Connect with us


Travel versus vacationing: Best not to mistake the two



We don’t travel 2,000 miles or more just to eat at a new restaurant. Or do we?

Well, yes. Vacationing involves pleasant sights, new food, excitement, and relaxation. Vacationing is good for everyone, but not everyone is good with travel.

Seventh century Chinese monk Xuanzang was a traveler. He backpacked 10,000 miles from China to Pakistan in a trek for Buddhist scrolls that took him 16 years.

English adventuress Isabella Lucy Bird, during the late 1800s, managed to climb mountains, ford rivers, and cross burning deserts. Her travels took her to every continent, and every mysterious locale including the Australian outback, Tibet, Singapore, and the Sandwich Islands.

Traveling, you might say, doesn’t necessarily involve comfort. For young people, who haven’t had a lot of luxury anyway, traveling in the broad sense can be appealing. Hostels and train travel are romantic at age 19. According to Cassandra Michael, writing for, backpacking and adventure traveling provide an opportunity to grow. Michael says that travel enhances personality traits like courage and resilience.

One thing is for sure: If your next outing requires courage and resilience, you aren’t on vacation.

In her 2009 memoir, author Susan Jane Gilman writes of her harrowing experiences in China in 1986, a time when the country barely had seen a Western face. Gilman and a friend, both naive coeds fresh out of Brown University, faced hunger, sleeping rooms covered with cockroaches, and danger. They were so unprepared for their journey, one of the girls had a psychotic breakdown. In one simple experience, the two were famished and tried to order fare from a local booth. Since language was a problem, she held up two fingers. When she received seven portions instead of two, she was shaken to the core: Even finger counting was not the same.

For those who truly want to immerse themselves in local culture, travel can boost creativity and what he calls cognitive flexibility, according to Adam Galinsky, a Columbia Business School professor. Other travel experts praise the ability of travel to rewire the brain, boosting self-confidence and mood.

Unless, of course, one finds oneself in a hotel room covered with cockroaches.

Best advice on travel: Don’t over-romanticize. Be prudent and prepared. Don’t ever take chances with the local law.

Share the News:


How to avoid getting sick overseas



Do you have an upcoming trip? If you’re headed abroad, it’s important to take precautions to avoid getting sick. You don’t want to ruin your travel plans by accidentally eating or drinking something that makes you ill.

Remember, even if you’ve received the recommended vaccinations and taken preventive medication, you won’t be protected against common pathogens and bacteria. You should still adhere to the following tips to avoid getting sick:

• Only eat fruits and vegetables that are cooked and peeled

• Avoid raw food, especially shellfish and salads

• Don’t eat food that’s left sitting out uncovered

• Only drink water that’s boiled or bottled and opened in front of you

• Skip the ice cubes unless you’re sure they’re made with decontaminated water

• Avoid unpasteurized dairy products

• Don’t eat food from street cart vendors

If you’re careful about what you eat and drink, it’s likely you’ll remain healthy when you travel overseas.

Share the News:

Continue Reading


Travel the world by cargo ship



If you want to see the world, have a little extra time, and aren’t fussy about the accommodations, consider ditching the cramped economy seats on a noisy airplane and travel by cargo ship instead.

Most travel bloggers say it’s not going to be faster or cheaper or more entertaining than a plane or cruise ship. And you might not want to try this right now, with cargo ships stacked up at ports and shipping at an all-time high-stress level. In 2020, as the pandemic hit, there were more than 400,000 seafarers (and presumably their handful of travelers) stranded at sea. The ship’s delays are your delays.

According to ABC News, the shipping company CMA CGM charges just over $100 per day to travel on one of their ships. Fares include meals (eaten with the crew), cabins with private bathrooms, and access to the ship’s library and recreational areas. You can take a short trip — as few as eight days on a Rickmers Group vessel — or spend months on board during an 83-day “around the world” adventure with a CMA CGM ship.

If you’re hoping for a budget-friendly cruise ship experience, though, you might want to think twice before booking passage on a cargo ship. Passenger space is always limited, so you’ll be one of just a handful of passengers or even all by yourself. According to Transitions Abroad, cargo ships usually don’t offer much in the way of planned activities, so you’ll need to make your own fun. Flexibility is also important — departure times and locations can and often do change. It’s a cargo ship first and a passenger vessel second, so seasoned cargo ship travelers say a sense of patience and a sense of humor are indispensable.

You won’t pay for luxury and you won’t get any, but if you’re an intrepid traveler who doesn’t care about frills and wants to see the world a little differently, cargo ship travel might be for you.


Share the News:

Continue Reading

Paws & Claws

Does my pet need a passport to travel?



If you’re planning to travel internationally and you want to bring your pet with you, you’ll need to make sure you have specific documentation. Here’s what you need to know about pet passports.

Requirements by country
The documentation that’s required varies depending on the country you visit. You may also be asked to provide an international health certificate from your country of origin, or you may be asked to obtain a health certificate when you arrive at your destination. Other common requirements include:

• Proof of vaccination
• Microchip details
• Proof of ownership
• Treatment records
• A description of the animal

A pet passport contains most or all of the required information listed above. A pet passport is needed to travel through Europe and several other countries. If you travel frequently with your pet, you’ll want to consider getting one.

Each country has different requirements depending on the type of pet you have (e.g. dog, cat, parrot, snake, etc.). Some exotic species require a specific permit from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in order to travel.

Talk to your veterinarian about your travel plans as soon as possible. And don’t forget to check your airline’s pet policy before you book your flight.

Share the News:

Continue Reading


Cultural travel: The problem of modesty



Flip-flops, shorts, tank tops — that is the ticket for summer travel, or so we think, but if your travel takes you to places with certain religious or cultural standards, think again.

The problem of modesty, both in apparel and behavior, has been a serious issue with travelers from the West to Europe and Asia and even within the Americas.

In mosques, temples, and churches, a good rule of thumb for both men and women is to cover legs and shoulders.

Acceptable for men and women: Lightweight, straight trousers. Women may wear a long skirt and loose-fitting top that, at minimum, covers the shoulders and chest. Men can usually wear a pair of shorts that covers their knees.

Don’t wear shorts, tank tops, sundresses, or spaghetti strap dresses. Carry a shawl for a cover if you absolutely can’t change clothes. Don’t wear leggings or skin-tight jeans to a religious site.

In mosques and Buddhist temples, everyone is required to remove their shoes. Be prepared by wearing socks. In some temples in Asia, you may also be asked to remove your socks.

At mosques, women may be asked to cover their heads, but not always. Look for a tour guide and stow your opinion at the door. Shoes are also often removed.

Save the public displays of affection for other venues.

Buddhist temples
The Buddha may be a pop-culture symbol in much of the West, but Buddhists revere figures of the Buddha.

Don’t touch the Buddha. Don’t hop on it for a great selfie. Don’t stand taller than the Buddha. Don’t take pictures. Be prepared to remove your shoes.

Don’t point your feet at the Buddha or at a Buddhist. Don’t point with your index finger. To indicate something, use your right hand, fingers together, palm up.

Monks are friendly, but don’t touch them. They are the ones in orange. Women should not get close enough to even brush the sleeve of a monk. If a woman buys something from a monk, she should put the money on the table, not in his hand. Women should not hand anything to a monk. Greet them with a bow. For extra respect, put your hands in a prayer-like gesture.

Cover your Buddha tattoo. It is considered disrespectful.

Share the News:

Continue Reading


Trip alert: A unique oasis for lovers



Leave it to Dubai to surprise the world by building an Instagram-ready oasis in the middle of a desert.

The city is already renowned for the tallest building in the world, an indoor ski slope in a mall, and the world’s highest infinity pool (a dizzying 1,000 feet above sea level), among other attractions.
In 2018, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, revealed a surprise new tourist attraction in an Instagram post.

Love Lake is two water-filled lagoons in the shape of intertwined hearts, with vegetation below (when viewed from above) spelling out the word “Love.” The attraction is located in the man-made desert oasis of Al Qudra on the outskirts of Dubai, already home to a number of artificial lakes.

Sheikh Hamdan’s father, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai, commissioned the project.

Work was done around the clock and in secret over the course of 20 months leading up to Sheikh Hamdan’s reveal, then continued for another year. Thousands of flowering plants and more than 16,000 trees were planted at the site and seating facilities all use eco-friendly materials, including bamboo water sinks. There’s a running track around the site, which is also home to more than 150 species of birds and other desert wildlife.

And don’t forget about social media. Signage lets you know the best selfie points, and a variety of vegetation around the lake is crafted into interlocking hearts.

Share the News:

Continue Reading


Van life: how to find the right vehicle



Do you dream of joining the van life movement and traveling the world in a tiny home on wheels? This nomadic lifestyle with its emphasis on simplicity, freedom, and adventure can be enticing. However, if you want to hit the open road, the first thing you’ll need is a comfortable and reliable vehicle.

In general, conversion vans and small motorhomes are the vehicles best suited for van life. One important factor to consider is how much space you’ll need. If you plan to travel alone or with a partner, a small campervan should suffice. If you intend to have kids, pets, or friends along for the ride, however, you may want a more spacious model with room to stand up.

Keep in mind that the furniture and features included vary from one vehicle to the next. In addition to a modest amount of storage space, you’ll likely want a model equipped with:

• A bed or long bench seat
• A table or fold-out countertop
• A sink and water tank
• A cooler, electric cooler or mini-fridge
• A camp stove or cooking plate
• A rack for bikes, kayaks, or surfboards

If you have limited funds, consider purchasing a used vehicle (inspected by a trusted mechanic) and transforming the interior yourself using new or second-hand materials. Alternatively, various companies offer van conversion kits that are fairly simple to install. Just make sure any modifications you make to a vehicle are safe and legal.

For example, find out if the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has any regulations about removing or modifying seats and other vehicle components. You should also leave the installation of electrical wiring and gas lines to a professional. In addition, make sure you don’t exceed the gross vehicle weight rating.

If you sell your home to become a full-time nomad, however, you might have a more flexible budget. In this case, you may want to invest in customizing your van to ensure it’s fully equipped and designed according to your preferences. Plus, with the right gear, you’ll be able to maximize your time off-grid.

Finally, remember to add personal touches that make your vehicle feel at home. These can include patterned fabrics, reclaimed wood, colorful lighting, eclectic decor, funny bumper stickers, and more.

Test it out
Do you want to get a taste of van life before you commit to buying a vehicle? Plenty of companies rent camper vans equipped with everything you need to enjoy a nomadic lifestyle for a few days or weeks.

Share the News:

Continue Reading


Thank You to our Local Business Participants:


Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Family Preservation Services

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Mountain Trails

National Media Services

Ole Timers Antiques

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Examiner

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Salvation Army

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

St. Luke Community Clinic

Studio Verde

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

Front Royal
7:22am5:28pm EST
Feels like: 30°F
Wind: 5mph ESE
Humidity: 45%
Pressure: 30.26"Hg
UV index: 1

Upcoming Events

12:30 pm Free REVIVE! Opioid Overdose and... @ ONLINE
Free REVIVE! Opioid Overdose and... @ ONLINE
Jan 28 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Free REVIVE! Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Education @ ONLINE
Northwestern Prevention Collaborative, in conjunction with Northwestern Community Services Board, will offer a free, virtual REVIVE! Training on January 28th from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm. The one-hour online class provides an overview of how[...]
3:00 pm Virtual Financial Services Workshop @ ONLINE
Virtual Financial Services Workshop @ ONLINE
Jan 31 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Virtual Financial Services Workshop @ ONLINE
People Incorporated is cohosting a virtual financial services workshop for small business owners to learn about business loans, technical assistance, training, and other services provided by the agency. The workshop is scheduled for Monday, Jan.[...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Feb 2 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
all-day First Friday @ Downtown Main Street
First Friday @ Downtown Main Street
Feb 4 all-day
First Friday @ Downtown Main Street
Come celebrate First Friday! Downtown businesses will be open late, until 8 p.m., on the first Friday and Saturday of each month.
all-day First Friday @ Downtown Main Street
First Friday @ Downtown Main Street
Feb 5 all-day
First Friday @ Downtown Main Street
Come celebrate First Friday! Downtown businesses will be open late, until 8 p.m., on the first Friday and Saturday of each month.
9:00 am Women’s Wellness Workshop @ ONLINE
Women’s Wellness Workshop @ ONLINE
Feb 5 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Women's Wellness Workshop @ ONLINE
Women’s Wellness Workshop – Virtual via Zoom Webinar – Key Note Speaker Dr. Neema. Registrations will begin January 5:
4:30 pm Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Feb 5 @ 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area: Discover our International Dark-Sky Park! Our evenings begin with a half-hour children’s “Junior Astronomer” program, followed by a discussion about the importance of dark skies and light conservation. Then join NASA Jet Propulsion[...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Feb 9 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
10:00 am Artifacts Roadshow @ Virginia War Memorial
Artifacts Roadshow @ Virginia War Memorial
Feb 12 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Artifacts Roadshow @ Virginia War Memorial
The Virginia War Memorial is pleased to announce that one its most popular events, the Artifacts Roadshow, will be held Saturday, February 12, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon EST, at the Virginia War Memorial,[...]