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Can You “SideStep” An Expensive Plane Ticket?
Can You “SideStep” An Expensive Plane Ticket?

Please Note: This is a sponsored post.Nick needs a ticket to Argentina. Five of my college buddies and I are going to have a mini-reunion in Patagonia over Christmas and New Year’s.We’ve all managed to find inexpensive plane tickets, except for Nick.Nick is perhaps the most intelligent of my friends, but he is also far and away the most…easily distracted.

Looking back on my first year in Paris
Looking back on my first year in Paris

Feature and Above Photo: orazalAn expat looks back on her first year abroad.In Stendhal’s “The Red and the Black,” the heroic (but mostly tragic) Julien is the petty bourgeois son of a carpenter who, through a mixture of luck and intelligence, obtains a promising job that under normal circumstances would be beyond his reach.

Kill your iPod
Kill your iPod

Photo snowking24Do you hear that?The clatter of a busy market. Wheels going 60 miles per hour on badly patched highway. Do you hear the whooping laughter 3 blocks distant tittering off into uncontrolled giggling?If you have your iPod on you don’t.Don’t get me wrong, I love music. Hans Christian Anderson said “Where words fail, music speaks.

7 reasons to study abroad in Hong Kong
7 reasons to study abroad in Hong Kong

Photo by jiaziWhen I was offered a study abroad opportunity in Hong Kong, I could only imagine myself sitting in a library studying, trying to escape pollution and lethal traffic.Studying abroad in Hong Kong taught me that our assumptions about foreign cities are usually wrong — and that they can be changed by spending time letting the city change you.

Get Your Pen Moving: ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS
Get Your Pen Moving: ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS

Photos: Ckubber Feature Photo: What Silence Around Matador, we hear a lot about amazing interactions between travelers and local people–but we don’t hear a whole lot about encounters between travelers and local animals.This week, get your pen moving by thinking about amazing mammals, amphibians, insects, reptiles and fish you’ve met (or run from, or squashed, or ridden, or been attacked by…) on your travels.

A Japanese baby shower lost in translation
A Japanese baby shower lost in translation

Feature And Above Photo: tankiI’ve been to three baby showers in my life. I can’t say I enjoyed any of them. The decorations. The games. The gushing over baby gifts. It all strikes me as overblown.So how did I end up hosting a baby shower in Japan? I met Yumie a few weeks after my arrival in Okinawa, and she became my first real friend here.

Stretching on the Seas: The First Ever Arctic Yoga Safari
Stretching on the Seas: The First Ever Arctic Yoga Safari

All photos by authorWyndham Wallace heads north to broaden his horizons – and shoulders – via a unique excursion into healthy living.It’s 8.45am on Saturday morning, and I’m being guided to my yoga class by a reindeer.I’m sitting with four other would-be yoginis in the back of a car driven by a jovial Norwegian local to the village school in Skogvika when the huge antlered beast lumbers into view, its rear end swinging loosely.

Five Expectations to Avoid Before Volunteering Abroad
Five Expectations to Avoid Before Volunteering Abroad

Photo: Courtesy of authorMany volunteers have harbored secret dreams of what the headlines will say when they return from their heroic adventures:“Volunteer saves rural village from mudslide.” “Philanthropist banishes malaria from Africa.” “Educated Westerner teaches hundreds of poor children to read.

10 Spiritual and Philosophical Books to Take Traveling‏
10 Spiritual and Philosophical Books to Take Traveling‏

Fuel your inspiration and spiritual core with these books while on the road.Some say that the best books to take on your travels are light, easy reads that don’t require much brain power.While it’s definitely easier to concentrate on the latest crime thriller while waiting for a train, there is also a place in your backpack for more meditative or reflective books that can stimulate the inner journey.

An Interview With Liz Chatburn of Pocket Cultures
An Interview With Liz Chatburn of Pocket Cultures

Liz Chatburn, managing editor of Pocket Cultures, shares her perspective on being part of a cross-cultural couple, how blogs could change travel in the future, and the qualities of a solid piece of travel writing.PocketCultures aims to “put the world in your pocket.” The site features blogs and articles from writers around the world and attempts to provide readers with a palpable, unique sense of local places and cultures.

How to: Cope with food allergies in Japan
How to: Cope with food allergies in Japan

Feature photo: pointnshoot, Credit for all other photos and Japanese editing goes to Sarah DworkenIf you are considering a trip or a move to Japan and aren’t sure what to do about food allergies, Matador contributor Jessica Aves can guide you.I’m allergic to milk, eggs, and cheese, so traveling to an Asian country where the cuisine matured without these European staples was rather liberating.

Election 2008: Who are you watching tonight?
Election 2008: Who are you watching tonight?

There’s more televised election coverage airing tonight than you can shake a stick at – but not all networks are equal.A recent study attempted to track the American public’s knowledge of current affairs, and to find out whether there was any correlation between the average citizen’s level of knowledge and their preferred news source.