Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Are Travel Guide Books travellers bible?


Happy International Book Day! As a book lover I had to post about books but actually this post is more a brainstorming and discussion about the so well known Travel Guide Books.

How many times we are traveling and someone has a travel guide book in their hands? Tons and tons. Seems that for some people every time they travel they need to buy a Travel book which is quite expensive, if you travel often to different countries.

Nowadays we have Internet and you can find all sort of information you need there. But you cannot walk around with a laptop, you can have internet acess in your tablet or smart phone. However many people prefer to read the book just because either they are used to or don't know how to use internet.

In my opinion Travel Guide Books can be pretty handy but also can be "dangerous" if you consider them as a traveller "bible". In the past, I talked with travellers who only would go to places mentioned in the travel book and despise other places also important to take a look or to experience. Aren't you missing something on your trip? Why following what a book says all the time? What about let it go, go with the flow?
Imagine you meet someone in the bus who's going to do Home Stay (staying with a family for a couple of days) and invite you but the travel guide says it's dangerous and you deny because you believe in every single word of the book guide and you miss a brilliant chance to experience culture in a pure and simple way. This is an imaginary situation but what I want to say with this example is that the Travel book only tells the authors experiences, doesn't mean will happen to you.

I think that when you travel is fundamental talking with locals and ask them where to go, where to eat, where to sleep, they are the best guides that you can have since they live there or even grew up there which makes them the travel wizzards :) Obviosly all depends on your taste and interests, but you can tell the locals what are you looking for and they will find answers to your all your questions. That's the main reason I love Couch Surfing community so much.
I don't want to say "Don't buy Travel guide books, they are poisoness", not at all! I just think you should use them in a correct way, as a guide but not as a bible you should follow every word written. They are pretty good to plan before you leave, what to pack, what to wear, where to go (an idea), etc.
I mostly use them to check out maps and to read about the History behind a site or a town. I never read the where to eat or to sleep part because I done before and mostly of places I was interested either were closed or more expensive as they mentioned. Not the book fault, maybe the updated version is more corrected?

I have about five travel books, two are from Australia that my cousin gave them to me but I never use them. One is from Lonely Planet which I don't like because of the way they write, complicated and messy sometimes. I found Rough Guides the best brand with simple sentences, real stories from travellers and even jokes! They also have this First-Time series, which helped me a lot when I was travelling in Central America and needed maps to situate myself. I bought the First-Time Latin America with all the countries of Central and South America - Genious Idea!
I bought them second hand so they are not updated at all. But for I need (maps and history) are good enough. The Portugal Rough Guide cost me 50 cents in the Flea Market and is perfect for road trips in Portugal.

Another option are the PDF format travel guide. When I was in India, two german girls saved some files in my USB pen driver with guides to Tailand, India, Vietnam, Laos. They were pretty useful and the best is that they weren't heavy on my back like books are ;)

What about you? What are your thoughts about travel books? Do you find them practical? Do you have same point of view as me or different one? Express yourself, let's discuss!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Antique Labels

As a vintage enthusiastic I can search on internet for antique labels for hours and hours. They actually inspire me on a regular basis: the colors of old times, designs, sayings, graphics. They were way more interesting then the industrial nowadays labels we find in any supermarket products.
 I grew up seeing my dad and grandpas cooking with Maizena, a kind of corn starch. (unknown source)

 Isn't this butterfly label so adorable? I would print it big size and place it in my kitchen. 

 Awwww! This Jell-O label from the sixties is what dreams are made of. No photoshop, neat word fonts.

 I remember Galak so well. It was my favourite white chocolat and was my choice always when grocery shopping with dad. (He let me bring one thing of my choice) I love the girl's face and her t-shirt is cool!

 Feminine Labels are among my favourites, especially the cutest Pinups. These are pretty neat, look at the color explosion in the second picture :)

Biotonico Fontoura is a pharmaceutic product from Brazil great for loss of appetite and when in extreme doses you could feel dizzy and with drunk feeling. Imagine people buying Biotonico to party :) 

If I had a label like this on my jam, I'd display in the kitchen all the time. Those food products you just cannot eat because they are too beautiful. 

This is so cute, can I have that red chair? Please? Please? 

I only recognize Maizena and Galak but they remind me of beautiful times of my childwood, when you don't have any responsabilities and your job is playing. Do you regonize any of these? Good memories coming out? :)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Street Art with Menau

Menau is this guy who born with a gift: making and sharing creative art. We are childhood friends, probably met eachother when 6 or 7 years old, those happy times when you used to play free in the street with other kids and go barefoot to the beach (when tecnologies didn't take place, besides watching Dragon Ball Z and play Super Mario in the oldschool Mega Drive).

He was always hyper with many ideas and projects in mind and the best: making these projects into reality. Just check his bio here and you will see how many activities he was envolved solo or as a group. I trully heart talented people who are active and want to make a difference in this World. Menau sends social, political, cultural messages all the time, just check his genious paintings, full of colors and dinamics. An Intervention Artist, indeed.


An huge inspiration when you follow his growth as an human being with values and positive attitude towards life. And also as an artist who started making graffitis back in our hometown called Quarteira in dirty and old street walls, giving color and inspiration to everyone who would pass by, nowadays with a degree in Visual Arts, the step he needed to explode all his creativity away.
Say hello to Menau :) If you wanna see more magic, check Menau's Website here and Facebook Page here. You will see that Menau is not only a street art painter.

Author: Marta Chan | Photography: Menau

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