Off the beaten track

A first trip to Cuba: family, friendship and feeling alive

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Marianao was where I began my Cuba journey. This is where my host, Eileen, lives; a university graduate whom I found through a homestay website. You are the only foreigner here, she kept telling me as she showed me around the neighborhood where people asked me to capture their smiles. She told me about the challenges of making a living in Cuba as part of [...]

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[...]

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 so[...]

Get out of the City: 5 Perfect Hong Kong Day Trips

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I love Hong Kong for so many reasons. From the food, to the markets, the wonderful people and colorful street life. But one of the very best things about Hong Kong is the ease of escaping. There are so many ways you can get out of the city. In less than an hour you can be wandering around fishing harbors, hiking along trails and swimming at clean beaches[...]

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 th[...]

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”, w[...]

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