Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka – A Beach Paradise

In the dry zone of Sri Lanka’s Southeast coast, 320 km east of Colombo, laid-back Arugam Bay beckons tourists to the Indian Ocean.

It has a local population of only a few hundred people, one main road, and one of the best point breaks in the region.

Map of Sri Lanka and S. India showing Arugam Bay

Many find the crescent of multicolored sand and turquoise water along Arugam Bay beach to be the ideal surf spot in the country.

Tourists can glimpse expert surfers vying for prizes, and beginners attending their first lesson at one of the abundant surf schools in the area.

Arugam Bay surfing is not the only activity attracting wanderers from around the globe.

Surfing in Arugam Bay Sri Lanka

There are abundant options for swimmers, windsurfers, kitesurfers, beach partiers, yoga buffs, and seekers of ayurveda and traditional medicine.

It is an ideal spot to begin an adventure into the surrounding rural parks or to do nothing on a beach while enjoying Arugam Bay’s low-key vibe.

When to Go

The hamlet is energetic from May to October, and quiet November to April.

Things to do in Arugam Bay

For the local populace, Arugam Bay is a fishing village.

An afternoon walk along the beach will reveal myriad fishermen preparing their wooden boats for the following day’s catch.

Beach Scene sunset Arugam Beach, Sri Lanka

Some are happy to take tourists with them for the day, for those who wish to experience local life. Lagoon boat tours are also plentiful.

Cooking classes and homestay visits are available, but strolling along miles of unspoiled beach should not be missed. For those who prefer not to stroll, scooters are available for rental to get around locally.

Restaurants and reggae bars light Arugam Bay and become busy as the sun sets.

Things to do around Arugam Bay

Arugam Bay is a perfect base of operations for visiting Yala National Park, the most popular and second largest national park in Sri Lanka.

Wildlife in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Yala National Park, which includes Ruhuna National Park and Kumana National Park, is a wildlife sanctuary important to the preservation of Sri Lankan Elephants, leopards and birds.

The site of ancient civilizations, Yala National Park also contains two pilgrimage sites.

On the way to Yala National Park, Kudumbigala monastery beckons from high atop a hill in the middle of the jungle. The 360-degree views are astounding, especially at sunrise.

The crocodiles, elephants, sloth bears, and birds seen en route is as spectacular as the monastery itself. Though you must remove your shoes at the entrance, keeping them with you to climb is a smart practice.

“…with wild elephants occasionally coming to drink at the lagoon, and langur monkeys and macaques roaming in the forests.” (New York Times)

Four kilometers north of Arugam Bay is the town of Pottuvil, site of Muhudu Maha Viharaya, a Buddhist temple nearly 2,500 years old.

Visitors can walk among the ruins and contemplate the history of King Kavan Tissa. The site takes about an hour to explore and is a must-do for tourists interested in Sri Lanka’s rich cultural past.

Nearby Sangamankandy Pilliyar Kovil, an ancient Shiva Temple, can be seen in the same day.

Whether your interests are sun and surf, history and culture, fishing, religion or nature safari, Arugam Bay beach and its surrounds are a fun and fascinating place to relax and explore, and a welcome respite from Colombo or your hectic Southern Asia travel itinerary.

Beach Bums Go Further with Heroic Adventures

The Story of the ‘World’s Most Dangerous Walkway’

El Caminito del Rey, which means “The King’s Little Pathway” in English, is a small pathway located in Spain.

Built over a hundred years ago to join two power plants in Malaga, the path stretches across beautiful scenery, inviting many people to walk across it.

This seemingly innocent road, however, has actually led many people to their deaths, and is treacherous to the extent that many now call it “the world’s most dangerous pathway.

Cliff Hanging Route of El Caminito Del Rey Spain

Workers began to build El Caminito in 1901 to connect two hydroelectric plants in Malaga.

When the pathway was completed in 1905, it was constructed of concrete and steel beams but had few safety features like handrails.

Over the years, the pathway became even more dangerous as it deteriorated.

In some places, the concrete had completely collapsed, leaving only metal beams hanging over 330 feet in the air.

Over time, blogs across the world picked up on the poor condition of the walkway.

When several people died in the late 1990s and early 2000s, they gave it the honor of being ‘most dangerous in the world‘ and dared adrenaline junkies to travel to Spain and walk across it.

Most Dangerous Walkway in World El Caminito Cliffs

Hundreds of people took on this dare, and many of them did not survive their trip.

The Spanish government, horrified by the deaths, closed the path in 2011 and began renovating it.

Using modern construction tools and techniques, they refurbished the walkway and installed handrails.

In 2015, the walkway was reopened to the public, now much safer for tourists to traverse.

Bloggers, however, did not realize that the pathway was now nowhere near as dangerous as it had been before.

King's Pathway (english) Spain Dangerous

Many webpages continued to call El Caminito ‘the most dangerous pathway,’ and daredevils continued to travel to Spain to see it.

Luckily, though, now tourists can test their bravery without risking their lives.

Are you heading on trek? Can you benefit from a professional trekking pole? Find out here>>>


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Destinations Unknown: What’s Your Secret?

Three Trekking Spots in Coorg, India

If you’re planning a trip to India, don’t leave out Coorg. 

Located in the southwestern part of India in the state of Karnataka, Coorg, which is also known as Kodagu, is known for its natural beauty.

Ghats Mountains India

Amongst other activities, trekking in Coorg is extremely popular with visitors.

Here’s a closer look at three places to go hiking and trekking, with your trekking pole, in Coorg, India.

1.  Irupu Falls

At the top of your list for trekking in Coorg should be Irupu falls.

The waterfalls are not only a tourist destination, they are also a sacred site for many Hindus.

During the festival of Shivrati, many pilgrims flock to the area to honor Lord Shiva due to the legend associated with the falls.

During monsoon season, Irupu Falls are at their peak.

Once you reach the falls, you may wish to take the forest trail from the falls to Brahmagiri Peak in the southern part of Coorg.

2.  Abbi Falls

Coorg Abbey Falls

Abbi Falls is another famous waterfall in Coorg that makes for an excellent and exciting trek.

Abbi Falls is located in the Western Ghats mountain range, a range which has the honor of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its biodiversity.

In fact, the Western Ghats mountain range ranks near the top of biodiversity hotspots in the world.

The path to Abbi Falls is a lovely one that winds through coffee and cardamom plantations.

Like Irupu Falls, the best time to visit Abbi Falls is during the monsoon season, when all the extra water makes the falls a very impressive sight.

3.  Nagarhole National Park

Elephants in Nagarhole National Park

When you’re ready to catch a glimpse of wild elephants, bisons and maybe even a tiger, go trekking in Nagarhole National Park.

Although the park isn’t a UNESCO World Heritage Site yet, it is currently under consideration thanks to its location in the foothills of the Western Ghats mountains.

Visiting Nagarhole is easy thanks to the organized safaris that happen twice each day.

Although the park is closed during animal mating season and during heavy monsoons, the rest of the year remains open to visitors.

These are just three of the best spots for trekking in Coorg, but they are certainly not the only places for a good hike.


To know if you need a trekking pole for your hiking journey in Coorg don’t miss this hiking pole how-to.

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Travel + Work: Synching Across Multiple Time Zones (When on the Road)

Managing a project team is tricky, particularly if your people work across multiple time zones.

With deadlines to meet, projects quickly run into trouble if you don’t account for different working hours.

Make your life easier and meet project targets by implementing these simple global resource management tips.

Use technology to save time  

(The Clock is and awesome world clock that makes keeping time zones up to date a breeze for those on iOS)

It’s confusing trying to work out what time it is in other places.

Avoid mistakes by downloading a time zone app to your computer or smartphone. This handy widget instantly displays the current time in major cities around the world.

With a quick glance, you can check what time it is in Hong Kong or Sydney without having to try to work it out in your head.

When your team works across multiple time zones, this is a great way to save time when booking meetings and planning project activities.

Clearly communicate team member locations and time zones

Team Members Time Zone Map

You can’t assume that all your people know that there is a time zone difference in the team.

Compile a project organization chart, which shows your team members’ locations and which time zone they work in.

Make sure that everyone has a copy of this document, and update it regularly to cope with summer and wintertime changes.

Work package delays often occur because people don’t even know that their colleagues are working several hours ahead or behind.

Make the most of the ideal times of day

Take Advantage of Time Overlap with Remote Workers

Work out if there are certain times of day when everybody in the team is in working hours.

Use these times to concentrate on activities where people need to work together, or where you need a one-to-one conversation with somebody.

It’s much easier to get things done if you can discuss a problem together, rather than try to find the solution via email.

Keep the best time slots free, and spend the rest of the time working on activities that you can complete individually.

Look for opportunities for flexible hours

Offer Flexible Hours

Never assume that your project team members all want to work between nine and five.

Some people are happy to work different hours to suit the needs of the project, and this can help speed up delivery.

Ask people to come in earlier or work later in some countries, to create longer periods of time for collaboration.

Make sure you talk to your colleagues in HR about any legal implications first, because local laws may mean that you have to pay a premium for working outside core office hours.

Can your project budget cope with this?

Communicate more often

Man Communicating Business to Headquarters

If the project delivery is moving very quickly, it’s difficult to make sure that everybody knows what’s happening.

Send regular updates via email even if it’s just to report that everything is on track.

Lead by example and show your project team how important it is to tell one another what is happening.

A daily call is not always necessary if everyone is in one place, but frequent contact is vital if people are working at different times of day.

Never assume that people know the latest developments. Give them the information they need to complete their tasks effectively.

It’s difficult to manage project teams across different time zones.

Global projects bring unique challenges, but if you plan your time carefully, you can easily meet project goals.

Your Heroic Adventure Begins Now

7 Great Business Retreat Activities

Your leadership team will soon be leaving town, heading towards a few days of team building and business-minded brainstorming. You’ve been charged with planning your executives’ business retreat activities.

So, where do you start?

Here are seven luxury business retreat activities that will keep your leadership team happy while creating a successful company outing:

1. Golf

Golf Retreat Team Building

Any good group outing with executives is likely to include a round or two of golf.

Look for golf courses in the area where your execs will be staying, and reach out to the courses for assistance with your planning needs.

Gold course employees are usually well-versed in the art of planning executive getaways.

2. City-Wide Scavenger Hunt

Man Searching on Scavenger Hunt in City

Take team-building across town with a scavenger hunt that resembles The Amazing Race.

There are plenty of online resources to help you make this dream a reality.

The concierge at your leaders’ hotel may be able to offer some tips.

3. Cook-Off

Cook OFF

Cook-offs are favored luxury business retreat activities that pit leaders against each other in a little friendly food competition.

Choose a theme, separate the attendees into two teams, and let the kitchen contest begin! Maximize teamwork by including the task of shopping for groceries in the battle.

4. Bowling

Bowling Alley teamwork

Leaders tend to have a hard time letting their hair down and just hanging out. 

A few gutter balls usually help to bring out some humility, allowing the participants to just enjoy themselves without worrying about always trying to win.

5. Show Your Strengths

Strengths Finder 2.0 Book

StrengthsFinder 2.0 is renowned for making a huge impact in the workplace. 

Have each participant take the test, read about his or her strengths, and discuss them with the group.

Each person can then choose one person for further discussion.

With their StrengthsFinder partner, each person can explore the ways they can enhance communication now that they’ve been given the tools necessary to bridge the gaps.

6. Create A New Company

Retreat Brainstorm new Business Opportunities

Throughout the week, task your leaders with creating a new company.

They’ll need a name, product or service, slogan, logo, vendors, and everything else that makes a business run. This exercise will help each functional department understand the viewpoints of other areas.

If you break your participants into teams, make sure various departments are represented in each group.

Each team should analyze the other’s company, asking questions and identifying holes.

7. Rope Courses

Ropes Courses Executive Rtreat

A rope course may seem cliche at first, but these team-building businesses have been around for a long time for a very good reason: they’re impactful.

Rope courses and zipline adventures are intended to take people out of their comfort zones and find trust with each other.


When you’ve been tasked with planning team-building events for your company’s corporate retreat, fret not!

These ideas will have your executives well on their way to a successful and enjoyable getaway.

Where’s Your Next Heroic Adventure?

The Best Attractions in Lima’s Miraflores District [Peru]

Although many travelers visit Peru to explore its pre-Columbian heritage, most travelers passing through the nation’s capital, Lima, prefer to stay in the city’s most modern neighborhood: Miraflores.

Travelers choose Miraflores for its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, its vibrant arts and entertainment scene, and its wide range of attractions that appeal to every kind of traveler. 

When you visit Lima, make sure to check out some of the very best that Miraflores has to offer.

1. Casa Museo Ricardo Palma

Ricardo Palma was a Lima-born writer and thinker who oversaw the country’s National Library from 1883 to 1892.

Today, the government has preserved his long-time home as a museum where visitors can see the original furnishings, paintings, documents and art that he cherished during the last years of his life.

Currently, the museum is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 5:00, but is closed for a lengthy daily lunch from 12:45 until 2:30.  Entrance is six soles ($1.75 USD).

For updated information and opening hour, visit their website>>>

2. Huaca Pucllana

huaca pucllana Miraflores Peru

If your trip to Peru doesn’t include time in Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, you can visit this sacred historic site that has been preserved on its original location in the Miraflores neighborhood.

It features a typical pyramid crafted from adobe and clay, surrounded by a central square and walls.

At press time, Huaca Pucllana is open daily from Wednesday to Monday, and regular entrance fees are twelve soles ($3.50 USD).

For updated information and current opening hours, visit the Huac Pucllana official site here>>

3. Larcomar

Larcomar Upscale Mall Miraflores Peru

Larcomar is Miraflores’ most famous, and most architecturally interesting, shopping center.

It is carved into the seaside cliffs at the south end of Avenida Jose Larco and features several open-air and glass-walled viewing decks offering panoramic views of the sea. 

Larcomar is home to several upscale restaurants and coffee shops, as well as the best selection of international clothing shops in town.

There are eight shops where you can stock up on high-quality athletic and outdoors apparel and equipment before your Inca Trail trek.

For updated information and current opening hours, visit Larcomar’s official site here>>

4. Malécon

Area of Malecon near beach in Miraflores Peru

The malécon is a six-mile stretch of oceanfront parks, walking paths and cycling routes that runs along the Pacific Coast from the artsy Barranco neighborhood in the south all the way to the north end of Miraflores.

Active travelers will love going for a jog or bike ride beside the ocean, adventure travelers will want to try paragliding (buy your tickets from the booth at Block 2) and creative types will want to take in the many different sculptures erected along the walkways.

For updated information about the park (in Spanish only), visit Miraflores Parks page here>>

5. Parque del Amor (Lover’s Park)

El Beso (the Kiss) statue in Love Park Lima Peru

Also known as the “Park of Love”, Parque del Amor is Lima’s most romantic park.

At the center of the park is Victor Delfin’s gigantic red statue El Beso (The Kiss), shown above, that features two loves entangled, horizontally, in a kiss.

The park also has some of the best sunset views in the city, making it the perfect place to snuggle up with the person you love.

6. Parque Kennedy

Parque Kennedy

Situated in central Miraflores, away from the ocean, Parque Kennedy has become a controversial tourist attraction that often pits frustrated locals against wide-eyed tourists.

The park was named after John F. Kennedy and is frequented by buskers, shoe shiners and the elderly.

It is also frequented by the one hundred (or more) stray cats who call the park home.  There are cats on the grass, cats on the benches and even cats in the trees.

While some consider the cats to be a public health hazard, other consider them an adorable addition to the neighborhood.

You’ll have to visit and decide for yourself!


Whether you want to explore the history of Lima, have an active holiday or simply relax with a cup of hot chocolate while you pet a stray cat, Miraflores has something for you.

It is also well-connected by bus rapid transit (BRT) to the historic center of Lima, so you can see the very best of old and new Peru during your stay.

Bonus: The Best Sites in Lima Peru [Video]

More Heroic Adventures

Pirates of the Seychelles: Looking for Booty

Magnificent cliffs and stunning waters have earned the Seychelles a reputation for romance and unparalleled beauty. Every year honeymooners flock to this storybook paradise, which lies more than 1,000 miles from any other land mass between Africa and India.

Inhabitants of African, European and Asichanan descent call the remote archipelago home but have only populated the islands for a few hundred years. The first people to make use of the area were pirates who hid from capture in the uncharted waters during the 16th and 17th centuries.

pirate shipIronically, history has come full circle in the Seychelles where, for over a decade, modern pirates, equipped with global positioning systems and lightweight outboard motors, have increasingly plagued the region.

Sandy Shores of seychelles

This piracy has its roots in the Seychelles’ distant and unstable neighbor, Somalia.

According to the Congressional Research Service, in the 1990s, Somali warlords operating along clan lines began using misleading names to act as “official security” and extract fines from foreign ships.

Somali piratingOver the past decade, driving forces such as poverty, environmental adversity, lack of employment and a volatile political situation have all contributed to an increased recruitment of pirates in Somalia.

Although pirates drowned by the dozen, financial desperation countered the risk associated with pirating on dangerous open seas in small fishing skiffs. In addition, the pirates benefited from certain conditions including high levels of commercial activity, weak regional cooperation, small national navies, and a large coastal area across which they could operate. The pirates loosely organized into seven to ten “gangs” with different patterns of activity and different abilities.

In response to the increased piracy, international vessels intensified patrol in the waters off the Horn of Africa.

Unfortunately, this pressure pushed the pirates southeast across vast stretches of ocean to the Seychelles. “Motherships” loaded with fuel and water allowed the pirates to increase their range around the isolated islands where, according to the BBC, more than 200 attacks took place in 2009 alone.

Pirates of the Seychelles Pirate Map Seychelles

Unlike pirate attacks in other regions that aim to seize ships and cargo, these attacks often involve kidnapping and ransom demands for as much as $5 million, possibly because the pirates have access to inland areas of Somalia where they can hold victims for what have become longer and longer periods of time.

Insurance companies often settle these types of kidnapping cases hidden from the media.

However, in September 2009, when pirates captured British retirees Paul and Rachel Chandler from their yacht less than 60 nautical miles offshore, the terrifying story became public and attracted international attention. As incidents such as this one continue to publicize piracy in the Seychelles, islanders fear that frightening images of AK-47s and rocket grenades will superimpose those of turquoise waters and pink granite in the minds of potential tourists.

This fear runs deep because the Seychelles’ tourism industry provides 25.5 percent of its GDP and employs a large portion of the population.

real pirate shipsIn addition to kidnapping for ransom, piracy in the Seychelles has been associated with increased terrorism, trafficking of weapons and narcotics, illegal fishing, illegal dumping, and human smuggling.

None of these provide enticing material for brochures, and residents are keenly aware that couples looking for romantic getaways and leisure sailors wanting to experience the stunning natural scenery do not want threats of piracy overshadowing their fantasies. Furthermore, the Seychellois worry that the ransoms paid for hostages will only make piracy look more profitable and increase the number of attacks.

However, their biggest nightmare is that the pirates will venture out of the open seas and attack one of the tourist beaches.

pirate hideout seychelles shoreline

The people of the Seychelles have good reason to be afraid.

The nation’s economy, which had finally begun to rebound from a huge per capita national debt, has begun to see large scale negative effects from piracy.

Modern Day PiratesYacht yards lay empty and hotels have lost $8 million in cancellations. Fewer cruise ships and leisure boats are making stops in the archipelago, and cargo insurance continues to increase as the pirates interrupt international shipping.

Most large vessels have begun carrying French marines or Spanish private contractors for defense. According to the African Independent News, these security details have successfully fended off at least ten separate pirate attacks, but this protection drains monetary resources, both public and private.

Piracy has hit the fishing industry in the Seychelles even harder than tourism and shipping.

The backbone of the islands’ economy rests on skipjack and yellow tuna fin tuna headed for the European market. One tuna factory alone employs 3,000 people in a nation of only 85,000.

In September 2009, the same month the Chandlers were kidnapped, the factory’s entire tuna fleet had to come into port because the danger of pirate interception was so high. Crews continue to fear both the pirates themselves and the economic dangers they bring.

Somalian piratesThe threats and fleet dockings have significantly impacted tuna production which is down thirty percent, according to Joel Morgan, Minister of Environment, Natural Resources, Transport, and Prisons.

The factories, in turn, have had to let go dock workers and crew members, leaving them without incomes.

While the EU, United Arab Emirates, Denmark, Russia, US and Britain have supplied help to the Seychelles in the form of spotter planes, drones, and ships to better prevent pirate interception, it is estimated that naval ships have but a fifteen to thirty minute window in which they can successfully ward off an attack.

modern day Pirates Keeping Tourist Away from Seychelles

Further hindering the effort to stamp out piracy in the region is the tricky issue of pirate imprisonment.

Astoundingly, until 2010, foreign vessels that captured pirates often took them to Somalia and let them free.

buccaneers The Seychelles lacked the laws, courts, and prisons for prosecuting the pirates and, although there were a few isolated instances of prosecution in European countries, it was feared that the prisoners could use this as a route to political asylum.

A breakthrough was achieved in 2010 when the Seychelles passed tough anti-piracy laws and sentenced eleven pirates to ten years in prison. It became the only other country besides Kenya to sign an agreement with the EU that allowed suspected pirates to be jailed and prosecuted.

The tiny nation also built a new wing for captured pirates in its one and only prison.

Ocean Map Seychelles in Center

Pirate Prison UN Office on Drugs and Crime

(“This is the pirates’ prison, hidden high in the hills” source)

While anti-piracy cooperation in the Seychelles looks promising, the situation remains complex.

Conspiracy theories abound.

pirate shipSome Seychellois claim that the pirates are linked through Somali Islamist groups to Al Queda. Other islanders think that the pirates’ profits ultimately end up in the hands of certain British and American banks.

However, the US Congressional Research Service explains the pirates indirectly benefit terrorists but are not directly aligned with them.

Furthermore, it debunks the myth that the pirates operate through pre-emptive intelligence on land.

As for the key to permanently lifting the dark cloud of piracy from these breathtaking islands, all involved agree that it lies in the hopeful emergence of a stable Somalia.

Read Part Two: The Pirates Of Mauritius: More Indian Ocean Booty


Seychelles Piracy in the News

Elsewhere in Pirate News

Top 5 Cities to Live as a Digital Nomad

As the internet has given people the ability to work remotely, some have abandoned the old lifestyle of being tied to a place and 9-to-5 job.

Digital nomads travel the world, working from places as diverse and bohemian as an internet cafe in Prague or a beach in Bali.

Their geographically independent lifestyle lets them choose the cities with the lowest living costs, best climate or best local food.

Whether you are a writer, teacher, web developer, engineer, programmer or designer, here are the best places in the world to live as a digital nomad:

1. Bali, Indonesia

Ubud Bali Rice Fields

Bali is an Indonesian island known for its beautiful beaches, breathtaking mountain views and diverse wildlife.

It’s hard to imagine a more exciting and exotic place to live. Whether you want to see a live volcano, go on a safari, explore a monkey forest or enjoy one of the most complex cuisines in the world, Bali has something to offer to everyone.

The affordable rent and great WiFi connection have made Bali an extremely popular place for digital nomads in the past years.

Cost

The cost of living in Bali is a mere $900 USD a month.

2. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague Sunset Old Town

The capital of the Czech Republic, Prague is the fifth most visited city in Europe.

Prague is full of cultural attractions which survived the world wars, such as:

Not to mention many world-class museums, galleries and concert halls.

With good WiFi, a more than affordable cost of living, great public transportation, and an amazing nightlife, Prague is currently one of the upward trending destinations for digital nomads.

Costs

About $800 a month.

3. Phuket City, Thailand

Startup Style Soloprenuer in Phuket

Phuket, the largest island in Thailand, is a veritable paradise of turquoise waters and white beaches.

You can explore beaches and lagoons, practice water sports, enjoy the mix of Chinese and colonial architecture or visit the Buddhist temple of Wat Chalong, the spiritual center of Phuket.

Cost

The living expenses for a digital nomad in Phuket amount to a mere $800 a month, including housing and eating out three times a day, as well as fast WiFi connection.

4. Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi Boats on Water

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam and its second largest city, lies on the bank of the Red River.

With its busy streets, delicious street food, many bars and cafes and extremely low cost of living, Hanoi is attracting more digital nomads every year.

Cost

Hanoi also offers fast WiFi and several great coworking spaces, which are bustling with entrepreneurs and startups, making it easy to get inspired and start connections. The living expenses in Hanoi are around $700 a month.

5. San Jose, Costa Rica

San Jose Costa Rica National Theatre Statue

Costa Rica is one of the most popular places in Latin America for digital nomads, especially for those who enjoy nature.

With its great beaches, natural parks and a myriad of natural attractions, Costa Rica is the ideal place to work remotely.

San Jose, the capital, is renowned for its great food and nightlife.

For those who enjoy activities such as yoga and surfing, Santa Teresa offers a more relaxed lifestyle.

Cost

The cost of living in Costa Rica is about $1,500 a month.


The internet has revolutionized the way people live and work, bringing with it more flexibility and freedom.

Increasing numbers of people are abandoning crowded offices and polluted cities to work from idyllic places in the world, where the food and beaches are exceptional and the costs of living are much lower than in most Western cities.

Not only can such a nomadic lifestyle be cheaper than living in the same place all the time, but it gives you the opportunity to experience new places and cultures, which can be a boost to your creativity.

Floship Ecommerce Fulfillment Allows for Location Independence, Run a Biz While YOU Travel

Thanks to the development of eCommerce, it’s never been easier for those seeking the nomadic lifestyle to structure their business in a way that allow them to travel and to sell goods across the globe.

Sales have progressed from trekking the Silk road to get goods from Thailand to Italy. These days, logistics solutions can deliver a bouquet of fresh flowers, from a manufacturer in Connecticut to a customer in a Paradise Island!

But this ease of delivery also has its share of hoops to jump through.

Sellers find they have to make more decisions for their business than they envisaged. Among other things, they have to decide on the best locations for their warehouses, or whether to even fulfill orders straight from the manufacturer.

Having to choose from many options leads to decision paralysis among sellers, causing some to decline any cross-border selling. But with the cross-border opportunity estimated at $60 – 100 billion, that doesn’t seem to be a smart business decision.

Moreover, when you structure your business to fit your lifestyle–in this case a lifestyle of travel–you can gain advantages by understanding the locations you are traveling in and their market needs; the eyes of the traveling soul allow for increased marketplace opportunities and connections around the world.

Understanding Global Logistics and Travel go Hand in Hand

Taking advantage of the opportunity presented by globalization, requires understanding how international logistics works.

As a location independent entrepreneur, you are at an advantage to having clarity on this compared to your homebound competitors.

The problem is many sellers are stuck in their local understanding of logistics as being “the movement of goods from one place to another”.

For a business with plans to sell overseas, it can be significantly more than that:

Global logistics encompasses the sourcing of suppliers, finding most efficient ways to get the SKUs to a storage facility, how it is packaged to survive international travel, how it will get to the paying customer etc. On a global scale, you also have to contend with the different rules regarding transportation, customs and tariffs in every country.

It’s fair to say global logistics can be quite a complicated process.

The Global Supply Chain

shopify fulfillment

Instead of sellers trying to focus on the 1,001 different elements they have to get right, they can do better by channeling their efforts towards creating an effective global supply chain.

In recent years, more manufacturers are setting up foreign factories to benefit from tariff and trade concessions, low cost labor, reduced logistics costs etc.

For smaller companies, this is a gateway to creating global collaborations that will be mutually beneficial. In a bid to get to market faster, more companies are splitting their supply chain across continents.

Take storage for example, if you have enough contacts and suppliers internationally, you can reduce the amount of stock you have to hold. This translates into cost savings for storage and transport.

A global supply chain also makes securing of almost any item easier, after all it is being produced somewhere in the world. And, as you travel with an eye for business opportunities, you’ll be sure to encounter products and manufacturers in countries you pass through.

Developing a global supply chain has huge benefits for any sized business.

Apart from time and cost savings, here are some more advantages:

  • Due to the time differences across countries, the global supply chain operates on a 24/7 basis. The chain is constantly on the move, working to meet all your supply chain requirements.
  • Operating a global supply chain brings new opportunities for the markets. For example, if you source goods from China and store them in Hong Kong, it is feasible that you may find other customers in other parts of Asia. Since you already have established sources in the region, selling to customers here will be done at a lower cost.
  • The global supply chain allows you ‘borrow’ expertise from a varied number of other businesses. Not everyone runs their business exactly like you; by studying their models, you can learn new production, distribution or marketing methods, from others.
  • Having a global supply chain increases your chances of maintaining sales, even if there is an economic downturn in some other markets.

By integrating a global supply chain into your remotely structured eCommerce business, you’ll find that the elements of global logistics that you need to get right, seem to fall into place.

Remember the supply chain is working around the clock, meaning your goods are moved from stage to stage efficiently.

Developing a global supply chain that works in your industry involves an in-depth analysis of all the moving parts of your supply chain.

  • Are your products manufactured in Asia or in Northern America?
  • Will you require special packaging for particular SKUs?

Answer these and other critical questions and you’ll be close to developing a supply chain that can handle all your logistics needs and allow you peace of mind to be able to build the foundations of an income stream that allows you the freedom and flexibility to operate it from anywhere.

  • Are you ready to increase sales and profits by reducing your dependence on the local economy?
  • Are you ready to expand your businesses and enter into new markets?
  • Are you running a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter or Indiegogo and need to easily track deliveries to your backers using Floship and a campaign management tool like Backerkit?

If you are running a product based business, doing crowdfunding or otherwise need an eCommerce fulfillment partner that simplifies your operations by shipping globally from one fulfillment hub at near domestic rates, check out Floship and see how they can help you navigate the global supply chain.

No Need for the Amazon: Ayahuasca Ceremonies in the USA

There are physical adventures, there are mental adventures, and then there is ayahuasca: a relentless spiritual-physical-mental adventure that may be one of the most intense ordeals your soul can choose to experience in this life.

If an ayahuasca ceremony is on your bucket list, you no longer have to go all the way to South America’s Amazon to reach your goal.

Thanks to religious freedoms in the USA, you can finally check-off this list item, the ayahuasca ceremony, without leaving the USA. There are a handful of legal ceremonies popping up in urban areas and far-out locations in scattered pockets across the United States of America.

According to our new section, the ayahuasca retreat directory, a Native American Church is offering ayahuasca in the United States for people interested in the sacramental ritual of an ayahuasca ceremony and the full-on spiritual practice of ayahuasca tea imbibing.

“The tea, known as Ayahuasca, is revered as sacred by Church members. It is a sacrament serving to heighten spiritual understanding and perception, and brings the practitioners closer to God and the Divine.” — Chief Minister Steve Hupp

It seems that the religious protections invoked by the religious freedom in America have made it possible — for people acting under the auspices of a church — to recruit new members to the church’s spiritual practices, where, as a potential member, you can partake in the ritual drinking of ayahuasca.

In other ceremonies that take place in the USA, invoking religious freedoms, take the UDV, for example, where it’s typical for UDV ayahuasca sessions to include dancing all night, wearing pure white clothes, and singing Christian songs. That’s right, the UDV is Christian. During a ceremony you’ll be immersed in an alternative Christian world that — to outsiders, the uninitiated, fundamentalist, or bible pounding puritans — may seem like sacrilege.

For the Native American church in Kentucky, you’ll have contact them to find out exactly what their ceremonies entail.

This is the most unusual US ayahuasca experience to come across Heroic Adventures’ radar, and it happens to be located in the same state as one of North America’s most famous horse races, the Kentucky Derby.

Yes, you read that correctly, Kentucky.

Save the South American journey. Instead, buy your plane ticket to Kentucky.

In all fairness, probably not everyone is as excited about an ayahuasca adventure in Kentucky as they would be taking the sacred medicine, say, with a Shipibo medicine man in South America — but, the novelty of the offer can’t be disputed.

Imagine it, you can fly from New York City down to Kentucky in a weekend. After drinking ayahuasca and having a lifetime’s worth of spiritual bombardment entering your consciousness, you’ll be a new person when you go back to the office in New York on Monday.

It’s time to take a Heroic Adventure not to the Amazon but to Kentucky.


Compare the first photo from the Amazon, below, to the second photo of Kentucky, below, it would appear there is a spiritual connection between the two… Well, at least, they both have a lot of nice green plants.

USA Ayahuasca Retreats

The Amazon isn’t the only place to legally ingest ayahuasca. Ceremonies are now emerging commercially in the United States of America.

Kentucky, USA

Looking a bit like the Amazon without the river, in Kentucky you can now legally drink ayahuasca with a Minister from a Native American Church.


And, a caveat from a reader:

“Hey Team,

I’m not one to normally send feedback on posts, but this feels especially warranted. I appreciate you giving information to the public about Ayahuasca ceremonies being held in the U.S. I believe it’s a positive move forward that Americans will have Ayahuasca as a more accessible possibility. However, as someone who has experienced Ayahuasca, I really advise against saying things like “Imagine it, you can fly from New York City down to Kentucky in a weekend. After drinking ayahuasca and having a lifetime’s worth of spiritual bombardment entering your consciousness, you’ll be a new person when you go back to the office in New York on Monday.” That’s a very, very scary thing to advise people to do. When you take the medicine, it stays in your system for a much longer period than the one or two days you’ve actually consumed it. You need to have preparations in place for how you’re going to reintegrate into your daily life after the experience, and making it sound like it’s a “no big deal, let’s go do Ayahuasca this weekend” kind of thing is not only dangerous but it’s furthermore disrespectful toward and completely underestimating the power of the medicine.

I’m not trying to be a heckler, but please understand that this is powerful stuff. For the sake of your readers, I hope you reconsider the phrasing of your post and add in how important it is to seriously consider whether they’re ready to take the medicine, as well as how important it is for them to do their research regarding preparations before and after the experience.

Thanks for your time,
Lori”

(updated August 26, 2015)

Interesting Discussion on Legality of Ayahuasca in the USA

In the Fall of 2015, a website popped up touting the First Ayahuasca Church in the USA that is open for ceremonies to anyone. Now this is a distinct organization front Mr Hupp (in the article above). After this article was published detailing why this church is not legal–it seems the site went offline, maybe it will emerge again–for your own investigations–here is the link: https://ayahuascahealings.com.

And to see the site in it’s original splendor, the Internet Archive has a stash of how the site last looked on November 20th, 2015, available here: Ayahuasca Healing Internet Archive Snapshot 

A curious story in the world of spirituality, religious rights, internet marketing, and law.

(updated March 25, 2017)