REPOST: Norwegians have a lot of sex, and other fun facts about the world’s most charming people [vid]
Well now I’m SUPER excited to visit Norway!
Beyond songs about fox sounds, and images of fjords, I don’t know much about Norway. This video, produced by Norwegian YouTube user jenspetter, provided answers to my questions such as “How did Norwegians become ace skiers?” and “Where do Norwegians lead in terms of recreational sex?” I’m also really glad my parents never read me Norwegian bedtime stories.
This post originally appeared on MatadorNetwork.com and is reprinted here with permission.
Photo: Scott Sporleder
NEWS CAME through here in Australia that the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) has approved a proposal to dump dredge spoil from Abbot Point coal terminal in the reef.
In order to create a multi-billion-dollar coal port in Abbot Point — the world’s largest — the authority prevailing over the UNESCO World Heritage site just gave the green light to go ahead with the plan. Dredging is required to allow large ships access to the port.
The Authority Chairman, Dr. Russell Reichelt, proclaimed,
Abbot Point is better placed than other ports along the Great Barrier Reef coastline to undertake expansion as the capital and maintenance dredging required will be significantly less than what would be required in other areas.
A ‘must do’ for ‘vital national development’?
Since the beginning of January this year, 233 scientists have signed a petition to GBRMPA insisting that they reject the plan. Environmental groups have also rallied against the decision.
“This go-ahead for dumping is one more body blow for the reef, which further threatens marine life, its World Heritage status, and Australia’s tourism and fishing industries,” Greenpeace Reef Campaigner Louise Matthiesson said.
The reef has been facing a fragile future due to climate change, an overpopulation of starfish, and land-driven pollution. It seems like environmental groups already have enough on their plate. Last year, UNESCO warned that the reef could be high on the World Heritage list of sites in danger, unless action was taken to protect it.
I took to the promenade of Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia, to check in with the locals.
What do you think of the approval to dump dredge soil in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park area?
“It makes me ashamed to be Australian.” ~ Alexandrea, age 28, from Canberra“I don’t know anything about it.” ~ Timothy, age 45, from Sydney
“What’s next for this government? They’re losing it.” ~ Jonathan, age 31, from Newcastle
“Yeah I also hear they are doing a mass cull of sharks in Western Australia.” ~ Jezza, age 19, from Sydney
“Not my problem, wanna come for a surf?” ~ Christian, age 29, from Melbourne
The majority of Australians I spoke to knew nothing about the vote, nor the approval.
It seems to be raining ignorance here in Sydney today. With news of Pharrell William’s massive Grammys hat dominating conversation, discussion of a threat to the Great Barrier Reef has been boxed in the corner, labeled “Sorry this is way too heavy bro!”
This post originally appeared on MatadorNetwork.com and is reprinted here with permission.
As most of you know, I recently contributed to the travel/drunken social commentary guide, 101 Places to Get F*cked Up Before You Die. Leafing through my hardcopy, I am absolutely amazed and impressed by how well-written of a publication this is, and extremely proud to be a part of it. And now, I want to share it with you!
I’m giving away two copies of 101 Places – one hardcopy, autographed by me (eligible for US residents only), and one eReader copy (open to anyone worldwide). All you have to do is leave a comment below answering the following question:
Where do YOU like to party?
Use the widget to increase your chances of a winning, and to spread the word! Giveaway ends February 5, 2014; I’ll announce the winners on my blog. Good luck!
Those who know me in real life know that I am pretty much obsessed with subscription services – I’ve done BirchBox, GlamBag, Elizabeth&Clarke, GrazeBox…you name it, I’ve probably tried it. I always wanted a company to come out with one geared towards the travelsphere, and luckily, my thoughts have been answered – introducing Travelbox!
This company aims to provide travelers and travel enthusiasts with a monthly supply of gadgets, guides, goodies and more. I was offered the chance to try one of their boxes – here is the rundown of what I received:
First of all, I love the design of the box – it’s eyecatching and sturdy enough to hold the contents, and reuse for other purposes (always a win). The object were wrapped in lovely tissue paper on a paper nest. They also include a nice guide to what each object is, where it’s from, and how much it retails for.
Dreams Essentials Sleep Mask (United States) ($9.95): This is my favorite piece of the package. I am one of those people who can’t sleep unless there is complete darkness. This is especially essential when staying at a hostel, where lights might be kept on all night by late night guests. I’ve tried sleep mask after sleep mask, and none of them work well enough for me. Let me tell you, this thing is DARK! Not a single crack of light came through. It also came with earplugs and a nice little baggie, which I appreciate. I can’t wait to try them out on my 8-hour flight to Norway!
Breffo Spiderpodium (UK) ($20.44): This is one cool gadget! Don’t let it’s slightly creepy design fool you – the clutches of the Breffo are super grippy, designed so that you can even attach your phone to your bike as a GPS guide! It passed my “earthquake” test and now I can’t stop affixing it to everything in sight.
Guylian Artisanal Truffles (Belgium) ($1.09): I was craving a chocolate snack, when these arrived at my doorstep. And what chocolate is better than Belgian? They were very enjoyable.
Luxe City Guide (France) ($9.99): I had heard about Luxe guides, but seeing them in person made me squeal out loud. Why? Because it’s small enough to stash in a trendy clutch, but filled with tons of useful information about Paris. The only thing I wish it had was a map or a metro guide, but hey – it’s better than looking like a tourist carrying around a brick-sized guidebook!
Lanolin Agg Tval Eggwhite Facial Care (Sweden) ($4): I haven’t tried this yet, because it smells divine, and looks so pretty – I don’t want to spoil it! It’s like the freshest soap I’ve ever encountered. I’ll let you know if I ever let myself touch it properly.
Is it cost-effective? The box itself goes for $33.00, plus $5.95 shipping, per month. It’s still better than buying the objects individually, and it saves the convenience of having to go out and find each thing yourself. Plus, who doesn’t love to get mail? Each box promises to include a surprising lot of 4-5 items from the following categories:
- travel inspiration: e.g. foreign language tools, maps, books on traveling
- travel gear: e.g. foldable water bottles, portable phone chargers
- travel comforts: e.g. sleep masks, ear plugs, travel candles, travel pillows
- grooming & beauty products: e.g. locally milled soaps, premium skin care products, portable sunscreen
- travel snacks: e.g. premium artisan chocolates and snacks from around the world
- travel entertainment: e.g. games, books
Even if you’re not on-the-go all of the time, you can still enjoy the innovative collections Travelbox puts together. I’m curious to see what their next boxes include – this first collection was certainly inspiring!
You can find out more information and subscribe to the Travel Box by clicking here. It is currently only available for US customers.
Disclosure: This complimentary box was received for review purposes. All opinions are my own, and no compensation was received.
Soooooooooo happy to announce that a book I contributed to, 101 Places to Get F*cked Up Before You Die, is officially available for purchase at a major book retailer near you!
This is more than a frat-douche bible – this is a social commentary on the way people travel, think, and party. No matter what opinion you have of what the title may reveal, you have to admit that it’s a lot easier to get to know a culture over a drink, than it is gazing at relics in a museum.
Check out what the press has been saying so far!
New York Daily News interview (I’m quoted quite a bit!)
Rudy Maxa’s World podcast - interview with David Miller
New Orleans entry on BroBible (one of my entries from the book)
My entries include:
- New York City
- Long Island
- New Orleans
- Washington DC
- Žilina, Slovakia
Books can be found at Urban Outfitters, Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com and more. There are both hard-copy and eBooks available (depending on your technology preference). I’ll be doing a giveaway on my site, so stay tuned for more fun details!
2014 is almost here! Here is how last year’s resolutions measured up (strike = accomplished, red means still working on it).
- Become a townie
- Indulge in Staycations. I actually did more long-term traveling than I thought I would! My job change, combined with some more funds allowed me to indulge places other than Long Island. Now that I’m working from home however, I hope to resuscitate this resolution.
- Get to know the Weekend Getaway – sort of. We did do a few weekends away, to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and I went to Saratoga for the 4th of July, but ironically, it was easier to take more time off to travel, than less time. I have some weekend trips planned for 2014 though, so we’ll see!
- TBEX ’13
- Last-minute “field” trip – we went to Costa Rica in August and it was awesome!
Here is the new list:
Take “working out” literally. My mom recently lost a boat-load of weight through a combination of Weight Watchers and (wait for it) walking. Every day she took a walk, around the track at the high school, around the neighborhood, etc. I want to start hiking, biking and camping more.
Spend less. So like, I have to start paying back my student loans, not to mention the whole filing-for-my-taxes-quarterly business, so I have to stop adding my name to novelty subscription services, refrain from purchasing anymore bags from Coach, and (le sigh) quit buying plane tickets for a bit. The good news is I spend a LOT less cash while working from home, so I’m sure it’ll even out.
Craft more. I have a whole craft area in the basement of my apartment, complete with glitter-stocked shelves and an electronic die-cutter – I gotta use it yo. I’ve started making decorations for the holidays, as well as sewing/mending things. It’s a nice creative break!
Hone in on my “brand.” I want to have a cool blog. Seriously. This thing has been so neglected and I need to get back into the habit of updating it with worthy content. While my main gig is Matador, there’s a lot I think I could bring to other locations that I couldn’t necessarily do for Matador, so having a worthy space/portfolio for those people to find me would be AWESOME.
2013 was certainly a year of “growth” for me. The other day, I looked back at some of the first articles I ever wrote for Matador, and compared them to recent ones. It’s funny how over time you can just sort of “fall into” place, when the place feels right enough. I’m definitely lucky to have a job that allows me to write, and be creative. Here are some pieces I am most proud to have published this year:
101 Places to Get F*cked Up Before You Die | St. Martin’s Press. I just recently read over some of the entries I wrote for this book, which will be officially released on January 7, 2014! And damn, if there is anyone who excels in the art of trashy travel, I.am.it.
101 Guys to Date Before You Die | Thought Catalog. While only an eBook, I’m proud to say I have written some kind of literature. Plus it was fun walking down memory lane and constantly cringing at my idiotic romantic mistakes.
Why you should start traveling alone | Matador Network. A fast-turnaround, reactionary piece, I never imagined it would explode over the internet like it did. I received a lot of emails from people who were inspired by it. Awesome!
How to piss off a Czech | Matador Network. This piece was fun to write, but also made me think about what exactly “identity” means to people, and how we should never judge someone, or say they are not something they wish to be, because their sense of identity is not literal enough.
What to Pack for a Travel Shows and Conferences | Travel Fashion Girl. I always love writing for Alex when I get the chance, and this piece was fun because it combined my love for fashion and design as well. Plus, it helped me prep for TBEX!
Dear Mom: I want to travel with you | Matador Network. My mom is imPOSSIBLE to get gifts for, so I wrote this for her for Mother’s Day.
How travel has ruined me | Matador Network. This was probably THE most fun article I’ve ever written, and one of the most true.
I’m At A Funeral | Thought Catalog. While not necessarily “cheery,” I felt this was a very vulnerable piece for me, and the style in which I wrote it is very different from what I usually do. I also found comfort in the people who left comments.
Where to get shitty like a president this July 4th | Matador Network. While this piece totally flopped, I still had fun combining my love of history with my love of getting schwasted, and that’s all that matters to me.
What are some of the things you’re proud to have accomplished this year? Link me!