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Winter Sports–For the Not Sporty

I love traveling in the Northern Hemisphere in the winter: discovering cities covered in snow, enjoying a hot beverage at a train or bus station, wrapping up in a scarf and mittens and taking a brisk walk through a beautiful place. For many of my fair-weather traveling pals, though, winter means just one kind of trip: A ski trip. But me and skis? We don’t get along so well. I’ll be tuning in to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, but I won’t be trying any of the snow sports myself. In college, I tried out snowboarding after someone told me that it would be easier—since you only need to worry about one piece of equipment on your feet, and not […]

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Featurette: Beijing

From mysterious alleys to grand stadiums, Beijing has plenty of things to do and see for all kinds of travelers. Now, I love museums so on my trip to Beijing a few years ago I spent a whole day at the Forbidden City immersed in history, legend and amazing architecture and ornamentation. But, an eight-hour trip to the museum certainly isn’t everybody’s idea of a great time! When we talk about “world cities” Beijing definitely deserves one of the top spots. For one thing, it’s one of the most populous cities on the planet, with *only* 20 million people, give or take a few. By contrast, New York and London each have about 8.3 million people. With that many inhabitants, […]

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Travel Inspiration: Planning a Trip to the Maldives

Long white beaches, deep blue waters, bungalows built just above the quiet water of a lagoon. In the morning, step out of your hotel room and into the sea, bringing along a mask and snorkel for some submarine sightseeing before breakfast. In the afternoon, relax in the shade or sun by the water’s edge on the beach. In the evening, sample fusion cuisine made from fresh-caught fish while you watch the sun sink into the vast, blue sea. One of the most unique, remote, and romantic destinations on the planet, the Maldives has a lot to offer in terms of travel inspiration. But, how does one even go about vacationing in the Maldives? They’re far away, but not hard to […]

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How to Be a Kick-Ass Guest

If you’re a traveler, you’re a guest. Whether you’re staying on someone’s couch, passing through a city just to say “hi” or putting up in the spare room you’re a guest. In a broader meaning, whenever you step foot outside your own hometown or cross the border into another country, you’re a guest. And, as you’ll remember from the lovely adage about guests’ shelf life*, after a few days you start to stink. To stop yourself from becoming what my partner calls a “douchecoucher” (the evil cousin of a couchsurfer), here are some guidelines to becoming a kick-ass guest, someone who is not only a good traveler, but somebody who’ll get invited back for more. Unless you’re friends with a […]

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3 Warming Winter Eats from Around the World

The first time someone asked me if I wanted to eat steamboat, I giggled because I had a mental picture of Mark Twain trying to eat a paddle steamer on the mighty Mississippi, circa 1900. However, steamboat—or hot pot, as it’s possibly more widely known—doesn’t have much to do with American novelists, rivers or even boats themselves. It’s a soup popular all over China and elsewhere in Asia, and is one of the number one best winter meals I’ve ever had.  This do-it-yourself stew is both a meal and an activity: typically you order the soup base and then select from a huge list of ingredients to later cook up in the broth. In Guizhou and Sichuan provinces, where hot […]

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Spring Travel Around the World

I’ve lived much of my life in places where the seasons didn’t matter quite so much. Where “winter” just meant more rain and “summer” was just another notch higher on the air conditioner. I’ve also lived in places where every day showed new signs of the passing of the days. Though enjoying the seasons is often a subtle experience, something that happens gradually as the days slide by on their way to the equinox, through travel, you can get a taste for both seasonal and season-less environments. We’re smack in the middle of the Northern Hemisphere’s spring now. Looking for signs of spring? Here are some places around the world that are famous for just that:     Springtime travelers […]

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Up Close…With a Whale?

Animal encounters while you’re traveling don’t always go according to plan. The first time I visited Australia, I was (very excitedly) taking photos of a flock of colorful parrots nesting high in a tree. Pushing the limits of the camera’s zoom and finding new angles to explore below the birds, I didn’t notice that I was also standing directly under some of the parrots–until I got a rather sticky surprise right on top of my head. Luckily, excursions to see other wild animals, like elephants, tigers, bears and elk, have gone better. I love to observe wild things in their habitat, and hopefully snap off a picture or two. But, as I learned with the parrots, when getting back to […]

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Featurette: Singapore We love the Lion City

City-states have always fascinated me, but none more than Singapore. Home to some 5.3 million people, this island-nation boasts sunny tropical weather; fantastic sightseeing and tourism opportunities; a neat, clean infrastructure; and an intriguing mix of cultures. A visit to Singapore can be anything you want it to be—from a relaxing retreat at a nearby spa; a child-friendly jaunt to local zoos, museums and amusement parks; or a guava-juice-fuelled shopping extravaganza. Backpackers and shoestring travelers can find as much to do here as luxury-hotel enthusiasts, and while it’s true that some careful budgeting may need to be done to make Singapore fit into a longer-term travel plan, visiting this small but vibrant city is well worth it. For the family […]

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Travel Inspiration: An Interview with Nina Ragusa

Editor’s Note: Here’s today’s dose of travel inspiration for you! We’re featuring Nina Ragusa, the one-woman travel dynamo behind the blog “Where in the World is Nina?” Nina is a digital nomad who is petrified of normalcy. After three years of traveling and living abroad, she is showing no signs of slowing down. You can follow her on her blog Where in the World is Nina, and on Facebook and Twitter. Everyday Travel Stories: How did you end up living in Thailand? Nina Ragusa: After deciding that the day-to-day routine wasn’t for me, I decided to teach English abroad. Somewhere in Europe was my first choice, but after comparing the salary to the cost of living, I immediately turned my head […]

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Amazing Beaches in the Greek Islands

Every country has outstanding attributes. In Chile, you can’t go wrong wth the wine. In Australia, you’re missing out if you don’t see the vibrant wildlife. In France, take note of the architecture. And in Greece, you ought to see the islands. For millenia Greeks have built trade routes, villages and myth on and around the 6,000 islands that dot the Agean and Ionian seas. Of these the 200-some that are inhabited were populated based on soil quality, safe harbors and other natural qualities. Those things are still important–nowadays, travelers from around the world come to the Greek islands to sample ouzo and farm- and sea-fresh cuisine, to walk along storied paths between ancient monuments and to take ferries between […]

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