Walking along a beach on the Irish Sea. Crisp, cool ocean breeze to keep you awake and rejuvenated. Scotland is full of gorgeous, hidden gems…
Posts Tagged With: adventuring
Having easy access to the local currency when traveling in foreign countries can sometimes be difficult and sometimes seem impossible. Every country in the world has preferred payment methods and not all of them coincide with your own payment options.
You often hear from people that credit cards are accepted everywhere; while this is mostly true, there are particular places in the world where you will find it quite difficult to utilize your credit card to make purchases. For example; a year ago, I was traveling in Japan, I wanted to withdraw some of the local currency so that I could pay for my meals at smaller food joints like ramen noodle houses. Well, I must have spent 4-5 hours searching for an ATM that would accept my common credit card brand, each machine kept rejecting my card saying that “your card is not accepted”. I was in a new country, I was getting quite hungry, thirsty and lost. All I wanted to do is get myself a belly-filling meal with a cold drink to wash it out on that muggy day, but I was stuck working out this dilemma instead. Eventually, I spotted an uncommon Japanese bank and crossed my fingers that my card would dispense cash. Well, my prayers were answered and voila! After 5 or so hours of ‘suffering’, I felt free again, free to enjoy all the luxuries that this beautiful country had to offer me; but for a short time, I truly did feel like a prisoner, restrained away from my own finances.
Japan is not the only country where I ran into these kind of troubles, but also, I found myself in a similar dilemma when I visited: Peru, Cape Verde, Russia and Kuwait. The best way to avoid these kind of problems is to research ahead of time which banks accept the credit cards that you are in possession of in the countries that you plan to visit. Another option is to have your currency changed over in your home country prior to your arriving at the foreign destination.
Thankfully, there are plenty of countries out there that are up-to-par with options in regards to making your own money available to you. Based off my own travels, I would have to say that you’ll never have any troubles when traveling throughout North America (Canada and United States), or most of Western Europe (France, Germany, England, etc). As the world grows closer to each other with communication and technology, so does everything else.
Working as a Flight Steward, I often have to deal with catering agencies around the world to prepare food for our crew and passengers. One of my biggest concerns is not only the quality of food, but also, the accepted method of payment. I often favor when the catering agencies can facilitate an easy transaction by invoicing my unit, although there are many catering agencies out there that want their money upfront, therefore, they request payment to be made through a major credit card. Now, where this becomes a real problem is when the catering agency wants the entire payment in cash, upfront. Often, we find that many countries in the Middle East region (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE, etc) like to have cash for their services upfront and no other way. It’s not always fun to have to carry a large sum cash imprest with you and be accountable for every single dollar – it’s just stress that can be avoided.
When I travel for leisure and it comes to utilizing foreign currencies, I prefer to keep the cash low in my wallet and rely more on my credit cards. Why? Because if I’m robbed or pick-pocketed, I’ll never see that cash again. If my currency remains on my credit card and the card requires a PIN to access the funds, then for the most part, my funds are protected and secure. On top of that, most people would probably realize pretty fast that their wallet is missing-in-action; you can call your bank and have your account locked out from anyone who tries to access your funds, or even have your funds transferred over to another secure account which the credit card itself would not be able to access. Although there is no perfect system, for me, utilizing a credit card is the most secure system as it buys me time to protect my hard-earned dollars and more often than not, your bank will work out an option with you to access your funds as you’re on the road and travelling.
What we need is a system that is universally accepted no matter where you travel, which provides such a high level of security, that it would be impossible for anyone to steal your money. A system where if you lose your card, you could go to any bank in the world and have a new one issued to you. What we need is a stress-free, secure and reliable money dispensing/payment option for the convenience of every consumer, but especially, travellers!
Here we go, this is the first “Photo of the Week” (Potw) Enjoy!
Flattop Mountain Trail, Anchorage, Alaska; initially, the path was well marked, but not for long. Eventually, you are creating your own path to the 3,510ft high summit. I am by no means, any climbing/hiking expert, but if I were to rate the difficulty level of this hike when comparing to other hikes I have done, I would say it would be moderate. To some experienced hikers out there, you may say that I scored that a level too high – I guess you just have to try it out and judge for yourself. As we escalated the mountain, the temperature naturally decreased and the wind became quite the power horse. It was actually quite intimidating at first; vision was blinded with a constant snow squall and I thought I was going to be blown off the ledge, there was nothing to hold on to.
As far as equipment and clothing goes, you don’t need anything other than a set of warm, layered clothing, maybe a daypack and potentially a set of trekking poles if that’s your style. Definitely protect your face from the harsh, power-slapping wind. Provided the weather is working with you, the hike itself shouldn’t take any longer than just a few hours to reach the summit and scale back down to the base.
Flattop Mountain belongs to a mountain range called the “Chugach Mountains” and is the most climbed mountain in the state of Alaska.
Overall, I had an awesome time on this hike; generally, I was never a fanatic about hiking to begin with, but now, my mentality is slowly changing with many new hiking experiences around the world and more practical, protective and comfortable clothing to complete the hike in.
I felt like I needed something to spice up my blog a bit… Something for all you readers to look forward to and learn about! So with some thinking, I’d like to bring along the “Travel Photo of the Week“!
Basically, I’ll post up a photo that I took from one of many countries and cities in the world that I’ve visited and explain what was happening in the photo, where I was, what it’s like, smells, sounds, interactions, culture, etc…
I’m thinking that “Travel Photo of the Week” paired with a few lines will be a quick, brief and excellent way to learn about the world, without have to read extensive articles to fabricate an image in your mind.
Feel free to ask questions and I’ll do my best to answer them right away!
Keep your eyes peeled, the first photo will be available soon!
I’ve got something exciting to show to you viewers today! It’s a video compilation of my adventure in Romania!
In the video, you’ll see shots of Bucharest, Dracula’s Castle, Brasov, Transylvania, Black Church, Pele’s Castle, Sinaia, Bucegi Mountains, Prejmer’s Fortified Church and much more! I’m still an amateur to video editing, so bear with me. I’m still trying to understand why my HD video does not stay in HD when I upload it; I’m working on it though!
Here’s the video and please, tell me what you think by leaving a comment below!
What was your favorite part of the video? What would you like to see for yourself?
Aside from my adventure in Romania, I am now working on a collaborative article with “Travel Enthusiast”: “Kendra Thornton” on our favorite location in the world and the hidden gems about that particular location.
Keep your eyes peeled!
I don’t think it matters what day of the week it is, you’ll always find something to do in Bucharest.
What did I do on a Monday night? Well, went to the “Metropolis Casino” in Bucharest of course! I won myself the equivalent of about 55$ USD through the electronic Roulette machine. You place your bets electronically and the system will automatically determine if you won and immediately pay out your earnings in the form of credits. I personally found the security in the casino to be very tight; we had to show our identification, take a photo, and pay an entrance fee while a guard was examining us. The Women at the entrance of the Casino were very stern and not very welcoming, although all the other staff within the casino was very friendly.
I took some time today to check out the “AFI Palace Cotroceni” mall. There must have been 200-300 shops spread out amongst two levels, complete with a 3D IMAX theatre, Skating Rink and Roller Coaster. I had Lunch within the mall at a sit-down Italian restaurant; the chairs and atmosphere was very comfortable, but the food was disgusting and the service was deplorable. I kept biting on small pieces of solid bone that was mixed into the sauce that was spread over my Tortellini. The taste was very bland too. We also waited about 15 minutes or more to get our bill after asking for it – all the Waiters decided it was a better idea to stand at the front of the restaurant and chit-chat. The staff working there seemed to not care about their job; don’t waste your time eating there.
I haven’t had a chance to read up on the History of the statue and that particular square; I will be going back tomorrow while there is daylight. Are there any Romanians reading this post that can comment and explain about this statue?
Oh yes! Can’t forget about my well-needed Romanian haircut!
It wasn’t too long ago when I was busy sailing the seven seas – in fact, it was just about a year and a half ago before I made the transition from “Military Warship” to a “Tactical Transport Aircraft”.
I’ve been on several sails engaging in countless roles all over the world, but one of my most memorable experiences while I was sailing in the middle of the Pacific Ocean was refuelling an American “Helicopter Carrier”. First of all, I didn’t even know there was such thing as a “Helicopter Carrier”, I’ve only heard of “Aircraft Carriers”, but obviously, they exist! From what I remember, the name of the carrier that we refuelled was called the “USS Boxer”, if that rings a bell to any of you reading this post. The refuelling itself took almost an entire day; “Helicopter Carriers” aren’t exactly a small ship, they’re massive! Every time I looked at it, I almost couldn’t believe it! It really is a technological masterpiece by man – just what all of us are capable of designing and creating when we put our heads together and work as a team.
Take a peak at the video I recorded a while back:
What’s even more amazing, is the amount of fuel that’s transferred throughout this evolution without a drip spilled into the ocean – I mean, consider the fact that two ships are cruising at the same time while this is all taking place, there’s a lot of risk management to deal with. That’s okay though, because professionals are handling every aspect of the job.
If you’re looking for a quick way to Travel, see the world and be paid for it, then you may want to consider joining the Navy. It’s a tough job, you work hard while you’re sailing but you’re well rewarded with time off at your port visit. This bring me into a quote that I utilize everyday in the workplace: “Work hard, play harder”.
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“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
That’s right! With twice the amount of traveling, you now have twice the amount of reading!
My younger Brother: “Alex Ilareguy” has made it official! He’s started his own Travel Blog and he’s currently traveling around the world, one day at a time, just like me! It must be in our blood to Travel, that, or I passed the “Travel Bug” onto him. Sorry bro!
We’re both born and raised in Canada, but at this point in time, Alex is traveling around Asia; more specifically: Seoul, South Korea with many more exotic countries coming his way in the near future! You can read up on his adventures by clicking the following link: http://alexilareguy.empowernetwork.com/
Here’s an awesome compilation of snaps of both my Brother and I:
Keep your eyes peeled on my website as well, as I will be traveling to another exotic location in the not too distant future!
If you enjoy our blogs, please do let us know by commenting and/or liking our posts and perhaps even “following” us as well!
Enjoy your new stories, double-time!