Tag: USA (page 1 of 2)

TWIPPERS OF THE WEEK

Twippers of the Week: Kate and Jeremy from Our Escape Clause

Current city: None! We’ve been nomadic since May 2016.

Age: 26 & 27.

Total countries visited: 29! We had hoped to hit 30 in 2017, but we’ll kick off 2018 with a milestone instead.

What makes you interesting: We are high school sweethearts who had never left the USA before our honeymoon at an all-inclusive in the Bahamas 4.5 years ago. After buying a house and spending a few years in the working world, we decided to take our lives in an entirely different direction and sold our house, car, and most of our belongings to take off on a 6-month round-the-world trip.

Six months has turned into 1.5 years and counting: we have fallen in love with a life of travel and seeking out adventures around the world. Some of our favorite adventures so far include camping in the Sahara Desert in Morocco, climbing a volcano in Guatemala, cliff jumping in Croatia, tasting wine in Tuscany (we actually just finished up a whole month living in Florence!), and learning to scuba dive in Thailand.

What brands do you love: We have several! Osprey, Gregory, and The NorthFace have all been great to us in terms of our gear. Southwest has our loyalty as far as airlines go: they’re our first choice whenever we’re flying to a destination that they reach.

What motivates you to travel: The desire to continue to learn about the world and experience it in an up-close-and-personal way. Travel has taught us so much about ourselves, the world, different cultures, history, and more, and we are so grateful for it.

Describe the last time you tried something new: Hmm–well, this isn’t a super exotic one, but it is recent! A couple of weeks ago we tried Korean BBQ for the first time in NYC–it was delicious!

What is the best part about having a travel partner: Knowing that someone always has your back. Whether it’s having someone to watch your luggage while you run to the restroom in an airport, someone to divide and conquer logistics with, or a dive buddy you truly trust with your life, there’s a deep peace in knowing that someone you love is always in your corner. Since we are also each other’s spouse and favorite person in addition to travel partner, we have the added bonus of knowing there is no one else we would ever want to travel with more!

What’s your favorite passport stamp and why: Belize and Thailand are a tie–they both used colorful ink and had interesting shaped stamps (a triangle for Thailand, a circle for Belize). We love for our passports to be as bright and colorful inside as possible!

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from traveling: Simply put, to relax. Traveling long-term beats impatience out of you–when dealing with imperfect and unpredictable transportation in less developed parts of the world, at a certain point you’ll either relax or live in a constant state of high anxiety! Also, that the world is ultimately not a scary place. We knew that intellectually beforehand, sure, but the ease with which we move through the world now is much greater than the first time we stepped outside the USA!

Next travel destination: Who knows! We’re currently home for the holidays with loved ones in the USA, and while we have several adventures calling our name for January, at some point we’ll need to pick a destination and stick with it! Right now, we’re considering options, near and far, on 3 different continents.

12 Magical Christmas Markets Around The World

Photo courtesy of torontochristmasmarket.com

By: Juliette Koronkiewicz, TWIP

Every year, in many cities around the world, Christmas markets open and people flock to watch carolers, events, tree lightings and shop for everyone on their Christmas list. You can’t help but feel the spirit of the holidays when walking into these winter wonderlands of sparkling Christmas trees, savory scents, and sweet treats. Visiting one or some of these 12 Christmas Markets is the perfect way to get yourself into the holiday spirit.

Striezelmarkt – Dresden, Germany: November 29 – December 24, 2017

Photo courtesy of download-wallpaper.net

Dresden Striezelmarkt is Germany’s oldest Christmas market and this year will mark the 583rd anniversary of this historical Christmas display. Locals visit this market every year to stock up on festive foods and Christmas shop. Amongst the many market stalls are popular woodcraft from the Erz Mountains, beautiful hand-made tinsels, winter accessories, hand-made candles and more. Dresden Stollen Festival is one of the most popular main events during this month-long Christmas market. A visit to Dresden Christmas Market isn’t complete without tasting some of its famous stollen; a traditional German Christmas fruit and nut bread.

Budapest Christmas Fair – Budapest, Hungary: Nov 10, 2017 – Dec 31, 2017

Photo courtesy of budapestchristmas.com

The Christmas market on St. Stephen’s Square is the newest market in Budapest and right in front of the beautiful St. Stephen’s Basilica. Opened for the first time in 2011, the market has beautiful decorations, stalls filled with handmade gifts to cross people off your shopping list, and delicious food. Did we forget to mention you can also go ice skating? You can view the illuminating St. Stephen’s Basilica while taking a few laps around the ice skating rink. Every day, on the hour, between 4.30pm and 10pm, you can see the Basilica’s facade turn into a stunning visual Christmas narrative. This market is known for its beautiful lights in the evenings, which makes you feel as if you are in the middle of a magical Christmas wonderland.

Tivoli Gardens’ Christmas Market – Copenhagen, Denmark: November 18 – December 31st

Photo courtesy of pinterest.co.uk

Every year, the Tivoli Gardens are transformed into a winter wonderland. Up to one million lights are activated to create Christmas in Tivoli. The Tivoli Christmas Market has been running since 1994 and attracts more than a million visitors each year. During your visit, you will find mouth watering food and drinks, thanks to the mulled wine and apple pancakes, and you can discover everything from beautiful knitwear to Christmas ornaments and crafts. While at Tivoli, don’t forget to ride the Pixie Train and the Music Carousel.  

Christkindlesmarik – Strasbourg, France: November 24th – December 30th

Photo courtesy of flickriver.com/photos/davidad64

Known as the “Capital of Christmas,” Strasbourg is home to Christkindlesmarik, France’s oldest and most popular holiday market. Christkindelsmarik comprises twelve markets which are organized by products such as food, decorations and handmade crafts. Place Kléber holds the piece de resistance: a giant Christmas tree with shimmering ornaments and lights. Visitors will find 60 small wooden huts in Place Kléber, where different organizations take donations and explain their charitable mission. In keeping with holiday spirit, many visitors leave gifts by the Christmas tree for those in need. With its famous Christmas Tree, illuminations, unique wooden chalets, bredele cakes and hot wine, there’s always magic in the air at Strasbourg’s Christmas Market.

Christkindlmarket – Chicago, USA: November 17th – December 24th

Photo courtesy of 10best.com

Christkindlmarket Chicago is inspired by the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany. You will find German and European tradition mixed with international flair and local charm when you visit. The outdoor market in the Chicago Loop has become so popular and loved, that people from all over the world come to visit. Any Chicagoan will tell you that they could not imagine the city without this  Chicago tradition. The unique shopping experience, typical German food and drinks, and holiday entertainment make the Christkindlmarket Chicago a preferred and popular destination to get in the holiday spirit.

The Old Town Market (Skansen) – Stockholm, Sweden: November 19th – December 23rd

Photo courtesy of lifeoftrends.com

The Old Town Christmas Market has it‘s origin in the medieval markets at Stockholm in 1837 and has been an ongoing tradition. With more than 40 stalls to explore, you will find a lot of Swedish Christmas specialities such as Swedish Christmas sweets, smoked sausages, smoked reindeer, elk meat, handmade knitted caps, candy floss, glögg (mulled wine), a range of Swedish handicrafts and decorative arts of high-quality workmanship and so much more. The vendors renting the stalls are all entrepreneurs and are selected to give you a wide range of traditional Swedish products, with a focus on handicraft and unique items for a truly authentic Swedish Christmas experience.

Christmas Markets – Manchester, England: November 10th – December 21st

Photo courtesy of theblackandwhiteedit.co.uk

Launched in 1999 as just a single site in St. Ann’s Square, Manchester’s Christmas Markets are now a sprawling and hugely popular festive attraction. Over 300 stalls and chalets spread across the city centre offers delicious international food, drinks and delicately crafted Yuletide gifts. You can taste traditional bratwurst, Hungarian goulash, Spanish paella or a good old-fashioned hog roast. European and local producers offer everything from fine amber jewellery, handcrafted leather bags and top-quality bonsai trees, to handmade Belgian kitchenware, framed photo prints and French soaps.

Christkindlmarkt Salzburg – Salzburg, Austria: November 23rd – December 26th

Photo courtesy of christkindlmarkt.co.at

Experience the incredible old Austrian tradition and find the most wonderful Christmas presents for your loved ones at Salzburg’s Christmas Market! Salzburg’s Christmas market located around the cathedral of Salzburg at the foot of the Hohensalzburg fortress, is mentioned in history as far back as the 15th century. When you visit Salzburg, you enter a stage for countless cultural events, lovingly fostered tradition and living customs. With snow often turning the city into an atmospheric winter wonderland, the many Christmas markets add to the seasonal feeling and make Salzburg one of the most romantic cities in Austria.

Plaisirs d’Hiver – Brussels, Belgium: November 24th – December 31st

Photo courtesy of theculturetrip.com

There’s no better way to get into the Christmas mood than spending some time at Brussels’ Plaisirs d’Hiver, coined as “Europe’s most original Christmas market.” There are Baroque merry-go-rounds, a 200 foot-long ice rink, a big wheel and over 240 stalls selling gifts, and warming food and drink fit for those crispy wintery days. Indulge with the delicious flavors of the local sugary doughnuts while observing the 18,000 lights illuminating the Ferris wheel, decorations, and music while taking in the holiday atmosphere.

Edinburgh’s Christmas Market – Edinburgh, Scotland: November 17th – January 7th

Photo courtesy of webstore.ncl.ac.uk

The traditional and romantic Christmas Market in the heart of Edinburgh offers a unique shopping experience for every visitor. These festive markets are a popular highlight of Edinburgh’s Christmas.  Find traditional crafts at the Scottish Market on George Street. Pick up unique gifts and goods at the European Market in the Mound Precinct, or choose presents for the little ones in the Children’s Market, part of Santa Land at Princes Street Gardens. You can enjoy panoramic views of the capital from the top of the Big Wheel, spin around on the charming carousel in East Princes Street Gardens, brave a twirl on the 60-meter-high Star Flyer or just enjoy delicious food and drink.

Toronto Christmas Market  – Toronto, Canada: November 16th – December 23rd

Photo courtesy of torontochristmasmarket.com

Discover Old World charm with modern-day holiday attractions at The Toronto Christmas Market. The market features festive lighting and décor, musical performances from carolers and Bavarian brass bands. Warm up with beer, mulled wine, or hot rum drinks at the market’s beer gardens and hospitality lounges. Browse through local, handcrafted products and check out the market’s giant Christmas tree. If you love caroling, join in on the World Caroling Challenge on December 15th and sing some of your favorite Christmas tunes!

Old Town and Wenceslas Square Christmas Market – Prague, Czech Republic: December 2nd – January 6th

Photo courtesy of theodysseyonline.com

If you want an unforgettable experience, you need to experience Christmas in Prague!  The unique atmosphere of the medieval central Prague makes the Christmas Markets at the Old Town Square very popular. The variety of food and beverages sold at the market is very generous. Visitors may look forward to traditional Czech food and drink like barbecued pork, blood sausages, Czech muffins, conkers, beer, mulled wine, mead and other typical gastronomical specialties from Old Czech cuisine. You can find gifts for everyone on your list with a variety of wood-carved toys, glass-workwear, blacksmith´s ware or confectionery.

Twipper of the Month – July 2017

Twipper of the Month – July 2017: Dave Anderson from Jones Around The World!

This California native has been on the move since 2011 in search of beaches, music festivals and cold beer, but one thing is for sure, you will never find Dave without his camera. After his first trip to Europe, Dave knew he found his life’s passion. After a semester abroad in Rome, he became an international travel guide in Europe, lived in the Netherlands and Asia while acquiring his master’s degree online, and then spent a year Australia on a Working Holiday Visa. Dave is back to a Nomadic lifestyle and photographing music festivals wherever he goes. What makes this traveler interesting? He has lived in 6 countries by the age of 28 and loves learning new languages. If you ask him what travel has learned from traveling, he would say, “Money isn’t everything, and you should never give up on your dreams.” It’s his dream and passion for travel and music which makes Dave out Twipper of the Month for July.

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Elizabeth Raflowitz from ER: Where to Next?

Current city: Boston, MA

Age: 32

Total countries visited: 52 countries/territories, 7 continents.

What makes you interesting: No to sound too nerdy, but I love learning all the anthropologic elements of other countries – the culture, language, architecture, and of corse the food. I love embracing their traditions and trying to pick up a few words in their native tongue.

What brands do you love: Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade and Lacoste are my faves, but while abroad I always look for Bershka and Zara (it’s better than U.S. Zara).

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from traveling: Acceptance of other people’s cultures. Every country has a unique history, and the point of traveling is to expand your outlook on people and the world.

Describe your most unique or funniest travel experience: When I was in college I studied abroad on Semester at Sea. I spent 100 days on a small cruise ship and traveled around the world beginning in the Bahamas, traveling through South America, across the Atlantic to Africa, Asia, across the Pacific and docking in San Diego. We visited 9 countries, and it was the most eye-opening experience and was where I met some of my closest friends.

What’s your favorite passport stamp: My favorite passport stamp is definitely my one from Antarctica. It was such an achievement to be able to visit my 7th continent, but my coolest passport stamp is from Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch in Wales – the longest town name in the world!

What’s one thing you have no problem breaking the bank for when traveling: Just one? I really love to live in the moment when traveling but food and unique home decor are things you have to do right. No one makes that place’s food better than the locals, so I be sure to take it all in. For home decor, I like to bring a piece of the country back home with me, whether a piece of art or decoration. It’s always a talking point when people are at my condo.

What is your most favorite travel memory: One of my favorite trips was spending Christmas in the Malaysian rainforest with my family. We spent the holiday in a treehouse hotel, hiking through the rainforest, and seeing Santa in a bathing suit!

What item will you never leave home without: My passport! But sadly, it’s probably my cell phone because it sometimes acts as my camera, my boarding pass, and my way to pass the time on flights.

Next travel destination: I just booked a very spontaneous trip to Oslo, Norway for Labor Day Weekend with my two friends from Semester at Sea. We found great deals on flights, so how could we not book?! We’re still figuring out the details, but possibly also heading to Bergen on the west coast to see the fjords while we are there!

Joyous December: Celebrating a Season of Enchanting Festivals

 

Photo courtesy of www.scotsman.com

Photo courtesy of www.scotsman.com

‘Tis the season for hot chocolate, Christmas markets and New Year resolutions. There is no  better way to take in the holiday spirit than by traveling during the month of December which can be one of the most magical and enchanting experiences. These festivals are the perfect addition to your travel itinerary.

Klausjagen, Küssnacht am Rigi, Switzerland, Dec. 5th  

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Photo courtesy of http://jalenpixs.cf/christmas-traditions-in-switzerland/

Klaus procession is one of the most impressive St. Nicholas traditions in Europe. On the Eve of St. Nicholas Day in Küssnacht am Rigi, Switzerland, locals celebrate a mix of ancient pagan rites of chasing away evil spirits and blessing the arrival of the season of St Nicholas. A procession with around 200 Iffele (illuminated ornaments), followed by St. Nicholas and archaic noise from over 1,000 chasers is watched every year by up to 20,000 spectators. The streets echo with the ringing of heavy bells, the sound of horns and above all by strange triad rhythms of the brass music. This is definitely not your average Christmas celebration.

The Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, Dec. 12th

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Photo courtesy of http://winterfestparade.com/

Staged on the New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Winterfest is best known for it’s one of a kind Boat Parade. Private boats, giant showboats and corporate megayachts adorned with hundreds of thousands of lights, music, entertainment, decorations, celebrities, musical groups, beauty queens and other exciting entries are viewed by over one million spectators. Not only is the parade the largest, one-day, live audience of any event in Florida, but also the seventh largest one-day spectator event in the country! Other Winterfest events include the Black Tie Ball, Grand Marshall Experience and White Party.

Burning the Clocks, Brighton, England, Dec. 21st

Burning the Clocks is a unique festival of light and art that brings the city of Brighton, England together to mark the Winter Solstice. The festival was created in 1994 by the award-winning community arts charity, Same Sky, as a way to celebrate the holiday spirit regardless of people’s religious beliefs. Leading up to the event, people are encouraged to create their own unique lanterns made from willow canes or bamboo and white tissue paper. After carrying them through the city in a lantern parade, they pass them into the fire on Brighton beach, as a token of the year’s end.  A dazzling fire show is set in motion, in which a massive fire sculpture is ignited, live music plays and fireworks light up the sky!

Hogmanay, Edinburgh, Scotland, Dec 30th – Jan 1st

Hogmanay is the biggest street party in all of Scotland. Highlighted as one of the ‘Top 100 things to do before you die’ and recently the only festival to appear in the ‘Discovery Channel – Top 25 World Travel Experiences,’ Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party is one of the world’s greatest New Year celebrations. Festivities begin with the Torchlight Procession where participants carrying flaming torches in Viking attire, head along the Royal Mile and onto Calton Hill, where a replica Viking longship is set alight. Following the next day with the Street Party, The Old Town Ceilidh, live music at the Concert in the Gardens, and Candlelit Concert at St. Giles’ Cathedral all leading up to Midnight Moment. Consisting of four fireworks displays every hour starting at 9 p.m., these displays light up the skies above the capital from Edinburgh Castle and Calton Hill.

The Scots don’t end there! The next day, thousands of people take part in the breathtaking Stoats Loony Dook at South Queensferry – the annual dip in the freezing River Forth which lies in the shadow of the world-famous Forth Bridges. The three-day event ends with “The Final Fling.” This closing event includes music, dancing and Ceilidh Callers from Edinburgh’s top ceilidh outfit, the Portobello Ceilidh Band.  

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