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The best advice during a year on the road (so far)




Like any globe-trotter, Jada has learned a lot of lessons on how to travel — the easy way, the hard way and, occasionally, in a different language. She’s also been given advice from fellow travelers, proud natives, and followers and fans across social media.

Here’s a look at some of the best advice Jada has received from readers and some of the best advice she’s shared right back.

You can also read all of her dispatches, and follow her travels on Instagram and Twitter.

Let (social) followers lead

Before her trip to the Rogue River in Oregon, Jada asked Twitter followers what she couldn’t miss in the area. Followers responded with recommendations for caramels, road trips, hikes and sausages.

She followed the advice of many, and also had her own recommendations.

“When you do eat, though, make sure it involves blue cheese,” Jada said of her time in Oregon. The creamery she went to was recommended by a Twitter user, Katie D.: “Rogue Creamery has won awards for that mouldy goodness, and a farm stand on its dairy in Grants Pass served a grilled cheese sandwich made of Oregon blue cheese, a type of mild Cheddar called TouVelle, and honey, on locally made white bread basted with grape seed oil, that I’d commemorate in song if I could.”

“Even more indelible was Jasper’s Café in Medford, a roadside burger joint near the airport,” Jada wrote. The cafe was another recommendation from Katie D. “I craved it every day I was in Oregon — and was nearly late to my flight getting another one on the way out.”

Eat ice cream for breakfast

For many, the 52 Places traveller position is a dream job. For Jada, that dream, while not always totally dreamy, is a daily reality. And in that reality, you sometimes land in a hotel where there’s ice cream for breakfast.

In Prague, she tweeted the following: “My #prague hotel inexplicably has ice cream at breakfast and I went straight for an affogato because this is how you celebrate being an adult.”

Some readers had a few things to say about ice cream. In Cincinnati, the consensus was clear: Go to Graeter’s, they said. And get the blackberry chip — in a pretzel cone.

And when someone suggests a chocolate factory, never, ever, say no.

While in Africa, Jada tweeted this: “Guys I’m in São Tomé & today someone suggested I go to a chocolate factory & I was like, ‘I don’t have time!’ But now I’m here & omg just the smell of chocolate is making me happy. Seriously, in a bad mood? Go to a chocolate store. Breathe.”

Look for helpers

It goes without saying that when you’re travelling the world for a year, there will be some high highs and low lows.

When Jada’s car was stuck in the mud on a remote beach on the island of São Tomé — with no cell service, to boot — a group of villagers came to the rescue.

“This,” her guide, Juliano, said, “is just part of the São Tomé culture; no one would ever leave anyone stranded.”

In Lucerne, Switzerland, Jada faced a different kind of crisis: a lost bag with her laptop inside. “My hotel desk clerk said not to worry; Swiss people return things they find,” she wrote on Instagram.

The next morning, she woke up to a direct message on Twitter from a man named Anton. “Hi Jada Yuan, please contact me if you lost something,” he wrote.

Anton was in Jada’s hotel lobby — with her bag — 10 minutes later.

A few months later in Fiji, Jada was tasked with voting in the U.S. midterm elections from the South Pacific, about 8,000 miles away. She credits a team of locals — from hotel staff to newfound friends — for helping her ballot make it back to New York City.

Pack wisely and strategically

In June, Jada answered many questions about her packing strategy. “Blogs, travel writers, foreign correspondent friends, and flight attendants all gave me great advice, but the past five months of hopscotching through climates and national borders have been figuring out what works for me, with trial — and a ton of error,” she writes.

She shared a handful of her own tips and her biggest concern: “What happens when I get my period?” she asked. Tampons — and Duane Reades — aren’t everywhere, and that includes the African bush.

… but pack creatively

Because why have a neck pillow when you could have an animal neck pillow, as spotted in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International airport?

Listen to the chef

While travelling in Bolivia, Jada ate at Gustu, a restaurant in La Paz, Bolivia. Perhaps the most important advice in a restaurant comes from the chef. In this case, the advice was: Eat it. Jada held the hand of the co-head chef, Marsia Taha Mohamed, while taking a bite of a queen ant taco. “Smoky and crunchy,” she wrote.

“This Gustu tasting menu had at least 3 other proteins I’ve never tried (oxtails, beef hearts, and alligator ceviche). I won’t eat any of them again, but once seemed worth it.”

Nothing against chefs, but bus drivers also have some good advice (if unintentional).

While in Bologna, Italy, Jada wrote this on Twitter: “Ticket seller: You get the bus in front of the ice cream shop.

Me: (only hears the words ‘ice cream’ even though I’m going to giant food mall @eatalyworld).”

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Travel & Escape

Lottoland: Here’s why Canadians love it!





Lotteries have been in existence for many centuries now and it’s an open secret that most people enjoy playing a good lottery.

Asides from gauging your own luck, the thrill of playing, the anticipation of the results and the big wins every now and then is something most people look forward to. Since 1982, the lottery has been in Canada, but now there is a way to play both the Lotto and other international lotteries from Canada, all from the comfort of your home.

With Lottoland, all you need to do is register and get access to numerous international lotteries right from their website. The easy-to-use interface has all the information you need, and great amount of care has been taken to ensure that the online experience is similar—and even better—than if players were to visit each location personally.

The Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries are hitting record highs with their prize money, in what the organizers claim to be the largest jackpot in the history of the world. However, the U.S. has gambling laws that are state controlled and buying your ticket through an online broker can be considered gambling.

“No one except the lottery or their licensed retailers can sell a lottery ticket. No one. Not even us. No one. No, not even that website. Or that one,” Powerball’s website says.

Therefore, to stand a chance to win the $1.5 billion-dollar lottery jackpot it means you have to purchase your lottery tickets directly from a licensed retailer such as Lottoland.

Since 2013, Lottoland has been operating in Canada, rapidly growing in popularity amongst Canadians. Due to its easy of use and instant access to lotteries that were previously considered inaccessible—as Canadians had to travel all the way to the U.S. to purchase tickets in the past—Lottoland has attracted lots of visitors.

Currently, there about 8-million players on Lottoland, a figure that points to the reliability of the website.

One of the core values of Lottoland is transparency and that’s why a quick search on the website would show you a list of all of their winners. Recently, a Lottoland customer was awarded a world-record fee of $137 million CND.

Also, due to the incredibly slim chances of winning the grand prize not everyone would take home mega-dollar winnings, but there are substantial winnings every day.

Securing your information online is usually one important factor when registering on any platform and as the site explains, “Lottoland works very hard to verify your information.”

The site has a multi-verification process that will ensure that you confirm your identity and age before giving you a pay-out. However, in the rare case that a player has immediate luck and wins a lottery before completing the verification process, Lottoland will hold on to the winnings until they complete your verification.

While this might seem like a tedious process, it is very important as these safety features would ensure that your information wasn’t stolen and ultimately your winning routed to another account.

Lottoland is licensed with the National Supervisory Bodies For Lotteries in several countries such as the United Kingdom, Italy, Sweden, Ireland and Australia—where it is called a wagering license. Typically, most gaming companies don’t establish insurance companies as it entails that their activities have to be transparent and the must be highly reputable in the industry.

Nonetheless, Lottoland has no issues meeting up to these standards as they have established themselves as the only gaming sector company who has its own insurance company—an added advantage for new and existing users.

Lotteries aren’t the only games Canadians enjoy playing and Lottoland recognizes this by providing players with other types of gaming. As an industry leader, video designers of online games often make them their first choice when it comes to publishing their works.

Online games such as slots, blackjack, video poker, baccarat, keno, scratchoffs, roulette and many others are always on offer at the Lottoland Casino. There’s also the option of playing with a live dealer and a total of over 100 games.

Lottoland has received numerous rave reviews from its growing list of satisfied customer and their responsive customer service agents are always available to answer any questions users may have, along with solving challenges they may have encountered.

More and more Canadians are trooping to Lottoland in droves due to the unique experience of going to a casino without having to leave the comfort of their homes.

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Travel & Escape

Dealing with baggage on your trip





(NC)Nothing is more embarrassing than having to unpack your baggage at the airport. It’s common to overpack because you want to make sure you have everything you need for your trip – the right shoes, a jacket in case it’s cold, a bathing suit in case there’s a pool. But you must be mindful of the baggage restrictions. So, how can you be smart with your baggage when travelling?

The first thing to do is talk to your TICO-certified travel agent about the weight restrictions and number of bags you are allowed to take. Some airlines charge per bag, while others may offer one bag for free depending on weight.

You’ll also need to know if there are security requirements for carry-on and checked baggage. For example, there may be prohibited items such as gels and liquids. These limitations vary from airline to airline and depends on if your flight is international or domestic, so you’ll need to check the policy of the airline you’re travelling with.

Naturally, you want to avoid incurring baggage fees, so talk to your travel agent, or contact the airline directly. You can also visit their website to review the luggage policy.

Here are a few more tips to help you manage your baggage when travelling:

  • Clearly label all baggage with your name, home address, and contact information
  • Place an identification tag inside the baggage in case the outside tag is torn off
  • Lock bags with CATSA/ACTSA travel locks
  • Put a colourful ribbon or other identifying marks on your bags so they are easily recognizable
  • Carry valuables in your hand luggage; jewelry, money, medications, important documents, etc.

You can’t carry everything with you, so be smart when you pack. Take only necessary items and focus on your trip.

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Travel & Escape

What travellers need to know if a destination wedding is cancelled





(NC) It’s two weeks before you’re scheduled to attend a destination wedding and then you get the call. The wedding has been called off.

Sure, you’re upset for the couple, but now you’re faced with plane tickets and hotel reservations. So, what can you do?

There’s no reason why you can’t go and enjoy the trip, but bear in mind you may face a price increase, especially if this was part of a group booking. Group bookings often include a minimum number of travellers to get the discounted price, as well as terms and conditions regarding changes or cancellations.

You could ask other travellers to come along to keep the group discount. But name changes often count as cancellations based on the terms of the vacation package and premium charges may apply. If you booked with a TICO-registered travel agency, website or tour company, it’s better to contact them and ask about options before making any decisions.

While it’s devastating for the couple who planned the destination wedding, the fact is that the cancellation affects all the confirmed guests. So, it’s important to know your options so you can salvage an unfortunate situation. Always book with a TICO-registered travel agency, website or tour operator so you can circle back and find out what they can do for you.

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