Books | Films | Web | Places | Travel Life Hacks
Presented in a completely random order, please find a number tips to improve your time on the road and a few suggestions on places to go to, things to read or films to watch that sparkled my brain to better understand myself, the world around me and the the meaning of the word happiness.
The list is likely grow, so please feel free to return to it from time to time.
“Man wants to know and when he ceases to do so he is no longer man.”
Whenever you start thinking your journey is tough, reading what these guys went through will put things in perspective. Seeing their resilience, their no nonsense attitude and how they constantly managed to find purpose in the face of desperation is throughly inspiring.
Thought it might not be the most comprehensive read on positive physiology, I found its simple and hands-on approach a very good starting point to begin understanding what happiness means to me and how to define a habit of happiness.
Herzog is probably one of the most inspiring directors to still walk this planet, surely one of the most controversial. His biography is the ultimate testimony to determination and self reliance. It is a ode to filmmaking as much as it is a celebration of ingenuity.
“Everything is destined to reappear as simulation. Landscapes as photography, woman as the sexual scenario, thoughts as writing, terrorism as fashion and the media, events as television. […] You wonder whether the world itself isn’t just here to serve as advertising copy in some other world.” Definitely one of my favourite Sci-Fi books. Reality is not what you think it is and it already wasn’t in the 60s when the book was written.
This beautifully crafted and skilfully constructed french documentary is a breath of fresh air. Rather then presenting ecological, economical and social issues with the usual doom and gloom narrative, the film takes us on a on a tour around the globe to show us that the solutions are there and many people are already implementing them. Throughly inspiring and captivating Demain is a must see.
“If you take everybody who’s not tied down, they all sort of fall down to the bottom of the planet.” Probably my favourite documentary, Encounter at the end of the world is a triumph of human quirkiness combined with stunning imagery from Antartica.
The penguin scene is arguably one of the most beautiful pieces of documentary filmmaking in history.
Another good French documentary, with interviews to Vandana Shiva and Pierre Rabhi among others. A very good insight on the fallibility of western society, finding purpose and re-imagining our relationship with ourselves and with nature. Some parts are a little weaker but the documentary does a good job in exposing some very valid points and it’s a good mirror we should all look into from time to time.
I dare you resisting the urge to pack your bags and head straight to South America after watching this film. Probably the most inspiring road trip journey ever depicted on screen, the film is based on the journal of a 23 year medicine student called Ernesto Guevara, before he became the symbol of many a revolution under the name of “Che”.
Half comical figure and half midlife crisis archetype, Walter Mitty is the ultimate day dreamer. Narrated with absolutely stunning photography, the film is a heart felt rendition of the search for meaning in a society that is less and less designed for the people who made it in the first place. Maybe it was the images from Iceland or maybe a youth spent day dreaming but this film really struck a chord with me.
Using examples from vacations to colonoscopies, Nobel laureate and founder of behavioral economics Daniel Kahneman reveals how our “experiencing selves” and our “remembering selves” perceive happiness differently. This new insight has profound implications for economics, public policy — and our own self-awareness.
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Hands down best Shwarma on the island.
Abraham at Little Jerusalem is a great entertainer, he doesn’t just offer you great food, he puts a smile back on your face. The place is simple: a cargo container acts as a kitchen and a few tables and chairs offer all the comfort you need to enjoy your meal. Don’t waste your time looking at the menu, let Abraham do his magic and you won’t be disappointed. Best place to eat without paying too much. Portions are generous and the taste is unbeatable.
GPE has been my home and my family for the three months I spent in Guadeloupe studying for my Divemaster certification. They took me in like one of them and I had the most amazing time diving in beautiful spots in and around the Cousteau Marine Reserve. Most of the times we would explore less touristic spots and have the sites all for ourselves. After the dive we would usually go and relax in the hot springs, before heading back to the centre to sip a little Planteur. I had without doubts the best possible introduction to diving at GPE.
Travel Life Hacks
Finding drinkable water is a major issue when travelling in many areas of the planet. There are very effective systems available on the market which work either by filtering or chemically processing the water.
Sometimes though filtering systems break and tablets run out. It is therefore important to know alternative methods that would allow you to use more readily available materials to render unsafe water drinkable, thus sparing you from contracting unpleasant infections and in some cases even saving your life.
Enter solar disinfection and the SODIS system.
Developed by a scientific research group in Switzerland, this system works through exposing contaminated water to direct sunlight for 6 hours. UV-A radiation penetrate the bottle and kill the germs, naturally disinfecting the water without removing oxygen (as it would happen when boiling the liquid). The method plays on the widespread availability of clear PET bottles (not to be confused with PVC).
The only downside is that the water needs to be relatively clear in the first place (the method would not get rid of chemicals like poisons, oils or fertilisers).
Though I haven’t tested the system as yet, there seems to be enough scientific evidence to back its validity. I will add an update as soon as I get a chance to do some field testing.