Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Friday, February 17, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
By Margaret Ulrich, Teacher
Today we’re talking about Pooh—and not the Christopher Robin kind from the Hundred Acre Wood.
If you’ve traveled, you understand. Some people call it food poisoning, traveler’s sickness, Montezuma’s revenge, the runs, or some other variation of a lovely name for the not-so-lovelies.
Whatever you call it, it’s going to happen.
After two months of living in Phnom Penh, I had my first sick day last Tuesday. I survived, obviously, but I realized it would’ve been helpful to be a bit more informed and prepared.
I’ve come up with a list of things I found helpful/wish I had known, so that when it’s your turn to make love to the bathroom for 36 hours you’ll be ready.
1. Always know your surroundings.
Whether you’re in a place for a week or a year, you should know where some basic things are: a reliable ATM, a place to get food, and a pharmacy. The first two are pretty obvious as to why, but knowing the location of a pharmacy helps you get to one faster if it’s an emergency and allows you to give directions if you’re unable to go there yourself.
2. Have the 3 F’s: Friends, Fluids, and Fedicine—I mean medicine, but it doesn’t start with an f so we’ll just pretend.
If you’re traveling with one or more people, make sure you have a way of contacting someone in an emergency so they can bring you supplies *if you haven’t read this blog yet* or take you to the hospital if necessary. Keep their number in your diary iPhone or address keeper-tracker book.
If you’re traveling alone, make friends. Talk to the person at the front desk if you’re staying in a hostel and make sure you have the number in case you need to call from your room. People are always willing to help if you’re sick, so don’t be afraid to ask.
In addition to having purified water at all times—I can’t stress that enough—make sure you have a back-up supply of a Gatorade-type drink. This is the only time I will agree with the movieIdiocracy and say it’s good for you because it has electrolytes.
They sell them at every convenience store and they’re usually only a few dollars. Keep one on hand because if you have to buy one when you actually need it, it always seems like a little gremlin has gone around and hidden them all from you.
I had never heard of Ciprocin (Cipro) before traveling, but I guess that’s because it’s not commonly used in the states. So, proceed with caution. It is a very strong antibiotic that kills all the bacteria (good and bad) in your intestines.
I recommend buying this before you travel so your doctor can explain the dosage and warnings to you. I took one 500mg tablet every 12 hrs for three days, but check with a doctor or pharmacist to see what you should actually take. It’s only a few dollars here and you can buy it at any pharmacy without a prescription—only in Cambodia.
3. Toilet paper!
I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned this before now, but there is a little device here that we refer to as the butt-sprayer.
Instead of using toilet paper, the people of Cambodia spray their nether-regions with this fire hose and then go about their day. Let me just say that it is a very wet, very questionable experience and if you’d like to avoid this, make sure you have enough toilet paper to get you through a bout of traveler’s sickness.
4. Rest and recover.
After you’ve loaded yourself up on meds and liquids, all you can really do is rest and wait until you feel better. My suggestion during this time is to have a sleeping mask and ear plugs.
This is the inspiring one that I brought—don’t judge me, it was free with a purchase. You never know when or where sickness will strike, so it’s always a good idea to be comfortable when you’re trying to recover.
Also, when you start to feel a little better, I recommend eating plain crackers or white bread. It’s easy on your stomach and sustains you enough until you can handle real food.
Good luck and feel better soon!
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Our analysis of trends in tourism patterns that impact our industry covers a number of tourism profiles, all of which highlight the key drivers for these segments of visitors. These profiles often run across income brackets. One profile that we anticipate will continue to strengthen through 2012 is the “Experiential Traveler.”
This level of experiential travel continues to be important in broadening horizons, but for many is not offering the depth of experience they are yearning for. Seeing the sights is not enough, and there is a move from simply seeing to truly experiencing and making the event transformational by being absorbed in that experience. There is a burgeoning desire to stray from that beaten path and understand how the locals live, work and play, and perhaps give something back in exchange for that understanding. The website for AFAR, one of the organizations targeting this sector of the tourism market, has an excellent definition of this type of experiential travel:
“What is experiential travel? Experiences that connect you with the essence of a place and its people … simply seeing the sights is no longer enough. Experiential travelers want to venture beyond the beaten tourist paths and dive deeper into authentic, local, culture, connecting with people from other cultures in ways that enrich their lives and create lasting memories.”
For many, this focus might require a transition from the increased speed of travel, driven from a yearning to see the world, to slowing down the process. This has moved the emphasis to the quality of the experience rather than the quantity of experiences. These “real” experiences are all-inclusive, mesh good with the bad and might even take you out of your comfort zone and encompass some negative aspects of life, most of which are generally avoided in the traditional tourist program.
The participation continuumTrue experiential travel can take a variety of forms that encompass experiences that cover a continuum from active participation by the traveler through to a more passive participation. This participation has traditionally related to four ranges of experiences: education andentertainment as activities that engenders a level of absorption from the participant, through to the more immersive activities that relate toaesthetic appreciation, such as visits to museums or galleries or theescapist activities, which at one end of the spectrum might be an activity such as golf and at the other end of the spectrum encompasses adventure tourism. These four levels of categorizations have been further broken down into five components of the experience process: sensing, feeling, thinking, acting and relating.
There is a shift to a more radical, all-encompassing, transformational experience that appears to be tied to a desire to move the vacation needle to an experience that is more enriching and offers more value at a level of self worth. This appears to tie in all of the five components of the experience process but with an emphasis on “relating” at a very personal level. There are a number of values associated with this approach, but two that stand out are authenticity andintegrity.
Fundamentally, experiential travel should be transformational at a number of levels and can be scalable. The transformation can be through a structured educational program such as a cookery class or meditation retreat, or though living and immersing yourself in a community and culture. At the higher end, the programs can be delivered through the comfort of your 5-star resorts or, at the more economical end of the market, the experience can be sought out with a backpack and an adventurous spirit.
Experiential travel will continue to grow as a market, with travelers seeking to enrich their lives with a collection of experiences. This is becoming part of their individual sense of sustainability, improving their sense of self worth through acquiring skills, education, knowledge and personal wellbeing whilst contributing to the lives of others. It is critically important to understand this market and stake a position in this value system.
By Tim Peck