Connect with us

Vacation

How to Travel Abroad to Work From Home

Published

on

When I decided to travel to Mexico in the middle of the pandemic for more than a month, I didn’t have many supporters among my friends and family, with fair concern. The country is currently one of the hardest hit by the virus — and is now approaching nearly 900,000 cases.

Traveling now clearly isn’t an option for everyone, but my partner and I both felt we could get away and, with our employers having us work remotely, I probably had no better opportunity to work abroad than this one and only time.

We wanted to travel and visit as safely as possible, not only on the flight down from New York to Mexico City, but also during our stay in both the capital and the beachfront community of Tulum. We also needed to be able to work from home, which requires a strong internet connection, a working cellphone and a quiet place to concentrate.

Here’s what we learned while working from home, abroad.

Before booking our trip this summer, we considered other countries such as Barbados, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and even our parents’ homeland, the Dominican Republic. But Spanish is both of our first language and we’ve traveled to Mexico pretty frequently in the last few years. That familiarity was comforting. Additionally, we had friends who had gone earlier and told us that in Tulum, where we would spend the majority of our time, restaurants, stores and other public places were adhering to social distancing, mask requirements and other safety measures.

During normal times, you usually think to pack sun lotion, swimsuits and everything else for a trip to the beach. As we all know, these are not normal times.

Not only did we pack everything we needed for a few weeks away, we packed 100 disposable masks, gloves, two big bottles of sanitizer and about 10 mini bottles of sanitizers that we planned to take with us whenever we went out.

We also traveled with disinfectant wipes as we wanted to disinfect our phones and even our laptops.

The one thing we did forget that I recommend is a thermometer to check your temperature if you do get sick. We had the fortune of not getting any symptoms but we did regret not having one.

Mexico didn’t have any requirements about being tested before arriving but we took a coronavirus test three days before leaving, quarantined and received our results a day before traveling. We wanted to ensure we would not spread the virus on the plane ourselves.

Flying from New York, we thought we would have an empty flight, but we guessed wrong — you might plan to expect the same if flying to a tourist destination.

Regardless, we had planned to take several precautions. We wore gloves and masks in the airport and on both flights. Additionally, we each wore a hooded sweater, trying to cover as much of our bodies as possible, even if it meant we were going to be a bit hot throughout the flight. It just made us feel better.

Once we stepped onto the plane, we sprayed down our seats with disinfectant and also wiped down the arm rests as well as the trays. There we stayed throughout the roughly 3 ½- hour flight, not leaving our seats. I highly suggest using the restroom before you get on the plane so you won’t have to get up and walk through the cramped aisles and use the plane’s bathroom. We also did not eat on the plane.

Once we landed, we stuck to Ubers. (Like many New Yorkers, we don’t have driver’s licenses.) Neither of us felt comfortable taking public transportation, and the car-hailing service was affordable and convenient.

But to be frank, it was a risk, like the overall trip. In Mexico, we discovered that many of the cars don’t have plastic dividers separating driver from passengers. However, most drivers wore masks, and we always rode with masks and opened car handle doors with gloves.

But really, we only took cars when necessary. In Mexico City, where we stayed for four days, we got around mostly walking. In Tulum, we rented bikes to get about.

In terms of lodging, we were a bit leery — despite taking the risk of traveling — of staying in a hotel. We wanted a space where we knew we wouldn’t run into a lot of people, and if we did, at a lesser volume and less frequently. So we did some research. In Tulum, we found an Airbnb in a building called Sanctuary in a private community called Aldea Zama. It gave us a location where we didn’t have to go to town much as Aldea Zama had a few restaurants and a grocery store. And at $50 a night, this Sanctuary was affordable.

The building had only 18 apartments in total and three floors so we rarely, if ever, ran into people and it had amenities like a pool and a gym that were cleaned daily. Additionally, the apartment had two balconies and more than 2,000-square feet, giving us both enough room to set up working spaces.

Internet access is crucial for any remote worker. Always double-check with your hotel or Airbnb host before you travel to confirm how to connect and the Wi-Fi's strength and reliability. In Tulum, we discovered that the electricity would go out often so there were periods where you could go without Wi-Fi for an hour or two. But I had made sure I had a personal hot spot on my phone. Before you go, call your service provider to discuss connectivity in your destination. I found myself struggling to get access with one provider until I called my phone company in the United States and they mentioned another provider would be helpful. The representative also guided me as I went through my phone to find and select the cell carrier that gave me better reception (Tip: Roaming has to be on to find any additional carriers.)

I spent the majority of my days working inside the apartment, but took frequent bike rides into town or to a local market. In the evenings, we would either eat at home or go to a local restaurant or out for a beach sunset. (We met many Americans who moved to Tulum during the pandemic.)

When we ate out, every restaurant indoors or outdoors we encountered followed a system where they check your temperature, spray you with sanitizer and make you step in a small puddle of water as disinfectant (whether this indeed prevents the spread of the virus was unclear to us). We skipped the few restaurants that appeared too lax on social distancing.

The six feet of social distancing was enforced mostly everywhere we went, from small to larger-scale restaurants, as was mask-wearing.

But don’t expect all the typical tourist destinations, like historic sites and museums, to be open. While we got away on a few day trips, including visiting the cenotes, or underwater caves, we understood that our options — like most travelers in the Covid era — were limited.

I recommend always sticking together with your partner or friend during the trip: You want to work as a team to avoid exposure, even if you get sick of each other. (We definitely did at some points.)

For many, this trip probably looks risky and dangerous, but we felt prepared, protected ourselves as best as we could and avoided large crowds.

Before we went, we were told by friends that they felt safer walking around in Mexico than they did in Florida or New York, and we came back feeling the same way.

In fact, I felt really safe overseas in ways I didn’t feel at home before and after returning. It gave me some peace during a very difficult period.

Claudio E. Cabrera is the deputy off-platform director at The Times.

By: Claudio E. Cabrera
Title: How to Travel Abroad to Work From Home
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/2020/10/27/travel/work-abroad-remote-coronavirus-pandemic.html
Published Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2020 09:00:20 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…
https://vistagaze.com/vacation/witnessing-perus-enduring-if-altered-snow-star-festival/

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Vacation

What could you order from Ansett Airlines’ inflight bar in the early 1970s?

Published

on

By

People have always liked to drink on board flights, especially people from Australia. Therefore, it should be no surprise to anyone that there was an inflight bar offering in the 1970s.

Ansett Airlines were a major player in the Australian domestic market up until their demise in September 2001. For many years, there were two domestic airlines, Trans-Australia Airlines (TAA) and Ansett.

Ansett’s Inflight Bar

At the time, Ansett operated Boeing 727s, Douglas DC-9s and Fokker F27 Friendships on domestic routes in the country. Airline tickets were quite expensive, with tariffs agreed upon by both airlines thanks to Australia’s weird two-airline policy at the time.

While tickets were expensive and food complimentary, you still had to pay for a drink at the bar. Here is an inflight bar menu from the era, showing the drinks available and their prices.

Clearly the pricing is astounding by today’s standards – 30 cents for a beer? I’ll have thirty-three please! I like how Australian gin is 35c while the imported gin is just 5c more. Which would you choose?

You can tell it is from another era as you can buy cigarettes on board. These price up at 45c, a far cry from the extortionate prices people in the west pay these days for a smoke!

Overall Thoughts

The on board offering is pretty comprehensive for internal flights, and I imagine you’d be hard pressed not to find something you might like. In those times, all payments would have been by cash as well, which would have meant a lot of coinage being handled on board.

Of course, things haven’t changed too much over the years. On many airlines you pay for your drinks just as they did back in the 1970s. Shame the prices aren’t the same of course!

Did you ever buy drinks on board flights from the inflight bar back in the day? Do you still? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

To never miss a post, follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
All my flight and lounge reviews are indexed here so check them out!

Featured image by Daniel Tanner on Airliners.net via Wikimedia Commons.
Menu image by Ikara on Australian Frequent Flyer.

By: The Flight Detective
Title: What could you order from Ansett Airlines’ inflight bar in the early 1970s?
Sourced From: travelupdate.com/ansett-airlines-inflight-bar-menu/
Published Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2020 15:03:14 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…
https://vistagaze.com/vacation/gift-ideas-to-buy-for-hiking-fans-on-black-friday-3/

Continue Reading

Vacation

These Shrimp Leave the Safety of Water and Walk on Land. But Why?

Published

on

By

The shrimp stop swimming at dusk and gather near the river’s edge. After sunset, they begin to climb out of the water. Then they march. All night long, the inch-long crustaceans parade along the rocks.

The parading shrimp of northeastern Thailand have inspired legends, dances and even a statue. (Locals also eat them.) During the rainy season, between late August and early October, tourists crowd the riverbanks with flashlights to watch the shrimp walk.

Watcharapong Hongjamrassilp first learned about the parading shrimp, and the hundred thousand or more tourists who come each year to see them, about 20 years ago. When he started studying biology, he returned to the topic. “I realized that we know nothing about this,” he said: What species are they? Why and how do they leave the safety of the water to walk upstream on dry land? Where are they going?

Mr. Hongjamrassilp, a graduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles, decided to answer those questions himself. His findings appeared this month in the Journal of Zoology.

Working with wildlife center staff members, Mr. Hongjamrassilp staked out nine sites along a river in Thailand’s Ubon Ratchathani province. They found shrimp parading at two of the sites — a stretch of rapids, and a low dam.

The videos they recorded revealed that the shrimp paraded from sundown to sunup. They traveled up to 65 feet upstream. Some individual shrimp stayed out of the water for 10 minutes or more.

“I was so surprised,” Mr. Hongjamrassilp said, “because I never thought that a shrimp can walk that long.” Staying in the river’s splash zone may help them keep their gills wet, so they can keep taking in oxygen. He also observed that the shells of the shrimp seem to trap a little water around their gills, like a reverse dive helmet.

DNA analysis from captured shrimp showed that nearly all belonged to the species Macrobrachium dienbienphuense, part of a genus of shrimp that live mostly or fully in freshwater. Many Macrobrachiumspecies spend part of their lives migrating upstream to their preferred habitats.

Most parading shrimp that Mr. Hongjamrassilp captured were young. Observations and lab experiments showed that these shrimp probably leave the water when the flow becomes too strong for them. Larger adult shrimp can handle a stronger current without washing away, so they’re less likely to leave the water.

Walking on land is dangerous for the little shrimp, even under cover of darkness. Predators including frogs, snakes and large spiders lurk nearby, Mr. Hongjamrassilp says. “Literally, they wait to eat them along the river.”

And the shrimp can survive on land for only so long. If the parading crustaceans lose their way, they may dry out and die before they get back to the river. A few times, Mr. Hongjamrassilp came across groups of lost shrimp dead on the rocks, their once-translucent bodies baked pink.

Yet most navigate upstream successfully, and scientists have spotted other freshwater shrimp around the world performing similar feats, scaling dams and even climbing waterfalls.

Leaving the water when the swimming gets tough may have helped these animals spread to new habitats over their evolutionary history, Mr. Hongjamrassilp said. Today, the number of parading shrimp in Thailand seems to be declining. He thinks tourist activity may be a factor, and learning more about the shrimp might help protect them.

The study’s authors made “some really excellent observations,” said Alan Covich, an ecologist at the University of Georgia who was not involved in the research. But understanding why the Ubon Ratchathani shrimp move upstream, and how far they travel, will require more research, he said.

“The most surprising thing to me was that it attracted so many tourists,” Dr. Covich said. He doesn’t know of any other example of people gathering to appreciate a crustacean in quite the same way.

“We have crayfish festivals, we have all kinds of things,” Dr. Covich said, “but generally it’s people eating them, not watching them move.”

By: Elizabeth Preston
Title: These Shrimp Leave the Safety of Water and Walk on Land. But Why?
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/2020/11/18/science/shrimp-parade-thailand.html
Published Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2020 17:02:07 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…
https://vistagaze.com/vacation/gift-ideas-to-buy-for-hiking-fans-on-black-friday-3/

Continue Reading

Vacation

Will Aer Lingus launch transatlantic flights from Manchester?

Published

on

By

There are reports that Aer Lingus have applied for 1,500 slots at Manchester Airport for the Summer 2021 season. This will allow the airline to base four aircraft there and service flights to the United States.

At present, there have been no press releases from the airline stating what is going on. Even so, it probably makes sense for the Irish airline to do this in the current market.

Aer Lingus And Manchester

From what is known, there will be three Airbus A321LRs and an A330 based at Manchester. These will operate non-stop services to New York JFK, Boston, Chicago and Orlando, and the season starts on 28 March 2021.

With Thomas Cook having gone out of business, there is likely space for another competitor. New York and Orlando will see competition from Virgin Atlantic, while the other two routes have no airline flying at the moment.

Aer Lingus has been connecting passengers over Dublin very successfully from the UK regions for a while now. Due to this, they will have visibility on traffic patterns, potential yields and more, making this an informed decision.

I imagine they also hope to cream off some of the connecting traffic that routes through London Heathrow on British Airways and Amsterdam on KLM among others. It would prove to be quite successful.

Transatlantic Joint Venture Approval

The US Department of Transport has tentatively given its approval for Aer Lingus to join the oneworld transatlantic joint business. This is operated by American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia and Finnair.

These airlines coordinate schedules and pricing, share revenues and expenses. For the consumer, it means more choice – those making a booking on British Airways across the Atlantic will also see options on American Airlines on the BA web site as one example.



Theoretically, it would allow people seeking flights on the British Airways web site to automatically be given options to fly non-stop with Aer Lingus, along with the Manchester-London Heathrow-US city connecting itinerary.

Whether Aer Lingus will join the oneworld alliance, even in a oneworld connect capacity remains to be seen. Frequent flyers would welcome it, especially those in Ireland.

Overall Thoughts

No doubt the boffins have been working behind the scenes to see if the business case for transatlantic flights from Manchester stack up. As things have proceeded as far as a slot application, I would guess chances are good that it will go ahead.

Either way, let’s see if this happens and if it does, whether Aer Lingus will stay for the long haul. If they can make more money elsewhere, they’ll up sticks and leave. Regardless, it is an interesting development in European aviation.

What do you think of Aer Lingus starting transatlantic services from Manchester? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

To never miss a post, follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
All my flight and lounge reviews are indexed here so check them out!

Featured image by N509FZ via Wikimedia Commons.
Aer Lingus A321neo LR by Pitmanaaron via Wikimedia Commons.
Business class cabin via One Mile At A Time.

By: The Flight Detective
Title: Will Aer Lingus launch transatlantic flights from Manchester?
Sourced From: travelupdate.com/aer-lingus-manchester/
Published Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2020 18:03:48 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…
https://vistagaze.com/vacation/gift-ideas-to-buy-for-hiking-fans-on-black-friday-3/

Continue Reading

Tags

Trending