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Let’s Get Physical Abroad

Guest post form Erin Prickett who is an experienced traveller.  She spent five months traveling in Europe and lived in Mexico for a summer.  Also former athlete, Prickett enjoys combining her love of travel and fitness.  She recommends using a Travelocity promo code to save on flights for your next adventure abroad

Erin tells us: I’ve never been a huge fan of congested gyms, where muscle men flex in front of mirrors and show off for spandex-clad women furiously burning calories on the elliptical.  Richard Simons’ home work-out videos never do it for me either.  Maybe if I took speed I could keep up with that little leprechaun!

Call me old fashioned, but I enjoy the simplicity of outdoor adventure.  It’s much more exciting and liberating!

I’ve done some traveling in my day and discovered that one of the best ways to explore a new city and make a trip more memorable is to incorporate physical activity—something unique to that location which requires athleticism and audacity!  I’ve hiked the Cinque Terra coastline trail, completed a 20-mile bike ride through the Tuscany hillsides, snorkeled in the Gulf of Mexico, and scaled the pyramids of Teotihuacán.  That being said, my travel days are far from over, and I’ve created a ‘to-do’ list of future adventures.  You might add these to your travel list, as well!

Canyoning in Interlaken.

I have never been to Switzerland, but it’s at the top of my list.  Located between lakes and surrounded by gorgeous mountains, Interlaken is one of the oldest and most popular tourist resorts in Switzerland.  Visitors are drawn to ‘canyoning,’ or traveling in canyons using a variety of techniques, such as walking, climbing, jumping, abseiling, and swimming.  Canyoning in Interlaken is an awesome way to get in touch with nature, work out, and just have a blast.  I highly recommend searching for a YouTube video to witness canyoning.  A few friends of mine have done this activity, and they said it was the best part of their European travels. 

Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage

While living in Madrid for four months, I learned all about Spanish history and culture.  One Spanish tradition, which has existed over a thousand years, is a pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, northwestern Spain.  Every year, people from all over the world make the Christian pilgrimage to visit the Cathedral, where tradition has it that the remains of the apostle Saint James are buried.  There are a number of routes that lead to the Cathedral, the most popular being Camino Fances, which stretches nearly 500 miles from France to Santiago.  Clearly, this is not a task for the weak.  The journey requires mental and physical stamina.  I would love to participate in the meaningful adventure. 

Toboggan down the Great Wall of China

My older brother traveled to China with his Business School classmates a couple years ago, and one of his favorite activities was tobogganing down the Great Wall of China.  Ascending the Great Wall is a journey in itself- a rather long, physically demanding walk through history.  Once you reach the top, you reflect on the grandeur of this world wonder and admire the scenery.  You then have two choices: descend by foot or by toboggan.  I’ll take the latter for 500 please, Alex??  There are three main sections of the Great Wall: Badaling, Jinshanling, and Mutianyu.  The toboggan ride is unique to the Mutianyu section. Passengers can ride down the German-built steel toboggan track, which winds through the forest in a series of twists and turns. Each toboggan carries one person and has a hand break for adjusting speeds.  Without a doubt, I want to ride down the Great Wall someday.

In order to get physical abroad, you first need to figure out how you’ll get there.  Look for cheap flights on Travelocity.com.  I recommend using a Travelocity promo code to save money on your airfare.  You can find coupons at CheapSally.com. So pick a place, search for flights, and start thinking about the outdoor adventures your destination has to offer.  Time to get cultured AND physical!

Return of the Flesh Eating Bananas

An old hoax has surfaced in Mozambique that claims ‘flesh-eating bananas’ have been imported into the country and placed on the market, spiking fear.
The hoax claims the bananas came from neighboring country KwaZulu-Natal, and that the bananas will infect people with necrotising fasciitis, a flesh-eating bacteria which destroys the skin, tissue and fat covering the muscles. Sky News reported the rumors of the flesh-eating bananas resulted in a “plummet” in the sales of fruit since the hoax surfaced, and the country’s health minister had to reassure people of the fruit’s safety after determining it was a hoax. An official press release was issued that said, “The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is aware of the email circulating claiming that bananas from KwaZulu-Natal can infect people with a flesh eating bacteria. “The information received from the Department of Health reports that the email is a hoax, and any claims regarding poor food safety will be investigated. The department said in its report that at this stage they don’t see any need to do so as they deem this claim to be a hoax.” The circulating hoax also warns of likely amputation and possible death, so it dangerously suggests those who cannot seek immediate medical attention should burn the skin surrounding the [supposed] infection. Horacio Simbine, a banana supplier, said he has been “unable to move bananas out of his warehouse because of the rumor,” reports Zimbabwean. According to Snopes, this hoax is a recycled one. Its origins date back to 1999 when an email circulated that flesh-eating bananas were being shipped from Costa Rica to the U.S. and people should avoid purchasing bananas for three weeks, which is exactly what the current hoax indicates. Here is the email text Snopes has collected and posted that details the recent 2011 incarnation of the hoax: “Please don’t eat bananas for the next 3 weeks Several deliveries of bananas from Uvongo Kwa-Zulu Natal South Africa have been infected with necrotizing fasciitis, otherwise known as flesh eating bacteria. Recently this disease has decimated the monkey population in the south coast. We are now just learning that the disease has been able to graft itself to the skin of fruits in the region, most notably the banana which is one of south africa’s largest exports. Until this finding scientists were not sure how the infection was being transmitted. It is advised not to purchase bananas for the next three weeks!!! If you have eaten a banana in the last 2-3 days and come down with a fever followed by a skin infection seek MEDICAL ATTENTION!!! The skin infection from necrotizing fasciitis is very painful and eats two to three centimeters of flesh per hour. Amputation is likely, death is possible.. If you are more than an hour from a medical center burning the flesh ahead of the infected area is advised to help slow the spread of the infection. The FDA has been reluctant to issue a country wide warning because of fear of a nationwide panic. They have secretly admitted that they feel upwards of 15,000 South Africans will be affected by this but that these are” Acceptable numbers”. Please forward this to as many of people you care about as possible as we do not feel 15,000 people is an acceptable number.”

Accidents do happen

What to do if you have an accident at work.

Paul Morrison of Access Legal solicitors explains in this video how his team of solicitors at Access Legal can advise you on accidents at work.

From a legal perspective there are four things you should do if you have had an accident at work. First of all tell your employer and make sure that the accident is recorded in an accident report book. Secondly, check that the accident book entry is correct, and retain a copy if you can. The third thing is to obtain details of any witnesses that were there who can back up what you have to say about the accident should there be any dispute about what actually occurred. The fourth thing is to seek medical treatment so there is a record of the injury you sustained.

Many employees are concerned about bringing a claim against their employer as it may jeopardize their job. You should not be worried about this as there is employment legislation in place to protect you should you be unfairly dismissed. By law employers must have employers liability insurance so although you may have to initiate the claim against your employer, if your claim is successful, the compensation will actually be paid by those insurers. If your claim is successful you’ll be entitled to compensation for injury and any financial losses you have incurred, and any financial losses you are likely to incur in the future.

There are many types of accidents that can occur in the workplace, you can sustain injury lifting or manoeuvring something, something could fall on you or you could fall, you could be struck by a forklift truck, or you may slip, or you may trip. Read about a case where a warehouse worker injured his back whilst moving a crate

Your employer has an obligation to keep you and your workplace safe so you can carry you job correctly. This includes undertaking regular risk assessment to ensure the workplace is safe and any equipment you have to work with is also safe. Your employer is also obliged to provide you with regular training to make sure the job you do is safe.

You must remember if you are perusing a claim court proceeding have to be issued within three years of the accident. Should you not issue court proceedings within that three year period, your claim is then what is called statue barred, that means you cannot peruse that claim any further.

You shouldn’t delay in seeking advice as many investigations have to be undertaken in relation to the circumstances of the accident and then the gathering of evidence to confirm the injures you have sustained as a result of the accident, and any financial losses you have incurred.

Holiday Planning – Top Tips for a Great Holiday

Planning a Great Holiday

A selection of top banana tips for great holidays.

netbooks for travelThe web has plenty of resources to make planning where to go and what to do on holiday.

Specialist travel blogs can give you plenty of ideas of attractions to places to visit when you are on holiday.  Many of these sites give excellent information that will help you get more from your holiday and save you money – for example anyone planning to visit Britain will find this article about free tourist attractions in UK cities helpful – both as a guide to discovering  interesting attractions that are not always included in guidebooks and a way of making your money go further – we especially liked these tips which were featured on the Guardian’s I’ve been there Free things in Blackpool

But what about getting travel information and ideas whilst you are away?  Travellers are able to hook up to the internet and web access is generally very good in most places around the world.  With the arrival of improved computer technology netbooks are being developed that are perfect for browsing the web but small and light enough to carry in your pocket.  .

Cheap netbook computers are ideal for travel and prices continue to drop making them an affordable option.  More and more travellers are able to make the most of these netbook computers but sometimes there is no substitute for a good old guide book.

Holiday Travel Books

Save money on travel guides by looking in second hand bookshops – many travel guides are used once then given away to charity shops.  Although travel guides are updated regulary we find that the majority of information remains the same and some online retailers of second hand books go to the trouble of highlighting which edition the guide is so you can judge if you are getting up to date information.

Arrange holiday car hire in advance

If you know where you plan to visit it could be worth booking car hire in advance online.  Why waste time at your destination trying to find a car when you can arrange everything in advance and have a car waiting for you when you leave the airport arrivals hall. This year it is especially important to get your car hire sorted well before your holiday as there are lots of reports that there is will be a chronic shortage of cars in popluar locations.

Hunt around for car hire voucher codes and you can often save at least 10% – sometimes as much as 25% – just enter the promotional code when you make your booking and see the price drop before your very eyes.

Medical Insurance and First Aid Kits

The cost of getting well can be frightening in some parts of the world and full health cover is recommended when you buy travel insurance.  European countries have reciprical agreements and citizens can take advantage of this by carrying a free EICH health card which replaced the E111

For less serious incidents carrying a carefully stock first aid kit can be a time saving, economic way of dealing with minor hiccups.  The first aid kit should be packed with your destination in mind – insect sting relief, aftersun, lemsips as well as the usual plasters and bandages you find in the ready made first aid kits.

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