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Keepin' It Real With Locals in South Africa's Cape We've been venturing into the Cape of South Africa for over a decade to visit old friends, always making new ones, and discovering places locals go from eateries to farmers markets, venturing into townships with local residents, and hitting a range of the best vineyards and distillers in the Cape wine regions.  Cultural connections in the township   Experiencing a black township first-hand is a really important aspect of coming to know South Africa, and this enduring consequence of apartheid. Having the right local guide like our man Thabang, makes all the difference. Black South Africans living in townships still don't see very many whites in their neighborhood, and many are as curious to know why we want to come as we are interested in learning about life in the township. Thabang is very sensitive and respectful, particularly to avoid making a showcase of the poverty, which is all around,...

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7 Days 7 Chakras: Yoga in Goa Jen and Heather got it Goain’ on with yoga in Goa! The inspiration for our 2 week yoga and cultural trip to India started with our son’s high school journalism teacher turned yoga instructor. Jen Mitchell just retired from teaching high school on the eve of this trip after having successfully started Twist Yoga several years ago, a vinyasa yoga studio in our hometown of Edmonds, WA. Together with her business partner, Heather Falcon, they have been offering yoga retreats in Hawaii and Oregon, and this was their first international yoga retreat. They designed the yoga program at Ashiyana Yoga and Spa Village in north Goa and asked us if we would set up a post-retreat cultural adventure to Varanasi, the Taj Mahal and Delhi. The trip sold out quickly. Although Anne and I were not originally planning to go, it took little convincing by other participants on the trip...

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Argentina’s up-all-night capital is divided into 48 distinctive neighborhoods (known as barrios) each with a unique personality and history. Where you decide to base yourself depends on what type of traveler you are and the kind of hotel you prefer. Following is a rundown of a few of the most popular neighborhoods for travelers to stay in and our favorite hotels located within each. Use this guide to determine where you want to stay in Buenos Aires on a custom-designed trip to Argentina! The Barrio: San Telmo  Profile: The gritty, historical heart of Buenos Aires; there’s a lot of romance beneath the grime and graffiti that decorates many a buildings. Behind every weathered door you might find a marble-tiled courtyard or secret garden dating from colonial times. San Telmo is the oldest barrio in Buenos Aires and dates back to the 17th century. It has, throughout the years, been a...
Whenever traveling abroad, I find a good way to get to know the culture and history of a country is through music. Whenever a significant cultural event takes place somewhere, you can be sure there will be some important music coming out of that time and place from the social commentators in the music world. From the evolution of blues music in the early parts of the 20th century, through the civil rights era of the 60’s, to the modern day, we’ve had musicians all along the way documenting their experiences and leaving us with a sonic history lesson of sorts. When people think of Brazil in terms of music, bossa nova is usually one of the first things to come to mind. Thanks in large part to Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes’ 1962 Grammy award winning “The Girl from Ipanema”, Brazil and bossa nova music are inextricably...

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A theme I have been hearing lately from our alumni is how much they learned while traveling in Turkey and how after their adventure they understand so much more about the current social-political situation and cultural norms there. “I hope the country continues to move forward. The young people I met along the way want to see a better life with more freedom and equality. I am concerned the prime minister does not want to take the country in that direction. After my trip, I'm more interested in knowing what is happening in that part of the world.” L. O’Brien, September 2013 We all travel for many reasons and education is one of the most important of them. In Turkey you learn about Byzantine, Roman and Ottoman history while you wander in the ancient sites or the Seljuk buildings still in use in the cities. You increase your botanical knowledge...
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