Vagablond Views

A Travel Blog with a Twist

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Clever marketers, these Icelanders

I'm likin' the lichen

Leave it to the enterprising Icelanders to package and sell things that are just lying around on the ground. I'm not saying this sarcastically. As a career marketing creative, I am truly impressed.

When I heard that, in hard times, rural Icelanders would scrape the lichen* from rocks, and eat it, I just had to buy me a bag. It's pretty much tough and tasteless eaten out of hand, but people add it to soups for roughage and grind it with sea salt for some extra zest.

Also known as Icelandic moss, or fjallagrasa, it's not just a source of food during lean times, but has medicinal properties. You can make a tea with it and sip twice a day for irritation of the mouth and throat, loss of appetite, common cold, dry cough, bronchitis, indigestion, fevers, lung disease, kidney and bladder complaints and infections. Or moisten it and apply it directly to poorly healing wounds.

The Perfect Travel Partner

On Imported Blog

"I don't want to travel alone."

I get it. A lot of people don't think they can travel overseas alone, overlooking the fact that being interested in travel itself is a step in the right direction. I know traveling alone sounds scary and uncomfortable, but if I can travel alone, anyone can! Nowadays, you can find an amazing travel partner as easily as you can plan your vacation!

First, think about why you are choosing a particular destination. Are you looking to go on a relaxing vacation in Thailand, an adventurous journey in Costa Rica or experience spiritual enlightenment in India? Think about your itinerary. Are you looking for something simple, all inclusive or extremely planned out? How do you want to travel? Backpacker Brigade, Budget Bunny, or Fabulous and Fierce? This will help you narrow down your selection for the type of person you'd like to travel with.

There are tons of websites that exist to connect travelers, but my favorites are Couchsurfing and Travbuddy. I've met lifelong friends through these sites and best of all–it was super easy to get started! Simply set up an account and get to browsing around. You can chat with people who are going to the same destinations with a similar budget as you or find a person willing to split costs on accomodations, etc. On the Couchsurfing platform, you can request a free place to stay and if you're lucky, you'll end up staying with a host that can show you around. With all of this said, make sure you give yourself enough time to chat with and get to know the individuals on these sites. If they're local, grab a bite to eat and if they are international, check out their social digs (facebook, twitter, etc). The point is to get to know them before your trip. This is one of the most important steps.

Once you've met your near perfect travel buddy, start making plans and booking accommodations. You'll always run the risk of a canceled flight or last minute change in plans, so always have a backup plan. For example, making sure you are able to pay for a room by yourself if you'd originally arranged to split accommodations.

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