Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday’s Links

P1030285Preface:  No pix for a few days, sorry.  While scrambling over the front of the boat while docked in Uto, the camera popped out of my pocket and into the Baltic.  We recovered it and the memory card and battery were okay, but the camera is lost.  At lease the salvage operation provided some diversion for the nearby boaters.

I’m back in the US this week, enjoying the late-summer warmth of Chicago and replenishing my stocks of reading glasses, snack crackers, and OTC meds.  It’s hard to believe it’s so warm (almost 90F) after the cool temperatures in London and Stockholm last week.

  • Midterm elections are filling the news here, and, even though the voting isn’t for months yet, it’s time to order your absentee ballot now.  Prior registration will not get you a ballot for this election, you must re-register each year.  Application forms and instructions are available for expats at Vote from Abroad.
  • Exposure to the full force of US culture reminds me of the challenges of repatriation.  A number of expat bloggers are preparing to go native in their homelands once again, and I especially enjoyed a recent essay by Turner Wright, Why I Love and Hate Being an American.  ‘Lots of good observations on the things we miss, and don’t, when we’re living overseas.
  • Vagabondish also weighed in on the tricky topic of train fares: when is it cheaper to buy rail passes vs. point-to-point tickets?  Along with LifeHacker, I often find useful tips and ideas in their essays and recommend adding both to your RSS feed.  (although use the shorter LifeHacker summary feed or the volume gets overwhelming).
  • And, finally, two travel-related links.  Billed as the “search engine behind travel search engines”, Matrix is woprth a look.  You can’t purchase flights through it, but you can findthe cheapest flights among the majors.  And for the cheap airlines, I still like SkyScanner, which lets you search the ever-shifting web of discount airlines for the best times and deals.  They have a “Monthly fare finder” whose graphs are a big help in picking the best days to fly.

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