Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Jurni: The Ultimate Sit-On, Carry-On Suitcase

I've always had a love-hate relationship with my carry on luggage. It's hard to find something that's practical, affordable and, heaven forbid, offers something new?? Take a look at this innovative carry-on made by Jurni, it's a great response to that old adage: built a better mousetrap. Jurni's slogan is The Ultimate Sit-on, Carry-On Suitcase. That's right, I said sit. Let's take a look!

Made by a UK company that brought the kids ride-on Trunki suitcase to the world ten years ago (see just one of them below), Jurni is its latest Indiegogo funding success. This sleek, airline regulation compatible carry-on is made from durable, hard plastic and can hold up to 220 pounds, meaning the average person can wheel themselves around the airport anytime they'd like! 

Besides it's unique rideability, Jurni also has a really cool portable pod on top the suitcase that's removable. It's perfect for those necessities you need to easily get at during your flight. Other features include a hidden compartment in the bottom, extra storage in the flap, and an awesome removable shelf that allows items in the suitcase to be stacked vertically, hence taking up less room.

Aimed at the hip millennial crowd, Jurni wants to offer stress-free traveling while providing cool accessories like an organizer set, a wash bag and even a Jurni charger. It comes in 3 colors, plus there's a 2-year guarantee and all the parts are replaceable.

And be sure to check out Travel Writer 6 Practical Travel Tips!

For more information, visit Jurni.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

3 Great RV Road Trips to Take this Fall

Fall is the best time to travel in an RV as there's less traffic on the road, plus the weather is cooler overall. How much time do you have? Where are you located, or are you renting an RV? What interests you? So many questions, I know, but here are 3 great RV road trips to take this fall!

Florida Keys

Florida Tourism
This is one of my favorite places to explore - there's so much history and unique things to do, plus the Keys are naturally beautiful in themselves. There are tons of campgrounds to enjoy along the 127-mile stretch of highway that starts in Miami and divides the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, with Bahia Honda State Park and John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park being popular stops. Marathon is home to a Turtle Hospital and the famous Seven Mile Bridge; Key West has the Southernmost Point, Butterfly & Nature Conservatory, and the Ernest Hemingway Home. Key Largo offers an interactive Dolphin Plus adventure, while all of the Florida Keys entice scuba divers and fisherman from around the world.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park
Having opened in 1872, Yellowstone was the first national park in the world! There are 12 campgrounds to chose from in this 2+-million acre nature extravaganza, and the 9 visitor stations/museums will be more than happy to help you plan your days in Yellowstone National Park. Activities can range from watching the iconic Old Faithful Geyser, to hiking, biking, fishing and picnicking, where you might see some of 67 mammal and 285 bird species that make Yellowstone National Park their home. Be sure to see the Paint Pots with their almost unbelievable striking colors, Mammoth Hot Springs and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.

Pacific Northwest

Orca Whales Passing The Patos Island Lighthouse
Seattle is one of the most popular Pacific Northwest destinations, and is home to attractions such as the Space Needle, Pike Place Market and the Seattle Aquarium, where visitors can learn all about the local coastal species. If you're into hiking, check out Mount Rainer National Park (southeast of Seattle) or take a Washington State Ferry from Anacortes over to the San Juan Islands where you may even see killer whales! Other options to explore the area include visiting Mount St. Helens and North Cascades National Park.

Be sure to check out the wealth of Travel Writer Pacific Northwest articles, along with a series of Travel Writer Pacific Northwest Reviews!

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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

23 Canadian Writing Contests

Joe Flood, Writing=Breathing, A the Steinbeck Museum in Salinas, CA - via Flickr
If you're a budding writer, check out these 23 Canadian Writing Contests you can enter today. Many genres are covered including poetry, fiction/non-fiction, and yes, even travel writing!

While this is by no means a complete list, it will give a you a great idea of what's out there. So what can you win? Well, The New Quarterly offers a $1,000 prize in several categories while the grand prize for the CBC Literary contest grabs a cool $6,000!!

As a general disclaimer, I am in no way affiliated with these organizations and suggest strong research before submitting your entry/fees at your own risk.

CBC Literary Prizes

  • CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize - annually in January
  • CBC Poetry Prize - annually in April
  • CBC Short Story Prize - annually in September

Lorain Hemingway Short Story Competition

  • Annual competition with winners announced in July
  • A Midsummer Tale Narrative Writing Contest
    • annual contest open from April 1 until June 21
  • offers several contests throughout the year
  • Banff Centre Bliss Carman Poetry Award, Short Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction Contests
    • annual writing contest with a November 30 deadline
  • Creative Non-Fiction contest - annual deadline in July
  • Pacific Spirit Poetry Prize - annual deadline in October
  • Jacob Zilber Prize for Short Fiction - annual deadline January
  • Canadian Tales of the Fantastic Short Story Writing Contest - annual deadline December 31
  • Cover Art - annual submissions from September to November
  • Creative Non-Fiction - annual submission from December to March
  • Fiction & Poetry - annual submissions from April to July
  • Short Forms - annual submissions from October to January
  • Annual Short Prose Competition for Developing Writers - deadline March
  • Danuta Gleed Literary Award - annual deadline in February

Writer's Digest:

  • Self-Published eBook Award - annual deadline August 1
  • Indigenous Writing Contest - annual competition February deadline
  • National Poetry Contest and National Short-Story Contest - annual deadline July 31
  • Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest - annual deadline in April
  • Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest - annual deadline in March
  • Peter Hinchcliffe Fiction Award - annual deadline in June
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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

What to Do With Your Seashell Collection

Algiers Beach, Sanibel Island, FL|James St. John|via Flickr
What to Do With Your Seashell Collection? 

Are you one of those travelers who steals sand and seashells from every destination you visit? I gave up on the sand years ago (really, really messy), and quit collecting shells until I decided to stop hiding them and put them on display!

Okay, well not really on display, but my shells are now happily showcased in a8 inch rectangular glass vase (like this one available on Amazon) that sits on the corner of my desk. If I angle it the right way, the sun shines through the back reminding even more of the sand and sun. Love it!!

So what else can you do with those shells? Let's take some inspiration from Pinterest and see how creative you can become!

Here's a great idea from It's the Little Things That Make a House a Home, similar to what I did, but these Simple Seashell Shadowboxes are just that, easy to make shadowboxes with pre-bought seashells! who knew??! They're great on a console table or a desk, but they'd also be perfect on a wall.

Here's another minimalist idea by Fresh Farmhouse - love the simplicity of just placing the sand dollars into a simple jar creating a beautiful display! Of course, you could do this with an assortment of colorful shells but there's just something about this simplicity, don't you think?

Well, if you've got some time on your hands, Completely Coastal shows this really creative way to display your prized shell collection and add some pizazz to your decorating as well. Unfortunately, they're not sure of the source so it doesn't come with any instructions, just the photo, but it couldn't be that hard to figure out, could it??

They also offer tons of other seashell collection ideas but this! This, is my absolute favorite!! Isn't this antique aquarium just stunning??! Wow. I want.

And this one: I've seen a lot of ideas for making wind chimes but to me, it seems like it'd be difficult to get it all balanced, no?? I thing this garlic-type strand would be more up my alley and is a little more substantial as far as decorating goes. Love how it frames the front door of this costal-style beach house.

I like this beeswax candle/votive idea from Garden Therapy but I'm not sure if I'd ever do it. I think it would be great for a dinner outdoors or maybe in a bathroom? I guess I'm just not crazy about the natural golden beeswax color in contrast with the shells, sorry! 

This is a gorgeous idea from Moss and Ivy - again, this antique bird cage ranks right up there with the antique aquarium above, wow. And it's even cooler that they've added a light to really showcase this unique collections of shells.

And finally, this simple but yet pretty alternative from Eden Makers for what to do with your seashell collection - just stick them in a planter!  What could be easier than this??

While you're thinking of the ocean, be sure to check Travel Writer Review: Norwegian Getaway and Small Ship Cruising

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