A Wine Lover’s Guide To Earth’s Best Wine Regions

If you fancy yourself a bit of a wine connoisseur you may enjoy the tradition of vineyard tours and wine tasting. But where should you definitely go to experience the best that planet earth has to offer? With so many countries that offer their own takes on wine and winemaking, it can be daunting to choose the perfect place to head to if you’re a wine lover. That’s why this short guide to the world’s best wines will help you narrow down your next wine tasting destination.

Argentina

It’s no secret that the wines that come from Argentina are some of the world’s best. Add to that the fact that Argentina is an absolute delight to travel to and around and you’re onto a winner on all accounts. Between delicious Argentinian steak, the snow capped peaks of the Andes and the delectable wines, it’s easy to see why Argentina is the things dreams are made of. Take a week or two to stop at various ranches to experience the real Argentine life, wrangling and branding cattle and sipping wine with the backdrop of beautiful Patagonia in your sights.

Georgia

You might be thinking ‘Georgia the state?’ but you’d be wrong. This central West Asian country is nestled between Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Russia and is home to such amazing climates throughout that it is ideal for growing all manner of fruits and vegetables – including grape varieties for winemaking. It’s been studied and shown that Georgian winemaking tradition goes back almost eight thousand years, making it one of the oldest and first winemaking regions in the world. That said, the Georgians really know what they’re doing when it comes to wine. Try it with kachapuri, a rich pizza-like dish laden with cheese.

Canada

Believe it or not, Canada is a huge wine producer, they just rarely export it, keeping it all within their borders for themselves, and for good reason. Produced in both British Columbia and Ontario mainly, the wines come in a variety of flavours and strengths. Such popular brands including Painted Rock, Cave Spring Cellars and Foxtrot, Canadian wines can usually be found throughout the country and are paired beautifully with local cuisines such as seared Elk steaks, regional lobster or buffalo. If you’re in the mood for something truly unique, have a taste of Canada’s famous Ice Wine – a wine produced by leaving the grapes on the vine until after the first frosts to produce a sweet, almost syrup like wine that is used almost exclusively for dessert.

South Africa

If you want to see the best Africa has to offer without diving into a totally different culture altogether by going to the likes of Tanzania, Kenya or Uganda, consider heading to South Africa – a perfect blend of Africa-meets-West. The western corner of the country around Cape Town is the best for sampling the wines on offer but they can be found most other places around the country as well. If heading out on safari take a bottle or two with you to enjoy after a day of watching the best of Africa’s wildlife go by in the likes of Kruger National Park, or head to your favourite Cape Town wine bar to toast a successful climb up Table Mountain. South Africa in their springtime is a great time to go, when the wildflowers are in full swing and you can find yourself lost in flower fields for ages. A perfect South African red wine would go down a treat on a picnic amongst the blooms.

So if you’re in the mood for a delicious glass or three of some of the world’s best vino, check out wines from one of the aforementioned locations. With wines steeped in history or challenging tradition, you will find the perfect flavours waiting for you in a bottle of one of these great options.

White Sand And Blue Sea – What To See And Do In The Maldives

The Maldives – just the name conjures up images of white sand beaches, turquoise blue waters that stretch on for as far as the eye can see and decadent coconut drinks, all enjoyed simultaneously as you kick back on the vacation of a lifetime. Sounds pretty fantastic, doesn’t it? But aside from beaches, what else is there to do in the Maldives? A surprising amount you will be excited to know! Here is a roundup of some of the island’s most favourite, famous and enjoyable activities and excursions that will have you beaming from ear to ear as you while away your days in this exotic island locale. We can almost guarantee that after reading this you will be rushing off to book your ultimate Maldives holiday.

Beaches

This one probably goes without saying, but beaches are probably the biggest draw as to why people come from around the world to visit the Maldives. With stretches of white sand beaches that seem to go on for miles coupled with the seclusion that some of the country’s most remote islands provide it’s no wonder that this is one of the most ideal locations for honeymooners looking to get away for some alone time. The beaches all across the Maldives offer both white sand and turquoise seas, almost reminiscent of those images conjured up by such classic tales as ‘Treasure Island’. One of the most popular activities for visitors to any of the islands in the Maldives is to arrange a private picnic on one of these secluded beaches, usually available from your hotel if you ask. Aside from picnics, the beaches in the Maldives are generally ideal for just kicking back with a good book and sunbathing with the occasional dip in the beautiful waters of the Indian Ocean to cool off.

Sunset Cruises and Other Boat Trips

Nothing quite beats the feel and experience of taking a traditional Maldivian boat, known as a Dhoni, on a sunset cruise over the open Indian Ocean. Watch as the turquoise of the waters and the white of the sand give way to twilight shades of oranges purples and deep hues of pink. If you’re lucky, you may catch the sight of a pod of dolphins swimming alongside your boat. Some cruises may come with dinner options, so check ahead to see what suits you and your budget best. This is ultimately one of the most luxurious and enjoyable experiences you can have in the Maldives – just you and the open waters as the day gives way to the shades of night.

If boats are really your thing, you can also get away and out on the water with fishing trips to try your hand at a little deep sea fishing. This enjoyable sport will see you possibly landing some great catches including tuna, wahoo, sailfish and barracudas. Oftentimes you will get to barbecue up your catch with the fishermen once back on shore for a truly enjoyable experience. Nothing quite beats whiling away the hours on the deck of a beautiful boat out on the Indian Ocean with like minded people all hoping for a taste of the fish that call these pristine waters home. Snacks, drinks and the like are normally included in the price of a fishing trip and most can be arranged through your hotel.

Diving and Snorkelling

Beaches mean diving and snorkelling and often the two go hand in hand. Even if you aren’t a diver you can often catch a ride on diving boats to dive sites to snorkel at with a slew of divers looking for adventure. Qualified divers will find that the Maldives have a huge array of underwater delights to see and experience including turtles, moray eels and even shipwrecks. Yes, shipwrecks! There are a number of wrecks that you can dive that are found at a variety of depths so if you want to experience all of the wrecks you should be qualified to descend to around forty to fifty metres for best results, with most wrecks being at a depth of around twenty metres plus. The Maldives Victory and Kuda Giri are two wrecks that are located off the Male atoll and have good coral with decent fish life. For better fish life, check out the wrecks of the Liffey and Utheemu 1 and 2 off the coast of Kudahuvadhoo Island.

Not qualified? No problem. Many dive centres and resorts can take you on fun or introduction dives which means you have a qualified instructor/guide with you the whole time to check up on you and ensure you’re safe, so you just have to sit back, relax and watch the imagery float on by.

Snorkelling on the other hand is an easy activity even the kids can do if you’re travelling with family. All you need is snorkel equipment in the form of a mask and breather and away you go. Some people use fins but they aren’t necessary. In many cases you can rent this equipment from your hotel for a nominal fee for day use (or longer) or some may provide it free of charge on snorkelling trips and the like. Snorkelling is a great way to explore the reefs and marine life without needing to get deeper in the water on a dive or feeling pressured to get qualified just to enjoy the things the sea has to offer.

As a general rule of thumb, the Banana Reef in the North Male Atoll is one of the best reefs for beginner divers as well as snorkelers of all levels. It’s rich with sea life and corals and is just an all around great spot for those who want a lazy snorkel with lots to see.

The Cultural Side

Even if you’re on a luxury holiday at one of the Maldivian prestigious resorts it can be a great opportunity to get off the resort for awhile and explore the real life side of this unique, beautiful and welcoming island chain. There are a number of so-called “home islands” or “local islands”. It’s on these islands you will find the real heart beat of the country, set amid working towns and villages with real people who make this place their home. It’s in these places you will find great dining opportunities to try dishes of all kinds from breakfast to dinner and beyond. Dance the night away to the Boduberu – a traditional local musical experience that can be found in amongst those who live here.

So if you’re looking for the ultimate island experience with lots to take in amid luxury resorts offering everything from boating trips to fishing, beach picnics to spa days, you can rest assured that you will have the experience of a lifetime exploring this gorgeous part of the world for whatever reason brings you here be it a family vacation, a couples getaway or a honeymoon.

 

Perfect Resorts For French Alps Skiing Holidays

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With Christmas over and winter well and truly set in throughout many parts of the world, now is the time to start looking into those winter getaways that the whole family can enjoy. But where to? Maybe you have just recently had a holiday to a warm climate and you’re looking for something a bit more winter friendly to help wipe away those winter blues. If so, you’ve come to the right place. Winter holidays don’t always have to be jetting off to sunny tropical locations with white sand beaches and instead can involve head out to your favourite snowy destinations to hit the slopes, sip hot cocoa in the cosy atmosphere of your ski chalet and enjoy drinking Gluhwein in front of toasty fires with friends. So what are some of the best ski locations for couples and families? Check out our top picks for cheap ski holidays below and get in on the deals before they’re out the door for the season!

 

La Tania – Courchevel

This alpine resort is a haven for ski lovers who like to be challenged but also for those who like easier more leisurely skiing. A unique feature of this resort is the full pedestrianisation of the resort itself – that is to say, that the resort allows you to ski throughout the whole region – to the shops, to the bars, to the restaurants and the like. What more could you want? For a real dive into the life of skiing this is the place for you and your family and with over six hundred kilometers (yes! Six hundred!) that means you can spend your entire time skiing your little heart out at La Tania and never run over the same piece of trail twice – unless you want to. With mainly north facing slopes, the runs of La Tania will keep their snow in pristine condition until late into the season, making this a perfect resort for those late ski season holidays for both couples and families alike. So for those who want to maximise their ski season, be sure to take advantage with a holiday to La Tania.

Les Arcs

This resort is a combination of all the best bits of the sport of skiing. Ideal for beginners all the way through to experts it boasts over one hundred and thirty runs for beginners, around sixty for intermediate and around forty for advanced level skiers. With over one hundred restaurants and bars to add to the feel of this alpine beauty, Les Arcs is an old favourite amongst hobbyists as well as serious athletes with its Olympic level speed skiing course to add to the huge variety of runs already available. Les Arcs is additionally perfect for families or for those who like a bit of a lower key holiday as even though there are bars and restaurants available en masse, the late night atmosphere is nearly non-existent here. For those who like to get out by night, the neighbouring resorts often have a more hopping nightlife than Les Arcs, but don’t let that put you off this unique, enjoyable and impressive resort. You won’t miss the parties here with so many fantastic runs to check out and other apres ski activities.

Val D’Isere

Three hundred kilometres of piste set in an alpine haven, Val D’Isere boasts impressive advanced runs for those experienced skiers looking for a challenge. Not experienced? No problem! Val D’Isere also hosts a whole range of beginner to intermediate runs too for those who are just starting out on their ski skills. With around one hundred and fifty cafes, bars and restaurants at your disposal, it’s easy to see why Val D’Isere is a favourite amongst not just the expert skiers but also with those of all levels. The activities kick off each afternoon for those to enjoy the apres ski offerings and with a hugely popular cafe culture it’s easy to get stuck right in. For foodies, this is the best resort due to its location – nestled in the southeastern France’s Alps and only a mere five kilometers from the Italian border means that the Italian-French fusion cuisine is rampant in the numerous restaurants at Val D’Isere. Come see for yourself.

La Plagne

The perfect place for those who love to work hard on the slopes and play hard in the village. La Plagne is comprised of several villages which enjoy pristine snow, a plethora of apres ski activities and locations to wind down as well as generally flat topography with numerous runs that range from beginner to experienced. This is a great resort for those who just like to whet their appetite with skiing but don’t necessarily want to really dive in. This is probably the best resort for families or groups of friends due to the amount of activities on offer that don’t necessarily involve skiing as well as the variety in terms of run ratings and other general amenities. Whether you’re an avid skier or not, La Plagne is the best resort for all abilities and preferences so you won’t regret your trip to this bustling and popular resort.

Overview

These are just a few of the resorts in the Alps which offer impeccable skiing and a variety in terms of amenities, activities and more. These are French Alps resorts but there are a number of other countries which feature alpine holiday packages as well. The French Alps arguably have the best in pricing and convenience with a whole host of different resorts to choose from. Many of the package holidays in the French Alps also feature nearly all inclusive (usually half board) catering, flights, hotel, lift passes and more. So if you’re looking for the best in alpine skiing without having to pay the sometimes heavy prices of other skiing holidays, the French Alps are the place to be. Regardless of whether you’re an early riser, a party animal, a night owl or the like, the Alps will have something for everyone – and don’t forget the impeccable wine! Being on the corner of three well known wine countries, the Gluhwein you’re likely to find here might just be some of the world’s best.

So whether you’re an avid skier, a beginner or even an accomplished athlete the Alps are one of the best places on the planet to get your ski on. With so many packages, mountain ranges, ski villages, resorts and runs to choose from you can rest assured that you will stay challenged and enjoy every minute of any ski holiday to the Alps. But don’t just take our word for it – come and see for yourself. You still have a couple of good ski months left in the season, so don’t delay and get your next mountain ski holiday booked now!

Fantastic Florida – Not Just For Summer Anymore!

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Have you been looking for the perfect place to vacation this winter with the family? Are you stuck on where to go and what to do and you’re trying to make sure everyone stays happy? For the best in winter sun as well as a whole host of things to do, consider hitting up the southern state of Florida. Known as the Sunshine State, and for good reason, Florida is one of the best places to head for those who want to soak up the sun while having fun as well. Check out some of the top things to do in this vast and enjoyable state.

Amusement Parks

If Florida has one thing in spades, it’s amusement parks. Whether you want to while the day away alongside your favourite characters at Disney World or you want to hop on some impressive TV and film themed rides at Universal Studios, the world is your oyster. You can grab tickets and head to Universal Studios easily online and don’t forget to check out other options such as SeaWorld as well as the whole host of waterparks on offer too.

Miami

There is a reason Miami, FL is one of the country’s top spring break destinations. And it’s not just spring, or summer that make Miami a great Florida travel destination, but winter and fall too. Starting with the obvious beautiful beaches, amazing nightlife, and renowned international food scene, Miami has become a virtual mecca for celebrities and any American who wants to enjoy perfect weather year-round. While Miami is not known for being a thrifty town, there are all sorts of family-friendly activities that don’t have to break the bank, including walkable architectural tours,  people-watching on Ocean Drive, or cozying up to a good book at one of Miami’s bookstores.

Daytona

Daytona isn’t just a beach city in Florida. It’s also home to the international Daytona Speedway which is home to the internationally acclaimed Daytona 500 which takes place each February, typically on President’s Day (18th). Be sure to book tickets in advance if heading down around this time as tickets and hotels sell out fast. A great day out for the family, especially the kids, so pack the sunscreen and hats and head to Daytona for a day to remember forever.

Florida Keys

For families and couples alike there is no place quite like the Keys. Located in Florida’s deep south, this string of pearlised islands in the deep blue Caribbean sea are perfectly located to have beach weather nearly all year round. Book in at one of the luxury resorts and hit the sand for some sun and relaxation with great views and calm seas.

Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Centre

A great day out for anyone in the family, the Kennedy Space Centre is ideal for learning about America’s race to the moon. Featured are some of the most unique and awe-inspiring artefacts from these days including space suits that have been on the moon itself, still covered in moondust. Come see the remnants of the rockets that took man past the earth’s atmosphere and if you’re lucky, book in to see a rocket launch in person at Cape Canaveral.

The Everglades

Deep in the south of the state you will find this vast area of marshy wetland known as the Everglades. Considered to be one of the most unique areas of wildlife habitation in the state, you can get tours around the area on hovercraft to see some of the residents of the area such as crocodiles and the mass numbers of birds that call this region home. A perfect way to spend a few days, especially with kids who have a penchant and love of animals and wildlife.

So if you’re looking for the perfect way to spend your holidays this year, look no further than Florida. The Sunshine State is always open for business and ready with open arms to welcome you and yours to her sandy shores.

Cruise Around The World In Style – And We Don’t Mean With Cars!

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It’s coming up to autumn now and the summer is fast heading out the door for another year, leaving most people feeling somewhat melancholy as the colder weather starts to set in. Autumn may seem like the time to hunker down and get ready for winter, but your summer fun doesn’t have to stop now. In fact, for singletons or couples this is the perfect time to get out and explore the world on holidays or cruises when all the students, young and old, are back in class! Read ahead for the top types of holidays to book now, before summer is truly gone!

Cruises From Here, There, Anywhere

It’s no secret that cruises continue to be a top type of holiday many people seek out, and for good reason. Cruises are the best way to see a number of places quickly and in serious comfort. If you have never been on board a cruise liner, you’re seriously missing out, especially if you’re a fan of the finer things. A cruise around the world will take you from port to port in a number of exotic locations all in comfort and style with world class entertainment every night and usually full board meals provided in the overall price of the trip. What could be better than checking out some of the world’s most famous locales aboard a world class liner with access to spas, shops, theatres, luxury dining experiences and more?

Last Minute Destinations

There are large numbers of last minute beach holidays available for people who just want to get away and don’t really mind where. These can be incredibly budget friendly with many featuring all inclusive themes with airfare, transfers, hotels and food included, but not always to the most exotic of locales! From Europe mainly Mediterranean islands are featured but city breaks are also popular, particularly to eastern and northern Europe, depending on what you want to do and experience. For truly cheap options, last minute deals can be booked for very low prices if you don’t care where you go and are taking only hand luggage.

Somewhere Wild

If you really want to push the boat out, you can head out of your comfort zone and trek off to somewhere wild and wonderful. Going on safaris or treks to the Himalayas or Macchu Pichu are becoming more widely available as well as affordable for many, so are increasing in popularity. With more discount flights flying to connecting cities to wild and wonderful places as well, it’s never been easier to head out on a real adventure for your autumn getaway to make memories that will last a lifetime doing something truly unique and awe inspiring!

There you have a couple of great getaway ideas for all levels of adventurer and fitness. Whether you’re climbing mountains, relaxing on the beach or enjoying a show aboard a luxury cruise liner, autumn is a great time to get away for many. With lower prices in the off season and less people hitting the road, you will find prices to be cheaper for many things and less crowds equating to a win-win situation for everyone! So pack those bags – the world won’t explore itself!

3 Tips for Traveling With Your Dog

The only thing better than seeing the world is seeing the world with your best friend at your side. Many people don’t realize that they can bring their dogs along when they travel, as long as they plan ahead!

Of course, if you’d rather travel alone, don’t feel limited by kennels and other group boarding options. Rover.com has a wealth of experienced, reliable dog-sitters who offer flexible and affordable care for all dogs—including anxious or chronically ill pets, who you might be reluctant to leave behind. Remember that for some dogs, the stress of travel will outweigh the benefits of spending more time together.

Choose a dog-friendly airline

Carefully research the airline’s policies, and the experiences of other dog-owning customers. What guarantees can the airline make? How do they handle unexpected situations?

Smaller dogs can usually travel with you in the cabin, which is the safest bet. If you are traveling in extreme heat or cold, or have a very large dog, consider alternate modes of transportation.

Talk to your host or concierge

Before booking your accommodation, find out the relevant details for bringing a pet along. Are there restrictions based on breed or weight? Will a pet deposit be charged, and is it refundable? Ask ahead of time, and get all necessary permissions in writing just in case.

Whether you’re staying in a short-term rental or at a traditional hotel, take advantage of your host’s know-how to navigate the neighborhood. The advantage of pet-friendly housing is that your host or concierge is likely to know the best places to walk, play, groom, or entertain your dog nearby.

Follow a routine

Bring along toys and treats that make your pup feel at home, and plan out your days to minimize disruption to your dog’s schedule. Sleep schedules and meal times have the greatest impact on circadian rhythm, which helps regulate your dog’s mood and health. Keep as much consistency as you can with walks, too.

If you have have to go somewhere while traveling and can’t bring your dog, consider hiring a Rover.com caregiver in your destination city to watch your dog for a few hours. Fido will have a lot more fun playing with a new friend than sitting in your room alone—and you’ll get to relax and focus on your plans. Everyone wins!

5 Ways a Travel Backpack Isn’t Just for Travellers

You don’t need to travel to get the full benefits from a travel backpack. Anyone in any profession can take advantage of its versatility and functionality. This is very suitable for business people who need to get around the city or go to important meetings. The bag is spacious, versatile, and easy to move around. This article shows you five ways how a travel backpack can benefit everyone.

1# It’s Convenient to Carry Everything:

This is a major advantage. The insides are compartmentalised, which makes it easier for you to store your things and to get them out when you need them. Another section is designed to keep your electronics and accessories. You can also find a compartment that is perfect to keep documents flat and gives easy access.

2# A Travel Backpack is Versatile:

The Carry-on Backpack is versatile. You can wear it on your back, carry it in your hands or attach a removable shoulder strap to make you look professional. This means you have the ease and convenience of moving around and carrying it however you please. And when you need to change the look, attach the shoulder strap to give good first impressions.

3# It’s Easy to Move Around:

Picture this: You have several files and documents that you need to bring to the meeting. And not to mention a laptop, tablet, chargers and your phone. It’s raining outside so you need your coat and it’s a long day so you’ve got lunch. That’s a lot of things to put inside your bag. You may even need to carry two or three.

This never happens with a spacious carry-on travel bag.

Everything fits inside. This means it’s easier to bring around with you and more convenient when you have to rely on trains. You can also fly through the airport too without having to worry about dropping your luggage and delays at security.

4# Everything is Organised:

One of the major advantages is that everything is organised. The compartments let me arrange the things the way I want. This makes it easier to access them later and has saved me a few times in a meeting. Rather than searching around for something, I can take it out in a second. You will look much more professional.

Compare this to a briefcase where you may need to empty everything to find what you’re looking for. And to make things worse, it’s small and won’t fit all your personal belongings inside.

5# A Travel Backpack is Multifunctional:

If you use this bag for work, you can also use it for other things too. What about if you do want to go travelling or to take a short vacation? You have everything you need with you ready to go.

The Takeaway Message:

I hope this article has convinced you that you can benefit from buying one of these bags to help you at work. You don’t necessarily need to use this versatile and multifunctional bag just for travelling. It also works great as a professional and organised shoulder bag too.

2017 Gift Guide For Female Travellers

It’s coming up to summer in the northern hemisphere and this is the time of year that most people start to think about heading out on the road again to far flung, magical places away from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind, leaving behind their lives in favour of the unknown. It can be difficult to know what to get the avid traveller as a gift, either for their birthday or for a farewell soiree put on by their nearest and dearest to say “happy trails”, so we have put together a small list of some of the best things to get someone who has a habit of hitting the road.

Passport Holders

Useful and sometimes fun, passport holders keep your passport and other associated important bits together in one place where they can be safe and protected. This could include your other ID cards, any loose visas and even money. Some passport holders can double as wallets, featuring spots to hold your debit and credit cards which makes it easy if you need to keep everything on you at all times. There are a whole host of cute, colourful options available both online and in high street shops, usually available year round. Why not get your best friend an adorable one that suits her personality well, such as a kitten face one, or one that says ‘crazy cat lady’ if she likes cats for example?

Functional Bits and Bobs

Things like wind up clocks and flashlights, travel pillow, power adapters, earplugs, eye masks and even toiletries or medicine for medicine kits can be a great gift – presented similarly to a nice hamper basket like you’d give someone at Christmas just swapping the wine and crackers for paracetamol and Band-Aids. Never underestimate the usefulness of these types of things for a traveller, especially if they like to do a couple of adventurous things like renting scooters to go off exploring by themselves and the like. There are ways you can add a feminine twist to these as well – travel pillows can come in all colours and patterns, and bandages as well. Maybe throw in some feminine hygiene products as once you’re overseas you realise just how quickly you will miss your usual brand! You can even swap this for a Moon or Diva cup as well – a reusable feminine hygiene product that acts as a type of tampon that you empty every 8 hours – an absolute lifesaver on the road.

Vouchers for Shops

Undoubtedly your travelling friend or family member will need a couple of things before they head off – new shoes, waterproof coat, and even a tent or other equipment such as backpacks and such. A voucher for an outdoors type of shop or even just their favourite outfitter of things like shoes and clothes in general can be useful for them to get a new swimsuit or a new sweater before they head off on their adventure.

Scratch off World Map

If your friend intends on returning eventually, a scratch off world map can be a great way for them to relive their journey. A scratch off world map is a great way for your friend to visibly show where they have been in map form, by scratching off each country. If they are planning to own their own home eventually this can be a great keepsake of all their adventures which they can frame.

So there you have a couple of great suggestions for great gifts for the traveller in your life. These are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of possible gifts – in truth there are numerous things you could entertain purchasing, it just depends on your friends’ tastes and needs, so keep your eyes open, there’s tons out there!