The Magic is in the pack.

 

When you travel, do you ever consider how convenient your luggage is when going through customs, dashing through the airport to make a connecting flight, or just unpacking your belongings upon arrival at your Hotel or Hostel? Comfort and convenience are my two big priorities when taking long flights with layovers.

I have experimented with hard luggage, just taking a backpack and hoping to buy luggage/extra clothes at my destination, and a “carry on backpack”.  While each has it’s advantage, I have found that a small day pack in a larger carry on backpack is the winning combo.  The Magic with my carry on pack, is that it is designed to be picked up by handles on several sides, has a single shoulder strap AND backpack shoulder straps that can be stowed in a hidden pocket, and is big enough to carry my gear but still pass size restrictions for carry on.  Carry-on bag. The maximum dimensions for a carry-on bag are 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches (22 cm x 35 cm x 56 cm), including handles and wheels.

My personal choice is the Timbuk2 aviator.  The bag/pack has external pockets to quick access items too.  It is made of seriously durable materials and is also stylish.  I have taken this bag to Thailand, Bali, Mexico, and all over the U.S. Check it out by clicking this link:

This continues to be my go to luggage until further notice. Club approved! Safe travels my friends!

All about the action!

Having a good action cam that is fully immersible makes recording memories of your travels so much fun!  I found that carrying my small Sony Action Cam around was more convenient than a dslr, safer than possibly dropping my phone in water or sand, and I got some great shots with it.

Typically the action cams weigh very little even with a waterproof case.  I chose the Sony AS series due to enhanced image stabilization, a cool watch remote that displays what the camera sees and stop/start recording function, and a camcorder body with a flip out screen for instant viewing/playback.

My favorite part was going snorkeling in Koh Tao with my friends Ryan and Caitlyn in the infamous “SHARK BAY”!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Not to worry, the bay is only popular with friendly reef sharks, at least for now. There was a lot of silt as you can see from the underwater photos, but the dry pictures came out great and the wide angle helps include the full scene. The Sony AS can send photos to your computer/phone/tablet via wifi if you need to share without removing the Micro SD card.  There is also several modes: Still shot, Movie, burst shot for multiple stills of a scene,  and interval for taking short snippets of video intermittently.

Please let me know what questions you have!  If you like what you are reading and find the info useful, please support by using our links to purchase products on Amazon that we have tried and tested.  We never offer or mention products unless we really enjoyed the experience and insured quality, durability, and cost effectiveness.  The more you save, the more you can travel.  Thanks for reading!

*Click the camera to explore Sony Action Cams*

Cartagena! And more safe travel tips!

Cartagena is literally protected by a “pirate defense” wall over 500 years old in what is referred to as the “Old City”, the original town that was a center for commerce, the Spanish Inquisition, and the heart of this lovely coastal area. The city has other parts such as Bocagrande, Manga, Getsemani, and many others.

The people are very friendly here and fairly approachable.  Street vendors offer such fare as arrepas con queso, a personal favorite of cornmeal cakes and melted cheese.  The rich history here is incredible and if you are offered guide service at the Casa de la Inquisicion, take it!  An elderly gentleman guided me and gave me much more information than I would have otherwise found on my own.  But beware, you must negotiate price up front and bartering is socially acceptable.  Here’s a link with directions to Museo Histórico de Cartagena Casa de la Inquisición.

I used a Pacsafe brand shoulder bag to protect my valuables from snatch and grab thieves and RFID “skimming” (stealing personal information through use of an rfid scanner).  As tourism in these areas grows each year, generating massive revenue, a larger police presence means thieves are less brazen to physically steal from tourists, and therefore using “skimming” is a safer route.  Furthermore, you don’t even realize you have been robbed until you check your bank balance or find out your passport info has been used nefariously. It is not my intention to scare you, merely to raise awareness.  The Pacsafe shoulder sling I brought has RFID protection, a steel mesh layered in so that the bag can’t be cut open, zipper fasteners, and steel cables in the strap so it can’t be slashed and dashed. It also has interior pockets including one specifically for a passport, a separate zippered area for cash, papers, etc. You can get it here for about $10 less than I paid!

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Fired, Fear, and Flying.

My boss sat me down, we went over the performance numbers.  The game was over. Five years with the company dodging bullets, it couldn’t last and I knew it from day one.

Tim Ferriss.  I had read his book, “The 4 Hour Workweek” when it first hit the bestseller’s list and had recently began to listen to it on Audible.  What he was talking about, this idea of leveraging economic advantage by changing my geography, sounded really cool. But how would the bills get paid.  What would I do? The thought of leaving the security of a “JOB” to pursue my entrepreneurial ideas was DAUNTING.  At first it felt like getting hit in the face, but anticipated, so the fear of it happening almost caused pain before the event happened.  Then the realization settled in.  STOP READING HERE IF YOU WANT YOUR SAFETY BUBBLE.  Security is an illusion.  I never have had it anyway.  In 2008-2010, during the economic crisis, I almost lost my home but for the grace of God, my Parents, my friends, and the help of many others. I was working as a landscaper full time, a bar-tender weekend evenings, and doing handy man work on Sundays for my parents.

I’m too old for that game now.  When you have nowhere to go but forward, Fear is the only thing stopping you. And when the choice to stay at the safe job is gone because you just got fired – walking forward is all we have. I looked online. I bought a ticket to Bogota, Colombia.  This didn’t happen because I’m brave, it happened because with people’s help, and some acceptance of my situation, I was finally open.  The excuses that we think protect us and keep us safe had been shattered by the reality that was undeniable now.

It has been over a year now. I have many more passport stamps, a new tattoo, too much luggage, an action camera, a dslr, and an overwhelming desire to see and record so much more.  I lived for 3 days with a local family in a village in Bali and experienced the most sacred Hindu holiday, Galungan with them on a month long visit to the island.  I ate lawar, an amazing dish made of pigs blood, herbs, and shredded pigskin.  I got sick from eating lettuce in Cartegena and spent 3 days on a toilet. I met a girl and fell in love.  Then had a change of heart.  I learned how to snorkel. How to talk to people in foreign languages. How to approach people and make new friends. How to be assertive.  How to say no to things I don’t like or refuse to participate in.

While this blog is not associated with Mr. Ferriss or his book “The 4 Hour Workweek”, I am grateful for what he has shared.  The idea that I could choose my own idea of success, leverage geography and technology, help more people, and ultimately live out an unbelievable destiny of my own choosing and responsibility is a very gracious gift. Thank you TIM FERRISS!!!!

Please treat yourself to this book The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich.  Take what works for you and your situation, leave what doesn’t for later in case you may need it down the road. You can also learn more at his blog: fourhourworkweek.com. Please ask questions, the only stupid ones are those we keep to ourselves.

How I kept my money Safe in 5 Countries!

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Guanyin, Koh Samui Thailand

In December of 2015 I was told by my employer of 5 years they would be letting me go.  I decided to make the most of it and set out to visit foreign countries…FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE!!!  It was crazy. “Where will you go?” people asked.  I had seen some friends posting pictures of a visit to Colombia, and it looked amazing.  So, walking through a lot of fear and the foreboding stereotypes people around me expressed like “Watch out!  It’s dangerous there!” I booked my flight.  Using a methodology I had learned from some friends, cheap tickets were easy to find.

MONEY.  The universal guarantee that you can go into AND leave a foreign country provided you are not doing anything to devious.  MONEY. The thing we fear makes us a target when visiting our fellows in other nations.  MONEY. The thing that guarantees safety and security, food, clothing, shelter. MONEY.

I researched various ways to keep my cash safe and concluded that a belt with a zipper to hide money would be perfect for just enough dough to “get outta dodge”.  After researching options ranging from $14.99 to $80, I landed on the Bison Designs money belt.  It’s durable cordura, a nice polished buckle, and had decent reviews.  It also doesn’t look like “check me out, I’m a money belt”.  It also could be used IN THEORY only as a tourniquet in the event of a serious injury.

Last year I ventured to Colombia (Bogota and Cartagena), Bali Indonesia, Chicago Illinois, and Mexico (Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum).  This belt by Bison Designs kept my cash safe through a few close calls and I also used it last month on a 2 week long trip to Thailand!  Please support my blog and get the best price by purchasing yours on Amazon, simply click the belt below.

ULUWATU…knows how to party!

Uluwatu is the southern tip of Bali.  Known for epic sunsets and fire dancing at the temple,great beaches with amazing surf, and an awesome place to party.  The surfing at many of the beaches here is considered better for intermediate and experienced riders as there can be reef and bigger waves.

Pantai Uluwatu, where these photos were taken, is a popular spot for surfing, partying, and epic sunsets.  After sunset, everybody climbs a steep set of stairs up the cliffs to chill and eat, socialize, and dance at one of several clubs.  There is also nice resort hotel accommodations for those that have to be in the center of it all.

I personally enjoyed Green Bowl, on the very southern tip of Uluwatu, and less crowded streets for cruising on my scooter.