TRAVEL

EUROPEHOTELSTRAVELUSA

Living Local: On Home Swaps and Friendships

By Stephanie Schroeder   I arranged my first home exchange in 2006. The deal was that my partner at the time and I would give up our Jersey City, NJ, apartment for a couple who had a house in Alkmaar, North Holland in The Netherlands. It was all very new to me, this home exchange adventure, but it was the only way I could afford to travel. I had only five days vacation from my job at a corporate PR firm, ...
BOOKSEUROPETRAVEL

The Saving Grace of Books (Paris)

By Sammantha Bennett Paris was chaos. Ten days after suicide bombers and gunmen attacked a concert hall, a stadium, restaurants, and bars, I stepped off a train from Munich into a swarm of armed military and local law enforcement at Gare de l’Est. I had 40 liters on my back and a bit of panic in my mind. Munich had been so perfectly Bavarian: neat, clean, peaceful, expected. Everyone had been polite and no one crossed the street unless the ...
BOOKSTRAVELUSA

A Good Book Is Hard to Find…Until It’s Given (Savannah, ...

By Kelly Murray The only way to read Flannery O’Connor is while taking a hot bath in a clawfoot tub in an old Victorian home on a warm night in Savannah, Georgia. That’s exactly where I was when I read her for the first time. I was staying at an Airbnb in Savannah’s Eastside district; a gorgeous renovated Victorian home with four bedrooms, a grand staircase, wraparound porch, a sunny shared kitchen, and, yes, a clawfoot tub. Three of them, ...
ASIATRAVEL

What Did I Sign Up For? (Raotang Boxing Club, Thailand)

By Bill Watts My eyes flickered open and I began to wonder, what time is it? Immediately, I remembered it didn’t matter. It’s Sunday. Today is a day for rest. Necessary, too–we had a hell of a night last night. I need more sleep. I rolled over and tightened my eyes, forcing my body to follow my mind into the void. As I began to lose consciousness, dull thuds and thwacks echoed in the distance. Ignore it, I told my ...
TRAVELUSA

Camaraderie On Wheels: Traveling with the Tucson Roller Derby

By Irene Jagla Not many Tucsonans willingly go to Phoenix, especially during the summer. The running joke is that Phoenix is nothing more than a giant parking lot in the desert. So when I found myself standing in a Phoenix parking lot on a sweltering July afternoon, enveloped in waves of heat emanating from the asphalt surface, I had to smile. I was watching the Copper Queens of Tucson Roller Derby do off-skate warm-ups before a bout with the Skate ...
STORYTRAVELUSA

Algae Blooms in Nahant

By Madeline Gressman Nahant’s algae was rotting. The entire town reeked of sea decay, with countless fish and one seal washing ashore, dead. There wasn’t an escape from the odor; it seeped through our walls and weaved in with our clothes. Fans blasted at all hours, swirling the air in circles in a hope to dissipate the unholy smell. Today we were leaving the house for the first time since the algae bloomed. My mother, determined in her love of ...
BOOKSEUROPETRAVEL

In Love with Cassis

By Marcia De Sanctis One of the great pleasures of writing a book about France is having the opportunity to give talks about some of my most beloved places. My audience is often a sea of erudite women assembled over petits-fours or roast lamb lunches. At the conclusion, the question always comes, inevitable as the sunrise: “But what is your very most, number one place in France?” My answer is always the same–the truth, but a non-committal one. “Any table ...
ASIATRAVEL

A Stranger to Them (In Cambodia)

By Lana Orndorff New things are scary. Strangers can’t be trusted. Unknown places are dangerous. The echo of these ideas are my personal soundtrack as I search for plane tickets. I click the “confirm purchase” button anyway. The intense screaming of my wanderlust, which sounds similar to a small child that has dropped his pacifier, has managed to drown out the low hum of doubt. Fellow travelers know what I’m talking about. But, for those close to me who don’t ...
STORYTRAVELUSA

Great Blue (Washington, DC)

By Stewart Lawrence Strolling recently in Washington, DC’s, Rock Creek Park, I had a rare close encounter with one of the Park’s dwindling number of Great Blue Herons. While joggers streaked by, oblivious to its presence, and rush-hour traffic passed noisily overhead, I sat in wordless wonder as the Great Blue, clinging to a half-submerged log, slowly surveyed its domain, then gently peered into the water with its fierce yellow eyes and double-billed javelin beak. The Great Blue is less well ...
HOTELSTRAVELUSA

Taking the Waters at the Greenbrier (West Virginia)

Editor’s note: Marsha B. Wassel visited the Greenbrier in West Virginia in May. She gives a review and some background on the curative waters of the area. by Marsha B. Wassel History of the Springs There is a history of seeking wellness high in West Virginia’s Allegheny Mountains, where mineral springs flow deep in the Earth, before breaking through the surface. The surrounding forests were home to Shawnee Indians who were the first to value the curative properties of the ...