Nicaragua Canal Set To One-Up Panama Canal

Panama Canal
U.S. Navy, Flickr

Today, the Nicaraguan National Assembly is expected to rubber-stamp a $40 billion proposal by a Chinese consortium to build a canal across the country. The new canal will be over 150 miles long, dwarfing the famous Panama Canal.

The idea of a canal connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through Nicaragua has been around since colonial times, and up until 1970, the United States held rights to build it. However, the current proposal will see a newly formed Hong Kong-registered company, HKDN, build the waterway.

Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in Central America. The construction of the new canal will see the country’s GDP double and employment triple in only five years, according to The Guardian.

Of the more than half-dozen proposed routes for the canal, at least five will run through the freshwater Lake Nicaragua, the largest lake in Central America. Any land-only route would have to make a considerable detour to get around the lake.

Though the proposal has met with little resistance in parliament because of the large ruling party majority, no studies on the environmental or social impact of the project have been completed as yet.

Harry Truman’s ‘Seagoing White House’ Rusts In Italian Shipyard

truman floating whitehouse
What was once one of the world’s most famous ships is now rusting away in an Italian shipyard. The U.S.S. Williamsburg, a naval ship that became President Harry Truman’s personal yacht in 1945 and was once considered an American treasure, could be scrapped within a few years if a last-minute attempt to save the ship fails, NBC Nightly News reports.truman floating whitehouse
Originally a private vessel, the ship was bought by the U.S. Navy and spent much of World War II in Iceland, helping to safeguard the delivery of supplies from the U.S. to Europe. After the war ended, the ship became the President’s official yacht, eventually becoming Truman’s favored setting for vacations and state occasions, earning the nickname of the “seagoing White House” in the 1940s.

truman floating whitehouse
But when Dwight Eisenhower became President in 1953, he ordered the ship to be decomissioned after just one voyage. The yacht was given to the National Science Foundation to be used for oceanographic research, and six years later was damaged when it was attached to a floating drydock, which suddenly sank. Although there have been many proposals to revive the Williamsburg – including turning it into a cruise ship – the vessel has been slowly degrading in an Italian shipyard for the past 20 years. Owners say the ship will likely sink in the next few years if nobody steps in to save it.

[via Daily Mail]

Travel All The Time With Jobs Like These

travel all the timeThose who travel all the time can go to far away places as routinely as others might go to buy groceries. They have somehow managed to be employed in an occupation that requires travel as part of what they do. Commonly, we might think of sales people who hit the road to get face time with regular or prospective customers, and many do. People with the word “travel,” or something like it, in their job title are normally on the move a lot too. Travel writers, flight crews and astronauts come to mind.

But there are a number of other occupations that include travel as a key element of the job description. Some travel occasionally and for others, the job is on the road. If a traveling job sounds like a good fit, consider thinking along these lines:

Education Professionals
Pick your topic (one that you love would be a good choice), get credentialed and throw your hat in the ring to teach anywhere on the planet. TeachAbroad can tell you all about it here.

The idea for this post actually came from a teacher. Also the photographer on last Saturday’s Photo of the Day, Lauren Irons is TheTravelingTeacher and her travel/work has seen Cambodia, Malaysia, Morocco, India and other countries around the world. Irons takes fans along for the ride via her blog, rich in colorful photos and first-hand accounts of her adventure.

Military members
“Join the Navy, See the world” is still a very viable option for an occupation that might have a great amount of travel, and not always into battle zones. The U.S. Navy, even today, touts the travel opportunities available:

“If you enjoy traveling, you will be able to take advantage of flying for free on military aircraft as they travel to different destinations around the world. You will even be able to hook up with lodging at the different Navy bases and other military bases, which are under an American flag. This will allow you to see even more great places while you are enlisted in the US Navy.”

Medical people other than doctors
Don’t get me wrong; there are traveling doctors too. Doctors Without Borders will be quite happy to tell you about their volunteer opportunities. But Nurses, aides, technicians and others are in high demand worldwide.

“In college I dreamed of having an international career,” writes Caroline Polt, RN at Transitions Abroad, an online source that helps people work, live, study and/or volunteer abroad. “Several years after my sister ventured off to foreign lands to teach English, I decided to pursue the same route,” continues Polt, noting, “healthcare organizations worldwide are scrambling to recruit nurses.”

travel all the timeTravel Agents
Part of being a travel agent is experiencing destinations, modes of travel and other elements of booking travel that require personal contact.

These days, webinars have taken the place of a lot of what travel agents commonly saw on familiarization trips, hosted by a tour operator, resort, cruise line or other travel source. Still, there are a whole lot of free or reduced-price options that can get you traveling all the time.

Location Independents
These are people that are experts in their field so they travel to share their knowledge/gifts with others. For example, someone who is an expert on repairing a certain amusement ride at Disney World is an invaluable resource. Someone who is an expert at repairing amusement rides in general will be on the road a lot.


Work On A Cruise Ship
Jobs are available and cruise lines are hiring now. AllCruiseJobs lists job openings, currently boasting 665 cruise ship jobs from 49 recruiters. Think working on a floating hotel is something you might like to do? A reality check is in order.

“They eat, sleep and live on the two crew-only decks when they are off-duty, and only enter passenger areas to work,” says Paul Motter from CruiseMates in a FoxNews report. Yes, they do sail to exotic destinations all over the world, but on the ship, they are in a world quite different than paying passengers when not working.

“The crew area also includes a bar, usually open every night for varying hours for drinks and dancing, and a deck area with a small swimming pool and deck chairs,” says Motter. “Everyone works seven days a week, but the number of hours varies a great deal depending on the particular job. “

Or Any Other Job On The Planet
The key, it seems, is to actively search for the job that will have the right amount of travel for you. Want to be home on the weekends? There are jobs that can make that happen. Want to travel just in the United States? Other jobs do that too.

Maybe travel is not the number one priority when looking for a job. Indeed, for many, any job in a tough job market will do. But that surely does not mean that we can’t make our jobs what we want them to be, eventually.



[Photo credit – Chris Owen]

Impact Of Sequester Cuts On Travel: Festivals Not So Festive

sequester cuts

Recent sequester cuts have had a big impact on travel in a number of ways. Cutbacks have resulted in everything from grounding the Navy’s Blue Angels at dozens of air shows around the country to turning Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental into a third world-like airport. Cuts to the budgets of national parks have popular attractions opening on a delayed schedule, closing visitor centers and operating without campgrounds.

But those who (still) work and operate facilities, festivals and events that would normally draw travelers from around the world are pressing on, promising to make the best of a bad situation.

A highlight, if not the main attraction, to Fleet Week at a number of major U.S. cities is a showcase of active duty military ships, recently deployed in overseas operations and brought to town for the event.sequester cutsA tradition of the United States Navy, United States Marine Corps and United States Coast Guard since 1935, Fleet Week began in San Diego with 114 warships and 400 military planes. Since then, annual Fleet Week events began in San Francisco, New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Seattle, Washington, includes fleet week during the annual Seafair. In Portland, Oregon, fleet week is part of the annual Portland Rose Festival.

The shows brought ships full of military personnel to town, as well as travelers who looked forward to tours of ships, military demonstrations and air shows, adding to local tourism revenue. But on the heels of the secretary of defense announcing that ships will not be visiting, show organizers are turning to a different focus.

“We’re all about bringing a little more recognition to our local units,” said Jean-Sebastien Gros of Broward Navy Days Inc., the non-profit organization that spearheads Florida’s Fleet Week Port Everglades, in this NBC Miami report.

The Fort Lauderdale Fleet Week event, still scheduled for April 29 through May 6, normally has hotels booked full and Florida highways clogged for a week. Organizers hope to keep the lion’s share of that activity by hosting a variety of other events.

Golf tournaments, a 5K race, major league baseball games, culinary competitions and deep-sea fishing will attempt to replace active-duty warships and the Blue Angels. Canceled ship tours will give way to honoring the active duty military of the United States Southern Command and Coast Guard District 7, both based in South Florida.

It’s a sign of the times to be sure and event organizers are to be commended for pressing on. Still, this travel-affecting result of sequester budget cuts can’t help but make one wonder if there was not some other way to address this problem with the nation’s economy.

“No one can deny that we have passed through troubled years. No one can fail to feel the inspiration of your high purpose. I wish you great success,” said President Franklin Roosevelt in 1935 at the beginning of the first fleet week.

[Photo credit – Flickr user St0rmz]

Video Of The Day: Fighter Jet Flies Above Northern California

Here’s a dash cam video you won’t soon forget. An F/A-18 Hornet cruises at top speed through the canyons of Northern California, showing off the landscape of the area while also completing amazing acrobatics. Watch how ridiculously close to the ground the pilot flies as he inverts turns and completes barrel rolls just over tree tops and riverbanks. These fighter jets are the same aircraft used by the Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron. If the inside of the plane looks familiar, that’s because the machines often make movie cameos; the planes have been used in “Independence Day,” “Behind Enemy Lines” and many others.