Where Have You Been?

Where Have You Been?

This year is almost at an end and as with most years it’s had it’s ups and downs. One of the big ‘ups’ is that I had my first ever overseas holiday. Together with my family I visited Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.

I’ve been overseas a number of times in the past but it’s always been for work or for some other cause. This time it was all about enjoyment. That’s not to say that I haven’t enjoyed all my other trips but there’s something different about travelling purely for enjoyment and especially travelling with people you love.

Including my home country of Australia, I’ve actually been in 17 countries so far. I’ve been able to spend significant time in some countries with others only visited while in transit or for a very short time. The places I’ve been include Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, USA, Canada, India, Haiti, Dominican Republic, PNG, Bangladesh, Indonesia, South Africa, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Thailand, Myanmar and Hong Kong. You can see them all plotted out on the map below.

I wonder how many countries you’ve visited? Let me know your favourite (and maybe not so favourite) places in this wonderful world of ours.

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Just Give Me Some Space

Travel Annoyances

I’ve got to admit that I enjoy flying. It goes beyond just the knowledge that I’m about to travel to some interesting destination. I actually enjoy the process of getting there … most of the time.

There are moments on a plane that don’t thrill me. My main frustration is being seated next to someone with no sense of personal space. Yes, I know that the armrest isn’t very wide, but you still have to share it. And don’t get me started on people who think that the fact they have limited legroom means that their legs should stretch into my small area of the plane.

According to Expedia’s 2015 Airplane Etiquette Study, which was released this week, those participating in the U.S. study find seat kickers to be the worst thing to endure on a flight.

When asked to choose from a list of annoying behaviors, 61 percent of 1,019 study respondents cited butt-kickers as the worst of the worst.

“Inattentive Parents,” parents who exhibit little or no control over their children, ranked a close second with 59 percent; while the “Aromatic Passenger,” that passenger who exhibits poor hygiene or is in some other way giving off a strong scent, was the third least-liked fellow traveler, garnering 50 percent of the vote.

There were plenty of other annoyances mentioned by survey respondents. Here’s the full list according to the study.

1. Rear Seat Kicker (cited by 61% of study respondents)
2. Inattentive Parents (59%)
3. The Aromatic Passenger (50%)
4. The Audio Insensitive (talking or music) (50%)
5. The Boozer (45%)
6. Chatty Cathy (43%)
7. Carry-On Baggage Offenders (38%)
8. The Queue Jumper (rushes to deplane) (35%)
9. Seat-Back Guy (the seat recliner) (32%)
10. Overhead Bin Inconsiderate (32%)
11. Pungent Foodies (30%)
12. Back Seat Grabber (27%)
13. The Amorous (inappropriate affection levels) (26%)
14. Undresser (removes shoes, socks or more) (26%)
15. Mad Bladder (window seat passenger who makes repeat bathroom visits) (24%)
16. The Single and Ready to Mingle (13%)
17. The Seat Switcher (13%)

I don’t find too much to annoy me on a flight, as long as I have my own bit of space and I can drift off into my own world. What do you find annoying when you fly? Do you agree with the list from the survey? Have you found yourself exhibiting any of the behaviour on the list without realising that it could be annoying other passengers?

Here’s an infographic that displays the survey results. Click the image for a closer look.


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Carry On Flying


You often get a fair amount of time to think while flying and as I’ve had the opportunity to fly a little, both domestically and internationally over the past twelve or so months, here are a few of the things I’ve been pondering while thousands of metres above the earth.

The first person to develop noise cancelling headphones that block out the sound of babies and small children crying will become an instant multi-millionare … and quite possibly be awarded a Nobel prize.

No one is so evil that they deserve to drink airline coffee.

When the cabin crew invite you to ask for anything that would make your flight more comfortable are you allowed to ask them to remove the row in front of you so that you’ll have room to store your legs?

But one of the biggest mysteries when flying is how do people manage to bring the entire contents of their home onto the aircraft …. in their carry on baggage? I am honestly amazed at the volume of luggage people attempt to stow in the overhead cabins or stash under the seat. Sure, you need transport when you get to your destination, but that’s no reason to put a luggage strap around your family car and call it cabin baggage.

Now the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the trade association for the world’s airlines, is looking to do something about the problem with their Cabin OK initiative. IATA represents around 250 airlines or 84% of total air traffic.

IATA has been working on the standardization of cabin bag sizes, as the current variety of policies among airlines can lead to frustration for passengers.

I always do my best to only travel with cabin baggage, even on international trips, but I always check each airline’s policy and ensure that I’m complying with their requirements. Sometimes, when I see the amount of cabin luggage others take onto an aircraft I’m tempted to wonder why I went to all the trouble of ensuring I was within the limit.

This Cabin OK initiative aims to solve the on-board cabin space challenges that passengers, airline ground teams and cabin crew have been facing.

  • Airlines will experience faster turnarounds without having to take bags from the cabin to the hold. Gate staff and cabin crew will be able to easily identify bags which meet the common bag dimensions.

  • Passenger satisfaction will increase with the reduction of frustrations of carrying their bags on board and an increased clarity of acceptable bag sizes.

  • Luggage manufacturers will be able to offer new Cabin OK size-compliant bags to passengers.

Do you think the initiative is a good idea? Do you think it’ll make a difference?

I’m wondering if this will be the end of people lugging heavy items on board while trying to pretend they weigh next to nothing.

Are you one of those people that takes everything, including the kitchen sink, onto a flight as cabin baggage, or are you someone who stares in amazement at the balancing skills of those who load themselves up before heading through the departure gate?

What are the other things you wonder about when flying? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section of this post.

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That’s Odd

I see the strangest things when I’m cycling to work.

I pulled up at a set of lights this morning and noticed that the lady in the Volvo beside me had a large white cat across her lap. The cat seemed quite happy and probably does a fair bit of travelling with its owner but I do wonder about the wisdom in driving with an unsecured cat in the car, especially sitting on top of the driver.

If the car had to stop suddenly, Tibby would be rocketed into the dashboard. I’m a real cat lover; I’m just not convinced that cats should go everywhere that their humans go.

Later during my ride I noticed a young guy in a work ute drinking a can of Red Bull. I wondered why anyone would need an energy hit at that time of the day. If you need artificial stimulants to keep going that early in the day you’re going to be completely wrecked by lunchtime. I didn’t think too much of it at the time but I couldn’t help sitting down and shaking my head as I pondered the situation while sipping my double shot espresso at my desk at work.

What are some of the strange things you’ve seen on your daily commute? Whether you travel by car, bike, bus or train, I’m sure you’ve seen some intersting sights.

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A nation behaving badly

around_the_world.jpgAre Australians the ultimate ugly tourists?

It seems we’re costing Australian tax payers more and more while we’re overseas and dying abroad at an ever increaasing rate. We keep getting arrested while travelling and we apparently don’t care much for those in authority. We also need rescuing a lot more that we used to.

The information has been released by our own Department of Foreign Affairs and is being reported at News.com.au in the article Department of Foreign Affairs reports latest Australian tourist figures.

WHINGEING, irresponsible, cut-rate Australian tourists abroad are costing those who stay home millions of dollars and are being arrested more than ever.

The latest figures from the Department of Foreign Affairs show that 2009 is set to become the first year when more than 1000 Australians are arrested and when more than 1000 Australians are expected to die overseas, The Australian reports.

Surely we’re not all bad.

While I don’t get to travel overseas a lot I do make a point of behaving myself while in someone else’s country. Mind you, I pretty much behave at home too. I suppose that with more Aussies travelling we’re bound to see an increase in the number of ‘ugly Australians’ leaving our shores.

What’s your experience? Do you travel a lot? If you’re Australian have you ever seen other Aussies behaving in such a way that you’d rather you weren’t idetified as their countrymen? If you’re not from the land down under, what are your impressions of Australians that have visited your part of the world? Who do you think are the world’s worst tourists?

Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section of this post.

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