Is Uber Ruining Tourism?

Is Uber Ruining Tourism?

I have travelled to New York City several times, pre-Uber and post-Uber. Pre Uber was a lovely time when you could stand with one foot off the sidewalk and scream “Taxi!” Just like they do in the movies and the smiley yellow beast would glide up next to you and sweep you immediately off to your destination without any drama.

Times have changed.

A visit to The Big Apple last Spring has inspired this post. I was with my best friend in our hotel room excitedly getting ready for our Sex and the City tour which we had been planning for actual years!!

(Don’t laugh. )

The pick up address was outside the Plaza which wasn’t on an easy direct train route from our hotel.

“That’s cool, we’ve got plenty of time, let’s get a cab.” I said.

BIG MISTAKE!

Of course it was pouring down with rain. We had an hour to make a 15 minute cab journey. The rain didn’t help matters but no cabs were available. There seemed to be mysterious spots that New Yorkers would magically get picked up from. We even spoke to some locals and got tips and split up to face different directions of traffic, all to no avail. What were we doing wrong? Then we realised it. All of the locals were booking their cabs through Uber (an App used internationally for pre-booking private transport through a paid online account – a nifty idea in theory). But it’s not much cop when you’re travelling on a budget and have no internet access on the go!!!

We were down to 10 minutes remaining to make the 15 minute journey without wheels and now suitably soaking wet and pissed off. It was at this moment that all grown up ‘Adultey’ sense and logic left my mind and I actually burst into tears. Yup. Manahattan reduced me to tears, in public, in broad daylight. In front of other human beings.

Did we make it you ask?

Well things went from bad to worse. Against my better judgement I “Accidentally” stole a taxi from a New Yorker who had pre-booked with the fabulous app! Naturally, he challenged me. I turned to face him, tears streaming down my face and yelled “PLEASE!! PLEEEEEAAAAASE!!!!!! We’ve been waiting an hour, we’re going to miss our tour! PLEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAASE!”

He looked mostly confused.

And yes I am aware that this is not how New Yorkers interact with each other. Or humans, mostly.

But the chap gave in and let us take the cab. Through fear or kindness, I don’t know. But I’m going to go with kindness.

Sowhoever you were, thank you very much for letting us take your cab. It turned out to be one of the best days I have spent with my dearest friend and the tour was fantastic!

Cuddle Your Globe

ISIS isn’t us, is it everyone?!

In light of the tragic events in Paris and Lebanon yesterday, where innocent life has been taken again at the hands of Islamic State terrorists, we are all wondering what is the future of the world. It is becoming almost a daily occurance now and it is nothing but pure evil.

I’m sure I am not alone when I struggle to understand the logic of these heartless attacks. They seem to be focussing more and more on the totally innocent rather than political targets, which is clearly having more of a national impact on you and I. What is the purpose of blowing oneself up and killing many others in the process? I wonder if it is just an extension of severe mental health issues and there is now a cult luring these people in because western mental health support is so shabby.

One thing we all must remember, Islamic state terrorists is not Islam. Just because a majority of these terrorists claim to be carrying out these acts at the wish of ‘Allah’, the Quran does not promote taking innocent life. I had a Muslim mental health patient recently who had lost his mind and was tearing up the Quran in the streets and shouting how he had had enough of it all. The KKK were predominantly Christian, does this mean that all Christians are vile? ISIS is a bad, evil group of people who, for whatever reason are murdering people. They are brainwashing people to join them and attempt to destroy our world. We shouldn’t hate them, we should feel sorry for them.

It is affecting travel and tourism greatly. I have never been one to flee political unrest in another country, as I have sat with protesters in Thailand and stayed in a hotel that was blown up hours after I checked out, but if I’m completely honest, the acts of ISIS are making me uncomfortable to travel in the foreseeable future which is my whole life. Everybody is afraid.

It seems the world is dividing between the people who are afraid and want to close the borders to everybody entirely, and those who are more compassionate and forgiving and still want to trust and help those in need. It is clear which is the better way to think, morally. But, if we are all forgiving and compassionate, when does it end?

As long as good continues to outweigh the bad, we must hope that there will be an end to this soon and not allow them to win.

They may think they are evil geniuses trying to make a point, but there is one thing they haven’t considered. The more they attack, the more the rest of US are uniting together as it’s something the whole world have in common. I don’t suggest we should retaliate with violence, but the more we join together with support, the bigger the defence wall ISIS will have to deal with.

A Profound Experience in the Best Place on Earth

A Profound Experience in the Best Place on Earth

As much as I adore travel involving aeroplanes and culture shocks, sometimes the most profound of new experiences can be very close to home. Please be warned, the content of this blog may be upsetting to some.

I live in England and work in central London (on the ambulances so we move around a lot).

On a quiet night shift I was near the west end in London and paid a visit to Great Ormond Street which houses, in my opinion, the greatest hospital in the world. Great Ormond Street Hospital, or GOSH, is a hospital dedicated to sick children, be it appointments, treating sick children or palliative care, they offer a wide service and are proud of the fact they are one of the best paediatric facilities in the entire world.

The hospital opened its doors back in 1852 with just ten beds and was the first of its kind in the UK. The building has witness surgical breakthroughs and much celebrity support over the decades. The staff are so incredible and dedicated in caring for our little ones. They must face heartbreak on a regular basis but power through to provide support to loved ones and save those that they can.

When I paid a visit recently, I specifically wanted to see the chapel as a friend had told me how wonderful it was. When I walked into the chapel, all of my hairs picked up on my newly formed goosebumps in reaction to how indescribably moving this place was. It was immaculately taken care of, clean, thoughtful. The most moving part was that the shelves surrounding the edges of the chapel were filled with soft toys. I can only assume that each toy was placed by a heartbroken family to represent the lost life of a little angel.

 

Great Ormond Street Hospital, Chapel.

 

Soft toys in GOSH chapel

There was also a book where families had written down their prayers. I didn’t read them for two reasons, one – they were meant for God’s eyes, two – I knew the messages would make me fall apart.

Opposite to this there was a ‘thank you’ tree where families had written messages of thanks and hung them up.

 

GOSH plaque and thank you tree in the background

It was one of the most emotional and moving experiences of my entire life. If you are ever in this hospital, please visit this chapel.

To make a one off or regular donation to this hospital which helps to fund equipment, accommodation for parents, refurbishment to increase patient capacity and support research into saving children’s lives, please click the following link;

http://www.gosh.org/Donate

Thank you for reading,

Cuddle Your Globe

Believe in You.

Believe in You.

Who cares about a blog? Why does it matter if anyone reads it? What is the point in any of this?

My words are poor and my spelling is shoddy. My content is unoriginal and pointless. There is no niche.

These are all of my insecurities about writing my blog. If you write a blog, why are you doing it? What motivates you? Money? Success? Fame?

What motivates me? Honestly? To be accepted by society. To have a complete stranger read my words and be able to relate to it in some way.

I love writing my blog. We ALL have insecurities.

You are your own worst critic. Nobody else is judging you!!!

If somebody points out a spelling mistake, it is not to make you feel worse, it’s to make you DO better next time.


Be creative.

Be daring.

Be brave.

Be fun.

Be confident in your abilities.

Don’t worry about mistakes. If you are human, you will make them.

Don’t be hard on yourself.


Believe in yourself. Enjoy this.

Is travelling bad for your health?

Is travelling bad for your health?

I have found recently that I am becoming increasingly obsessed with travel. Just hours after returning from my dream holiday (travelling through Vietnam), I was sat at my laptop planning my next crazy adventure. Once that was booked I was thinking about how many more trips I can fit in over the coming months and where to go.

If you do this as well, you will know what this means. We are addicted to travel. Any addition is thought to be bad. Too much of anything can be toxic.

Can travel ever really fulfil a need in your life because there is always somewhere new to travel to?