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Venice, Los Angeles

Venice is a beachfront neighborhood on the Westside of Los Angeles, California, United States. It is known for its canals, beaches and circus-like Ocean Front Walk, a two-and-a-half-mile pedestrian-only promenade...

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

5 Tips for Fighting Homesickness During Long-Term Travel

Whether you call it travel burn-out, lonely discouragement, or just plain homesickness, it strikes almost every long-term traveler at some time. Like all emotions, homesickness will fade away and disappear with time. That doesn't mean, though, that there aren't positive ways of combating it. if you’d like to face homesickness head-on while you’re traveling, here are some tried and true tips for getting through those down times.

1. Make human connections.

You don’t have to be fluent in the local language to connect with the people you’ll meet on a regular basis. The elderly lady working at the kiosk down the block will recognize you after you've stopped there a few times: give her a smile and a friendly greeting. Ditto the other travelers using that internet café you frequent. You don’t have to set up long-term relationships to make basic human contact with the people you’ll see more than once during your stay. Learn a few basic phrases in their language, greet them with courtesy, and you’ll be surprised how soon your homesickness will disappear.

2. Stay in sync with the world around you.

If you’re staying in a town or city for more than a day or two, find out what local events are going on and make a point of attending. Participating in local holidays and fetes, parades and festivals, national celebrations of all sorts can connect you, even temporarily, with the place you’re traveling through. Experiencing local events can give you an almost instant grounding, making it feel less foreign and strange.

3. Don’t let yourself get too tired.

Sometimes feelings of homesickness and loneliness arise from the sheer exhaustion of travel. Rushing to connect with transportation or stressing out over lost luggage can drain your physical energy quickly, leading to feelings of discouragement and a longing for home. Give yourself a break and get plenty of rest and regular meals. Develop a flexible routine for sleep, meals, laundry, and sightseeing. By doing so you’ll minimize homesick spells.

4. Get in touch with someone back home.

Whether you phone home or Skype, keeping in touch with what your friends and loved ones are doing can make a world of difference. Sometimes just hearing a familiar voice can wipe away feelings of loneliness and discouragement: they’re still there, they’re thinking about you, and they’ll be waiting for you when you come home.

5. Orient yourself.

“Stand in the place where you are,” R.E.M. sang, and when you’re traveling far from home, getting yourself fixed in one place, even though you’ll be staying there for just a little while, can work wonders for your sense of belonging and location. Where is your hostel located in terms of the city center? Where are the major avenues? Where are the closest metro stations? Imagine how you’ll get around the town or city where you’re staying if you return in five years.

In the end, accept homesickness as a part of the experience of long-term travel. Seasoned travelers know that, when you long most acutely for home, you’re actually integrating all that you've experienced during your trip into all that you've been before. You’ll emerge a person with a larger heart and soul, surely one of the greatest of the rewards you garner when you venture out of your comfort zone to experience the world beyond your door.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Documents International LLC, a leading apostille service for individuals and businesses.

The flower carpet in Bruxelles, Belgium
The flower carpet in Bruxelles, Belgium

Monday, August 29, 2016

Tips for getting your horse on holiday

Horse trailers are being used in their modern form since 1918 as horse owners felt the need to transport their horses safely to racing venues. The growth in popularity of trailers has however brought about several design modifications, integrating customized fittings both for fancy and increased functionalities. The investment in a horse trailer is so much like buying any other vehicle and you know that it will start losing its value from the first run. If you are planning to buy used horse trailers for sale, there are several things you will need to take note of.

Budget

Budget is among the prime considerations when investing in a used horse trailer. The amount of money you are ready to spend will help narrow down the choices to a great extent. If you have a good budget, you can go for trailers with all kinds of modern add-ons like interior lighting, dressing room and padded dividers among other things. However, if you have a budget restriction, look out for trailers that are structurally strong. You might want to go for a 2 horse gooseneck trailer against gooseneck ones.

The size

Now, this should be easy. The size will always depend on the maximum number of animal you are looking to carry at any time. The basic trailers are meant to carry two horses while large ones can accommodate six animals.

The frequency of your usage

It is necessary to know how frequently you will be putting the horse trailer to use. If you are planning trips every other weekend, you might want to go for a new trailer or a used one that still has its warranties intact. Also, the more you will use the trailer, the more will be the requirement of additional storage spaces.

Which towing vehicle are you going to use?

Different trailers come with different hitching mechanisms. Ensure that your hitch is compatible with the trailer. The mechanism will be different for goosenecks, bumper pull and 5 th wheel ones. The weight of the total load (after putting in the animals) will also be a matter to consider here. It is recommended that you tow only 2/3 rd of the tow capacity at any time.

The condition of the trailer

Of course, used trailers will not be all shiny but it needs to be structurally sound. The condition of a trailer will depend on how well maintained it was and not the years it has been put to use. It will be helpful if you have a specialist mechanic to look at the condition of the trailer before you pay.

The needs of your horses

Horses don’t naturally like being confined to a trailer. However, a well lit, well ventilated and a large space will put the animals more at ease than a small space.

It will also be helpful if you are allowed a test run of the used trailer with your horses inside before you actually pay the money for it. Whatever you do, put the safety and needs of the horses in the forefront.

Horse trailer