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Useful Tips for Traveling

Dear fellow travellers!

No matter how much I travel, I always end up getting butterflies in my belly whenever I have to prepare for a new trip. It never gets old. I simply assume that it’s part of the fun! For those of you who don’t have too much experience or want to get familiar with a calmer and more relaxed travelling style, I’m here to share with you some basic travelling tips I always employ.

Planning ahead is the key to a successful trip. Don’t worry about this being too rigid and the danger of it hampering any possibilities of experiencing unexpected adventures. The idea is to set a general plan and travel with an open mind to break the plan whenever something great presents itself before us. I’ve often found that when I looked for the romanticism of travelling towards the unexpected, I missed out on very interesting possibilities and ended up wasting large amounts of my time. On the other hand, when I have prepared carefully my itinerary, I found myself encountering many unexpected situations and taking full advantage of them. This made me arrive back home having lived many experiences and not having had enough!

For an efficient planning, I tend to rely on certain aspects of my travel. The accommodation is crucial, somewhere where you can feel comfortable when you hit the bed. Maximum privacy for maximum comfort, without forgetting about the toilet. Remember, we want to feel like home. Remember to check for special events in the days you are traveling and book at least the first few nights in advance. I met someone who travelled to Japan from Europe during the cherry blossom season without booking the hotel. After two sleepless nights, he looked for a place to rest. He was forced to book a plane ticket back to Europe, losing a lot of money and gaining high levels of stress in the process. Knowing beforehand where to find the best places to eat within your budget will also do wonders in fully enjoying the travel and feeling energized by it. Knowing these places, however, does not mean that we should force ourselves to eat there. If a new opportunity presents itself, remember, open up to everything and enjoy the good things you may encounter.

On the other hand, having previous knowledge of the ins and outs of transportation wherever you are traveling will help you move in a quick and efficient manner, helping you save money in the process.

As I mentioned before, don’t underestimate the toilet. Every opportunity that you have, you should go, be it in a restaurant, in an office, or in a museum. We never know when we can go again!

To all my fellow travellers, take care and plan ahead!

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How to Ride a Bike

OK. So this is kind of weird for some, but I come across people most of the time who have never learned to ride a bike! I thought I’d put this out there as advice to folks looking forward to get on a bike for the first time no matter how old or young they are.

A bicycle can be put to many uses in day to day living and regularly doing so can enrich your lifestyle and health.

These are the simple steps to ride a bicycle:

First, locate a safe place preferably a concrete or short grass ground. It is important to note that the areas chosen are free from traffic, not rough and are not very steep. Ensure the seat is adjusted properly and the brakes are in order. If the brakes are on the handlebars, test to verify the one that controls the rear tire and the front tire. This can be done by pushing on the ground and applying the brakes. The seat needs to be adjusted so that the feet can touch the ground while seated. The long trousers need to be rolled up so as not to be trapped by the mechanisms while riding. Also remember to avoid wearing shoes that slide in the event you don’t want to use the brakes. Wearing of loose clothes should be avoided because they can get stuck and lead to accident. Helmet is important to protect the head. When practicing, avoid sudden application of brakes for this can lead to falling. Apply brakes gently when alighting.

Embark on bicycle with the seat lowered by ensuring one foot is on the ground until ready. Push yourself while balancing and steering. Take your time in this stage until balancing and steering are gained. Also learn how to turn. Remember, riding slowly will make one lose balance, therefore try as much as possible to move a bit faster to achieve balance. One can engage the services of a helper who can hold the bike at the back to stabilize.

After practicing on balancing and steering, walk to a gentle slope and ride down. Note that the end of the slope should be a flat area. Repeat to gather balancing.

After becoming comfortable with placing the feet on the pedals, practice riding down gentle slopes. Also learn how to apply brakes, maintaining balance and inclining.

Raise the seat but take note to have your toes’ tips touch the ground while seated. Learn to pedal down the slope and the flat area. Make slight turns then sharp turns, braking and disembarking and remain supported by one foot for balancing. Learn how to pedal from stop. Pedal up the slope and once these are mastered, try challenging tasks to gain knowledge on riding.

Patience, persistence and determination are important.