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7 Travel Destinations You Should Be Avoiding Now

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You’ll have read plenty of articles about travel destinations you should be visiting in 2020. But here is something different. About the cities and regions you should avoid in the next 12 months.  Whether a destination has concerns of over tourism or overinflated entry fees, here are the places you should leave off your bucket list for 2020.

 

1. Venice, Italy 

The overtourism of Venice is well-publicised. The destinations here is currently considering a tourist tax entry fee to control crowds and to help the clean-up of litter left by tourists. As in other popular European cities, such as Barcelona, Airbnb is also proving a problem. City authorities are attempting to crack down on those illicitly renting out their homes. The number of tourists who visit this photogenic city has reached 30 million, compared to just 53,000 residents. People simply cannot afford to live here anymore. Furthermore, crowds clamouring for selfies on the Rialto Bridge are causing congestion and disruption to residents.

 

2. Hanoi Train Street, Vietnam

Back in 1902, French colonialists built a railway through Hanoi and Hai Phong, and part of the route snakes through a narrow street in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. It became known as ‘Train Street’, with the track lined by houses and shops. The site makes for a good picture but because the train is still in operation, tourist risk a lot when they pose for that selfie. Recently, a train had to make an emergency stop in order to avoid hitting the tourists snapping selfies and loitering on the tracks, and eventually was rerouted. Barricades have since been erected preventing tourists from taking pictures as the Instagram-friendly site, and illegal cafes established top cater for visitors closed.

 

3. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona has a lot going for it, Gaudi architecture, a bustling food scene, great nightlife and a beautiful beach to boot. But it’s natural assets have proved a disadvantage. Airbnb has flooded the rental market causing sky high rent issues for locals. There is physically no room for more tourists. No number of pavement expansions and bus rerouting can solve the fundamental issue that tourism is the number one problem for the city. In many major tourist sites – Sagrada Familia and Parc Güell, for example, which are in residential locations there is physically no space to expand. Barcelona is full. You would not be wanting to visit a city which is already so packed.

 

4. Bali, Indonesia

One of Indonesia’s most popular destinations, Bali is becoming so overrun with tourists that the government is considering a tourist tax to help deal with some of the damaging environmental effects. A garbage emergency was declared in 2017, thanks to the tonnes of waste being produced every day by tourists. A ban on single-use plastics was enforced in 2018, but there are other issues at large. The number of villas and resorts has prompted a water scarcity, hindering profits for local farmers. To top it off, the authorities are working on a series of behavioral guidelines for tourists after too many would either visit religious sites in swim attire, or climb over sacred spots.

 

5. New Orleans, USA

Destinations

Visitors flock to the city for its vibrant live music scene and exceptional Mississippi cuisine. But recently, residents announced they were fighting back after a surge in visitor numbers. The city’s historic centre currently receives more than 5 times the number of tourists per resident than the centre of Venice. The New Orleans Sustainable Tourism Task Force, an independent collective of concerned citizens launched in 2018, released a report. They highlighted the main areas of concern after a year of research and analysis. The consequent degradation of residential quality of life is placing severe stress on the city’s historic neighbourhoods and degrading the visitor experiences.

 

6. Rome, Italy

Destinations

The Italian capital has long struggled under the weight of its own popularity, with the biggest attractions drawing overwhelming crowds in the spring and summer months. This is reflected in the city’s list of regulations for tourists, expanded and updated this year. The Italian capital has outlawed men going topless in public. Also the practice of attaching “love padlocks” to bridges, both of which carry a fine if contravened. Eating messy foods around popular tourist attractions such as the Trevi Fountain is also a no according to the new regulations. Even touching your lips against the spout when drinking from Roman public water fountains.

 

7. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Destinations

One of the most famous destinations for travelling. Amsterdam which is very close to Paris is facing a serious problem of crowding. It is advisable to scratch this off from your bucket list for now. This year, the Dutch tourist board decided to stop actively promoting the Netherlands as a destination. This is over fears that its cities and attractions were too crowded (the tulip bulb garden is all but inaccessible). Pretty Amsterdam, with around 1 million residents, is swarmed with 17 times that many tourists each year. All keen to see sights such as the canals, Anne Frank’s house and the majestic museum. But you might want to be smart and avoid it.

 

It is a good decision to avoid these destinations if you want a peaceful holiday. Related content- Airports Where You’ll Enjoy Killing Time

 

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Travel

Travel Documentaries To Quench Your Wanderlust

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The whole world is going through the fear of the pandemic disease of Coronavirus. You may not be able to travel or leave the house right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t live vicariously through other people.  But here are some travel documentaries that open your eyes to secrets, adventure, new ways of life and a lot of wanderlust!

1. Street Food

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This new netflix series from the creators of Chef’s Table will explore a different region each season. They start off on the streets of Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, and more. You can see the carts, stalls, and markets that folks visit on the go, in the middle of the night, or even every day. Unlike other food shows, Street Food spends each episode highlight the intense personal connection between the meals and the people who make them.

 

2. The Dawn Wall

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El Capitan in Yosemite is one of the most famous climbing destinations and the Dawn Wall, so named because it is the first thing in the valley to be illuminated in the morning, had never been free-climbed (the act of using equipment only to protect from falls, not to assist in climbing) until Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgensen took it on. The documentary explains the years of training and each climber’s motivation for attempting the world-record climb.

 

3. Around The World In 80 Days

Around the World in 80 Days is a 7 part BBC travel series written and presented by comedian Michael Palin. It is based on the famous adventure novel by Jules Verne with the same name. Similar to the novel, Palin accepts the challenge to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days and closely follows the road and sea route, as taken by the protagonist in the novel. He takes you across Europe, Africa, Asia and North America through nearly every possible means of transport.

 

4. Baraka 

Baraka, also known as among some of the best travel documentaries ever is a non-narrative documentary is a kaleidoscopic retreat into the different hymns of nature and its impact on various cultures. From the cacophonic chants of hundreds of monks huddled together for a cosmic yajna to the frenzied thumping of the whole village, the documentary highlights the phenomena of nature and how it forms the core of various cultures.

 

7. K2- Siren of the Himalayas 

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K2: Siren of the Himalayas is a multilingual travel documentary that shows you the dangerous world of high altitude mountaineering and follows a group of mountaineering experts as they venture on an epic journey. You get introduced to deathly cliffs, braving hideous climates and beautiful snow-covered mountains.

 

6. Jiro Dreams Of Sushi 

This great documentary is about Jiro Ono, an 85-year-old world-renowned sushi master with a tiny restaurant located in a Tokyo subway station, who is one day awarded three Michelin stars. Throughout the documentary, you will see the pursuit of perfection of sushi and get a great glimpse into Japanese culture. This opens a world driven by passion and bliss. Any wanderlust out there must watch this.

 

7. Everyday Is Like a Saturday 

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Every day is like a Saturday when you are on a long trip around the world. Solo traveling is not only about meandering through unknown lanes of a forbidden place. But it is also a great way to delve deep inside one’s own existence. The story brings out the chronicles of trekkers on four different continents. The documentary also includes interviews from other backpackers and highlights how the road can form unbreakable bonds.

 

These documentaries surely will quench the wanderlust within you. Related content- Top Underrated Places One Must Visit

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Disappearing Languages: Travelling With Your Ears Open

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Disappearing Languages all around the world is an issue often overlooked. We notice and capture everything exotic and fresh while travelling, but end up travelling deaf. There are more than 6000 languages in the world right now. However, a language dies every two weeks. Along with the last speaker, goes an entire system to express emotions, medicinal practices, conservation practices and culture.

Moreover, Helping preserve an indigenous or dying language is a dimension of Ethical Travelling.  

 

CONNECT WITH THE LAND

While preparing your itinerary, search for areas that are hotspots for linguistic diversity. When Travelling, connect with the guide and gain information about the local languages. It is even better if you can find someone to help translate/transliterate those languages. Make it a must to visit those areas.

 

DON’T LIMIT SMART TRAVEL TO YOURSELF

Apps and Websites like Talking Dictionaries and Wikitongues allow you to contribute to an online collection of languages from all around the world. It is not necessary for you to be a linguist to outrun the silence. It is common among students to opt for Language Tourism that requires a longer stay at respective destinations. Simply learning how to document a threatened language in a nearby area, can save a community from ‘cultural devastation’. 

Preserving Disappearing Languages

Linguistic Hotspots; image via: Swarthmore.edu

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE LESS TIME FOR DOCUMENTATION

Record Oral Histories

Oral Histories can help you record languages at the peak of their functionality. While interviewing the person, keep the questions open-ended and very broad. This allows a free flow of thought and words. The reminiscent and emotional content is of extreme value. Record them talking in the Past, Present and Future Tense and among themselves.

 Be mindful about

  • Clean Audio, no noise in the background
  • The phone should be in a horizontal direction. This allows sharing ease on various online platforms.

Record Them Singing

Music is a very good way to inform the world about the existence of a language. Record the speakers of the language to sing a song in their language. Posting it online is imperative for creating awareness and generating action.

Donate Technology

Connect with the locals, teaching them how to create a language database themselves using Talking Dictionaries can help preserve the language for posterity. It is time to spend less on memoirs(travel like a minimalist), and more on preservation.

Preserving Disappearing Languages at home

Learn One Online

Explore resources online for languages that are not commercially but culturally important. Websites and apps like WikiTongues, The Rosetta Project, Matador Network, Ojibwe, Enduring Voices and Ethnologue can help you do so.

Create Content in Endangered Languages

Be as creative with your content as possible, they can even be memes!

Preserving Disappearing Languages

Preserving Disappearing Languages; “I’ll be back”(John Henhawk); Mohawk Language

 

Merci? Danke? …  Niawen’kó:wa! (Mohawk)

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Travel

Him Or Her: Choosing Your Travel Partner

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THE ULTIMATE QUEST: CHOOSING THE RIGHT TRAVEL PARTNER 

Each journey that you are a part of today will be a part of you tomorrow. Making a trip is like making a memory album; you will relive it every time you see it. While it is imperative to plan a trip way ahead of time, it is equally important to choose the right travel partner.

Planning essentials, shopping for the trip, packing right, travelling, clicking pictures, eating around, squirming about, meeting the locals or staying in hotels, it is all a part of the package deal. Then if you finally decide to travel with someone, how can you risk making a choice that you might regret today, and for all the years to come.

A few things you could keep in mind while choosing your travel partner are:

1.Make Sure Your Personalities Match

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if you’re both introverts or both extroverts, there is a greater possibility of making the most of your trip. While introverts would like to go to quieter places, stay in at night or just roam around quietly, an extrovert partner might want to hop out and look for places to party or mingle with the locals or other tourists at the place. It does sound incredibly wonderful that an introvert could bring an extrovert closer to nature and the extrovert might be a breath of fresh air to the introvert, but it really isn’t so. On a trip, you want to be your own self and relax, which cannot happen if you are with a clashing personality.

2.Your Travel Adventure Might be Their Crazy

You would naturally wish to venture out of your monotonous habits and do some adventurous things on your trip. But it is important that what you see as adventurous is not crazy for your partner. If you are someone who likes to be high on adrenaline, choose a partner who feels likewise. After all, you don’t want to be sky diving alone while your partner eats ice cream while holding your bag.

3.Talk the Money Talks   

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While you might be someone who likes to keep a tight hand on your pocket, your partner could be someone who likes to splurge their heart out. So, discuss the money matters in advance. You don’t want to be eating at the café while your partner is gorging at the lavish restaurant.

4.Spending the Travel Time

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If it’s a long journey, you don’t want to end up getting bored. The journey usually sets the tone or the trip. See how you like to spend that time and choose your partner accordingly. You don’t want a chatterbox with you while you are looking forward to reading Murakami or Rushdie.

5.The Social Factortravel2

If your partner is constantly on social media and you are not big on that, there might be a possible clash and bitterness. For them this could be an opportunity to click more pictures and for you that could just be a hindrance to your enjoyment. So make sure you’re either on the same page or at least at a mutual consensus about your on-trip social media indulgence.

 

6.Morning Person/ Night Person

Ours is a generation where our sleeping patterns are more than just flawed. While some people still operate at the regular hours; sleeping at night and working the day, there are people who do the opposite. If you cannot wake up before the sun is already overhead, you don’t want to end up travelling with someone who gets up when the sun does. This will upset your sleep pattern and might leave you frustrated through the trip. Either choose a partner whose routine syncs with yours or modify yours before you leave for the trip.

There is no Bible for how or whom to travel with, but choosing a good partner can always make your trip worthwhile.

To combat your quarantine blues, here are a few travel movies you could watch: https://littleletterslinked.com/best-travel-movies-for-you-to-binge-watch/

 

 

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