Goa – Unhurried Little Paradise

Goa is basically La-La-Land of India. A destination friendly to different travel tastes and budget. Well, anyone who have been to Goa always have fascinating stories about absolutely cheap alcohol, some pristine blue waters and some over crowded beaches, adventure water sports, delicious sea food while some over priced food at shacks and clubbing with foreigners. Well, I am not denying any one these are false, but exploring places in different way is all about. My taste about Goa is some how little different than any of I have mentioned above.

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High on gypsy bug!

2016 was one of such year in my life which had flies by like a day. From exploring new places almost every month to food tasting and join as an official member of Zomato foodies group Ahmedabad to laugh my heart out and lastly release my poetry e-book “The Chaotic Minds – Her Ecstasy.” I don’t even get a chance to update my travel blog *sigh* I have a habit to read travel blogs every day and feel so bad that I am so busy with my work and traveling that not a single story I have shared last year. On that note, this year, I take a pledge to share all my travel stories regularly *finger crossed* 🙂

World Tourism Day 2016

Being a Travel Planner its not at all an easy thing. One mistake can ruined their holiday and trust bond break. With the numbers of travel portal and hundreds of deal we got from internet and still it take years to be a specialized – “travel character” because to be a “pro” you need to be on the road, yourself.

Its been 2 years and counting since I decided to explore places on my own and write about it. From 6 months to 3 months and now every month traveling and exploring new places. Putting India Travel first – because so many things are still unexplored in our country and still we wander to explore other country.

Tourism is something which never gonna end. It will grow wild like a weed and addict more number of humans. After all we all are a Global Citizen, right?!

Taking about “World Tourism Day”:

“Since 1980, the United Nations World Tourism Organization has celebrated World Tourism Day on September 27. This date was chosen as on that day in 1970, the Statutes of the UNWTO were adopted. The adoption of these Statutes is considered a milestone in global tourism. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness on the role of tourism within the international community and to demonstrate how it affects social, cultural, political and economic values worldwide.” [source: wikipedia]

But the fact is, we all are traveler in this World. If we meant to stay at one place, we would have roots instead of feet.

#WorldTourismDay2016

How to earn while traveling?

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Money is one of the main concerns for anyone, who is traveling the world. Without money you cannot travel and, thus, according to us, enjoy your life 🙂 Luckily, there are endless opportunities of how to make money while traveling the world and today we’re going to talk about them.

If you have ever asked yourself “How I will survive on the road?” or “ How will I make money if I am travelling the world all the time?”, this post is for you.

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I’d love to travel but…..

We’ve all either said it or heard it a million times:
“I’d love to travel but ___________________.”

The answers can vary wildly, but in the end, they are all the same thing: an excuse.

So why is it that some people “can” travel and others “can’t”?

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TRAVEL TIPS 10: Travel Photography!

Photos are an evocative way to capture where you have been and what you have seen, and to come home with treasured memories for later on.

For those living away from family and friends, photos are a way to share life and experiences either online via social media or through more traditional prints and albums.

As a tangible medium, printed albums allow you to share photos in a more personal way: face-to-face with family and friends so that the interaction and story-telling becomes an experience in itself. They also make a thoughtful gift idea to take with you or leave behind, so it is worthwhile investing some time into taking great photographs 🙂

A) BEFORE LEAVING FOR YOUR TRIP:

1) Choose the Right Equipment
Before you leave, consider which camera equipment is most suited to your type of holiday. If you anticipate a lot of outdoor activities like hiking or canoeing, it makes sense to take a small rugged camera instead of your SLR.

Get to know the weather conditions and seasons, is it damp all the time or do you need water or sand protection?

With many modern travelers relying solely on their smartphone camera, it is advised to check the storage capacity and bring an external battery charge pack for extended trips. The key is to be comfortable with what you are carrying and confident it can do the job, so you can focus on the photography and the experience.

2) Travel Light
Don’t take your entire house with you. (Tips for who carrying SLR: Pack only two lenses. One zoom and one prime lens. This is extremely important tip if you plan to do some hiking or trekking).

3) Do Your Research
Don’t leave it to chance and learn as much as you can about the place you are about to travel. The more you know, the more “intelligent” your images will be.

4) Learn Your Craft
Don’t waste your expensive traveling time on learning how to operate that new camera, lens or flash. Do your homework at home.

5) Choice the Right Lodging
Staying on the center of town, or having a room with wonderful views can create a lot of great photo opportunities.

B) AT THE DESTINATION

1) Get up Early
The best light to capture most kinds of subjects is in the golden hours- one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset (depend off course on where you are on the globe). So get up early to get that amazing photo opportunities, while all the other tourists are still asleep.

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2) Capture Your Journey
I know this sounds silly but, if you don’t have your camera you can’t capture amazing moments that just magically happen or appear right in front of you. This is one of the reasons mobile phone photography is so great, your camera is always in your pocket.

Sometimes the trip to a location can be just as interesting as the destination itself. Shoot images that tell the story of how you got to your vacation destination. Shoot the local fruits in a farmers market or fishing nets on a boat dock or even trinkets in tourist shops that have the name of the destination. Small detail shots help to remind you of what you saw and tell your viewer a little about the location. Seeking out these details will open your eyes to discovering more about the environment around you.

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3) The Best Lightning
It is widely acknowledged the best natural lighting occurs around sunrise and sunset, when the light is soft, warm and flattering. An added bonus is there are usually no crowds to contend with.

This is a great strategy to plan your day; get out early to shoot landmarks and scenery, spend the middle of the day visiting indoor museums, galleries or shopping, and head out again before sunset for more quality photography.

Check out the areas that you plan to shoot at during the day and set time aside to go back when the lighting is great (sunrise and sunset for example). Ask around, information desks and hotel staff can be a source on the best places to shoot. Try different scenes so you get a great overview of the place you visited.

Of course there is every chance of cloudy, overcast conditions where sun position is irrelevant. Don’t despair; these even-lighting conditions are perfect for nature photography (such as close-ups of flowers), portraiture, moody street spaces and black and white photography.

4) Get Inspired
Watch the portfolio of other photographers in order to get new ideas and get inspiration. Also, If you perceive yourself as an artist, you must acknowledge the work of other artists. Do not underestimate inspiration: visit art galleries, attend some photography lectures, listen to classical music, read good books.

5) Don’t Try to Get it All in Once
Don’t try to see everything on your limited time. It is much smarter to get a better understanding about each place you visit on your journey. Slow things down, and your images will get better.

6) Feel the Place
Photography is not only about visual inspiration. Try the local food, smell local markets and hear local music, this will help you to better understand the story of the place.

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7) Find a Fixer
Talk to locals and seek their advice on great photo opportunities in their own country.

8) People
Including photographs of the local people and their culture brings life to the story, however it is important to respect the local customs in regards to public photography, and ask for permission prior to taking photos. Use the international language of a smile, while gesturing to your camera; if they return the smile, go for it, and if they do not, respect their wishes and put the camera away.

Remember to get pictures of yourself while on vacation, especially when travelling alone. Aside from the notorious ‘selfie’ shots or asking a kind passerby, try creative reflections using building windows or mirrors.

9) Get off the Beaten Path
All knows that you will find monks more in religious places like Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia. Tell your viewers something fresh and new. Share your own point of view of the place.

10) Travel Slow
If time allows you, always choice to travel by train or bus over flying. As it will allow you to have better interactions with the locals.

11) Keep it Natural
One of the most important and influential photographers of all time, Henri Cartier Bresson- Never ever used flash in his photography. A practice he saw as “impolite…like going to a concert with a pistol in your hand.” Try to learn how to use and enjoy the benefits of natural light before you buy that expensive flash or reflector.

12) Get Higher
Every good travel photo series must have at list is one bird’s eye view of the place (Being referred sometimes as the “establish shot”). Find yourself a vintage point overlooking the entire city or town.

13) “Exotic” can be found Anywhere
No matter where you live in the world: New York, the Middle East or a small village in France. Try to see the beauty of the place you live in. if you will find the beauty of that place and bring within your images, people will follow.

14) Don’t stop Traveling
A good travel photographer must keep is portfolio alive. Keep on traveling, and as the last tip mentioned: you don’t have to travel to far and exotic places to do so. As it is very easy to travel to India and get “good” travel photography. Try to bring the beauty of your own local town. Travel to the nearest market or attend the next festival as a way to keep your craft improving.

15) Leave the Camera Behind Sometimes
Don’t spend your entire trip looking through the lens. Enjoy your time just traveling and enjoying the ride.

16) Be Human
Treat your subject as well as you can. Don’t shoot people from a far distance, don’t shot people who don’t want to get snapped. If you promise to send their photos, please do so. This will ensure that the photographer that will come after you will be received with a smile. And don’t forget, sometimes it is best to just leave the camera behind and enjoy the ride.

C) FINAL STEP

The final step when you return home is to select and edit the best photos. A nice selection of prints is more satisfying than a digital mess.

The reason most people hate looking at family vacation pictures is because there are too many bad ones to look through. Only show your absolute best images to your audience. It has been said that the biggest difference between an amateur and a professional photographer is that the professional only shows their best work whereas an amateur shows everything.

9 basic tips useful to anyone traveling anywhere include:

1) Take plenty of pictures. You don’t want to return home and try to describe a wonderful scene or event that you could have photographed if you had planned to shoot generously.

2) If you are planning to share your adventures while you’re on the road, send your most representative pictures to friends and family by email or upload them to a photo-sharing website. Be selective, though, and don’t overdo it. People will enjoy seeing two or three great pictures much more than 30 or 40 shots of everything you encountered.

3) If you are traveling in a group, each member should bring their own camera, even when one person has agreed to take on the role of principal photographer. You would be surprised at how individuals see photographic subjects in different ways.

4) When photographing an exciting or funny event, take the time every now and then to shoot behind you or beside you to show the reaction of others.

5) When using a digital camera, take the time to review the shots you took that day, and delete those that are unsuitable.

6) Be sure to take along plenty of film or several digital media cards. It’s frustrating to come upon a must-photograph scene, and discover that you’re out of film or your cards are all full.

7) Bring your battery charger along on your trip. Although you can usually charge batteries while they are in your camera, a separate charger permits you to use a second set of batteries while the first is being recharged.

8) If you are undecided about whether to take a picture of an interesting scene that has caught your attention, just take it. You can always toss it out later if you don’t like it. But, it’s usually difficult to return at a later time to find the same circumstances.

9) The same principle applies to photographs that you think may not turn out. It may seem too dark or too cloudy, for instance, or your subject may be in deep shade or moving quickly. But, go ahead and take the shot anyway. You will sometimes amaze yourself by how a tricky shot turns out better than you expected. Also, many photographs that have minor problems can be saved using digital editing software or in the darkroom. And, if it simply doesn’t work, you know what to do…toss it out.

Note: All images used in this article are subject to copyright.

TRAVEL TIPS 9: Technology Security. Stay Alert, Stay Safe!

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Traveling can present some unique security challenges. If you are planning a domestic or international trip, keep these items in mind:

1) Make sure you’ve backed up any important data before traveling.
Ensure that you’ve backed up any important data before traveling. If something happens to your devices while traveling you won’t be able to get the data back without a backup.

2) Keep your devices with you and within sight at all times.
It doesn’t take long for a laptop, smartphone, or tablet to be stolen. This is particularly important in busy and crowded places such as: buses, subways, airports, and at conferences.

3) Are you traveling with sensitive or confidential information?
Only travel with the data that you absolutely need. If you don’t need it, don’t take it. Check with your division to see if they offer blank loaner laptops that you can use while traveling instead of bringing your own. If you are traveling with data on a flash drive, ensure that you’re using an approved encrypted flash drive.

4) Ensure that your laptop is encrypted.
Laptop encryption will ensure that your data won’t be accessible if it is lost or stolen.

5) Are you traveling with anything that is subject to export controls?
It is illegal in some cases to bring certain software or hardware to other countries. Check the country technology laws first.

6) Beware of public computers.
Avoid using public computers in places like hotels and Internet cafes whenever possible. If you have to use one, ensure that you change any password that you entered on a public computer when you return from your travels.

7) Ensure that your computer is up-to-date and running antivirus software.
Before traveling, make sure that you’ve installed all of the latest updates from Microsoft or Apple, and ensure that you are running good antivirus software (such as kaspersky, norton antivirus, mcafee, avg, etc.)

8) Enable a firewall on your computer.
Make sure that you have a firewall enabled on your computer. A firewall will help protect your computer while connected to insecure networks.

9) Only connect to trusted wireless networks.
Avoid joining just any available wireless network. Only connect to those networks that you know are legitimate (such as those provided by a hotel).

10) Avoid using insecure websites on wireless networks.
It’s easy for someone to listen in to what you’re doing on an open wireless network. Most networks that you’ll use while traveling are open. Make sure that if you’re logging into websites while on open network that your connection is secure. This is usually denoted by the presence of a lock icon in your browser, or “https://” in front of the address you’re visiting.

When you hit the road, it’s easy to get paranoid, especially if you’re carrying thousands of dollars’ worth of technology with you. You can alleviate some of your worries by taking security measures to protect yourself against someone running off with your smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

A) Password Protect Your Devices

What if a thief does get your device—is the trouble just beginning? It might be, if you haven’t bothered with basic methods for protecting your data.

1) Passcode lock your phone and tablet.
Just because someone gets your phone or tablet, doesn’t necessarily mean he also gets unrestricted access to all your email messages, all your contacts. Even if you don’t normally use a passcode or a screen or sleep lock, enable it before you travel. On Android 3 and later, Windows Phone 8, and iOS 4 and later, locking a phone or tablet prevents both access to the device and protects the data storage on it through encryption.

 

2) Password protect your laptop.
Do you really want to join the ranks of people who’ve compromised work data by leaving a laptop unattended and unprotected??

(i) If you’re using a MacBook, launch the Keychain Access utility (in your /Applications/Utilities folder), and then select Keychain Access > Preferences. Select the Show keychain status in menu bar option. Now, whenever you step away from your computer, you can choose the lock icon in the menu bar and pick Lock Screen. Make this process automatic by going to System Preferences and opening the Security & Privacy pane. Click the General tab and select the Require password option immediately after sleep or screen saver begins. You can adjust the time period using the drop-down menu here.

Requiring a password after sleep or a period of time can prevent someone from gaining access to your machine when you leave it unattended.

(ii) You can lock a Windows 7 and 8 laptop by pressing Windows-L. Automatic locking can be set via selecting Start > Control Panel (Windows 7) or right-clicking the screen’s bottom-left corner and picking Control Panel. Select Personalization and click Screen Saver. The Wait box allows you to choose how long to wait before a password is required to gain access. You can also automatically lock on sleep through the Power Options control panel.

B) Encrypt for Maximum Protection

If you want to make sure that your computer’s data isn’t accessible to a more-than-casual snooper or to a thief who has all the time in the world, your best bet is full-disk encryption (FDE). FDE creates a strong encryption key, which it uses to encipher your entire hard drive. The key is held in memory while you’re in an active running session, and tossed whenever you shut down.

An FDE-protected system can only be backed up while it’s active. But this prevents anyone (including governments and you) from recovering your data without a login account and password or an appropriate passcode.

1) Try full-disk encryption for Mac OS X.
Since Lion, Apple has provided built-in full-disk encryption through FileVault 2. You can’t recover a FileVault-protected disk’s data without an account and password. (See “Complete guide to FileVault 2 in Lion,” still applicable in Mountain Lion.) (If you don’t like the configuration and options available from Apple, there’s also Sophos SafeGuard).

2) Try full-disk encryption for Windows.
BitLocker is a built-in FDE for Windows Vista (Business), 7 (Enterprise and Ultimate), and 8 (Pro). Third-party FDE software comes from Check Point, McAfee, Sophos, Symantec, Win Magic, DiskCryptor.net, and others. TrueCrypt, a free open-source product, also offers FDE under Windows (but not Mac OS X).

3) Encrypt other drives and files.
You can also encrypt external drives, virtual drives (disk images), and individual files using TrueCrypt (Mac and Windows), Mac OS X’s built-in Disk Utility (Mac), and other free and paid tools. Apple added external disk encryption in the Finder in Mountain Lion, too. See “Encrypt any disk in Mountain Lion.”

4) Rely on built-in mobile encryption.
Nearly all iOS devices have hardware encryption built in. When the passcode is active, data is unrecoverable unless a device is jail broken or otherwise compromised. This protection is automatic, and is only absent from the original iPhone, iPhone 3G, and first two iPod touch generations. Hardware encryption also allows a quick “remote wipe.”

Since version 3, Android lets you enable encryption in software or hardware (Settings > Security > Encryption). As in iOS, when the device is locked only a hardcore hacker could potentially gain access to the data. (Encryption requires the use of a code, not Android’s pattern-screen lock.)

A version of Bitlocker protects Windows Phone 8 devices, just as with a Windows laptop, and Microsoft requires hardware-accelerated encryption. A passcode protects access.

C) Find a Lost or Stolen Devices

Even if your device is stolen or you simply mislay it in your travels, it’s possible to aid yourself and the police in recovering it if you’ve planned ahead. Theft-recovery software for mobile and desktop operating systems can track a device so long as it’s on a network.

With a location in hand, police are often more willing to visit a home or business, as they frequently find where one device is located, other stolen gear is found. But many thieves are now too clever for such software, and prevent devices from joining a wi-fi network or even wrap hardware in aluminum foil to keep it off a cellular network.

1) Use built-in Apple options.
Mac and iOS users can use Apple’s built-in solution called Find My Mac and Find My iPhone (which works for all iOS devices). This is activated in Lion and Mountain via the iCloud preference pane, and requires Wi-Fi to be enabled to provide tracking information. In iOS, the Settings > iCloud view has a Find My iPhone switch. You can find the current location of devices (Macs and iOS gear) associated with an Apple ID by logging in to iCloud.com with that ID or using the Find My iPhone app (which includes Macs in what it finds).

Find My iPhone/Mac can both lock a device remotely or wipe it clean. Apple goes so far as to allow a Good Samaritan to dial a number you’ve sent through Find My iPhone even when all other calls on the iPhone are disabled.

2) Use third-party software:
Several third-party packages, some available for Mac, Windows, and mobile OS, keep a constant low-level account of where a device is located. Others wait for a remote network trigger, checking in at regular intervals, that a device is stolen before they activate tracking. Some of them let you file a police report, see what a thief is typing, or even use your camera to snap a photo or video of the thief. Options include GadgetTrak, Absolute Software’s Lojack for Laptops, and Orbicule’s Undercover.

 

In all cases, the software has to be installed before a device is stolen, and typically registered and activated. You also want to run a test to make sure it can be located while still in your clutches. While nearly all smartphones and some tablets have GPS radios, computers and mobile devices without GPS can infer a position from nearby Wi-Fi networks using databases gathered or licensed by various parties, including Apple and Skyhook Wireless.

Google relies on Google Sync and its business-oriented Google Apps to let a system admin either erase an Android device or give a user the ability to erase remotely.

D) Always Be Prepared

It’s always hard to deal with the loss of an electronic device that has your personal and business data. By taking measures to secure your systems before you hit the road, you can defeat thieves before they get started, while helping Good Samaritans bring your precious hardware back to you.

There are always two sides of a coin. When it comes to internet, it can play a role of an angel and a devil too. Be-aware!!

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