Julbo Mountaineering Sunglasses ~ WanderGear Wednesday

by Beth Whitman (August 27th, 2014)

Julbo Explorer SunglassesEver notice that when something hits your radar, you start seeing it everywhere?

That’s what happened with my Julbo mountaineering sunglasses. As soon as I had my own pair to test out for the Snowman Trek, I noticed a lot (I mean, A LOT) of people I’ve been meeting on my hikes are also wearing Julbos.

Visit any outdoor store and you’ll likely find a wide range of Julbos. I’ve got the Explorer mountaineering sunglasses with Spectron 4.

These are specially made for high altitude, where eyes are particularly susceptible to damage by the sun and reflection.

The Explorers come in three different versions:Beth Whitman Julbo

  • Camel polarized (progresses from 3 to 4 reflection depending on the light)
  • Alt Arc 4 lens (highly resistant to scratches)
  • Spectron 4 (the most reflective lens that are also shock resistant)

The features that I appreciate most about the Specton 4 sunglasses include:

  • Wrap-around lenses – provide better protection than smaller glasses
  • Substantial weight – these are a bit heavier than any of my other sunglasses which makes me think they are going to last a lot longer than others
  • Front venting – this prevents fogging
  • Removable wings at the top and bottom of the lenses – I’ve been told by those who wear contacts that these help protect from dust and wind that could potentially bother their eyes

I’ve tried on probably a half dozen different mountaineering glasses and what I found was that these are generally not as dark as other sunglasses I own. I was told by a sales guy at REI that mountaineering glasses generally aren’t as dark because you want to be able to see more clearly while hiking or participating in snow activities. The lighter lens allows you to see more nuances in terrain. The same sales guy told me that just because the lenses aren’t as dark doesn’t mean they aren’t reflecting those bad rays.

If I had my druthers, the only thing I would change with the Explorers would to make them just a tad smaller. But, I’ve found that most mountaineering sunglasses are a just a bit large for my face. This is likely because they are providing maximum coverage, and that I totally get.

Available on Amazon for under $85.

Travel Well,

Beth

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USA Today’s Best Budget Travel Blogger ~ Me?

by Beth Whitman (August 26th, 2014)

Best Budget Travel BloggerYes, I totally get the irony in the fact that I was nominated USA Today’s Best Budget Travel Blogger while traveling in Papua New Guinea, one of the most expensive countries on the planet.

And yes, I do hate these popularity contests that are really about driving traffic to a website (in this case USA Today, not linked here, purposefully).

But (snicker), I won. Which I think is just a hoot.

I’m pleased, actually, because it has nothing to do with me but everything to do with our dedicated Wanderlusters. You. Our website readers (60,000/month). Newsletter subscribers (nearly 10,000). Facebook friends and fans (nearly 10,000). And Twitter followers (more than 22,500).

You gals and guys rallied and voted multiple times (yes, that was legal) and made sure that when it counted most, Wanderlust and Lipstick ended up on top.

While it was my name on there, Wanderlust and Lipstick really is a group effort that includes our fantastic group of WanderBloggers and our support staff (THANK YOU Kristin, Kumiko Rissa and Rhoan).

And, really? I’m NOT a budget blogger.

My message has always been to inspire women to travel. To get out of their comfort zone and see the world. Sometimes that includes money saving tips. But first and foremost, I want ladies to take those first steps in traveling.

If winning a popularity contest helps to spread that message, then Yahoo!

Travel Well,

Beth

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Papua New Guinea-bound

by Beth Whitman (August 8th, 2014)

Beth Whitman Papua New GuineaAs I write this, I’m literally sitting at the airport getting ready to leave for Papua New Guinea to lead one of our WanderTours to the Mt. Hagen SingSing.

PNG is one of my very favorite destinations because it is so crazy diverse.

There are approximately 850 tribes in the country. The jungle terrain is so difficult to traverse that these tribes have traditionally stayed in their own communities, speaking their own language. This makes it difficult for them to converse in anything other than pidgin English (and not all know this language).

PNG is located on the eastern half of an island north of Australia with West Papua, Indonesia, inhabiting the other part of the island.

As for the Mt. Hagen SingSing, the festival we visit yearly, it attracts about 75 tribes from around the country who come to sing and dance. It’s a way for these often-warring tribes to come together in a friendly manner.

It’s nothing short of mesmerizing.

Papua New Guinea Sepik Sunset

In addition to the singsing, we also visit the Sepik River area in the north, where we stay in the home of a family that lives in a small village on the water.

Beth Whitman Huli Wigmeni

We also head off to very remote Tari, home of the Huli Wigmen (above). Very few tourists get to this part of the country so it is a very special occasion for all.

I’m sooooooo excited to be returning to PNG. It’s a short trip (about two weeks) but I’ll be offline for most of it as PNG is still not quite up to speed with either Internet or phone services. I usually get itchy to be connected but the truth is, it will be a nice break.

Travel Well,

Beth

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