The Friendly Planet Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Skype’

Tune in with ‘Radio Shangri-La’s’ Lisa Napoli

If you’ve been following our posts lately, you probably know we’re gearing up for our first meeting of the new Friendly Planet Travel Book Club. Our office has been buzzing with conversations about “Radio Shangri-La,” the first book we’re reading. Author Lisa Napoli‘s journey to Bhutan has been sparking comments like, “What do you think it’s really like there?” and “I wish I could know more!”

Well, I was delighted when one of our Friendly Planet Travel bloggers got the opportunity to get these answers and more, directly from Lisa. Our blogger Caitlin sat down with her, via Skype, to chat about what it’s like to travel to Bhutan, the vast differences in scenery and culture from the U.S., and what working at the first youth radio station in Bhutan was really like for her.

In her book, Lisa talks about writing down three good things that happened to her everyday. Tune in to see what they were. Lisa and Caitlin also talk about the changing influence media is having on the people of Bhutan, and whether a trip to Bhutan will change the life of every person who goes there, so be sure to hit play below to see the entire conversation.

If you have any questions for Lisa, check out her website and Twitter. She has additional interviews and information about Bhutan on her YouTube channel. And if that isn’t enough to whet your appetite to read her book, Lisa has made the first 30 pages available as a sneak preview.

So after you watch our interview, I hope you’ll crack open “Radio Shangri-La,” if you haven’t already. Then please join us at the Jenkintown Library tonight from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. to delve deeper into this book. Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us Lisa — we had a great time!

Christine Gilbert is Almost Fearless as she travels the world

Almost Fearless not only describes a lot of people who want to quit their day job and travel the world, but it’s also the name of the popular travel blog penned by Christine Gilbert. It follows her journey from corporate manager to full-time traveler, writer, and mom.

Last week Christine was in Colombia, with her husband and infant son, and I was able to talk to her on Skype for a podcast. She even used to bring her two dogs, but she decided not to take them on this leg of the trip.

You might be asking, she travels with a baby? Yes, when you’re a full-time traveler! After having her baby at the beginning of the year, she got back on the the road and surprisingly she’s found traveling with her son to be fun and easier than expected.

Hit our podcast to find out what it’s like to travel with a family in tow, and where the best places are to stay if you’re taking a little one along for the ride.

We also talk about the documentary she is filming on digital nomading. Christine’s been raising money to finance it on her blog for months now. She tells me what the documentary is about and where they plan to go this year to film it.

In addition to filming documentaries, Christine also writes e-books. “A Practical Guide to Going Digital,” “30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World,” and “Twitter for Travelers” are three that we dive into in the podcast.

I could go on telling you what we talked about, but there’s so much more! My best piece of advice is to click play and start listening to find out what it’s like to walk in Christine’s shoes, where she’s been so far, and what her travel advice is for those thinking about venturing around the world.

A quick note about the podcast. Since she was in Colombia on Skype, the connection is fuzzy in some parts, so the transcript will be posted shortly.

Valentine’s gift ideas for travelers you love, and travelers who love to travel

You can go traditional again (e.g., predictable!) with roses, wine, and chocolate on Valentine’s Day. Or you could put some imagination into making your loved one’s next trip even more special, more comfortable, and more memorable. Here are my 2010 suggestions for romantic travel gifts. Best of all, these fit any budget!

The Gift of Travel

Of course, no Valentine’s Day would be complete without a gift certificate for a Friendly Planet Travel exotic tour. Our Western Mediterranean Concordia Cruise will take your lover (and you) to the romantic ports of Marseilles, France; Barcelona, Spain; and Naples, Italy. It’s 10 heart-pounding days starting at a sweet $1,499 per person.

The Gift of Language
Learn a Romance language together in anticipation of your future romantic getaway. Speak French, Spanish, or Italian — the languages of love — on CDs that you can listen to in the car, or rip to your MP3 player. Macmillan’s Behind the Wheel series cost about $50, and includes a great companion book.

The Gift of Entertainment
Pick up two mini ear bud headphones and a splitter, so you can cozy up and watch a romantic movie on the laptop or portable DVD player together. This is perfect for those times when you’re counting off the hours in a noisy airport, the plane, or even in your hotel bed (blush). I like iblink’s $30 ear buds, with their multi-colored power lights. Get pink for her and blue for him. The splitter will set you back a mere $5. Throw in a romantic DVD and you’re set for cuddle time.

The Gift of Gab
Stay in touch with friends and family while traveling the globe together with a traveler’s webcam. Download and install a free Internet videophone service such as Skype, and when you check in, it will be almost like you’re in the next room. Microsoft’s LifeCam Pro couldn’t be any smaller or more portable, yet it packs a techno punch with a high-resolution video camera and high-fidelity microphone.

The Gift for Him: The Portable Humidor
OK, smoking is bad for you. But an occasional cigar won’t kill ya’ — especially if it’s a good cigar. And for the man who has everything, there’s the pocket Ci-Garage. It holds one cigar, comes with a stainless-steel cutter, a box of matches, and a portable ashtray. It’s about $25, and can even be monogrammed.

The Gift for Her: The Traveling Spa
This one’s a no-brainer. Put together her favorite scents in massage oil, bubble bath, and scented candles. Handmade soy candles in a variety of scents in tiny tins are available from the Travel Tin Company, starting at about $6.

That’s it for this year. So what are you waiting for? Warm up that credit card and start shopping. There’s only a few days left (which I know is enough time for the gentlemen out there, because I see you all lined up in the card aisle at the drug store on the 14th). 🙂