Posts Tagged With: adventuring

Ayr, Scotland

scotland beach

Ayr, Scotland, United Kingdom

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…

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Traveling and Money

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!

Traveling and Money

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Potw #1: Flattop Mountain, Anchorage, Alaska

Climbing Flattop Mountain - Anchorage, Alaska.

Climbing Flattop Mountain – Anchorage, Alaska.

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.

Categories: Alaska, Anchorage, United States | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Travel Photo of the Week

Hey guys!

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!

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Las Vegas – Special Feature!

Viewers, I’ve got another special post for you today, something new and different to spice up this travel blog!

I’m very proud and excited to say that I’ve teamed up with the legendary Travel Enthusiast, Former Orbitz Director of Communications and proud Mom : Kendra Thornton to share our knowledge, tips and experience about one amazing, energetic and vibrant city; a city that has something for just about everyone out there: Las Vegas!

First, Kendra will share her take on the city with us, then shortly after, I will share my tips, advice and secrets about the city.

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Kendra:

Hot Spots for Family Fun in Las Vegas

I love to travel, and these days, I usually bring my family along. When planning a family vacation, I always look for locations with something that my kids will enjoy along with my husband and me. One of our favorite spots to enjoy time together as a family is Las Vegas. It seems that this desert oasis always has something new and fun for us to do.

1. Miniature Golf

My husband is a golfer. The kids and I prefer the miniature version, and Las Vegas has plenty of options for us. We especially enjoy playing 18-holes at KISS by Monster Mini Golf. The glow-in-the-dark course features animated replicas of rock-and-roll memorabilia. The kids love putting into the giant Gene Simmons head. As an added attraction, the course also features a huge saltwater aquarium made by ATM of Animal Planet’s show Tanked.

2. Sharks

In Las Vegas, you can swim with sharks in the middle of the desert. My oldest loves sharks, so when I found out about Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay, we had to visit. The water park features North America’s only predator-based aquarium. Here, you can view moray eels, rare golden crocodiles, piranhas and 15 species of sharks. The kids and I also participated in the 45-minute shark dive.

3. Adult Beverages

Of course, Las Vegas has plenty of adult beverages. When traveling with my girlfriends, I once took the Sommelier wine class at the Michael Mina Restaurant. Guests get to explore the nuances of eight different wines. You’ll learn about the effects of soil and climate on grapes. This is a great way to spend date night as well as an awesome activity to enjoy during a Las Vegas bachelorette weekend.

4. Museums

Those who love to learn can have a great time in Las Vegas. My family enjoys taking trips to quirky museums. My personal favorite is the outdoor Neon Museum just off the strip. It displays the history of the city in lights with a park-like atmosphere and design. My kids love spending time at the Discovery Children’s Museum. Also of interest is the National Atomic Testing Museum.

Las Vegas is always good for a good time. I’ve enjoyed traveling there on business and with friends. Now I enjoy taking my family and exposing my kids to some of the wonderful treasures there. With so many places to stay and things to do it can get a bit overwhelming. Sites like Gogobot make it easy to read user reviews so you can better plan your trip. I hope you can enjoy this great vacation spot as well.

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Jordan:

Spontaneous Fun & Hidden Gems of Las Vegas

Las Vegas is always a blast, no matter who you go with, it has something for everyone. Myself? I am pretty open-minded and like to try just about anything, especially if it’s a new experience! I’m going to share with you some advice, tips and hidden gems of Las Vegas that I hope will be at some use for you. Here we go:

1. Restaurants

At one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, how could Las Vegas not have some of the world’s greatest restaurants?
One of my most memorable restaurant experiences was eating at “Gordon Ramsey’s Pub & Grill” at “Caesar’s Palace”.
If you’re feeling a little more on the Breakfast or Dessert side, then you HAVE to try the Crepes at “Le Creperie” in “Paris”. I’m going to let you in on a little secret as well… If you’re looking for a delicious meal that is a little more budget friendly, then look no farther than “Tony Roma’s” on Fremont Street. Seriously, Tony Roma’s! You can get a Steak and Lobster for $11.99 or a Prime Rib for $8.99. You can find details on this special here: Tony Roma’s on Fremont.

2. Entertainment / Shows

I’ve been to Las Vegas twice and without a doubt, my favorite thing to do is see the shows. There are shows that will suit anybody’s interest here: Comedy, Cirque du Soleil, Concerts, Burlesque, Magic and so on. Lots of famous people host their performances here: Shania Twain, Madonna, Carrot Top, David Blaine, Kris Angel, Penn and Teller.
Buying tickets for shows can really add up, so here’s a little tip to nab yourself free tickets and even a free dinner to go along with; walking down Las Vegas Blvd, you’ll notice that there are several individuals trying to grab your attention to sell “Timeshares”. Most of the time, you probably ignored them and walked right by them, but here’s the secret… If you decide to take the free tour that they are promoting, you will land yourself free or highly discounted Dinner and Show tickets; this is no scam, it is actually true! The catch is, you have to spend a few hours listening to their sales pitch and viewing the units, building and property that they are attempting to sell to you. At the end of the tour, a highly skilled sales associate will personally try and sell you a Timeshare – all you have to do is politely decline and then, VOILA! You will have your free Dinner and show!

3. Fremont Street

Most people are attracted to the Las Vegas Blvd strip and frankly, I don’t blame them! With the bright flashing lights, energy, music, street performances, erupting fountains and state-of-the-art architecture, who would not want want to be around all of that? What people need to know though is, Fremont Street is the “original” Las Vegas and it boasts a magic of it’s own. Let me tell you what’s special about Fremont Street! First off, you’re going to find MUCH better deals in this area, probably because they want to take the crowd away from the overpriced Las Vegas Blvd.  When you’re not playing at the Casino, you’ll find that it’s quite easy to find 1-2$ beers, 3$ Margaritas, 10-15$ meals at sit-down restaurants and best of all, the slots are known to be more “loose” on Fremont Street.  If you walk a few blocks up, you’ll find yourself in front of some original and unique bars and restaurants, for example: “Insert Coins” a video-game based bar – you basically pay to play arcade games with friends while sipping away at your favorite drink. How about “Heart Attack Grill”? A restaurant where all the staff are dressed in Nurse outfits and serving you the most unhealthy food that is known to man.  There is actually a large scale just outside of the restaurant that lets you weigh yourself, if you weigh over 300lbs, then you get to eat free!
Looking for cheap daiquiris? I’ll tell you where to get the cheapest in all of Vegas! Two words… “La Bayou”. It’s a small Dive Bar & Casino located on Fremont Street. You can fill up your meter long drink-holding device for pennies compared to the other places out there. The cool thing is, “La Bayou” uses the traditional-style “quarters” to play in their slots and when you win, spits quarters back out at you. Ever heard of those? They are small circular pieces of metal before the “cash receipts” were used in slot machines. A new piece of History for you!

4. Shopping

Las Vegas is probably right up there with London, Paris, New York and so on for it’s shopping scene, it can also get expensive very fast if you don’t have the budget for it. I found that I had the best shopping experiences at both the North and South “Premium Shopping Outlets”. There are literally hundreds of stores to choose from, it really does take a full day out of you. One of my favorite stores would have to be “Under Armour” which is located at the “South Premium Outlets”. If you’re shopping for luxurious brands, then you have nothing to worry about, Las Vegas Blvd is boasting with a nearly-unlimited amount of stores and malls to visit and it’s impossible to see it all in one day. For souvenirs, it’s always fun to check out the “M&M Factory” or the “Coca-Cola Factory”.

We hope this post was informative and fun to read as it was for us to write it!

If you wish to follow Kendra, you can do so by clicking the following link: @KendraThornton – she has a wealth of travel information to provide for you, so definitely check her out!

Please follow me for more adventures, travel tips and advice!

[This collaborative post was written by: Jordan Ilareguy & Kendra Thornton]

For more exciting articles on Las Vegas, visit GPSmyCity.com!

Categories: Destinations, Las Vegas, Nevada, Travel, Uncategorized, United States | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Romanian Adventure!

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!

Categories: Destinations, Romania, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Romania by Night

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.

On the way back to the hotel, I passed by an area called “Revolution Square”:

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Equestrian Statue in Revolution Square.

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Me standing in Revolution Square.

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!

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More to come, stay tuned!

Categories: Destinations, Romania, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ice Fishing in Canada

Ever wondered what to do during a Canadian Winter? Ski, Snowboard, Ice Skate, Snowshoe, Sled, Dogsledding, Curling?

This is what I do:

That's me - Ice Fishing!

That’s me – Ice Fishing!

Ice Fishing!

It’s pretty simple, really; you make sure the lake is frozen – preferably over 3″ thick, so you don’t fall through. You then drill a hole with an “Auger”, manual or gas-powered:

Gas-Powered Auger

Gas-Powered Auger

Once you’ve drilled your hole, you clear the snow and ice from around and in the hole and then you’re ready to fish!

I’m no Ice Fishing expert; but the good news is, you don’t need to be one to enjoy this cold-Winter past-time! It’s a little bit of technique but even more luck. The fish are so cold, they won’t want to swim a lot, so you have to hope that you drilled a hole over some fish or at least close to them.

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Categories: Canada, Destinations, Ontario, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Helicopter Carrier – Replenishment at Sea

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”.

If you enjoy what you’re reading, please take your time to “follow” and/or “like” my blog through one or more of the following: “Facebook”, “Twitter” and “WordPress”. You can follow me by clicking on the respective links on the right side of my website. Please feel free to leave comments or questions as well and I promise to leave a reply.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” 

– Augustine

 

Categories: Pacific Ocean, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Traveling Brothers!

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:

Alex and Jordan

Alex and Jordan – The two traveling Brothers.

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!

Categories: Destinations, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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