Places to avoid during flu season

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Preventing the flu is the best thing to do in a cold season, especially if your immune system is not what it used to be. Therefore, you have to know what places to avoid during flu season, to keep yourself protected from the germs. We have selected some of the most dangerous locations where you can easily get a cold.

  1. Public toilets

Actually, not the toilets are the problems, but the sinks. All the germs caught in a toilet get on the faucet when people want to wash their hands. Moreover, this place is the best environment for germs to spread, since it is a wet place. They cannot wait for you to get in touch with them.

 

  1. Restaurants

Even if the waiters clean the tables and the chairs in a restaurant, they usually do this with the same cloth, so the germs are not killed at all. You’d better avoid having dinner at a restaurant in winter and prepare something for your family at home.

 

  1. Malls

It may seem that a mall may be a perfect place to spend your Saturday or Sunday in since it is very cold outside and you definitely cannot go for a walk. However, this is the main reason for which these malls are full of germs. The shops are full of people during the weekends, and there is a high risk for you to get in touch with contagious individuals.

Moreover, if you buy something, you have to wash your hands after you touch the money, because the germs may live on a bill up to 14 days. Do not put your hands on your face after touching a dollar. Try to go to the malls in the morning, since they usually get busy only in the afternoon.

 

  1. Makeup & Perfumes

Be careful especially in makeup and perfume shops. While you are testing a lipstick, you can very well get a cold, since you do not know who has tested it before. Your husband also has to pay attention while testing men’s cologne, since the perfumes used as testers carry a lot of pathogens.

 

  1. Kindergartens

Of course, you cannot keep your child at home the whole winter, since you have to go to work and your daughter/son needs care. But teach your children not to get too close to other people and make sure they understand that washing their hands is often an essential thing to do during winter. Moreover, you can ask your doctor for vitamins which help the immune system of your young one to get healthier. Kids, and especially those that have not reached the age of 5, are more vulnerable to the flu.

  1. Offices

If you work in an office and you do not have your own desk, your keyboard and mouse are very likely to have germs on them, since other people use them, too. These germs may be taken from your own hands, as well, if you do not wash them before sitting at your desk. You should clean your keyboard and mouse regularly and do not forget about your smartphone! Studies say that phones have more germs on them than public toilets.

It is very difficult to avoid this kind of places because the ones that are riskier are those that we usually need to visit. You just have to keep your immune system strong and try to limit the number of times you are in contagious places.

In order to be healthy, eat as many fruits and vegetables as you can and get supplements, as well as vitamins. Wash your clothes regularly, especially your jackets and shoes. If you have a dog or cat at home, they will definitely play around your shoes and may collect the germs which, in turn, will affect you.

 

Where not to go in Thailand

 

Thailand is one of the most sought after travel destinations in the world. The Land of Smiles is loved by solo travelers and honeymooners alike and in 2017 it welcomed more than 30 million tourists. Its breathtaking nature, tolerant people and world renowned gastronomy make Thailand an extremely popular place for a holiday.

Moreover, many retired Westerners and digital nomads decided to call this south-east Asian country “home” because of the cheap cost of living at nearly Western standards. Businesses thrive and the expat community is vibrant, adding to the cosmopolitan atmosphere you can experience in cities like Bangkok or Chiang Mai.

Overall, Thailand can be considered a very safe place, much safer than many other countries in the area. Women traveling alone usually feel at ease in Thailand and generally families with children have nothing to worry about. However, like anywhere else in the world, there are places best to be avoided or at least where you should exercise some caution when visiting. Here are five of these not so safe places.

 

Deep South – Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat Provinces (also known as the three Southern Border Provinces)

You should really avoid these three provinces during your trip to Thailand as bomb and terror attacks are common here. Historically, this region belonged to Malaysia until it was conquered by the Kingdom of Siam (nowadays Thailand) in 1785 and it has been governed by Thailand ever since.

An insurgency movement led by different secessionist groups started not long after World Word II and it has become increasingly violent since 2001.

Violence occurs almost daily in the region, usually involving drive by shootings and small bombings. You shouldn’t be here unless you absolutely have to, not like you can pack your full gear in a hunting backpack and consider yourself ready for anything. There is serious unrest in this area and Thailand has a plethora of amazing places that are safe to visit so why take the chance?

 

Khlong Toei in Bangkok

The City of Angels is a truly amazing place that developed incredibly quickly and it’s generally quite safe. There are the usual bag snatchers and scammers that prey on innocent tourists, but Bangkok is considered a safe place even at night.

Khlong Toei, however, is the epitome of the word “slum” and, even though you can find slums neighboring skyscrapers everywhere in Bangkok, Khlong Toei is renowned for its extreme poverty. Although not particularly dangerous during the day, it isn’t a place where a solo female tourist should venture. Locals are somehow used to seeing tourists as the slum isn’t far from downtown, but the crime and drug abuse are off the chart in the neighborhood.

 

Koh Tao

Also known as “Turtle Island”, this is an amazing place, perfect for scuba diving. However, the island has been getting a lot of negative feedback lately due to a series of events involving violence against foreigners.

The case of the British couple murdered there some years back made the headlines and the conviction of two Burmese migrants didn’t help as it raised even more questions in international media.

Koh Tao still is a haven for backpackers and the island isn’t necessarily dangerous, although the gloomy nickname “Death Island” doesn’t make it as appealing as it used to be, and all that in spite of the stunning nature it’s blessed with.

Aranyaprathet

Although it’s not considered dangerous per se, Aranyaprathet is simply too much of a hassle. Meaning too much of a scam.

This small border town has been used for years by foreigners living in Thailand for visa runs which roughly means crossing the border to Cambodia and then quickly crossing the border back to Thailand. Thus a whole industry was born.

Unfortunately, this city is difficult to avoid if you plan on going to Cambodia by bus as it’s the most popular tourist route for travel between Bangkok and Siem Reap.

 

Pattaya

Roughly 2 hours away from Bangkok lies the city of Pattaya which evolved from the small fishing village it used to be in the ‘60s to the infamous Sin City of Thailand. Although North Pattaya still is a good place to go for a day trip at the beach, the rest of the city isn’t very family friendly.

If you do go to Pattaya, watch out for the well-known jet-ski scam and pretend you don’t see the trash on the beach.

 

 

How to avoid crime and scams in Bulgaria

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On the south-eastern edge of the European continent lies Bulgaria, a small country with an extremely beautiful landscape. The country’s culture, history and people are fascinating and especially after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Bulgaria quickly became a highly popular tourist destination, due to its close proximity and opening to the Black Sea, the reasonable prices and high-quality services.

The country’s location makes it an important gateway between Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Bulgaria is one of European Union’s external borders, which gives it relative stability, thus presenting a safe environment for all the businesses, organizations and tourists located within its borders.

From a tourist’s point of view, a lot of the scams that we are about to present to you below are well known, spread and practiced in a lot of destinations all over the Globe. However, a few of these crimes are extremely typical to Bulgaria; therefore you should carefully take note when reading the following information, especially if you are planning a vacation in Bulgaria.

Pickpocketing

It couldn’t be more obvious that pickpockets are drawn to large and preferably crowded masses of people. In those cases, victims have limited visibility and little space to move or react.

When in Bulgaria, be wary of your valuables when you are using public transportation as a means of traveling around. Busy trams or buses are good places for pickpockets to steal from tourists, so keep an eye on your bags, purses or wallets when traveling in such conditions.

These thieves can be as skilled as to relieve tourists of possessions even when they are standing on a street corner and waiting for the lights to turn green in order to cross to the other side.  

Other dangerous places where pickpockets wait for easy targets include crowded alleys or malls and shopping streets. Just before a pickpocketing takes place, a diversion usually happens. This may vary from someone bumping into you, to a fake argument or even a fight. Keep your eyes open and do not let yourself easily distracted.

Always be aware of what is happening around you, especially in your close proximity. Try not to let anybody get too close to you if you do not know them. If you must go through a crowded area and you have your belongings in a backpack, switch it and carry it in front of you. If the bus that you must take in order to reach somewhere else is jam-packed, it is a good idea to wait for a few minutes for the next one.

 

Old, Invalid Banknotes

The Bulgarian currency is called leva and the valid banknotes are issued after 1999. The simplest way to check how a valid one looks like and what its features are is to search it on the Internet, on the Official Bulgarian National Bank’s website.  

Scammers could try to give you invalid or old currency, relying on you not knowing the banknotes well enough. Pay attention to what you are being handed when you receive change at a shop or when you are exchanging money.

You must never exchange money on the street, no matter how good the rate is. Money should only be exchanged in banks. Tourists have reportedly received invalid banknotes all along the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, so you must avoid these places when exchanging money.  

 

Absent Tickets

If you are traveling through Bulgaria using public transportation you should buy the tickets before getting on.

You have the possibility to buy the tickets from the driver, as well. However, it is nearly impossible to receive one, unless you pay the exact amount of change.

If the trip starts at Sofia Airport, and you plan to travel using public transportation, you must buy a ticket in advance, before you get on the metro, tram or bus.

Foreign tourists have claimed that after boarding the bus from an airport, the driver refused to sell them tickets due to the fact that the tourists didn’t have the precise amount of money needed. The bus departed and they received a fine because they did not have any tickets.

If you use the metro, keep in mind that tickets are valid only at the time and from the station where you acquired them.

 

Fake Taxis

Inflated taxi prices that drivers impose on tourists are a known scam and that can be experienced in large cities all over the world. However, in Bulgaria, you must be particularly wary because there are fake taxi companies.

The ones who try to scam you, fake the car’s stickers and impersonate other well known legitimate taxi companies, by changing only a character and a couple of digits from the phone number. If you are a tourist and you do not pay attention you may not see the difference and especially in Sofia, you risk to fall into their trap.

One of the safest methods to call a taxi is to ask the receptionist of your hotel or a waiter to do it for you. Also, you could use an official smartphone application.

Free Gifts

Some scammers will meet you on the streets or in any other public places and will wish to give you a small trinket, such as a tiny Crucifix, a ring or something similar. They will insist that you do not need to pay for it and that you should accept it as a symbol of good luck, or a blessing, or some other reason.

However, after you accept said gift, they change their attitude and charge you money in return. They will follow you and demand payment, refusing to take the item back, if you want to return it. Most tourists give in and eventually pay for the trinket, after getting annoyed past any limits. In order to avoid this scam, just refuse any object from strangers.

 

Inflated Restaurant Bill

The main Bulgarian cities greet tourists with a plethora of restaurants where everybody can enjoy the local dishes and culinary specialties. However, before paying your bill or personally handing over the money to the waiter or bartender, double check that the total amount is correctly calculated.

At times, you might find on the bill an extra portion of bread or a drink you did not order. More often than not, it’s not an innocent mistake, but rather it’s your waiter making a few extra levas. The way to handle such a situation is to politely show them the mistake. They will politely apologize and calculate your bill again.

 

Stray Animals

Sometimes, when you are taking a walk on the streets of any town in Bulgaria, you may see stray animals, mostly dogs and cats.

No matter how much you love animals, please resist your urge to pet, feed or take them into your arms. These animals can be dirty, so they can carry all sorts of diseases, lice, and other parasites. Moreover, they can become aggressive if you reach your hand towards them. They may or may not bite you for no obvious reason.

You should just keep a safe distance and simply not interact with any stray animals.

 

 

What Not to Pack in Your Carry-On to Avoid Getting in Trouble

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It is so much easier to travel with your carry-on luggage only! You don’t have to worry about airlines losing your luggage, or all those extra fees that certain airlines impose on your checked luggage.

We know that when you go on a longer vacation, it is almost impossible to travel with your carry-on luggage only because you need more space. But let us make it easier for everyone one of us, and let’s have a look at the things that you are not allowed to pack in your carry-on.

 

Meat, fruit, vegetables, and other agricultural products

If you are traveling internationally, bear in mind that most countries won’t allow you to bring in any meats, fruits, vegetables or any other agricultural products. Healthy snacks are allowed on the plane though, so you can take a fruit with you but make sure you eat it before your arrival.

If you haven’t had a chance to eat it, be aware that you have to show your fruit to a customs officer for inspection, especially if it’s something exotic. If you fail to do this, you can get a fine which most of the times is pretty steep.

 

Liquids over 3.4 ounces or 100ml

You can take in your carry-on any type of liquids, just make sure that all liquids are in containers of no more than 3.4 ounces or 100ml. And very important, all containers with liquids must fit into a clear plastic bag with a capacity of not more than 1 liter and measures approximately 20cm x 20cm.

Nowadays, you can buy travel-sized containers almost anywhere, and you can fill those with anything that you think you will need on your trips like your shampoo or your shower gel. Also, you can buy many products in travel sizes directly, like your toothpaste or your deodorant, and you no longer have to transfer them from the regular containers into the travel sized ones.

Strict lighter rules

According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA’s), one butane or Zippo lighter is allowed in your carry-on luggage. So yes, you are allowed to have a lighter in your carry-on, but make sure it is not one that imitates firearms and you don’t bring it out at any time. You can also carry a lighter in your pocket, but again you are not permitted to take it out of your pocket during the flight.  

I think that it only makes sense why airlines have this kind of restrictions; imagine how will people react if one of the passengers, at one point during the flight, decides to bring out a lighter gun. With all these terrorist attacks happening everywhere around the world, this action can lead to a massive panic on plane.

 

Sharp objects

It is perfectly understandable why airlines have come up with this restriction, as one can imagine a sharp object can be easily used as a weapon. That is why you are not allowed to carry in your carry-on luggage items like box cutters, ice picks, meat cleavers or utility knives, or swords. You can carry these sharp objects with you but make sure that you pack them in your checked luggage.

If you were wondering if you can put your scissors in your carry-on, the answer is generally yes as long as the scissors are less than 4 inches long, but if they are longer than that the answer is an absolute no. But do bear in mind that the final decision belongs to the officer, so you might want to think if it’s actually worth the trouble.

 

 

Spain Dangerous Travel Tips You Should Know  

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Spain is the world’s third most-visited country, being famous for its Mediterranean beaches and the Pyrenees Mountains that offer a beautiful landscape in the summer and adventurous skiing in winter.

Also, Spain has a lot of tourist attractions and it is famous for its good food, its fine wine, and its nice weather; summer months can last from May to October. It is considered the land of the siesta, where everyone enjoys a slow-paced lifestyle. Even if traveling in Spain is generally safe, there are some things you should pay closer attention to in order to avoid any unwanted situations.

 

Watch your pockets!

Due to this popularity, Spain attracts a lot of scammers and pickpockets especially around its main cities like Madrid and Barcelona. That is why it is recommended that you pay close attention to your pockets and personal belongings, especially when you are on public transportation.

Many tourists have had their passports, cash or credit cards stolen, so you should make sure you put them somewhere safe. You have to be extremely careful when you find yourself in crowded places like train stations or airports; even restaurants or outdoor cafes are places where your phone or bag can be stolen.

Also, if you decide to spend the day at the beach swimming, bear in mind that there are thieves who wait for you to go in the water then they will try to steal any valuable that you leave unattended. Make sure you never leave your personal belongings unattended, always go to the beach with someone else or if you do go by yourself don’t take valuable things with you.  

Don’t let yourself be fooled

There are many scams happening on the streets of Spain, especially in Madrid and Barcelona’s touristic places. Usually, there are small groups of thieves who act together in order to distract your attention, so they can steal your wallet. They prove to be very ingenious when it comes to these types of scams, and you can expect anyone to take part, from small children to older women, so don’t let yourself get fooled.

A famous scam is the flower pin scam, which involves an old lady and some of her accomplices. So, she pins a flower on you and then she asks for money and since you are on vacation and you want to feel good you will think that it is ok to open up your wallet and give the lady some money. But the trick here is that when you pull out your wallet, she might just snatch it. You should politely decline and give the pin back.

Another scam involves some “football players” who will come to you to ask you to join a football game along the streets. Their goal is to get you involved in the game, and if you love playing football it may be very easy for them to do that. Then they will steal all your valuables while you are playing. You should stay away from this setup.

 

Renting a car can be very tricky

If you decided to rent a car in Spain you have to make sure that it has proper insurance, and also very important, you have to check if it has a mileage limit. Sometimes you may find very good deals but be careful because you may find out that you are only allowed to drive a total of 100 km during your car rental period. Pay maximum attention to these aspects.

There are lots of speed radars on the streets of Spain, so make sure you don’t overlook all those speed limit signs. Also, bear in mind that radar detectors are forbidden in Spain, and if you are caught using one the ticket can be as high as 2000 euros (more than 2200 dollars).

 

 

What to Avoid Eating in India

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You’ve been planning your trip to India for months, and you have been so excited to try all those famous Indian dishes you’ve heard so many people talking about. But be careful, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) states that traveler’s diarrhea or food poisoning affects 30% to 70% of travelers who have ingested food or water that was contaminated.

By paying increased attention to the food and beverage that we choose, we can reduce the risk of acquiring foodborne illnesses. Let’s have a look at those foods that should be avoided so you can enjoy your trip to India to the fullest.

 

Cooked veggies are always a good idea

Ok, we know you’ve been trying for a long time to become vegetarian and believe us when we say that India is the best place to start. Most Indians are vegetarians, so it won’t be hard for you to find a multitude of delicious dishes that don’t contain meat. We would recommend you avoid meat especially when it comes to street food.

Eating meat can be very dangerous because it can be contaminated. It is almost impossible to know how long the meat has been sitting out before it was used to prepare the dish. Also, pay attention to the cleanliness of the place you’re buying the food from. If you think that they don’t meet the hygiene requirements, then don’t buy anything from that place.

You should also avoid eating fish because your immune system might not be able to handle very well an uncooked fish or one that has been staying in the heat for a long period of time. The same goes for eggs – if they are undercooked they can be very dangerous. And cheese, make sure it is cooked before you eat it! A sprinkle of Parmesan on your pasta might not be a very good idea while you are in India, so go for the paneer instead.

It’s not food but it is very closely related to it: tap water

When traveling in India you have to remember that tap water should always be avoided because it can be contaminated with Escherichia coli or E.coli. Even if locals drink it, for tourists it can be very dangerous leading to diarrhea or other harmful chemical contaminations.

We all know how important it is to stay hydrated, especially in India where it’s mostly hot and dry with temperatures during the day ranging from 77F to 104F. So, make sure to remain healthy, and try to avoid tap water by keeping a bottle of mineral water handy all the time.

Also, we recommend washing your fruits and vegetables with bottled water, just to be on the safe side. Even in restaurants try to order mineral water instead of a regular one – better safe than sorry, right?

 

Maximum attention when opting for street food

In order to avoid “Delhi Belly” aka dysentery most people would advise you not to eat from vendors on the street, but there have been cases when tourists ate at some high-end restaurant and they got sick. So, you can never be sure, but to be on the safe side try at least to avoid those foods that are considered more “dangerous”.

During the hot tropical summers, you might think that golas – flavored ice candies basically – will help you cool you down. Make sure you use a bottle of mineral water instead because the water used to make ice golas can’t be trusted.

The same goes for the famous gol gappe, the small deep-fried crispy breads filled with stuffing and flavored water – we can’t be sure that the flavored water is not contaminated.

 

Top 5 dangerous airports

 

If you love traveling but you also want to know the risks that you are exposing yourself to while visiting other places by plane, we are here to present to you five dangerous airports that you should avoid or, at least, know about before you book your next flight.

 

The Courchevel International Airport – France

As you can imagine, building an airport between the rocks of a mountain is not the best of ideas. However, this small aerodrome for helicopters and small airplanes is actually located within the mountainous area of Courchevel, a ski resort from the French Alps.

The airstrip has an 18.5% downward gradient that makes it terribly difficult for planes to take off. Also, the runway is very short, as it only measures 1,762 ft.  As a plus, because of the terrain, there is currently no go-around procedure for landing here.

To make things even worse, the runway of this airport has no lighting aids and no instrument approach procedure. Because of this, landing here during foggy days is a nightmare for inexperienced pilots.

The Lukla Airport – Nepal

If you are a fan of mounting climbing and you intend to visit Mount Everest, you will probably find yourself having to reach the Lukla Airport in Nepal. Similarly to the previous airport that we have talked about, this location is dangerous because it is also situated between the mountains. On top of that, the runway is quite short, it has 1,729 ft., and the terminal is not that long.

What is more, given the geographical positioning of the airport, the weather here is often very bad, and the visibility is low. As a consequence, the airport is home to many unhappy incidents and crashes that sometimes end with casualties.

Besides, this aerodrome is surrounded by a chain-link fence, and armed police forces guard it on a daily basis.

 

The McMurdo Air Station – Antarctica

If you are not afraid of the cold and you are dreaming of visiting Antarctica, we suggest that you stay away from the McMurdo Air Station. One of the primary reasons why this airport is dangerous has to do with the fact that not many people travel to this area and, thus, the infrastructure here is bad, or, better said, missing.

Although the runway here is not necessarily short, it is covered in ice, which is a reason why many pilots have issues landing here. Even more so, the temperatures here are below freezing throughout the year and half the year is pitch black.

 

The Madeira Airport – Portugal

The thought of expanding an airport is, usually, a good idea. However, not the same can be said about the situation in the Madeira Airport, in Portugal. Here, in an attempt to boost the landing strips situated between the ocean and the cliffs, the designers decided to build the extra needed platforms on an artificial island.

However, as the time passed by, the columns that hold the artificial runway have withstood a series of shocks during the landings. Because of this, this airport has made it to our list!

 

The Barra Airport – Scotland

This list would have been half-done without us reminding you of the Barra Airport, in Scotland. The first thing that you have to know about this place is the fact that this is currently the only location in the entire world where the landing surface is a beach. In fact, if you happen to reach your destination during the tide, chances are that the plane won’t be able to land here.

The reason for this is connected to the fact that three of the runways of the airport are underwater during high tide. Given these conditions, the planes are only allowed to land here during a certain part of the day.

Additionally, there have been incidents when reflective strips were placed on the beach, and vehicle lights were used to mark the runway during the night so that the planes that have arrived after sunlight could land. However, if you are a fan of the beach, chances are that you will love this location!

All in all, before you make your next flight reservation, be sure to consider just how dangerous the airport that you have to depart from and/or land on is. This way, you can avoid the unexpected stress and anxiety caused by a bad or scary flying experience!

 

 

 

Top 5 things you should never eat in the wild

 

Living in the wild is just as scary as it sounds. That’s why, even though the chances you will have to do it are slim, you’d better learn what kind of foods you should stay away from and not consume nor touch. Nature can be terrifying, as there are hundreds, if not thousands, of plants and fruits that could cause great harm or even kill you.

We would all like to think that we could be just as efficient as Bear Grylls at surviving in extreme conditions, but the truth is, he is a trained army guy, and that most of us have trouble ordering food online. And that is exactly why you should read this article so that you can educate yourself, and if the situation ever arises, to call yourself a survivor.

It’s not a selfish thing to want to learn what not to eat while you’re running for your life. This way, you can too teach your family and friends how to survive. The tricky part is that everything looks so appealing and inviting, and, when you’re starving, it’s hard to say no even if it’s poisonous. So, without further ado, here are the ultimate things that if ingested, could lead to some serious problems. Like death.

The first inedible thing is a difficult one. That’s because mushrooms – numero uno on our list – are divided into two categories: poisonous and non-poisonous. The ones you can eat are delicious and easy to cook even in a doomsday scenario. However, the other group, well, let’s just say some of the most potent poisons in the world can be contained by some species of mushrooms.

You should learn how to differentiate mushrooms, because they can be found in abundance in nature, and are an excellent source of protein. And yes, some are hallucinogenic, but it might not be a good idea to try those while wild animals surround you. To read about mushrooms, try your local library or Youtube.

At number two we have water. Yes, water! If you are thirsty, try to drink running water, not from stagnant pools. Stagnant water is filled with bacteria and algae most of the time, which can cause dysentery and other severe gastrointestinal diseases. And, ironically, it can lead to dehydration.

A smart thing you could do is prepare ahead. Invest in a quality and complete disaster kit, as those have decent water reserves. Or, if you want to take things even further, you can buy a water filter or a bottle that has one built-in. And whatever you do, do not drink ocean water. It can lead to death, and it is full of salt, which is only going to make you thirstier. If you don’t have any of these, try boiling the water you drink beforehand.

This might sound ridiculous to some, but next on this list is Poison Ivy. And why would some mistake it for an edible thing? Well, because most city people have never seen this plant in their entire lives, and because it closely resembles another edible leaf called the Virginia creeper.

The plant, aka. Miss Ivy, produces urushiol, which is a skin irritant. When it gets in contact with your epidermis, it will give you a rash, and painful blisters will appear almost instantly. As if this wasn’t enough, it can also lead to severe allergies. Even if you might never find yourself in a life and death situation, it is still a clever idea to look it up and to avoid it whenever you go to the park or camping.

Next up is the Horsenettle. What’s that, you’re asking? It is a plant which has fruits that look identical to cherry tomatoes, which are delicious and full of nutrients, unlike the weed mentioned above. If you’re hiking and you’re suddenly starving, whatever you do, do not eat those “tomatoes” that grow on the side of the trail. It might be a better idea to eat tree bark as our ancestors did.

And lastly, as our final public enemy, we have bats. You might think that this is insane and that nobody does that, but there are many countries where bats are a common meat source. However, they are known for carrying hundreds of diseases, including Ebola. Smoking, as bat meat is usually preserved by, doesn’t kill the virus and you could still get infected.

 

 

Top 5 most dangerous spiders in the world

 

According to the American Psychiatric Association, one in ten people in the United States suffers from at least one type of phobia. Out of them, it is estimated that 40% of individuals have phobias related to bugs, snakes, and mice.

Arachnophobia is characterized by an irrational fear of spiders, but most people who are diagnosed with this condition don’t require any treatment. However, how many of us can say we like spiders?

Even if you are used to them or you gnash at the very thought of one of these creatures living in the same room with you, it would be best to know what spiders can be harmless and which ones are dangerous. Therefore, if you plan on traveling around the globe or just want to be more informed, here is a list of the top five most threatening spider species in the world.

 

Brazilian Wandering Spider

Out of over 40,000 known species of spiders, only a few are venomous and pose a threat to humans. The Brazilian Wandering spider is one of them and can be found in tropical South America and Central America.

They can grow up to six inches and can inject a neurotoxin that is 20 times deadlier than the venom of the famous Black Widow. A simple bite is known to cause convulsion, hypothermia, nausea, swelling, and sweating while the most severe cases can lead to paralysis and asphyxiation.

Sydney Funnel Web

If you don’t plan a trip around Australia with a four-wheeler you might steer clear of this spider. It is native to Eastern Australia and can usually be found within 62-mile radius of the Sydney area, hence its name. It enjoys the specific warm climate, and you can stumble across it on trees, tree stumps or under rocks.

And, despite its rather small dimensions, its bite is extremely dangerous to humans.

The male’s venom can cause severe pains, hypotension, vomiting, and respiratory problems. It is known to cause death within 15 minutes, and this is why if you happen to enjoy hiking or outdoor activities around the Sydney area, you need to stay protected using a pair of waterproof hiking shoes, and have an antidote with you at all times.

 

Six-Eyed Sand Spider

This spider only lives in the deserts and sandy areas of Africa. It is known for being able to survive for long periods of time without any food or water. Its bite releases a necrotoxic venom that destroys the tissues and thins the blood.

Severe cases of biting can lead to a rupture of the blood vessels, and the worse part is that there is no antidote for it. However, these spiders are known to be very shy and can rarely be encountered by people.

Wolf Spiders

They belong to the family Lycosidae and, unfortunately, they are spread all over the world. The family includes over 125 species that live throughout North America and other 50 that live in Europe.

These spiders are small to medium-sized and have hairy bodies and long legs. The Wolf Spider is not considered aggressive, but it will bite for self-defense purposes. Its bite can cause several allergic reactions, including nausea, increased heart rate, dizziness or skin swelling.

 

Black Widow

This insect is part of the Latrodectus genus and the family Theridiidae. 31 recognized species in this family can be found all over the world, including in North America, Europe, and Australia. The iconic Black Widow is also known as the redback due to its striking red markings and the black abdomen.

Its biting used to be deadly before the discovery of an anti-venom, hence the bad reputation of the Black Widow. Some of the symptoms include nausea, swelling, sweating, and abdominal cramps.

 

 

Top 5 most dangerous roads in the world

 

You don’t hear this travel-related expression often anymore, but it used to be quite common. Safe roads are a thing of the present, as the past was filled with trails that could literally get you killed. But even to this day, there still are a few destinations you should stay away from. That is unless you’re an adventurer. If you’re curious what those are, read this article because it is never a bad idea to educate yourself.

 

Trans-Sahara Highway, Algiers

There’s a plan to build a network of highways across the African continent, to promote the much-needed economic development in the region, which frankly sounds like a fantastic idea. But it is still a plan, and it will take a few years until it becomes a dream come true.

That’s why the alternative route is the first road on our list. Traveling on the 2,800 mile-long partially sand covered route remains a daunting task. Not only are daytime temperatures scorching, but fuel and water are scarce along much of the way. Plus, with all the political turmoil in the region, it might not be a good idea to go on a solo expedition there.

 

Kolyma Federal Highway, Russian Federation

Another rather creepy road connects Magadan to Yakutsk. The 1,200-mile-long route is known in Europe and Russia as the “Road of Bones”. The story doesn’t end here. It was constructed between the 30s and the early 50s by thousands of convicts who were deliberately overworked and even starved to death, then buried beneath the road.

Over the years, it has fallen into a severe state of despair, as the Russian authorities have neglected it. The Kolyma road passes through some of the coldest inhabited places on Earth, with winter-time temperatures that drop to minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit. At times, the way is frozen solid. To ride here you will need a very thick motorcycle adventure jacket.

Karakoram Highway, Pakistan to China

Sometimes this cool road is considered the Eighth Wonder of the World since it was built at 14,500 feet above sea level and, of course, under very rough conditions. Construction on the Karakoram Highway began in early 1966 and was completed in autumn 1979, although it wasn’t opened officially until 1986.

This dangerous piece of land covers more than half of a continent and, in some places, it follows the famous Silk Road. It cuts through the most mountainous region on Earth, and it is beset with hazards like rock falls, landslides, frequent avalanches, and even flooding. But despite that, it is one of the most profitable commercial routes in modern history. Needless to say, it is not suited even for the sturdiest and the most expensive road bike.

 

Pan American Highway, Alaska to Chile

The Pan American Highway or PAH for short is not dangerous in its entirety. But in some key places, you for sure risk your freedom and also your life by using the PAH as a way of reaching Chile from the US. That’s because a big chunk of the PAH winds through the sketchy parts of Mexico and Central America, where drug cartels make the rules.

And in the gorgeous Panamanian section of the road, you have increased chances of encountering FARC rebels, who often take hostages to hold for ransom. Anyway, the PAH is around 30,000 miles long, and if you want to ignore all the bad stuff that’s going on, the scenery along the way is going to take your breath away.

Halsema Highway, Philippines

This is the last road we are going to talk about for the moment. Although it is one of the most hazardous stretches of road on this planet, it is also one of the most scenic and rewarding too. It was ordered in the 1930s by a man who went by the name Eusebius Julius Halsema, who was weirdly enough from Ohio.

The highway snakes along the dangerous slopes of the Cordillera Central mountain range, in an area loaded with volcanic rock formations. The 7.8 earthquake that took place in 1990 destabilized and broke some stony layers apart, and as a result, drivers are under the constant threat of rock slides and death.