This Week in Travel (Issue No. 10)

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Much like those all around the world, we are deeply shaken by the recent terrorist attacks in London. Though it may seem like an unwelcome time to travel, it’s important to remember the reason we travel in the first place, and regardless of the horrific things that inevitably happen around the world, you can guarantee that in most places, travelers will still be welcomed with open arms. The key is not to close yourself off from the world, and allow fear to dictate your life. According to some open-minded travellers here’s exactly why you should travel to cities regardless of recent terrorist attacks, from London to Istanbul.

London, England. From Kosan archives.

The first day of spring has come and coincidentally, on the same day as International Day of Happiness, a movement towards building a happier world. Norwegians, officially crowned as the happiest nation, say their joyful attitude is due to their admiration for the great outdoors, sharing experiences and mandatory log cabins. Smiles help, of course, as well as extending a friendly neighborly hand with a beer shared afterwards. We, much like the Norwegians, believe you can get to know your fellow neighbours pretty well over a meal or drink as shared in our latest series: A Beer With: Michael Graziano of Global Degree.

Bergen, Norway. Photo courtesy of Getty images 

Air travel in India continues to rise and although there is no shortage of flights, India is running out of flight numbers. The flight frenzy in the skies has caused chaos at airports with multiple flights, assigned similar 3-digit codes, are arriving or attempting to take off at nearly the same time. Air traffic controllers struggle to identify flights causing risks for air safety. Subsequently, we can understand their urgent need to move to a 4-digit system. So if India is on your agenda, which it damn well should be, just keep this in mind. But hey, you can always take the train!

If you are inclined to a change of scenery or desiring a move, businesses in the Australian outback are looking for you! Local business owners in Longreach, a town in the Central West, are searching to recruit staff from abroad. With no serious interest in the permanent positions from Australians, owners turn to workers from overseas to fill the vacancies. Regardless of the reasons, travellers shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to move to the Outback and spot a ‘roo or two.

And when in Rome, live like the Romans do. On your first trip to Rome, you may get caught up in the glorious monuments, and rightfully so as they are all worth their merit. But we learn throughout are travels, especially as we travel back to a destination more than once, that it isn’t monuments themselves that make up the destination, but rather we crave to see and experience the local life. Condé Nast gives us tips from native experts to skip out on the monuments and live like the Romans—a detailed list of must sees and dos.

Outdoor dining in Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere. Photo courtesy of Condé Nast Traveler.  

Another city loaded with history, Naples, has an overabundance of cemeteries, ruins, castles, and churches in the area making it difficult for one to maintain. Many monuments have been forgotten due to the lack of help needed to restore them back to their magnificent structures. In recent years there has been a huge movement towards restoring it’s rich history, run largely by the passionate locals of Naples. Associations, such as SMMAVE and Celanapoli, work with volunteers and students to restore an abandoned church and uncover a buried ancient cemetery in the Vergini neighbourhood. The collaborations of these associations are truly bringing these ancient, forgotten grounds back to life. Perhaps a trip to Naples should soon be in the works?

In other recent news, there’s yet another ban, this time forbidding devices on some flights from the Middle East affecting what is believed to be ten airports in eight countries. New TSA requirement bans larger electronic devices, which includes anything that is bigger than a cellphone such as laptops, iPads, Kindles and cameras from entering the cabin. All such devices will now need to be checked, meaning you’ll need to survive unplugged for at least a few hours. We suggest checking out one of Pico Iyer’s Ted Talks on stillness, just in case you need to learn how to be on a plane without a device. According to Royal Jordanian airlines, the new order distributed was issued on Monday through email and applies to flights both to and from the US. The specifics of the order are not yet public, but a US official has made statement saying, “the ban followed a terrorism threat”.

In addition to the order, US State Department introduces a more challenging Visa screening process. Following a new set of guidelines, travellers may find the visa application process more difficult for those business travellers, tourists, and students from countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Yet again, there is another “guideline” hindering certain groups of individuals from entering the States. Consular officers are pushed to ask for further information from applicants including travel history, prior employers and even social media accounts used over the last 5 years. In any case, expect visas numbers to drop this year.

On an inspiring note, ‘Balaknama’, the world’s first newspaper giving a voice to children of the streets, has opened up opportunities for children from Delhi neighbourhoods, allowing them to change the narrative of their story, which pays more attention to negative stereotypes and less on their positive achievements. With over 60 reporters, ages 12 to 20, the newsletter is published in both Hindi and English and allows the children of Balaknama to feel valued and give power to their voice and a sense of purpose.

Children of Balaknama. Photo courtesy of Balaknama. 


Nothing is beautiful without struggle.



Happy Travels!

The Kosan Team