BYU LONDON & PARIS . . .
ALL IN ONE WINTER 2018 kennedy.byu.edu
CENTRE . . . & ROME . . .
On the cover: Man looking up at night sky at the Spiral Jetty at Rozel Point, Great Salt Lake, Utah.
Editor’s Note: Catch Your Sunrise
Happenings: The Beatin’ Path
Escapades: Toothy Traditions
Photo by Greg Rakozy
Tubing of a Different Kind
The Freedom Trail
100 Years of National Parks
Watch Your Step! The Effect of Tourism
Camping in the Caribbean
Greenland: Hot and Cold
Mariposa: Metamorphosis in Mexico
Pop Culture Meccas
Mountain Springs: Thrills and Chills
Take Me to Space! A Trip Outside the Ozone À la Carte Restaurants
Photo by John Arthursson
Bayanihan: The Spirit of the Philippines
A Warrior Spirit Artwork in Action: Saying Yes to Street Art
The Kimono: An Icon for the Ages
Flipped: Treasure out of Trash
4 Corners of the Kitchen: Cinnamon
Highway to the Danger Zone
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Leaving to Live
Photo Contest Safety in the Middle East History of Voluntourism
Swedish Heritage Route
78 80 83 84 86 88
Calm in Calamity Back to the Blueprint Wish You Were Here No Filter Needed High Class, Low Cost Selfie Stick Savvy
Assistant Managing Editor
Assistant Managing Editor
Social Media Director
Social Media Team
Social Media Team
Editor in Chief
Publisher: Marvin K. Gardner
© 2016 Marvin K. Gardner 4045 JFSB, Brigham Young University Provo, Utah 84602 Printed by Brigham Young University Press
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Stowaway is produced as a project for English Language 430R, Editing for Publication, the capstone class of the editing minor at Brigham Young University. All staff m embers contributed to planning, writing, editing, designing, and advertising. The views expressed in this publication are solely the views of the authors and do not represent the views or opinions of BYU. Stowaway takes inspiration from the words of Mark Twain: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Photo by Kathy MacKay
e s i r n u S r u o Y h c t a C Trudging though a Nicaraguan downpour. Driving across the country multiple times. Getting stuck in the middle of a Parisian taxi strike. All these unexpected travel adventures presented me with moments to regret certain travel methods. But no matter how many beautiful, famous landmarks I see as a tourist, my most memorable experiences will always be linked to my many travel mishaps. They remain ingrained in my memory, which is exactly how I want them to stay. Henry Miller said, “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” No matter where or why you travel, your experiences can change your perspectives on life. You just have to set yourself up to find those life-changing moments. Conventional travel offers pleasant, replicable experiences to each traveler—the typical kind of activities you normally think of when it comes to travel. You see
the landmarks; you take the cheesy (but necessary) pictures. It’s a great journey. But if you step off the beaten tourist path, you will find a new world of possibilities. Your tourist trip suddenly becomes an adventure. You may run into some bumps along the way, but those bumps will help customize your trip—and maybe even your life. Some of my most memorable travel adventures stem from mistakes that led to impressive experiences. For instance, I never expected that sleeping in a crammed hatchback with four other adults in a parking lot in Bavaria would be enjoyable. Okay, so it wasn’t the best night of my life, but it allowed me to witness the most incredible view the next morning. As dawn interrupted my rather sleepless night, the sky melted into a spectacular sunrise. What I hadn’t realized the night before was that we were parked beside a charming country church at the base of a mountain. If
I craned my neck, I could see the sun highlight the outline of the famous Neuschwanstein Castle. As I observed the picturesque scene, I realized that this awe-inspiring moment may have been worth the uncomfortable night. It may not always be convenient, but I hope you do all you can to catch your perfect sunrise, whether that be from outer space (p. 37), camping in the Caribbean (p. 18), or even seeing hope reflecting in a refugee’s eyes (p. 72). No matter where you look, you can find an unexpected sunrise. It may come at the end of a thrilling adventure, or it may come when you think that things can’t get worse. But no matter what, search out your travel moment. Catch your sunrise. Collect those sunrises throughout your travels. Your collection will help you experience the world in incredible ways.
—Lisa MacKay Managing Editor www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 7
the beatin’ path
Some say that music has the power to move the soul. But in a more literal sense, music can move its listeners great distances—just consider the flocks of fans who travel many miles to see their favorite music artists. The stats don’t lie: according to Billboard, thirty-two million people attend at least one music festival yearly and travel an average of 903 miles to do so. With hundreds of music festivals scattered throughout the United States, cities such as Chicago, Milwaukee, and Austin have become meccas of the music world, drawing in out-oftowners who make the pilgrimage in the name of their favorite music artists. Welcome to America, the great melting pot that makes for some top-notch music festivals that are well worth hitting the road for.
The Windy City
Beloved for its thriving music scene, Chicago has become a major hub for a smattering of all music genres. Take Lollapalooza, an annual music festival held at the end of July that features over 170 bands from all over the world in a musical smorgasbord of alternative, electronic dance, indie, and more. Despite its daily capacity of one hundred thousand rock ‘n rollers, the four-day festival consistently sells out. This festival promises to make it worth your while with a lineup that will “make hands wave, heads nod, and crowds holler.”
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Join the party on Lake Michigan’s shore at Summerfest, an eleven-day music festival that boasts over one thousand performances with some of the biggest names in the music industry, like the Rolling Stones, Lady Gaga, and Bruno Mars. And in true Wisconsin fashion, you can sample anything from doughnuts to spaghetti to any fried food under the sun as you catch some of your favorite beats.
Austin City Limits
Appropriately dubbed the “live music capital of the world,” Austin has no shortage of music for the 450,000+ visitors who join the festivities each fall. The Austin City Limits Music Festival promises a diverse musical experience with eight stages featuring genres from folk to hip-hop. Aside from the fantastic array of music, the festival also includes an art market featuring the work of local artisans and service opportunities through local organizations to help out the community.
Out in the Country
If you fancy the backcountry, then Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in the Tennessee countryside of Manchester has you covered with plenty of electronic dance music and hip-hop acts, as well as free hairstyling stations to keep you looking your finest. Named for a Creole term meaning “a really good time,” the festival generally has fewer than one hundred thousand attendees, giving you a little more elbow room as you relish your favorite acts.
Vans Warped Tour
If you’re feeling indecisive about your travel plans, why not tour all fifty states (or most of them, anyway)? Featuring bands from all corners of the country, Vans Warped Tour serves its punk, metal, goth, and rock fans with a roaming music festival that hits major cities all across the United States. Past tours have offered free drum lessons for concertgoers and even a half-pipe for skaters who want to get some boarding in before the next garage band act. Whatever your groove, festivals all across the country are sure to satisfy your musical itch and offer some tasty eats and unique experiences along the way.
www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 9
Ecuador Study Abroad
Linguistics, Anthropology, and Beyond! A pplication deadline Wednesday, February 1, 2017
T ravel dates
June 26, 2017â€“August 14, 2017
LING 551 Anthropological Linguistics (Completed at BYU during spring term)
C redits in E cuador
Six credits from the following courses: FLANG 100R Lanugage Study, Quichua (2 cr) FLANG 305R Language Skills Development, Quichua (1 cr) LING 580R Problems in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics (3 cr) LING 590R Readings in Linguistics (3 cr) Also available: Amazonian Ethnobotany and Native Medicine; Community Conservations; Ethnobiology; Health, Population, and Nutrition. 10 summer 2012 â–ś
More information at http://www.linguistics.byu.edu/ecuadorsa
Tubing of a Different Kind
The Freedom Trail
Mountain Springs: Thrills and Chills
Camping in the Caribbean
Greenland: Hot and Cold
Mariposa: Metamorphosis in Mexico
An unexpected adventure for the thrill-seeking tourist in Belize.
Trace the footsteps of the Founding Fathers in Boston.
Dive into the world’s largest hot springs pool.
See the Caribbean islands in an economical, eco-friendly way.
Frozen tundra or a traveler’s paradise? You decide.
Explore the butterfly sanctuaries hidden in the mountains of Mexico.
Greenland offers beautiful scenery to tourists year-round. Photo by Ludovic Hurlimann
www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 11
a f o g n i b Tu d n i K t n e Differ Does tubing conjure up memories of being dragged behind a speedboat, clinging on for dear life as you do doughnuts along the river? Or how about as a kid, squinting into snowflakes that bite at your face as you toboggan down the side of a mountain? Tourists who visit Belize agree
tubing is a highlight of the trip, but this is tubing of a different kind. With headlamps in tow, adventurers hop into tubes to drift through Belize’s dark, cramped river caves. “If you’re claustrophobic, it’s probably not the best,” says Bill Abbott. An avid traveler, Abbott and his wife have checked out all the best caves Belize has to offer. This area of Belize, called the Cayo district, is marked by its river caves that are formed by erosion of the limestone in the foothills of the
Maya Mountains. When river water contains high levels of carbon dioxide from decomposing organic matter, the water carves out cavities that join up to create larger river cave systems.
St. Herman’s Cave Perhaps the most well known of the Cayo district caves is St. Herman’s. “If you’re interested in cool rock formations,” Abbott says, “this is the cave to see.” St. Herman’s is decorated with dripping, wet rocks at every turn. Crystal clear water changes from a
This Cayo district cave is called Actun Chek, or Footprint Cave. Belize’s cave tubing tours attract travelers to the region’s river caves.
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Photo by Thomas Shahan
Cave tubing is a unique way to take in the beauty and history of Belize’s river caves.
bright blue color to transparent as you get deeper into the cave where water coats ceilings and walls with a shiny and slippery finish. Abbott says you have to hire a guide to take you through, but that it’s good to have someone with you who is familiar with the cave. Tubers can feel at ease knowing if their lights go out, they won’t be stranded, directionless, in the dark. Guides also share insights about the history of the caves and their rock formations.
Top: photo by Everywhere Once; Bottom: photo by Bill Abbott
Actun Tunichil Muknal
Another well-known cave that Belize’s Cayo district boasts goes by ATM, short for its Mayan name, Actun Tunichil Muknal. With a three-mile hike that crosses three rivers to get to the actual cave, ATM is a full day’s trip. Although this is a walk-through cave, make sure to bring your swimsuit—water levels can get pretty high at certain times of year. “I remember one part where you have to get into the water up to your chest to get your head through this crack,” Abbott says. A guide can also lead you through the cave’s windy passages to the ancient Mayan artifacts that are left in place. The most famous of the remains at ATM is the skeleton of a young woman, which is known as the Crystal Maiden because of its crystalized and sparkling appearance. The Crystal Maiden is one of many skeletons in the cave that are thought to have been sacrifice victims. Through the passage of time, skeletons and artifacts have become calcified to the cave floor, thus becoming a part of the cave itself. Although it may not jerk you around by a speedboat’s tug line or send you home with numb fingers and toes, cave tubing is exciting and adventurous in every sense. It’s unique, educational, and the best way to experience the acclaimed river caves of Belize.
Above: The Crystal Maiden remains calcified in place in the cave Actun Tunichil Muknal. Below: As tubers drift through Actun Tunichil Muknal, they can see ancient Mayan artifacts.
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Freedom Trail The Freedom Trail is a registered trademark of The Freedom Trail Foundation.
The Freedom Trail provides a unique opportunity to see living history down this two-and-a-half-mile trail. The Freedom Trail players, or guides, dress up in time-appropriate clothing of the 1700s. They recount
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history of the Revolutionary War as if they had lived through it. They teach about the daily lives of people during this period, and for the younger audiences, show children how they churned butter,
sewed stockings, and cooked dinner. It becomes an interactive history exhibit that is both entertaining and educational. The Freedom Trail can be a fun vacation spot and a great place to
Photo by chadirish
A red brick road zig-zags its way through Boston. Two bricks wide, sandwiched side by side in the pavement, the Freedom Trail directs young Bostonians, tourists, and travelers through a bustling city of skyscrapers and traffic. Hunkering at each location marked on the map sit three-hundred-year-old buildings and monuments that were built during the birth and rise of Boston.
learn. Freedom Trail Foundation executive director Suzanne Taylor said, “After children experience living history, we see a 15–20% increase in their scores on history exams.” The Freedom Trail sparks an energy and excitement for history that wasn’t there before.
Paul Revere’s House
The Old North Church
Along the trail you can see the exact spot where the Boston Massacre occurred, marked by a ring of stones along the Freedom Trail. You can stand in the same place that Edward Garrick stood when Private Hugh White hit him in the face with the butt of his musket, sparking the massacre.
Old South Meeting House Five thousand colonists flooded into the Old South Meeting House (which must have been very crowded, indeed) in December of 1773, trying to decide
what to do with the 30 tons of tea sitting on three ships in the Boston harbor. If they unloaded the tea, they would have to pay a tax to the British. The final verdict was to send the tea back to England. But then Samuel Adams stood up, saying, “This meeting can do nothing more to save the country.” This was rumored to be the sign that began the Boston Tea Party, telling the Sons of Liberty, who were dressed as Mohawk Indians, to dump the tea into the harbor.
Check it Out
The Freedom Trail, with its red brick road, can take you back in history, back to connect with America’s roots, and let you experience what America was like when it was born. So if you’re ever in the Boston area, make sure you take an afternoon to check out the Freedom Trail and discover how our freedom came to be.
Photo courtesy of Freedom Trail Foundation
The Old North Church is the oldest church building standing in Boston. It was opened to churchgoers in 1723. This building also played an important role in the Revolutionary War. Paul Revere arranged for the sexton of the Old North Church, Robert Newman, to climb the stairs and ladders up to the very top of the church to hang either one or two lanterns to alert the Colonial army of the approach of the British army. This led to the famous lines “one if by land, and two if by sea” in “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Paul Revere’s house is one of the oldest still-standing wooden structures in downtown Boston. It was built around 1680 and was almost one hundred years old when Paul Revere bought it in 1770. This is the house he was living in when he made his famous ride to Lexington.
The Freedom Trail Players chatting along the Freedom Trail in Boston.
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Thrills and Chills The waters of the hot spring, lake, and river all spell relaxation for a weekend getaway. However, Glenwood Springs offers more than just a therapeutic stay—it is a town rich with history and adventure, including the supposedly haunted Hotel Colorado, a myriad of outdoor activities, and an amusement park on top of a mountain. Visiting Glenwood Springs for a restorative and healing experience is a tradition long in the making. Early Native Americans visited the natural hot springs for therapeutic purposes. The Ute tribe referred to the springs as Yampah, meaning “Big Medicine.” The Glenwood Hot Springs Pool itself has been around since 1888 when, with an entrepreneurial spirit, James Devereux and Walter Horace harnessed the power of Glenwood’s
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nearby natural hot springs. Three million gallons of mineral water are produced from the spring daily, steaming at 122 degrees Fahrenheit. Nowadays, the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool actually has two pools—a large recreational pool (with waters cooled to 90 degrees) and a smaller therapy pool. Fees to access the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool range from $10.75 to $21.00 depending on the time of year and the day of the week. Another popular water-based activity in Glenwood Springs is a hike to Hanging Lake. A marvel of natural architecture, Hanging Lake has sparkling waterfalls that cascade over the cliffs of Glenwood Canyon into a beautiful and clear lake. The hike to see the lake is a one-mile trek through the canyon. Though it is a short hike, the trail is
steep and rocky. Visitors should set aside plenty of time to complete the worthwhile hike. As for visiting the Colorado River, there are various activities available. Those who seek aquatic adventures can go kayaking, canoeing, or rafting. However, the river can also be enjoyed by bike—the Glenwood Canyon Recreational Trail runs alongside the Colorado River for sixteen miles and is a popular spot for cyclists. Regardless of how it’s experienced, the tumbling Colorado River is framed by canyon cliffs on both sides, which makes for a breathtaking panorama. For those seeking thrill and adventure rather than relaxation, a visit to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park should do the trick. Not the average amusement park, this mountaintop park has a variety of rides, including
Photo by Max and Dee Bernt
There are no troubled waters in the mountain paradise of Glenwood Springs, Colorado—the town boasts the world’s largest hot springs pool, a waterfall splashing into a turquoise lake, and a stretch of the rapid Colorado River.
Photo by Loco Steve
an alpine roller coaster, a seated zip line, and a giant swing that launches the brave of heart out over the canyon, 1,300 feet above the ground. Visitors to the park can also tour Glenwood’s various caverns. The park offers two 40-minute walking tours through the Historic Fairy Caves and the King’s Row Cave. These caves have various rooms with reflection pools, light shows, brilliant colors, 50-foot-high ceilings, and amazing stalactites and stalagmites. Entrance to the park for adults is $15, or $27, if tours to the caves are included. The creation of the hot springs pool in 1888 drew many iconic figures to this mountain town, and the Hotel Colorado opened in 1893 as a luxurious place to house these guests. It remains one of the oldest hotels in Colorado today. In its earlier days, it hosted US presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft. It also welcomed visitors like Molly Brown and the legendary Doc Holliday. Because of the hotel’s age, rumors abound about eerie supernatural activities that have occurred in the hotel. Guests and staff alike have noticed elevators moving on their own and strange knocks on the walls. However, the hotel has charmed and enchanted guests for 121 years, regardless of any ghosts hanging around. Glenwood Springs is the perfect place for a getaway. This mountain paradise has it all—from calming aquatics to outdoor thrills to lurking ghosts. Whether you come for the water, the adventure, or the history, Glenwood Springs is a great place to dip your toes in for a memorable weekend.
The historic Hotel Colorado’s red and orange bricks pop in the mountain canyon.
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in the Caribbean
Getting to St. John (one of the Virgin Islands) may be complicated. Though it requires a flight to its sister island St. Thomas, a taxi to the ferry dock, and a twenty-minute ride on the ferry, it is well worth the trouble getting there. After disembarking at Cruz Bay on St. John, you can rent a jeep or take a taxi for the short ride to the campground at Cinnamon Bay.
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Although some prefer to stay in the small cottages at the campground, you can either rent a tent or bring your own. Either way, you’ll find that camping here allows you to leave behind the hustle and bustle of normal hotels and slow down to take in the beauty of the island. After setting up camp, you’re ready to experience all that St. John has
You don’t have to end your communion with nature.
Photography by Bill Abbott
When most people dream about a vacation in the Caribbean, they imagine cruising from port to port in an elegant ship with nonstop buffets, or sitting in a lounge chair on a well-manicured beach being served a cold drink at an all-inclusive resort. There is, however, another alternative that is economical, environmentally friendly, and definitely more adventurous. Campers and beach lovers can spice up their time at Cinnamon Bay in the US Virgin Islands by camping overnight just a minute away from the waves and sand.
to offer. A short walk through the coconut groves leads to Cinnamon Bay, one of the longest beaches on the island. Despite its proximity to the campground, the beach rarely seems crowded. While you can relax on the golden sand or swim in the fabulously clear water, it would be a shame not to don a mask and snorkel to see what lies beneath the waves. While some islands have great beaches and others have superb snorkeling, St. John is magnificently blessed with both. Besides Cinnamon Bay, there are more than thirty other
postcard-worthy beaches on St. John. A short visit probably won’t allow time to visit each beach, but you should definitely spend some time at Trunk Bay. Just a mile from the campground, Trunk Bay is the only beach on the island where a fee is charged, but it’s hard to complain, as it is truly one of the loveliest beaches to be found in the world. Like Cinnamon Bay, Trunk Bay has a small cay (island) close to shore, which contributes to the calm water. Here, visitors can follow an underwater snorkeling trail that uses plaques on the ocean floor to describe the
wonderfully abundant marine life. As you glide effortlessly through the water, sea fans sway with the current, parrotfish munch on coral, and shy trunkfish putter about. Perhaps the most remarkable part of camping in the Caribbean is that even when you’ve finished your activity-filled day at the beach, you don’t have to end your communion with nature. You return to the warm comfort of the campground and listen to the island fall asleep before you too drift off to more dreams of paradise.
One of the campsites at Cinnamon Bay Campground on St. John in the US Virgin Islands.
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mountains standing guard in the background is absolutely breathtaking. A travel blog, Avenly Lane Travel, reports there is a 99% chance you will see the northern lights if you are in Greenland between September and April. Though these months may be colder, braving the cold to observe these vibrant, colorful dancing lights in person is well worth it. Adventurous visitors should also take advantage of exploring the ice sheet. Though it may seem like just a white blur, the compacted ice has jagged cracks, deep canyons, and other glacial features that show gorgeous hues of blue, green, and gray. An exciting adventure on the ice sheet includes dog sledding, which is an important part of Greenlandic life, history, and culture. Kayaking is another great way to view the ice fields, canyons, and small islands. To warm up after adventurous sightseeing, many visitors enjoy Greenland’s natural hot springs. Though they are a common phenomenon on the main island, the best hot springs are on
the uninhabited island of Uunartoq, between Qaqortoq and Nanortalik in southern Greenland. From these outdoor spas, you can view many icebergs and mountain peaks. Boat tours to this location are frequent during the summer, and many locals and tourists bring along a picnic basket to enjoy at the springs. This location has been popular for centuries. Leif Ericsson, the ancient Icelandic explorer, supposedly took a swim here after visiting a Benedictine Abbey nearby. The springs are also rumored to be haunted. Despite the rumors of ghosts and harsh climate, these springs have been an alluring tourist experience for thousands of years. Whether you are looking for an adventurous week exploring a vast ice sheet, kayaking frigid waters to see arctic wildlife, or warming up in an isolated and cozy hot spring, Greenland is as beautiful as it is adventurous.
Photo by Camilla Hey
Between the North American and European continents lies an island made up of 836,300 square miles of ice and frozen tundra. Though it may seem dull and inhospitable, Greenland is actually an adventurous and diverse travel destination. To begin their Greenland adventures, most visitors first travel by plane to the capital, Nuuk. Greenland’s tourism website describes this city as “the heart of a nation . . . fueled on fresh air, strong coffee and diverse personalities.” A must-see in Nuuk is the Katuaq Cultural Centre, which is used for concerts, exhibitions, conferences, and cinema. The Greenland Tourism Bureau describes the architecture of the cultural center as inspired by “waving northern lights, icebergs and the play of light on ice and snow.” Even if visitors don’t venture farther north to experience the vast natural landscape, they can enjoy part of Greenland’s beauty in Nuuk. The juxtaposition of the blue ocean, colorful houses, and snow-capped
Metamorphosis in Mexico
Photo by Adam Jones (photo modified)
magine a forest surrounded by blankets of monarch butterflies so thick that their orange hues obscure the horizon, foliage, and trees. The butterflies flutter around you, and some willingly land on your shoulders. The monarchs’ winter refuge in Mexico is not easily accessible to tourists, but it is well worth the travel. For Egyptian, Aztec, and Greek cultures, the butterfly symbolizes the human soul. Other societies prize the butterfly as a symbol of human life: the caterpillar state signifies our life on earth, the chrysalis represents the tomb, and the butterfly implies a life after death that is lively and free. These symbols of the butterfly unite for the people of Mexico, who esteem the butterflies as the souls of loved ones who have passed. For them,
each butterfly houses an ancestor, a friend, or a soldier. This Mexican lore is rooted in the millions of monarch butterflies that migrate each year to Mexico’s protective countryside. The trees and mountains of Michoacán, Mexico, provide a temporary habitat for the monarchs each year as they migrate from Canada and the United States to a warmer climate down south. From November to March each year, spectators can marvel at the millions of butterflies in the El Rosario and Sierra Chincua sanctuaries, accessible from Mexico City. Each of these sanctuaries is located approximately four hours from Mexico City. For the ambitious tourist, it could make an exciting day trip; for the leisurely traveler, the hikes and sights can comfortably fill two or three days’ time. Travelers must take a bus from the capital
and then endure a long, uphill hike. Though inconvenient, the trip is appropriately symbolic, as it simulates the migration of the butterflies. The forests hold a reverence that must be earned through perseverance. As the visitors ride horses or hike up the mountains, the butterflies’ sanctuary begins to materialize. As the weather gets colder, the butterflies ascend higher and higher up the mountain, and the visitors must follow. Migration numbers—of both butterflies and tourists—reach their peak in January and February. Along with the many ruins and museums in Mexico City, the monarch sanctuaries are a perfect addition to a longer vacation to Mexico. In fact, the butterflies are worth a weekend getaway all on their own.
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d a o r Ab
English Language in Britain
Come with us to England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales Travel and study for 6 weeks during summer term
Apply by February 1
Take classes for your major or minor or for GE credit: Ling 110 ELang 223 ELang 324 ELang 468
100 Years of National Parks
Watch Your Step! The Effect of Tourism
Take Me to Space! A Trip Outside the Ozone
Pop Culture Meccas
Ă€ la Carte Restaurants
The National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary.
Tourism in developing countries is growing at exponential rates, changing these countries in both positive and negative ways.
Unique habitats give travelers firsthand encounters with wild and exotic animals.
Scientists are getting closer to taking people into space for a oncein-a-lifetime vacation.
Popular music and movies draw tourists to new locations around the world.
From the thrilling to the bizarre, restaurants around the world provide unique dining experiences.
A young joey finds refuge in the pouch of his mother. Photo found on pixabay.com
www.stowawaymag.com â—€ 23
By Torrey Best
While America’s physical beauty has a history going back far longer than a century, this year marks the centennial celebration of America’s efforts to preserve this pristine and rugged landscape for future generations. This past August marked the 100th anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service. When the National Park Service was created, America began its greatest effort
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toward the conservation of natural resources and the celebration of its beauty and diversity. On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Organic Act, which led to the formation of the National Park Service (NPS), a federal bureau designed to have stewardship over the 35 already existing national parks and monuments. It was also the day that began a new
century of inspiration for Americans (and international visitors), revolutionized family vacation traditions, and started a push for education about the environment. American author and environmentalist Wallace Stegner said, “National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American . . . they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.”
Photo by Luke Pamer
America is unique in many ways and heralded by many to be “America the Beautiful.” But one of the most striking differences is the diversity of the physical environment and geography found from coast to coast.
of National Parks Many people were influential in the creation of America’s “best idea.” Conservationist John Muir, who wrote about and studied several areas that would later become national parks, is fondly referred to today as the “father of our National Park Service” because of his role in creating and bringing attention to these national parks. President Theodore Roosevelt was also a noted naturalist and conservationist who strove to make the federal government a staunch supporter of public lands, thus helping pave the way for the birth of the NPS. Others were instrumental in the maintenance of the parks, including
the many notable park directors throughout the years. While each of the directors made positive contributions, some notable ones were Conrad Wirth, who helped accomplish Mission 66—a ten-year and ten-billion-dollar program to improve park facilities in honor of the NPS’s 50th anniversary; George Hartzog, Jr., who helped expand the National Park Service with the addition of seventy new areas; and Robert Stanton, who was the first African American director and helped the NPS better serve minorities. The NPS would be nothing without its founders, nor would it continue to thrive today without the millions of travelers who tour the parks each year.
These visitors are integral to the NPS and its mission. Each year, new attendance records are being made with nearly 300 million visitors and counting annually. The NPS has 409 national sites in the United States. Visiting these federally preserved lands has become an American tradition that has been passed down through generations as visitors are mesmerized by the beauty and splendor found in each of the unique national parks. And the NPS has succeeded with record-breaking attendance each year, including international travelers. A study by George Washington University (GWU) published in 2000
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There is nothing so American as our national parks. . . . The fundamental idea behind the parks . . . is that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all us. —President Franklin D. Roosevelt to pass this love on to her children. During one family vacation to Zions National Park in southwestern Utah, she and her husband, Scott, hiked Angels Landing with their children. Because their seven-year-old son was a little nervous about the ascent, Scott tied a rope around their son’s waist and helped him succeed on his hike to the top. Layton said this was when she saw a real turning point in her son’s confidence. For her, national parks remind her of family trips such as these, as well as the experiences and confidence the parks have given her children. “National parks are destination spots—that’s where you take your family,” she says. And the tradition continues with the Layton children and grandchildren. Layton reported that because of
the government’s initiative “Every kid in a park,” children in fourth grade and their families can visit national parks for free. Her grandson who is in the fourth grade was excited to choose parks to visit with his family—keeping their family’s generational appreciation of the national parks alive. Similarly, Sariah McCarrey, who grew up appreciating the outdoors in her home state of Colorado, reflected on how grateful she is for the chance she had to visit national parks. “Every memory I have of the outdoors as a child is from a national park. Camping, hiking, canoeing, rafting, skiing, picnics; there’s really no limit to what you can do. I’m glad I grew up in a place with those chances, and I want my kids to have them, too.” Lee and Alena Fluharty, also from Utah, are avid national park
Photo found on unsplash.com
reports that of the millions of visitors who come the United States each year, 21% (nearly 5 million) will visit one or more national parks. Not taking into account tourists from other North American countries, the most visitors come from the United Kingdom, France, or Germany. Many of these international visitors find themselves at the Grand Canyon. On a traveler’s first visit, many report how overcome they are by the pristine, awe-inspiring beauty that these unimpaired resources offer. Indeed, GWU’s study found that the qualities most important to international travelers when choosing a park to visit are “scenic beauty and other natural features.” Connie Layton from Utah loves visiting national parks. Layton visited national parks as a child and was able
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enthusiasts as well. The couple bought a National Parks pass (typically $80) that paid for itself within a few months because of all their national park trips. (Fees vary depending on the park, but usually entrance fees are $20–$30.) Fluharty says, “I love the pristine beauty of each place and how we are allowed to go and be a part of each park. I also love how each park is unique and has its own experience that can’t be replicated. I am grateful for the conservation of parks so that everyone has an opportunity to visit and be inspired by nature.” The NPS is celebrating its centennial year with new campaigns and programs to get people involved, such as the “Find Your Park” movement to connect visitors with nearby national parks. The NPS website has information on finding the parks closest to you, volunteering, and planning trips. The NPS also encourages sharing your story about the national parks and reading other people’s stories at nps.gov. In having and sharing these experiences, we are united with others from all over the world as it gives us something in common to celebrate. Edwin C. Bearss, NPS Chief Historian from 1981 to 1994 said, “Such great national symbols and meccas as
the Liberty Bell, the battlefields on which our independence was won and our union preserved, the Lincoln Memorial, the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, and numerous other treasures of our national park system belong to all of us . . . help make us all Americans.” In celebration of 100 years of America’s “best idea,” the NPS is looking forward to the next 100 years of preservation, education, and recreation. A central part of this centennial celebration is involving the public in the future of the NPS. The NPS is encouraging people to support the organization through volunteering and exploring national parks across the country. So now is the time to plan a trip to the park that has always been on your bucket list and prepare for an amazing park experience, and you, too, will come to understand and appreciate “America the beautiful.”
National Park Fun Facts ▶▶
NPS land is 84 million acres of federally managed land in 409 separate areas.
The largest park is the Wrangell-ST. Elias National Park and Preserve in Alaska with 13.2 million acres.
The smallest area is the Thaddeus Kosciuszko Memorial in Pennsylvania with 0.02 acres.
National parks had 292,800,082 visitors in 2014.
Yellowstone National Park was the first national park, created in 1872.
Both National Geographic and CNN report that the most visited national park is the Great Smoky Mountains, located in North Carolina and Tennessee.
National parks are home to both the highest and lowest points in North America—the highest is Denali in Denali National Park and Preserve in
Below: A panorama from the Grand Canyon National Park. Over five million visitors witness the Grand Canyon’s beauty every year.
Alaska and the lowest is in Badwater Basin in Death Valley California.
A vacation is often a step outside a traveler’s frame of reference. However, the footsteps of tourists often remain in the countries they visit, even after they go home. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) announced that over 1.2 billion people traveled abroad in 2015, and it estimates that the amount of tourism will continue to increase yearly by 4%. This surge in tourism has benefited the world in ways that go beyond extended horizons and lasting memories, especially for developing countries. Increased international tourism has helped stimulate the economy. In
fact, international tourism brought in a revenue of $1.5 trillion in 2014 (UNWTO 2015). This increase in revenue has also resulted in the expansion of job opportunities. One out of every eleven jobs worldwide is related to tourism. The tourism industry is growing faster in emerging and developing regions than in the rest of the world (UNWTO 2010). The surge in tourism in these developing countries has impacted their economies dramatically. In fact, some developing countries receive over 25% of their GDP through tourism. While many international organizations celebrate this impact, others criticize tourism’s effect on the environment. They complain that repercussions of tourism lead to the depreciation of limited natural
by Lisa MacKay
resources, unique cultures, and natural landscapes. Overall, most international organizations support the idea that sustainable tourism—responsible travel that minimizes the effect of tourism on the environment and local cultures—can help solve a concerning worldwide issue: poverty. The increase of tourism in developing countries, such as Nicaragua, Vietnam, and Kenya, has helped wake up the populations of these countries by providing the means to escape poverty.
For those who remember Nicaragua’s rocky political past, Nicaragua seems like a dangerous, anti-tourist country. In spite of the conflict it experienced
Left: Nicaraguan children enjoy shade from the tropical heat. Many Nicaraguan families have only a few plastic chairs in their homes. Right: Nicaragua’s government is taking action to protect its wildlife. In English, this sign says, “Welcome to Nicaragua: Green Hope Reserve, refuge of wildlife.”
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Left: photo by greenfields2008; Right: photo by F Delventhal
Watch Your Step! The Effect of Tourism
Left: photo by Ivar Abrahamsen; Right: photo by M M
decades ago, Nicaragua has become the safest country in Central America. However, the safest country is also known as one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere. The average Nicaraguan worker earns $1 to $2 per day. Despite their lack of wealth, Nicaraguans maintain a happy, carefree perspective on life. This perspective injects their beautiful country with a personality that attracts tourists from all over the world. In the past decade, tourism in Nicaragua has increased dramatically. In 2009, the country received one million visitors for the first time in history. Since then, Nicaragua has continued to grow as a hot spot for tourists. Tourists enjoy the beautiful country and its vibrant culture, and residents enjoy the chance to interact with new people and discover fresh sources of income. In addition to providing increased opportunities for Nicaraguans to earn money through hotels, restaurants, and recreational activities, tourism has also helped boost the agriculture, trade, construction, and financial industries. When asked about the effect that the increase of tourism has had on the country, Nicaraguan resident and market research specialist Daniel Falabella explained, “Tourism has become a
major driving force in Nicaragua. Nicaraguans have discovered that they can show their history, culture, cuisine, dances, and landscapes around the world. That has changed the mentality of the people of this country. They are waking up.” The progress of the country in the past decade is incredible. Millions of tourists have enjoyed the affordable thrills of volcano boarding, surfing, exploring wildlife, and experiencing the unique customs of Nicaragua. And alongside these tourists are locals prospering from the increased cash flow that has entered the country. Though Nicaragua thoroughly enjoys the economic stimulus that tourism brings, it must also be prepared to protect its most precious asset: biodiversity. When large companies and resorts take over the tourism industry, the environment pays for it. Most large businesses and the tourists that frequent them tend to ignore the concept of water conservation. In a single day, unconscientious tourists use more water than some local families use in a month. Fortunately, Nicaragua is one of the leading countries for sustainable tourism. It hosts many hotels and restaurants that strive to produce highvolume products through low-impact
resources. Eco-hotels dot the country and provide more authentic, intimate experiences with Nicaraguan culture while minimizing the negative effect of tourism on the environment.
The amount of visitors to the stunning vistas, floating markets, and delectable cuisine of Vietnam has increased in the past few decades. In 1993, Vietnam hosted only ten thousand travelers, but in 2015, almost eight million people came to explore the developing country. Vietnam’s government aims to become a developed country by 2020, and the positive impacts of tourism will certainly help the country reach its goal. Tourism is stimulating the economy of Vietnam by gradually enabling impoverished Vietnamese farmers to move on to more profitable sources of income. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the tourism industry in Vietnam generated 1,963,500 jobs for local residents in 2014. These new income sources are associated with the retail, food, recreation, and accommodation industries. Diverse culture and environments throughout the country draw in Vietnam’s visitors. Unfortunately,
Left: Vietnam is famous for its caves. Tourists come from all over the world to explore them. The government is beginning to implement programs to protect its natural treasures. Right: A rice farmer works in a paddy. An average Vietnamese family earns only $100 a month from cultivating rice.
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not explored until 2009. After extensive analysis and preparation, the cave was opened to the public in 2013. However, only Oxalis Adventure Tours is permitted to take daring cavers into the cave. The company states that “less people have seen the inside of Hang Son Doong than have stood on the summit of Mount Everest.” Oxalis takes only 500 visitors, led by guides trained in cave conservation, on expeditions into the cave each season. Despite suggestions to build a cable car in the cave, Vietnam plans to preserve Hang Son Doong in its natural state.
Tourism in sub-Saharan Africa is still relatively slow, but Kenya aims to rise above other popular tourist destinations by the year 2030. As the home of over fifty natural reserves, Kenya entertains visitors with its incredible variety of wildlife. One of Africa’s greatest national parks, Maasai Mara, hosts a broad variety of resident wildlife. Kenya
Oxalis Adventure Tours leads visitors through the world’s largest cave, Hang Son Doong. The cave is so large that it has its own jungle, river, and climate.
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promotes sustainable tourism through its large conservation areas, where hunting is prohibited. In addition, strict laws limit the number of hotels built near these areas. Though tourists visit the country year-round, one of Kenya’s greatest draws to tourists is the great wildebeest migration. No other location in the world supports such a large migration. From July to October, up to two million wildebeest—accompanied by thousands of gazelles, zebras, and elands—roam from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara National Park in Kenya. As they migrate in search of greener pastures, the wildebeest risk their lives by crossing rivers teeming with ferocious crocodiles and traveling through plains where larger carnivores attack. This unique phenomenon attracts tourists from all over the world, bringing in a strong source of revenue to the country and its residents. Tourism contributes to 10% of Kenya’s GDP and provides 9% of the its employment opportunities. Often, global companies benefit from tourism more than the local communities that host tourists do. The flow of safari-seeking tourists has encouraged the government to seek opportunities to help its residents progress economically. According to the UNWTO’s ethics code, sustainable tourism should allow local populations to “be associated with tourism activities and share equitably in the economic, social and cultural benefits they generate.” The Kenyan government has taken many precautions to both protect its environment and help its local populations. For instance, it promotes visits to tribal villages. Visitors to the village found in Maasai Mara can experience Kenyan culture by observing ritual dances and getting to know the locals. Some villagers even offer to take visitors on special excursions to see wildlife. A visitor to the Maasai Mara village commented that despite certain
Photo by Nguyen Tan Tin
the visitors, drawn by the scenery, often contribute to increased pollution in previously unspotted locations. In addition, large resorts often abuse natural resources by using excessive amounts of water and disposing of waste in major waterways. In an interview on www.businessin-asia.com, Vu The Binh, the former director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, stated “Tourist growth, in terms of headcounts of tourists, plus the amount of vehicles always produces two types of impacts, both positive and negative.” He later explained that the administration is devising plans to retain Vietnam’s cultural identity and protect its natural beauty while still hosting large numbers of tourists. Many of Vietnam’s impressive sites are now protected by the government. Promoting sustainable tourism has become a priority throughout the country. For example, the country cautiously protects the world’s largest cave, Hang Son Doong. Discovered in 1991 by a local farmer, the cave was
features tourist traps, the tour helped her understand “what a modest but happy existence these people lead.” Money spent by tourists in these villages stays with the locals, thereby providing some relief from the poverty that they experience.
Footprints of Tourism
Tourism is changing the world, destination by destination. As tourism boosts the economy of developing countries, it also puts the previously untouched, natural treasures of Mother Nature and local populations at risk of becoming a carbon copy of every other tourist trap in the world. By supporting local organizations, avoiding unnecessary pollution, and conserving natural resources, tourists can enjoy the paradise without endangering it. Anita Desai once said, “Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.” Travel changes tourists as they exchange everyday life for memorable adventures. These adventures impact more than just tourists; their footprints affect the economy and environment wherever they go.
Above: Wildebeest and zebras cross a river during the annual wildebeest migration. Below: A Maasai Mara tribe member carries her baby as the tribe welcomes visitors.
Want to decrease your impact on the environment as you travel? Here are Top: photo by joxeankoret; Bottom: photo courtesy of Bill Abbott
some tips on how to do so: ▶▶
Seek out eco-friendly hotels. Many lodgings make conscious efforts to reduce their carbon footprint on the environment.
Eat local. It’ll help the local economy while you get a more cultural experience.
Avoid excessive water consumption. Many developing countries have limited resources, so don’t be wasteful.
Walk or use public transportation. This will reduce adding unnecessary fumes to the air.
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by Tiffanie Abbott
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Bottom left: photo by Ewa Gillen
People watch animal documentaries because, as human beings, we find animal behavior absolutely fascinating. There’s something about seeing the rawness of nature in wildlife that intrigues us, since people are typically far removed from anything wild. We may take it a step beyond watching a documentary, or maybe we go to the zoo to see these animals up close. However, nothing compares to seeing these majestic, exotic creatures interacting in their natural habitats. To protect both the creatures and their habitats from uncontrolled intrusions, many organizations around the world have created preservation centers and wildlife parks. Touring these protected natural sites can give visitors the best look into the eyes of a truly wild animal.
Ngorongoro: The Valley of the Crater
Photography by Bill Abbott, except as noted
Ngorongoro Crater is the most naturally made pen in the world, filled with all of the iconic animals of the savanna. The crater was created millions of years ago and has been home to concentrated populations of various species ever since. The chance to see all of the Big Five species—the lion, elephant, water buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros—entices
wildlife lovers from all around the globe to travel to this otherworldly wonder. Ngorongoro is located in the highlands of Tanzania, where the temperatures drop and the foliage is greener than that of the yellow plains at lower altitudes. Before reaching the crater by car, visitors travel through a maze of mist and vines that couldn’t look any more different from other safari sites in Tanzania and nearby Kenya. But once they approach the rim, the entire world seems to open up as they peer into the vast expanse of the crater below. Driving through the crater, visitors will find themselves immersed in herds of animals crowding the open plains. At some watering holes, zebras and wildebeests mingle without taking notice of one another. Zebras roll around in the dirt as young wildebeests play tag. Visitors may be so engrossed in watching these peaceful grazing animals that they—like the animals—neglect to notice a lioness stalking the large herd, waiting for her opportune moment to strike. Near the popular picnic site, visitors can eat by the home of a group of hippopotamuses. The water-loving giants may seem gentle, but they are among the most aggressive animals on the planet. At Ngorongoro, visitors have the entire safari at
arm’s length. The opportunity to see so many of Africa’s beloved species all in one spot makes this crater a popular destination for those wanting to see wildlife at its best.
Galápagos: A Parade of Exotic Animals
Off the coast of Ecuador, the Galápagos Islands are a must-see for any wildlife lover. Strict air travel policies make it a hassle to get to the islands, but be assured that a trip to the Galápagos is well worth the wait. The islands’ only indigenous inhabitants—the animals—inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Almost two hundred years later, visitors to the islands can see many of the same species that Darwin observed on his voyage aboard the Beagle. The parade of exotic animals begins almost as soon as visitors leave the airport. During the latter part of the year, giant sea turtles swim in shallow waters around the islands, even in the small channel between Baltra— where the airport is located—and Santa Cruz Island.
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The Galápagos Islands are volcanic landmasses with two very different climates. In the misty highlands at the center of the islands are giant tortoises, perhaps the most well-known inhabitants of the Galápagos. In earlier centuries, sailors used tortoises as a reliable, long-term food source, since the tortoises can live up to a year without any nourishment. However, this led the species to be hunted to near extinction. Now, the islands have made a concentrated effort to protect these gentle reptiles by building sanctuaries for them. These tortoise sanctuaries are located in the highlands and typically house several different species of the slow-moving giants. The sanctuary on San Cristóbal Island also features several enclosures with baby tortoises that delight visitors of all ages. Visitors that are up for a day trip can book a boat to take them to Punta Pitt, San Cristóbal’s most northeastern point where three different species of booby birds live. The bluefooted booby is exactly what its name implies—a curious-looking sea bird with unique blue feet. Local scientists have yet to figure out why the birds’ feet are blue, but this intriguing feature brings tourists from all over the world to this island to photograph the strange birds.
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Kangaroo Island: In the Corner of the World
It isn’t hard to find the islands’ most ubiquitous inhabitants: marine iguanas and sea lions. Marine iguanas frequent the rocks around the beaches but can also be seen taking a swim in the pristine water to cool off during the middle of the day. Sea lions take up any slab of flat surface available to take a nap. Manmade piers, fountains, and park benches suit their sleeping needs much better than the wet sand they’re typically used to. If visitors don’t watch where they step, they could end up in the middle of a sea lion’s personal space. To get close and personal with wildlife, consider a trip to these beautiful islands where the animals really run the show.
The first thing visitors notice when they step off the ferry at Kingscote— commuting from mainland Australia—is that, though people do live there, this island is dedicated to the wildlife. The numerous groups of kangaroos and wallabies roam the island freely, sometimes at the risk of getting hit by cars. Though visitors have to keep their distance from the animals, Kangaroo Island is one of the best places in the world to observe these truly unique marsupials in their natural habitat. Nearby is a miraculous natural wonder called Admirals Arch, a former cave that has been eroded into a strangely mesmerizing hole in the
From top: photography by Ed Dunens, Yun Huang Yong, and Cazz
rock. Stalactites decorate the underside of the arch, making it an ideal natural frame for a stunning sunset picture. Visitors may marvel at the arch, but their attention is soon drawn to the colony of fur seals that calls the formation home. The seals enjoy lounging about on the flat rocks at the bottom of the arch while the pups play in the shallow water nearby. Echidnas, ancient mammals like spiny anteaters, are perhaps the strangest inhabitants here. They can be found throughout Kangaroo Island. Look for creatures putting their noses to the ground, searching for insects to eat. Lounging in the higher branches of gum trees around the island are Australia’s most beloved animals— the koala. But even if one is hanging around, it may not be awake since koalas spend most of the day sleeping. In certain areas near the ferry dock at Kingscote, visitors can spot the smallest penguins in the world. Little Blue (or Fairy) Penguins frequent the shores of the island. Visitors may need flashlights to see the penguins because the best time to spot these adorable birds is around dusk when they’re on their way back from a long day of fishing. As the home of exotic animals found only in this small corner of the world, Kangaroo Island has much to offer. A stop here is an enriching experience for any wildlife seeker. Visiting famous sites and cities is a satisfying part of any vacation, but nothing can compare to the richness of watching nature at work in the animal kingdom. Taking time out of a vacation to watch wildlife adds so much to a trip. Sometimes it takes journeying to the valley of a crater, secluded volcanic islands, or an isolated corner of the world to find places where people can see wildlife as it was meant to be—wild.
Take Me to Space! A Trip Outside of the Ozone
by Lauren Whitby
When Neil Armstrong took that first step onto the moon in 1969, millions of Americans witnessed a huge victory for the United States through blackand-white, rabbit-eared television boxes. They had won the great space race and succeeded in landing on the moon. Armstrong had a small glimpse of what the future held as he spoke his iconic words, but his giant leap seems minuscule compared to the possibilities we can see in the near future. Soon travelers will get to choose between Miami, Morocco, and Mars for their next big family vacation. www.stowawaymag.com â—€ 37
Concept art of SpaceX’s Dragon landing on Mars. A trip to Mars is the ultimate goal of commercial space expeditions.
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people with huge pocketbooks? And (2) Is space travel actually realistic or is it all just false hopes and dreams? Programs like Virgin Galactic are taking space travel beyond fantasy. Virgin Galactic is a commercial airline with plans to take people to space. They state their mission on their website, virgingalactic.com: “We are here because we believe we are at the vanguard of a new space industry that is defining the future of exploration and that we will ultimately make space accessible to more people and for more purposes than ever before.” The airline seems to be heading commercial space exploration. It has the goal of bringing typical travels outside of the atmosphere, but the program still has a way to go.
Hutchison says, “Currently, Virgin Galactic has already sold seats to go up into space. I believe per seat they are charging $250,000 and are set to fly in the next couple of years.” Paying the price of a decent home to go to space doesn’t seem reasonable to middle-income families, and even these flights don’t have firm schedules or departure dates. “Working in the space industry, I know that flights are never on schedule, and my prediction is that it will be at least another five years before they fly,” says Hutchison. “The day they fly will definitely be an awesome day.” Hutchison also provides a bit of hope for those of us who don’t have 250 grand lying around: “Eventually, I think space flight will become similar
Humans are naturally very curious and I think this curiosity and want for adventure will continue to push us forward to explore the unknown.
Photography courtesy of SpaceX
Holly Hutchison, a Payload Integration Manager of the International Space Station, has an insider’s view of current space travel advancements. “We have been steadily moving forward over the years, which I believe will continue because of mankind’s need to explore,” she says. “Humans are naturally very curious, and I think this curiosity and want for adventure will continue to push us forward to explore the unknown.” Just as many have a curiosity to explore new places on earth, space enthusiasts have been pushed to see farther into our solar system, our galaxy, and beyond. The big questions about space travel are (1) When will space travel be available to the public and not just
going to Mars; they consider the prospect to be a work of fiction. This mindset may be caused by the many science fiction films that have set the stage for space travel. The starship
takes place in an entire galaxy where pilots can hop from planet to planet in a matter of seconds. Fictional stories even include the stories of unsuccessful expeditions. Interstellar, released in 2014, portrays some of the dangers of entering unknown territory in space and on other planets. Last year, The Martian awed audiences with the story of a man who gets abandoned on Mars after an unexpected storm in space. The science fiction tales of successful and failed missions coincide closely with the reality of space travel in the twenty-first century. Obviously, it doesn’t take long to come up with risks associated with traveling light-years away from home. Hutchison provides insights to some of these risks and ensures that groups like the International Space Station are very aware of safety concerns: “Space travel is hard. There is no doubt about it. The environment outside of our atmosphere is not suited for humans and is very dangerous. A number of things could go wrong such as a malfunction of hardware, a glitch in the software, and/ or space debris damaging systems,” Hutchinson says. “The way to combat all these different problems from
[ We will first go back to the moon as a sort of ‘test’ mission, but Mars is the ultimate goal.
to air travel. It will be affordable and accessible to almost everyone. This will take at least a few decades to reach though. It will take a significant breakthrough for space travel to become affordable to the middle class American. SpaceX just got us closer to that with the successful landing of their reusable rocket.” SpaceX, an aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company, has a far-reaching and impressive mission to “revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets.” So it may become possible for many people to go to space within their lifetime in exchange for their yearly trip to the Caribbean, and ultimately, they may be able to take permanent residence on earth’s sister planet. Hutchison says, “Right now, the big expedition many people are working on is sending humans to Mars. We will first go back to the moon as a sort of ‘test’ mission, but Mars is the ultimate goal. I think everyone would like to see a non-problematic variation of The Martian happen within the next couple decades.” However, many would never even consider the possibility of personally
Enterprise from the Star Trek saga has a mission similar to the current existing space programs in the real world. The mission of the Enterprise is “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.” Star Wars, a film franchise equally as explosive as Star Trek,
The inside of Crew Dragon, which in the future will take humans to the International Space Station and even farther into space.
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The Crew Dragon spacecraft, designed by SpaceX to take humans into the depths of the solar system.
happening is having a numerous amount of back-ups and fail-safes. That way, if one computer stops working, you’ve still got a second one to take over.” With any trip, there is always potential danger. Travel over land, air, or sea comes with a certain amount of risk. Certainly these concerns are magnified when man travels farther and farther away from home. But with proper preparation and new technology, it appears that hiccups and other dangers will be avoided. Advances in space travel are exciting and greatly anticipated. From a young age, many children proclaim their desire to become astronauts, and even adults dream of soaring through space. Hutchison, a self-proclaimed space fanatic, is no exception. She sums up these sentiments: “I think it would be an experience of a lifetime to go into space! I believe just about everyone who works in the space industry has at least a small part of them that wants to go up in space.” Space research did not start with the idea of people vacationing on Mars or enjoying a drive-by view of Planet Earth. It began with important scientific issues. However, continuous research and curiosity has led to the reality of space travel for anyone who wishes to travel beyond earth’s atmosphere. Soon, many will proclaim their childhood fantasies a reality as they travel beyond the ozone and into outer space.
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POP CULTURE MECCAS
From left: photography by Lindsey Turner, Mario Sánchez Prada, and JR F.
by Danica Baird
Elvis’s Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tennessee; Abbey Road in London, England; and Bergen, Norway, have become popular travel destinations for travelers.
Travelers have long since sought out places associated with classic artists: Stratford to visit Shakespeare’s hometown, Giverny to tour Monet’s house, and Salzburg to bask where Mozart composed his music. However, today’s travelers seem more influenced by pop culture. With the amount of pop culture that the average person consumes, it isn’t
surprising that singers, bands, songs, and movies are influencing flight plans and tourist destinations. The release of George Ezra’s song “Budapest,” for example, sent travelers flocking to the Pearl of Danube, according to The Huffington Post. Elvis, the Beatles, and Disney all seem to demonstrate this phenomenon in an overwhelming fashion. All of these
pop culture icons have changed and continue to change the face of travel.
Following ‘The King’ from One Place to the Next
David Wade, an Elvis Presley fan from England, has followed the King since he was nine years old. While Wade’s lifelong fan status is not too
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MEMPHIS usa uncommon, he set himself apart by making a business out of his passion for all things Presley. In 1972, at the age of 26, Wade started the Elvis Presley Travel Service for other fans in the UK. Every year the company hosts two tours from the UK to the United States, taking their customers to visit the sites connected with the beloved King. On the 25th anniversary of Elvis’s death, Wade’s travel service had a mind-blowing 1,017 people participate in the tour. The travel service also has nearly 13,000 likes on their Facebook page. According to Wade, fans travel to these sites to connect with other fans, to learn more about the history and geography influencing the artist or movie, and to have that competitive edge over other fans. In other words, there’s cultural capital involved.
One might expect that only older generations seek to travel on this tour; however, they have had travelers as young as 19 years old and others as old as 80. Often, several generations within a family will embark on the journey together. Travel inspired by pop culture knows no age limit. Not all Elvis enthusiasts follow the King through an agency. Abby Montano, an Elvis Presley fan from the United States, traveled with her own family to many sites connected with the King. For her, traveling to Elvis Presley sites was more about creating familial bonds than anything else. Her grandpa loved Elvis his entire life—his family even affectionately called him Elvis, as they claim he looks just like the King. Through her journeys to sites connected to Elvis, she has had an
MEMPHIS usa Elvis’s Trophy House in his Graceland Mansion.
opportunity to remember Elvis and make memories with her family. From his residence in Memphis, Tennessee, to his birthplace in Tupelo, Mississippi, the King made an undeniable presence and true fans like Wade or Montano have attempted to go to every one of them.
ABBEY ROAD england ARENDAL norway
Crossing Abbey Road
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ABBEY ROAD england She isn’t alone in this thinking either. Thousands of users on Bucketlist.org have listed crossing Abbey Road as an event to complete in their lifetime and thousands more have posted photos and stories of their journey to the iconic site.
So many people cross Abbey Road that every three months, the city has to repaint the wall next to the crossing to cover all of the fans’ graffiti, according to a BBC article. There is even a live webcam so people can see footage of themselves
Photo by Mark Stephenson
Holly Mancuso’s travel was also inspired by music, but her passion took her across the pond to England’s Abbey Road, made famous by the Beatles. Abbey Road represents a sort of Beatles Mecca; a place where every fan seeks to take the iconic photo featured on the Beatles’ cover art in 1969. While a fan of the Beatles, she mostly wanted to go there to say she’d been. The street cred earned by saying, “I went there,” and taking cool photos is just too much to pass up. “When you’ve been to a place, you can say ‘Oh, I’ve been there,’” Mancuso says.
crossing the road. Fans have to work to get this coveted photo because Abbey Road is still a busy road. Tourists have to either wake up early or try to take the photo while dodging around the bustling traffic. In 2010, the minister for Tourism and Heritage gave Abbey Road a Grade II building status. A Grade II building status is designated for monuments of national importance and of special interest, according to an article by The Telegraph. Only 5.5% of all buildings in England have received
this distinction, an honor typically reserved for historical buildings such as Rise Hall, the London Coliseum (a theatre that opened in 1904), or the Bank Hall Mansion House (which dates back to the seventeenth century). Abbey Road was the first road to ever receive this status. The fact that the Beatles turned this road into a national monument is remarkable. Despite the legacy the road has created, it was chosen by mere coincidence. Before the Beatles and Abbey Road Studios, it was just a
road. In a BBC article Minister John Penrose said, “This London zebra crossing is no castle or cathedral but, thanks to the Beatles and a 10-minute photo shoot one August morning in 1969, it has just as strong a claim as any to be seen as part of our heritage.” Londoners have definitely claimed Abbey Road as part of their heritage, and travelers around the globe seem to want to make it part of their own cultural experience as well.
ARENDAL norway Disney’s Frozen Helps Heat Up Travel in Norway
Disney films have influenced travel as much as the Beatles and Elvis, if not more so. Even though many of Disney’s films are animated, they still influence travel decisions. Disney has created tours based off their films. One movie in particular that seemed to heat up travel was Disney’s Frozen. Frozen became an immediate success upon its release in November 2013. The movie inspired parodies, spoofs, and numerous covers of the song “Let it Go.” The popularity of the movie sparked an increased interest in the country that inspired the setting. Arendelle, the city in Frozen, was based off an actual port town on Norway’s southern coast, Arendal, and many other cities, such as Bergen and Oslo served as inspiration for the movie. Consequently, Norway’s tourism has more than tripled since the
film was released, according to an NPR article. The effect has been staggering. Visit.Norway.com saw an increase of 350% of visitors to their website. There was a 37% increase in hotel bookings and a 40% increase in tour operators receiving business, according to Time.com. Furthermore, Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA’s ticket sales went up by 52% for flights from the United States to Norway, and Flight Tracker Norwegian flights went up 153%.
Photo by Tom Andre Skarning
ABBEY ROAD england
Creating Memories and Fostering Connection
Regardless of how pop culture influences travel, the activity seems to create lifelong memories for travelers of varying ages, genders, and countries of origin. Memories are made through traveling, and as a result, travelers seek to amplify connections to artists by traveling to
Arendal, Norway was inspiration for Disney’s Frozen.
places connected to them. Pop culture might be a frivolous industry for some, but when it comes to travel, it’s had a serious impact.
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` A la Carte
Restaurants by Kayci Treu
The Dinner in the Sky Restaurant provides diners with a rich cultural and culinary experience.
“You have to taste a culture to understand it,” according to travel writer Deborah Cater, and she’s quite right. After all, what is travel without experiencing new tantalizing tastes? What is a visit to Philadelphia without a Philly cheesesteak? Or to Maryland without crab cakes? Internationally, one simply must taste gyros in Greece, Peking duck in China, and massaman curry in Thailand. 44 ▶ fall 2016
features Make no doubt about it, eating local foods is a necessary part of gaining the full cultural experience. But say that the food itself was the focus of a trip. Several restaurants around the world have made it their goal to create a unique eating experience, drawing you to them for a one-of-a-kind dinner. There are far too many strange and extraordinary restaurants than can possibly be covered here, but here are a few favorites.
Turn up the Heat
From left: photos courtesy of dinnerinthesky.com, Ed Ralph, and Christine McIntosh
Why use an ordinary oven when you could use a volcano for your grill or set a chicken ablaze and launch it through the air with a giant catapult? Restaurants El Diablo in Lanzaarote, Canary Islands, and Ka-Tron Restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand, use these unique cooking methods to draw the dinner crowd. Appropriately named “The Devil,” El Diablo harnesses the heat of bubbling lava—six feet underground and surrounded by nine layers of volcanic basalt rock—to cook its meat and fish entrées on a giant grill laid above the opening of the volcano.
El Diablo’s manager, Julio Padron, says that they consulted volcanic scientists in the construction of this daredevil cooking method, who declared it safe. The excitement of a lava-broiled dinner is supplemented by the restaurant’s breathtaking panoramic views of Timanfaya National Park, framed by the “Montanas del Fuego,” or Fire Mountains, which include roughly 100 volcanos. Fortunately, the last eruption took place in 1824, so guests feel safe enjoying their dinner and the picturesque volcanic landscape. Ka-Tron “Flying Chicken” Restaurant has been catapulting fried chicken since 1986. Their famous entrée is steamed and deep fried, then set ablaze and launched in the air via a giant catapult to be caught on metal skewers held by waiters on unicycles. How’s that for dinner and a show?
The sky’s the limit! —David Ghysels
Customers at Ithaa Undersea Restaurant in the Maldives enjoy a beautiful view of ocean life through panoramic glass windows while dining.
Imagine eating in a parka because everything around you is made of glass, steel, and ice. The Chillout Lounge in Times Square Center, Dubai, is the Middle East’s first subzero lounge. It cools temperatures down to negative six degrees for a very “chill” environment. Upon entering, visitors are given thermal clothing to keep them warm and are invited to acclimate for a few minutes in a buffer room. Once inside the winter wonderland, guests can make selections from a menu consisting of hot soups, sandwiches, juices, hot chocolate, coffee, tea, and a variety of desserts.
Guests look on as the grill at El Diablo uses volcanic heat to cook the meat for that night's entrees.
Location, Location, Location
The following restaurants believe it’s not just what you eat but where. From dinner underwater to dinner in the sky, these restaurant locations are sure to be memorable. Sebastian from The Little Mermaid told Ariel that “it’s better down where it’s wetter.” If that is true, then Ithaa Undersea Restaurant is the best. Ithaa means “mother of pearl” in Dhivehi (language of the Maldives), an appropriate name for what New York Daily News called “the most beautiful rest aurant in the world” in 2014. Located 16 feet below sea level near Rangali Island in the Maldives, Ithaa is the first all-glass undersea restaurant in the world. Fourteen people at a time may enjoy the 270-degree panoramic underwater view while savoring fine cuisine from a menu including rock lobster, pan fried duck foie gras, and seared linecaught barrier reef fish. If being underwater makes you a little squeamish but you still like the occasional splash, wade through a waterfall at Waterfalls Restaurant in San Pablo City, Philippines. Located at the Villa Escudero Resort, the restaurant features local Philippian cuisine on handmade bamboo tables set in the running water of the Labasin Falls. Visitors can even get a post-meal massage under the rushing water. No shirt, no shoes? No problem!
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Themed restaurants create a unique dining experience as varied as the owners’ imaginations. The following restaurants offer truly remarkable experiences, including privies, earthquakes, and spies. Modern Toilet, an unusual name for a restaurant, is located in Taipei, Taiwan. Contrary to what the name might suggest, this is a sanitary eatery
Diners enjoy delicious food and spectacular views at Dinner in the Sky.
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A meal at Modern Toilet, where all food is served in mini toilet bowls.
Where creative marketing is king, even feces can be turned into gold! —Modern Toilet with edible entrées. Initially, it only sold chocolate ice cream in toiletbowl-shaped containers, but the humor caught on, and Modern Toilet is now a fully-fledged bathroomthemed eatery. Enjoy a variety of entrées, eaten out of miniature-sized toilet bowls while sitting on a standard size loo. Drinks are served in tiny urinals. According to the restaurant’s home page, their goal is to become “the number one brand in themed chain restaurants.” Their slogan? “In an age where creative marketing is king, even feces can be turned into gold!”
Have an appetite for destruction? At Disaster Café in Lloret de Mar, Spain, every meal is served with a 7.8 earthquake. While quaking of that magnitude would normally be enough to force all thoughts of food out of mind, diners at this restaurant pay for the experience. Things may get slightly messy, but the building is built to keep everyone safe. Dishes are heavier than normal and staff wear construction suits and helmets. No one knows when, but at some point during the meal, the lights go out and the ground suddenly starts to shake. Around here, spills and thrills are the norm. Shhh! The Safe House restaurant in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (USA) is topsecret. The plaque adjacent the door reads “International Exports, LTD. ESTAB. 1868,” but speak the secret password, and you step inside to find a spy-themed eatery with an escape route. Magicians and DJs frequent the premises, and the top-secret menu offers signature sandwiches, salads, and special entrées. You might even get a top-secret mission. But you didn’t hear it from us.
Above: photo by RiNux; Left: photo courtesy of dinnerinthesky.com
Imagine eating your dinner strapped to a chair around a table with 21 other people, dangling 180 feet in the air. This is the reality of Dinner in the Sky where, according to Belgian founder David Ghysels, “The sky’s the limit!” Diners are strapped to race car seats with six-point harnesses around two 29 by 18 foot tables and hoisted in the air by a crane. The chef and serving crew stand on a floor in the center of the tables where they use a convection oven to finalize the three-course meal (plus dessert), most of which was prepared in advance. One crew member also provides entertainment. Although it is based in Belgium, Dinner in the Sky has traversed many continents outside of Europe, visiting over 40 countries, including Australia, India, Brazil, Dubai, Mexico, Japan, United States, South Africa, and China. It is perfect for an open air dining experience; just don’t look down.
Bayanihan: The Spirit of the Philippines
A Warrior Spirit
Artwork in Action: Saying Yes to Street Art
The Kimono: An Icon for the Ages
Flipped: Treasure Out of Trash
Four Corners of the Kitchen: Cinnamon
Experience the festival that celebrates cooperation and community among the Filipino people.
Discover the history behind New Zealand’s famous Haka dance.
Tour some of the graffiti hot spots of the world.
Track the influence of the Japanese garment that’s both trendy and traditional.
Learn how Kenyans are turning trash into amazing art.
Try these four unique recipes that use cinnamon.
An Ocean Sole artist in Kenya converts bits of old foam flip-flops into an ornament for a sculpture. Photo by Ocean Sole
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The Spirit of the Philippines
The traditional Filipino house is called a bahay kubo, or a nipa hut on stilts, which is a house built with bamboo sticks and a roof of woven nipa leaves. In a traditional bayanihan, when a family wanted to
move, they enlisted the help of their neighbors to lift the house and carry it to the new location. Men would cross bamboo sticks underneath the house and carry it on their shoulders. Similar to a barn raising, moving a neighborâ€™s
home was a time for work and fun. After the hard work of lifting, moving, and establishing the home, the festivities began, including food and games. Filipinos today continue to collaborate to help one another. Their spirit
Photo by Lien Bryan
The Bayanihan Festival celebrated in the Philippines today celebrates the Filipino spirit of cooperation and community. The festivalâ€™s name comes from the word bayanihan (pronounced buy-a-knee-hun), which refers to a communityâ€™s tradition in which the members help one another to transport their houses.
Their spirit of cooperation and community creates a unique culture of cooperation and community creates a unique culture that can be enjoyed by Filipinos and tourists alike.
Top: photo by Bar Fabella; Bottom: photo by Chuwa(Francis), photo modified
For centuries, the Filipino people would come together to help move neighbors’ homes. Though today moving houses in this way is rare—it does still happen in some rural areas—the spirit of bayanihan carries on. The idea of cooperation is especially evident in the face of a natural calamity, and the Philippines is known for its natural disasters. The Philippine islands are prone to typhoons, tropical storms, earthquakes, and volcanoes. According to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, the Philippines has an average of twenty typhoons each year. The day after a typhoon, the community gathers together and helps clean up. They cut up fallen trees and heave them off the road and scavenge the wreckage for pieces to rebuild their houses.
Today, any charity event or gathering with a purpose is called a bayanihan. Each city or area is divided into barangays, which are like small communities or community councils. Each barangay has a barangay leader and a barangay hall with a variety of resources for members of the community. Barangay halls serve as gathering places for meetings, basketball games, and medical help. The friendly Filipino spirit flows through the city, as friends and neighbors linger outside to talk and eat while kids play games in the streets. The spirit of community is not restricted to natives; strangers are welcomed in and offered food and friendship. Though the bayanihan festivals that reenact moving homes are rare, Pasig, a city just east of Manila, holds a festival every November. Each barangay (district) of Pasig enters a team with a nipa hut to carry in a race. The race consists of several stations where
the team members are presented with a variety of challenges that must be completed before the team can cross the finish line.
The True Spirit of Bayanihan
The Filipino spirit of bayanihan is evident throughout the Philippines. The Filipinos’ love for everyone is obvious to all who travel there because the spirit of bayanihan is carried on by the Filipinos in so many aspects of their lives. If presented with the opportunity to attend a Bayanihan Festival, watch the race closely, since it is a perfect demonstration of the bayanihan spirit of collaboration and community. But even if you are unable to make it to a bayanihan festival, you will still be able to feel the bayanihan spirit wherever you go in the Philippines.
A Warrior Spirit
Men line up to perform the Haka at a celebration. The Haka is often performed at weddings, homecomings, and sporting events.
It was my junior year, and school spirit drenched the sky on another cold night of footballâ€”I thought it was going to be a dull wait. But then the team came out, tearing off their helmets, their faces already glowing with sweat and their arms clenching. They lined up on the 30-yard line, facing the crowd in the stands. Then the team squatted with all knees and legs at the same angle. 50 â–ś fall 2016
They all struck at the same breath, palms and forearms coming together in a loud thwack. And then they screamed and roared with palms against thighs; other palms on chests—thwack—rocking to a beat as the leader screamed. They looked ready for war. Everyone went ballistic. The first time you see it, the Haka looks like lines of huge, hulking men pounding on their arms and legs, yelling with tongues held out like lizards. That is the meaning of the Haka on the surface level: intimidation. The Haka also symbolizes unity. In the words to the chant, the leader yells one syllable per beat:
This chant can be scary but also beautiful. To some, the Haka inspires fear, but for others, it brings a connection to their ancestors and to their relatives. In a video on YouTube of a bride watching her relatives perform the Haka, the dance drove the bride to tears. For her, the Haka symbolized the death of one life but the birth of another life with her husband.
Cup 2011 before playing the French team. The video on YouTube has over 7.5 million views. Since then, reports of the Haka have popped up everywhere, including a flash mob in London, a ceremony to mourn a fallen soldier in Afghanistan, a celebration of fifty years of peace between South Korea and New Zealand, and even a show
KA MATE! KA MATE! It is death! It is death!
KA ORA! KA ORA! It is life! It is life!
KA MATE! KA MATE! We are all going to die!
KA ORA! KA ORA! But now there is peace!
TENEI TE TANGATA, PU-HURU-HURU This is our leader, so hairy
NANA NEI I TIKI MIA, Left: photo by Tommy Wong; Right: photo by Steve Evans
WHAKAWHITI TE RA! made shine the sun of peace!
UPANE! KA UPANE! Together! Keep together!
HUPANE! KAUPANE! Up the step! A second step!
WHITI TE RA! HI! Out comes the sun! Ahh!
Traditionally, performers stick out their long tongues to intimidate the enemy.
The Haka is part of a culture that is deeply rooted in New Zealand. According to Māori mythology, the Haka was a dance that symbolized the sun god Tama-nui-te-rā calling out to his wife, the Summer Maid, Hineraumati. Together, they had a son, Tane-rore, whose name means “the trembling of air on a hot summer day.” This is why, in some versions of the Haka, the dancers quiver their hands. Traditionally, the Haka was used to welcome a visitor, performed at weddings, or chanted before war. Now, the Haka has taken on a popular cultural twist, as you can see by my high school football team’s adaptation. Arguably, the most prominent Haka performance in popular culture was when the All Blacks New Zealand rugby team performed it at the World
before a Blood and Thunder Roller Derby World Cup. Some have called these performances of the Haka an “inappropriate” use of the dance and a betrayal of its traditional roots. But others think differently, like Tom Maxwell, a soccer fan from London, who said, “It’s powerful. What I respect the most is the deep tradition of the haka. Glad to see something can be continued such as this.” Others still feel the bone-chilling reaction. Kane Campbell, a New Zealand native, commented, “As a New Zealander, every time I see the Haka it gives me goose bumps.” Perhaps the most eloquent description of the Haka is from a comment on YouTube saying, there’s “a warrior spirit behind it.”
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Saying Yes to Street Art A tourist walks down a street littered with graffiti in London, United Kingdom.
Though graffiti is often seen as vandalism, many places throughout the world have embraced graffiti as a valid art form and as a way to enhance the community. Any vacation can be complemented with a stop to look at one of these legal graffiti destinations. Found in typical art hubs and less expected locales, graffiti art is visually impressive. A side trip to these outdoor art displays can offer an untamed perspective of any tourist hotspot. 52 â–ś fall 2016
The Graffiti Hall of Fame, New York City
Over the decades, communities in the Big Apple have made an effort to bring more value to graffiti art. Multiple locations across the city are dedicated as open canvases for street painters. The Graffiti Hall of Fame, which is an outdoor wall found at East 106th Street and Park Avenue, easily tops the list. New artists continue to add fresh paint to this wall in East Harlem. The walls, which surround a playground, were designated over thirty years ago as a safe place for street artists to create new works. Graffiti covers every square inch of these walls, encouraging a creative learning environment for the schools that use the playground.
Left: photo by Nourdin Ryan; Vector by Vecteezy.com; Right: photo by picography.co
Downtown Arts District, Los Angeles
Once a wasteland of old warehouses and empty factories, the Downtown Arts District in LA could be overlooked by the unobservant eye; however, the city has been conquered by the arts. The area’s run-down, vacant buildings have blossomed into new studios and galleries. Many of these creative developments come with massive walls of street art, ranging from graffiti tags (painted text and signatures) to realistic portraits and scenery. Several tours, guided by groups like LA Art Tours and Graff Tours, are available to bring visitors to hidden graffiti treasures throughout the city. The district lies roughly between Second Street and Seventh Street and between Alameda Street and the LA River.
Leake Street Tunnel, London Since it is the original home of renowned graffiti artist Banksy, you can easily stumble upon graffiti in the streets of the UK without much effort.
Street art in New York City adds color to the community.
The Leake Street Tunnel (located under Waterloo Station in London) is home to Banksy art, as well as graffiti art from many other local artists. Standing in the tunnel is much like a dream; a vast expanse of brightly colored tags and paintings never seems to end. The “Banksy Tunnel” is continually evolving as new artists leave their mark.
Hosier and Rutledge Lanes, Melbourne Melbourne claims to be one of the street art capitals of the world, and the city’s officials have even designed a legal process to allow colorful art to brighten and inspire the area and its residents. One of the most iconic graffiti hot spots in Melbourne is the area where Hosier Lane and Rutledge Lane intersect. Tall buildings and narrow cobblestone streets form a labyrinth full of graffiti tags and other spraypainted images.
Canal de l’Ourcq, Paris Every summer, France hosts the Festival de l’Ourcq, an event that allows artists to create graffiti along the Canal de l’Ourcq for tourists and locals to enjoy. Visitors can follow the water’s edge through 10 kilometers of street art created by dozens of artists with different levels of experience. The artists find whatever platform they can to become vehicles for their masterpieces, from concrete walls to billboards to other urban surfaces. Graffiti art reveals a unique story between a country’s culture and the arts. Its artists make the arts accessible to all without a museum fee or a closing time. Many works of graffiti are always evolving, but if you can catch an iconic creation on your trip, it will make for—at the very least—an impressive selfie and a distinct memory.
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An Icon for the Ages Just take a stroll through your local metropolis. Celebrities, fashionconscious teens, and young moms pay tribute by wearing variations of the traditional garment. Pop culture has produced an assortment of modern twists: flowy, “kimono-inspired” dresses; bold, floral jackets; purses mimicking the folds of the garment; and even fashion lines inspired entirely by the kimono.
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Its legacy began centuries ago. Derived from the word meaning “wear” and “thing,” the kimono was once primarily heralded for its overall practicality. In AD 700, the Japanese typically wore separate skirts or trousers with an accompanying top for their daily attire. However, when seamstresses developed a new fabriccutting method to cut and sew material in a straight line, the new loose
robe did not require precise measurements for the wearer. And voilà—an iconic new fashion was born. The original kimono was simple— a straight-seamed, T-shaped garment that was easy to both wear and fold. The left side was wrapped over the right (unless dressing the deceased for burial) and fell to the ankles. The obi, a wide sash tied at the back, was used to adjust the kimono to the
Photo by merec0
Kimonos are the ultimate icon of Japanese culture. From the Asian-inspired tops at the trendy clothing chain Forever 21 to Madonna’s vibrant red garb in her 2009 music video and even to Van Gogh’s works inspired by the Land of the Rising Sun, it’s no secret: kimonos are all the rage.
wearer’s body and became the saving grace for those of shorter stature. While the cut of the garment varied, it was the pattern of the material that ultimately showed just how privileged the wearer was. Typically constructed from silk, the kimono displayed colors to reflect the season and occasion for which it was worn, and the female kimono was often constructed from more vibrant, sumptuous material to become a true showstopper. Male or female, common folk or high-class citizen, the kimono became the blue jean of ancient Japan. As Japan grew in economic power into the seventeenth century and beyond, economic activity overseas instigated a fascination with the goods of the Far East. As technological developments reduced the
price of silk, kimonos became more accessible to the general public and gained popularity with fashionable crowds in Europe and America towards the end of the nineteenth century. Its popularity in all forms endures today—both the traditional and the trendy. A symbol of Japan’s feudal past, today the traditional kimono is worn in Japan only at formal occasions and other cultural events, like tea ceremonies, summer festivals, funerals, and New Year’s celebrations. Tourists and locals alike don the kimono while strolling the streets of Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan. While the kimono is now rarely worn as a wardrobe staple, it has become even more highly symbolic of Japanese culture. In the fashion scene, the kimono has experienced a resurgence in
popularity. Because a traditional kimono can cost as much as 10,000 US dollars, the do-it-yourself millennial generation has taken to second-hand kimonos that can be refashioned to meet modern trends. In a non-traditional sense, it has become an international inspiration for modern culture—for pop-music videos, artistic masterpieces, and fashion designers. Trends come and go. And it might be a velveteen fringe kimono top at Forever 21, a music video for a pop sensation, or a masterpiece with overseas influence, but one thing is for certain: the kimono is an article of clothing that will endure for years to come.
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Kenya is a land of vast natural beauty. However, the country’s magnificent landscape is marred by the trash that washes up on beaches and flows out of landfills. In the last two decades, entrepreneurial individuals have found ways to recycle certain kinds of waste into beautiful products. Soft foam, sharp knives, and sticky glue grace the workbench at an Ocean Sole production line just outside Nairobi, Kenya. At Ocean Sole, a company that reuses waste for profit, hundreds of thousands of ocean-polluting flip-flops are scavenged from beaches and recycled into colorful animal sculptures and other gifts. In 1997, marine conservationist and native Kenyan Julie Church led a conservation and development project for the Kiunga Marine National Reserve in northern Kenya. During
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this project, Church was horrified by the amount of waste that was washing up on the beaches of eastern Africa. Inspired by the toys that local children made from washed up flip flops, Church encouraged local women to collect, wash, and cut the discarded flip-flops into colorful toys and gifts.
It makes every ecological sense as well as economic sense to recycle waste materials instead of disposing them. This was the beginning of what would eventually become Ocean Sole. Brightly colored African animal sculptures of various sizes are the most common products created by Ocean
Sole. Artists melt flip-flops together, carve them into sculptures by hand, and add foam embellishments. The products are then shipped all over the world and have become popular souvenirs at zoo gift shops and at craft fairs. Corporate social responsibility is at the center of Ocean Sole’s interests. It donates 10% of its production costs and 5% to 25% of its profits to the Ocean Sole Foundation, whose charter is to RISE (recycle, innovate, sustain, and educate) to action. The company employs over 100 Nairobians in city slums and in remote coastal areas. Creating treasure out of trash is not uncommon in Kenya. Other small companies recycle waste to create jobs and provide income for many individuals. David Nderitu, a 16-year-old Kenyan, who began making recycled
Photography courtesy of Ocean Sole
Treasure Out of Trash
jewelry from old technological devices that he now sells both locally and internationally, founded a similar company. Nderitu’s most popular product is his microchip earrings; they are a unique style and are catching on quickly. As of 2014, Nderitu was able to produce 60 pieces of jewelry by himself in two weeks. “It makes every ecological sense as well as economic sense to recycle waste materials instead of disposing them to cause hazardous effects to the soil,” Nderitu stated in an interview with Borgen Magazine. Electronic waste is a growing problem in Kenya: 15,000 tons of electronic waste is shipped there every year. The toxic chemicals inside these electronics are very damaging to the environment. However, recyclers and exporters like Nderitu and Ocean Sole are turning the country’s waste burden into a lucrative business venture. Waste management is an issue that has no obvious or easy solution. Not only do we need to rethink the way we recycle and dispose of unwanted materials, we also need to consider the effects recycling
and disposal have on others down the line. Though both of these visionaries make only a small dent in the amount of waste in Kenya, they are great examples of people doing their best to turn trash into treasure.
Workers at Ocean Sole make sculptures and other objects from recycled flip-flops.
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FOUR CORNERS OF THE KITCHEN
Cinnamon Challenge, anybody? This social media craze may be relatively recent, but cinnamon itself is one of the oldest known spices in the world—it was imported from Egypt as early as 2000 BC and is mentioned in Greek texts beginning in 700 BC. Cinnamon was highly prized in the ancient world, and it was often given as a gift to kings or even as an offering to the gods. Below are some recipes from all around the globe that can help you enjoy the spice worthy of kings, gods, and ill-advised teens.
1 teaspoon vegetable oil 3 cinnamon sticks (about 3” each) 6 scallions, cut into 1½” pieces 6 garlic cloves, smashed 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced 1½ teaspoons anise seeds 1½ teaspoons Asian chili paste 7 cups water 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth ½ cup soy sauce ¼ cup rice vinegar 2½ pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into chunks ¾” thick 9 ounces fresh udon noodles (or 6 ounces dried) 1½ pounds bok choy, chopped ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
Heat the oil in a pot or over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the cinnamon, scallions, garlic, ginger, anise seeds, and chili paste. Let these ingredients cook over the heat for about one minute, stirring frequently to keep the spices from burning or sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add water, broth, soy sauce, and vinegar. Bring to boil. Add the meat to the pot. Stir all ingredients together, maintaining the high heat. Reduce the heat and let simmer partially covered until the meat is tender, about 1½ hours. Check the soup periodically to make sure it doesn’t start boiling or stop simmering.
After the soup has been simmering for about an hour, cook the noodles so they will be ready to add to the rest of the soup. Bring another medium-sized pot of water to boil. Cook the noodles according to package directions until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside. 5. When the meat is tender, remove the cinnamon sticks. Add the bok choy to the soup and simmer until the stalks are tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the noodles and let them warm through, making sure that all ingredients are evenly mixed together. 6. Pour into bowls and garnish with cilantro. Yield: 6–8 servings Total time: 1 hour and 50 minutes Adapted from www.finecooking.com
Moroccan Chickpea Tajine Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil 1 small onion, thinly sliced 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon) 2 (14.5-oz.) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into thin rounds ¼ cup dried currants 1 teaspoon ground turmeric 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground cumin ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 teaspoons honey 2 cups of water 4–8 slices of pita bread (optional)
Photo by Petr Kratochvil
Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté 2 to 3 minutes, or until onion is tender. 2. Stir in chickpeas, carrots, currants, spices, honey, and water, making sure that all ingredients are well mixed. Cover and simmer 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 3. Divide tajine among 4 bowls. Serve with pita bread to dip in the finished tajine, if desired. Yield: 4 servings Total time: 45 minutes Adapted from www.vegetariantimes.com
Snickerdoodles Ingredients 3 tablespoons sugar (for the topping) ½ teaspoon cinnamon (for the topping) 3½ cups flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 2 teaspoons baking soda ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon cinnamon 1 cup butter 2 cups sugar 2 eggs 1 tablespoon light corn syrup 2½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Yield: 35–40 cookies Total time: 30–90 minutes Adapted from www.foodnetwork.com
Ponche (Chilean Punch) Ingredients 1½ quarts cranberry juice ½ teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon nutmeg 6 whole cloves 1 tablespoon lemon peel 1 tablespoon orange peel
Pour the cranberry juice, spices, and peels into a medium-sized pot. Bring the liquid to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to low and let simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, or until cranberry juice has absorbed enough flavor from the spices and peels. 2. Let the drink cool completely, then strain and discard the spices and peels. 3. Poured the strained, cooled cranberry juice into glasses and serve. Yield: 4 servings Total time: 20 minutes Adapted from www.food.com
In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon meant for the topping and set aside. This will be the topping for the cookies. To make the cookie dough, stir together the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar together using either a mixer attachment or a wooden spoon. Add the eggs, corn syrup, and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and mix until all ingredients are evenly blended. If the dough is sticky or difficult to handle, let it chill, covered, in the fridge for about an hour, or until less sticky and easier to handle. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is warming up, roll balls of dough about the size of a walnut. Next, roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar until dough is evenly coated. Place dough balls on an ungreased sheet pan about 2½” apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until dough is puffed up and surface is slightly cracked. Let the cookies cool on the pan for a few minutes to let the dough fully set before putting them on a wire rack to finish cooling.
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29 East 1230 North • Provo, Utah 84604 • 801.377.0031
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vectors: freepik.com & Heydon
Field Notes 62
Highway to the Danger Zone
Safety in the Middle East
Leaving to Live
History of Voluntourism
A look at the most dangerous roads in the world.
A diverâ€™s anomaly on the island of Palau.
Tips for a hassle-free trip to the Holy Land.
The story of forced travelers, including a refugee from Somalia.
The history of worldwide service organizations.
The south side of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, Israel. Photo by Asim Bharwani
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There is something irresistible about crossing dangerous ground. Humans are overcome with a desire to face danger and subsequently to overcome that danger, according to psychologist Saberi Roy. Throughout history, people such as Lewis and Clark and the Wright Brothers have become pioneers in their fields by crossing dangerous and uncharted ground.
e h T o t y a w h g Hi
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r e g n Da e n Zo
Today, people are still making dangerous crossings, although the cause of the danger may come as a surprise. According to the World Health Organization, 1.2 million deaths occur annually across the globe as a result of traffic accidents. Some of these accidents can be attributed to outside factors (alcohol, weather, or other
drivers), but the common denominator for each them is the road. Roads, while very useful when trying to get from point A to point B, can also be quite dangerous and are definitely a force to be reckoned with while traveling in the United States and abroad. Travelers often seek out dangerous roads for the thrill of the ride or even
the majestic views from the steepest inclines. For others, these roads are used out of necessity for commuting and work purposes. Regardless of the reason for traveling these roads, the following three roads battle constantly against humans, nature, and weather, making them some of the world’s most dangerous and deadly.
Guoliang Tunnel Road, China for the treacherous tunnel carved into the side of a mountain. The actual tunnel distance isn’t long—less than a mile; however, space inside the tunnel is minimal—with a width of twelve feet, a height of fifteen feet, and a very steep incline. Due to these spacial
constrictions, travel is particularly difficult in inclement weather—rain makes the already constricted space especially slippery—or even just when passing other cars. However, despite the danger, today the tunnel is a popular destination for tourists to hike through.
Left: photo by FANG Chen; Right: photo by AHLN
Guoliang Tunnel Road was carved out of the Taihang Mountains in 1972 by thirteen villagers in Guoliang. Named by Travel and Leisure as one of the world’s scariest roads, its name literally translates to the “Road that does not tolerate mistakes,” which is fitting
The Guoliang Tunnel was carved out of the Taihang Mountains to give local villagers easier access to the outside world.
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Nanga Parbat Pass, Pakistan
The ninth highest mountain in the world, Nanga Parbat, is only accessible by treacherous roads.
receives no maintenance. Parts of the pass are even too dangerous for cars and can be attempted only on foot. The lack of guardrails, the narrow width of the road, the hazard of falling rocks, the heights that can
induce altitude sickness, and the steep incline of drop-offs make this one of the world’s most deadly roads. International Business Times listed Nanga Parbat Pass as one of the top five deadliest roads in the world. Photo by Guilhem Vellut
The Nanga Parbat Pass, or Fairy Meadows Road, in Pakistan is the starting point for every hiker’s ascent up Nanga Parbat—the ninth highest mountain in the world. The road is steep, rocky, and unpaved and
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Death Road in Bolivia averages around 300 deaths per year.
Photo by AHLN
North Yungas Road, Bolivia The North Yungas Road in Bolivia, more commonly known as “El Camino de la Muerte” (Road of Death), has been named the deadliest road in the world by the Inter-American Development Bank. Even with recent improvements of adding guardrails in areas and leveling out the road, this road still averages 200–300 deaths per year from cyclists not paying attention and getting too close to the edge, or even from entire buses tumbling over the edge. This road connects the capital La Paz to a smaller village Coroico, over 40 miles away. The road
is extremely treacherous because it is so narrow (most of the road allows for only one car) and has no guard rails on the side—which leads to a cliff face dropping several hundred feet. Rain and fog often make the road impassable for commuters and drivers. For many years, locals used the road because it was the only road connecting the two cities. Today the road is still used by locals out of necessity; however, backpackers, mountain bikers, and tourists to Bolivia enjoy the challenge of hiking and biking the road.
Despite the difficulties, travelers still enjoy the challenge of uncharted territory—of tackling something they have never done before. They are able to do that on these (only three of many) dangerous roads. But what brings these adventurers? For many, it is the beautiful, aweinspiring, and majestic view from the journey. For others it is simply the thrill of the ride and the desire to overcome their own fears by facing the danger head on.
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Just imagine it: Micronesia. Sunshine gleaming on the surface of a calm, teal lake. As you slip beneath the warm green waters, you are greeted by millions of pulsating jellyfishâ€”jellyfish that you can brush up against without fear of being stung. Itâ€™s an under-the-sea experience that reminds us just how marvelous our world is.
Photo Credit: See style guide to review credit wording before writing this.
Photography by Richard Schneider and LuxTonnerre
Beachgoers generally avoid jellyfish because of their painful and venomous stings, but the jellies who inhabit Jellyfish Lake on the Rock Islands of Palau are a little different. These golden jellyfish are often called “stingless,” which is a misnomer because they do have stingers. Their stingers, however, aren’t powerful enough to harm humans. Therefore, humans can—and do—take a dip with them. The Rock Islands are small, rural isles that were created when coral broke through the surface of the ocean. These mainly uninhabited islands are part of Palau’s Southern Lagoon. Jellyfish Lake is a marine (saltwater) lake on Eli Malk, one of the Rock Islands, connected to the ocean by cracks in the surrounding rocks. Additionally, it’s the only marine lake in Palau open to tourists. The lake has been mostly isolated from the ocean for 12,000 years. Because of the isolation and lack of predators, the jellyfish evolved and adapted to life in the lake. These golden jellyfish don’t need strong stingers to catch prey or to protect themselves. Unlike their run-ofthe-mill cousins who eat fish, crabs, and even other jellies, these jellyfish mainly live off algae-like organisms that live in their tissues. “The jellyfish that live there don’t eat fish, they live on photosynthesis,” says Rick Cobb, who lived on the island for two years. “It’s the only place on earth where that happens.” For travelers, Jellyfish Lake offers an experience like none other. Visitors can snorkel with jellyfish without worries of being stung. These peaceful and serene jellyfish mainly spend their time migrating back and forth across the lake, following the sun. They aren’t interested in harming humans. The dreamlike experience of swimming with millions of jellyfish might have you itching to pack your
bags and ship out, but there a few practicalities to know before you go.
Monetary and Physical Costs
Tourists stay on the island of Palau, where there are hotels and restaurants in abundance, as well as a small airport. Visitors must then take a boat from Palau to access the Rock Islands (and Jellyfish Lake). The cost to visit the island can be quite high. The price of a pass to visit the lake (good for 10 days) increased to $100 within the past few years to help with preservation efforts, which were made necessary by the high frequency of visitors. Additionally, most visitors go with a tour group, adding an additional cost. However, these tour groups will take visitors on several adventures besides Jellyfish Lake, including swimming with manta rays, visiting rainbow-colored lagoons, and traipsing through caves. In addition to the cash cost, there is also a physical price: hopeful snorkelers must hike to reach the lake. Though the hike only takes about ten minutes,
visitors say the trek is strenuous. There are several steep areas and a rocky limestone path, so it’s imperative to wear sturdy shoes.
A Few Safety Considerations ▶▶
Although the jellyfish’s stingers aren’t strong enough to hurt humans, those allergic to jellyfish should be cautious and wear protective clothing. Fifty feet below the surface are dangerous—even lethal—levels of hydrogen sulfide, so scuba diving is prohibited. To avoid harming the jellyfish, snorkelers must wear fins while swimming, but most tour groups provide the needed equipment.
Despite the costs and the considerations, Jellyfish Lake should be on every traveler’s bucket list. Cobb describes the experience as surreal. “It’s counterintuitive—you think one of the jellyfish is going to sting you and you’re going to die but that never happens. It’s incredible,” he says.
First Place Swiss Alps
As I climbed along the spines of the Alps in Switzerland, it was affirmed to me that God is an artist; a creator of awe, humility, and inspiration. â€”Megan Uffens Seattle, WA
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The Celtic Sea
Vivid colors collide on the rocky cliffs where the Celtic Sea rushes onto the English shore. —Will Finlayson Austin, TX
Third Place Smeyes
Living in a northern Thai village, I learned to use my eyes and expressions to overcome complete language barriers and to love those around me based on these limited interactions. —Isabella Errigo Chicago, IL
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Safety in the
MiddleEast The Middle East’s unique culture and ancient history intrigues many westerners. The Dome of the Rock, the Sacred Tomb, and the Dead Sea are just a few of the region’s distinctive tourist attractions. However, recent political turmoil causes many travelers to feel apprehensive about visiting the region. In 2014, the blog Adventurous Kate featured Sabina Lohr, a seasoned traveler from the United States who has lived in the Middle East. Lohr believes the region is safer than many expect. “I feel safer most of the time in Mideastern countries than I do at home,” she says. “They have problems there, of course, but they’re of such a different variety than in the U.S.” With the proper knowledge and precautions, traveling in the Middle East can be just as safe as traveling anywhere else.
1.do your research
Before traveling, find out the political situation of your destination. Online forums, such as TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree, and Frommers. com can provide live information about the region you are in or planning to visit. In addition, the US
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government’s travel website, travel. state.gov, issues safety warnings and alerts regularly. Avoid traveling during wars or uprisings. If you see a protest going on, don’t stay to watch or participate. Leave the situation to avoid being involved in any possible violence.
No matter where you travel, you should always use common sense, stay alert, and stay aware. Don’t trust strangers and avoid drinking alcohol. Most hazardous situations occur because travelers’ drinks are spiked by strangers, or travelers drink too
much and lose control. Before you go exploring, take a business card from the hotel or hostel you are staying at. That way if you get lost or can’t communicate in a foreign language, you can give the card to a taxi driver and return easily. No matter how friendly the locals may be, pickpockets are always looking for opportunities to benefit from distracted tourists. Keep your passport and money close. Wallets that can be worn under your clothes around the neck or waist are the most reliable. If you avoid dangerous regions and stay away from threatening circumstances, you are more likely to stay safe from harm. If the right precautions are taken, you can travel in the Middle East safely. However, if you are especially nervous about being stuck in serious situations, there are agencies—such as Control Risks, MedJet Horizon, and AXA Assistance—that
can provide you with constant communication and advice, track your whereabouts, and even extract you from the country if necessary.
3.respect the culture
The beauty of traveling to the Middle East is the immersion in a unique culture with traditions that are foreign to most travelers. Their religion, dress, customs, and ancient sites differ drastically from other cultures. Encountering cultural differences can help open visitors’ minds to things they previously misunderstood. The most enlightening and safest way to visit this region is to respect the culture and participate in it. Be aware of certain aspects of the culture. For instance, women shouldn’t walk in the streets alone; it’s not typical of the custom in the Middle East. Wherever women go,
they are almost always accompanied by a man, so if foreign women walk alone, people will stare. Also, public displays of affection are culturally unacceptable and disrespectful. Women and men in the Middle East typically cover their bodies with long, loose-fitting clothes. Women especially should always cover their shoulders and wear dresses that pass their knees. In many religious sites, women must wear a headscarf. Before your trip, research which regions of the Middle East require more modest attire. If you do the necessary research, take adequate precautions, and respect the culture, then there should be no fear when traveling to and touring the Middle East. It is a beautiful and historically rich region that broadens perspectives and changes the lives of its visitors.
Photo by Franz P. Sauerteig
An archaeological site in the historical city of Petra, Jordan.
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A Kurdish refugee boy from the Syrian town of Kobani holds onto a fence that surrounds a refugee camp in the border town of Suruc.
Traveling is a part of the human existence. We travel to explore, grow, evolve, and appreciate. We travel for adventure, education, and interaction. But there is also a darker side. There are forced travelers: travelers who leave their homes and their countries because they have no other choice. They may be forced out by natural disasters, environmental crises, or poverty. They may fear for their lives because of war, human rights abuses, or terrorism.
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Photo by Yannis Behrakis, courtesy of Jordi Bernabeu FarrĂşs
LEAVING TO LIVE
Photo by European Commission DG ECHO
Leaving to Live
Refugees are a part of this group of forced travelers. According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, a refugee is “a person who has fled his or her country of origin because of past persecution or a fear of future persecution based upon race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Most likely, he or she cannot return home or is afraid to do so. War and ethnic, tribal and religious violence are leading causes of refugees fleeing their countries.” Refugees have existed for centur ies. However, the surge of refugees fleeing conflict across the globe “reached record numbers and drew widespread attention in 2015,” according to The Borgen Project. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated that the population of forcibly displaced people has reached nearly 60 million, up 15 million from 2012. Of this number, they estimate there are 15.1 million refugees of concern, the highest level in 20 years. An additional 5.1 million registered refugees are located in some 60 camps in the Middle East. Instability in Syria, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Burundi, and Afghanistan has cont ributed heavily to these growing numbers. During 2014, one in every five displaced persons worldwide was Syrian. About half of the world’s refugees are women and children. Unfortunately, not all displaced people can become refugees and receive aid and resettle in a new country. These people, called internally displaced persons, or IDPs, have fled their homes but have not crossed an international frontier. There are many more IDPs than refugees because many countries have internal conflict and individuals have no way of crossing the border: either they can’t leave or bordering countries won’t take them. Others don’t fit
A Sudanese refugee mother with her sick child waits for care at the MSF field hospital in South Sudan.
the stringent standards required to declare refugee status. These people at at best face hunger and uncertainty, and at worst face rape, pilla ging, and genocide. Countless stories could be told about refugees. The accounts are as
Half of the world’s refugees are women and children. —UNHCR varied as the travelers, many of whom face an uncertain future. Most are faced with the difficult decision of how to rebuild their lives. However, amid the abounding stories of suffering, there are also stories of survival and success, hope and rebuilding.
Learning to Rebuild Aden Batar is the Director of Immigration and Refugee Resettlement for the Catholic Community Services in Utah. A former refugee, he now helps others find a new life. “Our goal is to build the refugees in love and compassion and teach them self-sufficiency,” he said. “We want to give them their lives back. Give them back families that they lost.” In 1992, Batar fled with his family to Kenya from a war-torn Somalia. At that time, displaced persons were not required to live in camps; they only needed to register with the UNHCR. He started volunteering his time in the camp near Nairobi, using his training as a lawyer to help others in the camp. In 1994, he obtained political asylum and was relocated to Logan, Utah, where he and his family began rebuilding a new life. “The biggest challenge was coming to a country where you don’t have friends, you don’t know anybody, and you don’t have anything. You have to start from scratch,” Batar said. “The language is different, the culture is
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immigration department of CCS where he worked as an immigration attorney, helping people to get legal status. In 2001, he was helping with the resettlement of refugees in Utah and in that year became director of the program.
Helping to Heal
Now Batar helps families in similar situations to his family when they first arrived to the United States. In an interview with Mormon Newsroom, he explained the integration process Utah follows to help refugees. A new family is assigned a case worker, who is usually a refugee from the same country, to help them navigate daily life by teaching them things such as how to ride a bus or how to find a school or grocery store. This case worker helps them adjust to the new environment and connect to their community. Batar said Utah is unique because it provides up to two years of case management for refugees to help them become successfully integrated into the community. “Within six months, the majo rity are paying taxes, contributing to the economy, helping business, and becoming involved in their community,” he said. Having worked in all areas of the department, Batar says his favorite job was working one-on-one with
Aden Batar, a refugee from Somalia, now works with Catholic Community Services to help other refugees resettle in Utah.
families, helping them navigate through the system, get jobs, enroll their children in school, and get medical help by interpreting in clinics. “My favorite part is when I see families reunited. I feel so much satis faction when I can help loved ones see each other after so many years.” Batar says that refugees need a welcoming environment where they can feel a sense of belonging. The community can offer this support by welcoming refugees with open arms and reaching out to help them feel comfortable in their new home. “In order to be successful, they need a friend,” Batar said. Get informed about the needs of your community and look for ways you can help the refugees in your area. Consider volunteering with local organizations, such as nonprofits, community centers, government resettlement agencies, and health clinics. Be the friend they need so that after a long and traumatic journey, these forced travelers can finally feel like they’ve found a place to call home.
—Kayci Treu Aden Batar greets refugees arriving in the Salt Lake City airport on January 26, 2016.
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Photos courtesy of Catholic Community Services
different, and the food is different. Even the weather is different. All the odds are against you. I think I knew that I was going to get into all those challenges, but it was still difficult.” Despite the difficulties, Batar wanted to be successful in this new community. He knew some English, but his wife didn’t know the language, which he says was very hard for her. He feels being able to communicate with others is crucial to a refugee’s success in a new country. “Knowing English helps refugees get a job, speak with their kid’s teachers, and make friends,” Batar said. Language isn’t the only barrier refugees face. Many, like Batar, face the difficulty of finding a place to worship in a new land that may not have many people with their same beliefs. Batar, a Muslim, says that it was very difficult to find a place of worship because there was only one small mosque in Salt Lake when they came. “The Somalian community began to grow and we had to come together to build a mosque,” said Batar. “Now there are close to eight mosques in the area.” Batar went back to school to improve his English, further his education, and get certified to practice law in the United States, as he did in Somalia. He also began working with Catholic Community Services (CCS). In 1997, he moved into the
Maybe you’ve never heard of voluntourism, but you’ve probably seen it portrayed in a myriad of ways: a newly married couple building houses in Belize; families taking care of elephants in Thailand; recent college graduates teaching math to young students in South Africa. Voluntourism, a mash-up of volunteer and tourism, is essentially traveling with the purpose of volunteering and serving in the community you’re visiting. National Public Radio says voluntourism is one of the fastest growing
trends in modern travel, with more than 1.6 million volunteer-tourists each year. NPR also estimates that those 1.6 million volunteers collectively spend around two billion dollars to travel and volunteer abroad.
But a two-billion-dollar-a-year travel trend with 1.6 million volunteers didn’t just start up overnight. In fact, voluntourism has a historical precedent stretching back over a century. By taking a look at some of
The British Red Cross formed the
From left: photography by unknown photographer and Sam Hood.
Voluntary Aid Detachments, otherwise known as VADs, in 1909. The idea was that VADs would be groups made up of volunteer nurses and doctors, groups that could be deployed to help soldiers during times of war. VADs were deployed all across Europe during both World War I and World War II and were exceptionally helpful in saving soldiers on the warfront. Many women were VAD volunteers, and one of the most well-known volunteers was famed mystery author Agatha Christie, who said her experience was “one of the most rewarding professions that anyone can follow.”
After World War II,
1909—Voluntary Aid Detachments
1950s—Australian Volunteers International, International Voluntary Services, and Voluntary Services Overseas
volunteering projects requiring travel were more short-term, undertaken only by people with personal, direct connections to the cause they were helping. But volunteering abroad became a much more formal, longterm, and widespread phenomenon after the formation of organizations like Australian Volunteers International (Australia) in 1951, International Voluntary Services (USA) in 1953, and Voluntary Services Overseas (United Kingdom) in 1958. These three organizations helped lay the foundation for more widespread formal volunteering.
The Kennedy Administration founded the Peace Corps with the intent of promoting economic and social development in countries abroad. The Peace Corps was criticized by conservatives (Nixon said it would become a “cult of escapism” and promote young men to avoid actually fighting in wars), but this program was embraced by college students and recent university graduates.
Fueled by the formal volunteering
the organization and service movements of the past, we can understand what is moving this modern trend of volunteering while traveling. Today, long-term volunteering projects like the UN Volunteers are less common, and the short-term volunteering mindset of the earlyand mid-twentieth century is back in vogue. However, accessibility to volunteering opportunities abroad has increased exponentially as more and more small charities and service organizations like NGOs (non-governmental organizations) have been created. As a result, people who want to get involved with voluntourism can work in almost any country for almost any cause. If you’re really interested in voluntourism, here are a few organizations to get your search started: 1. Habitat for Humanity. It’s one of the more well-known volunteer organizations, specializing in building and repairing houses for people in need. Habitat for Humanity has projects from Bangladesh to Honduras to Romania (and everywhere in between), so there are plenty of
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1968—UN Volunteers 2.
places to get involved. (www. habitat.org) GoEco. As the name might suggest, this organization focuses on improving the environment— everything from conserving great white shark habitats to studying ecosystems to maintaining hiking trails. Like Habitat for Humanity, GoEco has many projects all over the world, including ones in Thailand, Israel, Kenya, Fiji, and Costa Rica. (www.goeco.org) One World 365. Not sure what kind of volunteering you want to do, or where you want to go? No problem. One World 365 is a volunteering directory website, and its search engine (where you
can search by continent, country, activity, and keyword) can help you find your perfect project. (www.oneworld365.org) These three sites are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to voluntourism. With so many opportunities to volunteer abroad, it’s no wonder that there are 1.6 million volunteers each year, and no wonder that more and more people are finding opportunities to get involved in, as Agatha Christie described, “one of the most rewarding professions anyone can follow.”
From left: photography by Abbie Rowe and courtesy of UN Volunteers.
organizations of the 1950s and then the Peace Corps of the early 1960s, the United Nations established the UN Volunteers program in 1968. The program was specifically directed towards college-age students and young adults who were invited by recruiters to sign up for a two-year long volunteering program abroad, participating in both humanitarian and peacekeeping projects. Participation in the UN Volunteers and organizations like it was immensely popular during this time.
Calm in Calamity
Back to the Blueprint
Wish You Were Here
No Filter Needed
High Class, Low Cost
Selfie Stick Savvy
Traveling with kids? Here are some tips to prevent extra headaches during your family trip.
Restoring ancient cathedrals opens modern eyes to thirteenthcentury yellows and whites.
Discover an app that brings a modern twist to paper postcards.
Smartphone lens attachments are a clever alternative to a heavy and expensive camera.
Settling for an obstructed view can get you affordable tickets to an impressive show.
Learn important selfie stick etiquette that can save you from embarrassment and even dangerous situation.
A couple takes a selfie among crashing waves on a beach. Photo found on pixabay.com
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Calm in Calamity
Staying Sane During Family Trips
One blogger named Autumn said, “Honestly, I used to think people who packed up a bunch of kids and drove for fifteen hours and called that fun were completely, certifiably insane. There are times when fifteen minutes in the car with kids who won’t stop bugging each other is almost more than I can handle. However, I’ve realized that with the right preparation, a road trip with kids can be rather less miserable than expected—maybe even fun” (itsalwaysautumn.com). My mom did just that. When I was in elementary school, my mom
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decided to take a month-long road trip back East with six kids. We planned to meet my two oldest brothers and dad two weeks later when they flew in. So we set out with my mom, driving eight-hour days on the first few stretches until stopping each night to grab food and set up camp. Of course, no matter how well-prepared my mom was, there were plenty of catastrophes. “The rain was beating the top of the tent when I woke up,” she recalled. “Unsure of what had woken me, I quickly counted the kids to make sure they were all there. As I counted, I
realized too late that the hole we had duct-taped earlier was torn apart and water was pouring in. I quickly woke my fifteen-year-old son, and we carried the other five kids to the van. With the car now full of five sleeping children, my son and I stumbled back to the tent and fell asleep exhausted on the wet air mattress.” Our tent's flood was one of many memorable, unplanned mishaps we experienced on our trips that we continue to laugh about today. Here are some tips to try if you encounter problems while traveling with kids.
Left: photo by mauatlanta; Right: photo by Jorge Barahona
Traveling with kids can be difficult and stressful, so travel magazines and blogs give a variety of tips to help parents plan for the unexpected and control the uncontrollable. But catastrophes can always happen when traveling with kids, no matter how well planned the trip is. The trick is to know how to alleviate tension and diffuse the situation when those unavoidable catastrophes explode.
No matter how wellprepared my mom was, there were plenty of catastrophes. Keep kids well fed
Always pack more food than you think you’ll need. It’s better to have too much food at the end of the trip than to have no food and a cranky child. If kids are cranky, they are normally hungry.
Whether driving or sightseeing, make sure you plan fun breaks. Breaks will give you a moment to breathe and allow the kids to run around and play. Parks are great places to go for these breaks.
Visit kid-friendly areas
For example, look for museums that have children sections or that hand out activity books with items for kids to find. If all else fails, there are always restaurants with playgrounds.
Camping isn’t for everyone, but staying in tents is a great way to stop kids from fighting over what show to watch or from jumping on beds. Each
child can have a specific job when setting up camp to keep him or her busy and productive. Exploring the camping area will also keep the kids active and happy. Besides, camping often saves money. Several camping areas even have convenient stores, swimming pools, and laundry services.
Most importantly, remember that the crazy, hectic moments will make some of the best memories. Smile and have fun. Your kids will remember the trip forever. Though unplanned catastrophes can be stressful in the moment, they create the family trips we all love and look back on fondly. Don’t get so caught up in controlling every aspect of the trip that you forget to explore and have fun. Enjoy the moment by working on ways to help make disasters into memories.
Photo by Dieter_Ugolini
Whether flying or driving, come up with games to play. Consider having a bubble gum blowing contest as
you drive across the country. Create games that incorporate themes from where you’re traveling. My mom had us count taxis on one trip in New York, which kept us busy for hours!
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Back to the Blueprint A
t the center of the small town of Chartres, a ninety-minute train ride away from Paris, sits a towering cathedral. This edifice, completed in the thirteenth century, has been the center of controversy because of a decision made in 2009 to renovate it. This is not the simple, patchwork maintenance performed on many old monuments; the cathedralâ€™s once gloomy interior, blackened by centuries of use, is currently being painted a sunny, pale yellow. The paint job is part of a monumental attempt to restore the cathedral to its medieval appearance. But the renovation has inspired polemical responses.
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Left: photo courtesy of United States public domain; Right: photo by Mossot (photo modified)
The cathedral’s official website announces that the renovation will “bring about a radical change in our perspective of the place” [author’s translation]. Yet, some are skeptical. Martin Filler, writer for the New York Review of Books, expressed his hope that “by some miracle this scandalous desecration of a cultural holy place can be reversed.” When I visited the cathedral three years ago, I stood in the middle of the scandal and the radical shift of perspective. I entered the cathedral, halfway through renovation and split by history. One half was the color of charcoal; the other half was full of color—bright whites and yellows gleamed in the intense light that shined through the newly cleaned stained glass windows. I was stunned by the contrast. At first, it may seem as though the renovation is destroying history; but
those who take the time to appreciate the work that has been done come to realize that it is in fact uncovering history. An untrained eye can see very little in a cathedral obscured by centuries of dust, but using Chartres as a guide, modern visitors can learn to see cathedrals as their thirteenth-century counterparts saw them. Medieval visitors, looking at a myriad of colors accentuating stained glass, sculpture, and architectural detail, must have seen much more in a cathedral than we see today.
The purpose of stained glass is to tell stories and to invite light into a sacred space. As the years pass, the light is dimmed and the stories are silenced by dust. Modern tourists see only muted tones of colored glass, yet medieval visitors read the stories of the cathedral walls represented in vibrant color. During the renovation of Chartres Cathedral, the glass is being cleaned piece by piece, transforming the
subdued glass back into lively stories and the shadowy cathedral into a place of light. Each time we visit a cathedral, we should imagine it full of light, and we should look for the stories that are being told in the glass.
The sculptures on the exterior of cathedrals have a story to tell as well, but these tales are often lost over time. Where medieval visitors saw beautiful representations of people, animals, and mythical creatures, modern visitors see only crumbling, often unrecognizable figures. At Chartres Cathedral you can see sculptures of the twelve apostles holding objects that symbolize how they were martyred. Yet time and wear erase details, effacing the life of the sculptures and the representations of apostles of old. Skilled masons at Chartres are renovating the sculptures to bring the figures back to life. In places where the sculptures haven’t been reanimated, we are left to our imaginations to envision what the sculpture once looked like.
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In a cathedral that has not been renovated, the mélange of grey can blend together and hide the architectural details. Where paint has long since faded, visitors have the challenge of detecting the numerous architectural details in a sea of gray. Paint serves to accentuate the architecture of the building. At Chartres Cathedral, painters have chosen yellow and white paint to draw visitors’ attention to the vaulting in the ambulatory around the cathedral’s nave. If the renovation of Chartres Cathedral had been stopped at the point where I first saw it—half black, half yellow—it would have given
visitors the unique opportunity to close one eye and imagine what today’s gloomy cathedral must have looked like centuries ago. Then, through the opposite eye, they would see if their imagination came close. This cathedral would have trained average travelers to discover the beauty of ancient architecture, as it did for me. Unfortunately, the renovation will be completed next year; the old cathedral will be entirely masked by the new, and visitors will no longer have the rare privilege of witnessing the cathedral’s dramatic transformation in process. However, with this
renovation complete, tourists can go to Chartres to see an example of what a medieval cathedral once looked like. And they can use that vision to help them uncover the beauty hidden in cathedrals that haven’t undergone such dramatic renovations. Next time you visit Notre Dame de Paris or Reims or any other cathedral, remember Chartres. Allow your imagination to peel back the layers of time and see cathedrals as they were meant to be seen. The answer will not be right in front of you, but maybe that is exactly what will intrigue you and push you to continue rediscovering cathedrals.
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Photo by Sydney Hughes
Wish you wer e Do you want to send your friend a classic “Wish you were here!” without a cliché postcard picture attached? No problem.
Postagram is a wonderful mix of sending old-school postcards and sharing photos via social media. This app, available for Apple and Android devices, takes photos directly from your phone or social media accounts, prints them on a postcard, and sends them to your friends.
Postagram has a straightforward design that you can learn to use in a few minutes. Here is a five-step guide to using the app:
1. Create a profile
Download the app, create an account, and choose a profile picture, which will appear on all your postcards.
2. Choose a photo
Choose the perfect photo directly from your phone or from Facebook, Instagram, or a variety of other social media sites. You can crop and reposition your photo to adjust how it will appear on the postcard.
3. Write a message
Type your personalized message. Similar to Twitter, Postagram has a limited number of characters, but there is space to write a nice message.
4. Choose a recipient
Select a recipient from your contact list or add a new recipient. Postagram allows you to save addresses in the app. You can add as many contacts as you want, or even make friend or family groups.
5. Enter payment info
A postagram costs $1.99, including shipping. Enter your payment information and you’re done. Your friends will believe you’ve gone out of your way to send something nice, and it only takes a few minutes. Now go and do something exciting so that you can postagram ◀ 83 about it! www.stowawaymag.com
♥ 120 likes Stowaway An Olloclip 4-in-1 user shoots with a macro lens attachment on an iPhone 6S. Smartphone lens attachments are good alternatives to DSLR cameras. #lensattachment #nofilter
If carrying around a fancy camera is a drag but your Instagram gallery needs some spicing up, then look into buying a lens attachment for your smartphone. This gadget is a good option for travelers who want professionalgrade photos without investing in (or lugging around) an expensive camera. The three most talked-about brands for lens attachments are Olloclip,
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iPro Lens system, and Moment. Models from each brand have their perks, which are outlined here.
The Olloclip 4-in-1 slides over frontand rear-facing cameras and attaches to your keychain when it’s not in use. It includes four versatile lenses:
fisheye, wide-angle, and two macro lenses (10x and 15x). Fisheye and wide-angle are good for panoramic or scenery shots and macro lenses can capture those up-close details. The 4-in-1 creates quality images and is the cheapest option of the three brands discussed here. It costs $80 for everything you need, but it only works for the iPhone
Photo by Olloclip
Smartphone lens attachments make camera upgrades easy.
6/6S and only when the phone is without a case.
iPro Lens system
iPro Lens system’s model involves using a special case to attach the lenses to the phone. Cases of varying sizes are available for all iPhone models and for Samsung’s Galaxy S4. The starter kit for an iPhone 6/6S costs $84 and includes a phone case and a detachable handle that doubles as a storage unit for the lenses. Lenses are purchased separately, ranging from $40 to $100 each. Fisheye, wide-angle, macro, and telephoto lenses are available. This option is for the more serious photographer, and reviewers say it comes closest to DSLR results.
Photography by Olloclip, iPro Lens system, and Moment
Moment lenses come with a mounting plate that is glued onto the phone itself. Some users find it unnerving to permanently glue a metal plate onto their phones, but the plate comes right off with a little heat from a blow dryer. Mounting plates come in different sizes so that lenses are compatible with a variety of Apple and Samsung products. Moment offers wide-angle, telephoto, macro lenses. Lenses cost $100 each and come with little felt bags for when they’re not in use. Reviewers comment that Moment lenses are a top pick because they are easy to use, produce outstanding images, and can be used conjointly with a small case. Which lens attachment is the best choice depends on your photography needs and on where your travels take you. But no matter how you use this gadget, you’re sure to wow your friends and you’ll definitely get more likes. What better way to capture the scenery and the beauty of experiences that are meant to be shared?
A photo taken with the fisheye lens on the Olloclip 4-in-1.
Price Olloclip 4-in1
$80 iPro Lens system
iPro Lens system
$100 per lens *This is the cost for a case, handle, and wide-angle lens for an iPhone 6/6S. Prices vary for phone and lens types.
Compatibility Olloclip 4-in-1
iPro Lens system All iPhones, Galaxy S4 Moment
All iPhones; iPads; Galaxy S5, S4; Galaxy Note 4, 3; Nexus 5
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HIGH C L A\S\ \S\ lOW COST
It was a beautiful summer’s day in Paris, and it had just started to drizzle. Before we knew it, my dad and I were caught in a torrential storm, which isn’t nearly as romantic as the movies make it seem, though that may have had something to do with the company. As the lights of a marquee became visible about a half-mile away, we squinted to read the words Les Misérables. At that moment, an unspoken agreement formed between us; our pace quickened. Watching Les Misérables that night taught me that cultural experiences need not be expensive or well planned.
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Obstructed seating. Standing room. Standby lines. There are countless ways to find a last-minute bargain around the world. That night, we secured two seats to the show for less than $10, when tickets to operas and plays can sometimes run over $100. We were seated near a pillar that obstructed about a third of the stage, but I was so enchanted by our good fortune—a real play in a real theater where the real French Revolution took place—that I hardly noticed. These discount tickets can be obtained for plays, concerts, operas, and even sporting events around the world. The best way to obtain discounted tickets is to call the box office directly the morning of the show to inquire about obstructed view or
standing room availability. These tickets are normally sold at a fraction of the price but give you the same access to world-class entertainment that you would typically plan to see well in advance. Similar experiences can be found in the opera houses of San Francisco and Budapest, in the theaters of Broadway and London’s West End, in the concert halls of Vienna, and in the ballets of St. Petersburg, as well as in countless other cities around the world. The last-minute or moneyconscious traveler does not have to miss out on all the culture the world has to offer—one phone call can make all the difference.
Photo by RIA Novosti Archive
An obstructed view could change the way you travel.
“[We] heard Pavarotti perform once in San Francisco. We sat right behind a large pillar in the opera house. Six bucks. 1984.” —Marie Hyer “My family and I saw a performance by the Paris Opera Ballet School while we were in France. The tickets were cheap, we had our own little box, and we could still see everything on stage. It was fantastic!” —Sarah Ahlstrom “I got [tickets] on my study abroad in London when I saw the musical Matilda! They have obstructed view tickets available to students for a discounted price (about $7) if you go early in the morning (there were like 15 obstructed view seats so the first 15 people in line get them). Our seats were in front of a metal barrier that came above the entry gate for the seats below us. It wasn’t a terrible view and for such a cheap price totally worth it.” —Chloe Mehr “One time in St. Petersburg, a man offered us really cheap tickets to the Photo Credit: See style guide to review credit wording before writing this.
Mariinski Theatre. We thought, ‘Why not?’ We went in a little late, and discovered that the seats were on the very last row of the balcony, basically sitting on a little board. But I’ll never forget sitting on that board with my mouth all numb, watching La Traviata in Italian with Russian subtitles.“ —Marilyn Clark “Vienna offers stehplatz (standing room) tickets at a few places. I saw Rudolph Nureyev in Swan Lake with a stehplatz ticket. They still sell them at the opera and theater there, sometimes for only €3. Sometimes ‘standing room’ tickets include a seat.” —Heidi Meyer
The Phantom of the Opera always takes advantage of obstructed view seats.
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self i e stick
Top: photo by Alex and Kyle Macdonald; Bottom: photo by Dallas Clark
Selfie sticks are great and useful, but there are certain rules of etiquette that should be followed to allow for maximum fun for everyone.
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If you travel to any popular tourist location, you’ll likely notice one similarity: selfie sticks. It is likely that when you’re around people under the age of thirty, selfie sticks are everywhere. Selfie sticks can be useful when you’re on your own or with a group and want to capture a unique experience without asking someone else to take your picture. You can even capture epic moments while snowboarding or cliff diving using a selfie stick. Generally, selfie sticks allow you to capture more authentic photos and videos because they don’t require posing. But many travelers agree that there are rules of etiquette that should be followed so that everyone (selfie stick user or not) can have an enjoyable travel experience.
Photo by Rylie Adcox
Be mindful of others.
Don’t use selfie sticks in crowded or narrow places. If you’re somewhere that’s packed with people, there is obviously something noteworthy going on, and everyone wants to be a part of the experience without selfie sticks blocking the view. It is easy to hit others in the head or to run into someone or something while walking and taking a picture in a crowded area. Avoid ruining others’ travel experiences by blocking the view or running into them while you use your selfie stick.
Don’t use the selfie stick in unsafe situations (e.g., while driving, hiking, or skiing). Selfie sticks have been banned in Disneyland because of safety concerns. In 2015, eight people in the world died from shark attacks, but twelve people died while using a selfie stick. Focus more on what you’re doing and live in the moment instead of making sure you get the best selfie.
Don’t use selfie sticks in hallowed religious or cultural sites. They can be distracting and inappropriate in many travel situations. Respect other people and their religion, culture, and personal space by resisting the urge to whip out your selfie stick in every venue you visit. Use common sense and be considerate when visiting sacred and historical places so that you don’t disrespect the sanctity of the site.
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toothy traditions Losing a tooth is a highly anticipated milestone for young kids. Not only does it mean that they are growing, but the event may also involve an exciting cultural tradition. Traditions related to losing baby teeth have been circulating since the Middle Ages, when Vikings paid children for their teeth and the English burned baby teeth to save children’s souls. Throughout the years, these customs have transformed into modern-day traditions around the world.
In most English-speaking cultures, the loss of a tooth often guarantees a special visit from the tooth fairy. If the toothless child places the pearly-white tooth under a pillow, the nocturnal fairy will appear once the child is asleep to exchange a treasure, usually money, for the tooth. Over the past decade, it seems that the average value of a lost tooth in the United States has increased—the Original Tooth Fairy Poll has charted the increase from $1.60 to $4.36.
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According to Jamaican folklore, losing a tooth can lead to the risk of abduction by an evil spirit called Rolling Calf. When a tooth falls out of a child’s mouth, Rolling Calf comes to snatch not only the tooth but also the child. To scare away the spirit, the child must put the lost tooth in a tin can and shake it. Apart from Rolling Calf, another Jamaican tradition requires that children throw lost teeth onto the roof and chant “Ratta Ratta, take my old tooth and bring me a new one.” This ensures that a new tooth will grow in place of the lost one.
Icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com
United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia
In Spain, kids also eagerly await gifts in exchange for their teeth. But their gifts come from a friendly mouse, Ratoncito Pérez. The legend began in 1894 when Spanish author Luis Coloma wrote a children’s book to ease the mind of eight-year-old Alonso XIII (who would later become the king of Spain) about having lost a tooth. The book told of the adventures of Ratoncito Pérez, a rodent residing in a box of cookies on a street in Madrid, who would search out the bedrooms of children who had lost teeth and give them presents. The legacy of Ratoncito Pérez has lived on for over a century in many Spanish-speaking countries. Madrid even runs a museum, Casa Museo de Ratón Pérez, in his honor.
Turkey Northern Africa and the Middle East
The ancient tooth-throwing tradition in Egypt dates back to the thirteenth century. In fact, this tradition continues to be common throughout northern Africa and the Middle East. When children from this region lose teeth, they throw their teeth up into the sky with hopes that the teeth will reach the sun. The goal is that the sun will grant each child a brighter smile by sending a new, shiny tooth.
For Turkish families, a lost tooth is more valuable than currency. In fact, a lost tooth is priceless, as it can affect a child’s future. Tradition states that a child’s tooth, if buried in a certain location, can foretell the future of the child. Turkish parents take a child’s lost tooth and bury it in a garden for luck. The location of the garden is important because it will affect the child’s future accomplishments. For instance, if the parents want their child to graduate from a university, then they will bury the tooth in the garden of a university.
In Indonesia, children throw their teeth outside to ensure that a replacement will grow. However, to encourage proper growth of adult teeth, children must throw their teeth correctly. If a tooth falls from the top of the mouth, then it must be thrown toward the ground. This causes the replacement tooth to follow the lost tooth and grown downward. If a tooth falls from the bottom of the mouth, then it must be thrown onto the roof so that the adult tooth will grow upward. Some Indonesians even believe that if a tooth is thrown crookedly, the child’s teeth will also grow in crookedly.
No matter the location, the loss of a tooth has turned into a monumental moment in a child’s life. Whether the tooth is placed under a pillow, thrown into the sky, or shaken in a can, these toothy traditions give children a reason to celebrate growth. —Lisa MacKay www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 91
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