New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper

Commentary

Traveling on Your Mind?

Winter has arrived and with the cold temperatures, minds often drift to warmer places and perhaps travel plans. Be it armchair travel, wistful thinking, a winter trip to someplace warm, a business trip or a school assignment, Global Road Warrior, a free library database is available for your use without leaving your home. Your journey starts at our web page, www.nbpl.info by clicking on the icon towards the bottom of the page.

It provides a wealth of information on 175 countries in over 200 categories of interest to travelers. It is a good starting part to decide where your next vacation will be, to get basic information about what to expect when you go or to enjoy the flavor of the world.

Find out what you need to know before you can enter a country – immunization, visas and passports. Learn about music and dance, etiquette and the national food. A bonus – there are several recipes provided for each country.

Information such as climate, electricity, telephone dialing codes, cell phone usage, money, points of interest, basic country facts is at your fingertips.

How do you get there? What should you wear? How do you get around -subways, train, bus, auto, or scooter? What holidays are celebrated? What language is spoken? There is even a guide to basic words that will be useful. Learn about the culture- greetings, courtesies, family life and taboos. Information on health insurance and medical care is provided along with information about safety and travel warnings.

A variety of maps are provided as well – population, political, physical, temperature and precipitation maps.

Did you know under Bermudian law, non-residents are not allowed to own, rent or drive four-wheeled vehicles? They must rely on taxis, the bus system or motor scooters. Visitors should decide if it is worth the risk to ride a scooter as they provide the greatest road peril in Bermuda. And bear in mind, local drivers tend to abuse the speed limit. Did you know that since Danes are highly proud of their world-famous pastries, foreign-made pastries and baked goods, unless of an exotic variety, are generally frowned upon as gifts? And that Bolivians are known for their heartfelt hospitality. It is common for strangers to greet each other when passing in the street. This is even more pronounced in the mountainous heartland of the country. There, traditionally dressed indigenous populations commonly greet strangers with the kind of attention usually reserved for family members in other cultures.

So here’s your ticket to the world as provided by your library. Settle in the comfort of your home and let your travels begin. And if you do go off on a trip, we’d love to get a postcard from you.