Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

VPN-TunnelBearAlthough I knew what a virtual private network (VPN) was, I wasn’t aware how simple it has become to set one up. And as with many tools you only realize what you can do with them when you use them the first time. Such was the case just recently with VPN.

I was sad that I couldn’t watch short web clips about European Soccer Games here in the U.S. although they are free to watch in EU countries. IPs outside of Europe are simply restricted from accessing these videos. So I tested the Tunnel Bear app just to watch some soccer and loved it because it was so simple to use.

A traveling friend suggested Tunnel Bear because she used it while traveling abroad. With Tunnel Bear she can access sites in the US that are restricted in some of the Asian countries she visited. YouTube is one example. Her employer’s server can also only be accessed with an US IP address.

I am not an expert on VPN software. When I recommend Tunnel Bear then not because I compared it to all other VPN services, but because it couldn’t be easier to use. I love how it looks and I like the attitude. I’ve used it over a week now and the app works great. Here is a good review about Tunnel Bear along with many other tested VPN services. My main point of this post is that using a VPN makes a lot of sense even when you are not traveling. (more…)

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The Best and Most Popular of Travel Blogs

Most-Popular-of-TravelTraveling is a dangerous activity. Not because you leave the safety of your own couch, but because everything you may think you know about the world and other cultures is at risk of being shattered into pieces through the experiences you make and the people you meet.

Although I can’t claim to have traveled even nearly as much as any of the authors of the posts below, living a life as an expat (although I don’t like the word too much) has taught me a lot about myself and how much “truths” are relative.

Traveling is not only great to fuel up your creativity, everyone who travels a lot keeps running into sometimes expected, but mostly quite unexpected problems that need to be solved on the spot with limited resources.  With reaching point X being the first of a series of obstacles, it can easily be said that travelers are problem solvers from the start.

I rarely had so much fun and difficulty at the same time writing a post. Every blog lives off the personality and the personal experiences of its owner. For travel blogs, these couldn’t be more different. Over months I collected a list of over 300 travel blogs, every one of them full of good advice, great stories and a lot of personality, so that it broke my heart not to include them all.

To be as fair as possible, in addition to my favorites I randomly chose another 75 blogs (of these over 300) and selected what I thought fits best in this list. When possible I stuck with the most popular posts, which are usually most popular for good reason, but on occasion I took another post. Obviously, not all of theses 75 made it into this list  just like the ones that weren’t randomly picked. You can have the full list here. (more…)

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