Episode 1 of the revised edition of The Night Terror is available for electronic download for FREE from March 29-April 2. Please help boost the book by downloading a copy and sharing with others. You can see it here: The Night Terror
Desperate times call for desperate measures. I don't know about you but I would need to be extremely desperate to go to Antarctica. There are probably few places that could keep you safe from zombies as well as Antarctica. For one, it's really not an easy place to get to. It's also very cold. You would probably have a hard time surviving there, so it may not be at the top of your list but I would say you could easily put some distance between yourself and the limping crowd of dazed zombies.
Here are some interesting facts I found at worldatlas.com. " Antarctica, almost 98% solid ice, was finally considered a continent in 1840, and not just a group of isolated islands. Today it has active territorial claims submitted by Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom." Do you think you have cold Winters? Check this out, "Antarctica is the coldest and windiest spot on the planet. In fact, the lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth was recorded in Antarctica (-129.3ºF) and the mean winter temperatures range from -40º to -94ºF. Winds are commonly measured at up to 200 miles per hour."
If you were to take refuge in Antarctica, I think zombies would be the least of your concerns. There are several research stations there though - manned by various different countries. You might be able to take refuge at one of them. From what I understand, one of them is green, so you might be able to survive in it.
Here's a couple to check out: http://www.antarcticstation.org or http://www.usap.gov.
I've personally never been to Antarctica (I hate the cold), but if you love adventure, there are different expeditions you can join. One that sounds interesting is through a company called Expedition Trips. According to their site, the trip includes a "cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula and surrounding islands aboard a stylish state-of-the-art expedition ship with outstanding guides, kayaks, underwater dive master, and National Geographic partnership." The site has a picture of people in a raft checking out penguins. That's kinda epic I guess if you prefer penguins to zombies... unless they are zombie penguins, which would be kinda freaky.
If Antarctic is on your post-apocalypse bucket list, you may want to book a per-apocalypse trip with one of these expedition companies to check out the turf. As for me, I'm going to stick with my deserted island plan.
What do you think about Antarctica? Share in the comments below.
-Tim (The Adventure Guy, except in this case because I hate cold weather.)
There is no debating the monumental presence of the Grand Canyon. To stand over it and look into its depth of color and complexity is to view a work of art on the canvas of the Earth's landscape. It's rugged nature makes it a great temptation for adventure junkies. From its raging Colorado River to it's shear cliffs, The Grand Canyon beckons you to a challenge.
Since most people view zombies as brainless beings who can't do much more than drag themselves around, the same sense of danger promised by this great U.S. monument could provide refuge to those who can make it to the bottom. A raft could provide a quick escape when needed and someone who is trained in survival could manage to wait out the apocalypse in one of the most beautiful landscapes on the planet.
Don't wait until something happens to enjoy this wonder. Take a trip to the Grand Canyon and experience its beauty for yourself. If you are in for an adventure, book a rafting trip or enlist yourself on a mule trip on one of its scenic trails.
-Tim (The Adventure Guy)
Learn more at these sites:
plan your visit
So, we have talked about transportation, theme parks and even deserted islands but some people feel that a yacht is the culmination of everything great when it comes to surviving the apocalypse. If you think about it, a yacht is great transportation since we are pretty certain zombies can't swim or navigate boats of their own. It's a great 'vessel' to take to your deserted island and it's just quite a bit more fun than sitting on an island Tom Hanks style with your volleyball.
For some people, the yacht is a must have for a post apocalyptic world. You can use it to find new places, other survivors and food/water. You will need to have a good fuel source, however, which will mean visiting once populated places...which in a zombie world would mean great danger. I guess that scenario would still provide adventure and for those thrill seekers still out there, it would be a good excuse to go visit the mainland on occasion. Just watch out for stowaways and I don't mean Gilligan!
As far at the present goes, this is an adventure I have yet to go on. I have not even gone on a cruise as of yet. Go ahead and accuse me of being a lame travel adviser. (If you want to pay for my cruise experience, I would be more than glad to accept your offer.) With that said, I think going on a cruise or even renting a yacht for a weekend would be an excellent adventure. Maybe not of Bill and Ted status, but excellent just the same. I think when I do opt for the cruise adventure I will lean heavily toward Disney cruises because I have already had such great experiences with their them parks.
For those of you out there who have gone on cruised or rented a yacht or houseboat, what advice do you have for those future deckhands? Please share your advice and it might be on a future post.
-Tim (The somewhat experienced travel and adventure guy)
Since the title of this blog is Zombie Getaways, it seems fitting that I actually say something concerning transportation. If you think about it, transportation is often what comes to one’s mind when he/she contemplates a getaway. From gangsters to moonshine runners, cars have become synonymous with the idea of getting away. Bank robbers even call them getaway vehicles.
The zombie culture is infatuated with the perfect zombie getaway vehicle. Designers create everything from steel covered frames to chainsaws on the front. (I’m not sure how one would have enough time to get out of the car and start the chainsaws [if you have ever used a chainsaw you understand what I mean], get back into the car and drive through the herd of ‘walkers’ but someone decided it would be a good inclusion for the front of an escape car). For some odd reason Hyundai teamed up ‘The Walking Dead’ to create ‘The Walking Dead Chop Shop.’ It’s a site or app where you can build your own Hyundai for battling the throngs of walkers you would encounter in The Walking Dead universe. The app is fun but I can’t help but wonder why anyone would choose a Hyundai as the perfect zombie attack vehicle. Don’t get me wrong, Hyundai builds reliable vehicles, but I just can’t imagine that I would choose one if that was my way of fending off walkers. I would definitely choose a 4X4 or maybe an AWD and it would come from a company that has a history of build tough off-road vehicles. Let’s face it, your goal would be to get away from highly populated areas and since the roads would often be blocked off by traffic jams or hordes of walkers, you would need something that could be driven on rough terrain and not be so encumbered in steel and chainsaws that it would sink into the fertile forest floor. For this reason I would probably pick a Humvee, Toyota Land Cruiser, Ford F150 4X4, Range Rover or even a Subaru, but I would not pick a Hyundai. I think The Walking Dead must have been paid a huge amount of cash to partner with Hyundai. Think about it, you will need something that is proven as a heavy duty off road vehicle in order to survive, not something you can manufacture in a chop shop. Seriously, where would one find one of these chop shops and who would have time to make these alterations in a real emergency?
(Since this is actually a travel blog, I would be remiss to not somehow segue into some type of travel advice, so here is my rather rough transition).
Speaking of travelling in vehicles, what better way is there to go to your destination than by car? Yes, planes are faster but a plane just takes the enjoyment out of the journey. If you fly, you are required to wait in long lines, talk to rude people, get scanned, patted down and violated all to wait on a plane crammed with people who are as tired as you. Chances are you won’t get to your destination in one flight, so you will run for your next flight at some airport only to miss your flight or find out it is delayed by two hours. You may reach your destination earlier, but you will require rest due to the stress. If you drive, you get to see the sites, travel at your leisure, stay in hotels, and have your own car with you while at your destination. I know one can’t travel by car with crossing the ocean, but it is a viable option for cross country trips.
Since there are no walkers on your trip, you might choose a car over a gas guzzling 4X4 but that could still be a mistake. You never know what obstacles you will face while travelling. You could encounter snow storms in the winter or torrential downpours in the spring. You may be driving through mountains or on beaches. Finding an economical 4X4 or AWD vehicle like a Subaru, Ford Escape, Toyota Highlander, or a variety of other crossovers may be your best option to save some money on fuel but still retain some off-road capability for when the rubber meets the road. (Pun definitely intended).
(Tim-The Travel and Adventure Guy)
Hopefully, you won't wait until a zombie invasion to visit Walt Disney World. It's my hope that your visit there will be similar to what I experienced - total excitement. Although I would label running from zombies as adventurous, I wouldn't call it exciting. I hope your trip will be filled with great memories.
One of the greatest things that came out of our trip to Disney was the memories we created together as a family. One of our last days we witnessed a family who either left a shop without their pre-teenage daughter or she wondered into the shop. They were in the middle of a war of words as we passed. I am not sure who was at fault for the separation of the parents and child but based upon the parent’s rebukes, the full responsibility was being placed upon the daughter’s shoulders. To say they were angry would be an understatement, as would stating they were furious. They were explosive and it was one of the few times I witnessed the crowd moving away. I realized that it had to be quite traumatic to lose their daughter and that every possible emotion had arisen during their frantic search, but all that could go through my mind was how that very moment would define their vacation at what is supposed to be the ‘happiest place on earth.’ I, myself, was extremely tired and my feet were aching... but I pledged to make the most of the remainder of our trip because I wanted to leave with wonderful memories.
We had a good day and got to experience some exciting times together. It was a time for bonding and we became a closer knit family as a result of our experience... and our attitude. For a vacation to be a success in producing fond memories you must enter it with the right attitude. You can vacation at any dream destination and have a horrible time if you expect he worst. We faced toll roads, torrential downpours, sunburns, aching muscles, etc – but they were all part of a wonderful memory that I would do over and over and over again. I celebrated the rain. The toll roads were a nuisance, but a gateway to adventure. The sunburn and aching muscles were the result of too much fun. My attitude was to enjoy my vacation and bond with my family and that is the results I obtained. Had I went with a negative attitude, I would now have negative memories. Instead I am filled with memories of carrying my daughter who is still young enough to carry, meeting Mickey Mouse, riding thrilling rides and getting to experience my son and daughter’s joy on their first roller coaster rides! We laughed, ran, waited in line together and just enjoyed the freedom of being together in a joyful place. It was pure excitement and I have memories that will last a lifetime.
My biggest piece of advice for going to Disney World or any vacation is to expect wonderful things to happen. Make good memories. Take you camera and snap it every time you have the opportunity. Don’t argue or fuss and make the best out of even the bad things that happen. If you heed my advice, you will have a smile on your face as you look back upon the time you and your family were running in the rain to ride down Splash Mountain.
Make the best out of each day.
-Tim (The Travel and Adventure Guy)
Here is part three of the Disney Travel advice. The picture is of me and my son in Disney's Animal Kingdom. The safari ride is pretty killer and probably the best place to hide out if you are trying to escape a throng of thirsty zombies. Maybe the lions will keep you safe.
1. Plan your attire: I learned that June is a good month for rain in Florida. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, we enjoyed the rain and took advantage of the shorter lines it created. If we were not dressed appropriately, however, we would have been miserable. We planned ahead and bought sandals with nylon straps. (Good sandals for being in the sun and rain include Keen and Chaco). You want sandals with nylon straps because they can get wet and dry quickly. We also wore high end sandals because we wanted to be as comfortable walking as possible. Our children wore Keen sandals (which I saw many people at Disney wearing) while Julie and I wore Chaco sandals due to their superior arch support. Don’t get me wrong, our feet hurt, but not as bad as they would have with inferior shoes. My advice is to not wear tennis shoes, unless you enjoy the sloshing of water as you walk. It’s also a good idea to wear quick drying clothing and make sure you take rain protection. We wore ponchos that we purchased at Disney. We knew to pack some but forgot – Disney ponchos aren’t cheap, so remember to pack your own. The advantage to a poncho is that you can pack it when you are not wearing it.
2. Take a small backpack: When talking to others we realized that we would need to take stuff into Disney. We purchased a small backpack and decided that we would carry everything in that bag. (This worked great until we started buying souvenirs. You may want to pack an empty bag inside your main bag to put souvenirs in). We packed snacks, our ponchos, the camera, and other essentials in the backpack. Most of Disney’s rides have a storage compartment for bags, so we never found ourselves needing to hand it off and alternate who rode what. The backpack was very handy.
3. Strollers: Our children were 8 and 5 at the time and neither one ever used a stroller. We were advised to take one because the walking is so strenuous, but opted to not take in a stroller. I would make the same decision if I had it to do all over. I noticed that those with strollers had a difficult time. Many rides require that you park your stroller in a stroller lot, so you are then forced to carry the child and all the stuff you stored in the stroller. Navigating a stroller through a large crowd can be very difficult and many people don’t yield to anyone – including those with strollers or in wheelchairs. My daughter did get very tired one night and I carried her quite a bit, but I still prefer that over hauling around a stroller all day. It was just extra exercise for me. Our situation is different. Some people have more children or younger children and need a stroller. If you do need one, plan ahead and be flexible because you will have extra requirements.
4. Buy Souvenirs at the End of the Day: I mentioned that we bought souvenirs. Most days we bought our souvenirs at the end of the day. We just took mental notes of what we wanted and got those items before we left. This prevented us from hauling around extra stuff all day. There is no need to burden yourself with more stuff when you can just practice patience. We did have a situation where we were in a gift shop in middle of the day and would not be returning to that area, so we purchased some items there. (They had sales, which is abnormal for Disney). We did, consequently, carry those items with us for the rest of the day and wished we had an extra backpack.
That’s all for today, but I still have a ton of information about our trip to share. Comment below if you plan to go to Disney and have questions or suggestions.
- Tim (The Travel Guy)
Last week I wrote our 2012 visit to Walt Disney World . Like I said last time, Disney is a great getaway, not matter the circumstances. Here are some more secrets we learned on our trip.
1. Know What You Want Before You Go: I do not recall ever putting as much work into planning a family vacation as I did this one. We were blessed to have a travel agent who offered her services free of charge to help us plan the trip and I can definitely say that she was very helpful. When going to Disney, you have a laundry list of decisions to make. Will you stay at one of Disney’s resorts or somewhere else? How much money are you willing to budget for the trip? Will you add a meal plan or try to bring your own food? If eating at Disney, will you schedule character meals? If so, which ones will you schedule and when? Are you going to each park or just certain ones? If going to each park, will you purchase a Park Hopper? The questions go on and on and on. Do not plan to just show up in Orlando and figure it out because that just will not make for a very memorable or enjoyable experience. Also, Disney isn’t very close to Orlando when you figure in the traffic and toll roads. It’s pretty much become a city of its own, which makes going to Orlando somewhat of a misnomer. Start visiting Disney’s website and start talking to everyone you know who has visited Walt Disney World. The more information you can gather prior to the trip, the better. Learn your options, decide what you want to do and make your plan. This is one vacation requires much planning.
2. Think Ahead: Don’t wait until the last minute to plan your Disney vacation. Try making all your reservations as soon as possible. If you reserve things early, you can start making payments for the trip and have most of it paid before you even go. Not worrying about how you are going to pay for the trip you just went on is a good feeling. We paid almost our entire Disney trip prior to embarking on our journey. We also took $250 on a prepaid Disney card and some cash. We did not worry about money while there because we had already paid for the trip. This is very freeing and helps you enjoy the trip even more. Also, making your reservations early helps you assure you get the hotel you want, the character meals you want and frees up time to plan out your schedule when you arrive at Disney. One great website I found for gathering information is mousesavers.com. Check it out.
3. Do what is Best for You. We opted to stay at a Disney resort (Port Orleans Riverside – which I highly recommend) and took advantage of their meal plans. This worked well for us and I would not do the trip differently. There is something extra special about staying at Disney and we did not need to worry about our meals because they were already paid for. We were able to take full advantage of Disney transportation and also got extra perks for staying. This was not the least expensive route but we worked it into our budget. I will state this, the meals at Disney are astronomical, so if you don’t have the money to do a meal plan, don’t plan on eating at Disney because that will cost you even more. We also opted to visit every major park – Animal Kingdom, Epcot, The Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We did this all in four days. My one regret is not planning for 5 or 6 days. We did almost everything we wanted, but we exhausted ourselves. It would have been better to have more time and paced ourselves more slowly. Part of planning ahead is figuring out what works best for you.
4. Be Flexible: You will not be the only family at Disney and therefore will not be alone in having an agenda. Your agenda will at times compete with many other people’s agendas. Relax and enjoy your trip. Realize that you are not in a competition with everyone else to get on a ride or see a show. You are a part of a larger community. You may need to skip a ride due to the line and visit it later, or you just might need to sacrifice a ride or show altogether. Don’t let that ruin your trip, but go with a determination to be flexible. There were a couple rides we really wanted to go on but had to sacrifice. I was just thrilled that we were actually able to do about 95% of the things we planned, which was a surprise to me because I went with the expectation of only getting to do about half. Another advantage to flexibility is making the best of your situation. The longest line we waited in was for a ride called Soarin at Epcot. Instead of fuming, we spent our 90 minutes talking to the other patrons and joking around with them. I actually think I had more fun waiting in line than I did on the ride itself. I guess you could say my attitude shaped my altitude – pun intended. =)
If you plan on going to Disney, make sure you PLAN on going to Disney. It really is a great experience and I definitely recommend going, just make sure you take time to plan in advance so you are not frustrated throughout the trip.
-Tim (the adventure guy)
With the huge crowds and chaos that already exists at Disney, maybe it isn't the best place to visit during a zombie invasion, but since Disney is the place "where dreams come true" and your biggest dream would be to escape the invasion unscathed, it might be worth a shot. Also, if you think about it, Disney has many large structures you could climb, it would be filled with an overabundance of cars and there is lodging galore, so it does have some advantages.
Since there are no zombies, however, Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL is an EXCELLENT place to vacation, especially if you have small children. My family visited in 2012 and I took some good nuggets of information from that trip.
It was our first family vacation to The Happiest Place on Earth. One trip does not make us experts, but we did learn much from our adventure. Today I am beginning a series where I will be sharing some of the secrets we learned. If this blog goes viral, they may no longer be secrets, but I think it will still be helpful information. Here are some of those secrets:
1. Go Left: Prior to embarking on our journey to the eternal land of happiness we enlisted the advice of a Disney specialist named Lauren. Lauren provided us with some of the greatest advice we could ever hope to receive. Here is what she told us, ‘most people naturally move to the right. In just about everything you do, you will see the crowd go to the right. Go left. You will be able to beat the crowd by making this one move.’ She was right. When we got to a theme park, we went left and got to several rides and attractions before the crowd ever arrived. We rode Pirates of the Caribbean without waiting in line and were even in very short lines for Splash Mountain and Thunder Mountain at the Magic Kingdom, we hardly waited at all to see The Lion King at Animal Kingdom and rode several rides at Epcot without waiting by implementing this one piece of advice. We spent very little time in lines during the first half of the day and were hitting the previously busy attractions after much of the crowd had already left. We also found that the crowd typically went into the right line or the right door, so we went to the left lines and left doors and would often get ahead by making that one move.
2. Rain is your friend: If you go to Florida in June, expect rain because it is the beginning of Hurricane season. Actually, central Florida seems to often have short rain showers, so you need to plan for rain no matter what time of year you visit. Many people fear rain. I'm not sure they just don't like water or maybe fear melting - but people scatter when it rains. Read this statement three times: Rain is your friend…Rain is your friend…Rain is your friend. I wrote it three times because I knew you wouldn’t go back and reread it. Buy some ponchos and plan for rain. Florida can get hot, so a nice shower is a way to stay cool and get more Disney for your money.
Let me explain by sharing our own experience. It rained some every day we were at Disney, but it rained the most on our day at the Magic Kingdom. That was the day for which we had planned and anticipated for years. We were not going to allow a torrential downpour ruin our plans. We had just finished a princess dinner at The Grand Floridian and noticed that it was raining cats and dogs, so to speak. We had to make a decision – scrap our plans for the remainder of the day, wait it out, or view the rain as a blessing from above. We chose the blessing route and returned to the park. As we re-entered the park we noticed something interesting. There was a mass exodus. We were going against the flow… but we were the ones entering the Magic Kingdom. My daughter had been begging to ride Splash Mountain again so we went directly to that ride. One would reason that people would not shy away from a water ride in the rain, but that assumption was wrong. The ride was empty and running. We literally went straight in and had a log to ourselves. It was like the ride was opened just for us. We spent much of that afternoon in short lines and really enjoyed our time. None of us ever melted. The rain was our friend.
3. Use the Fast Pass Wisely: Disney has a system called the Disney Fast Pass. For someone who has never been, it sounds totally awesome. You go to the Fast Pass station, scan your park ticket (which is more like a credit card) and it gives you a ticket for the ride within a certain time slot, 3:30-4:30 for example. You come back to ride at some point during that hour and either don’t wait or you don’t wait long because those with a Fast Pass are given preference over those in the Standby line. There is a catch; you can just run from line to line and collect a ton of Fast Passes. There are restrictions, so it’s best to get one for a ride/attraction that you really desire and that has long lines. You will be very frustrated if you get a Fast Pass for It’s a Small World and are forced to wait in the standby line for Splash Mountain. Thanks to this system, we rode Kali River Rapids and Kilimanjaro Safaris in The Animal Kingdom for example.
This is the first of several blogs based on what we learned at Disney. I hope that our experience will be of value to anyone else planning an upcoming trip or hoping to escape the invasion in style.
-Tim (the adventure guy)
This isn't my first time to mention a deserted island as the best place to wait out the zombie causing virus, but I couldn't resist posting about this little jewel near Iceland. I'm not the first to post on this house and I didn't discover it, so if you add it to your portfolio of possible hideout locations, be forewarned that you probably will not be the only non-infected person heading for this locale. ;)
According to the website, travel.spotcoolstuff.com, "So, in the early 1953, the Elliðaey Hunting Association built a lodge on the island for its members to use during their commando puffin missions.
It is this structure, the hunting lodge, that captures the imagination of photographers today. The lodge has no electricity, broadband internet (oh, the horror!) or indoor plumbing. This being Iceland, the lodge does have a sauna. The water for the sauna — and for less important tasks, such as cooking and drinking — comes from a rainwater collection system. The lodge, oddly, is surrounded by a fence, perhaps to keep the puffins from launching a counter attack."
It also states that the island was inhabited by five families about three hundred years ago, which shows that one can sustain life on the island.
Based on my research, you can't travel to the Island and visit it, unless you happen to be a member of the Elliðaey Hunting Association and since this is a travel blog I would be remiss to not mention someplace you could visit.
Although I have never personally been there, Iceland is on my 'to visit' list. Iceland brings thoughts of clean air, warm saunas, happy people and beautiful water to my mind. I think I would visit in the Summer because I understand it is warm with long days. Since I've never been, I can only share my imagination, but if Iceland is on your travel list, check out their travel site, visiticeland.com and write me to let me know about your experience. I just might share your post with my readers. Do you live in Iceland, then by all means, contact me and give me the inside scoop on your great country.
Keep yourself warm and safe. Till next time.
-Tim (the adventure guy)
- See more at: http://travel.spotcoolstuff.com/iceland/secluded-architecture/ellidaey-island#sthash.yJIUjbgn.dpuf
Tim McSwain is a freelance blogger and published author. Tim grew up traveling and has a passion for seeing the world. This blog is Tim's way of sharing what he has learned in his years of travel.