Be a hometown tourist

Now that the weather is getting warmer and everyone will start itching to be outside more, it’s important to remember you don’t always have to travel far to be a tourist. It’s too easy to put off visiting sites that are near home until one day you’ve moved and they’re no longer in your backyard. Take the time this spring to enjoy some of the great places close to Baltimore by being a hometown tourist!

For the nature junkie, spend the day (or two or three, for the more adventurous) hiking a portion of the Appalachian Trail. Or visit one of Maryland’s state parks. Cunningham Falls State Park can also be a great place to spend a full day. There are a variety of hiking trails of different difficultly levels, with one of the easiest leading to the 78 foot waterfall. Although swimming isn’t permitted at the base of the falls, you can take a dip in Hunting Creek Lake to cool off. The park offers cabin rentals and camping if you want to make the trip a longer getaway. From April through October the park is open from 8 a.m. until sunset and from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day costs are $4/person and all other times costs are $3/vehicle. Visit dnr2.maryland.gov for more information or to find other Maryland State Parks.

To escape the hustle of the big city without delving too deep into nature, head to downtown Annapolis or to St. Michael’s on the Eastern Shore. Both towns are great places to have a relaxing day walking around and visiting unique shops and restaurants or to take a ride on a sailboat. The history buffs can take a guided tour of the historical buildings of Annapolis and a trip to Annapolis wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Naval Academy—make sure to see the on-base museum full of ship models and the nautically themed tomb of John Paul Jones. The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a beautiful museum located along the water and includes a collection of actual boats.

 

It’s a digital world

We are living in a digital era, and the backpacking traveler, no matter what country she or he goes to, cannot escape that. Just six years ago traveling backpacker-style (moving on local transport and staying in shared hostels) with a cheap, twenty-dollar cell phone meant one more thing to keep track of. At that time it would have been absurd to consider bringing a smart phone to many places, especially such places where these little computers we call phones are not common and generally reserved for the wealthy. Pulling out a smart phone flaunts one’s wealth, which is never a good idea while traveling.

But things have changed. Wi-Fi started becoming common in hostels and internet-cafés in tourist areas are harder to find. As with many things that change, it is never purely for good or for bad, but it has its ups and downs. In some ways it makes living in the moment more feasible—booking an airline ticket the evening before a flight can be done at 11:00 p.m. from a bed. But it becomes much harder to escape home with Facebook and Twitter still at your fingertips. In many cases human interaction sprung from necessity is no longer needed, at home or abroad. Instead of asking a random person on the street for directions, I can use the maps.me application (a downloadable map that navigates without an internet connection) to find my way. While I just lost a moment of human contact that could have turned into a memorable experience, not many people are around and I am able to get back to my hostel before dark, knowing I am heading in the right direction.

Like so many decisions when traveling, deciding whether or not to bring a smart phone is a personal one that can only be decided by you. In my recent experiences, traveling with a smart phone made my life much easier. I pre-booked hostels so I had an address to hand the taxi driver, I was able to easily navigate my way around streets, I booked overnight train tickets a few days prior to get a sleeper berth, and I set up tours which were important to me ahead of time to ensure I’d have the experiences I wanted.

Still, some of my favorite memories from being on the road are the unplanned ones, the ones where I had very little idea of where I was going and how to get there and getting lost at some point was eminent. Those are the moments that reminded me that I’m strong and capable and that life isn’t as difficult and complicated as we make it out to be. If you’re unsure, then do a little research about your destination before deciding.

And whatever you decide, live the experience and don’t be trapped by spending precious time emailing and updating social media.

Budget of Traveling

Thanksgiving isn’t just for turkeys

This Thanksgiving I’ll be in Mexico, away from my family with whom I’ve spent countless wonderful Thanksgivings, in a place where Thanksgiving Day is just a regular day. It won’t be my first holiday away from home, and I didn’t want to be away for Thanksgiving, but school breaks are typically during the holiday season and it’s often the only time to travel. Traveling over the holidays is always bittersweet. I’m going to miss reminiscing and toasting with mimosas in the morning while peeling potatoes with my mom and sister and drinking a beer with my dad and brother outside by the turkey fryer. I’ll miss seeing relatives that I don’t often see, and of course I’ll miss the delicious food. On the other hand, I’ll be with one of my best friends in seventy-degree weather making new memories and reliving the old ones we’ve shared.  I will be thankful that I’ve spent so many lovely holidays with my family, and that I am able to spend this Thanksgiving with my amazing travel buddy.

When considering booking a trip over the holidays there are a few more things to think about before making definitive plans. The first is: whatever the holiday may be, will it upset you to be away from family? The first holiday I spent away from home I was with family. Although all the traditions weren’t there, the people I loved were, and that made it feel like home. As kids grew up and people passed away, the holidays and our traditions have changed. It gradually became easier to be away for the holidays. Assess your priorities—is it more important to have extra time on your travels or to be home with your family? If it is important to be with family, another option is to celebrate a different day. My family and I always pick a day to designate as our holiday celebration with everyone together if one of us is gone for the real holiday. This is very personal and only you can decide for yourself.

Once you’ve decided you’re willing to be away from home, the next thing to consider is budget. Traveling over the holidays is often more expensive than at any other time due to the fact that it is a popular time to travel. Unfortunately I’ve learned that, when it comes to flights, it doesn’t make much of difference if you’re traveling to a place where your holiday isn’t a common holiday, or isn’t a holiday at all. With your possible destinations in mind, find out how much more the plane ticket will cost rather than traveling at another time. It is important to look at different dates, as traveling on the actual holiday is often cheaper than traveling on the days leading up to it.

Accommodation may or may not be more expensive, depending on the destination. Hotel prices within the US rise during Thanksgiving and Christmas, but not necessarily in other countries, depending on local customs. In addition, it’s always smart to be aware of local holidays that could cause prices to rise, street closures, or accommodations to be unavailable.

There are other things to consider especially when traveling near a holiday. If possible, fly early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid long check-in and security lines that form at peak travel times. Try to avoid layovers in locations prone to bad winter weather. There’s nothing more depressing than spending a holiday in a hotel alone when you planned to be on vacation.

I hope my column has inspired some of you to take full advantage of your winter break by traveling somewhere, be it far or near. I’m preparing to set off to Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, on my first extensive solo trip. I can’t wait to share all of my adventures with you!

Letter From the Editor: Dec 2015 Issue

I know that sometimes, especially living in the United States, it can be hard to be thankful for what we do have instead of always wanting more. We are surrounded by so much it can be hard to realize how lucky we are to have the things we do have.

We’ve all faced different obstacles throughout our lives, but all of us here at UB have one thing to be especially thankful for: obtainable access to higher education. An education is one of the greatest gifts a person can receive, and unfortunately many people do not have access to one.

In fact, we all can be thankful for the education we have received throughout our lives; we are lucky to live in a place where our government provides a free education to its children. But that is only the start of education. The lessons we have learned simply by living, from the people around us, are a large part of education. We should be thankful for the people who have supported and inspired us to follow our dreams.

Now matter where you are or who you’re with, I wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving!

Sincerely,

Nicole

Letter From the Editor: Nov 2015 Issue

“ You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” Jim Rohn 

We are in the midst of change. We’ve long since said goodbye to summer, but the weather is finally starting to really cool down. Before we know it we’ll be trudging to class through the snow again.

Change is sometimes good, sometimes bad, but always exciting and a little scary. At The UB Post we’ve had a lot of changes since the semester began. Lawanda and I had some specific goals for The Post this year, but with an extremely rocky start to the semester, we had to make it our priority to keep the newspaper afloat. I love designing and was excited for my first semester as the Production Manager, but when our new Editor-in-Chief unexpectedly quit, out of necessity I stepped up to serve as interim Editor-in-Chief. Andrew Koch, a longtime Staff Writer and business major at UB, stepped into the role of Business Manager. We are so lucky that Lawanda Johnson, the only remaining member of the Editorial Board from last year, knew all the nooks and crannies of the inner workings of The Post. 

We have a new Managing Editor, Montéz Jennings, and we’ve found a permanent Editor-in-Chief, Kyle Fierstien, that will both start next semester. We’re extremely excited to welcome them to the team. And now that we’re back on solid ground, we’re ready to push forward.

At the end of November we are relaunching our website, ubpost.org. In addition to introducing a new website design that’ll be easy to navigate, we will be bringing new articles to you every week. We’ll still have a monthly printed issue, but this gives us the chance to bring you time sensitive information like play reviews, detailed sports updates, and breaking news.

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Sincerely,

Nicole Hovermale 

 

Download the November 2015 issue here: UB Post_Nov2015 Issue

Letter from the Editor: Oct. Issue 2015

We hear it everyday: newspapers, just like books, are becoming obsolete, overshadowed by online articles, instant and immediately accessible with just the tap of a fingertip. Gone are the days of patiently waiting for the morning paper only to discover the latest tragedy or newest world development. Now we know about it before it is even over. Having instant access to all forms of knowledge is a wonderful gift that I would never give up, but there’s something about the smell of newsprint and the dust it leaves on your fingers, just as feeling the starchy softness of a book page creates a physical connection to the story, that just isn’t the same when all you have to do is tap a button.

As a Publications Design student, I know this feeling all too well. I fell in love with designing for print a little too late. This reality cannot be ignored. As I browse job descriptions for graphic designers, the requirement of ad- vanced knowledge of HTML and CSS is becoming more and more prominent. But no matter how many times I see a publication in its digital form—which is typically over and over as I scrutinize every inch before sending it to the printer—there is always something magical about holding the final print in my hand. The smell of the ink, the roughness of the paper, and the magical transition from screen to paper all become part of something beautiful.

As I’ve begun to explore the visual arts in its many forms, I’ve taken note of the current fascination both de- signers and the general public have with letterpress. This technology for printing dates back to the fifteenth century and creates a physical imprint from the block letters left behind on the paper. Once considered an imperfection of the process, the slight impression left in the paper is now often sought after for its distinctly nostalgic look. I’m beginning to realize that in our current world, where digital images and words are constantly thrown in our face, there’s still a secret desire in our hearts for the tangible.

Although The UB Post is accessible online and we are strengthening our online presence step by step, we still publish a printed issue monthly. Next time you’re on your way to class, pick one up and feel the dusty texture of the newsprint as you take a glance. Take solace in the soft colors of the photos, different from the bright screen that assaults your eyes. Let the classic letterforms guide your eye as you indulge in a story about your community at UB. It’s not just cold, hard news; let yourself become enveloped in the experience of reading The UB Post.

Sincerely,

Nicole Hovermale

Enjoy!

UB Post_ Oct2015 Issue