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Moving Away from the USA: Top Locations Around the World

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The USA is a huge country with enough states to keep even the most nomadic of individuals occupied for a lifetime. Sure, different regions have different cultures. But sometimes our minds can wander to what lies overseas. With the current situation with the controversial President and majority right-wing views, many of us may feel distressed at the general mindset of the country and the direction it’s heading in. Now could be the ideal time to remove yourself from the torrid political climate. Others may simply want to immerse themselves in completely different cultures, surrounded by other languages, cuisines, and values. What time is better than the present to start expanding your mind and opening your eyes to what else exists beyond your native country’s borders? Regardless of your reasons for intending to leave, you can start out by taking a look at other countries and what potential they hold as a home for you. Here are some top locations from around the world to consider!

Paris, France

Paris live

Paris is one of the romanticised cities in the world. So much so that there’s an actual disillusionment syndrome called “Paris Syndrome”. The Japanese Embassy now has a twenty four hour hotline open for people who are shocked upon arriving in Paris to find that every inhabitant isn’t a chic model; that not everyone survives on a diet of rare wine, specialist cheese, and croissants; that people do indeed have to work rather than lounging in berets around beat cafes. In short, sometime people are shocked that Paris is, well, real. But if you remove unrealistic expectations of glitz and glamour from your mind before arriving, you may find that Paris is indeed a wonderful potential new home for you. The city has so much to offer! Like any other capital city, there are plenty of jobs available. This means that you will be able to sustain yourself and your lifestyle. France runs on a more circadian rhythm when it comes to work, with the majority adopting the general attitude that you should work to live rather than live to work. Working weeks tend to be between thirty and forty hours, lunch breaks are long and you are entitled to thirty days vacation a year plus eleven days off for bank holidays. Apartments may well be small, but bear in mind that you probably wouldn’t actually be spending all that much time in them. After all, there are so many museums, cafes, exhibitions, and other cultural spots waiting to be visited that it would be a crying shame to remain cooped up in your own living space. The quality of French food is superior to most, with bustling marketplaces offering fresh ingredients and restaurants playing host to world-renowned names in cuisine. The one thing that generally puts people off is not knowing the country’s native language. But once you throw yourself in the deep end, you’ll pick it up surprisingly quickly. Plus you can always fit language lessons into your weekly schedule too!

Singapore, Malayasia

live in singapore

Situated on the Southern tip of Malaysia, Singapore is a thriving city in a country that has risen to take the title of the fifth wealthiest place in the world. Now, this may not have been top of your list previously, but you may be surprised to know that people move in droves to Singapore every single year. Once you learn a little more about it, it’s not hard to see why! Not only is it widely considered one of the easiest Asian cities for expats to integrate into, but the general standard of living is high. Crime rates run low, the healthcare services are some of the best in the world, and there’s a brilliant education system for anyone planning on moving with kids or undertaking higher education themselves. As you’d expect, the cost of living is relatively high in this region. However, you do get what you pay for. Whether you move into a Condominium, apartment, or terraced housing further out in the suburbs of the city, housing is usually of high quality. Food and grocery shopping should cost around the same as you’d pay back in the USA. Public transport links are effective and affordable. However, we know that not everyone appreciates this and some would prefer to use their own vehicle to get from A to B. The good news for drivers is that you can use your own licence in the country for up to one year before having to gain a Singapore driving licence. This gives you time to get used to the roads before taking your test without having to take public transport if you don’t wish to get on board with it. The native language is Mandarin. However, many people do also speak English, which will mean that you can start learning the language without being thrown into the deep end of complete immersion in another language.

Reykjavik, Iceland

live in reykjavik

Iceland may well be a small country, but it has a whole lot to offer. Firstly, it is renowned for its gender equality and efforts to help the environment. Unlike the major cities above, Reykjavik also has a whole lot of natural scenery and stunning natural landscapes to offer. From waterfalls and glaciers to extensive hiking paths, pools and hot springs. That’s before you consider destinations such as the Blue Lagoon: a geothermal spa packed with nutrients and minerals that will give you a glowing visage. This all sounds perfect, but unless you have joint citizenships with an EU country, you’re going to have a little work on your hands, so make sure that this is a move that you’re truly invested in. There are three main ways to secure yourself a home in Iceland. The first is to be married to an Icelandic native. Unless you’ve fallen in love on a trip to the country, this may not be an option. The second is to take part in higher education in Iceland. If you’re planning on expanding your knowledge, then this might be a route to consider. Finally, you can secure a work permit for a job. So you’ll need to start applying before you purchase that one-way ticket to this stunning country!

These are just a few different places that you might like to consider. Remember that the world is your oyster and there are seemingly endless places out there that might prove to be the perfect home for you in the future! Just do your research and pick wisely.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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Top packing hacks for all your summer 2019 festivals

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summer festival travel packing

Summer is almost here and with it the prospect of lazy summer festivals and camping with your friends. It is a time for making memories, laughing a lot, listening to great music and soaking up the sun.  

What you definitely don’t need is arriving to find you don’t have half of what you need. Without good planning your great trip can suddenly become a thing of nightmares, with sleepless nights, sunburn, dehydration and blisters.

So to make sure you can sit back and enjoy the atmosphere get out a pen and paper and start your packing list now. Remember that you will have to carry it across the campsite so you need to pack light. Here are some tips on what absolute essentials you will need

Don’t underestimate the power of sleep

Sleep deprivation is part and parcel of any camping or festival experience, but you do need to give yourself the best chance to avoid the complete exhaustion that stops being fun. First things first, you need a tent. That goes without saying, and you can get some great one person options that are super lightweight.

Second up you need something to sleep on, a roll mat is easy but not all that comfortable, and an air mattress can be bulky and a pain to inflate. So consider the halfway option of getting a thermarest. These fold really small, need very little inflation, but give that little bit more comfort.

Pick up a sleeping bag and travel pillow too, but when it comes to keeping warm at night you want to layer up your clothing so you make sure you don’t freeze or overheat. Choose clothes that you can wear in the evening, but also to sleep in if you get cold. You are roughing it so make each item of clothing work extra hard to earn its place in your packing. You can’t go wrong with a good pair of tracksuit bottoms or yoga pants – warm and comfortable.

Take good care of your feet

While fancy fashionable sandals might seem like a great idea, the reality is you will be on your feet for hours and walking a lot across different ground. And if it rains you will very quickly find the ground is churned up into a muddy mess.

So you need to make sure you have good comfortable footwear, which doesn’t necessarily need to be ugly. You can browse all the available options on Buyviu US, including those all important wellies that will be your saviour if the heavens open.

One other thing you should not skimp on is socks – especially if your feet get wet or if it is cold at night. Think like a soldier and keep your feet clean and dry.

Take a decent medical kit for little emergencies

This will save your life. Because you can guarantee the pharmacy provision when you are in the middle of nowhere will be limited and expensive. So be prepared by taking your own.

You should think of all the ways you can be uncomfortable and pack accordingly a good place to start is painkillers, antihistamines, blister plasters, suncream, stuff for a bad stomach, and even some rehydration sachets with electrolytes for a little boost and replenish lost vitamins.

Get a decent rucksack with lots of compartments

Finding things inside a tent in the dark (top tip – remember a torch) is hard enough already. This is why a really good rucksack with multiple compartments for different things. This was you can easily find what you need when you need it without emptying out the entire contents every single time.

Prepare well and you will be all set to have the time of your life and creating memories that will laugh a lifetime. Summer here we come.

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Europe

The Best Handmade Souvenirs from Spain are Just a Click Away

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travel spain souvenir

Artisan decorative figurines are one of the most common purchases among the tourists who visit Spain and want to get something special as a souvenir to remember their stay. Spain’s craftsmanship is known throughout the world for the enormous talent behind it, and for years it has prompted tourists to visit the country and purchase ceramic figurines as souvenirs or to complete a previous larger collection of antiques.

But the people fond of arts and decoration who want to get pieces for their collections can’t always come to Spain to buy them. Indeed, lot of tourist can’t bring craft souvenirs back home because they do not have enough room in their suitcases, or because they want to keep traveling before returning to their countries and they can’t carry them around safely. Luckily, shopping is easier now thanks to the Internet, and customers can get products made in other countries from anywhere in the world. What used to require to go to a specific place, look around and ask for prices, and then proceed with the purchase, now is as simple and convenient as entering a website, click here and there and waiting at home for the product to arrive.

The craftmanship field is not foreign to this new concept of shopping. Some companies, especially in the souvenirs’ field, have noticed the needs of the modern public and have wisely approached a niche as specific as this one. For  this reason, there are online companies such as Toledogifts which are dedicated to the sale and distribution of these decorative figurines through the Internet. The e-commerce technology offers numerous facilities for the sale and distribution of handcrafts online, which makes posible several websites such may offer plenty of options and fair prices.

Toledogifts has brought internet solutions to a sector as traditional as ceramic and porcelain figures, craftsmanship in general. It is no longer necessary to travel to buy collectibles or anything like that, now all you have to do is go to their website and proceed through the catalog to choose what you like. Their online store stands out for its variety and professionalism. They sell high quality handmade products crafted by Spanish manufacturers, and they ship to any part of the world, allowing the customer to confortably receive the products at home, forgeting plane incoveniences.

The first thing that stands out in this company is its catalogue. Scrolling down the webpage, the user can find a wide range of the most popular craft products from every Spanish region. Thanks to the number of filters and options available -essential tools to speed up the search and, of course, the purchase-, you can easily find what you are looking for.

Toledogifts complies with the standards of online stores to ensure consumer satisfaction. Besides high quality products, they also offer the best delivery service. They take care of shipping in the shortest possible time and ensuring, above all, the proper protection of the pieces so that they are not damage during in the journey. Also, they always guarantee that the price is as close as possible to their real value.

Amog the different great products that can be found on this website, the unique damascenes from Toledo stand out. Damascene is defined as the art of inlaying gold on a soft iron base. Damascenes take their name from the city of Damascus, because it is craft technique which originated in the Syrian capital. Their origins are remote -there are vestiges of more than 1500 years old, and pieces have been found in different civilization, but the Imperial City of Toledo became the world’s largest producer of damascenes.

There are three different styles of damascenes: the traditional and genuine Arabic modeling, where the gold or silver thread is highlighted with chisels; the Renaissance style introduced in the 16th century and which represents floral, animal or landscape motifs; and also the new model called “vistas”, in which the city of Toledo is represented often centred on motifs of Don Quixote, so logically rooted in these Castilian-La Mancha lands. The pieces are beautiful and not so easy to find outside Spain, which makes them perfect for picky art collectors.

Other best-sellers of the webpage are artisan ceramic plates and porcelaine figures. Porcelain is considered a luxury material and is widely worked by artisans in Spain given its moldability property. Porcelain’s composition is kaolin, which provides the distinctive with pigmentation after it’s baked, feldspar and quartz. An artisan creates a clay figures inspired in the given design, providing it with the details that will be seen in the final figure. Afterwards, the artisan takes molds of and pours liquid porcelain in them. When the consistency is adecuate, molds are retired and the artisan will paste, polish, sculpt and bake the final figure.


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Europe

Top 10 reasons to visit Iceland by car

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Iceland car travel

For a long time Iceland was a well kept travellers secret. It was not the typical choice of holiday, but now this wonderful country is becoming more and more well known for that holiday of a lifetime and a chance to see and do things that you can’t do anywhere else in the world.

And there really is only one way to really experience this wild country properly and that is using car rental in Iceland to explore it for yourself. It is far better, and far cheaper, than trying to take day excursions with the other tourists and so many great adventures can be had this way. Here are the top reasons why touring Iceland’s roads absolutely should be your next holiday without delay.

1.The people are really, really nice

This is absolutely true. Icelandic people are very proud of their beautiful country and very keen to show it at its best to visitors. Other places in the world are known for quite a surly reception, but this is absolutely not the case here. You’ll notice it the second you head of to the car rental in Keflavik Airport. The conversation is easy, and english quite widely spoken which can make travel easier. Of course once you are out on the road exploring for yourself you should absolutely get chatting to the locals as you explore, they often know the best places to visit or eat that simply aren’t available on google or tripadvisor. Local knowledge is key for getting off the beaten track.

2.Iceland is really easy to navigate by road

Iceland is not a huge country, and there is one huge road that traverses most of it for about 190 miles. It is known as the Golden Circle. So this means that you have a great point of reference for when you are exploring. You can easily slip away from the main road to explore into the countryside, and then hop back on the Golden Circle to get to your next location. The roads are pretty well kept here – even the gravel ones, so you don’t need to worry too much about the terrain when choosing a hire car. Unless you are planning to get really off road that is.

3. The night sky is a thing of beauty

The night time is truly beautiful, especially in winter when the nights are much longer. With so little light pollution and the chance to see the aurora borealis this is a sight few people actually get to experience for themselves. Of course to really get the best of this opportunity there is really only one way to do it, instead of a car look at camper rental in Iceland instead and stay out all night. This is especially useful in the summer when the nights are very very short. This way you have all night to enjoy it while snuggled up warm in your sleeping bag.

4. The unspoiled beauty of Iceland

Of course the other great thing about Iceland camper rental is that by getting out of the towns and into the beautiful countryside you can see Iceland how it should be seen as a beautiful, scenic natural landscape. Imagine being able to camp somewhere so inspiring and free from the intervention of man and waking up to the freshest air and sounds of nature.

5. Visiting the villages gives you a real taste of Icelandic life

Most of the population don’t live in the major cities of Reykjavik, Isafjordur and Akureyri. Most life in smaller communities dotted around the country, and bearing in mind how friendly the people are, it is a chance to really embrace a different culture and take part.

6. Get out there and try the amazing fresh food

The great thing about hopping from village to village on your tour is the chance to try real local food. It is not too dissimilar to Scandinavian food, and there is of course plenty of fresh fish available, as well as lamb. You have probably heard of Skyr, the Icelandic cheese a little like yoghurt. Well here it is made into all types of delicious dishes you absolutely have to try.

7. Iceland has so many different landscapes

It is almost magical the different landscapes you can see. From grassy fields with Icelandic horses, to snow covered tundra, from magnificent coastlines to moonscapes and lava fields it is really something quite special and like nowhere else on earth. With your car you can experience all this, jumping out to hike on foot and get close to nature, before driving to what might seem like a completely different world at your next location.

8. You can watch the landscape change before your very eyes

There are volcanoes in Iceland, and the geology is formed on an every moving tectonic plate that is actually causing the country to grow in size by 2 cm every year. Its impressive and by driving up to the Lake Myvatn area you can see where steam is being vented from the heat under the earth’s crust. The volcano fields are also very beautiful, and give a strange quality to the landscape, almost like you have landed on the moon.

9. Take your binoculars with you, the bird watching is fantastic

With very few predators on Iceland, bird populations are able to thrive here. There are so many varieties, and depending on the time of year there is a chance to see many migratory birds too. It is not just birds you have a chance to see, you can also opt to go whale watching too at certain location. Heading out by boat to cruise alongside the magnificent animals.

10. You will feel like you have had the most amazing adventure

There is nowhere in the world quite like Iceland. Heading out on your road trip with nothing but a map and an open heart will help you discover wonders only shown to the few brave enough to get off the well travelled path. You’ll create memories hear that will last a lifetime.

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