Posted in Australia

5 Myths About Australia: What Not To Believe In When You’re Planning Your Trip

Australia is a country of contrasts. Oh, wait, it’s a mainland of contrasts. No matter what you call it, its diversity will still impress you. If you plan to visit Australia, you will definitely read as much information in the Internet as possible and it will be a right decision to make. However, make sure you check the information you come across: there are a lot of myths about Australia in the Internet that distract you from enjoying this country as much as possible. That’s why we came up with 5 major myths about Australia you shouldn’t believe in anymore.

Myth 1. Australia is overpopulated by koalas and kangaroos
They say that everything in Australia is connected with these exotic animals. Every creative logo, restaurant’s name and and street in Australia contain a koala and a kangaroo in it.
penguins
However, that’s not true: they also like penguins there.

Frankly speaking, these animals are widely advertised. Australia is one of those rare places where you can see these exotic animals in their natural habitat, so why not to take advantage of it? Your friends and relatives expect that at least one souvenir you bring from Australia must be in a shape of a koala or a kangaroo. That’s why the popularity of these animals is growing with every new tourist. Though, Australia is not only about koalas and kangaroos (and penguins, if it matters). A lot of different species live here that strike your imagination but aren’t so popular. A mental note: there are other animals in Australia, some of them even more fascinating than kangaroos.

Myth 2. Don’t swim in the ocean – it’s filled with fish that want you dead
The Pacific ocean near Australian shores is not much more dangerous than the Pacific ocean of US’ coastline. It’s not quite friendly but still it doesn’t want you dead all the time. If you take a voyage there, you may well see some ocean creatures that will capture your breath. Not because of being terrifying but because being too cute. For example, when we were sailing in the ocean near Australian shore, we noticed a family of dolphins that decided to see us off. That was really a wonderful and unforgettable, one-life time experience.

Pacific ocean of US

Myth 3. Without being able to surf you won’t get a visa
Not everybody in Australia can surf. What’s more, if you come to Australia for the first time, don’t rush to the beach with a surfing board, especially if you saw how to surf only in films. Australia is a country with marvellous beaches, pleasant climate and friendly atmosphere but these three things gathered together don’t require from you to go surfing. It’s a rather dangerous activity, that’s why you have to be completely sure you are ready for it. If you have some doubts, better postpone surfing for some better times.

Australia can surf

Myth 4. The country of the endless summer
I was surprised to find out for the first time that there can be winter in Australia and, what’s more, it can be even snowy there. It can be even cold in there. Sure, it doesn’t snow all the time all over Australia but snow blizzards do happen occasionally. That’s why, going to Australia, make sure it’s summer there as well.

endless summer

Myth 5. The capital of Australia is either Sydney or Melbourne
The capital of Australia is Canberra, the city that isn’t so popular and famous among tourists but still is worth visiting. The reason for this visit is the city’s breathtaking views and landmarks that won’t leave you indifferent. These three cities, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, should be on your bucket list while visiting this remote mainland.

remote mainland

Posted in Abu Dhabi, Asia

Abu Dhabi’s Top 5 Adventures That You Should Not Miss

Abu Dhabi is one of the largest Emirate of the seven Emirates of the UAE. Although it is not as popular as its neighbour Dubai, Abu Dhabi has made its name as the capital of United Arab Emirates and one of the leading cities for oil exports. Also, Abu Dhabi is richer than Dubai both culturally and economically. There are a lot of adventurous activities that one can see and do while in the golden city of Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi is full of places, attractions and activities, which people with different interests and tastes. You can experience rich Arabian culture as well as luxury and adventure in Abu Dhabi that will leave you stunned and asking for more.

Desert Safari

Desert Safari Abu Dhbai

If you want to experience an adrenaline pumping activity, amidst vast stretch of golden sand dunes such as desert safari Abu Dhabi is the place for you. To provide a once in a lifetime experience and the best of desert safari Abu Dhabi organizes different services and facilities for tourists and locals alike. The desert safari will expose you to the extreme side of the otherwise contrastingly rich and unique culture of the capital city. There are different schedules of going on a desert safari, in morning and in evening with different stops and activities to do along the way. You can take an evening excursion to the desert of the city, take beautiful pictures, explore the flora and fauna in the desert and then enjoy traditional Arabian delicacy in the desert camps, while sitting around a bonfire and enjoying belly dance.

Camel Riding Abu Dhabi

Camel Riding Abu Dhabi

Discover the never-ending expanse of Abu Dhabi desert from the back of a camel. Rightly known as the ship of the desert, you can find herds of camels, that are still used in the capital city on a daily basis. Enjoy the changing perspective and let these friendly animals carry you effortlessly on the sand dunes. Leave the noise of the big city behind and enjoy the vast Arabian desert. Enjoy the amazing view from the tallest sand dunes and take a picture or two with your ride for the day. It’s easy to sit atop the camel as they are very gentle and all you have to do is to hold on tight, especially when the camel is standing up or sitting down. End your camel riding Abu Dhabi with a break of Arabian coffee and return to your hotel while enjoying the incredible views.

Al Lulu Island

It is another, less popular man-made island, as compared to the Yas island, which makes a great option to spend some enjoyable time. Though there is nothing beautiful and romantic about the island’s barren land, it has not stopped Lulu from developing and unusual and breath-taking atmosphere. The island has a lack of progress and so the island remains empty, dotted by abandoned cafes, cabanas and jetties, giving visitors the chance to occupy the island as they want.

Yas Marina Circuit driving experience

Get a chance to unravel the adrenaline and take in charge of the wheels at the driving experience days at the Yas Marina Circuit. You can drive in the same tracks as some of the world’s best drivers and feel like a Formula 1 driver while sitting in the high-speed racing cars. Yas Marina Circuit offers different driving experience all around the year where visitors can put themselves in the shoes of professional racing driver on the iconic driving circuit in Abu Dhabi. You can choose from different racing cars to drive and make your own phenomenal memories and the bragging rights in front of your family and friends.

Yas Waterworld

yas-waterworld-abu-dhabi

In a city that is famous for deserts and hot climate, you can cool your nerves down with a visit to the Yas Waterworld water park in Abu Dhabi. There is always something going on in the Yas Waterworld, filled with varied destinations and different adrenaline fuelled waterslides, static surfing waves and shopping experience. This water park provides legendary water park that is suitable for all ages. There are at least 45 rides, attractions and slides that you can choose to explore. You can later sample in any one of the amazing restaurants operating in the park’s premises dishing out delicious food.

Posted in Canada

10 Things Americans Need To Know About Canada Before Moving Here

As a Canadian, I watched the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election the same way that you might peek out from behind the curtains when you see a moving van pull in next door: with equal parts excitement and trepidation. You hope that the new neighbors will be nice, and that your two families will get along. Maybe their kids will play with your kids. Maybe there are backyard barbecues in your future. You hope that they won’t play the music too loud, and that they’ll mow the lawn when it needs mowing, not whenever they feel like it. In other words, you hope that they’ll be the same as you.

To add intrigue to the drama, there were already rumours circulating as to who the new neighbors might be. An elderly couple, we were told, one child grown and left the nest to start a nest of her own. Intellectuals, definitely. The kind of people that might shout, “Howdy, neighbor!” from across the yard instead of ignore you when you both happened to leave for work at the same time. Good people, not out to rock any boats.

But then the furniture started being unpacked and the first thing you noticed was that the rumours were wrong. Way wrong. Like, from another planet wrong. The new guy is loud, his wife is half his age, and there are multiple kids from multiple marriages helping out. He seems short tempered and opinionated, and he’s not kidding anyone about that hair. His attitudes remind you of Archie Bunker’s, only it’s not so funny when he says it. You don’t think you have a lot in common with this new guy, but you are Canadian, so you try not to think the worst of him and hope for the best. After all, you’re going to be neighbors for years, so it doesn’t help anyone out to get off on the wrong foot.

Is this in your future?

The moving analogy isn’t that far off the mark as the post-election rhetoric rises and falls. On election night, the Canadian immigration website crashed due to high traffic, almost all of it from America. So Canadians may actually be seeing Americans moving in next door, it just won’t be that guy or other guys like him. They’ll be more like that nice, elderly couple we were promised. But don’t blame the realtor! He thought the elderly couple was moving in, too, only the deal fell apart at the last minute. It happens all the time! It’s not his fault!

To Americans thinking of moving up here, the following is a list of things you may want to consider first:

1) We Really Like Hockey

Our national sport! No, not lacrosse!

And I mean really. As in, Saturday night is for hockey the way that Sunday morning is for church. It’s borderline compulsory. If you missed the game on Saturday night, you lie and say you saw it anyway the way that a gay person in a red state pretends to be straight. It’s just easier that way.

In America, hockey falls somewhere between bowling and hacky sack. It’s televised on channels that are sub-channels of the real channel, like ESPN Lite. Americans even call it ice hockey, like field hockey is so popular that people might confuse the two.

Take my advice: if you’re going to move to Canada, don’t ever call it ice hockey. It’s a dead giveaway that you’re not from around here, and it could even get you killed.

2) We Really Don’t Like Conflict

Our national symbol, right next to the beaver!

This is how we’re very different from Americans. Americans seem to live for conflict, whereas a Canadian will say, “Sorry!” as a reflex the same way some animals in the wild will play dead to avoid a fight. If the outer fabric of your clothes has potentially even brushed against the outer fabric of clothes that belong to someone else, you should play it safe and lead off with a “Sorry!” if you want to fit in. Anything else is playing with fire.

Although, maybe you’ll get lucky and the other person will say, “Sorry!” first, and then you’ll be off the hook. We just can’t stand the thought of having been in someone else’s way. Americans call it, “Blaming the victim,” but we Canadians call it good ol’ fashioned manners. Just like small children, we think that everything is our responsibility either because of something we did or didn’t do, and we hold ourselves accountable for it.

3) We Don’t Have Any Guns

You won’t find any of these in Canada!

Not really. I mean, some hunters have them, but everyone isn’t armed to the teeth. In Canada, when you’re in trouble, you call the cops. That’s what they’re there for. I know, I know, crazy, isn’t it? And our cops try really hard not to shoot people, especially if they don’t have any guns.

If, by accident, some Canadian picked up a gun that some hunter had dropped, the cops would try to talk to that person first. Hell, some of the copsdon’t even have guns. Why would they? We’re a nation of people that, when we’re in trouble, we just say, “Sorry!” and that takes care of that.

4) We’re Pretty Chill

Dude! I could totally run this country!

And no, that isn’t a reference to our weather! Our Prime Minister used to be a professional dude. He was a bouncer, a boxer, an actor, and a hippy teacher before he was elected to our highest office. He’s totally on board with legalizing marijuana, having smoked it himself while holding elected office!

Let’s see your President do this!

What’s more, he’s been photographed topless more often than Vladimir Putin. And he pops up everywhere! Canadians are now checking their wedding photos to see if they might have been photobombed by a shirtless Justin Trudeau last summer. And he’s got great hair. That’s one contest that we win hands down.

Potential cast member of Wedding Crashers 2?

5) We’re Very Polite

Always remember to say “Please!” and “Thank you!”

This is a variation on #2 above, but it deserves its own entry. You’ve never heard of an aggressive Canadian, have you? (Not outside of a hockey rink, anyway). Your mother didn’t scare you with stories of Canadians coming across the border to steal jobs, did she?

To prove my point, a Canadian hockey team hasn’t won the Stanley Cup in over twenty years, and you know how much we love hockey (see #1 above). That’s because we thought that you guys were being left out, and we’re just that nice. It’s to make up for lost time, or something like that. (And you still call it ice hockey…!)

6) We’re Just Like You

One of the many famous Canadians that you might’ve heard about!

Not only do we walk and talk like you, but many of your favorite American celebrities are actually Canadians. William Shatner? Ours. Seth Rogen? Ditto. He may have almost started a war with North Korea (which is a very un-Canadian thing to do), but he’s a Canuck, and it was an accident. Plus, he’s usually high, which explains a lot.

Sorry about Justin Bieber and Celine Dion, though. They can’t all be winners.

7) We Have Free Health Care

You know what this means, right?

Just sayin’. It isn’t even a debate on this side of the border. We’ve all got it, even if we have to wait for hours in an emergency room to get it. But then, so do you, and you still have to pay for it.

8) We Know Everything About You

We’re watching you.

We get all of your shows, movies, and music. We could be like those Russian spies on The Americans, except we wouldn’t have to lose our Russian accents (the Canadian accent is actually a myth). As a matter of fact, many of us are already living among you, as noted in #6 above.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work the other way around. Name a top ten Canadian TV show. Or a Blue Rodeo song. Or what the deal is with The Tragically Hip. Or even what a Juno is.

Give yourself a pat on the back if you know who these guys are!

And that’s just culture. Then there’s geography! Did you know that on top of our ten provinces (which are like your states), there are three territories (which are like… Puerto Rico, I guess, only colder?). Did you know that the capital of Nunavut is Iqaluit? Did you know that Labrador is neither a province nor a territory, but part of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, in the same way that upper and lower Michigan are actually the same state? You’ve got some boning up to do!

9) We Have An Open Border

 
What the signs says.

Admittedly, that’s because of the cold, but nobody’s building any walls any time soon. And if we did, we’d build them out of snow, like a giant, one-sided igloo! What fun that would be!

10) Santa Claus Is A Canadian

“He knows if you’ve been sleeping…”

Before you start to argue this point, hear me out. Santa Claus is nice; Canadians are nice. His clothes are red and white; our flag is red and white. He lives at the North Pole; we have the North Pole. Where did you think the North Pole was, anyway: Alaska? You take our geography away from us and we don’t have much left.

Besides, it’s not like Santa Claus’ colors were modeled after Coca-Cola’s! We’re a socialist country, not a capitalist one. We’re actually right next door to Vermont, which I think is why Bernie Sanders is a socialist. (Think of it as an international contact high.) Maybe he’ll be one of the ones moving here soon. At his age, he has to be eyeing our health care, and he’s used to the cold!

Your oasis awaits!

So there you have it: 10 things Americans need to know about Canada. I didn’t even mention the money, which is multi-coloured and has the Queen on it, or our one-dollar and two-dollar coins. I left off that we have our own football league (which has a field 110 yards long), and that we have two official languages, neither one of which is Spanish. Our national anthem is sung half in one, half in the other! We don’t leave anybody out!

I didn’t tell you everything because I didn’t want to freak you out. I know that you’re going through a difficult period right now, and it’s hard enough to adjust to the changes in your own country without focusing on the ways that Canada is different. This is just a primer in case you decide to make a run for it; the rest you can pick up when you get here. Just remember to be polite, don’t attract attention to yourself, and if you do, say “Sorry!” right away! You want to make a good first impression!

Originally published at Medium.com on Nov 14, 2016.

Posted in Australia

Amazing Places of Australia Explored By Instagrammers

If you are traveling to Australia for the first time with only a few weeks to spend in this magnificent country, you will have to pick the most traveled spots, like Sydney, Whitsundays, Brisbane, etc. Even though constantly visited they are absolutely fantastic.

1. Noosa Main Beach

 

2. Bondi

 

3. Lake Ballard

 

4. Loch Ard Gorge in Port Campbell National Park

Loch Ard Gorge in Port Campbell National Park along the Great Ocean Road by @viajandoporconta #HightideHolidays

A post shared by Hightide Holidays (@hightide_holidays) on

 

5. Seymour at Bicheno

 

6. Anbangbang, Burrunggui, Northern Territory

 

7. Eyre Peninsula in South Australia

 

8. Selfie with Jean-Jacques

Selfie with Jean-Jacques #krabs #Karratha #Australie #westernaustralia #backpackers #Gonzohouse

A post shared by Manon 🕊 (@lemattemanon) on

 

9. Stanley

Happy Friday and what a picture perfect sunrise breakfast from Stanley by @rosesnapz 😃 It’s easy to understand why Stanley is such a popular place for tourists to visit, with scenes like this! Experience the beauty of Tasmania’s north-west coast, a region aptly named the ‘Edge of the World’. No matter when you visit, there are always plenty of things to do in and around Stanley. Enjoy the beautiful Tarkine and have an experience that will last a lifetime. Stanley is not only home to the Nut but it is a place rich in history, culture, adventure and agriculture. There are many attractions and things to do in Stanley year-round. Engage with nature in the raw and let yourself be captivated by beauty in places you’ve never been. Stand at the Edge of the World and be enthralled by the power of the wild Southern Ocean as it thunders on the shores! #tasmania #tasmaniagram #tassie #tassiepics #instatasmania #clicktasmania #seeaustralia #hobartandbeyond #stanley #thenut #tarkine #edgeoftheworld #discovertasmania #discoveraustralia #amazingtasmania #amazingaustralia #exploretasmania #exploreaustralia #australia #australiagram #gosomewhere #getlostnow

A post shared by TasmaniaGram (@tasmaniagram) on

 

10. Mt. Wellington / Kunanyi near Hobart

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Posted in Asia, Japan

Amazing Facts About Japan That Will Blow Your Mind

We all know how disciplined and workaholic Japanese are, here are a few special facts about Japanese culture:

  • Biggest Megalopolis in the World. Greater Tokyo is the most populated metropolitan area in the world with 38 million people.
  • To put that into perspective, Here’s Greater Tokyo transposed on England, next to Greater London

Greater Tokyo transposed on England

  • Japan imports approximately 85% of Jamaica’s annual coffee production
    More than 70% of Japan consists of mountains, including more than 200 volcanoes. On average there are around 1,500 earthquakes every year in Japan.
  • There are actually Pusher (railway station attendant) who also called Oshiya to pack men and women dressed in suite into crowd carriage, and they are called “passenger arrangement staff”. These station attendants literally push people onto crowded trains during rush hour.

pusher or Oshiya passenger arrangement staff

  • Warm Washlet is actually much much more common in Japan than I think
  • Cute cartoons are in fact everywhere
  • Japan Keeps A Defunct Train Station Running for Just One Passenger

Train Station Running for Just One Passenger

  • Authentic Indian style curry was introduced in Japan by the great revolutionary Rashbehari Bose.
  • Tokyo Disneyland was Disney’s first park outside the US. The resort employs over 20,000 people.
Tokyo Disneyland was Disney
Source – https://www.flickr.com/photos/jamesjustin
  • Late-night dancing was illegal in Japan until 2015
  • The World’s Oldest Company operated in Japan from 578 A.D. to 2006. Kongō Gumi was a construction company based in Japan. It operated between 578 AD to 2006 until it was absorbed as a subsidiary to Takamatsu.
  • Japanese Trains are among the world’s most punctual: their average delay is just 18 seconds.
  • Square Watermelons are grown by Japanese farmers for easier stack and store.

Square Watermelons are grown by Japanese farmers

  • In Japan, 90% of mobile phones are waterproof because youngsters use them even in the shower.
  • In Japan there are more pets than children.
  • In Korea and Japan, there is a Cat Cafe where you can go to drink coffee and hang out with cats for hours.
  • There’s an island in Japan that’s full of rabbits.
  • Most streets in Japan have no name.
  • In Japan, Burger King has an all-black burger.
  • The 2011 earthquake near Japan increased the Earth’s rotation speed, shortening the day by 1.8 microseconds.
  • Japan’s literacy rate is almost 100%.
  • Japan has the world’s third-largest economy, behind the US and China.

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