Author: Therese Iknoian

5 spectacular must-visit Buenos Aires parks and gardens

Buenos Aires, with a population of about 3 million, is a web of busy streets often clogged with traffic and people rushing and jamming to get somewhere. It can be hard to look beyond that sensory overload to see the gems of Buenos Aires parks and expanses of green spaces that are tucked here and there in the city. Many in fact can be connected in such a way to allow you to feel as if you are in a huge, green, forested park and not a densely packed urban city. Take a quick jaunt through the must-visit Buenos...

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6 simple tips to save money on train travel in Germany

Saving money is the ultimate prize for any traveler. Certainly transportation in most any country can be one of the largest expenses of travel, and Germany is no exception. That’s why it’s important to know a few never-fail, simple tips to save money on train travel in Germany. We almost always choose train travel when traveling in Europe, especially in Germany where the train lines are so extensive. You can get to just about any little village on the train while watching the scenery go by instead of fretting about speed demons on the autobahn or deciphering signs in...

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A trek in Patagonia: walking in the shadow of Fitz Roy

The soaring crags of Fitz Roy are renown for playing hide-and-seek with travelers who trek in Patagonia due to swirling clouds from the region’s unpredictable weather. Decades ago, before technology helped alpinists and hikers track weather with a click, a small lean-to hut at Rio Blanco at the base of the mountain would be home to mountaineers waiting for a weather window to open to climb this epic peak. I didn’t come to Patagonia in Argentina to summit Fitz Roy’s crags. Far from it. That is the beauty of Patagonia’s Santa Cruz province and its spectacular mountains and hills....

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Remembering Christmas in Germany far from home

It was my first Christmas far away from home. I was 21 and an exchange student in Germany – a country that is very very into celebrating the Christmas season. I realized that when I discovered the country had what was called “First Christmas” and “Second Christmas,” which means the 25th is “first” and the 26th is also a holiday and another day to celebrate. Why not? For Christmas in Germany, it seems, everything lights up. Bells ring. Chestnuts roast. And every town has some version of the most adorable Christmas markets where everybody seems joyous and happy. The...

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How to relieve travel stress when flying

No matter if you are traveling for business, to visit friends or family, or on a dream holiday, travel stress can take a physical and mental toll. Simply finding the time to pack, make sure you have the right toiletries, tie down things at work or home prior to departure, or help family members prepare can create stress in your life. Add the pressure of dealing with the unexpected in unfamiliar surroundings – delays, cancelations, airplane food, finding bathrooms, coping with crowds, schlepping luggage, and lack of sleep, to name a few – and the body’s stress reaction can...

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4 must-see cemeteries on three continents

There is something spooky, breathtaking and awe-inspiring all at the same time about cemeteries around the world that offer fantastic, mythical, memorable architecture. Here are 4 must-see cemeteries on three continents: La Recoleta Cemetery (Cimenterio de la Recoleta) — Buenos Aires, Argentina The cemetery in La Recoleta tops must-do lists for Buenos Aires, but we must admit we didn’t think it could be any different than a couple of the mesmerizing cemeteries named below. Still, we went. And it was so much more. First, ignore the tourist “circus” of street vendors outside the gates, the Western shopping mall and...

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Make the most of a visit to Smithsonian’s African-American museum

The National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D.C., hit its one-year anniversary in September 2017. And it remains a must-see in the nation’s capital, a soaring historical tribute to what happened and what can happen. Making the most of a visit to the African-American museum, however, takes a little work since it is so huge, so dense with information, and so all encompassing. I had the chance to visit the museum – part of the Smithsonian group — just a few weeks before the museum’s first anniversary. Despite doing my homework before my visit, I...

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A traveler’s guide to dining and shopping in Germany

Eating and shopping – either for food, toiletries or other essentials – are part of a traveler’s life. This can become a little bewildering when you are trying to decipher unknown word and customs, especially at meals or in stores. Our traveler’s guide to dining and shopping in Germany (and most German-speaking countries like Austria and parts of Switzerland) will help take some of the mystery out of the process and make your dining and shopping experiences a little easier. Refer to our “German language cheat sheet for travelers” to help you say what you need (downloadable PDF available!)....

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A German language cheat sheet for travelers

Going to another country means you are a guest of that nation. Learning a few basic phrases – more if possible, especially if you are there longer or just love languages like I do– is the ticket to getting around better. People will just be nicer too! In this German Language Cheat Sheet for Travelers, we will introduce you to a few basics words, sounds and phrases, as well as what to expect, see or hear in different situations such as shopping, dining, etc. For simple words, we will also do our best to help with a pronunciation, noted...

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Photography tips for improving your travel and street scene images

As a journalism major in college, I rounded out my writing studies with numerous photography classes. Street photography always seemed to draw me in – people, places and scenes that tell a story and are key for improving your travel photography. What I learned then still applies today. Whether you have a fancy camera or smartphone, the following photography tips remain essential to improving your travel and street photos. Wait I like waiting. Sometimes you see a scene and think, “oh wow!” and just snap. Sometimes it makes for a better photo if you see the scene (go ahead...

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