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Top 10 Travel Experiences of 2016

Wadi Rum sunset in Jordan

I’m sure nobody wants to hear this, but 2016 wasn’t all bad for me. At times it would be easy to sink into the growing collective despair. Then again, I find it perfectly healthy to reflect and take stock of the good things that happened over the past year. Truth be told, 2016 was not a bad year in terms of the things I care most about, those being travel and hearing and telling stories. Over the course of these 12 months, I covered distances as far as Alaska to Jordan. I learned about indigenous tourism and finally set foot in a corner of the globe that continues to be thoroughly misunderstood by people from my North American background. I personally feel better educated to share the stories I’ve heard to continually do my part, as little as it may be, to make people less terrified of one another.

Below are 10 of my top travel experiences of 2016 complete with a snippet from the article referencing said experience. Yes, it’s a bit like when a TV sitcom assembles a clip show as a cop-out for an episode, but I hope it’s clear that my intentions are noble.

I also hope it’s clear that I’m not sharing these to brag or incite envy. Rather, I’m sharing them in hopes you might feel compelled to either follow in my footsteps to some of these destinations or to simply recount the positive aspects of your year. Continue reading

Asia / Central America / costa rica / international / Macau / North America / podcast / south korea / travel / United States

Kaila Yu Talks Beauty Blogging and Travels on Tour

Rocker Kaila Yu from Nylon Pink does a little bit of everything. She’s gone on tour, performing at anime convention centers from the United States to Costa Rica and knows a thing or two about the K-Pop scene. Now she’s transitioning to travel blogging with a focus on beauty and the history of that industry in various countries.

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Alaska / North America / podcast / travel / United States

Alexis C. Bunten On Indigenous Tourism and How to Help Standing Rock

Alexis Celeste Bunten wrote So, How Long Have You Been Native? on her experience working in indigenous tourism with Tribal Tours in Sitka, Alaska. She’s now putting the finishing touches on a new book that looks at the indigenous tourism industry around the world from the United States to Australia and Botswana. On that note, Alexis also offers her thoughts regarding the ongoing protests at the Standing Rock reservation against the Dakota Access Pipeline and how you can help.

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Europe / germany / international / travel / United States

4 Thoughts on Being an Immigrant in the Age of President Trump

medora-north-dakota-street

Given the shocking results of Tuesday’s U.S. Presidential election, I wanted to chime in to share my brief experience of being an immigrant in Germany. It seems many of my fellow Americans either don’t value or have forgotten about the importance immigrants have always played in our country from military service to many of the modern innovations we often take for granted. We also don’t seem to appreciate how difficult it is to relocate to a foreign country from linguistic and cultural differences to the loneliness and isolation. Continue reading

North America / North Carolina / travel / United States

Raleigh, North Carolina: The City You Already Know Is Cool

raleigh-north-carolina-skyline

Raleigh is one of those cities you hear is cool without knowing why.

“Yeah, I heard they have… a cool craft beer scene or something…?” someone will say with a hint of uncertainty.

I wasn’t any different. I had an inclination that there was something special about Raleigh, but I didn’t know what. So, before leaving the country (again), I strung together an Amtrak route through Raleigh. My wife Melanie and I arrived on a scorching hot summer afternoon, the kind that reminds northerners just how blazing the south can be. Continue reading