Living and working abroad: my bookmark list.

My workstation

My workstation

Trip update: This week brought high winds and rain on three of the seven days. With westerly gusts of 27 knots and occasional frog-choking downpours, I worked indoors, and walked to the Tempo Prezioso Literary Café for my WiFi connection. This cozy café opened up less than a month ago. img_20170119_144412It features comfortable sofas and chairs, abundant outlets and a powerful WiFi signal. Of course, all the usual offerings of an Italian bar are there, from espresso to the harder stuff. I can eat a tramezzino and put off supper until they close and I walk back to the flat. After the storm front passed, the hills above 300 metres had a dusting of snow.

img_20161127_132258The four sunny days have offered some good rides. For a workout, I can climb into the Liri River valley above Itri. Typically, two hours up and 13 minutes back down! I have also discovered a creative ride: the 64-km round trip to the mozzarella capital of the world, Mondragone, in the Campania region beyond the Garigliano River.dscn0427 After the river, the Via Domitiana peels off from the Via Appia and follows the coast. It has good pavement, and a decent shoulder, so that I can ride safely out of traffic. It is so boring that it is impossible not to daydream. I have written the last third of my current book and outlined the setting for the next book on these rides. The turnaround at Mondragone usually includes breakfast at the Caffé Domizia, a creperie and pasticceria open 24/7/365. Life is good.

Living and working on the road long enough will eventually take one over a national border and out of one’s home country. I have been living and working in Europe for a year and a half now. If I were not at home in Italian and in Italy, it might not have been so pleasant.

I planned to write a post about websites for expatriates, but, as I assembled the information this week, I realized that I have been travelling so much, that I have not settled into a true “expatriate” lifestyle. I grew up as an expatriate, but that was before the Schengen Area, the EU, the internet –even before cheap air travel. The latest travel technology was the ten-speed bicycle! Since returning, I have discovered many “expat” websites, but they have been consolidated into websites like these:

http://www.expatinfodesk.com/expat-guide/resources/websites/

http://www.transitionsabroad.com/listings/living/resources/expatriatewebsites.shtml

http://www.expat.com/

Instead of more expat links, let me share some websites that I found useful during Europe 2015 and Intercontinental 2016. I have dozens more, but they are specific to each national railroad or airline, or each country or province. You can follow the links for your specific travel for those.

I do not endorse any of these websites. I share them because I discovered them in my travels. You should be able to find analogous sites for any country or travel style, with Google and some imagination. Happy roads.

Bicycle touring (of course):

http://www.freewheelingfrance.com/

http://italy-cycling-guide.info/

http://en.francevelotourisme.com/

http://cycling-europe.com/

http://www.cyclinguk.org/

Trip planning:

https://www.rome2rio.com/

https://www.skyscanner.ca/

http://www.virail.com/

http://www.cruisecritic.com/

http://www.directferries.co.uk/

http://www.eurail.com/

http://www.schengenvisainfo.com/

http://www.portaleimmigrazione.it/

http://www.expatslivinginrome.com/

http://italychronicles.com/

https://www.justlanded.com/

Travel Insurance:

https://www.worldnomads.com/

Language learning:

http://www.rosettastone.com/

Travel guides:

https://www.ricksteves.com/

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/

http://www.routard.com/

https://www.viamichelin.com/

https://www.tripadvisor.com

Accommodations:

http://www.booking.com/

https://www.airbnb.com/

https://www.couchsurfing.org

http://www.hiusa.org/

http://www.hostelworld.com/

http://www.warmshowers.org/

https://hotels.com

DSCN0980Each of these websites can tell you more about themselves faster than I could, so I invite you to surf. You will need to do this research and more, but I hope you find it fun to plan your next trip – whether it’s one-way or round-trip.

If you have some favourite website not listed above, feel free to share it in a comment.

Next week, another sea story.

Smooth roads and tailwinds,

Jonathan.

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