I’ve been following Travel Fashion Girl for quite some time. I’ve always wanted to create a site dedicated to travel and fashion, but Alex beat me to the punch! We have been talking about collaborating for quite some time on various subjects, so expect to see more of my posts on her fabulous site, dedicated to everything from what to pack by country, to budget versus luxury travel fashion, and even interviews with famous travel bloggers on how to travel without looking like a pile of garbage!
My first post on her site deals with laser hair removal. I am a HUGE fan of this process because A) I am a naturally hairy gal and B) shaving while traveling is a HUGE PAIN IN THE ASS. For reals yo, if you’re a woman you know it’s either spend fifteen minutes (sometimes a day) shaving your bod, or go caveman style and embrace the furriness.
But LHR is incredibly beneficial for male and female travelers alike. It’s effective, it doesn’t have to be expensive, and most of all, it is one less thing to worry about while traveling.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “Laser devices send specific concentrated beams of light through the skin that are absorbed by the melanin (dark) pigment present in the hair follicle shafts. Because hair grows in cycles, repeated treatments are necessary to destroy the hair follicles.” You can find more information online and always read reviews before purchasing a package, to ensure the laser clinic or dermatologist is a good fit for you.
Read up on why I think laser hair removal is the best thing for travelers since the invention of the sarong:
A few weeks ago, an poingent article was written by Bart Schaneman entitled “Why you should stop traveling alone.” The essay is interesting and presents some very good points, its main thesis being that travel can be more fulfilling and memorable when experienced with friends. I think Schanerman meant well, or perhaps was being purposely controversial, since most of the travelsphere is made up of solo travellers. This is evidenced by the backlash his essay received from readers who seemed like their acceptance of independent travel was somehow attacked via his argument.
I read the article and immediately thought “Yeesh, this guy doesn’t know who he is writing for.” Not in a bad way, but telling people to stop traveling alone is a pretty bold statement, considering that most travel writers, bloggers and hobby travellers take their trips alone. So I wrote a response article supporting why people should start traveling alone.
Hot damn, did that garner some attention.
There’s no mistaking that traveling alone can be lonely. But you can feel just as insecure in your own backyard – if you’re going to feel sorry for yourself, do it somewhere cool.
I figured there might be equal backlash from people who agreed with Schanerman’s essay. After all, travel is only as good as a person, or people, make it, and travel experiences are subjective. There is obviously no right way to travel. I however enjoy solo travel more than traveling with friends, due to my independent nature. Apparently most travellers on Matador Network do too..
This is my most successful Matador article yet, and I am so happy with the response. I’ve received positive feedback, criticism, and folks who swing both ways. But I am so happy reading how my article has inspired people to travel on their own. That was never my intention – I was merely presenting my side of the argument – but I received countless twitter messages, emails and Facebook comments thanking me for helping them overcome their fear of traveling alone, and how my article gave them courage to do it now.
Call me a narcissist, but that’s an amazing fucking feeling, folks.
How do you feel about traveling alone? Are you a fan? What makes it special or revolting to you? I love discussing this topic with people and hearing their viewpoints on such a polar topic.
Read my article here:
My Instagram account was created with my wanderings in mind – I found it to be an easy way to share some quick snaps with my followers and transport the images to various other social media sites. Since I am an amateur photographer, I take pride in the photos on my Instagram account. Mostly when people take my photos for their blogs or tweets, I’m always credited. That, to me, is satisfactory enough. It’s social media use, in a social media world. But now, those boundaries are being crossed.
According to an article on CNET.com, “Under the new policy, Facebook claims the perpetual right to license all public Instagram photos to companies or any other organization, including for advertising purposes, which would effectively transform the Web site into the world’s largest stock photo agency…That means that a hotel in Hawaii, for instance, could write a check to Facebook to license photos taken at its resort and use them on its Web site, in TV ads, in glossy brochures, and so on — without paying any money to the Instagram user who took the photo.”
If I used Instagram for recreational purposes, I’d say “fuck it, if someone really wants to use my photo of my friend and I making ‘duck lips’ to the camera on New Years Eve, be my guest.” But that’s not how I use Instagram – for the most part, at least. Yeah there are sometimes stupid photos that I post but oftentimes I am trying to help my readers and followers understand the places I am in, in the moment I am there.
Do I want to be compensated for my Instagrams? I mean that’d be awesome, but I’m not going to hunt down lonely bloggers to pay me for posting my cool image their Tumblr. What I don’t want however, is for a brand or a location or something similar to take my photo and call it theirs. I’m definitely the type of person who warrants credit when credit is due. The fact that most of my photos do highlight this Mexican resort or help followers vicariously travel with me through New York City, is not something for corporations to bastardize simply because they are too damn cheap to pay photographers.
In fact, I’d feel better if those who paid Facebook to buy my photos at least plugged the source where they got them from. “Photos by KatkaTravels” or “Follow KatkaTravels on Instagram” would be sufficient for me. It’s this idea that the people who take these photos and then have them essentially stolen by big-wig publications and their creative merit is never even touched upon.
So what’s the solution? Delete Instagram accounts? Demand the clause be taken out? Develop an even better social media photography app that doesn’t rape us of our creative rights? There is a good chance that with all of the uproar Instagram will conveniently take this part of the bargain out, and yesterday, co-founder Kevin Systrom released this statement. But in reality, the shittiness of the internet includes not being able to tell who is using your images and under what capacity.
In the meantime, feel free to experiment with The Next Wave’s Instagram Alternatives: 8 Great Choices.
What do you think about the new Instagram policies? Are travelers and photographers making too big of a fuss, or not enough?
As travelers, it’s easy for us to forget that not every country celebrates Thanksgiving. It’s even easier for us to forget that not all countries sell frozen turkeys. Recently, I wrote an article for Matador Network on my improvised Thanksgiving meal that occurred in Slovakia in 2008. That was probably the best Thanksgiving I ever had and it was a really special memory. Check it out!
Figure out a menu that will show your new Slovak friends how Thanksgiving is your most favorite holiday in the world. Feel slightly intimidated that many Slovaks make their meals from scratch, so obviously instant mashed potatoes will not do (not that they really exist in Slovakia…). The trepidation wears off as you recall that part of Thanksgiving’s charm is having an excuse to eat everything in sight.
As an emerging writer, I am not yet used to receiving responses to articles I’ve published on the web or in print. I’m usually elated if I get one or two, and especially cheery if they say something positive like “Good job!” Who wouldn’t be? But then, there are the critics. Critics, it seems try to bring you down for only reasons they understand.