Backpacking in Europe – What Should I Bring?

Europe is comprised of so many different countries, all of which offer a vivid history and a brilliant culture. On one continent, you can see some of the most ancient sites in the world, such as the Parthenon and the Coliseum, soak up the sun and the surf of the Mediterranean beaches, trek through the Alpines, tour castles and museums filled with some of the most famous relics in the world, dine on world-class delicacies and experience the traditions of varied cultures; and those are just some of the things that you can do while you’re in Europe.

Because there is so much to see and do in Europe, many people opt to backpack through the continent. Traveling this away affords them the opportunity to really immerse themselves in all that Europe has to offer; plus, it’s a very economical way to travel.

Packing for a backpacking excursion through Europe is much different than packing for a traditional trip where you would only be traveling to one or a few destinations and likely staying in hotels. Since you will always be on the move and have to carry all of your belongings with you, you want to make sure that you travel light; but, since you are going to be staying for an extended period of time and traveling throughout different cultures, you want to make sure that you have all of the gear that you need to make your trip a successful one.

To help make backing for a European backing trip a little bit easier, I want to share with you some of my insight and advice. I’ve done several backpacking trips throughout the continent, and I think that the information I offer in this guide is pretty handy.

Pack Light

One of the most important keys to a successful backpacking trip through Europe is packing light. You will be toting your gear with you throughout your trip, which means that you don’t want to be weighed down. Imagine trying to hike through the Alpines while you’re wearing a big, heavy pack on your back? Yeah, it’s not very enjoyable.

I suggest you limit yourself to a pack that is no more than 25 pounds, and that’s including your back and everything you will pack in it. So, how can you make sure that you pack as lightly as possible, yet have everything you need? Here are my tips:

  • Cut down on your clothing. Most of the weight in your pack will come from your clothing. Most travelers bring way more than they need, which will lead to unnecessary weight on your back. The key here is to bring pieces that are versatile and can be worn in different climates and different cultures. Also, choose items that you can layer so you can add on more when you get cold and remove them when you get warm. A few pairs of pants, short and long-sleeved shirts, a more formal (but not too formal) outfit, a few pairs of socks and comfortable shoes are really the only items of clothing that you need.
  • Cut back on your toiletries. You don’t need to bring a hair dryer, tons of makeup and lotions. Bring only the basics, such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant and soap.
  • Skip the bulky electronics. While it might be nice to have a laptop, you really aren’t going to want to lug it around; plus, you don’t want to run the risk of damaging it.

Must-Have Items for a European Backpacking Trip

So, what are the essentials for a European backpacking trip? Here’s a look at the items that I highly suggest you bring with you to make your excursion as successful, enjoyable and memorable as possible.

  • A travel insurance policy is an absolute must when you are backpacking through Europe. It will protect you from any unforeseen circumstances that could potentially impact your trip and put you out of money. Make sure you bring along the paperwork for your policy, or at the very least, the contact information of your provider and your policy information.
  • A day backpack is definitely a good idea. When you find a location that you are going to spend a night or two in, you’ll be thankful that you have a lighter pack that you can switch to while you explore the area you are staying in. Leave your big pack securely locked up in a hostel, bed and breakfast or wherever else you might be staying and transfer the essentials into a day pack.
  • Quick drying towels will come in very handy. These towels absorb a lot of liquid and dry in just a few hours, which means that you won’t have to deal with a bulky, damp towel in your back.
  • Travel sheets are handy, too. If you come across a hostel that doesn’t meet your standards for clean, you’ll be glad you have a travel sheet set to sleep on.

Get Top 10 Joomla SEO Tips for Google

Today Search Engine Optimization is not as easy as it was five years before. This field is becoming more expensive and complicated, but you can do number of things to improve your search engine ranking, and you do not need to spend a dime in this process. I am discussing here 10 easy SEO tips for Joomla sites.

Clean URL (Joomla SEF)

Putting keywords in URL is a nice technique to increase website traffic, but do not stuff URL with it, otherwise it will make a negative impression at search engines. You can get help by Joomla SEF.

Keyword in Title Tag

The title tag is the first factor in ranking a page in search engine. These are the words you see on the top of the browser, when you open a website. Joomla considers the title of the article in title tag.

Inbound Link Anchor Text

When you surf the net, you observe many links in the web page, these blue links refer other web pages in the same website or other web pages for different web sites. If your article gets some inbound links using the keywords, which you want to rank in search engines, it does great help in boosting the rank of web page. You can do it by submitting articles into article directory sites, and can get some back links for your website.

Page Rank of Site

The number of pages linking to your page is called link popularity. We say it PageRank in Google’s term. The more sites are linking to you. You will get so much high page rank. By using Joomla CMS, you can add your content quickly. Try to create one quality content per day. For a site to do well, you need 300 odd pages of content. If your website is content rich, it has great chance to perform well in search engine optimization

Link Popularity within the Site

You can link web pages from the same domain. This is called internal linking. However, it is important that you should link with right anchor text, otherwise it will decrease your overall relevancy of your site in the view of Google, and your site will get out from top Google search.

Age of Site

How old is your domain? When did you register it? You cannot do anything with your domain age, but it plays a big role in internet marketing. Many internet marketing companies try to get old domain, because old domains are most trusted by Google.

Maintain Relevancy of Inbound Links and Popularity of Linking Site

The quality of the inbound links is important factor in SEO. This means that you should focus to get links from the sites, which belongs to the same theme as your website. Try to search keywords related to your site theme, it will give you many different sites related to your theme. Do contact with them, and ask for links to your site.

Use Keywords in Body Text

The keyword density is an important factor in search engine optimization. Try to put keywords in your first and last paragraph. There are many online tools, which can help you to check your keyword density. Keywords in the H1-H6 heading of the page are more important than paragraph.

File Size

It has been seen that smaller sites get slightly higher ranking in Google. Try to put small size images on your webpage. A 500 – 1000 words article is good for your site. Lengthy articles do not get high ranking in Google easily, and it is also not good for reader perspective.

Correct 404 errors

Companies do not take serious the problem of 404 errors. You should track your website on the regular basis to uncover 404 errors. Many error pages are not good for SEO strategy. Google may penalize your site for it.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners are the individuals who have gained a master’s degree in a specialty of practitioner. They make diagnoses, assessments, perform minor procedures for surgeries, diagnostic tests, provide treatments, prescribe medications and practice under licensed doctors. In this profession long hours standing duties are required so that they can move and take care of the patients who need their assistance.

Requirements of job

There are different programs available and certification courses which one can opt for according to their choices. There are degree level, degree fields, licensure, certification, technical and computer skill courses for which there are common requirements.

First of all you will need to earn bachelor’s degree which will take 4 years to complete. Courses includes physiology and anatomy, pharmacology basics, health assessments of patients, basics of path physiology. Students also have to practice in clinical rotations which are supervised by professionals. After that students can also go for master’s degree.

Obtaining registered nurse license

All the nurses must be licensed by the state before they can go for practice. The requirements are different of different states. There are additional board requirements which candidates have to fulfill to avail license. The process can be completed within few months

Choosing specialty and gaining experience

Aspiring practitioners can choose their interest of specialty before they will start graduate program because in case of degrees they are required or encouraged to give at least one to two years of experience in the specialty they choose.   The specialties are wide such as pediatrics, mental health, acute care, women’s health, gerontology, anesthesia, family practice, midwifery and many more. Interested students can also gain experience in variety of settings depending upon their interest.

Masters degree

After completing graduate programs students can go for master’s degree. This will take 5- 1 year time depending upon the area of specialty. There are fast track programs that students can choose. Those who are serious building their careers in as a nurse practitioner must get master’s degree from an accredited institutions. These days’ students will find a very high level of education in this field.

Applying for certification

Those who have completed master’s degree are eligible to take the certification examination of nurse practitioner. Most of the agencies need students to have RN license and will perform few hours practice in their field of specialty to pass certification examination. The examination runs for 750-1400 hours. It can take up to six months to complete the certification examination depending upon their hours of shift.

It will take up to maximum 6 years to get a certification in the nurse practitioner field. You will have to complete bachelor’s degree for 4 years and after that master’s degree which will take 1-2 years and then apply for certification examination which will take 6 months to 1 year.

Make sure to learn the requirements of your state before you jump into this process. This will let you have better idea about this field and all your doubts will also be cleared. You might want to complete nurse practitioner courses in different states which might have different criteria.

The 7 Most Common Non-Drug Addictions

When we think of the term “addiction,” most of us think of drug abuse such as cocaine, heroin, cannabis or amphetamines, but in fact there are many different kinds of addiction included in, or being considered for inclusion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM): the psychiatry “bible” for such matters. With 1 in 8 Americans addicted to something, the list makes for some scary reading. In no particular order, the most common non-drug addictions in North America are:

1. Caffeine

Caffeine addiction didn’t make it into the most recent update of the DSM, although caffeine withdrawal and caffeine overdose did. Nevertheless, it is widely considered to be the most common addiction in the world. Around 68 million Americans drink at least three cups of coffee a day, and it is estimated that 3 out of 4 regular caffeine drinkers are actually addicted to the drug.

Although caffeine addiction is not as harmful as some other drug addictions, it can have serious consequences for a minority of people. Caffeine withdrawal can induce nervousness, restlessness and agitation, as well as severe headaches and depression.

2. Gambling

Compulsive gambling is an addiction which did make it into the DSM, and it’s a problem which is growing. In today’s digital age, it’s easier than ever to gamble, whether you’re betting on sports, playing scratchcards or gambling with online slot machines.

Gambling addiction is an impulse control problem, and it can start very young—figures suggest that an astonishing 750,000 people between the ages of 14 and 21 have some form of gambling addiction. Although not associated with the physical health problems of drug addiction, gambling addiction wrecks lives and is strongly associated with a fall into criminal activity.

3. Internet

Internet addiction per se is not in the DSM, although Internet gaming addiction is being considered for inclusion. However, most of us know someone who’s preoccupation with online activity is disruptive to their lives, and online technology now encroaches upon every area of life. Of course, just checking your Facebook and email umpteen times a day does not necessarily constitute a problem addiction, but for many young people in particular Internet addiction can bring about or exacerbate serious psychological and mental health issues, including depression and social anxiety.

4. Alcohol

Clearly one of the world’s most prominent addictions, alcohol addiction (technically a drug addiction) is estimated to directly cause nearly 2 million deaths worldwide each year, and is strongly linked to over 60 diseases. It is also linked to spousal abuse and violence, yet this drug is widely and legally available around the world.

Estimated to cost the US alone over $170 billion a year, the cost to individual families is incalculable. As well as serious liver disease and other health problems, alcohol addiction is a serious issue for society as a whole.

5. Nicotine/Tobacco

Another perfectly legal drug, but one we often don’t consider as a drug addiction—and another huge addiction problem is nicotine addiction. Nearly half a million premature deaths a year in the US alone are directly attributable to smoking. Although smoking does not have the same societal problems as alcohol or drug addiction – people rarely resort to crime to fund their smoking habit, for instance – it’s an often overlooked addiction which is very hard to beat.

6. Work

Workaholism is much more than just working hard or putting in some extra hours. Those who are addicted to work use their work as a psychological crutch which often masks other underlying mental health conditions. An addiction to work can prevent the individual from forming healthy relationships, enjoying any leisure time or getting or staying physically healthy.

Work addiction is not in the DSM, but it is increasingly recognized as a unique set of symptoms by health professionals, and typically requires quite a complex therapy treatment in order to uncover and beat the reasons why the work addiction formed in the first place.

7. Shopping

Shopping addiction is similar to gambling addiction in that it is an impulse control problem, and for the first time it is being considered for inclusion in the next edition of the DSM. It is estimated that around 5% of people have some kind of spending addiction, and one of the giveaway signs is often a secret life of some kind, as the individual attempts to hide how much they are spending. This creates a vicious circle, whereby the stress of the secrecy leads to more emotionally-based spending.

My Cousin’s Dialysis Has Gotten Better Thanks For Asking

Understanding the Maintenance of The Dialysis Access Port
There is no denying that dialysis is a miracle breakthrough, which can be used to combat renal failure. In the past, there was little to no hope for these individuals. With the use of machines, it is possible for medical professionals to remove excess water and waste for the patient’s blood. Typically, this procedure is used to help replicate the functions of the kidneys in individuals, who have lost the natural kidneys functions. The treatment is capable of improving the kidney’s capacities, regardless of the severity of the failure. For instance, it may be used in acute cases, but it can also be used for more severe situations. Of course, this type of treatment, although highly effective, comes with great responsibility.

Different Types of Dialysis
It is imperative to understand that there is actually an assortment of different dialysis treatments, which differ significantly. In general, the Hemodialysis is the most common and requires the patient to undergo four-hour treatment several times a week. The second most common is peritoneal dialysis, which requires the patient to undergo the treatment approximately four to five times per day. And finally, the patient may decide to go through the hemofiltration route, which is very similar to hemodialysis, but no dialysate is used.

Hemodialysis – Types of Access

Since the hemodialysis is the most common. It is important for the patient to get to know the specific types of access ports that many be utilized. With this specific type of dialysis, the medical professional can select from three different accesses to reach the blood, including a synthetic graft, an arteriovenous fistula or an intravenous catheter. In general, the patient’s specific situation will guide the decision, but it is possible for each to have multiple access points. Regardless of choice, the patient will be required to undergo an operation, in order to implement the access point.

  • AV Fistula – The process joins an artery and vein, within your arm.
  • AV Graft – A soft tube is utilized to join the two.
  • Catheter – A soft tube is inserted in a large vein, with the neck being the usually target.

Most medical professionals agree that the AV fistula is the best option, with the graft following close behind. In general, the catheter should only be used for temporary access.

Maintenance for the Port

Overall, it is imperative for the patient to learn proper maintenance for taking care of their port and to help prevent infections and clotting. There are a number of different actions that should be taken, in order to keep your access clean. Remember that the dressing should remain clean and dry, at all times. When you visit your dialysis center, it is imperative to ensure that your care team takes the time to change the dressing, while inspecting the insertion site. This will help to cut down on the potential risk of infections and future problems.

Of course, you should remember that you’re responsible for caring for the port at home. If you’re a caregiver, you should ensure that the patient fully understands how to care for the access and change the dressing on his or her own. As the patient, it will become your responsibility to learn how to properly change the dressing. Also, make sure to have an emergency dressing kit stored away at home, in case complications occur.

Remember to avoid getting the port wet! Do not swim or shower, but it possible to take baths, as long as you take extra precautions to protect the catheter. The caps or clamps should be closed tightly, at all times. It is crucial to prevent air from entering the access port! When cleaning, everyone nearby should protect himself or herself, by wearing a mask over their facial orifices.

Know the Signs of an Infection
While you may have followed all of the catheter care instructions perfectly, it is possible for infections and clots to occur. In order to handle the problem properly, you should familiarize yourself with the signs of an infection. When you recognize these problems, you will be able to instantly take action, notify your care team and find a solution to the problem immediately. This will ensure that proper action is taken, which will help to prevent future complications.

  • Fevers and Chills
  • Noticeable drainage from the exit site
  • The site is red and tender
  • Feeling weak or ill

Potential Treatments

In general, there are a number of potential treatments, which can help fight infections. It is possible for your medical professional to apply an ointment to the infection site, in hopes of stopping it from spreading. However, if drainage is visible, you will likely need to take antibiotics. If the infection has noticeable entered the blood, the medical doctor will most likely opt to inject antibiotic into your bloodstream, which will help prevent the infection from worsening.

Work with Your Medical Professional

In order to make sure that you’re properly caring for your access, it is crucial to work alongside your medical professional. They’ll be able to supply you with a treatment plan, which should be followed strictly. Also, make sure that you begin keeping track of your Kt/V and URR numbers. Supply this information to your dialysis team and they will be able to ensure that you’re receiving the appropriate treatment. If you have any concerns or feel that something may be out of the ordinary, it is imperative to speak with your doctor or dialysis team. They’ll be able to address the problem and treat potential complications.

Best Cheap Lodging Spots In Milano

The Best Lodging Spots in Milan, Italy

Although many travelers consider Milan to be one of the least attractive cities in the country of Italy, it is actually one of the most important, in terms of economy. Of course, this is not to say that the city doesn’t offer some excellent attractions for tourists. In fact, there are plenty of things to do, while exploring the city, including shopping, enjoying the nightlife and taking in some exciting football. If you’re traveling to the city, in order to explore the country’s lavish fashion scene, you’ll definitely want to make your way to Milan. When it comes to planning your travels, you’ll need to make sure to choose a nice, luxurious hostel. Thankfully, the city offers plenty of choices, which come in several price ranges. If you’re interested in splurging, you’ll be offered plenty of chances to do so. Below, you’ll find those options, as well as some of the less expensive lodging spots in the city.

The Four Seasons

If you’ve got the money and want to make your trip, as memorable as possible, you’ll want to book a room at the Four Seasons in Milan. At the establishment, you’ll be staying in the heart of Milan. The facility contains nearly 120 rooms, as well as three individual dining venues. Of course, the most amazing aspect of the hotel could very well be on the outside. The enormous and beautiful landscaped courtyard is absolutely stunning and captivating. Once you step inside of this extravagant facility, you’ll instantly understand the need for the expensive cost. If you’ve got the budget, this is definitely a viable option.

Sofia Milan

If your budget is a little slim, but you still want a nice room, you should consider the Sofia Milan Hostel. This facility offers a range of excellent amenities, which will make your stay much more enjoyable, including a wonderful fitness center that includes plenty of equipment and televisions. Those that are traveling for business reasons will be able to take advantage of the hotel’s meeting rooms, which can hold a couple hundred individuals. The hostel is perfectly situated and will give you quick access to some of the city’s best attractions including the La Scala opera house.

The Hotel Principe di Savoia

Those that want to spend their time living like a rich resident of Milan will want to book a room at this five star hotel. Although many people will not be able to afford it, the Presidential Suite is definitely a must! This outrageously lavish suite is separated from the other rooms and will allow you to spend your time on the top floor of the facility. From there, you’ll be able to access your very own private swimming pool! Again, the hotel is perfectly placed and gives easy access to some of the city’s best shopping centers.


Overall, Milan is a wonderful destination for tourists, who are looking to splurge on a luxurious getaway. If this is something you have in mind, be sure to choose a hotel that is capable of providing you with the same level of luxury. One of the hotels above will certainly do the trick.

HTML5 Canvas example – an introduction to the basics: create a branded QR code Canvas widget!

The HTML5 Canvas element is a 2D drawing interface supported by most modern web browsers. Canvas enables a web developer to draw anything directly into a web browser natively, without the need for Java or Flash plugins.

While the Canvas API is fairly simple and straight forward, it is very robust.  Given its flexibility and freedom from plugins, I predict that Canvas is likely to become  the base building block of choice, that developers will leverage in constructing future web applications on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.

To demonstrate the basic capabilities of the Canvas API, I have created a simple QR code widget, which can be used on websites, or printed out and placed on marketing materials.  To learn more about QR codes, please visit my two previous posts: Create a Quick Response Code (QR Code) image using Google Chart and Branding a Quick Response Code (QR Code) with a custom logo.
This blog post will introduce you to the following Canvas concepts
  •  Creating a Canvas context
  •  Writing text on the context
  •  Adding images to the context
  • Shadow and rotation treatments


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