Solo Travel

Travelers or Freeloaders

Just finished perusing my Fan Page for over an hour. It was amazing that during that time a handful of bloggers were creating the entire news feed with one after the other small silly remarks just to get a LIKE or PAGE View. Has it come to this? Do these people actually travel or are they researching material out of the media and posting it? I’m not assuming all do, but there seems to be a large number of this going on, not to mention the constant questions and remarks that are just edited to assume a different form for the reader to LIKE. When I started, which was a short time ago and am just launching, I promised I would not play this game. And I won’t. But rest assured, whether it cost me sponsors or traffic, I will expose the plagiarism and silly techniques used in order to gain readership / traffic. When I see Travel Bloggers post remarks that have nothing to do with Travel, it seems a bit odd. I’ve even seen bloggers use their families to make the blogs cute to gain LIKES.

Wow, what kind of crap is this. Not to mention the same old story, question, or topic time after time? They may wait two or three months to rehash the same material, but it happens.
Sad, maybe they should get out and do some real traveling in third world countries and I don’t mean staying in a sponsored 4 star hotel, a cruise, or resort.
Grab a backpack and indulge yourself into the country and culture you visit. Stay in a hostel, meet and speak with the locals.
Do you want a party or cultural learning experience.

Kevin

Feel free to issue a rebbutal or comment on my view.

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Categories: Solo Travel

Colorado Wildfires

This is just a short post on the current conditions of the Colorado, U.S.A . Wild Fires. As more facts come in I will add them. This is just not a news report but also an advisory for all the Backpackers and Campers who could be affected. I myself in Durango, CO am in the center of approx. eight fires, the closest one to my residence is four miles away, but is contained.
After the evacuation of residents, from 3,000 to 30,000, they began to return on Sunday to homes that had been reduced to ashes and noted by authorities as the worst year for Wildfires in Colorado history.
It was just one of several still burning in the West, where parched conditions and searing heat contributed to the woes facing crews on hundreds of square miles across Utah, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.

— Utah: Fire commanders say Utah’s largest wildfire has consumed more than 150 square miles and shows no sign of burning itself out. Hundreds of firefighters are trying to hold the Clay Springs fire from advancing on the ranching towns of Scipio and Mills on the edge of Utah’s west desert. The fire has destroyed one summer home and threatens 75 others. The fire was 48 percent contained on Sunday.

— Montana: Crews in eastern Montana strengthened fire lines overnight on a 246-square-mile complex of blazes burning about 10 miles west of Lame Deer. More than 500 firefighters are now at the lightning-caused fires that started Monday and have destroyed more than 30 structures.

— Wyoming: A wind-driven wildfire in a sparsely populated area of southeastern Wyoming exploded from eight square miles to nearly 58 square miles in a single day, and an unknown number of structures have burned. About 200 structures were considered threatened.

— Idaho: Firefighters in eastern Idaho had the 1,038-acre Charlotte fire 80 percent contained Sunday but remained cautious with a forecast of high winds and hot temperatures that could put hundreds of homes at risk.

— Colorado: The last evacuees from the High Park Fire in northern Colorado have been allowed to return home as crews fully contained the blaze. The 136-square-mile fire killed one resident and destroyed 259 houses, a state record until the fire near Colorado Springs.

Has anyone ever endured a natural disaster? Where you home at the time?

We could all sure use a lot of rainfall right now.

Categories: Solo Travel

Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

Big bummer! My camera was either lost or stolen In Taipei along with all of the accessories and the SD Card which was not backed up. 😦 The Highlands was to be my next Post, but with close to 300 pics gone I am holding off in the hope it was turned in to Lost and Found. Slim chance I know. If it’s gone, I will still post the Blog with what few pics I have. These will be located at my Fan Page, http://facebook.com/eyetravelsolo . So wish me luck! I’ve already started looking for a replacement, but it will be a couple of weeks do to the insane prices. ha…ha…

http://www.facebook.com/eyetravelsolo

Categories: Solo Travel

The Buddhist Wesak Festival


This morning we woke up early to visit the local Buddhist Temple in Shah Alam, Malaysia to witness the beginning of the Wesak Festival including traditional offerings to Buddha and the ceremonial “Bathing the Buddha.” After six drives around the temple area we found a parking space. Yes, this is a highly attended event around the world. Below is a brief description of the festival and Buddha’s teachings. You can find additional pics on my Fan Page Link .

Wesak is the most important of the Buddhist festivals and is celebrated on the full moon in May, which falls on the 5th of May this year. It celebrates the Buddha’s birthday, marks his enlightenment and death.
Buddha literally means ‘one who is awake’ and has become enlightened. It’s a term that denotes a person who has attained the supreme wisdom and compassion of Enlightenment.

To Buddhists, Enlightenment is a blessed state in which the individual attains Nirvana – the transcendence from greed, hatred, and delusion.
During the festival, Buddhists visit their local temple for services and teaching, and give offerings food (generally fruit), candles and flowers. This shows respect and gratitude to the Buddha for his life and teachings

The ‘Bathing the Buddha’ ceremony is also often included. Water is poured over the shoulders of the Buddha and serves as a reminder to purify the mind from greed, hatred and ignorance.

Holy Water is offered to visitors to take home to rinse with during their shower / bath symbolizing cleansing and purity.
The colors below are often worn as a bracelet by Buddhists and made of individual colored strings. See the pic of a young man holding three bags of Holy Water and wearing the string bracelet.

Blue (Nila): Loving kindness, peace and universal compassion
Yellow (Pita): The Middle Path – avoiding extremes, emptiness
Red (Lohita): The blessings of practice – achievement, wisdom, virtue, fortune and dignity
White (Odata): The purity of Dharma – leading to liberation, outside of time or space
Orange (Manjesta): The Buddha’s teachings – wisdom

Please feel free to comment or add to this post. 🙂

Categories: Solo Travel

Malaysia. Purchase Denied Updated

Malaysian Travel Advisory.

World Wide acceptance of MasterCard & Visa? I think not. Since I have been in the Kuala Lumpar metro area. I have been denied purchases from a grocery store up to a brand name outlet (Canon) at a mega mall. All accept MC & Visa, but if you do not have a “Chip” on the front of your card it will not be accepted at establishments that only have the “Passover” (Scan) method for your card. These chips seem to be only for cards (Credit / Debit) issued within Malaysia, which seems to be most if not all cards.

The establishments who use this method claim they cannot swipe your card. Maybe, but I find it hard to believe there is not a backup such as typing in your credit card number. Most establishments do not solely use the Pass Over method to charge your card though. But if they do, be prepared to have a wad of Ringgets in your pocket.

Well, I guess I will be buying that Canon on my next visit to the U.S. But what the hell, they are cheaper there as well as most electronics.

Is this method good for the Malaysian economy with the mass of Tourists who now visit MY? I think not.

This is the first country I have visited with this restriction.
Are all banks here owned by the Govt.? Hmmm…

As I mentioned, most shops do not employ this method, but be prepared for it.

Update to the Original Post:

As I entered ACE Hardware recently in Malaysia I noticed they had the device for reading credit cards via the Pass Over Chip method. Eager to test out another establishment, I proceeded to buy something I really didn’t even need. 🙂

Upon presenting my chipless MasterCard, the clerk asked for help on how to process it without asking me for a card that did have the chip. I liked this, the clerk was making an effort. The ACE employees, still unsure how to process the card, waved over a supervisor who seemed confused also and promptly disappeared into a back room “with” my card, didn’t like that part.

The store manager soon appeared and instructed the clerk on how to enter the card number manually by utilizing the 3 digit security code on the back. The backup method I have always seen in the past, U.S. or elsewhere.

It seems it is up to the establishments discretion on whether to go through the “hassle” of manual entry using a keypad to complete the sale. ACE did handle the process professionally and apologized for the inconvenience. This was a matter of training the staff and of an establishment desiring to make the sale and gain a returning customer.

I still carry a wad of ringgets though.

I would love some feedback on this from anyone.

Categories: Solo Travel

EyeTravelSolo Reach Out

EyeTravelSolo New Blog is up and running.
If anyone has this Post land on their Home Page, please click the link to be redirected to my Blog. This is just a test to verify whether WordPress is directing my Posts to my audience. If so, please leave some feedback by either “LIKING” the page, leaving a comment, and /or clicking on one of the Share Buttons so I know all is good. These pages are Ad and Spam Free.
Thanks!
Please report any bugs you may find via the Comments section on the page you view. 🙂
https://eyetravelsolodotcom.wordpress.com/

Categories: Solo Travel

The Batu Caves, Malaysia

My visit to the Batu Caves, which is approximately 13km north of Kuala Lumpar turned out to be a great cultural learning trip and is possible in a half day.

When pulling into the parking area you can’t help but notice the 42.7 meter high of Lord Murugan, built of concrete and covered with 300 liters of gold paint.

Directly behind this huge statue are the 272 steps leading up to the Batu Caves, made of limestone and reported to be as old as 400 million years old.

The entrance to the caves is through the main cave named “The Temple Cave”, spawning off from this cave are smaller ones such as “The Dark Cave” which require a tour guide. The Temple Cave is 100 meters to the top and has one large hole and several small holes which provide natural light inside during the daytime.

The Temple Cave is lined with Hindu Shrines and Hindu Deities built over the years and is considered one of the Hindu’s largest places of worship outside of India.

You definitely want to bring your camera for this; there are smaller structures outside of the caves along with Indian vendors selling their wares, and swarms of Long Tailed Macaque monkeys.  Be careful not too feed them though, you may lose a finger as they can become aggressive when being fed.  Otherwise, they will come close enough for great pics.

On our way out we stopped for a snack of pressed seaweed and fresh coconut water, quite good.

I highly recommend the caves for a local excursion if you’re in the Kuala Lumpar area.

For pics, go to my FB Fan Page at http://www.facebook.com/eyetravelsolo  or click the Fan Page link on this page.

Feel free to leave comments. 🙂

 

Categories: Solo Travel

My Journey thru S.E. Asia

Following I will start this Post off with just a little of my travel plans, with no “Itenerary”. As time passes, I will add my observations, recommendations, & pic’s for each country / region visited. Until that time, you’re welcome to add any ideas, suggestions, or experiences as comments as I cruise around this jewel of the world.

I’m in Kuala Lumpar at this time after returning from Langkawi, Malaysia for a well needed R & R after my 50 hour journey from Durango, CO (That’s another Post!) Looks like Bangkok will be next, probably early April. Stay tuned for my ventures & pic’s!

Categories: Solo Travel | Tags: , , , , , , ,

How I Jumped into Solo Travel

     A few years back the company I worked for went bankrupt and I was out of a job and pretty bummed. I needed something  to clear my mind and spirit, but what I didn’t know.

A friend showed up within a few days and suggested we take a vacation, he had two airline round trip  vouchers. We decided to head south to Mexico. This sounded great!

We made our reservations and I was ready to go. The day came to meet at the airport. My friend never showed up and didn’t answer his phone. I had never gone solo on a trip out of the country, that’s when the anxiety set in. I was short of being terrified not knowing what to do or what might happen.

I managed to board the plane and the free rum and coke did help me relax. We landed and I waved down a taxi down to take me to the hotel. By this time things started changing, my unexpected solo trip soon began to flow. I stood out as a solo traveler and this brought attention and conversation from others, my comfort zone sored.

In no time I was having the time of my life, being invited by others to join them in activities and being questioned on why I was travelling alone and previous places I had travelled to.

Even when I went out alone my new born confidence led me to conversations with the locals and of course the art of bargaining for merchandise in the local market. Going to a restaurant alone was no longer an anxiety filled experience.  And once again, I stood out and was approached by other travellers eager to buy me a drink and listen to my stories.

When it came time to leave, I felt like I had just gotten there and wanted to stay longer. I reluctantly boarded the plane to depart. After arriving back home, I discovered my friend had set me up from the beginning for this solo trip. I felt no ill will but was glad he did.  My eye’s and confidence level had been opened to a new world of adventure I had never experienced before. I’ve traveled solo ever since.

How did you make the Jump into Solo or Adventure Traveling?

Categories: Solo Travel