Gogobot Traveling to the Moon Fueled on Popularity

Gogobot first came on the scene a short time ago in a big way, gaining 1 million users in only a short two months. Since that impressive entrance, the social travel website has been on an explosive journey to the stars.

Now with 3.7 million registered users it has become the fastest growing travel site on the web. During the summer travel month of July, Gogobot was a more popular website than AirBnB, Bing Travel or Hipmunk in the U.S. However, this doesn’t include mobile traffic.

It is true, however, it is still less than half as popular as Frommer’s and a fraction of the sized of Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor, but it also hasn’t been around nearly as long.

Gogobot is popular because it helps you get travel recommendations from your own friends in your own social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. The site automates the process, rather than the user having to ask friends, “Where is a great place to eat in Los Angeles?”

If your friends aren’t able to help you with your travel questions, or you are going to an out of the way exotic destination, the site’s expert travel writers can. Or you can join a “tribe” and trade tips with other users who have the same travel needs as your self, in the categories of adventure, budget, backpackers, foodies, history buffs and more.

The site will also book your reservations and keep a travel log for you that includes, your photos, favorite restaurants, etc. All of this can also be done right from your smartphone as well.

Before founding Gogobot, Travis Katz formerly ran the international business for Myspace. Cofounder Ori Zaltzman was the chief architect of an innovative Yahoo search service, Yahoo BOSS, as well as working on Yahoo Answers.

Just recently, the site has made it easier for users to create plans together. This past month, they started a new feature on their website and mobile apps that will allow users to share things they would like to do when they travel.

The Shared Trip Planning feature, which does what it’s name suggests, will let users create a trip plan which they can then share with others. This new feature works best with people you are already planning a trip with and lets everyone see what everyone else is thinking. All of these thoughts are then rolled into one trip.

This new feature is cloud based so that when one person in the group makes an addition or change, it can then be accessed by all of the other people in the group on any device they use.

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Optimal Tea Harvesting Schedules for the Main Tea Producing Countries

Tea Harvesting

The harvest time for tea leaves depends largely on the region in which they are being grown, and can also vary from season to season in regards to the fluctuations in weather.


Timing the harvest is of the utmost importance because it can take only a few days for a bud to appear, open up and grow into a large leaf. If the optimal harvest time is missed a whole crop can be destroyed.


This is mainly due to the fact that a specific style of tea may require the use of only the buds, or that only a certain number of buds be picked after they open. If there is a period of dormancy, due to cool weather, the first new shoots after this period are of the highest quality, making them the most sought after and usually the most expensive.


The reason for this increase in quality is that they have been building up nutrient reserves over this period for the new leaves. When those new leaves bloom, it’s like a burst of “Super-charged” leaves.


Several growing regions have names for the first harvest of tea leaves. In India and Nepal, it is called the “first flush”, in China, these harvests are known as “Pre-Qing Ming” teas, in Japan they are referred to as “Shincha” and in South Korea, Ujeon.”


Each growing region also has a special set of terms for referring to a period of growth in the tea plant. In China, Taiwan and South Korea, the terms used to signify tea harvests are dates in the traditional East Asian Lunisolar Calendar.


Here is a guide to the harvest seasons for the world’s major specialty tea producers:


India, Nepal and Sri Lanka Tea Harvest


Darjeeling, India and Nepal – The Darjeeling and Napoli harvest period lasts from late March to early November and is broken up into 4 parts: first flush, second flush, monsoon flush and autumnal flush. Sometimes, the plants will continue to flush past November and this is usually called a winter flush.


First Flush: March – April

Second Flush: May – June

Monsoon Flush: July – August

Autumnal Flush: October – November


Nigari India and Sri Lanka – Since there isn’t a cold season in the southernmost growing regions like Nigari in South India and Sri Lanka, tea plants can be harvested throughout the year.


Assam India – Assam, like Darjeeling, are usually harvested from March to October. The higher quality teas are harvested during the two distinct growth periods of the first and second flush. The first flush begins in March and the second in June.


China and Taiwan – In China and Taiwan, the harvest season varies greatly between the different growing regions and elevations in the countries. However, in general the harvest season can begin as early as April and last until late November.


The harvest season in these regions are:


Qing Ming (clear bright): This is tea picked before April 4-6

Yu Qian (before the rains): Tea picked before April 20

Gu Yu (grain rain): Tea picked before May 5

Li Xia (start of summer): tea picked before May 21



Japan’s harvest season also varies by region, but typically begins in late April and ends in early October.


Japan’s harvest periods include:


Shincha (new tea): this is the name given to the first harvest of the year.

Ichibancha (first tea): this refers to the whole first harvest season, including shincha and usually occurs from late April to May.

Nibancha (second tea): This refers to the second harvest of the year that takes place from June to the end of July.

Sanbancha (third tea): The third harvest of the year taking place in August.

Yonbanchi (fourth tea): This is the fourth harvest of the year which can take place as late as October in some regions.


South Korea

The growing seasons in South Korea correspond to dates on the lunisolar calendar. It’s important to know that in South Korea, different grades of tea are harvested during different times so the harvest period is defined by the grade of tea picked during that time.


Here are the different harvesting periods in South Korea:


Ujeon (before the rain): This is tea picked before April 20 which corresponds with Gogu on the lunisolar calendar.

Sejak (small sparrow): Tea picked before May 5-6 which corresponds to Ipha on the the lunisolar calendar.

Jungjak (medium sparrow): This is tea picked around May 20-21 which corresponds to Soman on the lunisolar calendar.

Daejak (large sparrow): This harvest period refers to lower quality large leaves tea picked during the summer.



Due to the lack of a cold season in the East African countries of Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Burundi and Ethiopia, tea is able to be harvested year around. Peak tea production coincides with the rainy seasons.


Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. If you enjoyed this article, please join or start a discussion by adding a comment at the end of the article. Also, let me help you with any of your professional content needs, including original blog articles, website content and all forms of content management and marketing. Please contact me at michael@mdtcreative.com and I will put my 15+ years of experience to work for you. Let’s spread the words together.

Driver Distraction Responsible for 1.4 Million Automobile Crashes in the Past Decade

Driver Distraction Responsible for 1.4 Million Automobile Crashes in the Past Decade


Distracted driving is a serious problem throughout the nation for drivers of all ages as well as cyclists, pedestrians and everyone who shares the road. New Jersey’s Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman recently put the problem into perspective, saying more than one million crashes in the past decade involved a distraction of some kind.


Sources claim there were around 3 million auto accidents between 2004 and 2013. About 1.4 million of those, nearly half, involved driver distraction. In those accidents, more than 1,600 people died.


The “Decade of Distracted Driving”

Hoffman called it the decade of distracted driving, saying that something needs to be done to stop such accidents and save future lives. Hoffman has also warned that this problem is only getting worse, rather than better. The rate of distracted driving crashes is rising.


In 2004, for instance, inattention was cited in 42 percent of crashes. Today, inattention is cited in 53 percent of all accidents. The percentage of distracted driving accidents has grown 26 percent during the past decade.


Law enforcement cracking down

Several police departments have received grants to help fund distracted driving prevention and enforcement efforts. This comes from the new federal campaign “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” The campaign includes checkpoints and increasing patrols to hold distracted drivers accountable before they cause an accident.


Law enforcement has issued around 3,000 summonses for distracted driving violations, only halfway into the campaign.


A recent survey revealed that even though 9 out of 10 respondents knew it was against the law to text and drive, 3 in 10 admitted to doing it anyway despite the dangers of it being mentioned all over the local news, internet and roadside signs.


There are many causes of distractions

Texting and emailing aren’t the only distractions to drivers, others include talking on your phone and even reaching for it. When cited on accident reports, “inattention” also can refer to eating behind the wheel, dropping something on the floorboard or even changing the radio station.


Recent research suggests that even hands-free technology is distracting. Your mind is still being distracted, even though your hands aren’t. This leads to something referred to as “inattention blindness”.


A recent study from the University of Iowa Public Policy Center found that when drivers used hands-free devices there was a reduction of brain activity in the areas needed for driving of about 37 percent. In other words, the mere acts of listening and talking are enough to cause a serious auto accident.


This research is a strong indicator that we need to go above and beyond what the laws require of us. Putting down your cell phone and ending texting while driving isn’t enough, you need to make sure your eyes and your mind stay focused solely on the road ahead. Anything less, and you risk being involved in an accident that could dramatically change your life forever.


Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. If you enjoyed this article, let me help you with any of your professional content needs. Including professional and original blog articles, website content and all forms of content marketing. Please contact me at michael@mdtcreative.com and I will put my 10+ years of experience to work for you.

Walt Disney World’s First Luxury Hotel is Truly Magical

Walt Disney World_s First Luxury Hotel is Truly Magical


Walt Disney World is easily the largest and most popular theme or amusement park on the planet, with an estimated over 18 million visitors last year. The 43 square mile Disney World is more like a city than a tourist attraction, since it is roughly twice the size of Manhattan, New York and the home of four very impressive theme parks, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot Center.


Also within the complex is two water parks, impressive sports fields, several golf courses, a public rail transportation system, wilderness preserve, motor speedway, more than 100 restaurants of every type and dozens of hotels resorts and campgrounds.


However, Disney World has always lacked one important component, a true first class hotel. Even with the 867 room Grand Floridian, which is very nice, it isn’t the type of hotel that guest who are used to luxury accommodations would consider a “luxury” hotel, until now.


This month Walt Disney World just opened its very own Four Seasons. The luxury hotel chain has a long standing, excellent track record with the most 5-star properties in the U.S. than any other hotel company.


With the explosion in top end luxury travel by Americans and the quickly growing upper classes of fast developing countries, the problem Disney World faced was that it couldn’t offer their visitors, who are used to these luxurious accommodations, the kind of lodging and hospitality they were used to of their other vacations. Now they can.


The Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Disney World Resort is pretty impressive. It combines the best of both worlds, including Disney World. The resort has a dedicated “Disney Planning Center” in its lobby and features “character breakfasts,” where parents can sign up to have their children enjoy breakfast with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and the rest of the Disney gang.


Guests get a complimentary transport on the Four Seasons motor coach, to shuttle them to the theme park for a day of adventure. When guests buy souvenirs in the theme parks, and they will, they can choose to have them delivered back to the hotel for free instead of having to carry them around the park the whole day.


The new resort is one of the largest in the global Four Seasons chain with 443 rooms, including an entirely new category of room type. Where many first class hotels charge extra for rooms with an ocean view or other specific views. The Four Seasons Orlando has “fireworks view” rooms available.


Included in the fireworks view rooms is the 9-room Royal Suite on the top floor. It is the Four Seasons first ever 9-bedroom suite and can be expanded further to include the entire hotel level.


Adding to the luxury, the resort has six of its own bars and restaurants, including Capa, a rooftop Spanish-style steakhouse with open air seating and fantastic views of the Magic Kingdom’s famous nightly fireworks display.


Some of the other notable features of the resort include a private 5-acre Explorer Island, with activities including a lazy river pool winding around a faux-ruined mansion, a “splash zone” water feature with dozens of choreographed jets and water slides, beach volleyball, outdoor movies at night, climbing wall, video gaming centre, a massive pool and the chain’s acclaimed “Kids for All Seasons” supervised children’s program.


For the adults, features include an adult only pool, 24-hour fitness center and tennis facility with har-tru courts and instruction by renowned Peter Burwash International. The Four Seasons spa has 18 treatment rooms, all surrounded by private tranquil gardens, including a very private couples’ bungalow, as well as a unique feature, the Aroma Design Bar, where guests can create custom fragrances to take home.

The Four Seasons also offers a wide range of meeting and wedding venues and programs to fit any need. All of this creates a truly magical new experience for guests.


Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. If you enjoyed this article, let me help you with any of your professional content needs. Including professional and original blog articles, website content and all forms of content marketing. Please contact me at michael@mdtcreative.com and I will put my 10+ years of experience to work for you.

Take the Stress Out of Your Business Trips

Take the Stress Out of Your Business Trips


If you travel often for business, you know how stressful just the travel alone can be. You need to plan your itinerary, track all of your expenses and deal with the potential delay along the way, it is often difficult to get everything done and still stay focused on the work at hand.


Researchers have proven that about 70% of doctor visits and 80% of serious illnesses can be exacerbated or linked to stress. So anyway you can limit or reduce stress in your life the further ahead you’ll be.


However, with enough planning and preparation, you can ensure your trips go as smooth as possible. Here are a few helpful tips from experts that will make your next business trip a breeze.


Save time by planning ahead

Planning as many details in advance as you can will be the best thing you can do to maximise efficiency and minimise stress. This includes all of the documents, files and devices you’ll need, as well as your traveling essentials.


“If you travel frequently, consider creating a business travel checklist,” says Lais Pontes, owner of public relations and marketing agency The Pontes Group. “When in a rush or under pressure, it can be easy to forget the little things, and you don’t want to be stuck without your phone or computer charger while away on business.”


Make sure you and your supervisor are on the same page

Before your trip, set clear goals and objectives. Write down these goals and discuss them with your supervisor beforehand. You should also try to keep in touch with the office whenever you can.


“Keep an eye on your email, and respond to urgent matters or delegate where necessary,” Pontes suggests. “This will not only be appreciated by your colleagues, but will improve productivity for your company and help keep you caught up on work while you’re away.”


Use your time wisely

Especially if you are in a different time zone, you may feel the need to always be available when your colleagues are. However, spending every minute of your trip working will only add more stress to your travel. It is more productive in the long run to use the downtime in your trip to relax and unwind a little, just like you would if you were in the office.


If you finish your work early enough and have some downtime, take some time for yourself to enjoy your surroundings and just relax. You will keep the stress level to a minimum and be fresh for the next challenge.


Business travel is stressful, however, with a little planning and forethought, you can greatly reduce some of that stress and even make the trip enjoyable. When you reduce any stress you can in your life – the further ahead you’ll be.


Stress not only takes its toll on you mentally it also exacts a high toll on your body as well. People don’t realise how much better their body will benefit overall from the reduction of stress.


Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. I sincerely hope that my blog entertains, helps and gets you thinking. Please take a minute to leave a comment to start and interesting conversation, or add your interesting thoughts to an existing conversation.


For more thought provoking articles please check out:

Tips for Traveling to Tokyo

The Tradition of Mardis Gras

Walt Disney World’s First Luxury Hotel is Truly Magical

Luxurious Amenities for First Class Travelers

What is Better Than First Class? Etihad Airways Flying Suite!

What is Better Than First Class? Etihad Airways Flying Suite!

Etihad Airways has an answer to the problem of air travel in coach becoming more and more uncomfortable. At the Global Business Travel Association convention in California, Etihad displayed the newest example of luxury in commercial flying.


“The Residence,” a three-room suite Etihad will install in first-class sections of its A380 superjumbo airplanes, the first one is scheduled for service December 27. The 125 square foot suite has a living room with two couches, a 32-inch television set and a refrigerator, a bathroom with a shower, a bedroom with a double bed and a private butler.


“I want them to forget they’re sitting on an airplane,” said Aubrey Tiedt, Etihad’s vice president for guest services, who helped create the idea and the design. The idea is to make the space feel like a hotel suite, she said.


The initial one-way fare is about $20,000, which is the same price for one person as it is for two. The first flights, starting in December will fly from Etihad’s base in Abu Dhabi, United Emirates, to London. Since this is only a six and a half hour flight, there may not be a lot of time to fully enjoy the amazing meals and wine served by your own personal butler, watch a movie on the 32-inch screen TV or use the double bed. However, as Etihad receives more of the 10 ordered A380s, each having a suite, there will be longer routes planned.


This may seem like a marketing stunt to gain a larger share of the high-end international market. Even though this may seem like the height of excess on international premium airlines, experts believe that there is an adequate market for this level of luxury on selected routes.


“There is definitely a market, on selected routes,” said Ron Peri, the chief executive of Radixx International, a global airline reservations systems company. “Emirates has a great first-class product, but this definitely ups the ante” for all airlines’ premium first-class or even business-class products on long routes, he said.

“In my opinion it is both a marketing stunt as well as a clever use of the real estate of the A380,” said Raymond Kollau, the founder of Airlinetrends.com, a research company. “For many airlines, especially from the Gulf region, first class can be regarded as a sort of upscale loss leader that also serves as a flagship product, similar to flagship stores of luxury brands, which increase the overall public perception of the brand,” as Emirates did when it introduced showers on its A380s, Mr. Kollau said.

Luxurious Amenities for First Class Travelers

Lavish amenities are provided to passengers who fly First Class or Business Class with Emirates, Qatar or Etihad. The sumptuous vanity bags provided by these esteemed airlines have been voted the best in the world.


Hosted by TravelPlus Media, the annual Airline Amenity Bag Awards held in Hamburg, ranked forty-eight vanity bags in economy, business and first class flights from twenty-seven of the world’s top airlines on a scale of one to six. A ranking of one was considered “taxing” and six was “fly me to the moon”.


Only five airlines achieved a six-star rating: Emirates, Etihad, Japan Airlines, Qatar and United Airlines. However, Air Canada, Condor and Iberia were only awarded three stars.


Middle Eastern and Far Eastern airlines dominated the top 10, with none of the best amenity kits coming from European airlines. Only one U.S. airline, United, earned the full six-star “fly me to the moon” rating.


Some of the more lavish amenity bags were supplied in totes designed by luxury brands including Bally and Bulgari, which came stuffed with designer cosmetics from names like Clarins, Dermologica and Dior.


The top 10 most popular items to be found in the lavish kits were brushes, combs, eye masks, toothbrushes, ear plugs and even cozy socks.


“With hand-stitched artisan-crafted bags and including high-end brands like Bulgari, Lowe, Tumi, Bally, Clarins and Chopard, it’s clear that all the airlines are battling hard for those high-flyers who help subsidise the rest of us back in economy,” said spokesman Oonagh Shiel.

“These kits had us dreaming of the high life, with bling-tastic bags, upper-crust combs, luxurious lip balms and sumptuous slippers. But, if you do happen to have the cash and are looking for the best bits of kit in business or first class, our advice is that Emirates, Etihad, Japan Airlines, Qatar and United are fit to take you to the moon with their six-star ratings”, Shiel went on to say.