Geology for Global Development

Travel Tips

Professionalism and Social Responsibility (1) – Top Travel Tips

SAM_0789As outlined at the start of last week, each Monday over the summer we’ll blogging about different aspects of professionalism and social responsibility. This week we’re looking back over a popular series we did last summer – ‘Top Travel Tips & Resources’ – which gave students various things to think about before embarking on overseas mapping projects, research trips, placements or tourism.

Working, living and travelling in a different country and culture can be hugely exciting, but can also bring many challenges. Our ‘Top Travel Tips‘ blogs, from students, recent graduates and experienced professionals who had all worked overseas, gave a valuable insight into… things you may wish to take that you wouldn’t necessarily think of, things they wish somebody had told them, things to do beforehand to prepare well, and things that will help you get the most out of your trip.

You can find the full archive of posts by checking out the following two links – http://geo-development.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Travel%20Tips and https://blogs.egu.eu/network/gfgd/category/travel-tips/.

Here are a selection…

Katy Hebditch… Medical stuff – It goes without saying, get the right vaccinations, take malaria prophylaxis, and take medicines you may need, ideally your own first aid kit for the field. You’ll be surprised what things you may react to – missionary ants can cause severe allergic reactions, adjusting to a new diet and being exposed to different bugs can cause havoc. If you get the chance to do any first aid training, take it. My university funded me doing an intensive expedition first aid course – great peace of mind.

Joel Gill… Crisis Management – I always prepare at least three copies of a ‘crisis management’ pack, a small A5 wallet containing passport-size photographs, photocopies of my passport, visas, immunisation certificates, travel schedules, emergency contacts, medical details (UK doctor’s phone number, allergies), numbers in case I lose my bank card, emergency first aid details. I carry one of these with me at all times, leave one hidden in the house/hotel I’m staying at, and leave one in the UK with family. It is MUCH easier to get a new passport if you lose one if you have a photocopy and passport photographs.

Dr Susanne Sargeant (BGS)… Writing about Bangladesh…. Leave plenty of time to get to meetings, appointments, etc. The traffic is crazy and in Dhaka it is not unusual for it to take a couple of hours to go 2-3 kilometres.

Rosalie Tostevin… Writing about South Africa… Clothing – If you wear shorts, your legs will be covered in cuts from the spiny plants and you may develop a rash as some of the spines deliver poison. There are also ticks and biting spiders to worry about. It’s not worth it, even for tanned legs!

Alex Stubbings… Always carry more water than what you think you need – I did my BSc mapping project in the Spanish Pyrenees, in an area called Lumbier. Contrary to popular belief, this part of Spain gets up to 40 degrees Celsius relatively frequently. Obviously coming from a cold country like the UK, to one bathing in glorious sun, we don’t think too much about water consumption. Take as much as you can carry, and prioritise over food if on a budget as that’s what I did. If you are in a region with poor water quality (outside of Europe), boil your tap water and if you buy bottled water from a street vender make sure the seal isn’t broken and that it’s reputable!

Top Travel Tips (7): Bangladesh, from Susanne Sargeant

Over the summer we published a very popular series of posts outlining some Top Travel Tips to help those undertaking mapping projects, fieldwork or research visits overseas. Good preparation is essential to get the most out of overseas work. It helps our work be more effective, more efficient and ultimately more sustainable.

Today, Susanne Sargeant shares her insights from time spend in Dhaka. You can read more about Susanne’s travels in Bangladesh in her Guest Blog.

  • At the moment, you can get a visa on arrival at the main international airport. However, if you have time to get a visa before you travel from the UK, do (if for no other reason than peace of mind).

Lalbagh Fort, Dhaka

  • Make sure you get some time to hit the tourist trail. Dhaka has some real gems like the waterfront, Old Dhaka, and the Liberation War Museum.

This man is making a statue for a hindu temple in Old Dhaka

  • Leave plenty of time to get to meetings, appointments, etc. The traffic is crazy and in Dhaka it is not unusual for it to take a couple of hours to go a 2-3 kilometres.

A river taxi rank in Dhaka

Top Travel Tips (6) – Daniel Sharpe

Over the summer we published a very popular series of posts outlining some Top Travel Tips to help those undertaking mapping projects, fieldwork or research visits overseas. We’ve had helpful posts from those who have spent time in various parts of Africa, Bangladesh, and Chile. Good preparation is essential to get the most out of overseas work. It helps our work be more effective, more efficient and ultimately more sustainable.

Today, Daniel Sharpe shares his insights from time he spent in Vancouver, Canada.

1) Explore on Foot – Vancouver is a stunning city full of open paths, chic buildings and beautiful marinas. During summertime many of the locals prefer roller-skates as their mode of transport, but a slow walk along the quay down to Stanley Park is as good an option for those not savvy with this classic 70s throwback. Cheeky black squirrels will impose themselves on you for food and you will soon forget you are in one of the largest cities in Canada.

2) Eat Out – Vancouver is a very cosmopolitan city with a particularly large asian population. This fusion of cultures has made eating here a complete experience, from North-American steak houses to delicate little patisseries and Asian corner shops. You’ll find everything from high end elite restaurants to greasy spoon cafes so get out looking for whatever takes your fancy.

3) Breakfast is the most important meal – The breakfasts in Vancouver are incredible and they certainly do not do things by halves. Pancakes, sausages, bacon, mushrooms and as many as 8 different styles of egg to choose from served on a chest sized plate was certainly a nice wake up, and if you find one of the little corner cafes this mountain of food won’t even cost that much!

4) Get out and about – With Whistler only a 50 minute drive away you’d be silly not to hire a car for a day and get our into British Columbia’s wilderness. Sea planes litter the harbour with an incandescent hum ferrying tourists up to small mountain lakes to the north-west. Rural B.C. is an amazing place so get out and experience a true lasting wilderness of pine forests and bears.

Vancouver is regularly voted as one of the best places in the world to live and it is not hard to see why. Modern skyscrapers mingle with old colonial buildings and a culture confused city with a backdrop of mountains and sea. Explore on foot, get out and about and be prepared to add a belt buckle or two when sampling the food in one of the worlds great cities.