South Africa president Cyril Ramaphosa imposed strict lockdown measures early on in the crisis. Reuters
South Africa president Cyril Ramaphosa imposed strict lockdown measures early on in the crisis. Reuters
— Matthew Parsons
Taking selfies is an art! If you don’t believe me, spend a bit more time on Instagram. Figuring out how to take the perfect shot does take a lot of practice.
People often ask me how I take amazing GoPro shots as a solo traveler. I finally decided to put together a rundown of some of the tricks that I have learned along the way.
Anytime we are talking about photography; settings are the best place to start. Learning which settings are best for different situations is an essential part of becoming a good photographer. Settings are particularly crucial for selfies because they really are more challenging to take than shots of other people.
Raw Format: The most common setting for me is continuous shutter in RAW format. I love this option because it dramatically increases my odds of getting a gorgeous pic.
Using the RAW setting is a must. Although it creates a bigger file size, it gives you the best quality pics. Since no information is compressed when you shoot in RAW, it is much easier to edit.
Continuous Shutter: Continuous shutter is especially useful for selfies. It gives you a few shots to choose from, which lessens your chances of having your eyes closed in an otherwise perfect shot and other similar issues.
Pro tip: While learning how to take a good shot is essential, having the right tools to edit your pics is priceless! Even the best photographers on the planet need to edit their photos. If you haven’t already, check out my Lightroom Presets for a collection of my fave fixes.
Night Lapse Mode: This is so important in low light environments. From dimly lit rooms to shots of starry skies, night lapse mode is a must use. It will make a dramatic difference in the quality of pics that you can shoot in dark conditions.
Burst Mode: To increase your odds of capturing the perfect shot, use burst mode on your GoPro. This will shoot a quick sequence of photos that will give you a video-like line of shots. Doing this will capture every exciting moment whether you are jumping off of a waterfall or just making a silly face.
Voice Control: This is a total game changer for solo travelers. Just turn on this feature, and you can get hands-free selfies! Just say, “GoPro, take a photo,” and you will get a single shot in RAW format. For video, you’ll say, “GoPro, start video,” and you can create your own hands-free movie. What more could a solo traveler ask for?
Video Settings: When it comes to mastering the GoPro, you will also want to figure out which video settings are best for different situations.
For a slo-mo video, go for 60fps / 2.7k (or 240fps for super slo-mo). If you are planning on sharing on Instagram, YouTube, or FB Stories, opt for 24fps / 2.7k. If you are aiming for professional video production standards, use 24fps / 4k.
Incredible accessories are a must for every girl on the go! For me, it’s all about the three-way mount. This gives a camera grip, extension arm, and tripod, so it’s perfect for pretty much any situation.
I also bring my dual battery charger with me everywhere that I go. Having 2-3 batteries on hand is essential for travel, and it’s ultra-convenient to be able to charge two batteries simultaneously.
Last but not least is my best amigo, El Grande! This seriously long pole (38 inches/ 3.16 feet) is perfect for paragliding and other times when you truly must capture the entire scene.
Traveling can be a rewarding experience, but it often comes with its fair share of challenges. Rarely is travel one extended period of purely stress-free moments. That would be ideal, but it’s not reality and I can say this after having traveled non-stop for over 20 years. Some of the more common challenges that travelers face are anxiety, stress and motion sickness, all of which can put a damper on your journey. Like I said, travel is hard at times and it can take a toll on our bodies and minds.
Fortunately, I came upon a product that offers a very simple yet effective solution to alleviate these kind of travel-related woes. It’s called the Reliefband.
This product was introduced to me by two friends. They both used it to eliminate nausea associated with motion sickness whenever they are traveling by air or car during their adventures. I did some more research about Reliefband in order to find out how it works and if it could be a genuine solution. While looking for more info, I was also thinking about the small group tours that I lead as there are often travelers who experience some motion sickness on some of the journeys we take.
In the end, this product could very well be a must-have piece of travel gear for those travelers who do suffer from motion sickness, stress or anxiety.
Traveling should be exciting and fulfilling, and free from the discomforts that can often accompany it. With Reliefband, you can now bid farewell to motion sickness, nausea and anxiety, and fully embrace the wonders of exploration. This revolutionary wearable device offers a drug-free, non-invasive and highly effective solution for travelers.
(Note: This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. If you have specific medical concerns, please consult with a healthcare professional.)
The post Travel with Ease: Discover the Benefits of Reliefband appeared first on Wandering Earl.
Let me start off by thanking every one of you who left a suggestion in the comments of my last post (and in emails) about where I should travel next. I really wasn’t expecting such enthusiastic recommendations and every single comment I read put a huge smile on my face.
And as soon as those comments starting piling up I began to spend some time pondering over the suggestions, as well as thinking about my own goals for my upcoming travels and what I wish to accomplish.
In fact, I had originally planned yesterday to be the day that I would sort it all out and make a decision. The idea was that I would use the one and a half hour flight from Cancun, Mexico to Florida to concentrate on choosing my next destination. Flying through the sky at 35,000 feet just seemed like a perfect time to think about travel.
And as the plane took off at 11:31am yesterday morning, I did begin to read through the list of possible travel destinations – which includes Africa, Azerbaijan, Philippines, Colombia, Antarctica, Latvia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, India, Tajikistan, South Korea, China, Japan and many more – I had written down from all of your comments.
However, the reality is that my flight came and went and I was not able to reach a conclusion, not because there were too many options but because my session of travel contemplation did not last very long after take-off.
I believe that it was about 20 minutes into the flight, as we soared high above the western tip of Cuba, that the airplane suddenly dropped straight out of the sky. One second the clouds outside seemed to be far below the airplane and the next second they seemed to be far above.
And I, my friends, was terrified.
Okay, maybe the above was a little bit of an exaggeration.
Perhaps the airplane didn’t exactly ‘drop’ out of the sky. I guess it was more like a quick shake, a little shimmy if you will. Actually, if I remember correctly, the pilot referred to it as a ‘small pocket of turbulence’.
However, it sure felt like more than a ‘small pocket of turbulence’ to me. I braced for the worse and remember thinking that I really should have been kinder to the woman at the airline check-in counter who had confusingly tried to charge me double the normal airport departure tax. Now I was certain that my life was about to end and that was going to be my last thought.
This never used to happen when I traveled on airplanes. But, and I really, really, really, hope that I’m not alone with this, as I get older, it seems that those little moments of normal turbulence have become significantly more frightening.
It’s as if the airplane hits one small ‘bump’ in the sky and the next thing I know the sweet elderly lady next to me is asking if I would be so kind as to release my insanely tight grip on her now black and blue arm.
All it takes is one little hiccup in the air and I immediately reach under my seat (while holding back tears of course) to ensure that my inflatable life vest is in place before lowering myself halfway into the crash position. Of course, I try to pretend that I’m searching for something in my backpack that I’ve placed under the seat in front of me but I’m really just getting ready for the inevitable impact.
I’ve literally flown hundreds of times during my life and for years I loved every single minute of every one of those flights, even those moments when the plane was stuck in turbulence, both small and large pockets. Never did I find such common turbulence to be any reason for worry at all.
But these days, not only do I immediately think my life is in its last precious moments but I’m often unable to concentrate on anything else during the rest of the flight.
I can’t even concentrate enough to watch Kung Fu Panda 2 on my personal entertainment screen. The airplane shakes once and I close my eyes so tightly and my heart beats so quickly that I enter into a twenty minute ‘life flashing before my eyes’ session. And when I finally snap out of it, the damn Panda has somehow discovered inner peace and is now able to redirect cannon fire coming from Lord Shen’s armada. How did that happen? I missed it all.
Well, I suppose this is just something that I need to come to terms with. There is no denying the fact that as I get older, I find myself more and more uncomfortable while flying. Perhaps ‘uncomfortable’ is not even the best description.
‘Scared out of my flipping mind‘ is probably somewhat more accurate.
Has anyone else experienced this? Anyone? Please??
The post Air Turbulence: The Older I Get, The More It Makes Me Cry appeared first on Wandering Earl.
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Paris is one of the world’s most popular travel destinations, attracting millions of visitors each year. Located in the heart of France, the city is known for its stunning architecture, rich history, world-class museums, and unparalleled cuisine. Whether you’re interested in art, fashion, or simply soaking up the ambiance of a beautiful city, Paris has something to offer everyone. The city’s romantic atmosphere, charming neighborhoods, and iconic landmarks make it an ideal destination for couples, families, and solo travelers alike.
However, with so much to see and do, it can be overwhelming to plan a trip to Paris. That’s why it’s important to make sure you experience the best of the city while you’re there. From exploring the city’s historic landmarks and museums to indulging in local cuisine and wandering through charming neighborhoods, there’s no shortage of things to do in Paris. Taking the time to plan your trip and prioritize the activities and sights that interest you the most can help ensure that you have an unforgettable experience in the City of Light.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, experiencing the best of Paris can be a truly rewarding experience. From strolling along the Seine River to enjoying a cup of coffee at a cozy cafe, the city offers a wealth of experiences that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. By taking the time to plan your trip and make the most of your time in the city, you can create lasting memories and discover a newfound appreciation for this iconic destination. So if you’re looking for a travel destination that offers beauty, history, culture, and charm, look no further than Paris.
Planning Your Trip
One of the key factors that can make or break your travel experience in Paris is the type of accommodation you choose. The city is home to a wide range of hotels, from budget-friendly options to luxurious five-star properties. While there are certainly plenty of affordable hotels in Paris, we recommend splurging a bit to stay at the best hotels in Paris. These hotels offer a level of service, comfort, and amenities that can greatly enhance your travel experience. From stylish boutique hotels to grand palace hotels, Paris has no shortage of exceptional properties to choose from. Some of the best hotels in the city include the Four Seasons Hotel George V, the Ritz Paris, and the Mandarin Oriental, Paris.
When creating your itinerary for Paris, there are a few key things to consider to help ensure that you have the best possible experience. First, think about what type of traveler you are and what you hope to get out of your trip. Are you interested in art and culture? History? Food and wine? Nightlife? Once you have a sense of what you want to do and see in Paris, you can start planning your itinerary accordingly.
Another key consideration is the time of year you’re planning to visit. Paris is a popular destination year-round, but there are certain times of the year when the city is especially busy or when certain attractions may be closed. For example, the summer months can be crowded and hot, while many museums and restaurants close for vacation in August. On the other hand, the holiday season is a magical time to visit Paris, with festive lights and decorations throughout the city.
Finally, be sure to leave some time for spontaneity and exploration. While it’s important to have a general plan for your trip, some of the best experiences in Paris can come from simply wandering through the city’s neighborhoods, stumbling upon charming cafes and boutiques, and interacting with locals. Don’t be afraid to stray from your itinerary and embrace the spirit of adventure!
Must-visit Landmarks and Attractions
Paris is home to some of the world’s most iconic landmarks and attractions, and no trip to the city would be complete without visiting a few of them. Whether you’re interested in history, art, or simply soaking up the city’s beauty, there’s something for everyone in Paris. Some of the top landmarks and attractions that travelers should visit include:
While Paris is famous for its iconic landmarks and popular neighborhoods, there are many lesser-known things to see and do in the city that are just as impressive. Here are a few examples:
These are just a few examples of the many lesser-known things to see and do in Paris. Whether you’re interested in art, history, nature, or just exploring the city’s hidden corners, there’s something for everyone to discover in this vibrant and captivating city.
To make the most of your visit to each landmark, there are a few tips to keep in mind. First, consider purchasing skip-the-line tickets in advance to avoid long lines and save time. Many popular attractions offer these types of tickets, which allow you to bypass the regular queue and enter the attraction more quickly. Another option is to take a guided tour, which can provide you with additional context and insights into the history and significance of the landmark. Many guided tours also offer skip-the-line access and can help you make the most of your time at the attraction.
In addition to these tips, it’s also important to plan ahead and budget your time wisely. Some of the top landmarks in Paris can be quite crowded, especially during peak travel season, so be sure to factor in wait times and plan your visit accordingly. Finally, don’t forget to bring your camera and take plenty of photos to capture your memories of these iconic landmarks and attractions!
Exploring The City’s Neighborhoods
Paris is a city of many neighborhoods, each with its own distinct character and charm. Exploring these neighborhoods is a great way to get a sense of the city’s rich history, diverse culture, and vibrant street life. Some of the most popular neighborhoods in Paris include:
Each of these neighborhoods has its own unique features and attractions that make it worth a visit. In the Marais, for example, visitors can explore the city’s Jewish history and culture at the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme or sample delicious falafel at L’As du Fallafel. In Montmartre, visitors can climb the steep steps to the top of the hill for stunning views of the city and explore the winding streets and charming cafes of the neighborhood.
Saint-Germain-des-Prés, meanwhile, is known for its elegant architecture and rich cultural history. Visitors can explore the neighborhood’s many art galleries, bookstores, and cafes, or take a stroll through the picturesque Luxembourg Gardens. No matter which neighborhood you choose to explore, you’re sure to discover something unique and fascinating about this beautiful city!
While Paris is famous for its iconic landmarks and charming neighborhoods, there are also many unique experiences to be had that travelers might not have considered. Here are a few ideas for off-the-beaten-path activities to try:
When planning these unique experiences, it’s important to do your research and book in advance, as many of them require reservations. For example, tickets for the Catacombs often sell out quickly, so it’s best to book in advance to avoid disappointment. Similarly, hot air balloon rides are weather-dependent and should be booked well in advance to ensure availability.
When you’re actually experiencing these activities, it’s important to be open-minded and embrace the adventure. Try to immerse yourself in the experience and enjoy every moment, whether you’re exploring the eerie tunnels of the Catacombs or soaring high above the city in a hot air balloon. And don’t forget to take plenty of photos to capture your memories of these unique and unforgettable experiences!
In summary, Paris is a city that offers endless possibilities for travelers, from iconic landmarks and charming neighborhoods to unique experiences that are off the beaten path. To make the most of your trip to Paris, we recommend staying at one of the city’s best hotels, carefully planning your itinerary to include must-see landmarks and attractions like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Palace of Versailles, and exploring some of the city’s most popular neighborhoods, such as the Marais, Montmartre, and Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
In addition to these popular activities, there are many unique experiences to be had in Paris, such as visiting the Catacombs, taking a hot air balloon ride, or attending a cabaret show. To make the most of these experiences, it’s important to plan ahead and be open-minded to new adventures.
Finally, we encourage travelers to embrace the spirit of adventure and explore all that Paris has to offer. Whether you’re wandering the streets of the Marais, savoring a croissant at a sidewalk cafe, or taking in the stunning views from the top of the Eiffel Tower, Paris is a city that rewards those who are willing to step outside their comfort zone and embrace the unknown. So don’t be afraid to try something new and make the most of your time in this beautiful and captivating city!
The post Experiencing the Best of Paris: A Traveler’s Guide appeared first on Wandering Earl.
Dreaming of a trip around Europe during the summer? I always like to say I have two moods: summer in Europe or cozy holiday mode. Well, if you’re in the mindset of summer in Europe — this is for you!
While it’s difficult to narrow down the “best” destinations to visit in Europe during the summer as it truly is up to your preferences and the things you’d like to do, I can definitely provide some suggestions.
First up: if you’re able to travel during the shoulder months, as in May/June and September, you’ll find far fewer crowds. July and August are high seasons, and, I would say avoid August at all costs. Trust me, I visited Greece in August and while it was beautiful…it was PACKED.
The Dalmatian Coast is home to some of the clearest waters in the Mediterranean, making it the perfect destination for swimming, snorkeling, and other water activities. The colors of the water range from turquoise to deep blue, and you’ll be able to see all the way to the bottom!
The Dalmatian Coast is made up of thousands of islands, each one more beautiful than the last. From the historic city of Dubrovnik to the quiet, serene islands of Hvar and Brač, there’s an island for every type of traveler.
For the history buffs, dive into ancient Roman ruins and see the fortified city walls of Dubrovnik. You’ll feel like you’re stepping back in time as you explore this stunning coastal region.
Did you know that some of the best food and wine are found here? Yep, Croatia is a foodie’s paradise! From fresh seafood dishes to hearty meat stews, the cuisine of the Dalmatian Coast is both delicious and hearty.
And don’t even get me started on the wine – the region is famous for its crisp, refreshing whites and rich, full-bodied reds.
You’ll find some of the most stunning beaches in the Mediterranean in Mallorca!
From the bustling Cala Millor to the secluded Cala Deià, there’s a beach for every type of traveler. The crystal-clear waters and soft, white sand make Mallorca the perfect destination for a summer getaway.
Beyond the beaches, Mallorca is also home to some of the most breathtaking countryside in Europe. From the rolling hills to the rugged coastline, the scenery is simply stunning. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a postcard as you explore the island’s beautiful landscapes.
Oh, and for those wanting to dive into culture and history — look no further than the ancient ruins of the Talayots to the Gothic architecture of the capital city of Palma.
Spend your days hiking in the mountains and your nights sipping cocktails on the beach. Whether you’re looking for an action-packed vacation or a peaceful retreat, Mallorca has something for everyone.
The Greek Islands are home to some of the most stunning beaches in Europe, from the bustling party beaches of Mykonos to the secluded coves of Santorini. With crystal-clear waters and soft, white sand, the beaches of the Greek Islands are the perfect place to soak up the sun and relax.
For those looking for a cultural experience, visit the ancient ruins of the Acropolis in Athens to the medieval castles of Rhodes.
Beyond the beaches, the Greek Islands are also home to some of the most breathtaking scenery in Europe. From the dramatic cliffs of Santorini to the rolling hills of Crete, the scenery is simply stunning. You’ll feel like you’re in a postcard as you explore the island’s beautiful landscapes.
The Greek Islands are the perfect destination for those who want a mix of adventure and relaxation. Spend your days exploring ancient ruins and your nights lounging on the beach.
Sardinia, Italy doesn’t always make lists…but it should! It has some of the most stunning beaches, from the famous Costa Smeralda to the secluded Cala Luna.
Whether you’re interested in history, art, or local traditions, Sardinia is brimming with unique things to explore, from the ancient ruins of Nuraghi to the traditional costumes of the island’s rural communities.
The island is famous for its fresh, local ingredients and dishes up hearty seafood plates.
Amalfi Coast is a chart-topper for good reason! The dramatic cliffs, the coastal towns, and the brilliant blue water. The Amalfi Coast is a photographer’s dream!
The Amalfi Coast is the perfect destination for those who want a mix of relaxation and adventure.
Spend your days lounging on the beach and your nights exploring the picturesque villages. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or an action-packed vacation, the Amalfi Coast has something for everyone.
I’d highly recommend planning well in advance as this is the prime busy season and accommodations book up early. Here are some of the best hotels to stay at on the Amalfi Coast!
Pack your bags and head to the South of France! The gorgeous region of Provence, France is brimming with sun-kissed vineyards, lavender fields, and charming villages.
Spend your days wandering around the rolling hills of the Luberon to the vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Whether you’re exploring the countryside by bike or by car, you’ll be constantly amazed by the beauty of Provence.
Provence is dotted with charming villages, from the hilltop town of Gordes to the seaside town of Cassis. Each village has its own unique personality and history and is the perfect place to immerse yourself in local culture and traditions.
Whether you’re looking for an action-packed vacation or a peaceful retreat, Provence has something for everyone.
Get ready to pack your bags and escape to a world of sun, sea, and glamour! Whether you’re exploring the coastline by boat or by car, you’ll be constantly amazed by the beauty of the French Riviera.
Whether you’re looking to be pampered in a five-star hotel or to explore local culture and traditions, the French Riviera has something for you. Whether you’re interested in history, art, or local traditions, the French Riviera has something for you.
Imagine spending your days sipping rosé next to the beach, dining on niçoise salads, and then lounging at a chic resort. Sounds like paradise to me!
While Iceland may not be the typical place you imagine during a summer vacation, you should definitely consider it…especially because the weather is GORGEOUS!
Iceland is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, from its glaciers and fjords to its hot springs and geysers.
Whether you’re exploring the rugged wilderness or taking a dip in one of the country’s famous hot springs, Iceland’s natural beauty is truly awe-inspiring.
During the summer months, Iceland experiences the “midnight sun” – which means that the sun never sets, and you can enjoy 24 hours of daylight! This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the beauty of the country in a completely different way.
Iceland offers a wealth of unique activities, from glacier hiking and whale watching to horseback riding and kayaking. Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline rush or a more relaxed experience, Iceland has something for everyone.
Iceland is home to a diverse range of wildlife, from puffins and seals to whales and reindeer. During the summer months, you may be able to see puffins, seals, whales, and even reindeer in their natural habitats.
The Azores Islands are renowned for their breathtaking natural beauty, from the lush green landscapes to the dramatic cliffs and pristine beaches. Whether you’re exploring the countryside on horseback or taking a dip in one of the many hot springs, the Azores will leave you in awe.
Offering a wealth of adventure activities, from hiking and surfing to whale watching and snorkeling, it’s the perfect place for someone who wants to be active and explore. Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline rush or a more relaxed experience, the Azores have something for everyone.
The Azores are one of the best places in Europe for whale watching. From June to October, visitors can observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitats, making for a truly unforgettable experience.
Book your trip to the Azores today and escape to a world of natural beauty, relaxation, and adventure!
Do you have a favorite European summer destination? Let me know in the comments below!
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