Perpetual Traveller Overseas

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People travel to fareaway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home

International Travel Warnings - Week 26 Year 2018


Never ending travel issues, check our week 26:

Ecuador: Defer travel to southern Isabela island due to eruption of Sierra Negra volcano
Travellers are best advised to defer travel to southern Isabela island (Galapagos province) in the coming days following an eruption of Sierra Negra volcano. The Secretariat of Risk Management issued an orange alert (third-highest level on a four-tier scale) on 26 June for areas near the volcano; at least 250 people were evacuated. Tourist activity around the volcano and in El Cura area (Isabela) has been suspended, though Galapagos National Park (Santa Cruz island) remains open. While Seymour (GPS, Baltra island) and San Cristobal (SCY, San Cristobal island) airports are operating normally, short-notice flight disruption is possible; members should maintain flexible itineraries.

France: Air traffic controllers to strike at Marseille Airport
Air traffic controllers have called for local industrial action at the Marseille area control centre on 30 June and 1 July. The strike is scheduled to include the morning shift on 30 June and the evening shift on 1 July, ending early in the morning on 2 July. Passengers flying in or out of Marseille Airport are advised to contact their carrier well in advance of departure to check their flight status. Aer Lingus flights from Dublin to Nice, Marseille and Lyon are affected on both days. Ryanair flights from Dublin will also be affected on both days, although the airline has said that it has contacted all affected customers via email or text message.

Indonesia: Anticipate disruption following fresh volcanic activity at Mount Agung (Revised)
Travelling to Bali (Bali province) and Lombok (West Nusa Tenggara province) islands and East Java province should monitor developments and anticipate possible short-notice flight disruption following a fresh eruption at Mount Agung volcano on 28 June. The eruption prompted the closure of provincial capital Denpasar Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS, Bali) on 29 June, resulting in nearly 450 flight cancellations. Members should maintain flexible itineraries as further flight disruption is possible during periods of volcanic activity.

Japan and Taiwan: EVA Airways, Tigerair cancel Okinawa flights on 1 July because of Tropical Storm Prapiroon
EVA Airways and Tigerair Taiwan announced Saturday that flights between Taiwan and Okinawa in Japan will be canceled on Sunday due to Tropical Storm Prapiroon. EVA Air flights BR112, BR186, BR113 and BR185 between Taoyuan and Okinawa will be canceled, as well as Tigerair Taiwan flights IT232, IT233, IT2232 and IT2233 between the two destinations.Tigerair Taiwan flights IT288 and IT289 between Kaohsiung and Okinawa will also be canceled, according to the budget carrier. As of 2 p.m. Saturday, Prapiroon was centered about 500 kilometers east of Taipei, moving at a speed of 22 kilometers per hour in a north-northwesterly direction, Central Weather Bureau (CWB) data showed.

Qatar: Gulf states to raise aviation dispute with ICJ
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt will raise an aviation dispute with Qatar with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) after criticising the competence of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). The announcement came after the ICAO considered a request by Doha to end an airspace ban on Qatari aircraft introduced by the Gulf states in June 2017 after the start of an economic blockade against the country.

Russia
Anticipate travel disruption during adverse weather
People travelling to or from the capital Moscow on 1 July should anticipate potential disruption during a forecast storm; strong winds, heavy rainfall, hail and thunder are expected. While all of the capital's airports are currently operating normally, reports have warned of possible flight delays or cancellations. The official fan zone on Vorobyovy Gory (Sparrow Hills) for the 2018 FIFA World Cup football championship was closed on 30 June in anticipation of the adverse weather conditions.
Authorities detain man at Moscow airport after false bomb threat
A man was detained at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport after falsely stating he was carrying an explosive device. The man reportedly made the claim when passing through a security check, according to a statement released by the airport. It is reported that no bomb had been found after searching the individual and that the airport was functioning as normal. The incident comes as Russia is hosting the soccer World Cup in 11 cities, including Moscow, where air traffic has increased during the month-long tournament.

Saudi Arabia: Riyadh warns travellers over new flight restrictions
The Saudi Arabian General Civil Aviation Authority issued a press statement warning passengers travelling on direct flights to the US of new restrictions on carrying powdered goods. The warning follows new rules issued by the US Transportation Security Administration which will forbid passengers from carrying more than 350 ml of powder in hand luggage from 30 June. The regulation affects all powders, including baby milk and cosmetics. The US typically increases restrictions on carry-on items in response to specific attack threats.

South Africa: Plan journeys accounting for potential disruption due to heavy rainfall, flooding until 2 July
Western Cape province over the coming days should plan journeys to account for potential disruption due to adverse weather conditions. According to the South African Weather Service (SAWS), heavy rainfall and consequent flooding is expected in Cape Town, Cape Winelands, and Overberg on 1-2 July. Travellers should reconfirm the status of routes before setting out, and allow additional time to complete journeys during poor weather.

Vietnam: Maintain flexible itineraries, anticipate disruption during monsoon season
Northern and central provinces should anticipate intermittent disruption to travel and essential services during the monsoon season, which will last through September. Heavy rain since late June has led to severe flooding and landslides in the northern mountainous provinces of Lai Chau, Ha Giang, Lao Cai and Thai Nguyen. Mountainous and low-lying areas are most susceptible to monsoon-related disruption, though urban areas also remain prone to flash flooding due to ill-equipped drainage and sewage systems.

Perpetual Traveller Political Security Watch - Week 24 - Year 2018

 

Politics as usual this week in this crazy world we live in. Here is the Perpetual Traveller Political Review for week 24:

Bangladesh: Anticipate heightened security, potential violence around mayoral elections on 26 June
People travelling to Gazipur (Gazipur district) in the coming days should anticipate heightened security due to the potential for political violence around the city's mayoral elections on 26 June. The official campaign period will begin on 18 June. Violence during the electoral period will involve sporadic clashes between rival political activists, and low-level attacks on rival candidates and supporters, as well as on election-related events and facilities. Travellers are advised to avoid all political gatherings due to the risk of being caught up in clashes.

Colombia: Political gatherings surrounding 17 June presidential election run-off; plan journeys accounting for border closures
Travelers in the coming days should anticipate and avoid political gatherings surrounding the second round of the presidential election on 17 June. While the first-round vote passed off without incident and widespread unrest during the election run-off is unlikely, political tensions may result in some low-level violence in remote rural areas. Overland and river border crossings with Venezuela are closed until 18 June; overland and river border crossings with Brazil, Ecuador and Peru are closed until 16.00 (local time) on 17 June.

Italy: Prime Minister Conte to meet President Macron over migrant row
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is set to meet French President Emmanuel Macron on 15 June to discuss a diplomatic row over the handling of the SOS-Mediterranée boat carrying 629 migrants. Paris criticised Rome for refusing to harbour the boat, claiming it was violating international law. In response, the Italian government criticised Paris for only accepting 10% of the 7,000 migrants it pledged to accept from Italy. The migrant boat was eventually allowed to harbour in Spain on 11 June.

North Korea: Trump, Kim meet at historic meeting in Singapore
US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held a historic meeting in Singapore, the first meeting between an incumbent US president and a North Korean leader. The two leaders met one on one for about 40 minutes and then held a meeting joined by a small number of aides. Senior security and diplomatic aides to the two leaders participated in a larger session of the meeting. Since becoming North Korea’s leader in late 2011, Kim has made only three known trips to foreign countries before the summit in Singapore.

Spain: Authorities allow stranded migrant boat to dock at Valencia
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced that Spain would welcome the SOS-Mediterranée ship carrying 629 migrants after it was turned away from ports in Italy and Malta on 10 June. The ship is to dock at the port of Valencia.

Turkey: General election to take place
An early general election is due to take place on 24 June, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seeking a second term. The election is seen as part of the country’s move towards an executive presidential system. The heightened tensions in the southeast ahead of the vote may trigger instances of violence, despite stringent security measures under the state of emergency. Unidentified assailants killed four people and injured eight others in the Suruc district of Sanliurfa province on 14 June. The attack targeted officials from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) while they were campaigning ahead of the vote. The government blamed the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP), though opposition commentators disputed this claim.

Improve your quality of life with "The counter flow concept"



Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
Mark Twain
This article could change the quality of your life, optimize your general decision making direction and enable you how you organize your activities in addition to the way you experience life...

By good fortune I was raised during my early years in Singapore, which was my first exposure to the counter flow concept, although I was far too young to appreciate it at the time. During the sixties in Singapore my family enjoyed a life of relative luxury, with a large house and garden, a Chinese maid, an open-top Beetle car (highly sought after at the time) and the whole "La Dolce Vita" package. This seemingly paradise existence, which was normal life to me as a child, abruptly ended upon my family's return to the UK, whereby such proportional wealth evened out and we became one of the masses again. My education started, as society attempted to teach me "The Logical way" (listen to the Logical Song by Styx") of becoming some kind of follower within a box framed as society.

Something inside compelled me to resist and despite an unforgettably wonderful family life, my conditional education dragged on. As I reached youthful adulthood, flush with adventure, my spiritual intelligence drove me to revisit Singapore and Asia repeatedly, to recapture that childhood feeling and learn the meaning of life or at least make sense of it. Thereafter I travelled to all continents of our extraordinary earth as a young man with a Samsonite in hand (no back-pack for me) over the period of a decade, often living on a few cents per day, whilst studying the general flow of how things worked in each community and country I frequented.

What I learned and actively practised for the rest of my life and still today, is what I lovingly call "the counter flow concept". In essence, this means to analyse the given nature of a situation and broadly do the opposite to what the main flow or thrust of what other people are doing (often in a sheep like manner - lambs to slaughter concept), according to a certain criteria of course and respecting some exceptions.

Let's start with one of the most fundamental fabrics of life, where we are from! Most people believe they are born in a country and that is home, period. Think of this scenario though, what happens if everything goes wrong in your life, finances, country or home? Where would you go for back up that has a support structure? Conversely if you are a British Citizen for example, but live in Sao Paolo and suddenly the walls come down on your life and you are under economic threat or physical danger, you can always go back to plan B and return to the UK. If you fall foul abroad, oddly you country of birth is more likely to help you when you are overseas, maybe even President Clinton will fly to your rescue! Being a minority foreigner in a country can present all kinds of advantages and benefits if one is able to see them and is tuned in. So the golden rule of being a Perpetual Traveller is not to be where you are from!

Now let's looks at some more simplistic practical examples related to travel to better explain the theory.

PEAK - OFF PEAK
Peak holiday season secures the fact that you pay considerably more and the resort you visit is likely to be highly crowded, causing queues, additional waiting time and a overall loss of service. Alternatively if you travel off peak when the sun still shines, you can enjoy better service, less crowds and a higher potential of upgrades all at a lower price. Then of course you will need to beat the school holidays paradox!

CITY – BEACH
If you are forced to travel in August (peak season in Europe and parts of the US), then consider following the path of counter flow, by visiting a city instead of the beach. Great deals can be achieved in business Hotels in attractive cities such as New York, Miami downtown, London, Paris and Barcelona during the traditional summer high season of the Northern Hemisphere. In Barcelona and Miami a beach will be on your doorstep too. In Paris there's the 'Paris Plage' river beach and there is always the option to mix some culture with a day trip to the coast from London or New York.

WEEKDAYS - WEEKENDS

Pleasure Hotels are generally expensive and popularly packed at weekends and it’s a similar story for pleasure flights. So orchestrate your life to take breaks over weekdays and consider working over the occasional weekend. Take a day in lieu for example.

Conversely Business Hotels and Business flight routes are costly and busy during weekdays and cheaper in addition to being more pleasantly quiet over the weekends. So simply look at the market and select counter flow options and use your imagination.

PROPERTY
Here the trend has proved itself for generations; when everyone is selling up, think about buying and when everyone is actively buying, turn your attention to selling.

Now is the best moment for literally decades to purchase a property in Europe and America, so if you have the cash or can access credit, go for the opportunity, it has rarely been better in our lifetimes.

One needs to set a criteria when making big commitments like property though, which essentially translates to purchasing in the best locations of long established real estate markets, which will likely bounce back first. London, New York and Dubai are ideal candidates.

SHARES / INVESTMENTS
Warren Buffet once said that "when the masses are afraid be courageous and when the masses are courageous be afraid!"

The recent global recession is case in point. It started with overly courageous sub-prime property bank loans that enticed the masses to buy property, that otherwise would not have been legible. This over hyped the US and later the global property market causing a partly false boom. After every over-hyped boom, comes a bust and in 2008 a series of inter-connected global dominos collapsed, which brought about the point of the best buying market for as long as most of us can remember.

There are of course many other examples of the counter flow concept. The most crucial factor of learning how to practice this concept is to obtain an out of the box big picture thinking (read up on the Pareto Principle) with a longer-term perspective. The reality of today's instant world is locked in the short term whereby the majority of people have little patience for economic cycles to run their course.

Positively the worst Airports in the World!

A mere 3 digit code like LHR, LAX, or CDG can strike fear into the heart of the best Perpetual Traveller and there is nothing worse than queuing up at the check-in, security or the gate of an unfriendly airport somewhere on the planet.

Airports are a necessary evil in the capacity of gateways to travel, as some of them, particularly the worlds major hubs are considered by the travelling public to offer an unpleasant experience. Recent security procedures have added to the pain, however its the temporary network of add-on terminals with little or no services that really gets our back up.

With flight routes scheduled as they are, the worlds major hubs are becoming increasingly unavoidable. Repetitive challenges like unfriendly airport staff, unnecessarily long check-in, security and immigration queues, concourses that feel longer than runways, badly announced gate changes, delays to take-off, land and even find a parking spot, male the whole experience nauseating.

According to more than 2000 participants from over 80 countries who took the "World's Worst Travel Survey," conducted by the Titanic Awards here below is the ranked list of top offenders:
  1. LHR - London Heathrow 19,1%
  2. LAX - Los Angeles 14.6%
  3. CDG - Charles de Gaulle, Parnkis 9.1%
  4. JFK - New York 5.9%
  5. O'hare, Chigago 4.9%
  6. Kingsford Smith, Sydney 4.9%
  7. Miami International 4.8%
  8. Frankfurt Airport 3.8%
  9. Hartsfield-Jackson, Atlanta 
So yet another worst Airport report comes up with London Heathrow in pole position. In fairness Heathrow handles the largest number of internationally bound passengers in the world and it is the busiest airport in Europe, so sheer numbers play a part in the end result. Heathrow operates with no less than 90 airlines, which serve 170 destinations and 67 million passengers each year. Trouble is in the eyes of many passengers and the queues especially security take on truly legendary proportions. It must be said however that Terminal 5 is a revelation and we hope that Terminals 1-4 are upgraded to similar standards.

The second spot was reserved for LAX in Los Angeles, which is the worlds 6th most busy airport. Interestingly there is a "I Hate LAX" Facebook group and according to them, the airport's weak spots are as follows...
  • Pan handlers 
  • Long queues 
  • Overcrowded terminals 
  • Difficulty of getting from one terminal to another 
  • Bus gates 
  • General grime
The 3rd spot is equally unsurprising in Charles de Gaulle CDG, the airport notorious for lost baggage. CDG features 7 satellites, a Atar Trek-like 70s-design, which is a navigational challenge for many of its elderly and disabled passengers. Clearly CDG has been on the worst Airport hit list for a while, as the SF Chronicle readers rated it the worst airport in the world in 2005, and in 2007 the The International Air Transport Association said it was "one of the worst," largely due to poor public service.

Of the remaining list, our PT editorial team feel that JFK was lucky not to be in the Top 3, otherwise the list offers no surprises. In some respects the volume of passengers passing through these worst Airports played a significant role in their selection, however it is high time that each of the above-mentioned Airports take corrective action, although the past 10 years shows few signs of promise with the exception of LHR Terminal 5.


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