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Posts tagged with ‘Travel’

Short Film: On Time

A young man inspecting the contents of a suitcase in On Time

A young man sitting in a departure hall – hurting over broken dreams – is approached by a traveling salesman. With him, he carries a unique proposition: he sells the future. The young man, skeptical of what he is being offered, and puzzled how seeing the future could possibly repair events gone wrong in the past, takes a peak into our salesman’s attaché case. His face turns to amazement.

At this point, I was expecting a MacGuffin, a term coined by Alfred Hitchcock. It’s a plot device that has no other use than to further the story along. So I was expecting a Pulp Fiction moment, were the case is opened and starts emitting a golden glow as bystanders look at its content in amazement. But to us, the viewer, the contents is never revealed. It’s merely a prop that gives its characters a reason worth killing for. So in the end, it doesn’t matter if it is gold or a fresh batch of tasty Royale with cheese.

So great was my surprise that in this little short, we actually afforded a peek inside the case. And I have to admit that I too watched in amazement. He actually was selling the future. Our young man decides to seize the moment, but at what cost?

A Travel Map based on Time

A time travel map with cities relative to Brussels

I’ve always had this nagging feeling that certain places, even though they are physically quite close, always seemed to be so far away. Further even than distant places, simply because they are more time consuming to reach thanks to a lack of direct highways or too many traffic lights along the way.

So while the shortest route between two points may be a straight line, the quickest route on the other hand is determined by the fastest mode of transportation at your disposal. To illustrate this, I created a time travel map that positions cities relative to Brussels based on how long it takes to reach them using only public transportation.

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TEDx and the European Parliament

The European Parliament building complex in Brussels

As one Belgian – the first European to do so – handed over the command of the ISS back to the Americans, and will be returning to earth shortly after a six month stint in space; another Belgian was handing in his government back to the king, so he can prepare to become the first president of Europe in January.

And I would, for the first time, be visiting the European Parliament in Brussels. As this event pales in comparison to what my fellow countrymen have lately achieved, don’t expect to find my little excursion mentioned in any history book; not even as a small obscure footnote on page 527 or other. But I was there for a reason though. The TEDx Brussels event, also a first, was being held there, an independent spin-off the TED events that have brought world inspiration since… well, since its inception. While the official TED event is by invitation only, they do post videos online of some of their most inspirational speakers and their ideas about the world. Definitely worth a visit if you haven’t heard of it yet.

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A Place Where Ships Go to Die

Two vessels on the beach in a Chittagong ship breaking yard

Remembering Chittagong, Bangladesh

Some ships meet their fate at the bottom of the ocean. Others continue sailing, long exceeding their expiry date, or are docked as museum pieces for the generations to come. But for most ships, their demise is spelled on the beaches of the poorest nations. In particular: the shorelines of Chittagong, the southernmost province of Bangladesh.

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Traveling Around The World For Free

Backpacker relaxing and enjoying the view of the Torres Del Paine national park in Chili

While my travels are usually measured in days or weeks, most of the other travelers I’ve encountered during my journeys were usually on the trail for months on end, and sometimes even years. It requires a completely different pace of life. It’s a lifestyle in itself. For if you’re not pressed for time, the slower you travel, the cheaper you can live.

The article ‘How to travel the world for free‘, goes on to explains how one can explore our planet with just pennies in your pocket. Though I have some doubts if it can really be done completly for free; you can probably go a long way if your goal  is to immerse yourself in the different cultures and customs you may encounter during your travels, while skipping the hightlights and tourist hotspots.

The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello

jasper_morello

We find ourselves in the city of Gothia, where Jasper Morello, the navigational aeronaut aboard an airship, is sent out on a mission to layout a new trading route. Half way through, the trip goes horribly wrong and they must abandon ship, making their way through uncharted territory. To add to his troubles, Jasper discovers his beloved wife, whom he has had to leave behind in Gothia, has become deadly sick. But can he still return home in time to save her, and if so, at what cost?

This is a beautifully animated short with a strong and engaging story line. The narration is simply well done. And while it makes extensive use of CGI, it has been fashioned in the old Indonesian style of silhouette theatre, giving it a very distinct and moody look. It was nominated for an Oscar in 2004. Though I still haven’t seen them, three other sequels have been made since then, detailing the explorations of Jasper Morello. This animation is almost half an hour long, but it’s defiantly worth the time.

The animation is just short of half an hour long, but it is definitely worth experiencing.

EU Citizens Soon Won’t Need a Visa to Travel to Exotic Islands

Scene of a blue sky, turquoise ocean, white beach and a distant sail boat.

If you have been dreaming about clear blue skies, turquoise oceans, white beaches and nothing to do all day, hope may be on its way. Traveling to exotic islands as an EU citizen will soon become a little bit easier. By the end of March, the EU commision plans on removing the visa requirements for European citizens and the residents of the following islands: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Barbados, Mauritius and the SeyChelles

And if you’re fond of sand dunes and salty air, but can’t afford traveling to paradise, there is always the Groove Armada alternative.

Exotic Train Travel: a list of the nine best rail journeys

The Tangula luxury train traveling through the Uninhabitable yet beautiful landscape of Tibet.

Having finally taken the Eurostar from Brussels to London and back, it not only struck me how small Europe has actually become; compared to the state of air travel to today, trains have become a lot more enjoyable and comfortable way to travel. While it’s hard to claim the Eurostar trip as being exotic, other rail lines do speak to the imagination. For example the Orient Express, that in its heyday followed the famous silk road. Or the Trans Siberian, which probably is not only the longest rail line in the world, but is also a destination in itself. “The nine best train journeys in the world” has put together a list of the more interesting rail lines, some of which I had never even heard of up until now. Never the less, they all look quite interesting.

One line missing though is the Tangula, which connects Beijing with Lhasa in Tibet. Maybe out of political correctness? The railroad itself is a remarkable feat in engineering that traverses through some of the most harshest environments on this planet. Because of the extreme heights it runs at, the cabins are pressurized. There is already a regular line running on this route, but apparently, the Chinese have also added a luxury train.

Great for Beijing, but for Tibet however, the railroad is a threat. For it has long been Beijing’s policy to actively relocate and subsidize the majority Han Chinese to the poorer areas of the country. From their point of view, they are simply spreading prosperity and trying to increase the standards of living for all Chinese. But with this new rail line, traveling and moving to Tibet has become a lot more easier. The danger for Tibet however is the further loss of their culture, identity, but most important of all, their autonomy. If they had any left. The Tangula is probably one of those rides you have to take with a lot of mixed feelings.

Animated Safety Procedures

Another safety card. This time animated. It really gives you that shocking sense of emergency one might experience when you discover the plane you are in is about to fall out of the sky.

Travel Photos

My travel itinerary
My travel itinerary

I’ve just exported my facebook photo’s from my previous travels to this site. So for those of you who don’t wish to have a facebook account, feel free to view them over here.

The latest photo’s are from my last trip to Malawi. I spent the first week in Machinjiri with my family. After that, I traveled north.

T-shirts with the god Shiva print