Have Fun Traveling Locally

One of the most exciting things you can do with your time is travel. Unfortunately, traveling can become fairly expensive, and not everyone has the time to take prolonged vacations. That’s why traveling locally is a popular and fun pastime. There are certain things you need to consider when planning for local travel so that you can have an enjoyable trip.

When it comes to travel, you can help maximize the fun you have on your trip by thinking of previous vacations. What made your favourite vacation memories so cherished? Did you go with a close group of friends you hadn’t seen in a while? Was it a fun trip with close family members? Some say that it’s the people around you who make a trip special. Or maybe your favourite trip was a solo adventure where you explored somewhere new and enjoyed your independence. Having an idea of what you enjoy in a vacation will make planning your trip much easier.

Once you’ve figured out who you’re traveling with, or if you’re traveling alone, you can better pick a location that fits the vibe you want to create. The best part of traveling locally is the flexibility. It’s easier to grab a few friends and take a trip when you’re traveling nearby. Or if you like traveling alone, you can be spontaneous and go wherever, whenever you want. The best part of traveling locally is that you can fit in more trips because of the convenience. Alternating solo trips with group trips are an excellent way to keep things fresh when taking a vacation. Take this into account when planning your next trip and have a blast!


Three useful apps that will help you learn a foreign language for free!



Most of us would love to learn a new language. It opens the possibility of meeting a lot of new people learning a new culture. Perhaps we would like to get in touch with our roots, or better understand a friend or loved one. Regardless of the reason, learning a new language can be a daunting task.

Back in the day, options were limited to language classes and self-study books. The chance of finding a native speaker with whom to practice was usually low, and more so if your desired language had a small number of speakers. But in this information age options abound, and we are only limited by our own determination.
The following apps can be used in iOS or Android, and while they may offer premium services for a fee, their most useful features can be accessed free of charge.



One of the first hurdles when starting out in a new language is the lack of vocabulary. You have so much to say, but you just don’t know any words!

Duolingo contains a broad set of exercises designed to help you learn new words based on different categories, such as clothing, people, traveling, etc. Some of these ask you to associate spoken words to their corresponding written form, while others may ask you to translate a sentence. All the exercises come in bite-sized collections, a crucial characteristic when you can only dedicate five or ten minutes at a time to studying.

To keep you motivated, Duolingo sports an XP system, which you can use to compete in leaderboards against other users. There is an XP goal for each day, usually achieved by completing two sets of exercises, and every day you reach it your current streak grows. If you fail your goal in a day, you lose your streak. It may not sound like much, but you can be surprised at how these incentives keep you coming back.



Practicing by yourself is fine, but to truly learn a foreign language, it’s almost necessary to interact with native speakers. Whether it’s by text messages or by phone call, being exposed directly to your target language in a casual setting will take you to the next level.
Tandem is a simple but powerful tool that allows you to locate people who are fluent in the language you’re learning, while at the same time being students of the language that you speak. This language exchange is enabled by a messaging system, complete with translation and transliteration tools, and voice and video chat options.

If you do have extra cash to spare, Tandem also features professional tutors, who will help you in your language of choice for a set hourly fee. These fees range from $10 to $20+ USD.



HelloTalk shares many features with Tandem but adds one important piece of functionality. Not only can you engage other users directly, but you can also post ‘Moments,’ similar to Facebook’s status feed. Here you can try your skills in your target language by sharing your thoughts with the community, complete with text, audio recordings, and pictures. Other members may then comment on your post and even correct your mistakes with a handy correction tool.

This option is quite handy for people who are too shy to engage in one-on-one communication, or when time zone differences make real-time contact difficult.

As with any language exchange program, you must be careful in your interactions with other people. As with any other place on the internet, divulging personal information is risky. While most users are there to learn a new language, some are lonely people who will demand constant attention. These people are a reality of the medium, and they shouldn’t deter you from using these apps. The block button is your friend in this case, and you shouldn’t feel bad for using it.


There you have it, three wonderful apps that’ll get you talking in a new language sooner than you think. Along the way, you’ll make some new friends, learn about other cultures and hopefully have a ton of fun!

Fitflop CA

San Diego Zoo


Being lovers of all animals, we like to see the local zoos wherever we travel. Our furry and feathery friends never disappoint and we like to see if they look happy and are well taken care of. We included the San Diego Zoo on our travels last summer and I must say, in my opinion it’s the best zoo I’ve seen in North America! The animals had lots of land and it was so beautifully reconstructed to look like their natural habitat. There was lots of walking, a fun Skyfari (air tram), a nice glass of local beer and lots of popcorn refills. For a family trip or for any animal enthusiast, this is the perfect zoo. by Adelka Molcan

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San Francisco Makes its Mark on the Farm-to-Table Culinary Scene


For those in the restaurant world, the effort to deliver an authentic farm-to-table menu is not taken lightly. Restaurants take pride in knowing exactly where their ingredients originate and that the source of their food is raised without the aid of hormones or pesticides. More stringent followers take this notion even further and factor in environmental issues such as overfishing or the ethics of supporting fair trade companies. The end result of this trend is the start of some superb dining establishments. As one of the country’s top dining destinations, San Francisco was at the forefront of this movement and has since become home to some of the best farm-to-table restaurants in the country. Here is a sampling of some of these establishments.


Farm: Table   754 Post St, San FranciscFarmTable-SanFrancisco

Located in the trendy Nob Hill neighborhood, Farm: Table states its directive from the get-go. With rustic charm and a communal spirit, Farm: Table prides itself on serving local and sustainable food all while relying on homemade ingredients whenever possible. This pet-friendly hotspot delivers delicious breakfast and lunch daily with menu items such as homespun house cereal and an off the charts tuna melt.


Nopa Restaurant, San Fransico.jpg

Nopa   560 Divisadero St, San Francisco

Self-described as a “San Francisco gathering place,” Nopa has made its mark by delivering organic wood-fired offerings all made with seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients. Found in Alamo Square, Nopa values its relationships with its farmers and even incorporates them into regular staff menu training lunches.



Spruce    3640 Sacramento St, San Francisco

Nestled in the Presidio Heights neighbourhood, Spruce embraces its ability to provide its diners with the freshest produce and other local ingredients found in northern California. With exclusive access to a private five-acre farm in the area, Spruce incorporates the bounty of fresh vegetables and herbs into its daily menu.


Saison    178 Townsend St, San Franciscosaison-sanfrancisco.jpg

With its origins formed from the wild pop-up world, Saison has thrived to become a stronghold in the San Francisco dining scene. This China Basin neighbourhood eatery offers an innovative contemporary American menu by integrating an array of local ingredients and as a result, can bask in the glow of some of the most widely acclaimed reviews in all of San Francisco.


Whether a tried and true locavore or just someone that can appreciate an incredible dining experience, many will find that San Francisco may just be the heart of the farm-to-table movement today. With access to the freshest local ingredients and a flair for innovative cuisine, San Francisco is and will continue to be, a top destination for diners seeking the best farm-to-table eateries.


attractions of the world pictured on top of a cartoon globe as planes and air balloons fly above along with birds

5 Safety Tips For International Travel

International travel is exciting, particularly to those who experience it for the first time. Inexperienced tourists on vacation will be immersed in exotic cultures, walking tours, and museums. However, world travel should be taken seriously to avoid problems such as theft, personal injury, and detainment. To assist tourists in making safety a priority, listed below are 5 practices that will ensure a stress-free vacation.

Guard Your Valuables

When traveling to a foreign country, your passport is your most important item. Credit cards, cash, and electronics should be locked in a hotel’s safe. Be sure to make at least two copies of your documents in case of loss or theft.

Follow The Law

Some countries can have laws and practices that are entirely different than the laws of your home country. Laws can sometimes be unclear and difficult to understand. As a rule of thumb, vacationers should adhere to the same rules of their home country, when in doubt. It is imperative to research the host nation’s policies and customs before arriving.

Be Careful When Walking or Driving

Getting hit by a car is one of the most frequent injuries to pedestrian tourists. Driving practices can vary greatly, along with driver’s regard for pedestrians. Always avoid jaywalking. Due to the amount pedestrians hit by vehicles, be sure to take appropriate measures to ensure your safety when crossing streets. Additionally, avoid using your phone when walking or driving.

Understand Your Itinerary

Give yourself lots of time to read over and understand all your travel components such as booking with connecting flights too close together, which can cause unwanted delays and unneeded stress.

Pack light

One overlooked travel nuisance is arriving at your destination and then realizing you brought too much luggage. Heavy luggage can impact movement during an emergency and is more expensive to take on airplanes. It also can keep travelers from buying the souvenirs they want.