31 May 2009

You've been Facebooked

Much has been said about web 2.0 and the way that it is changing the way that we communicate. There are many different programs offering a web 2.0 experience but very few impacted my life until Facebook came along. I have found that it offers an amazingly easy way to re-connect and keep in contact with old friends, ex schoolmates and colleagues, but it also has its downsides.

Map of Web 2.0 courtesy of xkcd

17 May 2009

Money and Value when Traveling

After all the amazing travel stories I decided to turn to a subject that is slightly more mundane, but still important - Money and how do you perceive / get value when traveling. In my travels I identified 3 different attitudes to money and value that people have when they are traveling:

  • People who complain how expensive everything is in comparison to what they can get at home
  • People who throw money around like confetti because the local currency has no value and they can’t believe how “cheap” everything is despite the fact that it might still be expensive for the people who live there
  • People who are always looking for something cheaper and will go out of their way to “save a buck” despite the fact that it is far cheaper than at home

11 May 2009

Diving with Manta's - Donsol, Philippines Part II

The other attraction about an hour and an half from Donsol is a submerged island in the middle of Sorsogon Bay nicknamed Manta Bowl. The island is at an average depth of 25 meters while the surrounding channels plunge to around 100m. The strong ocean currents coming in from the Pacific provides plenty of food for manta’s and whale sharks and the island provides a great location where recreational divers (who can go down as far as 40m) can see these giants. The area is notorious for very strong currents which can be extremely tiring. Usually we would dive with reef hooks that would allow us to clip ourselves to rocky outcrops and wait for a glimpse of white in the water followed by a shadow that would mark the passing of a manta ray, but the dive operator had forgotten. Fortunately the group that had dived the day before did not experience any current and we were hoping for similar conditions.