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Travel Writer’s Memoir Puts A Personal Meaning On Departures




Mark Chesnut is well known in the travel media industry for his bylines in many trade and consumer publications and his blog on Latin American travel.

But recently Chesnut published a new paper that takes a completely different tack. It focuses on his lifelong relationship with his late mother, Eunice Chesnut.

in the “Preparing for Departure: Notes on a Single Mother, an Misfit Son, Inevitable Mortality, and the Enduring Allure of Frequent Flyer Miles” (Vine Leaves Press, 2022) Chesnut delves into childhood and adult memories, most of which relate to his mother. In a Q&A with Forbes, Chesnut opened up about his memoir and how his mother shaped his direction in life.

Forbes: While many members of the travel industry know you for your travel media career, it’s surprising to find that your memoir focuses on your relationship with your mother throughout childhood and adulthood. Why did you choose this direction?

Chesnut: That’s right – people who know me as a travel writer might be surprised that this book goes deeper than travel. It is truly a story about a mother and son and the emotional journeys families sometimes have to take together. When my mother fell ill and it became clear that she would not be around much longer, I felt compelled to write about our experiences. It was a kind of therapy for me, a kind of coping.

Documenting our life together – from my childhood to the last months of her life – provided a platform to explore many issues including parent-child relationships; how misfit children can find their identity and self-worth; how to follow your own passion in life; how family relationships develop after a child comes out as LGBTQ; and how adult children deal with illness and the loss of their parents. It was encouraging to hear how people can relate to different aspects of the book. After all, many of these themes are universal.

Travel is still a big part of the book, of course. It has always been my personal passion and the book shows the transformative power of travel and how it can mean different things to different people. I even explain how I became a travel writer, albeit in a more humorous way that aims to both entertain and inform. But overall, this book isn’t really travel essays or travelogues; it’s about the broader, deeper journeys we sometimes need to take, whether alone or with our families.

Why prompted you to write a memoir?

It really was an emotional and psychological necessity for me, even though I didn’t even plan to write a book. My mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor and her health deteriorated. She moved from upstate New York to a nursing home near my apartment in New York City. It was a very stressful and emotional time for both of us. As a writer, I guess it came naturally that one of my main coping mechanisms was to write about what was happening. But I didn’t know at first that it would become a memoir or a whole book – it gradually happened.

I wrote down all the difficult challenges my mother and I faced and this helped me to deal with them. But then I started thinking and writing about the whole story of our life together – the funny, weird and challenging moments. Memories I didn’t want to lose. I started writing about childhood memories – crazy stuff like playing flight attendant on abandoned school buses when I was fourteen, coming out as a teenager, how my mother dealt with my marriage and many other topics.

After I started taking memoir writing classes and submitting some of my essays to literary journals, I realized that I had enough material for a book and that what I was writing about was resonating with other people. “Prepare for Departure” is really about more than just my mother and me. It’s about universal emotions like love for family, longing for acceptance, and pursuing your passions to build the life you truly want. It’s nice to share something so personal and help give a voice to other people’s experiences.

How did you decide which stories to tell about her in your book?

“Prepare for Departure” is essentially a collection of essays that jump back and forth in time; The so-called “present” is when my mom is in the nursing home in New York City and we deal with issues like illness, constant paperwork, and impending death—but we still find some fun and dark humor in it that helps us get through it . Humor brings such relief in difficult situations. What use are terrible times if at some point you can no longer laugh about them?

The book’s many flashbacks span from the time I was four years old to my marriage. In these chapters, my aim has been to write about specific experiences that were either significant in their impact on our family relationships and our own personal development, or that say something about society as a whole. In many cases, however, I’ve written about situations simply because I found them funny or odd enough to be worth telling. Being weird can be a lot more interesting than trying to be normal.

What would your mother have thought of your memoirs?

She loved speaking and writing publicly and sharing with people, so I think it would tickle her in a way if people read about some of our experiences together. She was really popular in the town where she lived for 60 years – Brockport, New York – and I think she would be really touched to know that these people are still thinking of her and wanting to read about her, and too these new people are introduced to her and get to see how interesting, funny and smart she was.

In a way, I think she would be a little embarrassed to reveal some of the more personal aspects of our lives. But I’ve tried to portray both of us realistically, as imperfect humans who have evolved over time.

You often traveled to and from Kentucky with your mother to see your family. How did these experiences shape you?

Travel was an integral part of our family structure. I grew up in the town of Brockport in western New York near Rochester, but all of my extended family lived in Kentucky, and my mom always made time and money available so that we could fly or drive to the bluegrass state at least three times a year , for the first 17 years of my life. These trips were so important to me. You have helped strengthen my sense of family and I appreciate that my mother understood the importance of that.

In addition, the trips also provided a much-needed escape from life in my own hometown, where I was an outsider. I couldn’t play sports. I went weird, at least according to some kids. And since I didn’t grow up with siblings of the same age, I had better relationships with adults than with children. I think feeling like an outsider is one of the reasons I became obsessed with travel. It represented so many things to me: the warmth and acceptance of a family, the relief of getting away from it all, the glamor of boarding a plane, and the excitement of speeding down a freeway. No wonder I became a travel writer!

Her memoirs contain chapters on advice topics related to travel and various social situations. Why did you decide to split the format of the book?

These little advice sections, which I call “Eunice’s Tips,” are meant to be helpful but entertaining tips on travel, etiquette and life that I’ve learned from my mother over the years. I made these standalone sections because they were written more in her voice than mine—especially when she was yelling at me for mispronouncing the French-sounding names of some Kentucky cities.

Where does the title of the book come from?

The title came to me pretty early in the writing process. I needed a clever phrase that served as an ambiguity. “Prepare for departure,” the flight attendants naturally say as they get the cabin ready for takeoff, so it evokes travel, excitement, escape, and the thrill of getting away from it all, which is a constant theme throughout the book. But “departure” also refers to death, which we all must prepare for at some point.

Since the prospect of my mother’s death was the initial impetus for writing this book, the editors and I felt the title worked well to reflect this aspect of the story – the inevitable mortality – as well as the travel-related themes of the book. “Prepare for Departure” explores the roots of wanderlust and also shows the emotional journeys that life sometimes sends us on.

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List of Top Amazing Places to Must Visit in 2022




List of Top Amazing Places to Must Visit in 2022

Are you a newly married couple searching for new experiences and recollections collectively with out denting your financial savings account, or do you wish to plan a household journey with out spending your retirement or emergency funds? 

You may contemplate taking a travel loan from famend monetary establishments or NBFCs at reasonably priced rates of interest. Nonetheless, chances are you’ll be confused about which locations it is best to go to which can be on virtually each traveler’s record. So, listed below are probably the most appreciated locations in India and overseas the place you’ll be able to plan your journey utilizing a private mortgage. 

Listing of Prime Wonderful Locations to Should Go to in 2022

  • Assam – India

Amongst many stunning states, Assam is one with a definite id and is on the precedence record for nature lovers. There are various sanctuaries and nationwide parks the place you’ll be able to see animals just like the one-horned Rhino. You may go to many fantastically designed historical temples. Vacationers can take pleasure in quite a few scenic parks like Nehru Park, the place you’ll be able to see imposing granite sculptures.

  • Switzerland

Switzerland is the choice of people who wish to take pleasure in snow-capped mountains. A metropolis in Switzerland – Lucerne, is understood for its medieval structure in stunning mountains. Swiss chocolate and Swiss timepieces are ready for you – the one place to expertise them. Put an finish to your worries about touring bills. Take a journey mortgage with a versatile compensation facility of 12-60 months. Now you can plan the holiday you could have at all times desired.

  • Paris – France 

Paris is a vibrant and alluring touring spot recognized for the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum – the Palace of French kings, and varied different thrilling and delightful locations. You may go to iconic monuments just like the Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame Cathedral, which is within the rebuilding course of, apart from the town’s quaint cafes and avant-garde artwork galleries. So, put together for a Paris journey and make your dream come true.

  • Bangkok – Thailand

Bangkok is an iconic spot for a trip. Its variety within the world-famous scrumptious road meals have to be alluring for a lot of. The largest buying centre – MBK Centre – is located in Bangkok. You may go to the Grand Palace – the official residence of the king of Thailand. Thai delicacies can be there for you.

  • London – the UK

London is likely one of the cities that has one thing for each traveller. Historical past lovers can go to the British Museum to see Egyptian mummies and Buckingham Palace to benefit from the change of guard day by day. Artwork lovers can go to the Nationwide Gallery, the place work by Leonardo Da Vinci are the important thing sights. You can too see the conflict room utilized by Churchill in World Battle 2.

  • Hong Kong 

There’s an growing variety of vacationers visiting Hong Kong, and there are various causes for this. There’s a well-known gentle present in Hong Kong Harbour. The skyline is simply as fabulous, with a particular level known as Victoria Peak. You may have a look at the sight views utilizing telescopes. There are the most important Buddha statues and scenic magnificence lined by forests. After all, how are you going to keep away from the enduring Disneyland in Hong Kong? Take pleasure in all of the rides within the Disney theme parks impressed by Chinese language tradition.

You may shortlist your favourite locations and plan your tour one after the other utilizing private loans for touring. 

Allow us to see the eligibility for the greatest private mortgage rates of interest from the main monetary establishments. 

Straightforward Eligibility for the Greatest Private Mortgage for Journey

  • Age Restrict: The mortgage applicant ought to be between 21 and 65 years previous. 
  • Fundamental Earnings: The lender needs a minimal wage of Rs.20,000 a month, relying in your metropolis. You will get a mortgage quantity as excessive as Rs.25 lakhs.
  • Credit score Rating: A mortgage applicant’s credit score rating is the first issue {that a} lender opinions to approve a mortgage quantity. Most lenders require a rating of 750+.
  • Whole work expertise: The lender checks your employment historical past to supply the greatest private mortgage rates of interest. Total work expertise ought to be a minimal of 1 yr and 6 months with the present employer.

You may verify your eligibility for a private mortgage for journey utilizing the private mortgage eligibility calculator obtainable on-line totally free. Discover one of the best NBFC providing fast private loans digitally and prepare in your journey to your favourite place internationally.

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DOT proposes new airline refund rules amid travel chaos





The Department for Transport has proposed new rules to better protect travelers if their flight is delayed, canceled or otherwise significantly changed – in response to the “barrage of complaints about air travel” the department has received since the coronavirus pandemic began , it said in a press release.

By defining when a flight can be considered canceled or significantly changed, the proposal aims to fill a gap in the Department of Transportation’s ability to prevent what it sees as unfair practices in the transportation industry and airlines to oblige consumers who they believe are victims of these practices to be reimbursed.

If it goes into effect, it would be the “biggest expansion of travelers’ rights in decades,” according to Scott Keyes, founder of a website that helps travelers search cheap flightshe wrote on Twitter.

So what does it mean for you?

What are the proposed rules?

Under the proposal, which is subject to a 90-day public consultation period, airlines and ticket sellers would have to refund consumers if they “significantly” change their flights.

This applies to domestic flights delayed by three hours or more or international flights delayed by six hours or more. It would also apply if the departure or arrival airport is changed, if additional connections are added, or if the class of service or aircraft type is changed, e.g. than expected.

If an airline published a flight in its online reservation system when the ticket was sold but ultimately did not operate the flight for any reason, it would be considered canceled under the new rules.

From traveling light to booking your flight direct with the airline, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind during particularly chaotic travel times. (Video: The Washington Post)

“When Americans buy a plane ticket, they should get to their destination safely, reliably and affordably,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in the release. “This new proposed rule would protect travelers’ rights and help ensure they receive the timely refunds they deserve from airlines.”

The new rules would also require airlines to issue ticket holders who decide not to travel because they are ill or are unable to travel due to government travel restrictions, including, for example, imposing a quarantine requirement on incoming passengers, with no expiration date. In the case of airlines receiving future government bailouts, the rule would require them to issue refunds instead of credits.

But there are limitations. For example, if someone books a flight but later new public health restrictions are imposed that would render the trip “pointless”, that person would be eligible for a non-expiring voucher or credit. But if someone does not check what is required for the trip, such as B. PCR tests, and cannot travel, he is not eligible.

How do they differ from the current rules?

Under current rulesTravelers to and from the United States are already eligible for a refund if their flight is canceled or significantly delayed and they choose not to take another option, or if they were involuntarily downgraded to a lower tier than what they paid for , to be demoted.

However, because the Department of Transportation does not define “substantial delay,” the question of whether travelers are eligible for a refund depended in practice on many factors “including the length of the delay, the length of the flight” and individual circumstances, it said. When a complaint is made, the individual process for the department to determine whether a refund is required takes a long time, she warns consumers.

Vacations Gone Wrong: Read these six stories of epic travel failures

The lack of clarity about what constitutes a canceled or significantly delayed flight has led to “disagreements between airlines about when passengers are eligible for a refund,” the transport ministry said in the press release.

Meanwhile, passengers who choose not to travel because they are ill or are particularly susceptible to illness are generally not protected by current regulations. For this reason, people who are ill and could infect others, or people who are particularly at risk of becoming seriously ill, can still travel so as not to lose the money they spent on their ticket. “This type of action by consumers is not in the public interest,” the department said.

Welcome to the travel hell of summer with lots of gas and canceled flights

When would this take effect?

The Department of Transportation’s proposed rule still has a while to go before it can be enacted. After the period of public hearing 90 days ends, the department reviews the comments and decides whether to keep the proposed rule unchanged, modify it, or withdraw it.

Anyone can comment, including businesses that would be affected by the rule. If the rules are enacted, companies can apply for an exception, which the department will only consider if it finds that “unique circumstances were not taken into account in the rule-making”.

What rights do I have if my flight is delayed now?

Travelers have reported a spike in travel issues this summer – from canceled or delayed flights to lost luggage and strikes – as many countries eased or eliminated all pandemic-related restrictions, which has led to higher demand and airports and airlines have been unable to cope.

Have nearly 550,000 flights been delayed So far this year, the United States has operated more than twice as many such flights in all of 2021, according to the Department of Transportation. More than 88,000 flights were canceled, about 3.2 percent of all flights, compared to less than 1.6 percent of flights last year.

If your flight is one of them, the current rules still apply. For a flight arriving or departing from the United States, you are eligible for a refund if your flight is canceled or significantly delayed and you decide not to choose another option. This also applies if you are involuntarily downgraded to a lower service than you paid for.

How to get refunds from an airline if your flight is cancelled

You are also entitled to compensation if you were denied boarding because your flight was overbooked and you did not voluntarily give up your seat. Airlines are allowed to overbook flights and there is no minimum they have to offer when asking travelers if someone is willing to take a later flight. passengers have reported that airlines have offered thousands of dollars for people who voluntarily get kicked off their flights.

If you are involuntarily bumped, airlines should provide you with a form detailing your compensation claims, which are often tied to arrival at your final destination. Keep in mind that most airlines require you to be checked in or at the boarding gate by a certain time in order to be eligible for compensation over and above the cost of the flight.

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First EU travel route with only digital ID pends approval: Finland to Croatia




Passengers could soon fly to Croatia from Vantaa Airport in Helsinki using a digital ID on their phones instead of a physical ID card or passport, subject to approval by the European Commission. However, in the initial phase of the project, passengers would still have to take their passports with them to return home, the reports Sanomat newspaper Helsinginvia online translation.

Finnish authorities will need guinea pigs to test the first cross-border route, but they have yet to pack their tiny suitcases. The first step is to complete the application by the end of August and await the European Commission’s decision on whether to fund the pilot. If approved, a multi-stage pilot would begin, with the Commission reportedly keen to see the results of such pilots, with a view to rolling out digital travel documents across the EU.

If approved, the project could begin by the end of the year, although there are no direct flights between the two Finland and Croatia until spring 2023. Finland is therefore considering other destinations. The Netherlands and Canada are also mentioned.

Mikko Väisänen, inspector of staff at the Finnish Border Guard, said the Commission had contacted Finland to see if it was interested in participating. The use of digital ID cards could help speed up checks.

phase out of the physical

In the first stage, a passport would still be required. Väisänen told Helsingin Sanomat that a traveler would have an app on their phone containing a digital travel document. Before the trip, they would send the information in the document to the border authorities electronically and in advance. The data will be deleted after the trip.

At the border control, a photo of the passenger is taken for identification. The passenger would have to hold the passport over the reader but not open it for a scan. This would be to read the chip. In a later step, the passenger could hold their mobile phone over the reader.

Similar plans exist for Croatia, but passengers would be required to carry physical ID to ensure they can complete all stages of the journey.

Helsinki’s Vantaa Airport would have a line for departing and arriving passengers to pass through border controls during the digital ID pilot.

The digital travel document could also eliminate the need for boarding passes and other documents, as facial recognition could be used at security and boarding instead, says Väisänen.

Finland may also plan to use it Biometrics from civil and tourist traffic Serious Crime Investigation Register.

Article Topics

biometric passport | biometrics | Croatia | digital ID card | EU | Finland | apartment | pilot project | travel documents

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