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Travel Better

Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.

~ Miriam Beard

We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have, if only we seek them with our eyes open.

~Jawaharlal Nehru

If you had one day in NY City, where would you go to eat?

Hannah Goldfield, the New Yorker’s food critic, answers the question.

For breakfast, head to the original location of Russ & Daughters, for a bagel sandwich. If you want to expand your horizons, get the Super Heebster—whitefish and baked-salmon salad with horseradish-dill cream cheese and wasabi flying-fish roe. If you’re feeling traditional, go for good ol’ cream cheese and Gaspe Nova smoked salmon. On an everything bagel, of course! Eat it on the street.

More at the New Yorker (paywall)

San Marino: the least visited country in Europe

Hovering on a cliff encircled by Italy, the tiny landlocked country of San Marino holds the title of the least visited country in Europe, just a dot on the map of only 23.6 square miles. Here’s why travelers of all types should visit the under the radar microstate.

  • History
  • Epic Landscapes
  • Food
  • Tax Free Shopping
  • Easy Access

Read the whole article at National Geographic.

How not to be an ugly tourist

Rick Steeves, the man who tires to “inspire, inform, and equip Americans to have European trips that are fun, affordable, and culturally broadening,” has some advice for his compatriots. But they are not restricted to Americans. His suggestions apply to everyone who travels internationally, and not just to Europe.

Rick writes:

Travel more like Gandhi — with simple clothes, open eyes, and an uncluttered mind.

By developing a knack for connecting with people and their culture, we become temporary locals — approaching a new country on its level, accepting and enjoying its unique ways of life. When I’m in Europe, I strive to become what I call a “cultural chameleon” — a temporary European. I consume wine in France, beer in Germany — and when I get the urge for a good old-fashioned American breakfast, I beat it to death with a hard roll.

Find ways to really be in the place you came to see. If you can think positively, travel smartly, adapt well, and connect with the culture, you’ll banish the ugly and have a truly beautiful trip.

Read the whole article on Rick’s website. Follow his recommendations and you’ll have better, more enriching adventures.

The funny side of the German language

Watch: Happiness is Bhutan

Japan’s passport offers the most travel freedom

The Henley Passport Index is a ranking of the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without first obtaining a visa.

Henley & Partners released this press release today:

Japan has overtaken Singapore to claim the top spot on the 2018 Henley Passport Index, having gained visa-free access to Myanmar this month. Japan now enjoys visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 190 destinations, compared to Singapore’s total of 189. The countries have been neck and neck since they both climbed to 1st place in February, pushing Germany down to 2nd place for the first time since 2014.

Germany has now fallen further to 3rd place, which it shares with South Korea and France. Their nationals enjoy visa-free access to 188 countries. France moved up a place last Friday when it gained visa-free access to Uzbekistan. Iraq and Afghanistan continues to sit at the bottom (106th) of the Henley Passport Index — based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association(IATA).

The US and the UK, both with 186 destinations, have slid down yet another spot — from 4th to 5th place — with neither having gained access to any new jurisdictions since the start of 2018. With stagnant outbound visa activity compared to Asian high-performers, it seems unlikely they will regain the number 1 spot they jointly held in 2015 any time soon.

In general, the UAE has made the most remarkable ascent on the Henley Passport Index, from 62nd place in 2006 to 21st place worldwide currently, and looking ahead, the most dramatic climb might come from Kosovo, which officially met all the criteria for visa-liberalization with the EU in July and is now in discussions with the European Council.

Russia received a boost in September when Taiwan announced a visa-waiver, but the country has nonetheless fallen from 46th to 47th place due to movements higher up the ranking. The same is true of China: Chinese nationals obtained access to two new jurisdictions (St. Lucia and Myanmar), but the Chinese passport fell two places, to 71st overall.

Dr. Christian H. Kälin, Group Chairman of Henley & Partners, says countries with citizenship-by-investment (CBI) programs all fall within the top 50 of the Henley Passport Index. Newcomer Moldova, which is due to launch its CBI program in November, has climbed 20 places since 2008. “The travel freedom that comes with a second passport is significant, while the economic and societal value that CBI programs generate for host countries can be transformative,” says Dr. Kälin.

The top countries are:

1. Japan (190 countries)

2. Singapore (189 countries)

3. Germany (188 countries)

4. (Tied) France, South Korea, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden, Spain (187 countries)

5. (Tied) Norway, United Kingdom, Austria, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, USA (186 countries)

6. (Tied) Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, Ireland (185 countries)

7. (Tied) Australia, Greece, Malta (183 countries)

8. (Tied) New Zealand, Czech Republic (182 countries)

9. Iceland (181 countries)

10. (Tied) Hungary, Slovenia, Malaysia (180 countries)

Things to know before visiting Bhutan

According to Smarter Travel, here are some of the things you should know before visiting the small nation, which is often cited as the happiest in the world:

  • Bhutan charges most tourists a $200 to $250 daily fee to visit. The price varies with the travel season.
  • Don’t take photos inside sacred place (like the inside of a monastery).
  • Bhutan’s weather is notoriously unpredictable.
  • Bhutan is at a high altitude.
  • When visiting cultural sites and monasteries you will need to have your arms and legs covered to enter.

Baños de Agua Santa is hailed as Ecuador’s outdoor adventure capital

According to the National Geographic, here are some of the things to do in the shadow of Tungurahua, one of South America’s most active volcanoes:

  1. Swing at the End of the World
  2. Bathe in hot springs
  3. Outside adventure: Mountain bike, Zipline, Rappel, Rafting, Bungee
  4. Hike to Devil’s Cauldron

 

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