Category: Travel

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Between The Bajau And Blood Tests

For three weeks we had been travelling up through Sulawesi, the Spider Isle: one of the largest islands of the Indonesian archipelago, home to sprawling jungles, untamed beaches and enigmatic cultures. The journey to the islands was long and tiring.
Being cut off worried me – I suffer from Type 1 Diabetes and Addison’s disease. The safety blanket of hospitals and healthcare that I was used to at home in the UK felt very far away.
Ted Lamb is a documentary photographer and storyteller who focuses on social & environmental issues.
Website: www.tedlamb.com
Instagram: @tedlambphoto
Sidetracked

Category: Travel

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Maniflowba

Like many good trips, this one started as a small idea, but over the years it morphed into a trip of fairy-tale status. Coined the Maniflowba trip by the brotherhood of kayakers dreaming of an exploratory mission into Manitoba, this one had the potential to be a complete flop.
Sidetracked
Written by Carmen Kuntz // Photography by David Jackson
Read more from this adventure in Dream – a Single Moment feature in the brand new Sidetracked Volume Nine
For freelance writer Carmen Kuntz, work and play are a blend of whitewater and words. Currently based out of Ottawa, Canada, she lives the semi-nomadic life of a whitewater kayaker and seeks to share stories of self-propelled adventure and recreation conservation.
Website: www.carmenekuntz.pressfolios.com
Instagram: @carmenekuntz
David Jackson is an assignment photographer who will be spending 2017 photographing Canada’s last voyageur as he traverses the North American continent by solo canoe. Follow the story of Mike Ranta and his dog Spitzii as they cross Canada by canoe.
Website: www.davidjacksonphoto.com
Instagram: @davidjackson__
Facebook: /DavidJacksonPhoto

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Path of the Panda

This was the Anzihe Nature Reserve in November, a 101km2 swath of Conservation International and Sichuan Government co-managed mountainous bamboo forest and moss-choked jungle. But, lying on the eastern edge of China’s western Qionglai Mountains, Anzihe is known for much more than leeches. It has one of the densest giant panda populations in China.
Post by Kyle Obermann. Kyle is an environmental and adventure photographer based in Beijing since 2014. He focuses on using his Mandarin and photography to promote conservation and sustainable exploration in China: the other side of the smog. Follow and support Conservation International’s work in China on Facebook.
Website: kyleobermannphotography.com
Instagram: @kyleobermann
Sidetracked

Category: Travel

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On the Coffin Road

On our second day in Derbyshire, we walked from Edale to Hollins Cross. Turns out it’s also known as the “coffin road".
Burial parties on the old route from Edale to the parish church at Castleton, before the village got its own church in Victorian times, used to stop for prayers at Hollins Cross on the ridge dividing the two valleys. [David Hey, A History of the Peak District Moors, Chapter 8]
We weren’t carrying a coffin—nor was anyone else we encountered—and we didn’t know to stop for prayers, either. Instead, we stopped, ate our sandwiches, and admired the views of the valleys and, off in the distance, Mam Tor.

Category: Travel

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In an English Plague Village

Every year, tens of thousands of people visit the Derbyshire village of Eyam, drawn by stories of its catastrophic plague and the heroic response it elicited.
Listening lists - from Franz Liszt to Camille Saint-Saëns - complete with program note references and videos - are included.
Credits: The sources for quotations may be found at the links in the text. As always on the blog unless indicated otherwise, the photographs are mine.

Category: Travel

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Paddle and Portage in Patagonia

Perched on the gunwale of a fishing boat I watched rain dancing on the water. At my side was Seumas, my best friend, who had flown from Scotland to join me in perhaps the only place on Earth wetter and windier than home. Catching a fleeting glance beneath his hood we shared the same unspoken thought: What are we doing here?
Will Copestake is a freelance guide and adventurer. Born in the North of Scotland, Will’s love of the outdoors grew around a childhood spent on the local coast and hills. Since then Will has travelled around the world exploring New Zealand and Iceland on foot and kayaking in Patagonia and Norway. Will is best known for his ‘Machair to Munro’ expedition in his home country of Scotland which involved a 1600km solo kayak around the border before heading inland by bike to climb the 282 Munro mountains through the winter in a journey lasted 364 days.
Website: www.willcopestakemedia.com
Facebook: WillCopestakeMedia
Twitter: @WillCopestake
Instagram: @WillCopestake
Thanks to the following sponsors for their support:
Hilleberg // Rab // Powertraveller // Dhu Performance Cashmere Kokatat // Werner

Category: Travel

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Beer Walking in Lisbon

While walking around Lisbon (or any other city for that matter) I figured that there were some good beer culture experiences to be found. I was not disappointed.
Prime Passages

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Haida Gwaii - One Man’s West-Coast Wilderness

Dave had craved an escape from his city job, his stifling office and his tailored suit. He used to work for the Canadian Government, managing the use of natural resources – coal, oil, gas – after studying Geology as a young man.
We were the first human contact he’d had in thirty days and I figured hurrying him up, or even communicating with him, might be difficult. We called his name and coaxed him out of the forest, like coaxing a wild animal from his familiar den.
The author Helen Taylor is a writer and photographer who recently graduated from the University of Bristol with a BA in Classical Studies. She has spent the last year working and travelling on the West Coast of British Columbia, Canada.
Website: helenviolet.weebly.com
Instagram: @helenviolet.taylor
Sidetracked

Category: Travel

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Home Comforts in South America

Laura Bingham describes the early stages of her 7,000km bikepacking adventure through South America with no money, whilst hauling her bike up the hills in the Ecuadorian Andes. Here, the story continues from later in the expedition.
Sidetracked

Category: Travel

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Economy of Spirit: Haiti

In a country with little tourism and severely broken infrastructure, resources are not there to be consumed, we quickly found, but to be sourced and constructed.
Sidetracked

Category: Travel

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Ski Pakistan: Youth Outreach Ski Camp

Pakistan has its own rules and way of life. Our first encounter with the country had already revealed the most important lesson we would learn along the way: time is relative.
Sidetracked

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Fun Things to do in Minnesota During Winter

Unlike most destinations that run out of things to do the colder it gets, Minnesota has plenty to offer in the winter. If you are looking for adventures as the cold months roll in, here are a couple of fun things to do in Minnesota.

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A Walk in the Celts

Paddleboarding on the West Coast of Scotland.
Sidetracked

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The Siren Song of the Britannic

Kea, or Tzia, is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea’s Cyclades archipelago, characterized by hilly countryside and quiet beaches.
Sidetracked

Category: Travel

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Wet Toes: Iceland Bikepacking

It was 9.30pm and a gravel road snaked towards a distant horizon of mountains and glaciers, burnished gold in the evening sun. Tired but grinning we attached our luggage, swung our legs over the bikes and started pedalling.
Sidetracked

Category: Travel

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Paddle and Portage In Patagonia

Patagonia is a sparsely populated region located at the southern end of South America, shared by Argentina and Chile. The region comprises the southern section of the Andes mountains as well as the deserts, steppes and grasslands east of this southern portion of the Andes.
Sidetracked

Category: Travel

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Tour Of Monte Rosa

The Monte Rosa is a mountain massif located in the eastern part of the Pennine Alps. It is located between Switzerland (Valais) and Italy (Piedmont and Aosta Valley). Monte Rosa is the second highest mountain in the Alps and western Europe.
Some things you experience, not because you have to - but because you want to.
Sidetracked

Category: Travel

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Return to the Arctic

The warmth of the morning sun broke through our damp tents, and our spirits were renewed with the distant sounds of a prop plane echoing against the valley walls.
Sidetracked

Category: Travel

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The Final Hours: Amateur Rowers Cross the Atlantic

In March this year, five amateur rowers set two world records after becoming the first team to row unsupported from mainland Europe to mainland South America. Oliver Bailey recounts their final day, navigating through Venezuelan waters renowned for drug trafficking and piracy.

Category: Travel

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Sary-Chelek: A Distant Beauty

The Sary-Chelek Nature Reserve is located in Jalal-Abad Region in western Kyrgyzstan. The Reserve was established in 1959, and in 1978 it was designated as a World Biosphere reserve by UNESCO.
Caravanistan
CC BY-SA 4.0

Category: Travel

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Eclipse

Reuben is standing over a kilometre away from his subjects – riders from the Salomon Freeski team. They in turn are 384,400km away from their backdrop – the moon, which is 149.6 million km away from the sun, and is about to pass directly in front of it.

Category: Travel

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Top 5 Inspirational Cities for Writers

Here are my top five choices, in no particular order, of inspirational cities for writers.

Category: Travel

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Paradise Lost: Papua New Guinea

Anna Frost tells her story of returning, with only fragmented memories, to Papua New Guinea – nearly 3 decades after her family had left – to run and explore the Highlands. Dean Leslie followed her journey.

Category: Travel

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Sinning In Sydney

Travel these days is not a comfortable experience. Spend any time in coach class on a flight - especially a flight down to Australia - and you'll find yourself in need of a drink...or two. Fortunately, Sydney has plenty of options to offer.
All photos by Keith Allison.

Category: Cocktails

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The Nomadic Souls Project

A celebrated and internationally acclaimed ethnographic and adventure photographer, Cat has dedicated much of her career to capturing the ancient customs of nomadic tribes around the world.

Category: Travel

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A Topography of Solitude

I saw not a single sign of human presence. Shrouded in solitude, my emotional topography mirrored the valleys and peaks I had traversed in this land of Patagonia.

Category: Travel

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Ecotourism Builds Sustainable Economies

It can be wonderful for a culture to share their most treasured or sacred sites with the world. More people get the opportunity to experience these amazing places, and the host country gains more attention and a boost to their economy. Unfortunately, a thriving tourism industry means lots of people, and people bring all sorts of things that end up being detrimental to an environment

Category: Travel

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From Yakutsk to Okhotsk

The first explorers in the vast Siberian wilderness had to endure unbelievable physical stress. If we had known that we would have to expect similar hardship almost 300 years later, we would probably have never set out on this expedition.

Category: Travel

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A River Cruise Through Germany's Riesling Region

Paris, nous sommes arrivés! We landed in the City of Light exhausted, yet ready to pack in as much as we could in less than 48-hours. Who can sleep on a Trans-Atlantic flight knowing you get to tick off a box from your travel bucket list? Go on a river boat cruise through Europe: check!

Category: Travel

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Big Cats and Bus Shelters

Walking India: the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.

Category: Travel

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Paris Hot Chocolate Tastings

The quest is on to find those hot chocolate nooks – not the chains or the ones found in every Paris guide book.
This list contains the names and information of places I will or I have tried. Please help add to the list with your comments!

Category: Travel

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A Book of Laughter and Forgetting

Even under load, walking is solace and a conduit to creativity. The mind drifts in the rhythm of steps and laboured breaths, ideas coalesce as they become untethered from the usual patterns of thoughts.
Discover what it's like to go highlining in the central highlands of Tasmania. Video included.
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
Česká republika — Россия – Straya
Riggers: Kamil Sustiak / Simon Madden / Alex Bog / Stepan Novikov. First Ascent: Stepan Novikov, 9th of January, 2016

Category: Travel

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Winter Hiking In The Southern Rockies

Winter in the Southern Rockies can be cold and snowy at times, but I have found that winter weather rarely gets in the way of getting out for a hike here. I still try to get a hike in every day during the winter and I find it to have its own unique attributes, benefits, and considerations.
I have collected up several bits of poetry and prose related to hiking in the winter that ring with me and they follow below interspersed with photos from some of my hikes through the winter.

Category: Sports

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Whitewater Canoeing: Little Nahanni

The 14-day canoe expedition down the narrow Little Nahanni River was my introduction to whitewater canoeing. The river, located in the Northwest Territories of Canada, runs through both Nahanni and Naats’ich’oh Canadian Park Reserves and has almost constant class III+ whitewater.

Category: Travel

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Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome

Which building is the most important in the world? One of the contenders for that title is Saint Peter's Basilica. This giant church tells a tale of the limitless power of religion and politics, and above all, about the immense creativity of humans.

Category: Travel

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A Day In The Parks

The San Pedro Parks Wilderness, located in the Jemez Mountains of North-Central New Mexico is 40,000+ acres of remote country … much of it at altitudes exceeding 10,000 feet (3048 m). The nearest town and easiest access is from the town of Cuba to the west. This wilderness is administered by the U.S. Forest Service’ Santa Fe National Forest. There are multiple trails that criss-cross the area and we found that the signage that exists on the ground did not necessarily match the labeling on our topo map.

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The Beer Travel Guide To Tucson

In the Southwest, it's Arizona rising as far as craft beer goes. With a statewide brewing scene that's just starting to make waves, folks are turning to cities like Tucson for a look into this recent beer ingenuity.

Category: Craft Beer

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The Great Himalaya Trail

The Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) is a proposed route of over 4500 km of existing trails stretching the length of the Greater Himalaya range from Nanga Parbat (Jam-mu & Kashmir, Pakistan) to Namche Barwa (Tibet) thus passing through Kashmir, India, Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet. When completed, it will be the longest and highest alpine walking track in the world. As of July 2010, only the Nepal and Bhutan sections have been walked and documented thoroughly. The other countries are still being researched. Winding beneath the world’s highest peaks and visiting some of the most remote communities on earth, it passes through lush green valleys, arid high plateaus and incredible mountainous landscapes. Nepal’s documented GHT has 10 sections comprising a network of upper and lower routes.

Category: Travel

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Bones Abroad: Rochester, New York

I am originally from Rochester, NY, and I head back here for the holiday season to spend time with family and friends. It was within this city that I became inspired to pursue archaeology and cemetery studies, so I thought it was about time I share some of the wonderfully morbid and archaeology related sites that you can visit if you happen to pass through Rochester.

Category: History

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Phallic Drawings & Other Cultural Exchanges

Epiphanies over condiments and sandwich toppings are not something to celebrate. What is interesting, however, is the universal humor found in phallic drawings.

Category: Travel

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Amsterdam’s Wonderful Bicycle Culture

I recently spent some time in the Netherlands, specifically Amsterdam, while on conference. During the week I was there I became quite enamored with the city.

Category: Travel

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Bar 54: A Reason To Go To Times Square?

Chances are if you live in New York City, you don’t love Times Square. This is one statement that I believe applies to natives and transplants alike. However, if your office isn’t in midtown, there will inevitably be a time where you will have to go to the area – probably when a friend is visiting you from out of town. So why not make the best of it and drink well? Perhaps this wasn’t the inspiring idea behind Bar 54, the new sky-high bar in the Hyatt Times Square curated by Julie Reiner, but for locals, it will be the enduring one.
All images by Edmund DeGuzman.

Category: Cocktails

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Lukenbach, Texas

In 1977 in the midst of the glory days of bands like Supertramp, Kansas, Eagles, Rush, Lynard Skynard, Fleetwood Mac, and Santana and Pink Floyd, a catchy song started being played everywhere that served as a countrified counterpoint. Waylon Jennings rendition of Luckenbach, Texas was that song. Out of that experience, I have maintained a curiosity about the namesake of the song, and decided to go have a look. Soundtrack included...!

Category: Travel

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A Journey Through Eastern Bhutan

Merak is a small village in the Trashigang district in Far East Bhutan, inhabited by the Brokpa (which translates to ‘highlander’) people. Eastern Bhutan is very rural by nature and design, but this is one of the only villages in the country not accessible by a road.

Category: Travel

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Virgin Trails in a Super Volcano

I love it when I have a chance to hike a trail I've not been on before. It's an added bonus in this day and age when I know that relatively few people at all have ever hiked that trail. The Valles Caldera National Preserve in the Jemez (pronounced "hay-mez") Mountains of northern New New Mexico offers both kinds of experience owing to it only relatively recently being opened for access to hikers.

Category: Travel

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Notre Dame De Paris

Notre Dame de Paris is one of the most iconic and best-known man made landmarks in the world. More than 13 million people visit this cathedral each year.

Category: Travel

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After the Dog Sled

A pack of dogs kick up the snow with their strides forward. There are only 35 more meters to go, but the hounds’ muscles are clearly strained. With their tongues lolling in the crisp, fresh air, they labor to pull a sled, a driver and its passenger, me, towards the top of the hill. A few more meters of pulling, and then finally, the panting dogs arrive.

Category: Travel

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Detour Seattle: The Beer Scene

I don’t get to travel back home very often, but when I do make the trek up to the Seattle area, I’m always very excited to see how the beer scene is doing. I didn’t really get a chance to enjoy or explore the Pacific Northwest’s microbreweries growing up, so beer didn’t enter my drinking vocabulary until later in college. I was a pretty responsible kid. I do remember the Red Hook and Pyramid brands; both threw work at my Dad’s sign shop and I can vividly recall our house filled with tap handles from these, as well as Samuel Adams, but that was way back when.

Category: Craft Beer

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Skellig Michael Monastery

The monastery on Skellig Michael is a true gem of medieval Ireland.
Early Christian monasteries seem to be built in weird and almost inaccessible places but this one is very special. Built on a steep rock rising from a stormy sea at the far western borders of the medieval Christian world, it seems improbable that monks managed to live here between the 7th and 13th century!

Category: Travel

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In the Midst of Mozambique’s Killers

Over the past few years I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world, documenting its best scuba diving destinations. I’ve dived with manta rays in Madagascar, cow sharks off Cape Town, and dolphins, humpback whales and their calves in Zanzibar. But when I’m asked about my most memorable underwater experience, there is one moment that stands head and shoulders above any others.

Category: Travel

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An Anglophile’s First Trip to Great Britain

Having retired a year and a half ago, I have a bucket list that needs to be filled. First on that list is trip to The British Isles. My father, Yankee through and through, was always called, "Limey Lytton" by his buddies. Our name (Lytton) is Anglo-Saxon in derivation. Although not an obscure, it is somewhat uncommon. As a kid I would look for the Lyttons listed in the phone book and ask my folks if we could go meet them - after all, they must be family, right?

Category: Travel

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Backpacking Through Vietnam: Part III

Aside from the rusty train tracks that connect the north and south, Vietnam lacks a comprehensive system of direct roadways into dozens of cities. The road to Nha Trang would be through the countryside on dirt roads with green jungle surrounding—uneven, steep, and mysterious.
We had lost valuable time while I recovered from anaphylactic shock. I had heard about overnight buses and assumed those would be ideal for our journey forward to Nha Trang—we could at least make up some time. This plan, however, was hatched in a steroidal haze and doomed from the beginning.

Category: Travel

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8 Good Reasons to Cycle Iceland

When choosing a good cycling location, several factors come into play. For us, apart from visiting the country where we met over 10 years ago, we came up with 8 other very good reasons to return to Iceland.

Category: Travel

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Church of Santa Coloma d'Andorra

Andorra is rich with medieval churches and the oldest one is the Church of Santa Coloma d'Andorra, which was constructed between the 8th and 9th centuries.

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Malta: Mnajdra

Mnajdra, one of the world’s oldest stone structures, is comprised of three prehistoric temples.
Skilled craftsmen built them many centuries before the Egyptian pyramids and Stonehenge. Prehistoric people had truly great abilities - it seems that these temples have been planned and aligned according to the Sun, serving as a kind of calendar.

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Hiking Colombia’s Lost City of Teyuna

Swarms of aqua-blue butterflies, foaming waterfalls, hidden swimming lagoons, lime-green parakeets and chirping songbirds high up in the trees – this was what I’d come to find in the verdant Colombian jungle, along the winding trail to the Lost City.

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Backpacking Through Vietnam: Part II

Admittedly, I know very little about Vietnamese history, and even less about its modern political and cultural awareness. Having some experience living in a country that’s divided geographically and ideologically (South Korea—where I lived for 15 months) I should have guessed that northern Vietnam would be distinct from the south. But like so many things on the trip so far, assumptions were becoming somewhat of a novelty.
To read Part I of this series, click here.

Category: Travel

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Kayaks and Islands

The air is very still here, and the outlines of the islands change with every passing flicker of heat. It’s as if the sky is sucking the land upward, all that simmering casting a dreamlike aura over the entire landscape – a thick and beautiful hallucination if ever there was one. I’ve been paddling and hiking the Baja peninsula for eight days now and yet my mind still has trouble grasping the reality of what it must have been like living in this arid – yet paradisal – place eons ago. Traces of human life have been found on these islands going back 11,000 years. With their desert sands, salt water, summer hurricanes and the unbearable heat – with every plant covered in spikes and wildlife so sparse as to be almost invisible in this hostile landscape – it’s a wonder anyone managed to live here at all.

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Assumption Cathedral In Volodymyr-Volynskyi

The Assumption Cathedral in Volodymyr-Volynskyi is one of the oldest existing buildings in the Ukraine and is located near the Polish border. This westernmost cathedral of Kievan Rus is a resurrected monument dating back to the time before the Mongol invasions.

Category: Travel

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Alcohol Professor’s 10 Best Bars in the US

Here at The Alcohol Professor we’re all about spreading the love around. When it came time to write an article about the 10 best bars in the United States, we didn’t want it populated almost exclusively with joints from New York, or San Francisco, as so often happens. (No fault to NYC or SF, you do great work—but so do other places!) Below, you will find a fastidiously researched list of America’s best bars, spread out over the entire country, with no city overlap. [Editor’s note: It’s our first real Top 10 List, so we thought we’d start with a Top 10 of everyone’s Top 10. These are the drinking establishments that everyone insists are the “If you have only one night in ____ this place is not to be missed” places.] Enjoy!

Category: Travel

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The Places We Find Ourselves

Her official title was faculty sponsor. But in the confusion of post-Katrina New Orleans, Kristin Van Tassel realized the slippery nature of the roles we all play.

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Landmarks of Monaco / Monaco Cathedral

The world’s second smallest state is also world’s richest, and it shows! Some of the most amazing landmarks in Monaco include the famous casino, opera house, opulent hotels and city palaces.

Category: Travel

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Backpacking Through Vietnam: Part I

My backpack was heavy. An inexperienced backpacker, I could hardly anticipate that a hair straightener would be needless, flip-flops and a sports bra invaluable. The science of packing for a trip to a third world country was less complicated than I thought.

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United Arab Emirates: Attractions and Landmarks

Arab countries keep the wondrous spirit of One Thousand and One Nights alive - and none do it better than The United Arab Emirates.
This small country surprises the whole world with the realization of incredible ambitions. Cities of Emirates, especially Dubai and Abu Dhabi serve as showcases of latest achievements in engineering and architecture.

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Places to Visit: Glacier National Park

If you’re someone who enjoys exploring our national parks, adventuring on long hikes, and appreciating nature through a new lens, Glacier National Park in Montana should be at the top of your Must-See travel list. Although Glacier and Yellowstone are widely known, I still did not know what to expect to see and experience while there, and the countless Google searches I did were not nearly as beautiful as the actual park itself. In case any readers are looking to venture out to Glacier sometime soon, here are a few of my recommendations and pieces of advice

Category: Travel

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10 Locations With Unusual Meteorological Phenomena

There are rare locations in the world where one can experience unique, highly unusual phenomena related to meteorology.
Following is an alphabetic list of 10 such locations. Some of these phenomena have been explained, but some have no explanation. All these monuments belong in the category of ‘Sites of Meteorological Phenomena’.

Category: Travel

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Volga Summer: A Source To Sea Descent

The Volga River flows across Russia from north to south.
Emerging from the rolling, green hills north of Moscow it meanders south and empties into the Caspian Sea some 2300 miles later. Paddling its entire length revealed to me a country and population so unlike their caricatures as to be positively confounding.

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Sri Lanka: Somawathie Stupa

In 1947, Buddhist Monk Sirimalwatte Piyaratana Thera was traveling with several other monks through the remote jungle in the northern part of Sri Lanka when they noticed a bright ray of light rising from the jungle towards the sky. As they reached this light, they discovered an ancient stupa covered by the jungle. Thus the legendary and mysterious Somawathie Stupa was rediscovered two millenia after its construction.

Category: Travel

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A Tale Of Two Twains

Although known first as a novelist, humorist, and regionalist, Mark Twain was a prolific travel writer as well. He wrote five travel books: The Innocents Abroad (1869), Roughing It (1872), A Tramp Abroad (1880), Life on the Mississippi (1883), and Following the Equator (1897).
Kristin Van Tassel considers two books about Mark Twain, arguably America's greatest traveler -- and travel writer.

Category: Travel

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The Classic Haute Route

"The Haute Route, (or the High Route or Mountaineers' Route) is the name given to a route (with several variations) undertaken on foot or by ski touring between Chamonix in France and Zermatt in Switzerland."
The weather is perfect – not a cloud in the sky and little in the way of wind.
From time to time, I steal glances at the panorama surrounding us and, in truth, this is without any doubt one of the most thrilling, inspiring days I have spent in the mountains.
Andrew Mazibrada is an adventure travel and outdoor writer and photographer. He is a member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild and is Joint Editor for Sidetracked.

Category: Travel

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The California Poppy and Ten Meadows to Visit

The California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica Cham.) can be found growing in the diverse conditions of the western part of North America from as far north as Oregon and reaching as far south as Baja California.
A single orange (often - yellow) flower of this plant emits a fragile and exquisite beauty but there are locations where one can see millions of these beautiful flowers growing together.

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Bones Abroad: ComSciCon in Boston

In early June, I attended ComSciCon– a three-day conference for graduate students to learn about how to communicate science. We had the opportunity to meet representatives from NPR, YouTube, Alan Alda Center; writers for Discovery, Scientific American, NOVA; and scientists working on a diverse range of projects including TV show, magazines and societies, and more. The conference was incredible for a number of reasons, but one of them was that it took place in Boston, MA. Boston was founded in 1630, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. Not only is it a great city to visit today- it has a deep past that can sometimes be a little dark. If you are looking for a great weekend trip to learn more about your country’s history, both the glorious and morbid, Boston is perfect for you.

Category: Travel

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Batalha Monastery, Portugal

Batalha Monastery is not just a monastery; it is a lot more than this. It is a monument to the unity of Portugal, a union between Portugal and England, an expression of the power of Aviz dynasty and, above all, a wonderful monument of architecture and art.

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Into Seclusion- Traversing the Lyngen Alps

If you are seeking solitude, divorced from the coddling proximity of our civilized world, then you may find your vision turn towards remote mountains and dramatic landscapes to satisfy that yearning for quietened isolation. This is what happened with Christopher Jones, winner of last year’s Sidetracked grant: The Adventure Fund. Along with three fellow cavers from Wales, Chris set out to traverse the Lyngen Alps in northernmost Norway. Dave Powlesland, Chris Jones, Ian Peachey and Greg Kemp boarded a plane to Tromsø to set off on an adventure. This is their story.
The Lyngen Alps Traverse team were the winners of the 2013 The Adventure Fund grant, in association with Sidetracked Magazine. The Adventure Fund is an annual award set up to aid the process of turning innovative ideas for adventures and expeditions into a reality. The deadline for grant applications is March 1st. For more information please visit: theadventurefund.com

Category: Travel

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Diamonds In The Desert

Raise your hand if you’ve heard of or remember the futuristic design of the 1950s dubbed the Googie architecture movement? Stay with me, you may be surprised.
Entering Las Vegas, Nevada, from California on Arrowhead Highway/Highway 91, now called “the Strip,” you can still find remnants of roadside America from its motoring past. One of the not so ubiquitous treasures is the Diamond Inn Motel built in 1940.

Category: Travel

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Great Blue Hole Of Belize

Photographs taken from the air show an incredible, nearly perfectly round, deep blue circle in a shallow atoll some 70 km east from Belize City. This unique formation is known as the Great Blue Hole – an enormous sinkhole that has existed for at least 150,000 years.
The coast of Belize (and Mexico) is adorned with several elongated atolls. The Lighthouse Reef Atoll is located further away from the mainland. The Great Blue Hole is located in the central part of this atoll.

Category: Travel

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Al Khazneh, Petra

There are hundreds of magnificent ancient cities around the world but none are similar to Petra. This amazing city was developed by the Nabateans in a labyrinth of narrow canyons with some of the most beautiful structures having been carved directly into the sandstone cliff.

Category: Travel

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A Trip To Carmel

After a six and a half hour drive from the warmth of Orange County, we roll up, a little past 9 p.m, to a quaint Bavarian themed hotel, named the Hofsas House. We are immediately greeted by a kind woman who is eager to check us in, for we’re the last arrivals of the night. We unload the car and make our way to our room. The air is cool and crisp, filled with the smell of salt and sweet flowers.
Carmel allowed our cares to melt away and steered our focus to the other’s wants, needs and dreams. Our biggest worry being where to find another bottle of wine at midnight. Join us as we sip and taste our way through this very special town!

Category: Travel

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Swallowing Fear In San Miguel de Allende

Stories can help us face the anxieties and uncertainties of being human. And the people who tell these stories can also challenge us, or inspire us, to learn again what it means to live in this world.
An 81-year-old Mexican writer, a literary luminary speaking English in her home country—and a young student who loves her—showed me what it means to speak with courage, to take a risk, to offer language to another as a gift.

Category: Travel

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Taung Kalat: Burma (Myanmar)

One of the most sacred places in Burma is Popa Taung Kalat – an incredible monastery perched on the top of a cliff. Burmese pilgrims come here to worship nats - sacred spirits. Here you'll learn about Nats, the sacred mountain, and even some wonderful legends.

Category: Travel

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Burma: Main Attractions

For many years, Burma (Myanmar) was rarely visited by foreign tourists, though it is a gorgeous and very diverse country, rich in both cultural and natural heritage.
Many of its landmarks are little known, or are out of reach to a general tourist. Many of those which are better known belong along side the most surprising and beautiful landmarks in the world.

Category: Travel

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St. Basil's Cathedral, Moscow

One of the visually most surprising buildings in the world is Saint Basil’s Cathedralin Moscow, Russia. This amazing church was built 450 years ago next to the Moscow Kremlin.
The history of this church dates back to Ivan the Terrible - the tsar of Russia who reigned from 1533 to 1584.

Category: Travel

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Cannes Film Festival: A Guide for Newbies

Refer to Cannes, the town, and people will often assume you're headed to the film fest. Typically called the "Cannes Film Festival" in English, the official French name is actually le Festival de Cannes. Seem like an insider and not a newbie by pronouncing the town like the word "can" (yes, a can of soda) instead of "cans" (plural) or "kahns".

Category: Travel

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Mingora Emerald Mines of Pakistan

It seemed that the gorgeous emeralds from Mingora (Pakistan) were discovered fairly recently - in 1958. New information though, shows that these stones were mined some 2500 years ago and served as jewels for the rich and powerful in Ancient Rome, in the area of present day France. How could something so beautiful be lost for so long?

Category: Travel

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A Mountain Bike Adventure: Malta

This first episode in a series of Mountain Bike Adventures sees world explorer, adventurer and mountain biker Manu Bustelo head to the islands of Malta and Gozo in the Mediterranean to ride the trails, explore the landscape and experience the culture. The trip is shaped by the people he meets on the islands.

Category: Travel

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Climbing The Pika Glacier: Sidetracked Adventure Fund Winners 2014

It’s 12:30pm on a Thursday. A week ago, I was finishing my 8-hour board exam for medical school, and now I’m in the middle of a near-whiteout on a granite wall towering over the Pika Glacier, deep in the Alaska Range. Fog moves in and out, providing glimpses of the glacier in the distance and the rocky peaks a mile away. As Ian tiptoes his way in ski boots up the granite crack above the ledge I’m standing on, cascades of snow rumble down the couloir 50 feet to our right. The fog amplifies the sound so it sounds more like a big wave crashing than snow sliding. Shrouding our views, the fog also creates spatial ambiguity. Where exactly are these slides being released from and where are they going? Are we in the slide path? As if mocking us, another deep rumble of snow starts cascading over the granite wall a few hundred feet to our left. This one rockets over hundreds of feet of overhanging granite, the fresh Alaskan snow slowly dissipating into the foggy air below.

Category: Travel

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Climbing in East Greenland

A decade-long desire to visit Greenland and the allure of journeying by boat into virgin territory to attempt unclimbed peaks, two or more days away from civilization, is what inspired us to set our sights on Timmiarmiut, an area of fjords, granite walls, peaks and spires 300km south of Tasiilaq, East Greenland.

Category: Travel

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Hot Air Balloon Journey Below Earth’s Surface

Half way through our sunrise shift in the mine, we get a brief moment to take it all in. The sun’s rays are just ready to break the crest of the wall and fill the cavern with bright morning light. The air is still and crisp allowing us to almost hover in place, a thousand feet below the Earth’s surface in a hot air balloon. Balloons were once cutting edge technology, the first craft to take humans into the sky. The principles are still the same, hot air rises and balloons go with the wind. Our only means of control are to ride invisible layers of directional air currents to “steer” to a desired location. Large international competitions challenge the world’s best pilots to precision flying tasks with much made of the winners. But it’s not only prize money and world rankings that pilots chase, adventure flying attracts a small but growing number of pilots to apply their skills in less than hospitable environments.

Category: Travel

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Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro: Part 2

Like a procession of overdressed zombies holding walking poles, we’ve been staggering uphill on this loose volcanic rock since midnight. My watch reads 4:14 a.m. Although our pace rivals that of a snail, my chest heaves laboriously as my lungs struggle to extract oxygen from the stingy air. The five layers of clothing are strangling me like a Gore-Tex, down-filled anaconda. I can no longer feel my toes. A full moon hangs overhead, but does little to illuminate the barren landscape before us.

Category: Travel

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The Great Sphinx Of Giza, Egypt

No one knows for sure why or when the Great Sphinx of Giza -the largest monolithic statue in the world -was built. But it is likely this is the oldest monumental sculpture in the world. As happens in many cultures, the men of weight in Egypt wanted to preserve their status after death. One way to achieve this was to be buried in a sacred place, thus raising the deceased to the status of gods. The sacred Giza Plateau was used as the necropolis of pharaohs and other important people since the 27th century BC. Here were the most amazing structures of the antique world – the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx.

Category: History

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Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro: Part 1

When most people think of vacations, they envision themselves lounging on a sunny beach, sipping a drink out of a coconut, while hotel staff tend to their every need. Although there is nothing especially wrong with this type of holiday, my wife and I tend to favor something more adventurous and active. This past summer Marina and I took some time off to travel in Africa, visiting Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Namibia and South Africa. One of the highlights of our time in Africa was our summit to the top of Africa’s highest mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro. In this two-part NoteStream, I will summarize the 8-day hike using notes I made each evening in our tent.

Category: Travel

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Miami: City Of The Future

Everyone agrees. Miami is America’s hottest metropolis, our current conurbation of cool, but it hasn’t always been that way. When I first checked out Miami, back in 1980, the city was universally denounced as a pariah destination—unfashionable as well as doomed.
Esquire magazine sent me down there because I was a war correspondent. My assignment: to figure out what the hell was going on in the erstwhile palm-fringed paradise that all of a sudden had become America’s most notorious dateline. The first thing I discovered, as you still discover today, is that Miami is full of surprises. It just isn’t what you expect.

Category: Travel

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Luxembourg: Where to Stay & Eat!

It’s time to take you to a warmer place in time, where the sun is kissing your skin and short sleeve maxi dresses are a closest staple – summer. New York has been deathly cold and there’s no other place I’d rather be than walking past than the Grand Ducal Palace in Luxembourg enjoying a tasty cone. Now that I think about it, I’d love to recreate that entire trip if possible. But because we can’t turn back time, yet, let me tell you a few places you must try when in Luxembourg next!

Category: Travel

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Visiting “The True Japan”: Snow Country

A little more than five hours from neon-buzzed Tokyo lies a very different Japan, one of thatched-roof houses and black nights illuminated by lantern light. Pico Iyer travels to the country’s snowy western region to explore two villages untouched by modernity—and alive with their own quiet magic.

Category: Travel

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National Garden: Plants & Sustainable Practices

As Congress meets in the halls of the U.S. Capitol, a small group of AOC employees toil in the heat a few hundred yards away to help a living national treasure thrive in an urban center. This is the National Garden at the U.S. Botanic Garden. Conceived as an outdoor laboratory for gardening in harmony with natural ecosystems, the National Garden opened to the public on October 1, 2006. It provides “living laboratories” for environmental, horticultural and botanical education in a contemplative setting.

Category: Gardening

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When In Luxembourg

There are quite a few things to see and do while in Luxembourg, so we’ll start with my solo excursion in Luxembourg City. Sometimes the best sightseeing are the one you discover on your own, while randomly taking buses and being too proud to admit, “I’m lost.” Hey… my pride is your gain.
All photos taken with Ricoh’s PENTAX K-50.

Category: Travel

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Grand Entrance: The Orient Express

A century ago, travel wasn’t just about how to get most efficiently from point A to point B: It was as much about the glamour of the journey. Today, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express – still traversing in its iconic route from Venice to Paris – reminds us that a slow arrival is often the most memorable. Cue the monogrammed trunks…

Article by Lindsay Talbot
Photography by Benjamin Bouchet
Styling by Céline Marioni
Prop styling by Aurélien Maillé

Category: Travel

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Travel Guide To Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal, but it's much more than that. The oldest city in Western Europe by centuries, it has a rich history well worth exploring. Here we'll take a look at some of the top sights and museums that you won't want to miss!

Category: Travel

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Lisbon, Portugal: Where To Eat & Shop

This week is all about Lisbon, Portugal. Lisbon, the capital city of the beautiful country of Portugal, was far and away my favorite place of my tour of Europe. Waters so crisp and blue. People so humble. And a city filled with so much culture and color, every shot is photogenic. But, let’s focus on what’s important today… the food and the shopping!

Category: Travel

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Hotels Near Washington, DC: Best of the ‘Burbs

Are you visiting the Washington DC area? D.C. is more than just The District proper. Consider hotels near Washington DC in Maryland and Virginia, which offer easy access to the city but often have cheaper prices, better parking and access to attractions like Mount Vernon, Annapolis or prime shopping in Tysons Corner. Look below for our picks:

Category: Travel

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Five Reasons to Stay or Play in San Mateo/Silicon Valley

They say San Francisco has something for everyone—and that’s true for many travelers seeking a cosmopolitan experience. The streets are busy, the days are fast and the nights are long. But if you’re headed to the Bay Area on vacation, don’t expect something for everyone—discover something new! Here are five reasons to head south of San Fran to San Mateo County/Silicon Valley and discover something just right for you.

Category: Travel

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The Land That Never Melts

The air temperature hovers around -30F, but, burrowed within two sleeping bags, I stay warm for the moment, thinking through the day ahead and the challenges of the uphill route that faces my team as we move toward the high point of the pass through which we’re traveling. We are halfway into a ten-day pulking expedition through Auyuittuq National Park on Baffin Island in Nunavut, Canada. More than 60 miles of Arctic wilderness stretches ahead and behind us to reach the nearest communities of Qikiqtarjuaq and Pangnirtung.

Category: Travel

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Walking the Nile: A Talk With Levison Wood

Many have seen it; most know that a great civilization emerged from its fertile banks; a handful people have even paddled all of it; but Levison Wood plans to be the first person ever to walk the full length of the Nile, from source to sea. On December 1, Lev will begin his 4,250 mile expedition to walk the full length of the Nile river, crossing swathes of the continent in one of the most ambitious and intimate ways possible; encountering modern Africa – its people and its wildlife – face to face and at ground level.

Category: Travel

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A Short Walk Through India

I had never heard of the Kaveri River until I decided to walk across India. I could only squeeze a 6-week trip into my calendar so I cast my eye southwards down India’s triangular shape until I reached a latitude I reckoned I could get across in the time available. And that is how I spotted the holiest of southern India’s rivers. This was starting to sound like an adventure: I would walk from the mouth of the Kaveri on the east shore of India to its source in the mountains, and then drop down from there to the sea on the other side.

Category: Travel

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Running the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler

Are you planning on running the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in Washington, D.C.? Whether it's your first visit to the nation's capital or your annual trip to view the trees, we've got some tips that will make your race day as pleasurable as possible.

Category: Travel

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Ecuador: Beautiful Country With A Beer Problem

It's quite possible you couldn't paint a more beautiful landscape if you tried. Honestly, much of this place looks like a frame right out of Jurassic Park. Thick, lush vegetation pinned between the Andes to one side and Amazonia to the other. You could spend half your time in this place snapping photos worthy of gracing any postcard. The perfect place to enjoy a delicious, hoppy, local pint...
Recent travels had landed me in South America, a respite from the bitter Midwest winter. The country: Ecuador. My to-do list included Andean hikes, Incan ruins, a cuy dinner, something dubbed "the swing at the end of the world" – and a now current staple of any of my travels: a craft beer hunt. The latter being the hardest bit to accomplish, but not much of a surprise really.

Category: Travel

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Montmartre Meandering

A conversation about how unfamiliar my river-side dwelling friends, Katie and Carin, were with the area of Montmartre led to this wonderful day. I've lived in the shadow of the Butte de Montmartre for four years now, it's long been my playground. I was more than happy to show my dear friends around on this rare sunny day a couple of weeks ago.

Category: Travel

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New Hotels With Panache

“To experience the world, is to experience life. To travel the world, well, that is life’s greatest education. It awakens all of the passion stirring inside …”
– Dawn Garcia

We live in a world where design and architecture have freedom to be so much more than the confines of a singular thought. Architects and designers are coming together to create unique experiences around the world.
Below are several brand new hotels that have just opened around the world. Each one is distinctly authentic and rich with story. While some are meant for full luxury (perhaps a “bucket list” inclusion), some are so affordable it would be a shame not go.

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Hotel Erwin - Venice Beach

Situated right near the notorious Venice Boardwalk -with streamlined Edison bulbs hanging from above - the beach is literally a few minute walk from your hotel room. With an oceanfront or street-facing room, a quaint outdoor restaurant, a streamlined bar, and a rooftop to escape to with a fully stocked bar and gorgeous views peering out into the Pacific, this was a fabulous stop for an overnight Staycation.

Category: Travel

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Best Time To Visit The Statue Of Liberty

When I moved to New York City a year ago, one of the first things I did was create a bucket list. Since I moved here knowing this city won’t be my forever home, I wanted to make sure I lived life to the fullest while in New York, and truly took advantage of all the many enchantments this place has to offer. Number four on my bucket list reads, “ Go to the top of Lady Liberty.” I’m so thrilled to say that finally, after an entire year of planning out the best time to tour the Statue, my husband and I can cross this adventure off our list!

Category: Travel

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Glamping at The Ranch at Rock Creek

Reporting on travel has never been a “tough” job. Most of my time is spent in spas, which are usually luxurious and relaxing. So when the subject of glamping came up, I have always been a bit hesitant. So why am I rethinking glamping now?

Category: Travel

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The Best NYC Spots To Get Your Brunch On

Brunch in New York City is more than just another meal. It’s all about the experience. As extreme as it might sound, some New Yorkers would even consider brunching a hobby.
While there are practically brunch spots on every corner in New York, the key to having a more-than-satisfying brunch experience is to know exactly where to go. It all depends on what you are in the mood for. Whether you are craving a boozy brunch or simply the best place to grab a delicious homemade pastry or bagel, luckily for you, I’ve rounded up some of the best go-to places to get your brunch on.

Category: Travel

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Meet Me At The Saloon: New York City

Ever get the feeling certain bars don’t really want you to keep coming back? Those hidden signs, those expensive cocktails with too many esoteric ingredients that take a long time to serve, never mind getting past the host who can make acceptance into an ivy league law school sound less exclusionary, and then once inside, the “bar” doesn’t even have stools and you can’t interact with the person making your drinks… enough already! The beloved neighborhood saloon is back! Here are four New York City establishments with their own takes on the casual-bar-with-quality-drink-ingredients concept. Of course a good saloon has to serve a great burger, and they all have their version of that too.

Category: Travel

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Night At The Hotel: Nocturnal Fun

Contrary to what you might think, congregating at the bar is not the only nighttime activity worth participating in when you’re on vacation. As these luxury properties demonstrate with after-dark golf, hikes and spa treatments, it’s not until the sun goes down that the fun truly picks up.

Category: Travel

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Maui: Health & Wellness Dream Destination

How does a place sound where daily activities include spas, Hawaiian massages, surf camps, hiking and golfing? With health and wellness on our minds these days Maui is the perfect place to experience many of those lovely health and wellness activities that we all adore.

Category: Travel

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Nine Reasons to Visit Europe

For me, traveling has always been thrilling. Exploring new places and seeing new things is exciting. It is what many people enjoy more than anything else. It is such a shame that some people never get out there and see the world. There is a wealth of cultures out there that some will never see. When you plan your next trip, why not go further afield? There is no need to stay here in the US. Why not consider traveling to the continent? Here are nine amazing reasons to visit Europe in 2015.

Category: Travel

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The Gift of Water: Zimbabwe in Crisis

Poor, overlooked water. It is a vital for cooking pasta, rice, grains and soups, yet most recipes don't even include it in their ingredient list, instead casually mentioning the need to add water in the instructions. (This lovingly written recipe is a notable exception.) Water is so available, so commonplace, so seemingly endless a resource. After all, what other ingredient flows directly from the kitchen tap, my dream of installing a hot fudge spigot notwithstanding? In Zimbabwe, however, water is no longer taken for granted.

Category: Travel

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A Quick Trip up the California Central Coast

At the beginning of this summer, I decided to do something rather spontaneous. I figured all the topics I’ve covered, the food I’ve enjoyed, and the cities I’ve been to, in fact everything I’ve written about has been planned out. It was time for something totally off-the-cuff – to just get in the car and drive up the California Coast – during one of the busiest holiday weeks of the year no less: the 4th of July. I wanted to see what was possible if and when any of my readers decided to take a last minute trip during a busy time. And so, the journey began.

Category: Travel

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Savvy Packing With Only a Purse

As of August 1, 2010, Spirit Airlines started charging $45 for a carry-on bag. I was determined to never travel on Spirit. That lasted until I just was forced to buy a ticket on Spirit for an assignment in Atlanta, Georgia, and Montgomery, Alabama. I took this as the opportunity to do a test run: pack everything for a five-night trip in a purse. Yes, you read correctly: a purse.

Category: Travel

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Travel Sickness Prevention Tips

Whether I’m hiking in Phoenix when the thermometer reads 105° F; wandering on trails in the Adirondacks where poison ivy grows aplenty and where the water flowing in clean-appearing rivers can be laden with the parasite, Giardia; skiing at altitude in Colorado at Arapahoe Basin; or preparing for a trip to India, I always make sure that I’m prepared. Here are some key health problems you can encounter on your travels, and my recommendations on how to prevent them.

Category: Travel

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Skiing Safety Tips

Even with the most well-planned winter vacations, mishaps and misadventures can occur. Whether you’re skiing or snowboarding near your backyard or in the backcountry, you can have a collision with another skier or with a tree or other object, resulting in head trauma or other ills, such as a torn ligament or tendon. Here are some useful tips to stay safe this snow season.

Category: Travel

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Muryohe Rwe! A Short Field Trip to Rwanda

Field to Feast has never wrote and posted in situ, but here goes - I am writing to you from the shores of Lake Kivu, in western Rwanda, a 10-minute drive from the border with the DRC. Lake Kivu has the unenviable privilege of being considered one of Africa’s “killer lakes” because of the amount of dissolved methane gas and carbon dioxide at the bottom of the lake–gases that could one day burst to the surface, releasing toxic fumes. On the bright side, the methane is being explored as a source of energy–it has even been used to power the nearby Bralirwa brewery.

Category: Travel

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Cambodian Cuisine and Recipe

Serve me fresh fish, and I am a happy girl. Serve me fresh fish topped with crispy, stir-friend threads of ginger, squid sautéed with green peppercorns, banana flower salad, and coconut milk and lime smoothies, and, well, I might never leave your country. I did leave Cambodia, after one week of work, and one week of holiday. But it was hard.

Category: Travel

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Do You Suffer from Vacation Mind?

Many people exert an amazing wealth of common sense when they're on their home turf. But put these same individuals on vacation and they throw all caution to the wind.

Category: Travel

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The Legendary Millenium Biltmore Hotel

Los Angeles is a city that is flooded with beauty, chaos, the old, the new, the plastic, the real, art, music, food, film, history, architecture, but above all – story.” – Dawn Garcia
That said, one of the most beautiful buildings and hotels in Los Angeles is the Millennium Biltmore.

Category: Travel

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A Night at the Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco

The doors to the eighth floor open from the elevator. The hallway of the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco is the color of cream, decorated with gold-framed photography and glittering sconces. A comfortable feeling of luxury is present, however, I don’t feel as though I might break something. Find your heart in San Francisco with a unique look at luxury.

Category: Travel

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Italy's Best Gelato

Just because you’re eating gelato in Italy doesn’t automatically mean it’s authentic or even any good. Unfortunately, many gelaterias continue to pass off subpar, factory-made junk as the real deal, so we have a guide to help you with that. That said, Italy still abounds with artisans who serve up fresh, handmade, all natural gelato daily. Below, we’ve handpicked the places where you’ll find the best gelato in Italy, from Rome to Milan to Florence (where gelato was created).

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The One Dish You Must Eat in Madrid

Beer and Boquerones. When it comes to tapas, each region in Spain has its own specialties and customs, and Madrid is no exception. So what do Madrileños usually start their tapeo off with? At the most authentic tavernas, you won’t necessarily see glasses of deep red rioja wine with fancy canapé pinchos; instead, expect beer and boquerones—anchovies!

Category: Travel

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Bookstores Do Exist!

The bookstore has been condemned as a dying business for many years now, but we still believe in our favorite literary shops. These days, bookstores have become destinations in their own right, with charming settings, a roster of top-notch events, exceptional people-watching, and in-house cafes that keep us lingering for hours. We’ve found some of the best mega bookstores—what we like to think of as the meccas in the world of brick-and-mortar booksellers.

Category: Travel

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Where the Locals Eat in Venice, Italy!

When it comes to Italian cuisine, Venice often gets a bad rap. However, if you stick to where the locals eat, you'll find plenty of delicious food finds.
The problem isn’t the city itself, but expectations from visitors who come looking for stereotypical Italian fare, and the many tourist-trap restaurants selling what locals refer to as “plastic food” to make an easy buck. But don't despair - good food can be found in all corners of the island (yes, even the touristy parts)!

Category: Travel

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10 Best Cocktail Bars in Brooklyn

“There was a time not long ago when the idea of whiskey or gin that came from Brooklyn would have been nothing more than a punch line,” write Peter Thomas Fornatale and Chris Wertz in their new book about the booming drinking scene in their home borough. And while Brooklyn Spirits: Craft Distilling and Cocktails from the World’s Hippest Borough has lots to say about the New Yorkers creating a new wave of fine whiskeys, gins, and other liquors, the book also highlights the many local bars that are putting all that product to good use. Here are Fornatale and Wertz’s picks for the best cocktail bars in Brooklyn, with their notes on why each is special.

Category: Travel

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Scottish Hospitality: A Travel Story

Oh please, not another review of a dram we’ve all tasted many times before! Good point. I’m going to go about this topic with a whole different approach, so bear with me. This is about a rather unexpected situation, about an open mind and an open heart, and about feeling right at home wherever you might be.

Category: Travel

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The Water Library

“Big enough to get lost on. Small enough to find myself. That’s how to use this island. I come here to place myself in the world. Iceland is a verb and its action is to center.”
American artist Roni Horn, who works extensively in Iceland, uses these words to describe the island and its influence in her art practice.
As a geologist, Iceland had been near the top of my places to visit for a very long time. And as someone with artistic inclinations drawn to the stark and dramatic places of the world, Horn’s words echoed in my mind as I stood atop Eyjafjallajökull (still warm enough to melt the chocolate in my pack), trekked across glaciers, and explored the remotest parts of the island this summer.

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A Beer Quest in Thailand

Can a craft brewer find happiness in Thailand?

Category: Travel

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Prowling Prague for Czech Whisky

When you tell someone in Prague you are on the lookout for Czech whiskey, you get a lot of curious looks. On occasion, someone will tell you where can go for a decent selection of Scotch, but they will insist that Czech whisky does not exist. This is no conspiracy or act of malice. But there is, and while it has a low profile and many bartenders will be self-deprecating if they do have it, don’t let any of that fool you. Czech whisky is real, and it’s worth trying.

Category: Travel

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London Pub Crawl

A friend of mine once told me that everybody has to have their own “Top Five London Pubs” list. He believed that it was a very important document to be shared with friends. So, here is mine to share for your next trip across the pond!

Category: Travel

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Antwerp: Fashions, Chocolate, Beer!

I’ve visited quite a lot of different cities in my lifetime and also had the privilege to live in a few of the most beautiful ones, but I never had a relationship like the one I have with Antwerp.
It is a historic, picturesque, stylish, artistic and hip city. And needless to say, after so many years, I have a few suggestions you might want to note down for your next visit.

Category: Travel

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Amsterdam: Not Just Cigarettes and Red Lights

When people think of Amsterdam certain images pop into their head. There is the famous Red Light District. The 160 man made canals that intersects throughout the city. The coffee shops that sell other things besides coffee. Yet if you know where to look you will find an active community of fellow alcohol connoisseurs. Come along and explore its rich history and find great spots to take a break.

Category: Travel

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A Pilgrimage to Dublin

Since I am a journalist I must disclose that I have always been looking for an excuse to visit Dublin. Maybe it is the fantasy I have had for so long that I can walk into a real Irish Pub in Dublin and find a great new buddy to share a few pints with. Let me share my time there, and include a few spots to visit when you go.

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Indiana: World Class Driving Experience

Everyone once in a while a great opportunity comes my way. In this case it was the opportunity to participate in World Class Driving Experience (WCD) down at West Baden Springs in French Lick Indiana.
So what did I drive that day? From and R8 to the Ferrari 599GTB and many more, take a spin behind the wheel here!

Category: Travel

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Landmarks of Paris

Travelling to Paris? Lucky you. It would be impossible to cover the astonishing landmarks of this legendary City of Light, but this will give you a brief overview and a little bit of background on some of the most iconic sights in beautiful Paris.
Au Revoir!

Category: Travel

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Environmental Impact of Angkor Wat

Home to possibly more than three quarters of a million people, several different urban plans and reservoir systems, and impressive monuments like the temple of Angkor Wat, Angkor was the core of the Khmer Empire, which dominated Southeast Asia by the 11th century CE. Like many modern, booming cities, Angkor was fed by water sourced from another city: Mahendraparvata. Here, we'll explore what the history of water usage tells about the evolution of a kingdom.

Category: Travel

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Personal Security: A Guide for Travelers

Do you have a cell phone or laptop? Do you use them in airports? Guess what, that's the worst place to use your personal electronic devices! Here's why: Because of the mass use of mobile devices within airports, communication companies have installed "mini-towers" within airport terminals to help the cell towers with the load. The mini-towers' encryption capability is almost nonexistent, making it easy for nefarious people with the proper technology to listen to your conversations or intercept your emails and texts messages.
Find out what you should be doing here.

Category: Travel

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Boozing in Belize

You won’t typically hear the words “Belize” and “fine wine” in the same sentence together, however, the small Central American country has plenty of other delicious libations to offer the weary traveler. From locally brewed beers and fruit wines, to a perennial Caribbean favorite – rum- there’s no shortage of options for even the most discerning imbiber.
I recently spent my honeymoon in Belize and was very excited to try the local food and especially the local drinks. Being so close to the equator, the climate is not conducive to growing Vitis vinifera grapes (think: Merlot, Chardonnay, etc etc). However, the Belizeans won’t let that stop them from making wines from nearly everything but grapes!

Category: Travel

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