18-Year-Old To Become Youngest Person In Space Alongside Jeff Bezos On Blue Origin Trip 

Jeff Bezos’ rocket company, Blue Origin, has announced its first paying customer. Oliver Daemen is an 18-year-old Dutch teenager who is about to be the youngest person to ever travel to space. 

Daemen will be joining Jeff and his brother Mark Bezos, as well as pilot Wally Funk on July 20th.

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Funk will also be breaking the record for oldest individual to go to space at 82-years-old. Funk is famous for being a member of Mercury 13, a group of all female pilots who, in the 1960’s, underwent testing to determine whether women could handle space travel or not. Even though the group of women performed just as well as NASA’s Mercury 7, the male counterpart to Mercury 13, they were rejected for being women. 

Funk is breaking the age record previously set by astronaut and senator John Glenn who traveled to space in 1998 at the age of 77. Daemen will be breaking the record previously set by Ghermon Titov, who was just 25 when he went into space for a four month mission. 

The Federal Aviation Administration approved of the Blue Origin launch this Monday, just one say after billionaire Richard Branson flew to the edge of space aboard his rocket-powered vehicle developed by Virgin Galactic. 

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Virgin Galactic, like Blue Origin, plans to start flying paying customers up to the edge of space. Daemen was able to secure his spot on Blue Origin after the individual who won an auction for a seat on the rocket had to withdraw due to scheduling conflicts. The original individual paid $28 million for the oppurtunity. 

“We thank the auction winner for their generous support of Club for the Future and are honored to welcome Oliver to fly with us on New Shepard. This marks the beginning of commercial operations for New Shepard, and Oliver represents a new generation of people who will help us build a road to space,” Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith said.

“I am super excited to be going to space and joining Jeff Bezos, Mark Bezos, and Wally Funk on the first Blue Origin crewed flight.”

A Blue origin spokesperson told the media that Daemen “was a participant in the auction and had secured a seat on the second flight. We moved him up when this seat on the first flight became available,” the spokesperson said.

Jeff Bezos Is Going To Space

Jeff Bezos announced this week that he would be joining the flight crew on their first mission using the New Shepard rocket ship from Bezos’s space company, Blue Origin, on a trip to space. The flight is currently scheduled for July 20th; 15 days after Bezos will resign as CEO of Amazon. 

“Ever since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of traveling to space. On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend.”

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Mark Bezos, Jeff’s brother, will be joining the flight, and if all goes to plan, Bezos will become the first billionaire tech space tycoons to experience a ride for themselves into space. Elon Musk, owner of SpaceX, hasn’t even mentioned the possibility of him joining one of his crews into space.

British billionaire Richard Branson owns Virgin Galactic, another space company which is planning on conducting flights to suborbital space for wealthy billionaires who want to take a trip out into the atmosphere. 

The six-seater 59-foot-long rocket is set to launch 60 miles above the Earth in an 11-minute flight this July. The New Shepard rocket has been undergoing extensive and secretive testing for the past six years, and although Blue Origin hasn’t announced yet when it will begin selling tickets for future space trips, it’s already rumored that tickets will cost close to $3 million. 

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Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000, just one year after Amazon as a platform was initially valued at one billion dollars. While Bezos is resigning from his executive chair role,. He will still be involved in the company’s inner workings. 

Blue Origin is also currently working on a rocket called New Glenn, which the company is hoping will be able to send US government and commercial satellites into orbit and make easy trips to deep space. 

Bezos has called Blue Origin “the most important work [he’s]doing.”

“I’m interested in space because I’m passionate about it. I’ve been studying it and thinking about it since I was a five year old boy — but that is not why I’m pursuing this work. I’m pursuing this work because I believe if we don’t, we will eventually end up with a civilization of stasis, which I find very demoralizing,” he explained. 

Blue Origin initially was hoping to be involved in NASA’s personal mission of returning humans to the moon by 2024, however, SpaceX beat them to it when they landed a contract to build a lunar lander recently. NASA has claimed Blue Origin is still eligible to work on future lunar missions, but their focus on bringing regular people to space has diminished their chance of working with the space organization directly on lunar missions. 

San Juan Islands

Why Travel Abroad When We Have Amazing Hidden Islands Here?

With Christmas firmly behind us many of us are looking forward and seeing where we would like to head off for our annual vacations. And while destinations such as Europe, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand are always popular for American tourists, we also have some amazing “home-grown” destinations waiting to be discovered.

While over 40 million visitors head to Seattle each year – spending roughly $7.8 billion in the city and surrounding areas – few continue to the beautiful San Juan Island.

Situated sixty miles off the northwest coast of America and a mere 40-minute seaplane journey, the island can easily make one forget the busy Seattle lifestyle and settle into a lifestyle that is more relaxing and full of neighborly spirit.

While many coastal areas have been built up over the years to accommodate tourists, the 20-mile main island has remained unspoilt. Traffic is also a rare sight with no traffic lights and few other drivers meaning you have less stress as you navigate your way around the island.

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You can also visit the island via one of the cruise lines that stop off, including UnCruise and American Cruise Lines, however it is worth adding the trip to any other cruise that offers it. Many head here to watch the whales that are often spotted as well as to visit the seaside villages that welcome you like a long lost relative.

Make sure you take advantage of any offers to fly into the region, as you will get to see some amazing views not just of San Juan Island but also of all the 400 islands that are located nearby, although some are far smaller than the main islands, making them look like diamonds glistening in the water.

San Juan Island is not without its history. Back in the 1800s the American army had a base on the island while the British army also had a base there, albeit thirteen miles apart. During the twelve years they were both based there they appeared to live in peace, with athletic races between the two camps. The British camp created some formal gardens and these are still open for you to visit today. The camps also remained respectful of each other’s culture with the Americans celebrating the birthday of Queen Victoria while the British attended Independence Day celebrations.

However this was to change in 1859 when a pig escaped from a British farm and headed towards a vegetable patch of an American settler, who subsequently killed it. Although he apologised to the pig’s owner a disagreement was had over the worth of the pig. With this disagreement in full flow both the British and Americans tried to declare themselves owners of the islands therefore enabling them to enforce their own laws.

When it was clear neither side was prepared to settle the dispute the American military sent in 60 troops while the British responded with a full warship. The US then sent a further 450 more troops with the British sending another two more warships. When the US president decided to send army leaders to meet with the British a decision of joint occupation was made. Kaiser Wilhelm I – an independent arbitrator – held a ‘trial’ in neutral Switzerland that decided the Americans should own the islands and the British troops withdrew from the island within the next two weeks.

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If history is not your idea of fun you could always head to Lime Kiln Point State Park, also known as Whale Watch Park. Situated between the two camps – which you can still visit – tourists are treated to sights of orcas. Head down towards the shoreside path and make your way to the charming 1919 lighthouse and you should be able to see the beautiful creatures as they swim past.

Further along the waterfront is Roche Harbor. Situated in an impressive setting, the 1886 Hotel de Haro is a major attraction for loved-up couples to hold their weddings. The island’s sculpture park is nearby and has an amazing array of strange sculptures that move with the wind.

The main town on San Juan Islands is Friday Harbor and is home to around 2,000 residents. Not only can you visit the whale museum here you can also book boat trips to see the many marine mammals in the area including seals, humpbacks and of course, orcas. However if you want to see them while eating a great meal head over to Friday Harbor House and enjoy the sights from their clifftop restaurant.

Nearby Orca island – named after a sponsor of one of the Spanish explorers who originally found and named the island – is only a short plane or ferry ride and can be reached via Friday Harbor.

With an eclectic range of restaurants, cafes, parks, boutiques and galleries, many tourists like to head to the historic village of Eastsound.

If the great outdoors is your preference then head to Lopez Island, which offers great hiking and cycling trails.

Man Travelling with backpack

How To Travel With Just A Backpack

Travelling can be one of the most rewarding experiences a human being can go through. Exploring the vast and changing world and seeing a life lived by many, but foreign to you, is enlightening. However, in order to properly travel, you need to get through the physical travelling part of it. Whether it be by car, plane, train, or bus, getting to your destination can be half the battle, especially if you’re like most individuals and struggle with packing. 

Packing for any sort of trip can be difficult, but it’s especially hard when you’re going to a place you’ve never been to before. You have to account for weather, what activities you’re planning on doing, places you’ll go, environmental conditions, etc. there’s just a lot to plan for. Even if you pack light and think you can fit everything into your personal bag and carry-on, the airport can still hit you with that pink tag indicating you need to check your bag due to overcrowding. Packing light is often the best way to travel, and really engulf yourself in your surroundings, so try to only pack a personal bag. You read that right, just pack the one single bag that can fit under your chair. It may seem impossible, but with some helpful tips, tools, sacrifices and space manipulation, anything is possible. 

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The first thing you’ll need to do is make sure you have the right type of bag. According to Outside Online Magazine the best option for single-bag travelling is a backpack. A backpack will ensure that you have the most space, and is easier to hold than something like a purse or messenger bag. Backpacks often have many inner pockets that are perfect for making sure your smaller personal items are safe and secure and not loosely being knocked around. Look for something on the larger side and in a hiking category. While you may not be planning on taking any hikes during your travels, although if you are having a backpack is another perk, backpacks that are equipped for hiking normally have the most space and compartments to hold everything you need. Amazon and Target definitely have cheap options, especially if your shopping after all those “Back to school” promotions, however, don’t be afraid to spend more money for better quality. If this bag is going to follow you all throughout your future travels and potentially be your only travel bag, you want it to be good quality. 

Just because you have one big bag to accompany you on your travels, that doesn’t mean smaller bags are out of the question. Laptop holders and tech pouches are great safe options to guarantee your devices won’t be scuffed or damaged while inside of your bag. These bags can also hold any important travel documents, or any other important papers, which would also ensure that all your valuables are in the same place within your bag, and you won’t need to dig to find them. Additionally, a small make up bag for toiletries will help keep each compartment in your bag organized. Go on Amazon, or out to a local drug store, and pick up travel size containers for your shampoo, soap, moisturizing needs. You can purchase multi-packs of mini squeeze bottles online that are perfect for saving space and travelling with all your bathroom needs. Remember, you want to pack light, so if you’re going to stay somewhere that you know will have things like soap, towels, toothpaste, etc. then leave it at home, less is more!

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Now for the fun part, clothing. While it may seem impossible to fit an entire trips worth of clothing into a backpack, it is, if you’re willing to make it work. First of all, make sure the outfit you’re wearing on the day of your travels have pieces that you can get a lot of use out of. Wear a nice and standard jacket that you can use and rework to fit any occasion. A bomber or flannel could work, even a jean jacket could do the job. Make sure your pants are also just as versatile, and are also comfortable enough to leisure in for hours at a time. Versatility is key here, keep it generic with shirts and bring a spare or two only. Underwear is small enough that it can fit in those small compartments throughout your backpack, the same goes for socks. If you have access to a laundry machine, you really only need two outfits, the one you wear the day of, and an extra. This was you’ll always have one full outfit while the others being cleaned.

For optimal storage, roll your clothing instead of folding, the minimal surface area and cylinder shape will allow the clothes to fit together within the bag much easier. Place the clothing at the bottom of the bag first so you get the most important pieces packed. From this point on you can work with everything else you have to pack like pieces of a puzzle to make it all fit. While traveling with one single bag may not seem ideal, it will ensure that your trip is about one thing and one thing only, the experience. Chances are you’ll be able to buy more clothing and a duffel bag wherever you’re going to anyway, so don’t sweat it and focus on the journey.