The presence of other travellers at a location need not spoil the experience. Here, tourists at Oregon's Crater Lake National Park. Rosemary Behan
The presence of other travellers at a location need not spoil the experience. Here, tourists at Oregon's Crater Lake National Park. Rosemary Behan

On the move: why patience truly is a virtue



I’d be the first to admit that in my rush to see as much of the world as possible, patience has sometimes not been uppermost in my mind. But now that I’ve seen half the world, and I am probably about halfway through my life as well – and much wealthier than when I started out – my priorities have started to shift. This has come in tandem with an increased interest in sustainable travel, in the widest possible sense.

I do believe that travel is a force for good, but as the world shrinks thanks to globalisation, there’s a sense that what we do locally is more important than ever. Sustainable travel shouldn’t just be about using public transport, staying in small huts or reducing time in the shower. It’s no good doing these things and then shoving your camera into people’s faces, pushing into queues, tooting your horn, losing your temper or ignoring other travellers.

Truly holistic travel is about how you treat other people as you go, how you engage with a place and what you get back from the experience. Driving is the only option in much of the United States, but I drive compact, efficient cars in an efficient way, and have started to believe that one can "offset" the pollution caused in one activity with positive actions in another.

This week, as smoke from forest fires cleared in southern Oregon, I wasn't going to let the Labour Day weekend crowds spoil the experience. I could either get annoyed or embrace it. So, despite covering more than 1,500 kilometres in four days, I've taken things slowly. Instead of staying at a motel chain or camping, I've splashed out on a couple of Holiday Inns. Yes, you may laugh, but it does make a difference not having to walk 500 metres to the nearest bathroom or staying at a place where your room looks like a crime scene, and where you can chat to other guests or staff without fear for your safety or seeming eccentric. I've spent two nights in each place instead of one, which reduces the level of stress and allows you to explore at a sane pace, with time for diversions.

I’ve stopped to talk to people. Unless they’re crucial to a story, I’m often reluctant to do a “stop and chat” with random strangers since – well – there isn’t time and they usually aren’t that interesting. This week though, I’ve stopped, and, to an extent, I’ve chatted. At Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, I helped several people with their photos, and the encounters, strangely, made me feel more connected to the place. I waited patiently in the queue to get into the park and was held in a lengthy and entertaining chat with a British park ranger there.

Instead of jostling to the front of a line of hikers, I hung out near the middle. I got chatting to a bearded man in a bandana who told me in hushed tones how data from global seismic monitoring is showing that earthquakes on one side of the world have a corresponding effect on the other, making accurate prediction imminent.

Back at the hotel, there was another revelation. An almost offhand complaint/comment to reception about my room’s air conditioning – old, noisy, on-off throughout the night – resulted in a big discount.

Sometimes, being patient pays off in the most unexpected of ways.

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Read more:

On the move: The very best of America awaits...

Why western women fall for Petra’s ‘love pirates’ and how to avoid a romance scam

Hitching a ride to the future on an e-scooter

Cabin fever offers us big life lessons

In memory of Anthony Bourdain, a phenomenal meal in Vancouver

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Married Malala

Malala Yousafzai is enjoying married life, her father said.

The 24-year-old married Pakistan cricket executive Asser Malik last year in a small ceremony in the UK.

Ziauddin Yousafzai told The National his daughter was ‘very happy’ with her husband.

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

Building boom turning to bust as Turkey's economy slows

Deep in a provincial region of northwestern Turkey, it looks like a mirage - hundreds of luxury houses built in neat rows, their pointed towers somewhere between French chateau and Disney castle.

Meant to provide luxurious accommodations for foreign buyers, the houses are however standing empty in what is anything but a fairytale for their investors.

The ambitious development has been hit by regional turmoil as well as the slump in the Turkish construction industry - a key sector - as the country's economy heads towards what could be a hard landing in an intensifying downturn.

After a long period of solid growth, Turkey's economy contracted 1.1 per cent in the third quarter, and many economists expect it will enter into recession this year.

The country has been hit by high inflation and a currency crisis in August. The lira lost 28 per cent of its value against the dollar in 2018 and markets are still unconvinced by the readiness of the government under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to tackle underlying economic issues.

The villas close to the town centre of Mudurnu in the Bolu region are intended to resemble European architecture and are part of the Sarot Group's Burj Al Babas project.

But the development of 732 villas and a shopping centre - which began in 2014 - is now in limbo as Sarot Group has sought bankruptcy protection.

It is one of hundreds of Turkish companies that have done so as they seek cover from creditors and to restructure their debts.

Financial considerations before buying a property

Buyers should try to pay as much in cash as possible for a property, limiting the mortgage value to as little as they can afford. This means they not only pay less in interest but their monthly costs are also reduced. Ideally, the monthly mortgage payment should not exceed 20 per cent of the purchaser’s total household income, says Carol Glynn, founder of Conscious Finance Coaching.

“If it’s a rental property, plan for the property to have periods when it does not have a tenant. Ensure you have enough cash set aside to pay the mortgage and other costs during these periods, ideally at least six months,” she says. 

Also, shop around for the best mortgage interest rate. Understand the terms and conditions, especially what happens after any introductory periods, Ms Glynn adds.

Using a good mortgage broker is worth the investment to obtain the best rate available for a buyer’s needs and circumstances. A good mortgage broker will help the buyer understand the terms and conditions of the mortgage and make the purchasing process efficient and easier. 

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: DarDoc
Based: Abu Dhabi
Founders: Samer Masri, Keswin Suresh
Sector: HealthTech
Total funding: $800,000
Investors: Flat6Labs, angel investors + Incubated by Hub71, Abu Dhabi's Department of Health
Number of employees: 10

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Empty Words

By Mario Levrero  

(Coffee House Press)
 


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