN TREE FORUM
If you are a traveler you have probably read a post from the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree forum - they usually come up when you google something travel related. However, you may not have taken it a step further and gotten involved.
The Thorn Tree forum is a very active online community for travel related conversations. It is great for asking questions, searching to see if someone has already asked, or even paying it forward and helping other people with travel related questions!
If you live and breath travel, it is a great site to add to your typical facebook, twitter, youtube rotation. I love reading what other people are doing, and helping them out it I can give them any advice!
3. BOSE NOISE CANCELLING EAR BUDS
Bose has done it - they have made the ultimate travel earbuds. This pair is comfortable, compact, and excellent at cancelling any noise - from snoring dormmates to airplane engines.
I was afraid to bring expensive earbuds with me when traveling, but in truth, it is no different than traveling with an expensive cellphone or camera (or laptop). Just keep an eye on them and double check you have them with you before you leave.
When I backpacked through Europe I slept with earplugs every night. This time around, I sleep with ear buds. Whether I fall asleep listening to music, or just cancelling the noise of the other people in my room, Bose noise cancelling earbuds are perfect for any traveler.
I was also afraid charging them would be annoying, but I just charge them whenever I charge my camera or anything else. This is why I travel with a power strip. Mine were a gift, so thanks Mom!
Isn't it obvious? I haven't been updating this blog or posting pictures. Well, here is the reason: I am smitten with Laos.
This is it. This is the place. This is a traveler's mecca.
Don't write off Laos - especially if you are traveling through Thailand. Laos is only one $35 visa away.
Laos (and reasons why it is the best place in the region) will get its own post soon, but until then, I am going to soak up my final days here.
Its been a slow week, so that is all I got.
3 weeks ✓ ... I haven't failed yet!
Come back next week to see if I have made another list, or just another failed series! Entertaining either way!
Until then read some....