Tag Archives: road

Travel Plans, But Empty Pockets? Explore The World on a Budget!

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As the saying goes, nobody has ever said on their deathbed ‘I wish I’d spent more time at the office.’ According to research, one of the things people do regret not doing more of is travelling- and so if every year you vow to travel more but never do now is the time to make a change. You don’t need loads of money to see new places, so if you have the opportunity to take some time out and broaden your horizons with travel you should definitely go for it. Here are some of the ways you can go about it if you don’t have a whole lot of money in the bank.

Earn As a Freelancer

When you work as a freelancer, you can take your job with you when you travel. All you need is a laptop and you can continue earning money while you’re away. It could be blogging, Youtube, freelance writing- once you have regular work coming in you know that you have a way of earning additional money while you’re away. You can get free wifi in lots of places, from hotels to coffee shops and restaurants unless you’re going somewhere very remote. If you have plans to travel in future and are a huge fan of all things travel, starting a Youtube channel or blog in the year or so before is a smart move- then when you go away yourself you could track your trip.

Work in Another Country

Moving to another country for work is another option. Not only could you improve your career prospects in some cases, but you also get the opportunity to live in a new place. It’s different from being a tourist since a lot of your time will be dedicated to working, however you really get to know a place when you live there. You will learn about their customs and cultures, their food, meet lots of new people in a different way than perhaps you would as a tourist. You could search for jobs in Singapore to jobs in Australia, America- wherever has interested you as a country why not go for it. You could move out for six months, a year, five year, permanently- whatever suits you. But you’ll get to explore and understand a new part of the world and support yourself while you’re there. Voluntary work is another option, you won’t get paid but you get to spend time in another country and help out, in return for accommodation and food.

Go on a Road Trip

Road trips are something that most of us have on our travel bucket list. And with incredible routes in different places in the world, it gives you the chance to see lots of different places while stopping at whatever landmarks and attractions interest you. If you hire an RV or campervan you have the benefit of accommodation and transport in one, it’s easy to eat cheaply too as you will either have a fridge in your vehicle or you could buy a cool box. Fill up with food and snacks from the grocery store and you save on expensive restaurants. Many campsites offer hookups for RVs including electricity and water and don’t cost much, but you can park up and sleep anywhere providing you’re in a safe and legal space. You could always have the odd night at a motel if you’re going to be travelling for a while- it won’t cost much and you can have a shower and sleep in a proper bed. RV and campervan hire is relatively cheap, check out companies in the destination you will be visiting and be sure to shop around. Once that’s paid, you only really have your fuel and food to pay for, and any attractions that you plan on seeing.

Go Backpacking

Backpacking is an incredible experience. While humble you see your destination in a different way, it’s not about the five star restaurants or fancy hotels. Instead you’re in the midst of the action, chatting to locals, meandering through markets tasting the street food, finding interesting places that are off the beaten path. It’s a cheap way to travel as most of the time you’re on foot or on public transport, fill your pack with the essentials and some staple food items and you’re good to go. Keep an eye on flights to see if you can snag some cheap ones, and if you sign up to a chain of hostels you can stay in any of them in the world meaning it’s easy to find a place to lay your head.

Explore The Country You Live In

When most of us think about seeing new places, we think of exotic destinations far from home. However there’s a place right under your feet, and chances are you’ve not explored the half of it. It’s much cheaper to visit the country you live in because there are no flights needed. Think of all of the different cities, countryside, beaches, lakes, rivers, tourist attractions there are to see where you live. Put it on your bucket list to visit them all, whether it’s with family, friends, a partner or just by yourself. Don’t rule it out just because you haven’t travelled thousands of miles to see it. Other tourists have, so take advantage of what you have where you live!

Seeing new places and travelling really broadens your horizons. You can meet new people and will probably develop a new outlook on life. Plus it’s fun too, and sometimes doing things just for the fun of it is exactly what the doctor ordered. If you work hard all year, a few weeks or a month of to indulge in culture, history and spectacular sights will give you a new lease of life for when you return.

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Will you be travelling this year? If someone was on the fence about seeing a new place in the world this year, what would you say to them?

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Want to Drive Sooner Rather than Later? Here Are the Keys to Success!

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When you’ve decided that you want to drive, the wait between the decision and actually getting your license can be torturous. Most learners just want to get on the road and start exercising their newfound vehicular freedom. Well, the key to doing that is to become a driving pro in as short a time as possible. Here are some essential suggestions for you.

Start the preparations now

If you’re reading this article, you might be on the verge of taking your driving test. But it’s also possible that you haven’t even applied for a provisional license yet! It’s important that you do this as soon as possible. One reason you may not have done this is that you haven’t reached the legal driving age yet. Depending on where you are or what you plan to drive, this is generally between 16 and 18. But you can usually apply for provisional licenses three months before you turn of legal driving age! You should also get together any other documents you’ll need.

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Thinking theoretically

A lot of people get stuck on the theory side of driving. One of the great things about theory is precisely that – it’s just theory! This means you can start getting practice in whenever you want. Some forward-thinking parents even have their kids study in a couple of years before they can legally drive. Get familiar with the various highway rules, as well as how the average driver behaves on the road. Start getting it in your head now!

Formal crash courses

One of the most popular ways of getting through this process quickly is by doing a crash course. I know that “crash” sounds bad in the context of driving, but it’s not about crashing. A crash course in driving offers you the required practice and learning hours within a week or two. It’s intense and fast, and requires a lot of spare time. It also tends to be quite expensive. Most people won’t have the time or the means to do it in this fashion. But the option is there!

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Longer lessons

Instead of going into full-on, intense crash courses, you could simply take longer lessons. Most learners will only take hour-long lessons at a time, maybe once a week or every two weeks. But as long as your driving instructor is able to do so, you can get lessons lasting two or three hours. This ensures that your required learning hours build up much faster. Of course, you need to be confident that you can absorb all the required information when you’re doing it this way!

Practice tests

You know what accounts for a surprisingly large amount of time during this process? Waiting to take your test once you’ve booked it. The people who oversee these tests are very busy. You may have to wait for just a few days, or you may have to wait several weeks. That, of course, is if you can even find a time that accommodates both of you in that period of time! Imagine how much time is lost when you have to take your test again. Your test is going to be very different from your lessons, and this surprises most learners. One of the best ways to tackle this is to take a practice test beforehand. Check this site out to find out more about practice tests.

Build up those practice hours

Lessons cost a lot of money. But aside from car running costs, practice hours are virtually free! It’s important that you get as many practice hours in as you can. These are the hours that you spend with a licensed driver overseeing some informal driving. You need to accumulate a large number of practice hours before you can take your test. But the key to quick success could be to take on even more practice hours than is required. You need to perfect those maneuvers and really get your head around the roads and codes. This will give you a big advantage when it comes to taking your test and passing it first time.

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Know your routes

Do you know where your test is going to take place? If so, then it’s vital you check this area out before the day. Spend some of your practice hours there. One of the most common reasons for failure during a test is that the learner is unfamiliar with the territory. Even seasoned drivers are a little more cautious in new areas. You should make sure you know the roads as well as possible. Consider using your practice hours to cover the five or so mile radius that comprises that territory.

Bikers in Traffic

I love bikes; I think they are gorgeous and I admire each and every one of the bikers who pluck up the courage to drive in Malta and Gozo.

In case you have never visited Malta, or never driven in Malta… Maltese roads are hell to drive in… Not even the devil himself dares to set his foot here and drive in this pit of danger and death. Angry, irrational drivers, chaos of traffic and to top it all shitty bumpy roads throughout the islands. (Sometimes I wonder why we pay the driving license to be honest!!)

Considering all the above, would it make more sense, to have some kind of rule/law enforced with regards to which side of the motor-lane a bike should drive in? Should bikes overtake or undertake? I’m thinking that this would help everyone on the road, as all car-drivers can pay some special added attention to that side of the road via the mirrors, and hopefully the bikers will also feel slightly safer on our roads… Especially during the peak hours of traffic, namely 7 to 9 am and 5 to 6 pm, when everyone wants to get to work/home and all the main roads are packed and crammed with cars. Zigzagging around cars is not the way to go in these circumstances.

Power-Loss

Date of entry 06/08/2015 circa 18:00hrs

The joy of being an aspiring writer or a blogger, is to enjoy scribbling no matter what the situation is.
So here I am writing… during a nation wide power cut, trying to make the most of it.

While I was driving, from my place of work in Ta’ Xbiex all the way to Siggiewi, I was thinking to myself…. I will explain better; I drove through Ta’ Xbiex, Msida, Pieta, Blata l-Bajda, Hamrun…. through which, none of the traffic lights were working. All the cars were driving aimlessly towards one another like it is no one’s business to make it across to the other side of the road. I saw cars becoming a version of a roundabout, and people crossing the busy roads between 17:00 and 18:00 frantically, as if life or death did not matter to them at all.

With this in mind, here are my proposals:

  1. Arterial Traffic Lights should be connected to not just one electricity grid; Meaning, if one electricity source fails, they would not collapse, but use a second source, be it from Delimara Power Station, the Malta-Italy Interconnector and so on.
  2. Invest in Solar Powered Traffic Lights – We boast that we have 300 days of sunshine a year in Malta… why are we not taking advantage of this? I have read that we have a fair amount of solar powered road lights, so why not traffic lights? I am sure that this will help keep these little islands of ours in order during power cuts and more!

solar traffic light

Baker Street Lovin’

When I was a teenager, I was fascinated by London.
I was even more overwhelmed when I discovered that in London, there was an alternative town by the name of Camden. Every time I visited England, I had to spend a day there shopping until I run out of money. When I moved to England in 2011, London become the least attractive place for me to visit. Sure there were a lot of shops and activities going on, but it was too busy and hectic for my liking. I would go down to London for a major gig or to meet friends who were visiting; but would not bother with it at all otherwise.

But this year, everything has changed.
I had to go back to London for one specific reason: AC/DC.
Any heavy metal fan would know that AC/DC are touring again, and considering their age, it would most likely be the last time (I hope I am wrong!). But this was the sole reason why I step foot in London again, after 3 odd years.

While I was there, I had to fulfill one huge dream which unbelievably I did not do even though I visited the city countless times.

Baker Street

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I would like to think, that if you are reading this, you know where I’m going with this.

Well, geeky Steffi… geeky TV Series.
Hello Sherlock Holmes:

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Did you know that 221b, Baker Street is the world’s most Googled address?

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Waiting for Sherlock outside the door
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Sherlock’s store

Of Dogs and Traffic

This morning, like all other mornings during winter, spring and autumn… When kids go to school… I was stuck in traffic. Today I spent 45 minutes in traffic… Yesterday it was an hour and 15 minutes… I guess, not starting work at 7 am is taking its toll on me… Getting to work in 20 minutes made so much more sense…

But at least, this morning, I had a cute sight right in front of me… for almost half the time I spent in traffic:

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That did make me smile. I hope it did to you, too!

Car Wheels Displeasure

You might already have guessed it, but today’s post is going to be one of those rants….

On Saturday early afternoon, I found one of the rear car wheels punctured… I’ve always wanted to learn how to change the car wheel, but the screws are always so jammed and rusty, that I could never for the life of me unscrew them. Usually my father has a bit of a hard time, but one way or another he manages. Not this time round. Not even my brother who trains attyre the gym on a daily basis could. What the hell is going on? We oiled them.. and nada. We called a garage which fix punctures and it closed at 2pm. Unlucky, I thought. Turns out it was a slow  puncture so at least my weekend was not entirely ruined.

The Saturday night I met a friend in Msida and we walked to KickStart, which is a rock bar in Santa Venera area. We had a great time, but while walking home a bit after midnight, rain started pouring. First slowly and pleasant, then heavily and unbearable. Thankfully it was not windy so we waited it out for roughly 30mins under one of the house balconies. I drove my friend home and was driving in Msida valley. I had no idea that after 30mins of rain the valley is already dangerous for average sized cars. I had to reverse all the way back to take another route. Made it home, end of story.

Sunday I had a guest over so I did not bother with the car.

Early Monday morning, first working day of the month; the busiest day at work… And I find another flat tyre. If I was not busy, I would have started laughing. Who would believe you, two flats in two days? Both of the screws were jammed right in. In order not to waste more of my precious time, I enjoyed an hour and a half trip by bus to work, and another back.

Tomorrow morning I have to find a way to take my car down to a tyre garage. Wish me luck!

PS. Thank you Transport Malta for your excellent service and ensuring the roads are safe for driving with minimal damage possible!

//end rant