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Absolute Travel Addict


The Anthology

Walking the Earth, Meeting New People and Getting into Adventures

By April D. Thompson
Absolute Travel Addict
Walking the Earth, Meeting New People, Getting Into Adventures
April Thompson

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Absolute Travel Addict: Walking the Earth, Meeting New People, Getting Into Adventures
Copyright

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Table of Contents
About April ........................................................... 4
30 by 30 Travel Challenge ............................................... 12
Travel Stories ........................................................ 14
Travel Tips .......................................................... 21
Travel Resources ...................................................... 28
Contact April ......................................................... 30
Disclaimer ........................................................... 31

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About April
About

Who is AbsoluteADT?
That's me, April D. Thompson (aka AbsoluteADT) -- an Absolute Travel Addict! I'm an engineer
by training and marketer by trade and dabble in voice acting. I currently live in Atlanta but
working towards a 100% location independent lifestyle and spending my time exploring the world.

In 2010, I made the decision to quit the life...


For the Pulp Fiction fans out there, you know where this headed, but if you don’t quite get it, check
out the video before you keep reading.

[Link to embedded object]

Before you ask, I'm not in the mafia or a cult, I'm referring to corporate life/rat race. Â And yes, I
still have a job, residence and legal tender and I’m definitely not going to be a bum, but I am
shaking things up a bit. Life is too short to not to live it to the fullest. Our world is too big to not
explore. And a job is that, JUST a job.

The Plan...
My new life plan (more emphasis on life and less on plan), similar to Jules is to walk the earth, meet
new people and get into adventures. Â I'm not exactly sure what that means long term, but I'm
taking it one day at a time and focusing on my 30 by 30 travel challenge for now. Â My other
travel dreams include becoming an expat in Portugal, Spain and/or Brazil, becoming
conversationally fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and so much more.

Why Should You Care?


This blog will aggregate stories of my adventures and travel related musings from my
perspective -- a Black American female and solo travel addict. I hope to make you laugh, give
you sound travel advice and inspire you set and reach your own travel goals, whether it's a relaxing
weekend getaway with a loved one or a 6 month excursion around the world!

Mark Twain said it best:

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the
ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the
trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

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So what are you waiting for? Â Pack a bag and join me for the fun. I promise you won't regret it!

Peace and blessings,

April D. Thompson
Twitter:Â @AbsoluteADT
Blog:Â www.absoluteadt.com
Facebook: Absolute Travel Addict

Woman on My Way

The contest voting ended on midnight, Feb 1. I finished


with a respectable 606 votes and was still in the running to become Wyndham's Local Nation Contest
winner (In my best Tyra Banks ANTM judging voice).

For the past two weeks, I have been sitting on pins and needles awaiting on the final results. Â While the

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judges scoured the 116 entries for their top picks, I waited, waited and waited...

Well, its February 14th, D-Day (and V-Day btw)! Â The judges have deliberated. The results are
in and I'm excited to announce that I am a 2011 Wyndham Local Nation Contest WINNER!!!!

So what does that mean? Â It's mean they like me, they really like me! :-) AND I'm getting some really
cool prizes. Â Most importantly, this is a great opportunity to share the importance of getting out and
seeing the world and hopefully influencing others (especially people of color) to do the same.

To see what adventures I get into next, subscribe to this site, follow me on Twitter or join the Absolute
Travel Addict Facebook page!

Explore, Dream, Discover


Explore! Dream! Discover!

April D. Thompson

Blog:Â Absolute Travel Addict

1. What message do have for students who want to travel?

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Go for it! Â It's an amazing addition to your formal education in the US and can make you a more
marketable for jobs once you graduate. Â I made a last minute decision to travel to South Africa for 6
weeks during graduate school (engineering) to do independent research on educational disparities
that existed post-apartheid and programs in place to fix it.  The program was intended for
undergraduates studying education and was a rigorous 6 weeks of structured lectures.  I created
a proposal highlighting why I should be allowed to attend and despite much criticism, was approved! I
also used my proposal to secure funding from local and campus organizations to cover almost all of my
trip expenses! Â The icing on the cake was being able to present my work at the 50th Annual
Comparative and International Education Society's conference in Honolulu, Hawaii, all expenses paid.
 My words of advice: Never take no as your final answer and don't let money be a deciding factor in
your decision to go or not.

2. What are your childhood memories of travel ?

I remember loading up in the car or renting a mini man with my cousins and god siblings for the beach,
the amusement parks in Florida or other destinations. Â I hated the long drives in the car, but I loved
spending time with my family and friends and getting away from home and school even if we didn't go
far.

3. Where did you dream of traveling when you were a child?

My dad was in the Air Force and would bring home souvenirs from the places he traveled for work.
 I was look at his international collection of knick knacks and wonder what life was like in Korea,
Germany and Saudi Arabia.

4. Did you travel as a child?

My family spent 3 years living in the Philippines on military orders and a year in Fort Walton Beach,
Florida. Â Most of my childhood was spent in Valdosta, GA and included road trips to the beach,
amusement parks and relatives around the southeast.

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MangoWalk Montego Bay Jamaica

5. What did you learn as a child about the expectation for black people to travel?

As child, there was no expectation to go anywhere. Â I was just happy and appreciative when the
opportunity did arise.

6. Did you admire or know of any Black people that traveled when you were a child?

I admired my Uncle Herbert who would pack up in family in their huge van and travel all over the
country. Â He always had the best stories!

7. Why should Black people travel?

"Studying abroad isn’t just an important part of a well-rounded educational experience. It’s
also becoming increasingly important for success in the modern global economy. Getting ahead in
today’s workplaces isn’t just about the skills you bring from the classroom. It’s also about
the experience you have with the world beyond our borders—with people, and languages, and cultures
that are very different from our own." Â I agree with Michelle Obama's thoughts on travel/studying
abroad when addressing students at Howard University.  In addition, outside of the work place,
travel gives us a great opportunity to see and experience what our ancestors have contributed to the
world!

8. What was your first trip?

My first international trip as an adult was 6 weeks in South Africa for independent research.

9. How did you plan for it?

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I'm not a planner, so luckily the school handled all of the travel and lodging logistics and I just paid for
it. Â I did some research on the different areas and reached out to students, faculty and staff as a part of
my research who in turn were gracious enough to show me around as well.

Rastas in Bogota Colombia

10. What was your experience there?

I toured the country for 6 weeks visiting Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and many places in
between. Â I spent my time learning about the educational system, primary to tertiary, and visited
various schools in addition to exploring the cities during my free time. Â I had a mix of home, hotel and
hostel stays, met some amazing people and learned a ton about the country, its people and myself.

a) positive experience - Everything!  Hanging out with the cast of African Footprint, a
personal tour of Robben Island and dinner with political prisoner Eddie Daniels, canopy tours in
Tsitsikamma, a night in Addo Elephant Park and all of the amazing people I met!

b) negative experience-Â Having to leave to start a research project in San Diego, CA.

11. Was your travel experience what you expected?

The trip exceeded all of my expectations!

12. How is your travel experience as a Black traveler different from what you perceive as a White
traveler?

As a black traveler, it is easy to fit in to so many different places and be mistaken for a local (until I start
talking of course). Â We may not be everywhere, but pretty darn close. Â On the flip side, the stares and
sometimes lewd and racists comments can be annoying, but hey it still happens in the US, so no big

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deal. Â All in all, I think everyone's experiences will have its up and downs depending on where you are
from, what you look like and how well you get along with others. Â If nothing else, travel is a great
lesson in cross-cultural learning and acceptance.

Rio Brazil Atop Seleron Steps

13. What is your voice as a Black travel blogger?

I write for anyone who wants to hear about my journey and learn something new about the world or
themselves along the way. Â It is my hope that I encourage people to travel anywhere and everywhere
and not just for the nightlife. I want people to see how safe and affordable world travel can be and all of
the amazing contributions Blacks have made to the world. I especially want everyone to inspired to
make their own way. Â There's nothing wrong with going a bit off the beaten path and following your
dreams.

14. Where do you dream of traveling now? Why?

I recently received my National Geographic Genographic Study results which traced my ancestors
back to Central Africa and migratory patters to North Africa, South Eastern Africa and the Middle
East. There's even an individual from Sierra Leone with listed with DNA match. Â I love to
explore this further and these locations to my travel bucket list.

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Rio Brazil Birth of Samba

15. Anything else you would like to add?

For all of you that don't have a passport, get one now. Â Mark Twain said it best "Twenty years from
now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So
throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore.
Dream. Discover

Originally posted by SkyChiTravels

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30 by 30 Travel Challenge
30 by 30 Travel Challenge

There's no denying it, I LOVE to travel! Â It honestly doesn't get much better than exploring a new
place, meeting new people and truly immersing yourself in a different culture -- the food, music,
dance, history...everything.

My interest in other cultures started at a very young age. Â My father, who was enlisted in the US Air
Force, moved my mother and I to the Philippines with him during his 3 year assignment. Â Back home
in Valdosta, I was surrounded by other military families who were of diverse backgrounds and
had traveled all over the world as well.

Sadly I've let work and other things in life keep me away from getting out an exploring the world.
 But, keeping in line with my renewed outlook on life, I have committed to a  30 by 30 travel
challenge. Â My challenge goal is to have traveled to 30 unique countries by the time I'm 30 years old
on April 7th, 2012.

Sounds simple enough, right? Â Well not quite. Â As you noticed in the map and listing of countries
conquered, I am not quite at the half way point and only have 20 months to go! Â That's 1 new country a
month or some serious doubling and tripling up any time I break free of the US borders. Â And to top it
off, I have a full time job and only 21 vacation days for the year. Â But no worries. Â Though I'm not
exactly sure how it will get done, I'm determined to make it happen. Â All suggestions and advice on
how to get it done are definitely welcomed and appreciated. :-)

For additional details on the places I have visited and upcoming trips, please view the Travel page of my
site. I would love to hear about your favorite place or where you will be travelling next. Â Happy and
safe travels!

ADT

Where I've Traveled

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visited 15 countries (6.66%)
Create your own visited map of The World

Learn more about my 30 by 30 travel challenge

Where I've Been: Canada |Â United States |Â Puerto Rico |Â Philippines |Â South Africa |Â Argentina
|Â Mexico |Â Jamaica |Â The Bahamas |Â Dominican Republic | Colombia | Brazil | Portugal | France |
Spain

Travel Wish List: Mali | India | Morocco | Peru | Belize | Guatemala | Italy | Maldives | Ecuador |
Germany | Turkey | Czech Republic | UAE | Thailand |Â Indonesia | Egypt |

Upcoming Travel: ??

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Travel Stories
Happy New Year!

From beautiful Rio De Janeiro, I wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year!

[Link to embedded object]

I look forward to living each day to the fullest and cherishing the power of each and every moment and
hope you do too!

All You Can Jet

Although Jet Blue doesn't service Atlanta, I purchased


the All You Can Jet pass anyway. Â Unfortunately I missed out on the 7 day pass and will be losing
Friday and Sunday travel days. Â However, if it all works as planned, I should still be able to get my
money's worth easily and check off at least 2 countries for my travel challenge in addition to several
other domestic locales. Â It should be an interesting time to say the very least and I'm ready for it all!
I've connected with some of the AYCJ pass holders on twitter and hopefully will meet some cool
travelers on my AYCJ travels.

So far I have the following cities on the list: Â Bogota, Colombia;Â Orlando, FL;Â New York,
NY;Â San Francisco, CA;Â Los Angeles, CA;Â Seattle, WA and hoping to add 1 or 2 more before the
promotion is over.

While I'm pretty sure I'll hit my break even point this year, I don't think I would purchase this or a
similar pass with a discount airline in the future. Â Jet Blue does service some really cool locations, but
getting there can be a pain.  There aren't may flight times available to  the places I want to travel and
so many require a layover in New York or Boston, making it really hard to squeeze more in. Â I've been
spoiled flying direct from Atlanta to almost anywhere on Delta. :-)

Well happy jetting and safe travels to all!

~ADT

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My First Atlanta Travel Tweetup

Last night, I attended my first Travel Tweetup at Tap in Midtwon Atlanta. I brought along a friend in
case the attendees were a bunch of crazies and I needed to make an escape, but luckily they all turned
out to be pretty cool people! Â Most people don't understand my desire to get rid of all, well, most of
my personal belongings and trade in my 9-5 for a 4 Hour Work Week, but these folks get it and are
living it daily (or pretty darn close).

I'm definitely looking for the next meet up before they start taking off for their respective
extended trips. And if you are in the Atlanta metro area and want to meet up, like the Facebook group
, follow Atlanta Travel Tweet on Twitter, or connect with one of us...

Caroline Eubanks | @cairinthecity

Alison Garland | @AliAdventures7

Nick Laborde | @stretchdnick

Brandon Sutton |Â @Brandon101

April Thompson | @AbsoluteADT (me)

Hope to see you next time!!

Rio de Janeiro Brazil: City of God, City of Men

For most of 2010, I had mentally prepared to travel to Brazil. I regularly day dreamed about laying on
the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana, taking in the breathtaking view from atop Sugarloaf and Christ
the Redeemer statue and stuffing my face with best feijoda Rio has to offer. Unfortunately, due to my
lackadaisical approach to planning (read: not getting my Brazilian visa squared away in a timely
manner), my first Brazilian escapade was pushed back until the very last week of 2010. My laziness
once again paid off because that meant New Year’s Eve in Rio, the second largest celebration in the
city after Carnival!

In the weeks prior to my departure, I happened to run into several individuals who cautioned

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me about my trip and how dangerous the city would
be for two women travelers (my good friend, old college roommate and work colleague would be
traveling with me), especially since we don’t speak Portuguese. I was amazed that one individual
even advised me to change my ticket until we could find a man to travel to Rio with us. Can you believe
that?

Now I’m Ms. Adventure (or at least I pretend I am) and not typically afraid of roaming around a new
place alone during the day or even at night. I guess I’m just that intimidating (all 5’3―, 105 lbs
of me). Just three short months before my departure to Rio, I traveled to Bogota, Colombia alone and
had a blast and no incidents, so why was I starting to become a little scared?

Well for starters, I’ve seen both City of God and City of Men, and the thought of running into
some of these crews would scare the pants off anyone. It also didn’t help that every day the news
was broadcasting more and more headlines of the danger and acts of violence “running rampant― in
Rio. It was so bad that the military had to come in with tanks to settle all of the commotion.

The part about the tanks is true and I’ve heard first hand accounts of how dangerous some favelas
can actually be, but these incidents aren’t in areas typically visited by tourists. I quickly got over all
of the negative remarks, packed my bags and prepared for an amazing time in Rio.

After the first few hours in the city, I was completely at ease. Rio is no different than any other large city
in terms. In the first few days, we saw all of the major attractions and even trekked a little off the normal
tourist path and enjoyed mixing with the locals and several Couchsurfers we met along the way.

If there was any expectation of problems, I thought for sure it would be during the New Year’s Eve
celebration. With over 2 million people gathered along the beaches of Copa and Ipanema and plenty of
alcohol being consumed, it seemed like the best time for something to go wrong, but it didn’t.
January 1st news even reported that zero incidents were reported again for

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Reveillon. I wonder if NYC could say the same…

Rio is a beautiful place and Cariocas are generally wonderful people that love life and having a good
time. Rio will continue to be an exciting place to visit as the city prepares for World Cup 2014 and the
Olympics coming in 2016, so get your visa and book your trip today! And remember to keep these tips
in mind to ensure you have a fun time and stay safe:

• Keep a copy of your passport with you at all times.

• Register your trip with the Department of State (or your local government agency)

• Learn a few basic Portuguese phrases (at a minimum) to help you get around

• Exercise the same safety precautions as you would in any city or when traveling alone

Enjoy Cidade Maravilhosa! Bom Viaje!

Originally posted at Do It While You're Young

Happy Bob Marley Day!

Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.  None but ourselves


can free our mind...
Wata gwan??? In celebration of the birth of Nesta Robert "Bob" Marley, I decided to share a
photo/video essay of my recent trip to 9 Mile while in Jamaica. Â If you find yourself near Ocho Rios,
take the time to visit the 9 Mile community and give my good friend Karl a call for
affordable accommodations in beautiful Ryhne Park and a real tour of Jamaica!

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Open your eyes and look within. Are you satisfied with the life you're living? We know where we're
going. We know where we're from. We're leaving Babylon, y'all. We're going to our Father's land.
Exodus! Movement of Jah people!

Excuse me while I light my spliff. Oh God I gotta take a lift, from reality I just can't drift. That's why I
am staying with this riff. Take it easy. Easy skanking, taking it slow.

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Cold ground was my bed last night. And rock stone was my pillow too. Talkin' blues, talkin' blues. They
say your feet is just too big for your shoes.

I wanna love you and treat you right. I wanna love you every day and every night. We'll be together with
a roof right over our heads. We'll share the shelter of my single bed. We'll share the same room, for Jah
provide the bread. Is this love that I'm feeling?

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Let them all pass all their dirty remarks. There is one question I'd really love to ask. Is there a place for
the hopeless sinner, who has hurt all mankind just to save his own? One love, one heart. Let's get
together and feel all right.

Rise up this morning. Smiled with the rising sun. Three little birds, pitch by my door step. Singing sweet
songs of melodies pure and true. Saying, this is my message to you. Don't worry...

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Travel Tips
Got Passport?

If you haven't heard the statistics, let me educate you: Only 30% of US Citizens hold valid passports,
compared to 60% in Canada and 75% in the UK. Â The US numbers have been on the rise, but it's just
not enough.

I personally find it a little disheartening that 42% of Americans have a smart phone, which in most
instances costs more than the $135 passport fee.

In her recent visit, First


Lady, Michelle Obama urges Howard University students to travel abroad as "[travel/studying
abroad] isn’t just an important part of a well-rounded educational experience. It’s also
becoming increasingly important for success in the modern global economy. Getting ahead in
today’s workplaces isn’t just about the skills you bring from the classroom. It’s also
about the experience you have with the world beyond our borders—with people, and languages,
and cultures that are very different from our own.―

For me, there's nothing more satisfying than experiencing a new culture in real life as opposed to
through a book. Sure, you can watch my video of the amazing NYE celebration in Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil or check out my photos of beautiful Ocho Rios Jamaica, but I'd rather you experience it for
yourself.

If you don't have a passport and you are ready to explore the world, follow these 2 simple steps to
get it done now!

1. Â Gather the following documents:

Completed Passport Application Form, DS-11


Evidence of Citizenship -- Your birth certificate is sufficient. Â If you can't find your birth
certificate, you can order a full certified official copy from your state's Vital Records
Department. Order Georgia birth certificates here.

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Proof of Identification -- Government issued ID or Driver's license is ideal.  You will need
to show the identification and provide a photo copy of the front and back to submit with
your application
$135 application fee  -- This covers both the application and execution fee.  Fees are
subject to change so act now before it goes up again!
2 Passport sized photos -- You can get these from Kinkos or at the post office among other
locations for $13.

2.  Head over to your closest passport acceptance facility to complete the process.  (Don't
know where that is? Â Search here.) Â In less than six weeks, you will have your ticket to explore the
world!

If you have any questions or need help getting it done, please review the U.S. Department of State
website or reach out to me. Â I'd be happy to help!

Got your passport already? Have tips to help others do the same? Join the Get Your Passport Page and
share!

Affordable Accommodations in Lisbon

Sitting at home during the tail end of Atlanta Snowmageddon 2011, I decided to break away from
Atlanta for a quick trip to Lisbon, Portugal. Â Fresh off a my end of the year trip to Brazil, I was
inspired by the Potuguese influence on not only Brazil, but Angola, Macau, India and more. Â So, in the
spirit of Vasco de Gama, I booked my round trip ticket, 3 days in advance (using Delta Sky Miles), and
prepared for little fun in Lisboa.

With the plane ticket booked, the only pressing detail was a place to lay my head. Â Since this was a
really last minute trip and no finances were set aside, I wanted to keep costs to an absolute minimum, yet
not sacrifice cleanliness and a speedy internet connection. Â Portugal, compared to rest of the
European Union, is fairly cheap.  Hotels in the city center could be found for $100 or less a night, but
for what I was looking to spend, my best choices would be Couchsurfing or a hostel.

After a few failed CS connections, I headed of to the Lisbon Couchsurfing Wiki to find

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recommended accommodations given I had less than 24 hours before my arrival. After a little due
diligence, I decided on Albergo Odisseo (formally Albergo Olisipo), a recently renovated nineteenth
century building that seemed to be in the center of it all. Â Â After reading several great reviews, I
secured my room via e-mail. Only 20 Euro per night for a single room -- perfect. Â My wallet was
already thanking me!

I arrived the next night after spending a day roaming the streets of Paris, tired and ready to crash. Â I
took the bus, per the hostel's on-line directions, and instead of walking, took a short cab ride the rest of
the way up the hill.

It was around 11:15pm and walking in a strange place, with


luggage and up a hill, would not have been a smart thing to do. Â Besides, I was beat and don't think I
could have made it all the way.

When I arrived, I was greeted by Frederico, 1 part of the sister-brother team that manages Albergo
Odisseo. After a brief registration and tour , I headed straight to my room and crashed.

The next morning, I was met by Vanessa, the other half of the Lopes duo. Â She too made me feel right
at home and even sat down with me to map out a strategy for tackling the city, complete with a map and
guide book. Â I had a done a little prep before coming, Â but she schooled me on little details I had
missed or otherwise wouldn't have known, like free museum days and other local favorites. Â This
became my daily routine. Â I would mix her suggestions with my limited reading/planning and random
walking and exploration. Â It worked perfectly!

At the end of night 4, I almost didn't want to leave to head to Barcelona. Â I had a really great time in
Lisbon topped off with a really great budget accommodations!

The Pros

Clean -- This is my number 1 priority! Â It has to be clean! Â I appreciated the


daily cleaning by the hostel staff.  She was very thorough, especially in the bathroom.
Free wi-fi -- Nothing beats fast, free wi-fi, which is exactly what you get at Albergo Odisseo.
 If you don't have your own laptop, don't worry, they have computers that you can use as
well.
Very friendly and helpful staff -- Vanessa and Frederico were awesome.  I really
appreciated their hospitality that when well beyond my expectations.
Close to public transportation -- Just a short walk down the hill is the the Aveneida metro

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stop and access to buses, taxis and trams. Getting around was not a problem at all.
Staff speaks English -- My Portuguese sucks (I'm working on it!!) and I appreciated being
able to communicate effectively with the staff in English.
Quiet -- Â I'm not sure if this is due to it being the off season and low occupancy, but there
wasn't any wild and craziness going on.  I definitely appreciated it after those long
days/nights out and about the city; I slept like a baby.

The Cons (I'm really stretching on these)

They charge for towels -- Granted it's only 1 Euro a day, but just thought you should know.
 I brought my own, so no worries for me.
No private bathrooms -- If you must have a bathroom to yourself, sorry.
Wi-fi does not work in all rooms -- I had to go down the hall to the community room to get a
signal, which was no biggie. Â I got to meet and interact with some of the other guests while
knocking out a few to dos.
Lots of stairs -- Lisbon is a city built on 7 HUGE hills, which means buildings go up and
walking around can be a bit tiring. Â My room was on the third floor. Â Word of advice, pack
light.
Cash only -- This is the case with most hostels, but it sure would be nice if they took AMEX
so I could earn more travel rewards.

When your travels bring you to Lisbon, Portugal, I would highly recommend you give Albergo
Odisseo a call. The friendly staff, exceptionally clean accommodations and central location
make it an ideal budget friendly choice! You can also connect with them on the Albergo Odisseo
Facebook page as well.

A Tasty Tease in Lisbon

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is
willing, but the body is weak...
I'm a strong willed person and don't easily succumb to temptation, but there are a few things (and
people) on this earth that make me weak in the knees. Â It really takes someone special, Idris Elba
for example, to make my heart melt, but Sonya C. Millard, architect and brainchild behind Tease
Bakery, has done just that...

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Strolling through Bairro Alto on my last night in Lisbon, I came across a quaint shop
amidst the closed boutique that lined the cobblestone streets, and there it was... a cozy
cafe, with plush chairs, china fit for high tea, a mix of Euro-R&B and rock pounding
through the speakers and a heavenly display of perfectly decorated CUPCAKES!!! It was love a first
sight.

I quickly made a beeline for the red velvet cupcakes, my all time favorite. These aren't an easy
sweet to perfect, but the magic makers at Tease did these little red treats justice. Â I grabbed a Lime
Tree tea from the advertised tea list (see below) and devoured another red velvet cupcake while I chatted
with the barista. She gave me the dish on the cupcake movement in Lisbon and her journey from São
Paulo to Lisbon, a one way trip a lot of Brazilians are making these days.  Several minutes of
conversation and two cupcakes later, I headed back out for dinner and drinks with two cookies 'n' cream
cupcakes to go...

If you find yourself in Lisbon and in the mood for a little tease, head on over to Tease for a sweet
treat.  And while you're in the Bairro area, make a stop at Cinco Lounge, a lounge with the
same owners that boasts an extensive and eclectic cocktail list.  I didn't make it to Cinco
Lounge on this trip to Lisbon, but next time I'll be sure to try the Green Destiny (kiwi, cucumber,
vodka and apple juice) and the Milly Vanilly (a premium mojito spiked with champagne) among others.
Sounds refreshing, no?

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Preparing Your Escape to Brazil

After almost a year of talking about it, I'm finally going to be about it! Â I've been slowly working
my way through South America and excited to making my first stop in Brazil in Rio for New Years
! Â With all of the excitement and preparation for World Cup 2014 and the Olympics in 2016
combined with the craziness of Reveillion, this promises to be an EPIC adventure!

Unlike Argentina and Colombia, Brazil requires travel visas for US Citizens (and I don't blame them).
 But, for non planners, like myself, that added another unwanted, but necessary, step to making Rio a
reality.

For Atlantans planning a trip to Brazil, follow these easy steps to painlessly secure your
visa in person (with same day pick up) at the Brazilian Consulate General in Atlanta. For
instructions for applying by mail, which costs $20 more, or applying in person in a different
city, consult your closest Brazilian Consular Office.

Securing a Brazilian Travel Visa

1.) Get a passport -- If you don't already have one, secure a passport now! Â If you already have
one, ensure you have at least one page left and 6 more months left before it expiries.

2.) Book Your Flight -- The visa process requires a travel itinerary.  There are direct
flights on Delta from Atlanta to Rio and Sao Paulo, but check around for the best deals,
especially if you are open to layovers. Â Want to book with points, work with The Points Guy to
get the best deal.

3.) Complete the Visa Request Form -- This a simple on-line form to kick the process off. Â Once
completed, print, sign and attach a passport sized photo ($13 at the post office or Kinkos).

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4.) Schedule an appointment -- Trying to schedule an appointment in December around work travel
wasn't too bad. Â Appointments were booked about a week or so out, so give yourself enough time.
 You will need the number from the visa request form number.

5.) Supplemental Items -- In addition to the items above, have the following with you just in case.
 They may or may not ask for it, but better safe than sorry.

Proof of Financial Means


Accommodation Information
Driver's License or ID

Let me know if you have any questions and check back for a recap of my trip. Â Happy travels!

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Travel Resources
Travel Resources

Got Passport? If not, get it now!

Be Smart:Â Register Your International Trip with the US Department of State

Travel Hacking: Learn how to travel for FREE (coming soon)

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Contact April
Contact

Thanks for stopping by! If you would like to advertise on my site or have any other questions or
requests, please connect with me!

The Birthplace of Samba, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil!

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Disclaimer
Disclaimer

This is a personal weblog. The opinions and information expressed herein are my own personal
opinions and do not represent my employer's or client's views in any way. If you have any
questions, please contact me.

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This Document was Generated on
the 17th of February, 2011
using

Omne tulit punctum qui miscuit utile dulci -- Horace

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