One of my favorite parts of studying abroad when I was in college was being able to buy a cheap ticket and hop on a flight to various parts of Europe. One of the first places on my list to go to was Ireland. Of course, one of the most popular destinations within Ireland is the capital, Dublin. And yes, I did go to U2′s stomping grounds and drink the mandatory pint of Guinness, but I also wanted to see the green pastures, the side of Ireland everyone dreams of.
With the world gearing up for Friday’s Royal Wedding, “London” is the name on everyone’s lips. But even if you don’t dream of wedding cakes and yards of tulle, you can still find plenty to do in England’s worldly capital.
1. Take time out for afternoon tea.
Today’s Londoners don’t usually have time for leisurely tea breaks–they’re more likely to settle for a quick cup between emails–but that hasn’t stopped the tradition of afternoon tea from thriving. Stop in to one of the city’s many tea houses for “cream tea”, a small meal consisting of fresh-brewed tea, scones, clotted cream, and jam. Or, if you prefer something savory, opt for cucumber sandwiches and smoked salmon with your cuppa.
This Sunday marks my least favorite day of the year: Daylight Saving Time. Losing a precious hour of shut-eye is painful, but springing forward does mark the dawn of spring–and to me, spring means one thing: travel season!
And what better way to kick off the return of long, sunny days than a trip to Central Europe to see the colorful Easter markets? While most Americans have heard of the Christmas markets, the Easter markets are less widely known. However, they are an egg-ceptional way to experience the local culture. Here are the top cities to visit and even our best Central Europe vacation deals.
There are a thousand ways to approach a place. Some travelers pore through guidebooks as if studying for a test. Others dive in blind, equipped with nothing but a toothbrush. Some arrive ready to settle in. Others arrive ready to leave. And still others never arrive at all. They return.
For me, return is a desert word. It invokes the sere, scrub-strewn wasteland of the western Mojave where I grew up. The yip of coyotes in midnight congress. The lip-splitting heat of the Santa Ana winds. Return is the union of a thousand frozen frames of memory, each linked to that single returned-to place, and each uniquely warped by distance. Because you can’t return if you’ve never left. Right?
G.K. Chesterson once said: “The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.”
It was dawn in New Orleans and I was in a cab on the way to the airport after a Thanksgiving getaway. We had just driven past the Superdome, only days after hosting the lively Bayou Classic and only five years after it stood as the unfortunate icon of one of the worst disasters in New Orleans’ history. As if in acknowledgement, my cab driver nodded towards it and started talking. “You know, I been in this city all my life,” he said, “except for the two years I spent in Houston after Katrina. Most of my family—they’re still there.”