Off the beaten track

5 Amazing Off the Beaten Path Escapes from Tokyo

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The sprawling metropolis of Tokyo seems to offer little refuge from its concrete skyscrapers, fluorescent billboards, and crammed commuter trains. Most visitors, if feeling overwhelmed, escape to the serene havens of Nikko or Takao-san, day trips from the city resplendent with natural beauty and onsen (hot springs). While these are amazing options, there’s a[...]

One Night on a Deserted Island in the Maldives

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There are about 1200 islands in the Maldives and only 300 of them are inhabited, either by locals or by resorts. So chances to find a real desert island here are quite good. Mind you, I am still very excited when I arrive at beautiful Maafushivaru and am told that I get to spend a night on my very own, very deserted island.   My first trip to [...]

15 for the Bucket List: Europe's Top Hidden Destinations

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Not a single day passes without someone in my various social media timelines asking about the best spot for a vacation in Europe. Paris, Mallorca, Santorini - the usual suspects are super popular but people are craving new experiences and places which have not yet been spoiled by mass tourism. Luckily, the clever people at Mastercard have teamed up with some[...]

9 amazing things to do on Easter Island Besides seeing the Moai

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Remote as it is historically alluring, Easter Island (Isla de Pascua in Spanish; Rapa Nui to the locals) often tops the bucket lists of intrepid travelers. Most make the 5-hour plane journey from mainland Chile for one reason alone: the Moai. These ancient statues— erected by different tribes for what is believed to be religious worship— are scattered throug[...]

Off the Beaten Path in Venice: Exploring the Jewish Ghetto of Venice

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When I see tourists and travelers in Venice, I often think of them as children in a huge ice-cream parlor: overwhelmed by the great variety of flavours, they’ll look around dazzled by such diverse supply but will probably end up ordering the most common tastes. In the same way, the typical Venetian tour will lead you to the usual “top things to see”, which, [...]

A Kingdom for a Whale - A Travel Story from Tonga

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I want to see a whale. More than that - I want to swim with a whale. That was my one and only reason to travel to Tonga, an island state in the South Pacific that is one of the few places worldwide where it is possible to do exactly that. And now I am standing on this boat in the middle of the ocean with nothing around me but water. I repeat, nothing. We [...]