Best Places to Kayak Around the World

If you’re looking for a new way to explore the world, try kayak. There are some places that are best seen from the water. From sea caves to icebergs, these kayaking destinations are perfect for the adventurous vacationer.

Sea of Cortez, Mexico: The sea of Cortez is located between the Baja peninsula (the peninsula that hangs down beneath California) and the rest of Mexico. There, rugged island cliffs jut out of impossibly clear water. Take the opportunity to explore these islands, many of which can only be visited by boat. Local wildlife includes: blue-footed boobies, manta rays, and blue whales.

Hebrides, Scotland: In the Scottish Hebrides, you can kayak clear turquoise water amid seals and seabirds, explore countless islands and sea stacks, and peek into inlet caves. Aside from being incredibly picturesque, this is a great trip for beginning sea kayakers.

Fiordland, New Zealand: If you want to explore the natural beauty of New Zealand, there’s nowhere better than the Milford Sound in Fiordland, National Park. And there’s no better way to explore the Milford Sound than by kayak. Paddle past rainforests and towering mountains, and keep an eye out for fur seals, penguins, and bottlenose dolphins.

Vancouver Island, Canada: In the waters off the coast of Canada, you can paddle alongside killer whales and past the towering, snow capped peaks of Vancouver Island.

Dalmatian Coast, Croatia: From the clear, sunny waters off the coast of Croatia, you can see beautiful historical architecture or escape the crowds for the uninhabited beaches of wooded islands.

Whitsunday Islands, Australia: Get a new and magical view of this popular Australian vacation spot. Kayakers can leave the crowds behind and venture into clear waters and stunning reefs, visit empty white beaches, and see sea turtles, dolphins, sea eagles, colorful butterflies and tropical fish.

Grand Teton National Park: Explore the lakes of Grand Teton National Park, where you can see osprey, antelope, and moose along the banks. Some of the most beautiful spots in the park are only reachable by kayak, so if you plan to go, definitely plan to spend a day on the water.

Sermilik Fjord, Greenland: Time this trip carefully–Sermilik Fjord is completely blocked by icebergs during the cold months of the year. In the summer, however, the cold waters are calm and pristine, and you can paddle among the remaining ice with seals and whales.

Na Pali Coast, Hawaii: From the waters surrounding the island of Kauai, Hawaii, you can take in a unique view of this tropical paradise. See the island’s jagged green cliffs, explore partially submerged caves. Local wildlife includes: dolphins, seals, humpback whales, flying fish, and sea turtles.

How to Prevent Rust in Your Home

If you’re a homeowner, you’ve probably already fought some battles against rust. Rust is at best unsightly, and at worst can permanently damage your property. Rusty objects can stain the surfaces they rest on, cause their rust to spread, and ultimately be themselves rendered useless.

So how do you prevent rust? Rust is the result of a chemical reaction between iron, water, and oxygen. Certain other substances, such as salts, can speed this process, although they do not themselves cause rust. Thus, things left in moist, warm places, things frequently left outdoors, and anything else that is frequently in contact with water will be most vulnerable to rust.

For many items in your home, the first line of defense against rust is paint. Look for varieties of paint that are specifically labeled to prevent rust. If not paint, there are also wax and oil coatings. These stick a little better, and are great for woodworking tools or anything else that’s going to be seeing a fair amount of wear. No matter what you use, be sure to give everything frequent touch-ups, keep your stuff as dry as possible, and clean regularly. Dirt can wear through paint, and chipped paint is an invitation for rust to strike.

If you’re especially concerned about rust, there are rust prevention products you can buy. Boeshield T-9 aerosol, bull frog heavy duty rust blocker gel, and sentry solutions TUF CLOTH are three products that can help prevent rust on high-risk items. You can also make a homemade rust prevention coating by mixing one part anhydrous lanolin with five parts paint thinner.

Also, bare in mind that rust spreads. Watch out for things that might leave rust stains behind, such as metal paint cans. Inspect at-risk areas regularly for rust, and treat any rust you find as quickly as possible. There are numerous easy home remedies against rust. Rust can be cleaned by anything acidic, meaning that lemon juice, vinegar, and coca cola are all easy rust removers that you probably already have in your home. For small rusted items, such as utensils, clean them with salt and a potato. There are stronger acids, such as muriatic acid or phosphoric acid, that you could use if the rust is really bad. However, these are messy and a bit dangerous to work with. A neater, and safer, method involves using electrical currents to remove the rust–no scrubbing involved. This is a pretty cool trick that is unfortunately too long to describe adequately in this blog, but you can find tutorials online.

The Best Small Towns to Travel To Around the World

Throughout my decades of travel experience, only one thing has stayed the same: traveling to rural areas and small towns. For me, traveling along the unbeaten path provides a sense of authenticity as it opens doors for immense opportunities to meet new people, learn about other cultures, and take in the area’s unique local history. If you’re thinking about traveling to a small town, the following areas around the world are great places to visit.

Alberobello, Italy

This picturesque Italian town is a Unesco World Heritage site due to unique houses called trulli, which are small dwellings made of white limestone with conical roofs. You’ll also get the chance to soak up the beautiful scenery and gorgeous Italian weather.

Ennistymon, Ireland

This quaint Irish town combines old-world charm with astonishing natural beauty. Here, the Cullenagh River tumbles over rocky cascades and the town is bustling with shops, restaurants, and bars. Visit on a Sunday for the weekly Food and Craft Fair, where you can buy locally-produced goods.

Hoi An Ancient Town, Vietnam

This town was an important trading port from the 15th to the 19th century, and today it shows Chinese and Japanese influences. Plenty of interesting sites and good food are all within walking distance.

Chivay, Peru

Chivay is located on the site of the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world (and more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon). Although Colca embraced tourism, it hasn’t lost its disheveled high-country charm. Visit the market area and main square to get a glimpse Colca women in their decorative traditional garb, or hike the beautiful rocky landscape that surrounds the town.

Fethard, Ireland

If you love admiring large city walls and ancient medieval runes, Fethard is a great place to visit. You can see the ancient Holy Trinity Church, the Sheela-na-gig (believed to be a Celtic symbol of fertility and/or protection), and the Undertaker, one of Ireland’s “oldest unchanged pubs.”

Sedona, Arizona, USA

Sedona has made a name for itself from the beautiful red rock formations that fill and surround it. Go on a hike or explore the art galleries and spas in the town.

Tongli, China

Skip Venice and visit this enchanting Chinese water town, where pavilions, towers, and temples line the canals. See architecture from the Ming and Qing dynasties or simply have a cup of tea in one of this town’s beautiful gardens.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

As the oldest walled city in Germany, this town seems like something out straight out of a fairytale. Visit in the late summer to see open-air concerts and plays as the whole town turns into a theater. Or, come in December for what is considered to be the most beautiful Christmas market in Germany.

Iquitos, Peru

Boat or fly to Iquitos, but don’t try to drive — it’s largest city in the world that cannot be reached by road! Located in the Amazon Jungle, modernized restaurants and jungle wilderness coexist in this unique Peruvian town. Take a boat trip down the Amazon, try local food, and explore the market located in the floating shantytown of Belén.

Rust and Your Car: A General Overview

You would be surprised to see how many things are susceptible to rust! Jewelry, bridges, and statues are just a few that touch upon how widespread rust can be. In this blog, we will touch upon how rust affects your car and how you can prevent it to keep your car running in tip-top shape.

How Does My Car Get Rusty?

More often than not, your car is exposed more to the elements of the great outdoors instead of being protected in a garage. Rain or shine, your car can be subjected to a handful of factors that can cause rust, or even speed up the process of rusting.

  • Winter Is Coming: When cold and icy weather starts settling in, road crews prep the area by distributing salt on major roadways. Although road salt is essential for safe driving on icy and wet roads, it’s actually extremely corrosive to your car. The chemical reaction between the mixture of road salt and water can cause rust to form in the underbelly of your car. Even worse — road salt specifically manufactured to keep the roads safe can actually speed up the rusting process of your car!
  • Beachy Not-So-Keen: If you live in a warmer climate like Hawaii, you would think your car isn’t susceptible to corrosion from road salt, right? Although that’s true, your car is in fact still susceptible to corrosion! According to a blog from Allstate, blowing salt water from beachy shores can get in the nooks and crannies of your car, leading to rust formation. But if you live about 10 to 20 miles away from the sparkling shores, your car won’t be as affected as much.
  • Oh So Humid: Areas with high humidity, like the swampy South, can encourage rust growth on your car because of the amount of moisture in the air. Since a large percentage of the air water, nightly condensation often appears on all surfaces, ranging from wooden decks to car hoods made of steel. This is called atmospheric corrosion.
  • Rain, Rain, Go Away: By far, the easiest way for a car to get rusty is exposure to rain. Cars that are frequently left outside in rain storms will deteriorate rapidly. For particularly rainy areas like Washington state, it’s best to park your car in a garage at all times if you can!

To read about how you can prevent you car from rusting, see Robert Heidersbach’s website here.

Three Places Around the World with Breathtaking Architecture

This blog originally appeared on Robert Heidersbach’s website here

Over the years, I’ve traveled extensively for both my professional pursuits and personal pleasure. I truly relish the opportunity to explore the world on an international scale as it has presented the unique opportunity to learn from a variety of people, life perspectives, and cultures. But I particularly enjoy learning about the area’s history and taking the time to appreciate the architectural influences that are unique to the region as well. Below are a few examples of places around the world with breathtaking architecture rich with history and culture.

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

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Although New Orleans was founded by the French, most of the architectural influences we know of today come from Spain. In the late 18th century, fires destroyed the city and its original French-style, wooden buildings. To ensure this tragedy never happened again, the Spanish government, who ruled the city at the time, enacted strict building and fire codes. Fro then on, fire-resistant materials like plaster, stucco, and brick were required on all buildings.

Today, we know New Orleans as a city with beautiful ironwork, lacey victorian columns, rainbows of stucco exteriors, and balconies and galleries dotted with a variety of plants that adorn most multistory buildings.

Barcelona, Spain

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In the city of Barcelona, you’ll notice architects took more colorful risks by having its buildings designed in a rainbow of bold colors — much like New Orleans! What’s even more unusual about Barcelona’s architecture is its streets. Known as a chamfered corner, almost all street corners are cut off to provide its crossroads an airy feel and more room on corners for terraces.

As tourists stroll throughout the city, many may notice that almost all major buildings were designed and built by Antoni Gaudi, who was a Spanish Catalan architect. He is best-known for the immense — and still unfinished — Sagrada Família cathedral, which has been under construction since the late 19th century. Gaudi’s extremely detailed works implemented his other crafting passions of ceramics, stained glass, wrought ironwork, and carpentry. The result is dozens of breathtaking buildings that bear his name.

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

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Built of sandstone in the first half of the 12th century by the Khmer empire, the temple complex of Angkor Wat was built to worship Vishnu, one of the principal gods of Hinduism. The Angkor Wat’s architecture is often admired for its grandeur and harmony, and for its extensive sculptures and carvings on the walls.

Before entering the temple, tourists see two small pools, a moat, and an outer wall with galleries. The interior of the entrance to the area is decorated with mythical snake-like animals. At the center stands a quincunx of towers. Architecturally, the elements characteristic of the style include gothic arches, towers shaped like lotus buds, galleries to broaden passageways, and cruciform terraces.

Where have you traveled with breathtaking architecture? Let me know in the comments!