What to Do

What to Do

Five Natural Places to Love in Post-Tsunami Tohoku, Japan

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I’m letting the secret out: Tohoku, a region in Japan most widely recognized for the 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated its eastern shore in 2011, has another reason to be known: for its outdoors. Dotted with mountains, gorges, waterfalls, lakes, and fields, this northern area of mainland Japan offers a superabundance of scenic pursuits for any nature-loving soul. Call me biased (this region has been my home for the past 1.5 years), but Tohoku has some of the most beautiful and at times most surprising nature a person...

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Defining “Thin Places” for the Traveler in Search of Transcendence

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What is a “Thin Place”? Despite having travelled extensively for a variety of purposes, the idea of a “thin place” was entirely new to me when I came across Eric Weiner’s article “Thin Places, Where We Are Jolted Out of Old Ways of Seeing the World,” in The New York Times. The term “thin place” derives from the Celtic Christians. Initially, the Celtic Christians believed that there was a significant distance, or border, between Heaven and Earth. At certain places, this border was significantly thinner, allowing people to...

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11 Things to Do in Dahab, Egypt

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Dahab is a little beach town on the southern tip of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula that has great food, comfortable hotels, and a laid-back atmosphere. While most tourists flock to the more glittery and developed Sharm El Sheikh about 100km south, Dahab is a great little town to get away from it all. Though it’s a small place, there is more than enough in Dahab to keep you busy, but aside from all the touristy tours and four-wheeler trips into the desert, there are a few more things you have to do while you’re in Dahab, Egypt. 1....

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The Solo Traveler’s Guide to Exploring the Unknown

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The Art of Travelling Without Planning Step 1) Plan your trip, Step 2) Buy your plane ticket. As most solo travelers would agree, these two steps are both the least and most important aspects of traveling alone. To be fair, buying the ticket is the most important. Not because you necessarily need to have a ticket to get where you are going, but because once the ticket is bought there’s no backing out. This is the beginning of a new adventure, and in most cases a new outlook on life. In terms of travel, the word ‘plan’ tends to be used...

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6 Experiences Not to Miss While Traveling in Cambodia

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When I tell people that Cambodia is one of my favorite countries I usually get a very strange look of confusion and bewilderment. A lot of people still view Cambodia as this terrible, violent, land of rubble and danger. But the opposite it true. Cambodia has an amazing, vibrant, unavoidable soul and it rubs off on every person that goes within the border of this beauty filled country. Whether you grew up there as a child or you’re just traveling through, the excitement of everything is overwhelming. It’s a true land of smiles, with a true...

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Secrets to Happier and Healthier Travel Days: Don’t Try to See Everything

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Trying to squeeze in too much is a classic cause of traveler anxiety and undue stress.  Novice travelers are prone to cramming too many plans in too short a time frame. It’s easy to think “how often do I get to travel all the way to **insert place**, I need to make the most of it while I’m here!” True, it would be a waste to sit in your Paris hotel and watch seasons one through six of Lost, but it would be just as bad to rush through everything the city has to offer and not enjoy or really experience any of it. So find the middle...

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10 Tips for Haggling in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar (and most other markets)

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Istanbul, Turkey is home to one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. The Grand Bazaar, first opened in 1461, currently receives around 250,000 – 500,000 visitors daily. The vast majority of these shoppers are tourists, and most of them end up paying too much for their souvenirs. The Grand Bazaar is home to hundreds of multilingual expert salesmen who are determined to sell you their wares. Many of these salesmen have an array of witty greetings and one-liners, and are in general pretty entertaining people. They all...

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An American’s Guide to Oktoberfest

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A great article from our friend Casey at CaseyFrolickingAbroad.com! Casey describes her experience at the 2011 Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. Having spent the evening prior on a Brewery Tour of Munich, Kelley and I dragged our lifeless zombie bodies to Oktoberfest. Upon reporting for duty at the Oktoberfest Fairgrounds, we scouted out the scene.  After we assessed our combined knowledge of three German words and walking through two intimidating, clearly German tents we headed to the place most tourists head first, the Hafbrau house. We...

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Discovering Tarifa, Spain

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When making your way into the port-town of Tarifa, Spain, do: take the bus from Algeciras (it’s 2 euros), don’t: hire the local drunk hanging out at the Tarifa bus station to take you the rest of the way to your hotel. Maybe it was the salty air and languid mood of our surroundings that had us at ease, either way Carolyn and I found ourselves helping a weathered old man pile our luggage into a two-door hatchback missing its wax. I paused uncomfortably before carefully moving over a double-barrel rifle lying across the backseat. I sensed...

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What to Do