The highly anticipated year 2020 came and went. I’m sure most would agree that 2020 did not disappoint, a memorable year for most of us, if not, all. We welcomed 2021 with open arms hoping things will go back to normal for us International travelers but it is has not. Even though 2020 as passed, the COVID-19 virus stayed with us to this present day. With that, international travel restrictions are in place. In 2020 we had international travel restrictions when the COVID-19 virus was new to use. Now in 2021 we have vaccines, therapeutics and an overall understanding of the virus. If you take the COVID-19 vaccine or even therapeutics to combat the virus nothing is going to change. The International traveler restrictions will still be there for you to follow if you wish to travel abroad. Welcome to the new normal for international travelers in 2021, for now.
The stress of protocols, COVID-19 testing, 72 hours pass/fail windows and vaccine apps etc. All that, with the anxiety of missing your next mode of transportation because someone sneezes on you while you are adjusting your mask because you cannot breath. Out of a reported 249 countries on this great earth only a hand full do not require testing before you enter the country, but try to return home and your home is the USA. You need to get tested for the COVID-19 virus and have negative results 72 hours before you can return home, with a few exceptions. Not sure how many people want to deal with the hassles of paying for luggage, multiple tests, sharing all your personal information with people you do not know, risk being quarantined, having a cavity check, robbed etc. Sounds like a lot to put up with, if you can just travel locally and have a good time breaking all the rules when it is convenient than risk having to pay for another airplane ticket home. Vacations are your time to relax a bit, let loose, be carefree and explore. It is hard to do all those things I just mentioned with travel restrictions. The restrictions might be fine for some but some people do not have a lot of vacation time to work with nor the money to take a loss during this COVID-19 pandemic. Until things cool down and COVID-19 restrictions are a thing of the past, 2021 can be a time used to save money and plan for your unrestricted, carefree vacation.
Ten Simple Night Game Tips
1. I had to pay off my Apple MacBook Pro: Right after my trip to Thailand late 2017 my MacBook Pro had an unexpected accident. Lucky for me I was about to recover the media/data from the hard drive. Yep!! A late night beverage and a MacBook do not mix. Not to divulge too much information but I got a new MacBook Pro and I'm still paying for it. That really hurt any possible impromptu vacation anywhere at anytime in 2018.
2. Cigars & Whiskey: My pastime did not have a budget or I did not budget one of my favorite pastimes. This will not happen in 2019.
3. Did not save enough money: That's explanatory if you ask me.
4. Spent next trip money on last trip: I booked a hotel room on Khao San Road when I visited Bangkok,Thailand late 2017 for 10 days. Big mistake!!! Never ever book a hotel/motel on Khao San Road for more than two days. At night Khao San Road turns into one of the world's largest block parties. The hotel rooms are not sound proof and the music is so loud that you would have to book a room two blocks away to get some peace and quiet. I was not able to take a night off and just rest and relax. Day 5, I moved out and got a new hotel room in the Central Embassy area of Bangkok.
5. I did not plan to go anywhere: "If you fail to plan you, you plan to fail", Benjamin Franklin. I felt that the turn around time for another trip would have been too quick. With all the changes going on at home and work a vacation just did not feel right for 2018. You really have to plan and have a purpose on these trips/vacations. Vacations are expensive and extremely dangerous. To be on the safe side of things one should have a general idea of what he would be doing everyday of a trip. I already have a country in mind for 2019 that I want to visit. If planned just right, it will be very rewarding and knockout a few birds with one stone.
Cigars are symbols of Luxury, wealth, education, celebration, sophistication, class, power and success.
In Bangkok ,Thailand I visited many cigar shops and spoke with a few cashiers. It turns out that many businesses men and foreign diplomats often visit cigar shops especially in the Central Embassy area of Bangkok. These cigar connoisseurs would buy boxes of cuban cigars and rent lockers to store them at these establishments. Whisgars, InterContinental Bangkok and My Cigar Corner are great establishments to meet or entertain affluent people.
Not every establishment sales cuban cigars. In Thailand a cigar shop has to have a license to sale cigars from each country of origin. Do not be surprised to visit a cigar shop with a limited supply of cigars because they probably only have a license to sale cigars from countries of origin like Nicaragua, Honduras or Dominican Republic to name a few.
Premium cigars in Bangkok can cost two to three times more than the cost of a premium cigar in the States. Expect to pay 600, 800, even 1200 Thai baht. I found decent cigars at My Cigar Corner priced around 250 baht but they were on sale when I bought them. I would suggest bringing your own stash of cigars if you want to save some money.
CPF is the Brazilian abbreviation for Cadastro De Pessoas Físicas.
Cadastro De Pessoas Físicas translates to Individuals registration. A CPF is equal to a U.S tax identification number. A CPF is used in Brazil to open a bank account, get a line of credit, employment, start a business, pay taxes, buy real estate, investments, furniture, cell phone plan and e-commerce (online shopping).
A CPF is fairly easy to get outside of overcoming a few hurdles. If you are not a Brazilian citizen no worries. Non-Brazilian citizens can get a CPF number without being a permanent resident or citizen living in Brazil. Non-Brazilian citizens or foreigners can get a CPF by visiting a Brazilian consulate in their own country if one is available. Just follow these easy steps and you can have a CPF with no problem.
3. Visit the website of the Brazilian consulate nearest to your current location. Each consulate has its own website. They look the same but each one operates differently.
4. Once you have located the proper website find the CPF tab/services on the home page. There you will find a link to the Federal Revenue form/Receita federal form.
5. Complete the Federal Revenue form/Receita federal form. Your reason for completing the form is for “Registration” purposes. Complete all that is applicable: Name, sex, birth date, mother's maiden name (Name before marriage), address, nationality, phone number and e-mail. Leave everything else blank.
6. Print out the form and take it to the Brazilian consulate. Note: There is no application fee for requesting a CPF number. Again every consulate is different. In Chicago, no appointment, there is no application fee and the CPF number is given to you the same day the application is processed. It might help to already have a Brazilian Visa which includes a background check etc.
I hope the information provided was helpful and/or resourceful in obtaining your CPF number.
P.S The Brazilian consulates are no longer issuing CPF ID cards just a sheet of paper with your CPF number. You need to have it memorized, stored in a safe place or you can get if from a CPF app via Receita Federal.
I had the opportunity to have a barbershop discussion with a brother about traveling not to long ago. I can't recall how the conversation got started but the Dominican Republic came out of the gentleman's mouth. The brother made a statement that you can be in a mansion step outside and be surrounded by poverty. For him that was not cool at all. The Dominican Republic economic struggles are well documented. I read a story about a six year boy who washes car windows with is mother during the day and she prostitutes herself at night for money. The president of the Dominican Republic Danilo Medina doesn't consider the DR to be a poor country. Last year 2017 he stated that the country is no longer poor because it doesn't qualify for economic aid.