Countries That Require Visas To Visit

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Even the most seasoned of travelers might be surprised to learn that the country they’ve chosen for their upcoming vacation requires a visa for foreign entry. Unlike a passport, which is used to verify citizenship, a visa is an endorsement placed within an individual passport, which allows the holder to visit a certain country for a designated period. Read on for a partial list of countries that require U.S. citizens to obtain visas. Also, bear in mind that waits can be lengthy, so be sure to plan ahead.


Visitors to the Land Down Under must first obtain what’s known as an Electric Travel Authority (or ETA) from their travel agent or visa service. ETAs are valid for stays of up to 90 days.


Brushing up on Portuguese isn’t the only step Brazilian tourists have to take — a visit to the local Brazilian Consulate is also in order. There are 10 such consulates maintained throughout the United States; check this website to find the one that’s closest.


The process for obtaining a visa to China is similar to that of Brazil; simply contact the embassy that has jurisdiction over your area of residence. Multiple-entry visas to China are valid for up to 10 years.


These are available in either single-entry (valid for a single stay of up to 30 days) or multiple-entry (valid for up to 10 years) form. Note that the application process is complicated; consider enlisting the aid of a visa expedition service.


Visas to Indonesia are available upon arrival at Indonesian international airports. Alternately, one can apply in advance at the local consulate.


As many African countries require a visa, it’s best to check the table available here to see if your desired destination appears on it. Visitors planning multiple stops in Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda should consider the East Africa Tourist Visa, which allows multiple entries to these three countries in a 90-day period. Kenya also offers single-entry e-visas, available online.


As the visa process is complicated for anyone planning to visit Russia, use of a visa service is highly recommended. Note that you’ll need an official invitation — either tourist or business — before beginning the application, and that applications sent through the mail are not accepted.



Which Spring Sport Should You Join?

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The NCAA sports program includes many spring sports that can help college athletes achieve their athletic goals. Many of these sports help reinforce the values of teamwork and healthy competitiveness and are often effective in shaping students’ academic futures. The following spring sports are among the best for student-athletes.

Baseball and Softball

Students can choose to join college baseball and softball teams and partake in games throughout the season. Even though baseball and softball are very similar, they have some differences such as the size of the ball, the distance between bases and the types of bats that are used. Either game is great for sharpening the mind and improving fine motor skills.


Rowing provides a great way to improve cardiovascular and muscular strength while spending time in the fresh outdoor air. Students can choose to join rowing teams with as many as eight rowers or compete as individual athletes. Practices are often held in the early morning before classes, which gives student-athletes the chance to fit in some exercise and clear their minds before learning.


Tennis is a game that emphasizes the importance of concentration, strategy and quick movements as opponents face off against each other. This game sharpens balance and coordination and often requires a great amount of endurance when playing in long games. Men’s and women’s singles and standard doubles tournaments are separated by gender, but men and women can sometimes play together by forming mixed doubles teams.


One of the best aspects of golf is that it doesn’t require as much physical strength or endurance as other sports but still provides a great workout. Golfers use their core, upper back and arm muscles during their swings, so it’s still important to exercise these muscle groups. The object of the game is to get the ball into the hole in as few shots as possible.

Track and Field

Track and field consists of several sports that challenge students athletically in different ways. From the fast-twitch muscles needed for sprinting to the strong cardiovascular fitness that’s required for long-distance running, student-athletes can use their specific strengths by competing in specific disciplines. Track and field specialists can compete in many different NCAA championships and perhaps try out for the Olympics one day.

Spring sports offer students many opportunities to partake in athletic activities that provide both physical and academic benefits.


West Coast Road Trip

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Considering that the drive between the Canadian and Mexican borders only takes about 30 hours, it’s no wonder that this trip is a common bucket-list staple. However, it would be sacrilegious to approach the journey with such a strict time frame. With so much to savor along the Pacific Coast Highway, travelers should give themselves at least a week, if not more, to appreciate all that this corner of the globe has to offer. Here’s a sampling of the highlights to be found along the way.

Seattle, WA

The Emerald City is arguably the hippest destination on the West Coast. With its iconic skyline, a plethora of coffee joints and microbreweries, and happening social scene, there’s something to delight travelers from any and all walks of life. Check out The World is Fun‘s website for a list of what not to miss.

Redwood National Park, CA

Find out why these ancient trees secured a line in the famous patriotic ditty “This Land is Your Land” with a tour through this awe-inspiring park. Don’t miss the “Chandelier Tree,” with a trunk wide enough for a car to pass through. See the National Park Service website for more information.

The Napa Valley

While this is a definite must for wine lovers, teetotalers will find plenty to enjoy in this scenic region as well. Always dreamed of taking in the sunrise from a hot air balloon? Here’s the place to do it.

San Francisco

This jewel of a city needs no introduction; the most difficult part for visitors is narrowing down the list of sights to see. For help with this part, check out this list of the “Top 25 Things to Do in San Francisco” at The Crazy Tourist.


Big Sur

Take some time to explore the best of California’s dramatic, fog-shrouded coastline while passing through this region south of Carmel. Lucky, sharp-eyed visitors may catch a glimpse of sea otters frolicking in the waves. Lodging and dining options abound; check this guide for links to the best ones.

San Diego

The world-class San Diego Zoo is just one reason to make a stop in this beautiful city. Take a tour of a craft brewery, relax on the beach, or find out why this is one of the top surfing destinations in all of California.

From Patch

Two Sports People Can Participate In After Injuries

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Injuries can make it difficult, even next to impossible to participate in certain sports. However, there are still alternatives for competitive athletes in spite of an injury. There will be limitations depending on the type and severity of the injury.

But, with a little inventive ambition, an injury doesn’t have to confine someone to a sedentary lifestyle. Here are two sports for people who have experienced injuries. This is a pair of options that provide both rehabilitative benefit and competitive opportunities for the enthusiastic athlete.

Swimming & Water Sports

One of the best places for people with sports injuries is in the water. There are multiple options depending on the severity of the injury. Frequently, therapists and personal trainers strongly suggest exercises where the person’s body weight is supported. This water buoyancy allows for safe rehabilitation from severe spinal cord injuries.

People can also participate in a number of fun water sports. If the injury allows the person to swim normal strokes, they can join swim teams no matter how old they are. Many community pools offer water volleyball, water aerobics and other activities. The pool is a great place to rehab an injury. People can also enjoy competitive sports.

Rowing, Canoeing & Kayaking

Another sporting activity that can be performed after an injury is rowing. Of course, the intensity and location of the injury must be taken into account before trying this sport. One advantage of rowing is that the person doesn’t necessarily need to use their legs. This is appealing for keeping the core and upper body fit while rehabbing a leg injury.

Rowing, canoeing and kayaking as a sport are also great choices because of the intrinsic benefits. The person can explore new places and enjoy the pleasure of relaxing on the water. There are competitive options in rowing and kayaking for the hardened athlete as well. There are individual rowing competitions, or clubs that offer team events.

Remember to secure medical clearance before starting any vigorous activity after an injury. Nothing can make a former athlete more anxious than having to give up sports. However, with some intuitive forethought, there are ways to still participate in sports after an injury. These examples might prove a great place to start.


Sunniest Places In The World

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When it comes to planning a vacation, there are a few factors that come into play. How easy it is to get around, if it is kid-friendly, and whether it is affordable are all common factors people consider. However, many people also take into consideration a factor that can greatly affect your destination: how sunny is it? While most places experience tons of sun on occasion, these destinations are some of the sunniest in the world and may be great vacation destinations for you and your family.

Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix is the capital of Arizona and one of the most populous cities in the state. Luckily for both residents and tourists, it is also one of the sunniest places in the US. The city sees nearly 4000 hours of sun per year, particularly in summer. If you plan to take a trip to the southwest, make sure to pack plenty of sunscreen, and also heed weather alerts. Over the past few years, the state has seen unusually high temperatures that can cause health problems. Make sure it is safe to go outside before traveling long distances.


Egypt, one of the northernmost countries of Africa, is home to desert, pyramids, and lots of sunlight. Two of the sunniest cities in the world are located here: Aswan and Kharga. Although the days can climb far past 100 degrees Fahrenheit, lows in the Aswan region have reached roughly 50 degrees. Before hopping aboard a plane to Egypt, make sure to consult weather guides and determine what kind of clothing and other protective gear you will need on your trip.

Canary Islands, Spain

The Canary Islands are some of the sunniest pieces of land in Europe. Located between Europe and Africa, this Spanish territory receives roughly 11 hours of sunlight per day. Unlike the previous two destinations, the Canary Islands are more moderate in temperature. During the summer, you can expect highs of around 80 degrees Fahrenheit and lows in the high 60s. The temperature is fairly consistent throughout the year, with maybe a 10 degree difference. Since the islands are in the middle of the sea, you can also expect wind to cool you down most days.

Although traveling to places with different climates is fun, sometimes it is nice to bask in the warm rays of the sun during your vacation. The sun has been shown to make us happier, and we can all appreciate being outside when the weather is nice. Next time you plan a vacation, consider travelling to one of these sunny places.

Originally posted on

What is the XFL?

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What do the letters X-F-L stand for? Surprisingly, nothing. Creator and CEO Vince McMahon just thought it sounded cool compared to their top competitor, the NFL. But what the XFL was, was a professional football league in the United States. It played only one season in 2001. Below, readers will learn what the XFL was, and where it’s going.

The Backstory

The XFL was a one-hundred million dollar project that combined efforts from NBC and the World Wrestling Federation (now known as World Wrestling Entertainment). The league claimed to be the polar opposite of its main competitor, the NFL. Instead, the XFL offered viewers dangerous hits, skimpier cheerleaders, and players who were making low wages – but were paid bonuses for winning.

Where Did the XFL Go Wrong

Readers may read the back story and think the XFL sounds good. And at first, it did garner high ratings. But things quickly went downhill. There were good ideas, like players choosing the name on the back of their jersey. They also implemented the sky-cam, that is used in the NFL today.

The problems quickly outnumbered the good ideas. Instead of starting the game with a coin toss, players would race to get the ball in the middle of the field. This quickly caused devastating injuries.

Players were encouraged to date cheerleaders, and wrestling-like storylines were implemented. This took away from the football aspect, and made it more like wrestling.

Cheerleaders were displayed in very little clothing, and women were in hot tubs behind the end zone. This caused activists to take a stance.

All of this caused the ratings to plummet so badly that a second season was never played.

The Comeback

The XFL is planning a new season in 2020. This time, it’s owned by Vince McMahon’s Alpha Entertainment. The WWE and NBC have no stake.

Vince McMahon cites two key differences this time. While the “sports entertainment” component will still be a part of the XFL, it won’t be as outlandish and blatant as the earlier league. The second difference is that the rules and overall game will be purposefully simpler than those of the NFL. This is strategic as many fans claim the NFL makes the rules too complicated.

The 2020 season of the XFL was recently announced, so there’s not much to know just yet. Excitement will continue to build as 2020 is approached.

Originally posted on

Rediscovering Your City

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Many people wish they could travel, but it can be difficult to save enough money or take the time off to really appreciate a new destination. Some people fall into a rut and with vacation as their only out, it can seem depressing to stay in one place. Yet, there is a solution to both the money problem and the rut problem; you can rediscover your city. If this sounds intriguing, read on for some ways you can make this happen.

Explore a new neighborhood.

Many cities have different neighborhoods with distinct personalities. Even if you live in a smaller city, try venturing out to an area you previously never have. You may find restaurants, shops, landmarks, and tons of other unique places that were under your radar. Along with new areas come new people, and getting to interact with people outside of your inner circle can lead to a new perspective.

Eat unfamiliar cuisine.

Everyone has a style of food they are familiar with, usually from eating it all throughout childhood. As we get older, experimenting with new dinners might sound like too much work after an already exhausting day. Luckily, most cities have a wide variety of restaurants with varied cuisine. Try searching online for places that serve unique food and make a reservation to try it out. You will be surprised at the love that goes into local eateries.

Browse local shops.

Stores like Walmart and Target may be all over the country, but small shops are still surviving. Every city has a thrift store or vintage and antiques dealer, so why not venture there one day? Supporting local businesses invigorates the economy and helps someone live their dream. Let’s face it: nobody wants to work at Walmart, but someone wanted to start that store down the street, and your business could save theirs.

Visit the farmer’s market.

Eating locally-sourced produce is great for the economy, the Earth, and your wallet, so become a frequent face around your farmer’s market. Depending on where you live, the farmer’s market may not be around all year, but take advantage of it when possible. You may make friends with the people running the stands, who often learn to recognize familiar faces.

Attend a festival.

What better way to rediscover your city than by attending a festival? All year you can find various cultural events taking place, and it is a fun way to learn about your city’s history. Even food festivals can tell you a lot about the people who live there. Try looking up a calendar for events and setting aside time to go to as many as possible.

While most of us would like to travel all around the world, it is not feasible for many of us. If you want the same thrill of travel without having to pay for flights or accommodations, try taking these tips and rediscovering your city.

Originally posted on