Stop Having a Boring Life http://stophavingaboringlife.com You'll never know unless you go Tue, 21 Apr 2015 05:42:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 First Impression of Hamburg, Germany http://stophavingaboringlife.com/first-impression-of-hamburg-germany/ http://stophavingaboringlife.com/first-impression-of-hamburg-germany/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 05:33:19 +0000 http://stophavingaboringlife.com/?p=22140 Greetings, The time is 6:45 am and I’m writing this from my room at the East Hotel in Hamburg, Germany. Yesterday was my first introduction to Hamburg and I must say that I quite liked it. I liked it so much that on the way to the hotel from the airport in the taxi, I […]

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chilling_hamburg_germany

Greetings,

The time is 6:45 am and I’m writing this from my room at the East Hotel in Hamburg, Germany. Yesterday was my first introduction to Hamburg and I must say that I quite liked it. I liked it so much that on the way to the hotel from the airport in the taxi, I told my friend Rachelle that I could consider renting an apartment here for the month…

When you know, you know in life. The more places one travels the more one knows what their eyes like and what sensations and feelings hit home. Hamburg is a beautiful city with a long history and a good feeling to it. Immediately upon arriving in Hamburg I passed out for a few hours after a rather long commute from Managua, Nicaragua.

Following that I met up with new and old friends to do a bus tour before the opening reception of the Social Travel Summit. This is the second year it’s running and it looks like it’s going to be another great time. We headed near the port for dinner and drinks and yours truly retired uncharacteristically early. You see, I’ve got a busy month and really want to learn from these sessions so the only reasonable thing to do was get as much sleep as possible after a long trek.

When people think of Germany, places like Berlin and Frankfurt most often come to mind. That said, Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and the 9th largest city in the European Union, that’s a pretty big deal. Not only that but the Port of Hamburg on the river Ebe is the second largest in Europe after Rotterdam and the tenth largest in the world, that’s no small feat and I’ve visited a few port cities.

I’d go on but the conference starts soon and I’d like to hit the gym first. Truth be told, I knew very little about Hamburg before arriving but so far, so good. I’m here for another few days so we’ll see if my tune changes. That said, I doubt it and when the conference is over I’ll be spending a day on my own or with a new friend that I met at the airport exploring the city SHABL style to see what this place is really all about.

Also, yes the hamburger was invented here; will have to have one of them for good measure. Something else worth noting is that supposedly Hamburg has more bridges and canals than Amsterdam or Venice; possibly the two of them combined. I’ve simply scratched the surface but Hamburg has joined the ranks of those cities I’m keen to know more about. It’s also situated in a good location for those looking to build European bases during the summer season…

Tips hat,

P.S: Didn’t take many photos but filmed A LOT of video…

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Off to Germany for STS Hamburg! http://stophavingaboringlife.com/off-to-germany-for-sts-hamburg/ http://stophavingaboringlife.com/off-to-germany-for-sts-hamburg/#comments Sat, 18 Apr 2015 02:58:12 +0000 http://stophavingaboringlife.com/?p=22133 Hello friends, I’m writing this from a friend’s house in the heart of Managua, Nicaragua. It’s the big capital city which is night and day from the quiet beaches and paths of Little Corn Island. I’m here because tomorrow I catch a flight to Miami, spend a Saturday night then go direct to Germany for […]

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sts-4-1

Hello friends,

I’m writing this from a friend’s house in the heart of Managua, Nicaragua. It’s the big capital city which is night and day from the quiet beaches and paths of Little Corn Island. I’m here because tomorrow I catch a flight to Miami, spend a Saturday night then go direct to Germany for STS Hamburg. What’ s STS Hamburg you ask? It’s the Social Travel Summit which is an annual travel blogging conference and without a doubt, top in class.

I believe attending at least one conference a year is important to learn what’s happening in the industry, best practices in different areas I’m active in, network with my peers and catch up with some old friends over drinks. What separates STS from the other countless conferences is that it delivers real value to me and hosts the industry think tank. This is a place where all the different stakeholders in the industry get together and discuss issues affecting all of us and come up with solutions to overcome them.

Some other conferences tend to cater to entry level bloggers as there are more of them and their model appears to be appealing to as many people as possible to sell the most tickets. STS is geared towards bloggers who are more established so the sessions tend to be more advanced and the sponsors more interested in getting to know the bloggers. Other conferences are so busy that it’s easy to get lost in the crowd; STS is a great place to get some casual face time in.

A few sponsors include but are not limited to: Visit Berlin, Mercedes, Hamburg Tourism, MSC Cruises, Canadian Tourism Commission, German National Tourist Board, Curacao Tourism Board, Visit Norway, Visit Stockholm, Booking.com, Tourism Ireland, Visit Britain, Skyscanner, Expedia, Emilia Romagna Tourism, Latvian Tourism Development Agency and more… As you can see it’s one of the events not to miss for those in this growing industry.

After Germany I’m off to London for a few days before heading home. Then I’m going to Hong Kong and Vietnam before returning to Little Corn Island where I’ve left two houses that are currently under construction on hold. This is a most welcome break as I’ve been burning the candle at both ends for quite some time and for the first time ever, I was getting sick of the island. You love paradise? Try managing two construction sites, materials and such;  you’ll quickly understand how everything you love about it on vacation can cause all but the coolest of customers hair loss.

Building on Little Corn Island is not easy but it’s going to be worth it. My first project, the small one is nearly complete and there is no better feeling than locking the doors for the first time on a house you’ve built. This could be anywhere in the world but when it’s on a small Caribbean island with the odds stacked against you and it just happens to be your favourite place on the planet; it’s extra special.

I digress.

It’s late so I’m going to wrap this up; stay tuned for more shablesque(sic) adventures.

Tips hat,

P.S: Can you spot me in the photo above?

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Little Corn Island Lumber Yard http://stophavingaboringlife.com/little-corn-island-lumber-yard/ http://stophavingaboringlife.com/little-corn-island-lumber-yard/#comments Sat, 04 Apr 2015 16:31:10 +0000 http://stophavingaboringlife.com/?p=22124 Morning, Let’s talk about the lumber yard on Little Corn Island. Since Little Corn isn’t that far from the mainland, most of the lumber comes in these small sailboats called “Cat Boats” which are usually from Puerto Cabeza or somewhere in that region. It’s quite the trip as these small boats sail for ~24 hours in decent […]

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buying_lumber_little_corn

Morning,

Let’s talk about the lumber yard on Little Corn Island.

Since Little Corn isn’t that far from the mainland, most of the lumber comes in these small sailboats called “Cat Boats” which are usually from Puerto Cabeza or somewhere in that region. It’s quite the trip as these small boats sail for ~24 hours in decent weather and all the lumber is then moved to the shores and sold. At times you’ll see many boats come at once and it reminds me of Asia where you’ll have four people selling the same product at the same price right next to each other.

The other option is going to Big Corn Island and having it shipped to Little Corn. In reality, I believe all the lumber comes from the same place so going to the big island is just an extra headache and expense. You can pre-order lumber if you’ve got specific requirements but if not, just show up and buy what you need when the lumber is around.

little_corn_lumber_yard

If you’re not moving the lumber too far from the shores, you can also pay the gents who brought the lumber here to back it to wherever you’ll be storing it for an additional fee. I’m quite sure I bought more lumber than necessary but lumber is always good to have, you can always find a use for it and better to have too much than too little. Once the boats are gone, so is the lumber and your guess is as good as mine when they will be back.

I spoke with one of the captains yesterday and at some point in the future, I’d love to take that ride back to the mainland. From there I’d work my way south back to Bluefields and probably just fly to Corn Island after. I think going one way would be enough and an incredibly unique and authentic experience. I asked the captain how much and he looked at me sort of puzzled before replying “nothing”. Supposedly the whole Caribbean coast is beyond beautiful and I’m eager to explore it.

backing_lumber_little_corn

Happy Easter Weekend to you and yours.

Tips hat,

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Comedy of Errors on Corn Islands http://stophavingaboringlife.com/comedy-of-errors-on-corn-islands/ http://stophavingaboringlife.com/comedy-of-errors-on-corn-islands/#comments Fri, 03 Apr 2015 11:11:48 +0000 http://stophavingaboringlife.com/?p=22118 Greetings, I hope you all enjoyed my April Fools joke and the more I think about it, the more fun a free yoga retreat would really be. Sure there would be lots of volunteers / freeloaders who smell like they live with livestock to help me grow vegetables and someone would have to be a […]

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beautiful_little_corn_island

Greetings,

I hope you all enjoyed my April Fools joke and the more I think about it, the more fun a free yoga retreat would really be. Sure there would be lots of volunteers / freeloaders who smell like they live with livestock to help me grow vegetables and someone would have to be a good cook / cleaner, yes? Jokes aside, I’m living a comedy of errors here on the Corn Islands and as annoying as it is, I realize it’s one of those things that just has to happen in the life of a gent like myself…

Today I went to get some wood on Big Corn Island, then the hardware store before it closes for Easter Weekend as well as change a ticket. Well the hardware store was closed, the wood was there but not such a good deal and I did change my ticket. Moments after changing my ticket I checked into my old “Corn Island Office” which was random as everywhere is sold out but my exact room; I was delight if not over the moon really.

As I setup my office by moving the bed around and putting the desk directly below the fan I was excited! I was back in my office! I used to spend many a day there working on this and that but now Little Corn Island has 3G in some spots and one happens to be outside my room. That and I’m building so I can’t really leave much but I digress. I was pumped to do some work and go for a nice dinner when my laptop wouldn’t charge….

I have a new Macbook Pro 15″ Retina and lately it’s been acting weird. Their MagSafe 2 connector isn’t so hot in my opinion because the cord is easily frayed and for some reason it makes my laptop exceedingly hot at times when charging. This normally isn’t an issue in a nordic country but on a small tropical island, heat issues are always an issue if you know what I’m saying. Anyways it wouldn’t charge and oddly would show the charging light but still – no charge.

I once wrote that the internet is my insulin back in 2009 and not much has changed. The last two months have been intense and I’ve felt a serious grow spurt internally. I’m not taller or stockier on the exterior but I’ve strengthened my foundations on the inside which is cool; see what I did there? Anyhoo this was the straw that broke the camels back so I left my apartment and came back to see if I could borrow a charger from someone in a most manic mood.

Naturally, Apple is coasting on it’s big name and doing the whole “built to be obsolete” game. The old chargers don’t work on the new systems and so on. Also, I’ve got a beast of a machine so nobody on the island that I now even has the 85w adapter. To say I was bummed would be an understatement but such is life. That said, I did notice on the shores when I arrived that a boat from the coast had come with lumber. Not only did I peruse the scene but I bought everything at ~40% cheaper by cutting out the middle man and the freight to Little Corn… Not bad.

The time is now 5:01 and I’ve been up for hours. When you sleep really early you often wake up at odd times. I woke up and heard a rain storm so I grabbed my torch and stormed out of my room and up the hill. My roof has been giving me nightmares so I wanted to see if it leaked, looks like it’s all good and to say that makes me happy would be an understatement. Also, oddly enough after hours of tinkering and never giving up, my laptop is charging… Perhaps it’s the exactly location of the pins who knows but I have NO PLANS on moving my laptop anytime soon and figure I can order a new part from Managua and throw it on a flight for an acceptable courier fee; indeed.

People often ask me if building a house in a foreign country is tough and I say this, building a house at home is tough. How many people build their own home? Not many and for good reason. Building in a foreign country is considerably more complicated and doing so on a small remote tropical island is even crazier. That said, I’m appreciating all the humor of those who did this before me and can understand everything they say. It starts so easy but it’s near the end when things start getting crazy.

I’m not sure if I should sleep or go for a stroll since I can see the calming colours of sunrise in the horizon with one big coconut tree in the mix. That said, I’ve got days and weeks of videos to edit so I reckon staying here and using the remaining power is the way to play it. If you didn’t know, Little Corn Island only has power *most of the time* from 1pm – 6am other than that you’re on your own. I am pleased that Tranquilo Cafe now has straight up solar and wow, what a difference plugging in at 10am is.

I digress and this is simply a stream of consciousness from a gent who has been brought to wits end and back a few times in the last weeks. Nobody said doing this type of thing would be easy but everyone I’ve met who traveled said path before me unanimously agreed that it was worth it. I’m flying out in ~2 weeks for a big adventure before returning here to finish things up; then it’s off to Europe for the summer.

For all the good and bad, I’m grateful to be able to do this for many reasons. Building a house in these conditions isn’t just literally building a house, it’s building a stronger and more serious version of yourself and something you can bring with you wherever you go in this world while the house will always be here waiting. If you don’t strengthen your inner foundations and get in the game, it will never get done. Once you get the keys, you’ve made it; until then you’re in no man’s land without a compass and most certainly shelterless.

Tips hat,

P.S: Too long to proof-read, hope it’s not offending you grammatically.

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I’m Quitting Blogging – This is Goodbye http://stophavingaboringlife.com/im-quitting-blogging-this-is-goodbye/ http://stophavingaboringlife.com/im-quitting-blogging-this-is-goodbye/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 17:35:01 +0000 http://stophavingaboringlife.com/?p=22114 Hello everyone, Apologies for the slow blogging lately but it’s because I have something to tell you… Lately I’ve started building and it’s got me thinking about what’s important and what I need in my life. I’ve been doing so much traveling the last few years that all I really want to do is settle […]

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yoga_retreat_free_little_corn_island

Hello everyone,

Apologies for the slow blogging lately but it’s because I have something to tell you… Lately I’ve started building and it’s got me thinking about what’s important and what I need in my life. I’ve been doing so much traveling the last few years that all I really want to do is settle down and I think I’ve found the perfect place here on Little Corn Island.

Instead of blogging I’ve been laying on the beach, eating coconuts and learning to become a yoga instructor. I think yoga is the key to balance in my life and I even bought some soap that is infused with pachouli. I just love the smell of pachouli! I’ve also traded in my cargo shorts and aviators for a pair of pants that people often buy on Khao San Road and instead of doing this and that for work, I’ve started making handicrafts and hawking them on the streets of Little Corn.

I’ve started planting vegetables and growing a beard. I hope my vegetables grow as fast as my beard and soon plan to be fully self sufficient aka living off the land. I’ve quit eating meat and even lobster – rice and beans are all that this man needs. I’m planning on turning my properties into a free yoga retreat where people sleep in hammocks and when they leave can leave me a tip be it a dollar or more, it doesn’t really matter.

Lately I’ve been hanging out with a friend and thinking of all these far out inventions like a motor that would work on Mars and making lots of mango chutney; now I just need the jars. I think my hippie yoga retreat will really pick up and I hope to find enlightenment while helping others as well. I’ve realized the world is amazing but travel isn’t necessary when happiness starts at home and Google earth is pretty accurate, yes?

My plans for the future are non-existent and I want to spend the rest of my days listlessly combing the beaches looking for keys I don’t have. Who needs keys when you live in a hammock? Life is so easy the simpler you make it. I realized the more I tried to find what was important the more busy it got and the more complicated. If you keep things simple everything is a breeze and you can enjoy everything like the cool breeze which cools my core now as I type this.

I’m writing this from outside Tranquilo Cafe aka my favourite spot on the island. I’m pretending to be selling handicrafts but actually blogging and feel guilty about it so I’m going to end this now. If you come here look for a man who hasn’t shaved in years and come say hello but please do bring your wallet as I will most certainly try and sell you some bracelet or the like. This is it for me my friends, I traveled the world and now plan on traveling inside my mind to find the meaning of life.

I’m just kidding and Happy April Fools Day to all of you. I’m grinding like always and actually at Tranquilo Cafe right now taking care of business. I’ve been spending too much time on the job site and not enough online so I’m changing that now. What will be will be when it comes to building but blogging takes dedication and SHABL is going strong 5.5+ years into the game. In less than two weeks I’m setting out on my next big adventure; stay tuned.

Tips hat,

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Planting Roots in the Caribbean http://stophavingaboringlife.com/planting-roots-caribbean/ http://stophavingaboringlife.com/planting-roots-caribbean/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 03:42:46 +0000 http://stophavingaboringlife.com/?p=22104 Greetings, Wow, I’ve been slow at updating here, yes? Just to give you an idea I’m busy from 6:30am until roughly 4pm most days and I’m staying at a popular guesthouse where each night I run into interesting characters from around the world where I use all my discipline not to join the adventures. Right […]

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digging_house_foundations

Greetings,

Wow, I’ve been slow at updating here, yes? Just to give you an idea I’m busy from 6:30am until roughly 4pm most days and I’m staying at a popular guesthouse where each night I run into interesting characters from around the world where I use all my discipline not to join the adventures. Right now, there is a housewarming party going on and a friend is BBQing ribs; can you see my dilemma? Let’s talk about planting roots aka digging foundations in the Caribbean Sea.

digging_foundations

I say Caribbean as a friend of mine just informed me after seeing some photos that this is similar to how things get done in Jamaica, ya mon. Jamaica is one of the closest islands in the Caribbean to Little Corn Island after San Andres which belongs to Colombia; now you know.  The foundations for this house got dug really fast but looking back, it's an easy dig because the house is 25x25 and only one floor; as a result the trenches and holes for the pillars don't have to be so deep.

All these photos are from the first day of construction and maybe the second, not sure at this point as things have been going on since the beginning of February and now, we're the end of March. Obviously, we ran into some issues mainly due to material supplies and such which put a serious roadblock in our progress. That said, I've learned A LOT about building down here and notice other places popping up; foundations and such are done fast but the devil is in the details of actually making a house a home etc...

foundation-25x25

The good news is that I’m making a video blog for each day of the construction and you can see what’s occurring on my Youtube channel here. Soon I’ll start sharing them here on this blog but for now, here are some photos. I will say that I’m really happy with the team working on my place and just today, I poured the foundations on my second home. The man watching and making suggestions during the pour was decidedly different than the gent who watched one ~two months ago.

I figured it would be smart to start small so if I failed, I’d fail small and a learning experience regardless. That said, so far it has been great and besides material hold ups and a roof fiasco which resulted from me buying this Spanish Colonial zinc which is hard to find around here; all is well. The issue is I bought too little and a few other things which got rectified but it’s still full steam ahead. That said, I can’t think right now as I can smell the BBQ and hear the party; I must go investigate.

rebar_building

Stay tuned for more and building a house on my favourite island in the world has so far been one of the highlights of my entire adventure starting in 2009. I’m moving from a traveler to an international gent and I am beyond happy about it. Planting roots feels good, especially when you’ve seen a good chunk of the world and settled in one of your favourite spots. This doesn’t mean I’m slowing down, I think of it as say going back to school to better prepare for the future; the world will always wait and be ready when you are anyways.

Tips hat,

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Proud to Call Nicaragua My Home http://stophavingaboringlife.com/proud-call-nicaragua-home/ http://stophavingaboringlife.com/proud-call-nicaragua-home/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 02:39:13 +0000 http://stophavingaboringlife.com/?p=22083 Greetings from Managua, I spent the day shopping like a maniac in this massive capital city of Nicaragua called Managua. My house is moving along at silly speeds and by flying here and taking care of business like a boss, I saved myself $$$ compared to ordering all the fittings, roofing, toilets and everything else […]

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Greetings from Managua,

I spent the day shopping like a maniac in this massive capital city of Nicaragua called Managua. My house is moving along at silly speeds and by flying here and taking care of business like a boss, I saved myself $$$ compared to ordering all the fittings, roofing, toilets and everything else you can imagine on the islands.

I rolled into the construction district if you want to call it that with a good friend of mine from the Corn Islands who spends half his time in the Caribbean and the other half here in Managua. We hit up a few places then finally found one that had EVERYTHING. I bought so much and verified it all but still have doubts that a little this or that is missing; the order was massive and overwhelming. I feel like I’ve grown as a person though and had some of those moments of “you’ll remember this day forever” throughout.

Nicaragua is a country that is growing and it’s hungry for more prosperity; I’m also thrilled to call it home. I came here in 2011 with my friend Ryan when he found an affordable flight to Managua from Boston. We arrived at 2am, slept on the floor of the airport as we had no idea where to go and heard about Managua’s reputation. The next morning we were in Granada; a few weeks later I was on the beaches of Las Penitas where I met these beautiful and extremely gregarious Spanish girls…

A week later I was on Little Corn Island with them and instantly knew I had found what I was searching for all along. I also knew that I wanted to return to these islands for as long as my health permitted and that prices would not be staying the same. I went to South Africa for a week on a campaign and when I returned I started looking for land; I found a humble plot aka the one I’m building on now and was quite happy about it.

In 2013 I had plans on building my house but couldn’t decide. Permits on the island are always a dicey situation and I heard there were no two storey buildings allowed so back to the drawing board I went. A few weeks later I was walking up the hill to see a new piece of property that had just gone on the market. I’m a curious cat and a few days later, I had shook hands on a deal – I was buying it.

In 2014 I wanted to build but took me forever to realize what I wanted. If you think house hunting is hard, try designing one… You can do anything you want BUT with unlimited choice comes indecision for gents like myself and near the end of the year I was sitting with permits to build but along came rainy season and my momentum was stalled.

Now we’re 2015 and I’m as much in love with the country and the islands as I ever have been. I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel on this project and excited for more. I can’t believe the place I visited a few years ago is now my home; I’m also incredibly proud to call it home. Everywhere in the world has transformative years and right now, Nicaragua is transforming for the better and I’m thrilled about it.

Soon, I’ll be sharing images from the build and whatnot, I’ve just been swamped and mentally / physically exhausted most of the time. I’m also on island time which is sorta whatever to most things happening in the rest of the world. That said, this blog is a passion of mine and people without passion are boring; I’d rather not become boring for numerous reasons, yes?

Never did I think that when I left Canada for good in late 2009 with no intention on ever returning I’d end up on a small Caribbean island… This world is filled with opportunity for those that seek to find what’s waiting for them. If you too wonder what’s out there then I implore you to go out and stake your claim, the world is waiting but remember… Our time will run out way before the world stops turning so make haste, be decisive and follow your heart; it’s always right.

Photo is part of today’s order; we dumped it off at a market where the truck that leaves Managua to Rama was. My cargo is now driving to the Caribbean coast where it will be loaded on a freight boat. I’m flying back to the islands on Friday so I can be there to receive it on Saturday; crazy times, challening times, exciting times.

Tips hat,

P.S: I naturally vlogged the whole thing, stay tuned.

P.P.S: Pardon image quality, this is from my sent box to my parents; too tired to process photos from my phone, I’m going to sleep seconds after my finger lifts from the publish button…

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Flying This Spring Break? Follow These Security Screening Tips! http://stophavingaboringlife.com/flying-spring-break-follow-security-screening-tips/ http://stophavingaboringlife.com/flying-spring-break-follow-security-screening-tips/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 15:47:18 +0000 http://stophavingaboringlife.com/?p=22099 It’s that time of year again when Spring Break hits and the airports swell with activity. During this period there will be increased lines at most security checkpoints due to a high volume of people flying and this post should give you some pointers to breeze through without any problems. This post is provided by my […]

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It’s that time of year again when Spring Break hits and the airports swell with activity. During this period there will be increased lines at most security checkpoints due to a high volume of people flying and this post should give you some pointers to breeze through without any problems. This post is provided by my friends at the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority aka CATSA; you can visit their website to learn more at catsa.gc.ca.

If you’re like the thousands of Canadians who will take to the air for a vacation this spring break, the Canadian Air Transport Security (CATSA) has advice that will help you go through security in no time.

Family friendly tips

baby_on_board

 

Good news! When you’re travelling with children under the age of two, you can bring liquids such as milk, breast milk and juice that exceed the 100ml restrictions in carry-on baggage. Just have the containers ready to present to screening officers for a quick inspection. For older kids, solid foods such as apples, granola bars and sandwiches can go in your carry-on without restrictions.

Before you leave for the airport, make sure everyone is wearing easy-to-remove outerwear and avoid clothes with metal clasps or snaps that may trigger the metal detector.

screen

At the airport, get boarding passes ready and check for a Family/Special Needs lane. They offer extra space to accommodate larger items like strollers and car seats.

Pack your sunscreen properly

squeeze

Whether you’re heading for the Caribbean or staying in Canada, sunscreen is a popular must-bring item. Just don’t get burned at security with an over-sized bottle in your carry-on bag Small bottles under 100ml are fine, but bigger bottles need to be packed in your checked baggage.

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Check your large sports gear

escape

Planning to race down a mountain, brave the waves or challenge the pins? You can bring large sports equipment like surfboards, snowboards, skis and golf clubs with you on your trip. Just make sure you check these items in with your airline. If you have questions about checked baggage restrictions or extra charges, contact your airline before you travel.

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Know the rules for duty-free

fiesta

Parting with duty-free purchases is no fun. All duty-free liquids, aerosols and gels (e.g., alcohol, perfume) in your carry-on bags are subject to screening and must be properly sealed in an official security bag, accompanied by a receipt. These bags should be provided by duty-free retailers. If you have a connecting flight in Canada on your return trip, make sure your bag is the real deal. Even better – place your duty-free items in your checked baggage.

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For more tips to help you breeze through security this spring break, visit CATSA at catsa.gc.ca, on Twitter (@catsa_gc) or Pinterest (CATSAGC).

Tips hat,

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Building a House in the Caribbean http://stophavingaboringlife.com/building-house-caribbean/ http://stophavingaboringlife.com/building-house-caribbean/#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2015 22:33:07 +0000 http://stophavingaboringlife.com/?p=22078 Greetings, This post should really be called building my home in the Caribbean as this isn’t just some house but my home… It’s been over five years since I’ve had a place to call home and I’m thrilled to be building one and planting roots. When that first 6″ block of concrete was firmly placed […]

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Greetings,

This post should really be called building my home in the Caribbean as this isn’t just some house but my home… It’s been over five years since I’ve had a place to call home and I’m thrilled to be building one and planting roots. When that first 6″ block of concrete was firmly placed on the soil, a feeling of growing roots took over me and it was undescribable really… I’m building a house on Little Corn Island off the coast of Nicaragua in the Caribbean Sea.

The plot isn’t big by any means when it comes to acreage but when it comes to a place to live, it’s a yard I’ll still have to get pumped up to go clean and larger than most lots I’ve seen in your average city. Building a house / home on Little Corn Island isn’t just some walk in the park either, as some local gent told me “it’s rugged”. All the materials come in by freight boat and are dumped on the dock.

You need to organize your own transportation for materials to the job site and remember, there are no motorized vehicles on the island. The freight boat often comes later in the day and when you’re living on the hill with a big order of building materials, don’t be surprised if you’re sitting around until long after dark waiting for everything to come. I see some people just letting things happen but if you want to make sure all your supplies arrive, you best be sitting there to count them as they come.

It’s a big deal keeping track of materials because there are no hardware stores. If you run out of sand or anything else, you’re waiting until next Saturday to receive them and nothing happens until the Monday when the workers come back. This is very different than anything I’ve ever done and I feel as though I’m not only planting roots in my favourite of all places but I’m also getting my PHD in International Living.

You see my friends, traveling the the world is one thing and a cool thing as well. That said, living around the world is a totally different league altogether and it’s part of my bigger dream. I also feel like I’m back in University sometimes and I’m in exams. Everyone else here for the most part is on vacation or whatnot so I’m doing as good a job as possible to lay low most of the time. I’m not used to going to work at 7am anymore…

Things are going well and soon I’ll be updating this with more photos. For now, I just wanted to write this so you know I’m not dead and why I’ve been a bit absent. When I got back from NYC, about a day later I caught the plague! Not really the plague but it felt like it and I”m a busy man but it floored me for a solid week. I was going to give it a few more days to get back to at least 85% when I found out I NEEDED to be back on the island.

I rolled the dice and signed up for standby on La Costena… Sure enough I got on the flight and a few days later when I would have been arriving, I couldn’t believe how much work had already been done. The old saying a difference a day makes really makes more sense now if that makes sense?! Alright, I’d continue but I’m meeting a friend for some sunset beers; we’ve met in Canada before and now he’s here a few days. WHO WOULD I BE not to show this distinguished gent some Caribbean hospitality?

This weekend I’m flying to Managua to do a massive shop; should be interesting. So it’s been a bit slow around here but my Youtube Channel is still moving so if you haven’t visited it yet, I invite you now. It’s already up to nearly 200,000 minutes of SHABL being watched on a monthly basis and growing. I’ll also be showing the entire build as I’m still vlogging daily, just trying to find the time to actually edit / do everything else in my life / have a life… On the topic of life, my dream definitely came true and I truly did stop having a boring life.

Tips hat,

P.S: This photo is from the first day when I met the crew and they measured out the plot…

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Fantastic First Day in Manhattan http://stophavingaboringlife.com/fantastic-first-day-in-manhattan/ http://stophavingaboringlife.com/fantastic-first-day-in-manhattan/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 22:40:36 +0000 http://stophavingaboringlife.com/?p=22050 Greetings, Apologies for not writing this in real-time but I was having a really good time and as a result, had to prioritize. Do you see what I did there?! Anyways, Manhattan is a special place but you don’t need me to tell you that, you already know that. It’s almost overwhelming really as there […]

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Greetings,

Apologies for not writing this in real-time but I was having a really good time and as a result, had to prioritize. Do you see what I did there?! Anyways, Manhattan is a special place but you don’t need me to tell you that, you already know that. It’s almost overwhelming really as there is so much to do and if you ask 100 people you’ll get a few hundred answers as most people are more than happy to give you some suggestions…

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I decided to follow the advice of a distinguished gent who is from the area and head straight to Frick House. Around the world, I love visiting the estates of titans from yesteryear. Also, I was in New York for business so sightseeing wasn’t really the focal point whatsoever. Finally, it was winter and who knew what kind of weather I’d get? As it happens the weather was fantastic and perhaps ~8 degrees and sunny which for late January is out of this world, one believes.

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I was staying at the Lexington Hotel which is at the corner of Lexington and East 48th street so I headed to Park Avenue and strolled my way up to East 70th Street where I’d find Frick House. What is this Frick House you may be wondering? It’s the house of late Henry Clay Frick which has been transformed into a museum. This gent bought a block of real estate on 5th avenue between East 70th and 71st street near the turn of the last century for a cool ~$2.5 million and turned it into a mansion.

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Upon his death it became quite obvious that his plan was to turn it into a museum and while he was still alive he stacked it with countless incredible works of art. The place is awe-inspiring on countless levels and I’m going to stop talking about it because you aren’t allowed to take photos inside the building really except in the courtyard. It’s a shame but I also understand where they are coming from. If you like art and walking through the halls that housed business titans of the past, you’ll love it!

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This spot also happens to conveniently be in front of Central Park on the Upper East Side which is one of the more sought after areas in New York City. From there I strolled through Central Park and I had a really weird feeling of excitement. I’m always excited to travel but I often go to places whose name I can’t pronounce until I’ve left and I know very little about. This time I was in New York and all I really couldn’t believe it; even seeing the NYPD in uniform made me smile; odd I know.

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After spending sometime in Central Park I made my way south towards B&H which is without a doubt the most incredible electronics store I’ve ever visited or dreamed of. To say they had everything would be an understatement and I totally geeked out while buying all sorts of new toys I had been looking at for quite some time. To get there I took the subway to see what that was all about. I’ve taken a few underground in my time but Manhattan had what appeared to be numerous lanes as though it was a highway under the city; unreal.

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Following that I made my way home stopping in for some sushi and even meeting my first big city crazy. This gent that just wouldn’t stop talking about this, that, his girlfriend, the time he met a celebrity, Jason Kidd being his cousin and insisting on showing me photos of the basketball team he was coaching. He seemed harmless enough but when he told me he was showing me the photos of his basketball team I almost turned around and said “No, you won’t be because I could care less and I’m trying to enjoy this sushi” but I decided against it; fun looking team.

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From there I made my way home before linking up with a friend for a drink later in the evening. I hadn’t seen this friend in ~15 years or so. Where does time go? Make sure you’re using your time wisely and enjoying your life because everything seems to be moving as fast as a New York minute(sorry, couldn’t help myself) and at this rate; a few more blinks and the odd squint of the eyes later and we’ll all be in our final season. Anyways, enough of that… This was my first day in Manhattan and was left hungry for more.

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On the topic of hunger, let’s talk about food quickly. Seems like every corner has countless places to eat at. I’m sure if you really wanted to, you could go a few years never eating at the same place in Manhattan even if you eat out for every meal of the day. Also, everything is so convenient that you can tell it’s a city built for people on the go and find yourself consuming like there is no tomorrow but maybe that was just me? Definitely not just me, NYC seemed like a place where you could earn countless coins but would have a heck of a time managing to move even a few to safe keeping for later…

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I took my first bite out of the big apple and I loved it.

Tips hat,

P.S: Life moves fast, make it count.

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