freelance graphic design

What Sucks About Being A Freelance Graphic Designer

A few weeks ago, I found myself in a strange situation that reminded me of all the things I HATE about being a freelance graphic designer.

Usually, most of my work comes from online freelance websites like O-desk, Fiverr and more. I rarely actually do anything for REAL LIVE people standing over my shoulder but I recently made an exception/mistake (which I should have totally seen coming by the way) that I would later regret.

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become a travelling freelance graphic designer

My 4 Top Careers Best For Travelling

Do you want to see the world and make money while you’re at it?

That’s what I wanted to do and somehow my calling of becoming a travelling freelance graphic artist fell into my lap!

But there are several career paths that you could pick that would be great for travelling around the world and you’d be doing it while picking up a paycheck for it every month! How can you beat that?

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My Strange Band Life Before Freelance Graphic Design

I’ve been around…

Wait a second–not the in the way you think! What I mean is that before I decided that I would actually pursue a career in freelance graphic design, I had a few tries at some other jobs and activities here and there.

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Don’t be Afraid to Take Chances When Traveling

There are a lot of things that you can do when traveling. You just have to be brave and have the guts to try new things out.  

You might have this notion that traveling to another country or to a place that you have never been to before is already a risk on its own. However, you can always do more if you want to. You don’t have to be afraid since certain opportunities might not come back again. Thus, if possible, if you are given the chance to do something crazy (but legal, of course), you have to do it. For instance, if you plan to only do sightseeing or visiting tourist destinations, then try to go out of your way and go to places not in your itinerary.

Explore more

Start by looking at places where people flock, but it is not necessarily one of the places that you are supposed to visit. When a lot of people are there, it means that it is popular. You can find out a lot about local culture and behavior if you visit those places. You can also check out stores that not so many people look at. You might be surprise to find hidden treasures from these stores. You should try to inquire from locals where to visit if you want something out of the ordinary. For sure, this will be a memorable experience. You will try things that not so many people who have been to the same place have tried.

Go for extreme sports

If you can find places where it is legal to do crazy adventure sports such as paragliding, mountain climbing, bungee jumping and many more, then do it. You might have tried these activities before, but the sceneries are different. Thus, you have to make the most out of the sights that the local place has to offer. You should also try out new sports that you have never tried before. For instance, you can try archery. If you visit places that are situated on the countryside, this is always an option. Just try to inquire about places that offer this kind of activity for beginners. Upon return, your friends will be surprised to know that you already learned a new sport. Of course, it is imperative to buy a new bow if you wish to further your interest in archery. If you want to know more about the bows, read recurve bow reviews at takeabowandarrow.com.

A feeling of satisfaction

Though all these things are risky, they are totally satisfying. In the end, you can brag what you have done if you have successfully done them. When you plan your next trip, this should inspire you to not stick with the norms. Try to go out of your way. In fact, you don’t have to be so detailed when making am itinerary. Just live the day and see things as they are. When you go for this kind of travel experience always, then it will make you a better person. You will start to see the world in such an angle that many other people always tend to not look at. This will help you to be wiser.

Get your camera ready

That is the most important thing of being a photographer. Always bring your camera wherever you go because you never know when the perfect photograph is and sometimes it happens in an unexpected event. When people sees you holding a camera the first thing that comes into their mind is “it’s a photographer”. But the main reason for you is to not regret, why? Have you ever thought that “I wish I had my camera with me?” Whenever you travel there are a lot of things happening in your surrounding and sometimes you’re lucky to capture a certain thing or event and you have that image which is a demand at news agency or in a blog which can make you money.

And when you get home, have a habit of cleaning the camera, charging battery and importing memory card to your computer. Always have everything ready, your camera, extra battery, charger, extra memory card, camera bag and tripod. Always have a Broadconnect Added Value VOIP Service so you can be ready when you need to collaborate with your fellow photographers and/or your officemates. A couple of years ago, I went to Korea just to take the beautiful scenery there and uploaded it on my page. And someone working in the magazine company asks me to sell my image and bought for $100! That’s a good business for me.

Then, after that, I also had the chance to capture some Korean artist and sold it in the printing company as their sample print. Traveling is the best and effective way to collect good photos but there is one thing to remember when you are out is about security. Some camera is very expensive but I recommend the Canon EOS 5D Mark II because it is a perfect camera for carrying around as it is small and inconspicuous but have a massive imaging power with both stills and video. But if you’re having a big camera just try your best to conceal your camera and do not display to any unwanted attention. You also have another choice when you are about to deal with dangerous surrounding, you can use you phone camera. Have an expensive camera doesn’t mean being a good photographer. It takes skill, perfect angle, exposure and lightning to have good photo and your phone camera can take it too because it always depends in the person who takes photos and camera is just a camera that only helps you to capture the image in front of you.

Iphone or any mobile phone with high quality camera pixels is another handy camera tool. It also helps fast capturing because your phone is just always in your hand or in your pocket. Nowadays, most people capturing their meal uses a camera phone, I can say some photos are good and some are not. And what I can say is, it really depends on your skill to take good photos. And just like I told you before camera is expensive and it will take you to sell ten or more images to buy another camera. So, whatever equipment you have, how big or small your camera is, take it everywhere with security and always have your camera ready!

The Geekiest Destinations around the World

Being geeky has now become the trendy thing to be when it comes to popular culture. Of course, it took a while before people started to enjoy the nerd culture that has long stewed beneath the surface. Nowadays, everyone loves one aspect or the other so if you’re just starting up then maybe it’s time to explore the world’s geekiest locations. There are dozens around the world and it’s quite fun learning about the stories behind each place. So, if you’ve got the time, here are some of the destinations that contain geeky history and connotations.

The Doctor Who Experience

Dr. Who is a very prominent series and has only been rising in popularity in the last decade or so. Of course, that also means a lot more people have been watching the old seasons of the series, so learning about Dr. Who history is the new thing. If you happen to be in London and have a bit of time on your hands, then head on over to the museum. You’ll get to the see the Tardis from David Tenant’s run as the doctor.

Be a Pirate

If you have the time and energy to work on an old ship, then there’s a special adventure waiting for you on the high seas. Now, before you start registering for a trip yourself, you have to know a few things about the trip. First off, it’s physically extraneous, requiring you to know a few things about making knots. You’ll also have to know how to climb on ropes as they may ask you to learn about setting the sails and tying them down properly. All that this ship cruise lacks is learning about how to use a women’s compound bow but that would be extreme, as there aren’t any real pirates left right?

Cern

The particle accelerator meant a lot of things for scientists and physicists across the globe. Basically, it opened a new level of discovery for the world, and can produce things that push us forward as a species. There is no tour of the accelerator premises because the labs are off limits, but that doesn’t mean you can’t explore the exterior parts of the facility. You can learn about all the projects Cern is undertaking and learn a thing or two about some of the most complicated scientific experiments happening in the world today.

Hobbiton

That’s right; you can visit the Shire if you have the cash to hit up New Zealand. In fact, if you have the extra cash, you can even buy one of these places and make a home out of it. While in the town, you can look around and explore where Bilbo first met Gandalf, and the home from which Frodo got his start. All that’s really missing is for you to get a compound bow or a crossbow so you can defend your home from orcs.

There are so many places you can explore that will bring out the geek in you, just make sure to have the budget and you’ll be sure to see more than a handful during your time.

The Mobile Lifestyle of a Modern Vagabond

Vagabonding is a honorable pastime of the new wealthy. Like hipsters to whisky bars, these enlightened single twenty year olds travel the world without typical possessions like a house or a car. They meander through the world going to whichever locations takes their interest for the moment. They travel as easily as we drive to work every day. Except they rarely drive to the same place twice. This brings forward the most curious of the situations that arrive when you have no consistent method of locomotion. That is to say, what do these vagabonds do to get from point A to point B without breaking the bank?

The answer is a bit more complex than you may originally think. These vagabonds are travel hackers. They do excessive amounts of research and planning to get the best deals they can in any area they may be. A lot of the time this comes down to public transportation. Subways, metros, taxi’s, UBER, planes, trains, boats, and buses. These are all the tools of the mobile man. There are many great resources out there like this guide for traveling in Madrid. Sometimes, however, the tides of time shift and you find yourself in an area longer than normal. Or maybe an opportunity for a super cheap vehicle comes across your path and it makes financial sense to go for it. At these points the classic title of handyman is pulled out of the pocket and these resourceful people solve any performance issues themselves by manually fixing these cars into running shape. This is the ultimate level of vagabonding. They are able to add value to an otherwise valueless object to cut costs and achieve mobile nirvana.

Enlightenment though is not easy to achieve. It takes months or years to learn enough to be capable of floating the world like a feather in the wind. Finances and logistics must be considered. When dealing with a huge variety of tasks, tools, types, languages we can turn to online educational sources. To help diagnose their estimated car repair costs while traveling, autoservicecosts.com has proven to be a big help. Knowing what a typical auto service repair costs in a certain region is important. All too often, a bad mechanic will overcharge an unknowing fool into thinking his car takes a fortune to fix. Up to date regional pricing is critical to saving dollars and making the most out of the least resources. People in different areas sometimes do pay higher prices for the same services. Don’t make the mistake of arguing with a shop owner against local customs and standards. You may think like you’re getting abused, but you may actually be getting a good deal. Only sites like this one can tell you the difference.

They also make sure that they are always equipped with technological tools to help. An income is still required for this mobile life, and having a normal job is unrealistic. Many of these individuals have taken to the web and run blogs which generate revenue from advertising. This is a simple way to monetize their lifestyle and travels. Many have enlisted the help of virtual assistants who curate their photos and share them on the website so basically no work is required. Some choose to contract a professional company like this one for WordPress support to completely manage their website.

Ultimately, the costs of traveling can be many and diverse. You can however battle the constant inflation and transaction fees of your capital by hacking finances to get the best deals. Learning what to pay and when to pay it is the best way to stay on top of your mobile game and save more money for great experiences and less on necessary logistics.

Staying Connected While Traveling

While traveling the world as a lifestyle entrepreneur you can become a little disconnected. Sure having occasional phone calls with friends and family is nice. The off hand Skype or google hangout is always fun too. However all of these are just basic communication. You can’t actually do anything with them in a real sense. After long periods of time this homesickness can develop in even the most ardent of travelers. Sending them running for home with open arms and wet eyes. To stave off the inevitable longing for a familiar interaction and maintaining relationships with people physically absent, I have taken to a popular new technique for isolation therapy.

Interacting with others in a virtual environment has a lot of the same healing effects that real human contact has on the brain and body. This is especially true for those who work remotely like my friends at the WordPress support team Bairkan. They mostly work from home, or wherever they may be in the world like I do, but try to keep chats open with each other to feel a bit cloer together. People have been seen to have real and drastic improvements in character and personality from just a short period of playing games with other people. We can use this to our advantage with something all of us know and love. Video games provide this same effect and experience to users. This is something that has only been achievable within the last decade or two. Now that a large portion of world has internet and electricity we can venture further while using digital methods to stay connected. Whether it’s Facebook, email, or League of Legends, these tools are having real impacts on what it means to be away and to travel.

While that is as warm and fuzzy as it is true, I am a single twenty something male. There is of course only one natural conclusion here. This means war. Online competition is hard enough when you don’t know the person making fun of you on the other side. Throw in a mind that remembers your butterfingers with the battle rifle and the game changes a lot. Anyone who is a reader of this blog knows how much of a proponent I am of online education and it’s many applications to our day to day lives. This is no exception. To help me get a boost in my online gaming potential I’ve relied on outside coaching. Video tutorial websites like eloboosted.com for elo boosting and guides has literally saved my rear in more than one thick jungle. The feeling of getting a solid 5 killstreak with your buddies pales in comparison to just running around and providing the enemy with the kills they need to win.

This is just one example too. There are many games and guides online. Whether you are looking for the new Ace the Storm game, World of Warcraft, Eve Online, League of Legends, or Farmville, there are ways to learn how to get better than your friends for fast and cheap. While it may not seem worth it to all of you for those of us with a competitive instinct and a desire to make richer denser moments with our time, these education programs are ideal to improving your best chance and staying connected.

Peruvian Paddle Boarding

I do appreciate being able to work wherever there is an internet service: what would I do without my laptop? Though it can be kind of difficult in some of the more far-flung places where the connection can be crazy slow or even non-existent at times, those are also the places that have the most captivating cultures. You know what I mean, the kind of place that you find really cool to visit but wouldn’t want to live in. Not long ago I was stand up paddle boarding (or attempting to! see this how-to on stand up paddle boarding) in one such place: a remote Peruvian town. It was considerably out of the way and remarkably relaxed. The paddle boards were in okay shape and while everyone had very relaxed attitudes the men also sported big hunting knives — almost machetes — which gives one pause. It didn’t feel dangerous though, and I was never worried about my computer getting stolen.

So, stand up paddle boarding: I can see why interest in it is snowballing. To do it well requires a lot of balance, though. I had sore muscles in my sides and legs later on; I think a lot of the achiness was because of tensing up while keeping balance. Like any sport it gets easier the more you do it, and if you were to find some videos of people paddle boarding or see a good stand up paddle boarder in person you would think it is as easy as can be. It can’t be too difficult if it is possible to do yoga on a stand up paddle board, right? Nope. You will likely fall off a number of times before it gets easy. For that reason (and because warm is just nice) I’m happy my first try was near the equator in pleasantly warm waters. It would be smart to wear a wet suit or possibly a dry suit if you are going to make your first attempt in a cold climate.

Overall, though, stand up paddle boarding is not so difficult that you get discouraged, and not so simple that you get bored: a good balance. Because you are outdoors in changeable conditions on the water, there is the non-stop stimulation of the changing landscape/waterscape as well as constantly interacting with and accommodating to the conditions. One really cool plus that I hadn’t anticipated is being able to see below the water’s surface with ease. Since you are standing you’re able to look pretty much straight down alongside the board. If you add a good pair of polarized sunglasses to reduce the reflections you can enjoy some amazing (and sometimes a little nerve-wracking) views of marine life.

I’m a visual person — I am a graphic designer, right? — and it was fascinating to see things somewhat differently: that is from the point of view of paddling while standing up out on the water. I can see some small new design ideas coming to light. I would describe the new visuals as more relaxed and organic and less angular. It’s smart to have different styles at ready for the needs of different clients, so that’s another plus, an unexpected advantage of trying something new. A new way of seeing the world is rarely a bad thing.

Establishing An Emergency Fund

We all may like to believe that we are invincible and nothing bad will ever happen to us. Unfortunately hard times befall us all; whether this is something like a catastrophic injury, family crisis, or something even more common like a layoff or cutback in hours; whatever it is you need to be prepared. Establishing and maintaining an “emergency fund” is a really smart way to mitigate the effects of this. But what should your emergency fund contain? What are essential components to your emergency fund? What constitutes an “emergency”? If you haven’t thought of these questions before and others, it would be wise to do so.

Emergency: You might think that there are several emergencies which happen every day. But unless you are a high ranking secret service agent with high clearance or a police dispatcher or something like that, your emergencies probably don’t rise to the level of being “fund worthy.” Certain emergencies include things like pregnancy complications, death in the family, or being given the pink slip; these are all things which would be worthy of your taking withdrawals from your emergency fund.

Components: You may think ‘that’s great,’ but what does this mythic fund have to have in it so that it will serve you well in a crisis situation? What are the basic human needs? It’s food, water, air, shelter. You should be covered on the air component but then what about the rest? When you are in a crisis situation there can be nothing worse than getting an eviction notice for lack of payment. What’s worse may be a foreclosure. You may think that this is something that would never happen to you, but this is why you are creating an emergency fund. A full list of things to consider includes:
• Shelter: You need a place to live; that is a given. Setting aside a good deal of funds for your home expenses, rent, mortgage, taxes and other home maintenance should be on of your main areas of savings. Many people fail to budget properly for home maintenance and pay the price for it. Imagine all of the things that could happen to your home and what they would cost to fix. For instance, live in a rural area? The cost for getting a squirrel removed from your attic could be as high as $1,500.

• Food: Another thing you are going to have to continue to pay for is your food. Eating is not an “option.” Moreover if you begin grabbing fast food to go you are only hurting your own health in the long run. Isn’t it better to get into a routine which flows around your crisis for eating and such? Folks who are close with you will appreciate your struggle for normalcy even when the rest of the world had gone crazy.

• Medical Care: This one can be a little loaded because your emergency may revolve around some type of a medical issue. Even if that is not the case you are going to need to have monies set aside for things like regular care, glasses, inhalers, vaccinations and other regular medical care that you and your family would need.

These are just the basics for your emergency fund. You are going to need to have money set aside for things like cash to get around, car maintenance, and any other unforeseen expenses you may have during a crisis. This money will also have to last you for the duration of whatever crisis it is that is going on, so you shouldn’t be stingy. Hopefully you’ll never use this and it will just add to your personal family fortune.

Great Credit Repair Tips and Secrets

Many people these days are in dire need of having their credit repaired. These tips will help you with your credit score, whether you need to fix a major problem or a small one.

Fixing your credit score can be difficult. To begin with, you should try to get a copy of your credit report. This information is available online at many different sites. A number of these sites offer free, introductory services. You can learn how to fix your credit once you have this information.

Talk to your creditors often so that you can work together on a payment plan to pay off your debt. Once you have a plan, you will find yourself paying fewer penalties and saving money. Once you have put plans in place for repayment and have it all in writing, you can start paying down the urgently past-due bills.

Identifying poor entries on your credit report is crucial. It is important to know what is in your credit report, so you know if there are any errors. Make sure that if this is the case you contact the companies where the negative information came from.

When dealing with collection agencies, it is important that you understand your personal rights. For example, there is no way that you can go to prison for not being able to pay a bill, and these agencies do not have the right to threaten you. Verbal abuse either in person or through the telephone is illegal, so make sure you report agencies who resort to this. By knowing your rights, you will be able to avoid being pushed around and bullied into things by the collection agency.

A great tip is to keep your balance at about 30% below the limit. This will make your payments easier. Should your balances go over 30 percent, your financial situation could be in trouble.

You can either arrange your own payment strategy, or you can make use of a specialized debt settlement service that can combine your different payments into a single monthly sum. For the most part collection companies just want to know they are getting money from you, so they want to make mutual agreements with you. You debt will not disappear if you ignore the bill collectors. If you avoid them, when you finally do talk, they may be less willing to make a deal. You need to get in contact with a collection agent and let them know your situation, which will make them more willing to work with you. Most of the time, you can talk to them about lowering the amount that you have to pay, and you can even cut your debt in half. Cooperating with debt collectors is always in your best interest, because they will often let you work out a payment plan. If you ignore the debt collection calls, you run the risk of piling up debt at a more alarming rate than you previously experienced.

Years ago, I had a to do a lot of credit repair before getting a job. Broadconnect.com wanted to hire me but couldn’t because my credit was too low. It took me a few months before I was able to get my score high enough to get my score high enough to qualify for a job with them.

Using the suggestions in this article will allow you to maintain a good credit score. Begin repairing your credit ASAP by following these DIY credit repair tips!

Brainstorming for a Planetarium Logo

The freelancing lifestyle definitely comes at a cost sometimes. For people with day jobs, they get to know their bosses over the course of years and can most of the time pinpoint exactly how their boss will respond to certain situations. As a freelance graphic designer, not only are you consistently working for new bosses, but first impressions can sometimes be a deal breaker. For weeks I have been trying to land this graphic design job for Cologne, Germany’s planetarium and now that I finally have it, I am worried about whether or not they will be pleased with my first submission.

My first job is to create a new logo for the planetarium. I adore creating logos and feel that I am quite talented in summing up mission, culture and information in one graphic. However, the people at the planetarium have stressed to me that they do not want any obvious designs in their logo (i.e. planets, constellations, telescopes, etc.) and want the logo to be more representative of Cologne. That sounds a bit hard, but at first I was not worried because the traveler in me figured there is no better way to find out what is representative of Cologne other than going out and experiencing it for myself. Well, after only getting a small glimpse of the city center before too many Kölsch beers and eating some badly cooked bratwurst, I have been bedridden with food poisoning.

Now, I’m using Google as my travel guide as I fight this nausea. Most of you reading this are probably thinking that I should just tell my new boss that I’m sick. Too bad I am a perfectionist and to me a deadline is a deadline. I had a long time to design this logo so I feel a bit odd asking for an extension; on my first project nonetheless.

I’m not exactly sure if it’s the fact that I’m fighting this illness and I’m delusional or just creatively spent, but I am finding it quite hard to wrap my brain around the fact that they want nothing indicative of a telescope/astronomy theme in their logo. I was quite interested in this job in the first place because as a kid, my uncle had a children’s telescope that he would let me and my brother look through whenever we went over to his house for a family gathering. He was quite invested in astronomy and as far as I know it is still a huge hobby of his. Planetariums are like a big, giant interactive telescope, why would they not want to showcase that in their logo?

Regardless, I have to get back to what the client wants and the client wants a representation of Cologne. So here is where I hand the baton to you, my fellow readers and wanderlust travelers. I prefer to crowd-source ideas from people who have visited Cologne and have positive memories of the city. What do you believe represents Cologne? Even better, if you’ve been to the Cologne planetarium, how would you describe it? What feelings come up when you think of this place? Any and all input within the next 24 hours would be greatly appreciated, as I’ve only got about another 48 until I have to get myself over to the planetarium. Thanks, everyone!

Brazilian Paddle Boarding

I do love the ability to do my work wherever there’s a internet connection: have laptop will travel. Though it can be a little difficult in some of the more exotic locales where the connection can be excruciating slow or non-existent at times, those are also the places that have the most interesting cultures. You know what I mean, the kind of places you find pretty awesome to visit but wouldn’t want to live in. Recently I was stand up paddle boarding (or trying to! check out this how-to on paddle boarding) in one such place: a kind of remote Brazilian town. It was significantly out of the way and remarkably laid back. The paddle boards were in mediocre shape and while everyone had super-relaxed attitudes the men also carried crazy-big hunting knives which makes one wonder. It didn’t feel dangerous though, and I was never in fear of my laptop getting stolen.

So, paddle boarding: I can see why it is catching on in a big way. It does require a lot of balance, though. I had aching muscles in my sides and legs the next day; I think a lot of the soreness was due to tensing up while balancing. Like anything it gets easier as you do it more, and if you were to search out some videos of people paddle boarding or see a good paddle boarder in person you would think it is as easy as pie. It can’t be too difficult if you can do yoga on a paddle board, right? Wrong. You will probably fall off a few times before you get comfortable with it. For that reason (and because warm is nicer) I’m glad my first try was near the equator in comfortably warm waters. It would be a good idea to wear a wet suit or even a dry suit if you are going to try for the first time in a cooler climate.

Overall, though, paddle boarding is not so hard that you get discouraged, and not so easy that you get disinterested: a perfect balance. And because you are outside in changing conditions on the water there is the constant stimulation of the changing scenery as well as the constant interacting with and adapting to the conditions. One really interesting plus that I hadn’t anticipated is the ability to see below the water’s surface easily. Since you are standing up you can look almost straight down along side the board. If you combine that with a good pair of polarized sunglasses to cut down the reflections you can enjoy some fascinating (and sometimes a little scary) views of marine life.

I’m a pretty visual person — I’m a graphic designer after all — and it was cool to see things somewhat differently: that is from the perspective of being out on the water. I can already see some slightly different design ideas emerging. I’d describe the new visuals as more fluid and liquid, more organic, and less boxy. It is good to have different styles at your disposal for different clients, so that’s another extra, unexpected benefit of trying something new. A new way of seeing things is almost always a good thing.

The Truth about Online Gunsmithing Schools

Most professional gunsmiths who have learnt the craft the hard way – by apprenticing at a gunsmith shop or going to a traditional college are somewhat skeptical of the benefits that can be gained by opting for an online gunsmithing degree. In fact, many refuse, point blank, to accept that these schools can produce a reputable gunsmith that can work in the field. Take a look at this article for some excellent gunsmithing schools that you can attend.

The figures, such as those presented out by the American Gunsmithing Institute’s online college, are in favor of these professional gunsmiths’ views but the truth is that the online schools aren’t to blame for the poor placement figures of graduates – the graduates themselves, however, are.

How do Online Gunsmithing Schools Work?

Before you can understand the reason behind the apparent lack of traction that online gunsmithing schools are facing, you have to gain an insight into how they work. Most reliable online gunsmithing schools deliver their curriculum by means of video tutorials – usually in a DVD or online format – that can easily be followed by the students from the comfort of their homes. Digital documents and manuals are also provided, that students can peruse through to gain traditional textual knowledge.

The Root of the Problem

There are some gunsmithing institutes that go a little too far in advertising the scope of these video tutorials and documents, giving newcomers the impression that gunsmithing is so easy that it can be learned by simply going through the videos and PDFs and grasping the concepts they contain. And herein lies the problem which leads to the lack of success that online gunsmith certificate holders face in the field – they do not practice what is taught to them by the online course and thus, are unable to get a firm grounding in the art of gunsmithing. Like every other craft, gunsmithing requires regular and thorough application of the knowledge that is delivered by the teacher in order for the pupil to hone their skills and become a professional.

Therefore, it is apparent that the reservations that traditional gunsmiths have against online gunsmithing institutes are in fact, caused by a lack of dedication towards the craft rather than a lack of quality on part of the schools. In fact, a number of professional gunsmiths frequently rely on video tutorials provided by online gunsmithing schools to deal with the repair / reassembly of weapons that they haven’t worked with before, which indicates the exhaustiveness and reliability of the knowledge contained in online gunsmithing courses.

What is the solution?

The solution is obvious – practice what you, as an online gunsmithing student, are taught by your instructor/tutorial. You should obtain cheap, used weapons from local gun shops or antique stores to apply the knowledge gained through the online course so that you can really become adept in the craft.

The freedom offered by online courses in general, not necessarily of gunsmithing, can lead to a lack of seriousness and misconception that the course is somehow easier than what is taught in traditional classes – once you correct this, you will be able to learn the craft just fine from any quality online gunsmithing course you opt for. Gun websites such as Gungods.net is an excellent place to begin your search.

My Online Shopping Addiction

I know the title of this post may come as a little surprise to you seeing as the words "geek" and "shopping" are almost never be found in the same sentence. However, I will admit that I have an online shopping addiction. That shouldn't really come as a surprise to you seeing as I'm a web geek and all.

It first started a couple of years ago when I was looking for housewarming gift ideas for a friend of mine who was Filipino. I knew that housewarming presents are usually household appliances but I wanted to give it a little bit of personal touch by giving him something that would be very useful in a Filipino kitchen. Based on my research, I found out that rice was a staple in Filipino meals. Therefore, I decided I would get him a rice cooker.

Problem was, I didn't know what to look for in a rice cooker. My search in finding the best rice cooker lead me to ricecookergoodness.com. Through the site, I was able to determine what brand and model to get. Then came the problem of where I was going to make the purchase. So I once again went on Google to search for a store in my area that was selling the rice cooker that I wanted. One thing lead to another and I before I knew it, I was clicking the Checkout button at an e-commerce store.

But aside from the rice cooker, I also ended up buying myself a couple of things because I realized that they were a lot cheaper compared to those sold in brick and mortar shops. After a couple of days, my order was hand delivered to my doorstep. I was ecstatic when I opened the package because everything was as it was described on the website. The best part was I didn't even have to step out of my front door. I was able to shop for everything I needed sans stress from the lack of parking at the mall, annoying crowds, and long queues at the cashier. That was the beginning of my online shopping addiction.

Aside from the hassle-free experience that online shopping gives me, another reason I love it is because I have access to a wider variety of merchandise. I can shop from a store that's located in say, Bangkok, within the comforts of my living room. I also have access to items that aren't available in the US. The downside though is the shipping fee. However, I don't mind paying a little extra for the convenience.

Just the other day I was looking for a gift to give my sister who lives in Oahu. She's recently taken up surfing as a hobby and was asking me for a paddleboard for her birthday. I landed on shakasurfer.com in my search for the best standup paddle board or SUP for beginners. After getting a few recommendations, I started searching for a site that offered the best deals on SUPs. I found a website that was selling the exact SUP that I wanted to buy for my sister and the best part was they also offered free shipping to Oahu. To cut the long story short, I already bought the SUP and had it shipped directly to my sister in Oahu. She doesn't know that I already bought her gift so I'm very excited to see her reaction.

That's another thing I love about online shopping, I can buy gifts for friends and family who live in another state and have it hand delivered to their doorstep. This has allowed me to show the people I care about that I am thinking of them even if I am miles away. Indeed, the internet has made it a whole lot easier for people to connect even if they're on opposite ends of the world.  

Top 5 Ways to Keep Fit When Traveling

As much as I love traveling, there are a few downsides to exploring the world. I love to keep in shape, but when you travel it’s difficult to keep up with your workout routine, because you don’t have access to your workout equipment and you are having fun discovering a new place.

In this article I have put together my top tips for keeping fit while traveling.

1.Increase your workouts before you go.

Before I set off traveling I try to fit in as many training sessions as possible, and there are two reasons why I do this.

Number one: Most of the time I don’t have access to any gym equipment unless I am staying in a nice hotel. But even then, working out is still time consuming and I want to spend as much time as possible enjoying the trip.

Number two: I also like to relax during my vacation and if I am exhausted I am able to relax much better.

2.Strict diet before we go.

Another preparation you can do before you go is to be strict on your diet. Two weeks before I am due to travel I remove all the sugar and fat from my diet entirely. I do this because when I travel I want to try new foods, drink alcohol and indulge. If I know I am in the best shape possible before I go, then during my vacation I don’t feel guilty or have to think about every aspect of what I am consuming.

3.No equipment workouts

As I said above, it’s unlikely that I will have access to any gym equipment during my trip. It is still important to exercise, especially if the trip is longer than two weeks.
The answer is no equipment workouts, and one of my favorite ways to do this is with HIIT exercises. HIIT stands for “high-intensity interval training,” and you can see examples here and a video here.

HIIT is a very good way to mix up your workouts even when you’re not traveling. Each workout is very different and you can adapt the training to your own level of fitness and increase the intensity with ease.

4.Skipping

One piece of workout equipment I always do take with me on every trip is a skipping rope. A skipping rope is light-weight and easily fits into your bag. Skipping is cardio training and every athlete can improve his or her fitness levels simply by skipping on a regular basis.

5.Running

You can run anywhere and it never costs you any money. All you need is a pair of shoes see dss-tuff, socks, a T-shirt and shorts and you’re good to go. No matter where you are in the world you can run, and the bonus to running during your vacation is you get to see parts of the area you are visiting that no other visitor gets to experience.

Running takes you to new areas and will often improve your vacation experience as you will notice buildings to explore later in the vacation or discover a beach four miles from your hotel that no one would have told you about. I can’t tell you how many local people I have met simply by running around the area I am visiting.